Sunday, January 13, 2019

FALLING MORTGAGE RATES: SIGN OF THE TIMES - TO BUY & TO SELL


Home mortgage rates fell to “their lowest level in eight months, offering a potential boost to the housing market, reported the Wall Street Journal,* earlier this week.  The decline in rates boosted mortgage applications  23.5%, reported CNBC, on Wednesday, January 9, 2019.
            The significant increase in home mortgage applications, suggests a demand that had been stifled by the rate increases toward the end of 2018 and the prediction of more increases in 2019. Mortgage applications fell 10% at the end of December.  It seems as if both the stock market and the housing market has been spooked by the Fed.
            If you are in the market to buy, this is a window of opportunity – take it!  There are good values here on the North Fork, and the housing market offers much more stability than the stock market nowadays. You can be in your new home before spring and enjoy your investment instead of worrying about it.
            If you are thinking about selling in the near future, this is also a window of opportunity – call us!  We’ll help you evaluate the equity in your home with an up-to-date comparative market analysis – your home versus other properties around you – and a detailed marketing plan to get you going.  We’ll also help you get your home ready for a speedy launch.
            Benjamin Franklin wisely advised us, “TIME IS MONEY.”  Don’t procrastinate if you truly wish to buy or sell a property on the North Fork this year – call me at 631 235 8980 or Lee at 631 766 60666. Let’s get together and make it happen for you!    
  
Sources: Falling Mortgage Rates Buoy Housing Market, THE WALL STREET JOURNAL, pages A1-A2, January 8, 2019.



Sunday, January 6, 2019

GET GOING ON THOSE NEW YEAR RESOLUTIONS!


Happy New Year! 2019 is here! It’s that time of year when we all make new year’s resolutions.  Whether it’s something simple like cleaning out your closet or a longer term goal, like putting your home on the market or buying a summer home on the North Fork, we all need to find a way to get things rolling. Sometimes it’s a push from the outside – your loved-ones urging you to stop smoking.  And sometimes it’s a push from the inside – that awareness that you have to get your finances in order and sell or invest in real estate. Here are some ideas on how to end procrastination, get things done and feel better about yourself!
               Do the hard stuff first.  If you’ve been putting off a task and doing lots of other things instead, do the difficult task first. There’s nothing worse than a task looming over your head that gives you a feeling of dread.  By tackling it head on, you move forward on the project and cut out the anxiety around it. 
               Cut a large project into smaller segments and create realistic daily goals. If it’s a larger task that may take days or weeks (like a big basement clean-out, painting  or decluttering your home), set smaller daily goals to keep yourself on track. For instance, choose one section to clean or declutter, every day, perhaps, even if it’s only for 15-minute.  As you start making progress you will spend more time doing what you dreaded and finish sooner.  The project will be done and you will feel good about accomplishing the task and yourself.  This is also a good way to start an exercise routine.  Just pick a type of exercise you like (or simply walk briskly around your house) and do it for just 10 minutes every day.  I read somewhere, “you can do almost anything for 10 minutes!”   After a few days, you’ll find yourself enjoying the activity and extending the time to 20 or 30 minutes!
               Make yourself accountable to someone.  Tell another person about your project or goal.  It’s one of the best ways to overcome procrastination—but choose carefully. You want to confide in someone who is vested in your success.
               Avoid temptations that take you off task.  Activities like social media or binge-watching on Netflix or Amazon,  may interfere with getting your goals accomplished.  Delay  those activities until you’ve completed your daily tasks and then relax and reward yourself.
               If one of your New Year’s resolutions is to buy or sell a home this year, start the process now.  The stock market volatility may make real estate a wise choice right now. Get your sprucing up done and put your house on the market before all the procrastinators!  Or if your planning on buying, come out and start looking – you’ll be in way before Memorial Day and have the whole summer to enjoy.  Call us – we’ll help you get going!  Together, we will put in place a plan of action.  We’ll help you prioritize the tasks that need to be done, and even help you get things done.  You’ve got a partner in us!  Call us at 631 765 5333; or email: broker@BeninatiAssociates.com, or brave the cold and come by our office (corner of Main Road and Horton’s Lane in Southold.  We’ll have hot tea or coffee together and get the ball rolling!

Sunday, December 30, 2018

We Hope You "Dance"...


                    
WE HOPE YOU “DANCE”…

 As we approach the New Year, we wish you a year where you are inspired to live each day to the fullest, and inspire others to engage in the “dance” of life!

“We hope you never lose your sense of wonder,
 May you get your fill to eat but never lose that hunger.

 May you never take a single breath for granted,
 May love never leave you empty handed.

 We hope you still feel small when you stand beside the ocean,
 Whenever one door closes, may another open.

 Please give faith a fighting chance,
 And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance…

             We hope you dance!  We truly hope you dance!

 We hope you never fear those mountains in the distance
 Never settle for the path of least resistance.

 Living may mean taking chances, but they’re worth taking.
 Loving might be a mistake, but it's worth making. 

 Don’t let some hell bent heart ever leave you bitter
 When you come close to selling out - please reconsider.

 Give the heavens above more than just a passing glance
 And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance…

             We hope you dance!  We truly hope you dance!”

We are blessed to be here on the North Fork and thank all our family and friends for their love and support ...and we thank you, and wish you the Happiest of New Years!
Adapted from Lee Ann Womack’s , “I Hope You Dance.”

Sunday, November 18, 2018

SELLING IN THE FALL & WINTER MONTHS


As the holidays approach I’m often asked whether it’s a good idea to list a house now or wait for spring, or whether to leave a house on the market or take it off until the spring.  You may wonder if the fall and winter months, will bring about a home sale but the “off-peak” time to sell can actually be the perfect moment for sellers.
Right now our advice is full steam ahead!  Studies show that, on average, homes listed in November and December are more likely to sell, more quickly, and more closely approach the asking price. In a study conducted by Realtor.com, nearly 80% of the real estate professionals surveyed said that more serious buyers emerge during the holidays, and less competition from other properties makes it an ideal time to sell.

Also ,there are currently, significant economic factors that point toward taking action sooner rather than later.  One the plus side, demand is still high and supply is low – a perfect scenario for a quicker sale if you price smart and make your home inviting to the prospective buyer.  Business is active right now,  even with the Thanksgiving holiday upon us.  Inventory of homes on the market at this time of year decreases – why would you want to take your home out of the running when there are less runners!  Buyers may have held out through the busy summer months hoping to find a better deal, and now they are searching with increased urgency to buy their home and not extend their search another year.

On the cautionary side, the economy right now is good, but the stock market is volatile. Also, people living in highly taxed states like New York, California and New Jersey will be facing lower tax deductions for mortgage interest, real estate and other local taxes next year – a scenario that may increase their taxes.

If you are hesitant to list your home – don’t be! Demand is strong and the inventory is low – a great opportunity to sell your property!  As long as weather permits, buyers will go house hunting. They know that to be in place by summer, they need to make a deal now, especially if they require financing. We are continuing our weekly open houses each Saturday through the winter and invite prospective buyers to come and see the values we offer.  Call us for a market analysis.  Or just come in and chat – were available 7 days a week! And besides, Lee has lots of espresso brewing!!!!

Sunday, November 11, 2018

VETERANS DAY, November 11, 2018 – THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE


Veterans Day, a U.S. federal holiday, is a time to honor and thank those who are serving or have served in the military and are still with us. Veteran’s Day is always on November 11th.  The date commemorates the signing of the agreement that ended World War I at 11:00 A.M., November 11, 1918 – that’s 100 years ago!!!
Originally called Armistice Day, the name of the holiday was changed to Veterans Day in 1954. At that time, it became a day to honor all the men and women who have served in the armed forces of the United States. Each year, special ceremonies are held at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia.
If you would like to learn more about our nation’s veterans search these topics on-line   ...and share them with your children:

We owe a great deal to these men and women who served and currently serve in the military to protect our freedom.  My dad proudly wears his WWII Veterans hat, and so many kind people thank him for his service!  Thank You to all our Veterans - our friends, neighbors and family members who have given so much for this country.  May we be worthy of your service and sacrifice.





Sunday, November 4, 2018

ELECTION DAY – NOVEMBER 6TH – SOME THOUGHTS AS YOU CAST YOUR BALLOT*



               Next Tuesday, we all have the right and the duty to exercise our freedom to vote for the candidates of our choice.  In these times of divisive political talk and horrendous acts of violence, it’s important for all of us to examine our own “political talk”.  I found these wise thoughts, just this morning, from an inspirational daily reader,  the Christophers:

 “The Ten Political Commandments
     1.      Do not put all your hopes in a political or economic theory or party line.
     2.      Do not worship political figures or images.  
     3.      God does not belong to your political party nor does God endorse your political opinion.
     4.      Do not use God to support your political theories.
     5.      Respect the political views of other family members, friends and co-workers.
     6.      Disagree but don’t be cruel or disrespectful.
     7.      Do not inject politics in every conversation.
     8.      Be honest when you vote.
     9.      Defend the truth even if that makes you unpopular.
   10.     Accept ballot results without gloating or moaning.

Use your God-given intellect and free will for the peace- filled common good.”

BE SURE TO VOTE  TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 6TH.

*Source: Three Minutes a Day, The Christophers, Volume 44

Saturday, October 27, 2018

STOCK MARKET VOLATILITY...MAYBE IT’S TIME TO BUY REAL ESTATE


Like any investment, buying low and selling high is the key to maximizing profitably.  However, a volatile market makes it difficult to recognize when a stock is high and going down and when a stock is low and going up.  The TV pundits seemed almost desperate this week, advising investors not to panic and searching for good news among the downward trending prices.
Real estate on the other hand, moves at a slower pace and monthly tracking by government and industry analysts are easier to understand and react to.  Because of the 2008 crash, which was fraught with fraud at high levels and throughout the segment, we have more regulation and a more stable environment.  We also saw a gradual climb in prices that took 10 years to get where we are. 
Recent news on Real Estate suggest that low inventories, higher home prices and, “a new tax law that reduces incentives for home ownership have weighed on the housing sector this year.” Even NYC property prices are softening.  September sales of homes in the U.S., were down 4.1% from a year earlier, “the seventh straight month of decline.” On the other hand, inventory supply is still low but rising, and there are “signs of strong demand.”  
Softening sales and prices, increasing inventory and strong demand, mortgage rates still under 5%- all factors suggesting that this may be a good time to consider investing in real estate.  If you are looking, don’t take a winter break – you will likely lose opportunities.  If you are thinking of buying, start now and take advantage of this favorable confluence of factors.  If you are selling, be realistic about your pricing and insist on aggressive and consistent marketing from your broker.   For help with all your real estate needs, call us at Beninati Associates, we get results!

Source: The Wall Street Journal, October 20-21, 2018, Home-Sales Slump Deepens, pages A1-2.