Thursday, August 15, 2019

STATE RENTAL REGULATIONS EXPANDED

On June 14, 2019, Governor Cuomo enacted sweeping legislation, Housing Stability and Tenant Protection Act of 2019, expanding certain rent provisions STATEWIDE.  “The Emergency Tenant Protection Act of 1974 was expanded as part of this sweeping legislation.  The legislation also strengthened the substantive rights of residential tenants against landlords while bolstering tenants’ procedural rights in the face of an eviction.”

Some of the most notable provisions include:


1.    If a tenant breaks a lease, the landlord must attempt to re-lease the property.
2.    Security deposits are limited to 1 month’s rent.
3.    Processing, review or acceptance application fees are prohibited.
4.    Background check fees are limited to lesser of actual cost or $20.
5.    Late payment fees are capped to lesser of $50 or 5% of monthly rent.
6.    Landlord must give tenant 30-90 days’ notice to (1) increase rent 5% or more or (2) intention not to renew the lease.
7.    Damages in eviction proceeding are no longer recoverable.
8.    Grounds for eviction can be rendered moot if tenant pays in full prior to hearing.


There are a number of additional provisions that address timing, of eviction proceedings, warrants, etc., that landlords should be aware of. If you have rental units, talk with your attorney and find out how the new law applies to you.

Source: NYSAR (New Your State Association of REALTORS, Inc.), 13 Things to Know: Expansion of Rent Regulation and Tenant Protection, prepared for NYSAR by Harris Beach, PLLC, Attorneys at Law.

Thursday, August 8, 2019

FIGHTING EROSION ON YOUR PROPERTY


Southold Town is exposed to coastal erosion from both sides - the sound and the bay – due to climate change and storms that have become increasingly less predictable.  But we are also victims of our own actions - wake from water vessels along the shoreline; and our own inaction- failure to address erosion issues before it’s too late or too expensive to fix – like Hashamomuck Cove. “Erosion is difficult to address,” Scott Russell, our Town Supervisor, said in Newsday. “Every solution that we’ve read about or seen has been expensive and short-lasting.”*

            Regardless of the obstacles, we all have a stake in doing what we can to protect the shoreline. Waterfront property owners have an additional responsibility to do the best that they can to protect and prevent erosion on the waterfront property entrusted to them.  Solutions are out there. A possible practical solution that may be employed is creating natural shoreline protection. Cornell Cooperative Extension at Cedar Beach is nearly ready to open a Demonstration Center of various natural shoreline solutions for the benefit of the community.

            Want to know more?  Join me at our SoutholdVOICE Annual Meeting, Saturday, AUGUST 10, 2019, at 9 AM, where we will discuss how we as homeowners can do our part to fight erosion on our own waterfront properties. The meeting will be held at the American Legion Hall, 51655 Main Road, Southold.

As mentioned in last week’s column, we will also cover Health Department Septic Code changes and innovative systems to make our waterways and ground water cleaner.  In addition we will have a update on Dredging and Goldsmith’s Inlet.  Our panel will include:

Al Krupski - 1st District, Suffolk County Legislator
Joyce Novak, PhD – Director, Peconic Estuary Program
Glenn Goldsmith – Southold Town Trustee
Justin Jobin – Suffolk Department of Health Services, 
Environmental Projects Coordinator

The session is open to all. It’s free…and so’s the coffee!  Hope to see you there – it’s important to you not just as a homeowner, but as a member of the community.



*Newsday, July 28, 2019, Shoring Up LI’s Beaches, pages A2-A4.



Saturday, August 3, 2019

CODE CHANGES FOR HOME CESSPOOL & SEPTIC SYSTEMS


Did you know that effective July 1, 2019, Suffolk County has put in place new regulations that affect our home septic and cesspool systems?  These Sanitary Code changes are part of a broad, multi-pronged effort to combat nitrogen pollution of groundwater and local bays.

We all support the need to have clean water, and reduce nitrogen pollution from our septic and cesspool systems, and that changes are necessary.  It’s therefore most important, that we, homeowners, know what is happening, when and how it will affect our homes - today and in the future, and the potential cost involved.

Here are the highlights of the recent County Health Department announcement:

·       Cesspools, outlawed in new construction since 1973, will no longer be allowed as replacements for old cesspools.
·       Homeowners are not required to replace existing systems, but voluntary replacements must meet 1973 standards for new systems.
·       For the first time, replacement of existing cesspools or septic systems will require filing of registrations with the health department.

75% of Suffolk County does not have sewers. Approximately 360,000 homes have residential onsite sewage disposal systems - about 250,000 are cesspools, which discharge untreated waste, that can contaminate surface and groundwater and contribute to harmful algal blooms. The current changes that became effective July 1, do not require property owners to upgrade or replace functioning systems.  The new requirements will come into play when an existing system must be replaced. 

Homeowners may also voluntarily choose to upgrade their system to an “innovative alternative onsite wastewater treatment system (IA/OWTS) for which incentives are available from the county.

Want to know more?  Join us at the SoutholdVOICE *Annual Meeting, at 9:30 am, Saturday morning, August 10, 2019, at the American Legion Hall in Southold.  Our program will include an informative panel discussion with our County Legislator, Al Krupski and Health Department official, Joyce Novak, PHD who will fill us in on the County’s Septic Improvement Program, tell us how it will affect you as a homeowner, and answer your questions. Hope you will join us!

*SoutholdVOICE is a not-for profit, 501(c)(3) organization, whose mission is to provide a forum to promote awareness of issues affecting shoreline and marine resource, and proactively advocate balance between regulatory issues and property rights for the benefit of our community.

Source:  Suffolk Health Officials Outline Changes to Wasterwater Practices to Take Effect on July 1, 2019,” Suffolk County News, May 20, 2019, www.suffolkcountyny.org





Thursday, July 25, 2019

CONTRACT NEGOTIATIONS – “WIN-WIN” IS ALWAYS A WIN!


Negotiations are a crucial part of all real estate transactions.  We negotiate far more often in our everyday lives than we realize.  We are negotiating all the time, for example, the time we go to lunch with a friend, the date when a report will be submitted to the boss, the price  of an item at a flea market, who will go first in a game, etc.  All examples of daily decisions involving another person or persons, requiring compromise – requiring give and take.

In a real estate transaction, negotiations are not only about the price. Although price is the entry ticket to the rest of the transaction, there are other terms and conditions that must be negotiated, for example, the timing of the sale – when it will close, the amount of down payment, the condition of the home - “as is” or including repairs that the buyer has requested.

Ideally the goal is to have a “win-win” situation in real estate transactions. While there are some people that view contract negotiations as a “win-lose” outcome, the truth is everyone will benefit by striving for a “win-win”.  Compromise is an important part of getting to a result that will satisfy both sides.  It’s important to identify terms that need to be negotiated from terms that are true “deal breakers.” But there are really, very few conditions in a standard contract that are serious enough to kill a deal.  Sometimes emotions are responsible for turning what should be negotiable terms into non-negotiable terms. 

Often communicating voice-to-voice is more effective in getting to a “win-win” transaction, than emails and texts. Some issues need to be discussed to understand the underlying motives of the parties. Knowing everyone’s key terms up front is important, because while something could be a non-issue on one side, it could be the very selling point that makes it a win for the other side.

Buyer and seller have to express and make known to their agent, what’s really important to them.  Conversely, buyer and seller have to avoid looking for a “win-lose,” when the issue is not important to them. From the beginning of the transaction, it has to be about the issues rather than the emotion.

One of the keys in negotiating is to recognize that each party will have his/her own perception coming into the negotiations, and that is his/her reality. It’s important to stay level-headed during negotiations. Though it may be an emotional experience for both buyer and seller, it’s critical not to let negative emotions take over and become a factor. In the end,  “win-win” comes about when a solution is acceptable to all the parties, and there is a sense of trust and fairplay.



Sunday, July 21, 2019

BEFORE YOU PUT YOUR HOME ON THE MARKET…


Before you put your home on the market, here are 3 fundamentals that are critical to getting the best result:

 FUNDAMENTAL #1:  INITIAL PRICING – GETTING IT RIGHT

Whether it’s a buyer’s market or a seller’s market, right-pricing your home is the key to getting the best price and a timely closing.  Since over 90% of home buyers pre-shop on-line, it’s critical to zero-in on the right price range at the onset of the selling process.  Buy understanding your target market - your ideal buyer - you and your realtor will be better able to select the price range that works for your home.   The goal is to reach the largest audience possible for your home’s price range. The higher the price range, the smaller the audience; the lower the price range the wider the audience.

 FUNDAMENTAL # 2:  STAGING – EVERY HOME NEEDS SOME

Staging is critical to a timely sale. 81% of buyers stated that staging allowed them to visualize the property as their future home. Also, 68% of staged homes sold for 9% more than an un-staged neighbor’s home. Staging does not necessarily require a total redo of a house.  Certainly, repairs must be done, a thorough cleaning inside and outside is essential, decluttering, and  perhaps painting (neutralize strong colors).  We also introduce accessories and decorative items to create a scenario that will help the buyer envision themselves in the home and enjoying doing the things that they love to do!  

FUNDAMENTAL #3: POSITIONING – PUTTING YOUR BEST FOOT FORWARD

Similar to staging, when marketing a home, the focus should be on lifestyle.  This is even more significant here on the North Fork.  So many of our buyers are attracted to our community because of the natural beauty of the land and water that surrounds us.  Our North Fork is differentiated from the South Fork, by our laid-back, easy, lifestyle and all that we offer year-round but especially in the summer months.  Your home also has unique assets. Be sure to make a list of all the great aspects of your home and property, that may not be obvious.  What you love about your home, your likely buyer will also love!

We believe in and practice these fundamentals to marketing homes for sale. 
If you’re ready to sell, call us at 631 765 5333 and we will meet with you and you will see these fundamentals put into action for your home!



SOURCE REFERENCE: RISMedia, July 11, 2019

Thursday, July 11, 2019

SELL YOUR HOME THIS SUMMER


The North Fork, in summer, is absolutely the best place to be!  We are a destination, resort community this time of year – everything is green, flowers in bloom, amazing waterways – bays, creeks, harbors, Long Island Sound - for boating, kayaking, swimming, we have spectacular sunrises and sunsets, we have open land, farms, vineyards, fun breweries, great restaurants and interesting shops.

Who wouldn’t want to be here?  EXACTLY!!!  If you’re selling your home, now is the time to make it shine and aggressively market when everything around you is at its peak.  So, avoid the temptation to slow down with the summer heat, and keep the marketing process going. 

Here are 5 TIPS to keep things rolling and get your home sold in the height of the North Fork “in-season”:

1.    KEEP YOUR HOME IN “SHOWING SHAPE” with beds made, dishes in the dishwasher, you know what I mean.  It doesn’t have to be spotless- I’d rather show a house that’s just a little messy, rather than lose an opportunity to sell it. Prospective buyers understand its summer and the family is about.

2.    SAY “YES” TO THOSE APPOINTMENTS when your agent calls to show the house.  There are about ten weeks left to summer, and you should take every opportunity to show your house in the prime season. 

3.    DO THOSE OPEN HOUSES even though you’d rather hang in the pool.  It’s only a couple of hours a week, you can use the time to go swimming, boating, shopping, lunch!  Buyers who come to open houses account for 20% of our sales. Serious buyers plan weekend time to shop for homes on the North Fork.  Open houses help agents as well, since they have more flexibility to schedule a showing with their client, during the broader time slot of the open house. 

4.    DON’T LET THOSE LAZY DAYS OF SUMMER slip through your hands.  Keep up with your home, if something breaks fix it. Keep up with the lawn and gardens. And welcome every opportunity to show your home.

5.    GIVE EVERY OFFER SERIOUS CONSIDERATION. View the offer without thinking of possibilities that may or may not happen, try to keep emotion out of the evaluation. Look at it as a business deal and give it your best thinking. Make the deal and enjoy the rest of the summer! 

Call us, at 631 765 5333, we’re happy to help you through the process from the first day, through the closing. Or visit our office at the corner of Main Road and Horton’s Lane in Southold. 



Wednesday, July 3, 2019

INDEPENDENCE DAY 2019 - CELEBRATE OUR FREEDOM


On July Fourth, we commemorate the signing of the Declaration of Independence, the document that marked the emergence of the United States as an independent, self-governing nation, guided by the principle of liberty.  It’s good to remember that the freedom we value today was earned by the bravery of the American statesmen who signed this document, putting their lives, reputation and personal property at risk. Fifty-six men, supported and guided by many brave, hard-working and dedicated women, stood together and affirmed:

            "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."
            
            In 1776, as copies of the Declaration spread through the states and were read aloud at town meetings, religious services and public assemblies, Americans marked the occasion with celebratory rituals. They lit huge bonfires, "illuminated" their windows with candles, fired guns, rang bells, removed the symbols of the monarchy from public buildings, churches and taverns, and decorated the walls of their homes with newspaper copies of the Declaration of Independence. Today’s fireworks mark this great event with an exuberance our forefathers would have appreciated.
     
            We will be handing out replicas of the Declaration of Independence and American flags from our front steps during the Southold Town Annual Parade down Main Street.  The parade kicks off at 12 NOON at the Firehouse and ends at 1PM at the American Legion Hall.  Hope you all will be there.  Check local newspapers and websites for fireworks – lots going on!   It’s a great way to celebrate our wonderful country’s independence and teach our children the reason for the celebration. 

May God Bless America.

IN MEMORIAM
CHRISTOPHER WYATT DRUM
                                                 MAY 25,                                              JULY 2,
                                                   1972                                                   2014

Thursday, June 27, 2019

HOMES BOUGHT BY INVESTORS AT RECORD HIGHS!


The Wall Street Journal recently published an article on page one, reporting that “big private-equity firms, real estate speculators and others made up more than 11% of home purchasers in 2018… the highest percentage on record and nearly twice the level before the 2008 housing crash.”
               Analysts expected the investor buying to slow down as the real estate market recovered and  home prices increased, but in the past two years, investor purchases surprised analysts and surpassed the previous peak in 2012.
               The reasons given for the increase in investor purchases are, “strong rental demand, technology that facilitates buying homes online and low interest rates that make other investments less appealing.” But I believe another very significant reason is real estate as a hedge against a likely stock market decline on the horizon – one or two years away.  What better hedge than a hard asset like real estate?!
               If you are looking to diversify your investment assets to hedge against a stock market decline, buying a commercial property or investing in a rental home makes good sense.  Buying a two-family home, makes even more sense than a single-family home.  We have several two-family homes available for sale, in good condition, with tenants in place.  Call us at 631 765 5333. Let’s make a deal!
At Beninati Associate, we listen and pay attention to what’s going on in the economy; we care about you and work hard for you; and we get you the best result whether you are buying or selling.
                             


Source: Investors Buy Homes at Unparalleled Rate, The Wall Street Journal, June 21, 2019, front page -A1.

Thursday, June 20, 2019

RENOVATE OR BUY TURNKEY?


“Should I buy a home that is turnkey or one that needs some renovation?”  This is often an important decision factor for prospective second-home buyers.  In the past few years, the low level of inventory, has made this question even more critical, as buyers have less selection and have to make trade offs that they may later regret.

The most obvious difference between a turnkey and one that needs some updating is the initial cost.  When you buy a turnkey home, you are paying for the time and investment of the current owner.  You are also opting for the style and taste level of the owner.  When you buy a home that needs renovation, you are making an investment of time and money in the home, but you will have input into design and quality decisions that suit your taste level and pocketbook.

Some buyers prefer to buy a home that does not need any work and recognize that they may be paying a premium but prefer to have the use of the home sooner rather than later.  If the trade off is a higher price that you can afford, all other things being equal, it’s probably a good decision for you.
But sometimes, the trade off may be a very important requirement that gets lost in the decision-making process.  When a buyer finds himself/herself giving up desired location for “pretty” – it’s time to stop and reassess.

“Location, location, location,” is a real estate adage that holds true for every purchase and never gets old.  It’s probably the best advice I can give any buyer – when you have a choice between a great location and a fantastic looking house – STOP – and be sure you will be happy in that house 2-3 years from now, or will you be pining for that waterfront or water-view location?

When buying a home in need of improvements, it’s important to be sure the renovations add value. Will you get a return on your updates?  Certainly, there is the non-tangible return of enjoying the redesigned room, or bathroom, or adding a pool, but it’s also important that there is a tangible improvement in value.  In most cases, thoughtful, tasteful updates add to the market value of a home and faster turnover when its sold.

On a personal note, we have always purchased homes with the intention of making improvements and it has always paid off. 

Sometimes, there is a wonderful home that needs no renovation and sometimes there’s that diamond in the rough that turns into a sparkling jewel – it’s for you to decide.

We would be happy to help you evaluate whether to buy turnkey or buy and renovate.  If you choose to renovate, we’ll assist you with professionals to help you get the job done and move into a home, where you want it to be and how you want it to be! Call us at 631 765 5333 or come see us at our office at the corner of Main Road and Horton’s Lane in Southold.






Thursday, June 13, 2019

IS IT TIME TO RIGHT-SIZE?


Are you wondering if your home still works for you and your family? You may be feeling cramped in your current house or perhaps your home is more than you need since you’ve become an “empty nester”. Are the costs of upkeep more than you want to spend?
It may be time to “right-size”- choosing a home to fit your current needs. Here are a few ways to tell if it’s time to make a move and look into purchasing a home that's better suited to your current lifestyle.
Cleaning rooms that are seldom used
No one wants to spend free time dusting vacuuming and caring for rooms that are almost never used. Consider how and where you spend your time at home. Most people spend most of their time in a few key spaces like the bedroom, TV room and kitchen. If you’re spending more time cleaning rooms than living in them- it may make sense to right-size to smaller space.
Too much or not enough lawn
With family, friends, work and extracurricular activities, the yard is one part of a property that many people don't have time to care for or even use, consistently. Other people love spending an hour or so in the garden each day or sipping a cup of coffee while the sun is coming up. Finding the right space to entertain, relax after a hard day or give the kids room to safely burn off some energy, is important. Needing more outdoor space or having too much outdoor space to maintain, may be one of the factors in deciding whether it’s time to move to a different house.
Cramped quarters
When you have several younger children, space is always an issue. When the kids grow up, things change—including the size of the home needed. Whether you're a growing, or the family dynamic is shifting so there are fewer people in the home, the size of the house is an important factor.
Gathering space for the family
No one likes crowding into a tight space for dinners or special occasions like birthday parties and other family celebrations. Sitting in a huge great room by yourself thinking about how much wasted space you have, for only two or three people in the home is also an indicator that it may be time to right-size.
Thinking about recent life changes like an elderly parent moving in or adult kids moving out can help you decide when it's time to make a move. Keeping your finances and life plans on track isn't always easy, but as a family evolves, so too must your living accommodations. Right-sizing up or down makes sense.  The key is to recognize when it’s time! At Beninati Associates we are here to help you with those decisions – call us at 632 765 5333 or come visit our office at the corner of Main Road and Horton’s Lane in Southold.

Source: RISMEDIA, June 10, 2019, Upsize or Downsize- which is right for you? Meghan Belnap




Thursday, June 6, 2019

REMEMBERING D-DAY - 75 YEARS LATER


There are many speeches and commemorations to remember D-Day, this pivotal turning point in World War II – but for me, one of the most poignant moments, was President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s prayer, after he announced the surprise Normandy invasion, to our country on national radio.

     "Last night… troops of the United States and our allies were crossing the Channel. It has come to pass with success thus far.  And so, in this poignant hour, I ask you to join with me in prayer:

     Almighty God: Our sons, pride of our Nation, this day have set upon a mighty endeavor, a struggle to preserve our Republic, our religion, and our civilization, and to set free a suffering humanity. Lead them straight and true; give strength to their arms, stoutness to their hearts, steadfastness in their faith. 

     They will need Thy blessings. Their road will be long and hard. For the enemy is strong. He may hurl back our forces. Success may not come with rushing speed, but we shall return again and again; and we know that by Thy grace, and by the righteousness of our cause, our sons will triumph.

     They will be sore tried, by night and by day, without rest-until the victory is won. The darkness will be rent by noise and flame. Men's souls will be shaken with the violences of war. 

     For these men are lately drawn from the ways of peace. They fight not for the lust of conquest. They fight to end conquest. They fight to liberate. They fight to let justice arise, and tolerance and good will among all Thy people. They yearn but for the end of battle, for their return to the haven of home. 

     Some will never return. Embrace these, Father, and receive them, Thy heroic servants, into Thy kingdom.

     And for us at home -- fathers, mothers, children, wives, sisters, and brothers of brave men overseas -- whose thoughts and prayers are ever with them--help us, Almighty God, to rededicate ourselves in renewed faith in Thee in this hour of great sacrifice.

     Many people have urged that I call the Nation into a single day of special prayer. But because the road is long and the desire is great, I ask that our people devote themselves in a continuance of prayer. As we rise to each new day, and again when each day is spent, let words of prayer be on our lips, invoking Thy help to our efforts. 

     Give us strength, too -- strength in our daily tasks, to redouble the contributions we make in the physical and the material support of our armed forces. 

     And let our hearts be stout, to wait out the long travail, to bear sorrows that may come, to impart our courage unto our sons wheresoever they may be. 

     And, O Lord, give us Faith. Give us Faith in Thee; Faith in our sons; Faith in each other; Faith in our united crusade. Let not the keenness of our spirit ever be dulled. Let not the impacts of temporary events, of temporal matters of but fleeting moment let not these deter us in our unconquerable purpose. 

     With Thy blessing, we shall prevail over the unholy forces of our enemy. Help us to conquer the apostles of greed and racial arrogancies. Lead us to the saving of our country, and with our sister Nations into a world unity that will spell a sure peace a peace invulnerable to the schemings of unworthy men. And a peace that will let all of men live in freedom, reaping the just rewards of their honest toil. 

Thy will be done, Almighty God.
Amen."

June 6, 1944


Thursday, May 30, 2019

IS THIS HOUSE RIGHT FOR US?


What should I be considering when purchasing a home? How do I know if this is the right house for me? How do I avoid buyer's remorse and risk losing my dream home?  Purchasing a house, especially a second home, can be a challenging task because most people want something different in a second home, but their frame of reference is usually their primary residence. Unfamiliar locations and styles can hold them back from making a decision.  Here are some thoughts you may want to consider:
Can I afford it?
Early on, in the process, look at your financial situation, meet with a mortgage broker or bank representative and get yourself a preapproval with a monthly payment that works for you.
Does this house/community have the amenities I want?
Research the area you're considering. This is where experienced Realtors provide an essential service.  We know the communities and amenities. Make a list of your must-haves - but be flexible, especially if it’s an existing home.  Remember, “Location, Location, Location!” Most amenities, like a pool, can be added, but waterfront is not something you can add later!
Is this house right for my future?
Is this a home you can grow in. Will this home accommodate my family and future family as it grows?  Is this the home I want to retire to?
What is the potential of this home?
Many properties on the market today have good bones, but, the style or overall interior may not be exactly what you want.  Your own upgrades, may give you a better return when you sell, and some leverage in buying it today. A renovated, “move-in,” home will likely cost you top dollar.
Sleep on it
It's easy to get swept up in the excitement when walking through a home for sale. Emotions have a way of taking over in this competitive market, and you may get caught up in bidding a property above your comfort level. What seemed like the perfect property yesterday, could feel like a financial stretch tomorrow.
Trust your instincts
You'll know when a house is right for you especially when you envision making it your own. Every home gets adapted, in some way, to its new owners – but if you see yourself living in the home - got for it!
We can help you sort things out in this complex, ever-changing marketplace.  Call us at 631 765 5333 or come see us at our headquarters at the corner of Horton’s Lane and Main Road in Southold!



Friday, May 24, 2019

Memorial Day 2019…A Time to Remember Our Fallen Heroes


Memorial Day is a time to remember all the men and women who lost their lives serving our country.  The American Legion has traditionally offered poppies to wear on Memorial Day. Did you ever wonder about this symbol and how it came about? The wearing of poppies in honor of America’s war dead is a Memorial Day tradition going back to World War I. 

            In war-torn battlefields, the red field poppy (papaver rhoeas) was one of the first plants to grow. Its seeds scattered in the wind and sat dormant in the ground, only germinating when the ground is disturbed—as it was by the very brutal fighting during World War I.

            The practice of wearing of poppies was further inspired by the poem “In Flanders Fields,” written in 1915 by Canadian soldier John McCrae when he saw the poppies in burial fields around his artillery position in Belgium.
            Here are excerpts from “In Flanders Fields,” by John McCrae, May 1915:

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields...

The torch; be yours to hold it high...


            Today, poppies are both a symbol of loss of life and a symbol of recovery and new life, especially to care for the servicemen damaged physically or emotionally.  If you would like to support our veterans and the good work of our American Legion send a donation to American Legion Auxiliary, Unit 803, PO Box 591, Southold, NY 11971.

Please join us in thanking and honoring our service men and women, including our own Southold Veterans; and remember those who have died in the service of our great Country. _____________________________________________________________
Happy Birthday, Chris...you’re our hero! We miss you every day... ever so much!!!



Thursday, May 16, 2019

STUDY CONFIRMS BEST TIME TO LIST YOUR HOME


The next few months are the best months of the year to sell a home. So if you're undecided as to when to list your home, NOW is the perfect time - just do it!  According to a recent ATTOM Data Solutions analysis, 19 of the 20 best days to sell during the calendar year fall in May and June.

After analyzing more than 28 million single-family home and condo sales over the past eight years, the study concluded that sellers listing around this time of the year—as the weather is warming up—will garner seller premiums.

This makes perfect sense when you consider that for most homes, spring and summer is when the outside landscaping is at is loveliest.  Also, summer is a time for vacations and outings, and people are more eager to take that trip to look at homes for sale.
Based on eight years of research, here were the best months to sell, between 2011 and 2018, prioritized by the highest seller premiums May, June, July and August, for single-family home and condo sales:

#1 June
  • Number of sales: 2,881,400
  • Median sales price: $200,000
  • Seller premium: 9.2%
#2 May
  • Number of sales: 2,657,045
  • Median sales price: $190,000
  • Seller premium: 7.4%

#3 July
  • Number of sales: 2,752,755
  • Median sales price: $199,500
  • Seller premium: 7.3%
 #6 August             
  • Number of sales: 2,802,268
  • Median sales price: $195,706
  • Seller premium: 5.8%


If you’ve been wondering what to do, there’s no doubt in our minds that it’s time to list.  That has consistently been our advice to our clients, and now here is an 8-year study to support what we’ve known from our 20 plus years of experience here on the North Fork!  Do you need any more incentive to list your home, now?  Call us, at 631 765 5333, we’ll be there, “Johnny on the spot,” to assist you.  But act soon. May is half way gone - time’s flying!!!!




Source: ATTOM Data Solutions; RISMedia Housecall, These are the Best Days of the Year to Sell Your Home, May 2, 2019, posted by Jameson Doris.

Thursday, May 9, 2019

Buying on the North Fork – Here’s a Fun Way to Do It!


If you’re thinking about buying a second home on the North Fork but have not spent enough time to be comfortable choosing a locale, a short-term rental this summer or fall is a good way to test the waters.  A local base is also an efficient way to conduct your search.
              
A second home on the North Fork offers an easy escape from the hustle and bustle of the city.  We’re two hours from Manhattan and New Jersey, even less time from Long Island suburbs, and parts of Connecticut. 

Our natural, pristine beauty remains protected by many preserved acres. Beautiful beaches, plentiful creeks, lakes and inlets offer boating, kayaking, swimming and fishing.  Quaint, characteristic hamlets offer wine tastings, vineyard tours, fun casual breweries, music, shopping and fine eating establishments for every palate and pocketbook. The summer is filled with concerts, and other events for the whole family.

There’s still plenty of time to rent a home for a few weeks this summer or fall!  And we have beautiful homes available for you.  Just remember, there is a two week* minimum in Southold and 30 days in Riverhead.  For a shorter stay, you may wish to consider a bed and breakfast, inn or hotel.

The inventory of homes for sale is limited and booking a summer rental and being here on the scene may be the best way to get a second home on the North Fork.  Also consider getting your ducks in order for your search – have a bank preapproval in hand, do your homework on what you can afford and, by all means, use a realtor!  We know the neighborhood and we will make your search more efficient and help you find what you are looking for. 

Call us – we’re ready to help you find a summer rental on the North Fork and find that dream house or property to enjoy for years to come! Just call us at 631-765-5333,  email us at broker@beninatiassociates.com  or come visit us at our headquarters at the corner of Horton’s Lane and Main Road in Southold, next to Town Hall.
              
Wishing every Mom out there a very Happy Mother’s Day! 


*Southold Town code requires a minimum of 2 weeks; Riverhead requires 30 days.

Thursday, May 2, 2019

STAGING PAYS OFF…


It’s SPRING and the home-buying season is going into full swing.  If you’re planning to list your home this year - it’s time to get going and there’s an important thing you should seriously consider - staging your home.  According to the recent National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), 2019 Profile of Home Staging,  83% of buyers' agents agree that staging your home makes “it easier for a buyers to visualize the property as a future home.”
Additionally, the NAR reported more than half of sellers say that staging your home will decrease the amount of time your home stays on the market.
Buying a home starts with a financial plan but choosing a home is an emotional decision.   When a buyer looks at a home, they will certainly be concerned with the condition of the home – is it updated, is the roof in good condition; but it’s equally, and possibly more important, that they feel comfortable in the home, that they   perceive it as a place to enjoy with family and friends, a place to retire to, or even a retreat from the stress of the city. 
How your home is presented to the public is important – it can make the difference between a sale and a walk away.  It can make the difference between a low offer and a high offer.  In total, 44% of buyers' agents noted that staged homes saw an average increase of 2.5% up to as high as 20% in the final selling price offered for a home.
We have seen over an over that staging works.  That’s why we recommend and offer staging consulting to all our clients at our expense as part of our suite of services.  You won’t find this level of service from any other realtor on the North Fork.  If you are ready to put your home on the market, call us at, 631 765 5333, and let’s get the ball rolling.  We’ll get your home staged in short order and put a marketing plan in place and partner with you to sell your home quickly, at the best price possible!

Source: National Association of REALTORS, 2019 Profile of Home Staging, March 2019.



Thursday, April 25, 2019

EXISTING-HOME SALES DECLINED 5.4% IN MARCH


Existing-home sales in March were 5.4% lower than March 2018, and 4.9% lower than February, as reported by the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR).
 “Home sales in February experienced their second – strongest monthly gain ever.  The spurt in February was most likely due to mortgage rates coming back in line after rates for 30-year mortgages went from 5% toward the end of last year, down to 4.17% last week “It is not surprising to see a retreat after a powerful surge in sales in the prior month,” says Lawrence Yun, chief economist at NAR. “The impact of lower mortgage rates has not yet been fully realized.” 
Although inventory is up slightly, the decline in the volume of existing-home sales is definitely related to the lower number of homes available for sale.  We’ve been tracking inventory levels on the North Fork over the past 20 years.  The number of homes for sale on the North Fork is down 25% compared to what it was then; when you factor in population growth, the decline is even more significant.  
As a buyer, you are facing fewer choices because of the lower inventory, something you cannot control.  But if you delay your planned purchase you may lose an opportunity that you can control - favorable mortgage rates!  The rates are lower now – how much longer rate will be low, no one knows – but they are bound to go up.  Now is a great time to act if you’ve been waiting to make a purchase. Take advantage of lower rates now, make compromises that you can live with on your home purchase - after all, it can be updated or renovated.  Most likely you’ll want to make it your own and if you invest wisely, you will recoup your investment when you decide to sell.
             
  Call us at Beninati Associates  631-765-5333 – we can help you sort out the trade-offs and select the home you want! At Beninati Associates – we listen, we care, and we get results!



Sources: Existing-Home Sales Declined by 4.9% in March, Laura Kusisto, The Wall Street Journal, Tuesday, April 23, 2019, page A2.  Backtrack for Existing-Homes: Can Lower Rates Revive Them? RIS Media News, April 24, 2019.