Sunday, February 25, 2018

ENOUGH REALLY IS ENOUGH...

          The young people of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida are to be applauded for doing what we adults should have done.  Our children are being killed in their schoolrooms.  Children go to school each day knowing they are not safe.  Knowing that a crazed predator with an assault rifle could mow them down like sitting ducks. People attend concerts, go to airports, walk city streets and can’t help but think of those who have been senselessly killed by someone with an assault rifle.  We were all being desensitized, until these kids stood up. 

Enough is enough.  Why must the choice be all or nothing?  I am a strong believer in preserving individual rights, but the reason we have laws and the rule of law is to do just that.  There must be a solution to this intolerable state we are in today.  Children should be children – they have been asked to face the horror of watching their classmates shot down before them – they have been ask to  grow up too soon.


Let’s take action to protect our children and make our schools a safe place for children to learn and grow in peace.


Sunday, February 18, 2018

SELF-DIRECTED IRA – ALTERNATIVE TO THE STOCK MARKET

With the recent stock market volatility, which seemed to come out of nowhere, one begins to wonder what to do with retirement money invested in stocks.  There is very little choice, since banks are paying so little interest, “putting it under the mattress” seems like the only alternative!

Well, there is an alternative, a Self-Directed IRA.  Self-directed IRAs are the only retirement accounts that have the potential of a good return on your investment other than the stocks, bond or CDs. No surprise, the IRS has imposed rules, but with proper guidance from a qualified advisor, the option to invest in real estate – such as single and multi-family homes, condos, commercial property, undeveloped land, as well as equipment leasing, precious metals, livestock and others.

One of the most important guidelines is that the investment must be arm’s length. For example, you cannot personally use or benefit from the real estate in your self-directed IRA.  All expenses and revenues must come from and go directly to the IRA.  Also, you cannot buy and asset or sell to a disqualified person -a close relative or the custodian or advisor of the IRA.

If you are thinking about diversifying, you may want to look into the creation of a self-directed IRA  to invest in real estate or other qualified types of investments.  Consult with your tax professional and retirement advisor – there are very specific rules that must be followed.


 To find the best possible investment property for your self-directed IRA call  us at 631-765-5333, or email me at Marie@BeninatiAssociates.com, or visit our office at the corner of Main Road and Horton’s Lane in Southold.  We’re here to help you!

Saturday, February 10, 2018

FIRE SAFETY IN YOUR HOME – BE PREPARED*

One of the best ways to protect your family if a fire occurs in your home is to be prepared.  There are many things you can do in advance, like making copies of important documents, or scan them to a USB device and keep it in a safe place off the premises.  But the most important plan to make is to assure that everyone in your household knows what to do if a fire breaks out in your home.  Also, consider preparing a plan for your office and your tenants if you own rental properties.  Here are a few important ways to prepare your family in case of a house fire:
·       Make sure your house number can be seen from the street.
·       Make sure smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are installed and functioning.
·       Make sure all windows and doors open easily.
·       Draw a map of your home, showing two methods of exit from each room and a path to the outside. 
·       Purchase portable escape ladders for bedrooms in 2-story homes (they are not expensive).
·       Conduct a home fire drill twice a year  -  daytime and night time.
·       Teach children how to escape on their own in case of necessity.
·       Close doors behind you.
·       Pick a place outside where everyone can meet.
·       Once outside, stay outside. Never go back into a burning building.

Call 911 in an emergency and wait for our volunteer fire fighters.  These dedicated men and women are there for us day and night. They give their time and risk their own safety for  the community.  I know you all join me in thanking them every day and ask that you support their efforts. God Bless you all – our volunteer firefighters and rescue teams!


*Source: National Fire Prevention Association. 

Sunday, February 4, 2018

HOME OWNERSHIP UP IN 2017

For the first time in 13 years, the home ownership rate increased at the end of 2017.  Characterized as a “crucial turning point” by The Wall Street Journal yesterday, this is another sign that the real estate market has definitively turned around from the housing crash of 2008.

The home ownership rate rose to 64.2% at the end of the year, a healthy increase compared to 62.9% in the second quarter of 2016– when it was at a 50-year low.  “The home-ownership rate remains below the long-term average of around 65%.  Economists said there are likely still years of recovery ahead, in part because home prices are growing faster than wages and inflation.”

More good news - at the close of 2017, the home ownership rate for households under age 35 rose to 36% from 34.7%.  The turnaround in the home ownership of millennials is a good omen for the real estate market and the economy as a whole, since the housing industry stimulates jobs in construction, and sale of consumer goods and services.

With consumer confidence up in January 2018, it appears we are headed for a moderately good year in real estate.  It’s a good time to work on any plans you may have to sell or buy here on the North Fork.  There is a high demand, even during these cold winter months.  Just think, if you call us today, we can meet with you, and put a plan in place to sell or buy, so you will be ahead of the curve!

Call us at 631 765 5333 or come in and visit – we’d love to see you.  And...we have a gift for you as well!  With the new Suffolk County point-of -purchase charge for plastic bags, that went into effect the beginning of January, we are offering free reusable shopping bags!  And if I must say so myself, they are very attractive!


Source: The Wall Street Journal, January 31, 2018, Millennials Kick-Start Housing Market, Laura Kusisto, pages 1-2