Friday, August 25, 2017


    The  median price for a home sold on Long Island, in July 2017 was $450,000 an 8.4% increase over last year.  Suffolk County reported a median sale price of $365,000, a 5.8% increase over a year ago.  The total number of Long Island residential inventory in July 2017 was 17,252 representing an 10% decrease over last July.              
     For the second quarter of 2017, home prices across the United States increased 6.2%, according to the latest quarterly report by the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR). The pace outdoes the previous peak observed in the third quarter of 2016.
       “The 2.2 million net new jobs created over the past year generated significant interest in purchasing a home in what was an extremely competitive spring buying season,” says Lawrence Yun, chief economist at NAR. “Listings typically flew off the market in under a month—and even quicker in the affordable price range—in several parts of the country. With new supply not even coming close to keeping pace, price appreciation remained swift in most markets.”
         Single-family home prices went up in 87% of the markets assessed in the report. Thirteen percent of the market areas saw prices up by double digits. At the national level, the median existing single-family home price was $255,600.

      For buyers looking to purchase on the North Fork this year, don’t let the lazy days of summer get in the way of your home search!  Homes that are properly priced are selling quickly, often within days.  So any delay - especially at the entry level of the market - and the home will be gone.   There are still great possibilities – look to homes that need updating or smaller homes that can be easily modified or expanded to suit your needs – and make your move!  We have a few great values available in this week’s open houses.  Come visit our open houses or call us at 631 765 5333, we can help you sort it all out!

 References: RIS News, “LI Housing Data for July 2017”;  RIS, “Home Prices Surge on Strong Buying Season,” August, 2017.

Sunday, August 20, 2017


     I can’t think of anything going on in Real Estate right now that is even close to the momentous occasion occurring on Monday, August 21st !  We will be able to experience a partial eclipse of the sun by the moon. A total eclipse from any given location, such as Southold, occurs on average once every 375 years.  The last time the solar eclipse crossed the lower 48 states was 1979 and the next time will be 2045.  So unless you want to wait another 28 years, take some time in the early afternoon on Monday to experience it. 
   We will be experiencing a 70% eclipse and you can enjoy the North American Solar Eclipse Day at the Custer Institute & Observatory, on Main Bay View Road in Southold, which will be open on Monday from 1 pm to 4pm. If you do want to check out the partial solar eclipse, do NOT look at the Sun without proper filters. Do not use sunglasses. They will NOT protect your eyes!  Please make sure your eyes are protected.  Buy glasses specially made to protect your eyes, don’t look through binoculars or telescopes without special filtration  devises for viewing the sun.  Even a few seconds of staring at the sun will damage your eyes or may possibly cause blindness. And be especially mindful of the children.
       Established on 1927, The Custer Institute, it is the oldest public observatory on Long Island. We are fortunate to have the Observatory here in Southold. The Custer Institute is a not-for-profit organization and relies on our support, so show your support and make a donation, if you can.
Enjoy the Solar Eclipse - Have a party!

1. Custer Institute & Observatory, 1115 Main Bayview Road, Southold, 631 765 2626.

2. The Old Farmer’s Almanac, Great American Eclipse Central,

Sunday, August 13, 2017


In Southold Town, Short term rentals have been restricted to a minimum of two weeks for the past two years.  We have seen a marked reduction in seasonal rentals and even worse some home owners have been forced to sell their homes since their basis for affordability included the rental income to cover costs of increased taxes and operating expenses.  

It’s time to assess the effectiveness of the regulations and determine if in fact we have made life better or worse for those of us who live here on the North Fork. 

“Real property ownership in the U.S. is commonly understood to come with a bundle of rights—the three core ones being the right to live in it, to rent it and to sell it. It is also generally accepted that some degree of regulation may impose limitations on property ownership, namely through the power of a government to promote order, safety, health, and the general welfare of society, within constitutional bounds. Zoning regulation is derived from this same authority, at the state level, and may be granted to local governments."
“Any ordinance that prohibits property owners from renting their homes, or significantly restricts the right to rent, strips them of one-third of their fundamental bundle of economically productive rights. Court decisions have established that property owners are entitled to use and enjoy their property, and that a regulation depriving an owner of property rights cannot be sustained unless it is required by due regard for public health, safety, comfort or welfare. Constitutional limitations on a government’s authority to regulate rental housing include the right to due process, equal protection, “takings” compensation, and protection from unreasonable search and seizure. Statutory limitations on the regulation of residential rentals include fair housing laws and private property rights protection acts. The most common rental restrictions, from licensing and inspection requirements to noise and maximum occupancy limits, and all those imposed by zoning authority, are subject to constitutional and statutory limitations.”*

We need to be mindful of protecting our individual property rights while at the same time protecting safety, comfort and welfare of every citizen.  But has the two week restriction made Southold Town a better place to live and work?  Would code enforcement have had the same impact without taking away property rights and causing some home owners financial hardship?  The Town Board  should do an adequate assessment and revisit the issue – is this a case of code change without adequate vetting and analysis with unintended consequences?

*Source: National Association of Realtors, Residential Rentals, The Housing Market, Regulations, and Property Rights, Spring 2017.

Looking to Buy or Sell your Home or Rent? Call us at 631-765-5333, or visit us on our website:  We listen, we care…….and we get results.

Sunday, August 6, 2017


Multiple offers are a common occurrence lately.  The good news for sellers is that homes are selling quickly and often at higher prices than asking.  The bad news is that there are many frustrated and disappointed prospective buyers and real estate agents.  The market has reached such a frenzied-state, that tactics unbecoming professionals are sometimes engaged to “win” regardless of the consequences to others involved in the transaction.
The fact of the matter is that demand exceeds supply and the most sought-after, well-appointed homes are snapped up as soon as they come on the market.  As a buyer, in such a marketplace there are alternate actions you may wish to consider to get to your goal of buying a home on the North Fork.  Here are some ideas:
           1. Be ready to act when you see your “almost” ideal home – Don’t wait for perfect! Have your ducks in order – financing pre-approval, proof of funds for cash and your attorney’s information.  And for heaven’s sake, keep it simple!  Act quickly - don’t take more than 24 hours to make your offer and respond quickly to counter offers. Don’t ask for concessions. don’t ask for price adjustments unless there is a significant defect that was not disclosed or was not obvious by visual inspection. 
           2. Lower your expectations –  not every home is in perfect condition and the ones that are will sell quickly and at a premium. Consider buying a home that needs updating. It may need a new kitchen and baths, but if it’s fundamentally a solid house and has been sitting on the market only because everyone is chasing the home with all the updates in place, go for it.  Get an idea of  renovation costs (over estimate the numbers if you’re not sure of what you really want to do) and make an offer. 

          3. Consider a “building” project - Buy a home that needs expansion or possibly a “tear down” or build on a vacant lot.  This is a more time intensive and possibly more expensive choice but assures you of having a home exactly to your liking and brand spanking new! 

Perhaps these options are not your ideal scenario. But different market situation require different courses of action to be successful. I think it was Albert Einstein who said, “no problem can be solved with the same level of consciousness that created it.”  We have come out of a real estate market that was depressed and took ten years to recover.  The past ways of doing business do not work now.  Time to change  – those who will succeed are the people who accept the change and come up with different solutions.  Call us at Beninati Associates, we help you find the right solution for  you in today’s market because we understand it and know what to do! 
Source: NAR, RISMedia Daily, August 1, 2017.

Looking to Buy or Sell your Home? Call us at 631-765-5333, or visit us on our website:  We listen, we care…….and we get results.