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Saturday, April 3, 2021

Hope SPRINGS Eternal! We Are Overcoming…

Over the past week and next few weeks we celebrate very important holidays – Passover, Easter and Eastern Orthodox Easter.  These holy holidays are celebrations of hope and salvation – Passover commemorates God’s deliverance of the Jews from Egypt and the birth of the Jewish people as a nation.  And Easter celebrates the Resurrection of Jesus Christ and the birth of Christianity.

 As we look back to last year at this time, we were in lockdown.  The pandemic had stopped every one of us in our tracks,  and made us realize how truly vulnerable we were and how borders were no defense against this microscopic enemy.

Today, a year later, there is hope!  Sadly, so many people have been taken by this virus, but medical treatment has improved and many have been saved.  Millions of people have already been vaccinated and many millions more will be immunized over the next few months.

Passover and Easter remind us that even in the most trying of circumstances, we must always “hope.”  May this beautiful verse* about HOPE inspire you to keep going:


Hope opens doors where despair closes them.

Hope discovers what can be done instead of grumbling about what cannot.

Hope regards problems, small or large, as opportunities.

Hope looks for the good in people, instead of harping on the worst.

Hope cherishes no illusions, nor does it yield to cynicism.

Hope sets big goals and is not frustrated by repeated difficulties or setbacks.

Hope pushes ahead when it would be easier to quit.

Hope puts up with modest gains, realizing “the longest journey starts with one step.”

Hope accepts misunderstandings as the price for serving the greater good of others.

Hope is a good loser because it has the divine assurance of final victory.

Hope draws its power from a deep trust in God and the basic goodness of human nature.

Hope “lights a candle” instead of “cursing the darkness.”


*HOPE written by Father James Keller, Founder of The Christophers.


We wish you a Happy Passover and a Blessed Easter.



                       


Thursday, March 18, 2021

IT’S SPRING - TIME FOR NEW BEGINNINGS

 

Spring officially begins at the vernal equinox, which will occur at 5:37 AM on Saturday, March 20, 2021. Winter is officially over, and it’s time to say goodbye to the gray days of winter and welcome spring with activity and hope! You deserve it – it’s been a very tough year. So, here are some ideas to rejuvenate our minds, bodies, and souls:

1. Take a walk. Studies have shown that even 10 minutes of walking each day can help adults maintain strength and agility. We are blessed with many wonderful gifts of nature on every road in our town and we have wonderful nature preserves to explore.

2. Do some spring cleaning. A little spring cleaning can create a healthy and comfortable living environment. Open the windows and let the fresh air in! Hang some artwork, brighten up your lighting, put away the winter clothes, repot your indoor plants.

3. Go fishing. Dust off your rod and reel and head to your favorite fishing spot. Whether you fish for pure enjoyment and simply “catch-and-release,” or try to reel in some keepers for dinner, fishing is an enjoyable, relaxing pastime.

4. Go on a picnic. A little creativity can turn even the most routine activities into adventures. Try turning your next meal into a picnic. Grab a blanket and head to a local park or even your backyard. Bring a book to read in the fresh air.

5. Install a bird feeder. Once the birds start chirping, you know spring has arrived. An abundant food source will help attract these feathered friends to your yard. Buy a bird feeder (or if you’re handy, build one) and install it near a window.

6. Plant a garden- especially colorful flowers. If you like to get your hands dirty, consider planting a garden. Spring is the right time to start cultivating the earth for herbs, vegetables and flowers. Aside from being able to reap what you sow, gardening is a great form of exercise and can reduce stress.

7. Feel like a kid again. Head outside and do the activities you used to love as a kid! Fly a kite, search for four-leaf clovers, blow bubbles, swing as high as you can, dance and sing “like no one is watching!”

8 Take some time to meditate.  Be thankful for all the good things in your life and entrust your burdens to God.

Happy Spring Everyone!!!!




 

Source: Internet and Newsday. 

Friday, March 5, 2021

MEDIAN PRICES & SALES UP - PENDING SALES "DIP"


     “Inventory constraints appear to have played a part in pending home sales dwindling in January, 2021, according to the latest report from the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR). NAR's Pending Home Sales Index , a forward-looking indicator of home sales based on contract signings, showed a decline of 2.8% in January,” compared with December, 2020.

     Also, mortgage rates have shown signs of trending upward, “in response to movements in the 10-year treasury yield. This will put some upward pressure on mortgage rates, which have been bouncing around historical lows for months now.” 
       
     In Southold Town, home sales in February were strong and if the inventory levels increase, the numbers will compare favorably with last year, as we head into the months impacted by the shut downs and initial reactions to the COVID-19 pandemic.  The median sale price for February, 2021 was $785,000 compared to $630,000, a 24.6% increase over last year.

     The market continues to be strong, but the low availability of homes for sale, will eventually impact the market as higher prices may reduce demand due to affordability.  We may be reaching that tipping point where “something’s gotta give!”
     
     If you are thinking of selling this year, act sooner rather than later.  Catch the curve while it is still in an upswing, not on the way down.  Call us, we can help and give you a good idea of how your home would fare in this market.  Don’t wait, “she who hesitates…”


Source: RISMedia, Pending Home Sales Kick Off 2021 With a 2.8% Dip in January, Jordan Grice.
 

Don't forget to Celebrate
International Women's Day - March 8th




Thursday, February 11, 2021

SHOULD BUYERS BUY NOW?

As we enter the 2021 housing market, supply of existing homes for sale is very low and the demand just gobbles up new homes as they come on the market. It’s no wonder that buyers may be confused and overwhelmed as to what to do. Home sales are predicted to increase by 21.9% with home values expected to rise 10.5% by December 2021, and housing inventory in the 50 largest U.S. metros declined by 41.8% in January year-over-year, according to a recent report by Realtor.com.

Some buyers think it may be prudent to wait for the market to cool. No one has a crystal ball, but it may be helpful to look at some of the aspects of our current real estate market for guidance. 

Several years of inventory shortages have been exacerbated by the unnatural demand created by the pandemic in nonurban areas. Certainly, here on the North Fork, we have seen an influx of buyers who have left their city apartments and purchased or rented here in Southold Town.  School enrollment is up, and there is a visible increase in activity in our neighborhoods. Homes have increased in value, due to the demand, which has also prompted aggressive bidding wars. And low mortgage rates have helped make higher prices more manageable. 

So, does it make sense for buyers to dive in now or wait for the pandemic and the frenzy to end? Clearly, the time to buy is tied to what is best for you, the buyer. If you have been thinking seriously of buying a home do your HOMEwork!  Sit down and review your needs and affordability as it is now. Speak to your financial planner, mortgage broker, or banker and understand what you can afford with today’s mortgage rates and today’s home prices.  Mortgage rates are low right now and may continue for a while, however, the change in administration, has brought changes in policy that certainly will continue and may affect mortgage rates in the near term. As with any consumer decision, it is important to be informed, research the market and shop around to find the best deals possible. 

Looking into that crystal ball, NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun expects strong home sales momentum, with sales up roughly 8 to 12% in 2021 vs. 2020, as well as prices rising more moderately, about 4% nationwide. These projections suggest that if your finances will support a home purchase on the North Fork, you should not wait. Do it now!  Lastly, and it goes without saying, but I will: sellers - with the scenario of low inventory and higher prices, if you’re thinking of selling, do it now!  We’re here to help- call us! 631-765-5333

SOURCE: WHY BUYERS SHOULD DIVE IN NOW? Liz Dominguez, RIS Media, February 6, 2021.




Thursday, January 28, 2021

2020 SURGE IN HOME SALES HIT 14-YEAR HIGH

            Home sales last year, ended at the highest level in 14 years, fueled by the pandemic that “sent buyers scrambling for more spacious homes to accommodate remote work” as well as at-home remote schooling for children including college-aged students.

On the North Fork, we have experienced many families coming to the East End, especially from tight-spaced apartments in Manhattan. People moved into their “second” homes on a full-time basis and others, with the wherewithal to buy homes, gave up smaller lodging in Brooklyn and NYC. 

“Existing home sales totaled 5.64 million in 2020, up 5.6% from 2019” despite the pandemic, when many homeowners chose to shelter-in-place, particularly seniors. The 2020 sales level was “the highest since the 2006 pace of 6.48 million, NAR said.”  Economists believe that record low mortgage rates definitely helped make homes more affordable in 2020. To date rates are low and we expect low interest rates to continue, but that remains to be seen.    

Our last column reported nationwide low inventory of homes for sale - certainly, a prime scenario for a higher sales price.  If you are thinking of selling, this may be the time to act.  COVID-19, is a definite concern, especially with the increase in cases since Thanksgiving, but many safety measures are in place, to protect homeowners and home buyers during the process.  Call us, we’ll tell you all about it and then you can decide for yourself.

 

Sources: 1. Existing-Home Sales Rise 0.7% in December, Annual Sales See Highest Level Since 2006, National Association of Realtors (NAR) , January 22, 2021.

2. Pandemic Fueled a Rush to Buy Homes in 2020, The Wall Street Journal, January 23-24, 2021 page A3.



Thursday, January 14, 2021

DECEMBER INVENTORY of Homes for Sale Hits New All-Time Low*

     Realtor.com® reported a national housing inventory decline by 39.6% in December, 2020 versus last year. Total homes for sale on the market fell below 700,000, nationally, for the first time since they have been keeping records.  There were 449,000 fewer homes for sale in December compared to the same month last year. The decline in total inventory of homes for sale, suggests that buyers are still very active in the housing market, even during a typically slow holiday season- perhaps looking to lock-in record-low mortgage rates.

     The December national median listing price was $340,000, up 13.4% compared to last year, and up 12.7% in November. Nationally, the typical home spent 66 days on the market in December, which was 13 days less than the same time last year. 

What these results mean to buyers and sellers going into 2021:

If you are a seller, you have a major advantage now.  The supply of homes is depleting while demand for homes is still high – even during a typically slow time of year.  Be aggressive in marketing your home.  You should sell your home in record time.  Also, for those of you who wish to sell your home, there couldn’t be a more difficult and yet better time to sell! So, evaluate your options and take the action that makes sense, even if it is during a pandemic.

If you are a buyer, connect with a realtor that you trust, who will commit to work aggressively for you.  Be ready to make a good offer and act quickly when you see something that works for you.  Offer the best terms you can afford, and have your proof of funds or your mortgage preapproval ready.

Even though, “these are the times that try (wo)men’s souls,” you can prevail.  WE have helped many sellers and buyers reach their goal last year through those difficult months.  WE can help you now! Call us at 631-765-5333.

With much HOPE for the future, our heartiest best wishes for Health and Happiness in this new year!

*Realtor.com, December 2020 Monthly Housing Market Trends Report: Number of Homes for Sale Hits a New Low, January 7, 2021.