Wednesday, August 29, 2018


When you own a home or you are preparing to purchase a home, you do not want anyone to “encroach” on your property or have their personal property on your property. But boundary issues happen, and they can be ugly. There is a term for this battle of land: “encroachment.”
An encroachment happens your neighbor crosses the property lines or a home owner takes over land that provides public access to roads or beaches. Examples of encroachments could involve trees, shrubs, and other landscaping, parts of a building or other structure, fencing, or any other fixture located on both pieces of property.
Oftentimes, the encroachment will be intentional -  land or roads will be incorporated into someone’s property to expand the footprint.  Sometimes  encroachment is unintentional -  neighbors encroach because they do not properly survey the boundaries of their property before construction or landscaping work.  
What should a property-owner do if his or her property is encroached upon? If you are dealing with a neighbor, you might try being polite first. You can request that the encroachment be removed or, if appropriate, that the person who is doing the encroaching lease the property from you; sometimes they are not aware of the encroachment.  As a last resort, you can take the person to court and have it removed by a court order.
If the encroachment is found during the sale of a home, the seller may be able to work with whomever it is that owns the land where the encroachment is located and either have the encroachment removed or resolve any issues to be sure the title is clear at closing. If you are buying a property with an encroachment, don’t ignore it. It is important that any and all encroachments be found before the closing occurs — otherwise, the encroachment will become your nightmare.
It is common to find mistakes when dealing with property boundary lines. They can happen due to  errors by land surveyors.  Or sometimes property erosion can change the boundary line. But most of the time, it is a property owner usurping a neighbor’s property or community property, because they have not done appropriate due diligence to be sure that what they are building is within the boundaries of their property and according to setbacks of local building code.
If property boundary encroachments are found, the best solution is to get a surveyor to flag the property and for the offending party to work out a solution with their neighbor.  Why would any fair-minded person wish to argue with their neighbors about what is on whose property? This never makes for a good relationship when you are living closely to someone.  Doing the right thing is always the best road to take.

Sunday, August 19, 2018


 Here we are in the middle of August and summer fun is in full swing – swimming, boating, fishing kayaking, getting together with friends, dining al fresco at your favorite North Fork location...and you're selling your home or you’re looking to buy a home before fall rolls around.  Both activities – buying and selling are filled with effort, anxiety and sometimes difficult decisions.  How do you get through it all and still have time to enjoy the last few weeks of summer?  Here is some advice for sellers and buyers as we approach Labor Day.

Advice to Sellers:
               Listen to your realtor.  They are out there, meeting with prospective buyers, doing your open houses, and having lots of similar experiences with other clients and properties they represent.  Listen to them when they give you feedback. If your home has been on the market for several weeks and even with aggressive marketing, no one has stepped up, it’s most likely that the price needs to be adjusted.  TRUST them when they recommend you lower the price. There are studied that show the earlier a price is adjusted, the less the overall reduction will be when the property is sold.  Often, a seller has a price they want for their property, and after the home has been exposed to the market it is clear that the property isn’t generating interest.  Sometimes, things can be tweaked in the home, but most often, the price has to be tweaked.  Listen to your realtor when they suggest a price adjustment.  Especially now, this is the peak of our season – you will get the most attention now. 
              Keep up with you property. Mow and water the lawn.  Make necessary repairs.  If a major repair comes along, discuss it with your realtor – sometimes it may be better to make a price adjustment.

 Hang in there!  Don’t take things personally.  Look at it as a business transaction.  If you get a low ball offer, don’t take offense – strategize with your realtor as to how to respond.  Be positive, and supportive of the process. It’s a process filled with uncertainly from week to week, but an experienced realtor can guide you through it – trust him or her!

Advice to Buyers:
              Work with your realtor – find one you trust.  An experienced realtor  knows the marketplace.  If they tell you a property you like is “hot,” believe them!  So often, buyers lose deals because they are skeptical of the information they are receiving from their realtor.  If you feel that way, get another realtor!  There must be a partnership between you and your agent. 
               Tell your agent what you want to spend within a reasonable range.  If you overestimate, you will see homes you love but can’t afford and then as you move down in price, you will be disappointed in homes you can afford.

   Be willing to look at properties that the agent suggests – especially if you have worked together – pictures don’t always give a good sense of the site.  An experienced agent knows his/her market – ask questions and share your impressions as you look at prospective properties.
              Be ready to make a move when the situation presents itself.  The low inventory on the North Fork, makes for quicker sales and multiple offers.  Trust your realtor to guide you through this sellers’ market!

At Beninati Associates, we are experienced realtors, we know our market, we are keen observers of the dynamics of the marketplace and expert at navigating buyers and sellers through the process! Call us at 631 765 5333!

Wednesday, August 8, 2018


A new study of Long Island housing prices for the second quarter of 2018* showed a continued increase in median prices of homes sold except for the Hamptons.  Long Island as a whole reported a 5.2% increase in home sales median price to $425,000.  By comparison, the North Fork homes sold at a 9% higher rate than last year or $600,000, while the Hamptons sold at a 5.3% lower rate or $975,000 for the same time frame.  The Hamptons was the only region to show a quarterly decline from 2017.
According to Newsday, “prices increased sharply for the most affordable homes, and fell at the top of the market. In the bottom fifth of sales, home sold for a median price of $220,000, up 12.8% from a year earlier.  By contrast, the top fifth of sales fetched a median price of $820,000, down .6% annually.”
The North Fork is faring well and will likely continue to show improvement through the balance of the selling season.  But there is a question as to whether the growth can be sustained.  The factors affecting our rate of growth include increasing mortgage rates and the federal tax overhaul that put a heavier burden on New York State which is kicking in this year and will impact our tax bills next year.  The delicate balance between demand and affordability will become more of a consideration to many of our prospective buyers in the near future.
            If you are planning to sell in the next six months, it’s a good idea to put your home on the market now.  If you are on the fence and want to talk, give us a call. We will give you our honest assessment at no cost to you.

Source: Newsday, July 26, 2018, “Low end up, high end down,”page A2. Study by Miller Samuels.