Wednesday, November 22, 2017

WISHING YOU A HAPPY THANKSGIVING

Thanksgiving is one of the most cherished holidays of the year where family and friends gather and give thank.  The tradition dates back to 1621, when the Plymouth colonists shared a harvest feast with Native Americans, the Wampanoag Indians, who taught them where to fish, where to hunt and how to plant corn .  It’s believed that venison, wildfowl – likely roasted duck or goose, seafood lobster, clams and mussels, dried corn, porridge and simple cranberries, chestnuts and walnuts were was on the first Thanksgiving menu – but not likely turkey, potatoes, corn on the cob or pumpkin pie! 
            In 1863, in the midst of the Civil War, that President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a National Thanksgiving Day to be held on the fourth Thursday of each November .

            Whether your traditions are old ones or new ones, this time of year is for acknowledging the blessings in our lives, giving thanks for those blessings and sharing our abundance with others. May this year’s Thanksgiving serve as a time of gratitude for all our blessings and may we each, in our own place, share our love and happiness in each circumstance.

            Living on the North Fork, we have a great deal to be thankful for. We feel especially blessed to be in this wonderful part of our country.  More than ever we must pray for peace and understanding  throughout the world.  May God’s Goodness and man’s kindness to one another abound.


            All of us at Beninati Associates wish all of you, God’s Blessings and a very Happy Thanksgiving Holiday.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Is H.R. 1 Really a Tax Cut?

I’m been listening to the various Congresspersons on TV talking about the tax cut bill – but what they talk about is lower overall tax rates but what is proposed to offset the lower rates is a direct hit to consumers and homeowners. Not only will millions of homeowners not benefit from the proposal, many will get a tax increase. Additionally, homeowners could lose substantial equity by the predicted 10% drop in home values if this bill is enacted.  We have barely recovered from the real estate crash of 2008 – it’s taken almost 10 years.  What are our representatives thinking?

            The house legislation includes a cap on mortgage interest deduction for new mortgages, limits on the exemption on Capital Gains Tax from the sale of a primary residence, elimination of the deduction for state and local income or sales taxes, elimination of the Mortgage Interest Deduction for second homes, elimination of the deduction for moving expenses, elimination of the deduction for personal casualty losses, such as from hurricanes or wildfires, elimination of the deduction on interest on student loans and elimination of the deduction for medical expenses, even for the elderly. All this from a bill that is supposed to improve the current system.
           
Home ownership is one of the bedrocks of our country and we need to make sure that any tax reform legislation protects middle-class home owners. Homeowners already pay 83% of all federal income taxes. Home-owning families with incomes from $50,000 to $200,000 could face average tax hikes of $815 in the year after enactment?
            Please write your congress men and women (Senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, Congressman Lee Zeldin, US House of Representatives) and ask them to reject this bill AND protect middle class homeowners. This legislation if not modified is a clear and present danger to American homeownership and could possible turn America from a home-owning nation to a home-renting nation. Tax reform should not become a tax increase for middle class homeowners.



Sources: National Association of Realtors, The Unveiled Tax Reform Legislation and Its Negative Impact on Housing Prices, November 13, 2017; The Wall Street Journal, Tax Plans Tweak the American Dream, November 13, 2017.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

A MATTER OF CHEMISTRY...and Expertise

            Finding a good realtor who you like and trust is the first step in selling or buying a home, and the most important step.

            For sellers, that person will be responsible for directing the marketing efforts for your home – the pricing, advertising, open houses, negotiations, analysis of results, and more.  You will be working closely with the person you choose.  That’s why it’s important you don’t choose the first realtor you happen to meet.  Studies show that well over 50% of sellers hire the first realtor they call.  For buyers, knowledge of the local market, expertise in town code and experience in negotiations is crucial to getting you the home you desire for the right price.
            Take the time to interview candidates at both franchise and boutique, independent firms. Consider recommendations of trusted friends and relatives.  Check to see that the agent has the experience and expertise for your particular search or property.  Ask about the agent’s track record.  Always work with someone who knows the area. Remember all real estate is local.  Discuss the marketing plan for your property if you are selling.  What kind of resource commitment is he or she able and willing to make to you. 
            Then choose the professional with the approach and plan that works best for you.  Most importantly, be sure to pick the person who makes you feel comfortable and confident that they will get the job done!  Choosing an agent who will represent your best interest in your real estate transaction is the most important decision you will make.  Remember that it is a “team” effort, and you should feel comfortable that the person you choose will deal with you truthfully and have the courage to tell you what you may not want to hear if needed.  Yes, it is a matter of chemistry but also professionalism, honesty and ethics! 
            At Beninati Associates, we are experienced, professional realtors. Our team is dedicated to offering the highest level of service.  They have been business owners and have seasoned experience in sales.   We are proud to have each and every one of them with us!
            Come visit our office, and speak to us about your selling or buying needs. We’ll take good care of you always. At Beninati Associates, we listen, we really care, and we get results for you!           


Congratulations to all the newly elected officials...may you be guided by your conscience and have the courage to always do what is right.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

No Fall Cooldown in Housing This Season

Although autumn began in September, activity in the housing market remained at summer-like levels through October, according to realtor.com®'s latest data preview. On a National level prices in October were 10% higher than the same time last year, with the national median at $275,000 and the national median age of inventory at 73 days.

"This month we aren't just experiencing still-summery weather—we're also seeing a sizzlingly competitive housing market at a time when things are usually cooling off for the fall," says Danielle Hale, chief economist at realtor.com. "With not enough homes on the market to meet the high demand, homes are selling 8% more quickly than a year ago even though prices are as high as they've ever been.

"For potential buyers who waited until fall hoping to score a bargain, the pickings are disappointingly slim," Hale says, "but one potential bright spot for market-fatigued buyers is that new listings are up slightly from one year ago. While new listings declined in the first four months of the year, they have increased on a year-over-year basis in five of the last six months."
The 3rd quarter results for the entire East End shows a significant increase in the median sale price over last year.  Southold Town did particularly well.  The median sales price for the 3rd quarter was the highest ever at $597,500 versus $535,000 last year – an increase of 11.7% quarter to quarter.  Dollar sales increased 17.5% for the quarter – the highest sales increase among all East End towns.  It’s significant to observe that the growth has been steady and consistent, unlike most of the other towns on the east end.
There is no question that the North Fork – especially Southold Town is getting noticed and sales results have reflected the popularity and desirability of the area.  Buyers, get in as early as you can, the trend will only benefit you going forward if you buy sooner rather than later.  Call us at 631 765 5333 or visit our website or email us at Broker@BeninatiAssociates.com.  We listen, we care, and we get results!


Sources: RIS Media, Power broker report, October 31, 2017; Suffolk Research Services, Inc., Comparative 3rd Quarter 2017, October 21, 2017.