About Me

Tuesday, November 26, 2019


          Thanksgiving is one of America’s most cherished holidays of the year where family and friends gather and give thanks.  The tradition dates back to 1621, when the Plymouth colonists shared a harvest feast with Native Americans. The Wampanoag tribe came bearing much of the food and like most Native American tribes had their own long-standing tradition of harvest celebrations. In fact, there was so much food that the revelry lasted for three days!  So, sitting down to a big plate of yet more leftovers on the Saturday after Turkey Day isn't overkill, it's tradition!
            The generous Wampanoag’s taught the colonists where to fish, where to hunt and how to plant corn. It’s likely that venison, wild fowl – roasted duck or goose, seafood - lobster, clams and mussels, dried corn, porridge and simple cranberries, chestnuts and walnuts were on the first Thanksgiving menu. Probably not turkey, potatoes, corn or pumpkin pie!             

In 1863, in the midst of the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a National Thanksgiving Day, to be held on the fourth Thursday of each November. That’s why this year’s Thanksgiving is so late. 

            Living on the North Fork, we have a great deal to be thankful for. We are especially blessed to be in this wonderful part of our country.  More than ever we need to foster understanding, kindness and civility.

            May this year’s Thanksgiving serve as a time of gratitude for all our blessings and may we each, in our own way, share our abundance.
            All of us at Beninati Associates wish all of you, God’s Blessings and a very Happy Thanksgiving Holiday.

Wednesday, November 20, 2019


The Federal Fair Housing Act, the New York State Human Rights Law, and local laws, such as the Nassau County and Suffolk County Human Rights Law, make it illegal to discriminate in the sale, lease, purchase, rental, or financing of any housing accommodation, or making housing otherwise unavailable, because of a protected characteristic.

Protected characteristics include: FEDERAL LAW- race, color, religion, national origin, sex, disability, familial status; NEW YORK STATE LAW- race, color, creed, national origin, sex, age, disability, marital status, familial status, sexual orientation, military status, pregnancy, domestic violence victim status, gender identity or expression, and any lawful source of income - including Section 8; NASSAU COUNTY LAW- includes in addition to the Federal and State characteristics – ethnicity; SUFFOLK COUNTY LAW – includes in addition to the Federal and State characteristics - alienage, citizenship status, and veteran status.
These Fair Housing Laws also prohibit the making, printing or publishing of any statement, notice or advertisement in connection with the sale or rental of housing which expresses or includes preference, limitation, or discrimination based on a protected class.

            Newsday just published a three-year study that they have conducted, testing real estate agents on whether all customers were treated equally regarding housing searches. The results were focused more west of us, although some tests were done in the Hamptons, according to the newspaper.

Unfortunately, they found agents who appear to have “steered” the potential home buyers in a particular direction, suggesting bias on the agents’ part. It’s sad to see that, such housing bias still exists.

We wish to state without reservation, that we take fair housing laws seriously not only because it is the law but because it is the right thing to do. We believe it is our responsibility to assist and support, to the best of our ability, everyone who comes to our door in search of housing.

Thursday, November 14, 2019


If you are selling a home or buying a home that needs fixing-up, you can do some small things, that will have a bigger impact than you think. Here are 8 good ideas:

1. Update the Lighting
Lighting is something that can be updated easily and won’t cost a bunch of money. Nothing says outdated like an old-fashioned gold chandelier. Avoid dark rooms - add lighting where necessary.  Light and bright is important for the psyche!

2. Paint
 You will be amazed at what some paint can do to your home. If you’re selling, stick to white ceilings and paint the walls white with grey or ivory hues. Save the splash of color for rugs, pillows, or if you must – one accent wall.

3. New Fixtures
Just like the lighting, the fixtures in the home become outdated quickly. New kitchen faucets and bathroom fixtures update and upgrade a fixer-upper.  Many attractive options are available at low cost.

4. Paint Cabinets
 Paint existing cabinets (white!) and install new hardware to give the kitchen a facelift. Painting is less expensive than replacing. If the cabinets are old but sturdy, you can bring them back to life. If they are falling apart – consider investing in economical “IKEA” or other “DIY” cabinets.

5. Rip Out Old Carpeting
Carpet is great when it is new; however, when it is old and dingy, it can really have a negative impact on a space. If hardwood floors are under the carpet, that’s the best option. If you can install hardwood floors, that’s always the number one option. If you are on a budget, check out other creative options online that allow you to do great things with your floors for less.

6. Add Curb Appeal
It does not matter how great the inside looks if the outside is in disrepair. Paint or replace siding if your budget allows.  Clean up any dead plants and add some new.  Add shutters and a fresh coat of paint to the trim and porch.

7. Replace Broken Windows
New windows are expensive, but they are important. At the very least, replace or repair broken windows or windowpanes in your home.

8. Do a Check-up on the Heating and Cooling Systems
Make sure the home has well-functioning heating and air conditioning systems. Have it checked out by an HVAC expert.  Regularly replacing air filters is critical to ensure no dirt or dust gets into your system and to extend the life of your unit.

If you would like to have a no-cost evaluation of what you should do to update your home for sale, give us a call – 631 765 5333.  We are happy to walk-through with you and share ideas as to what will make the home more appealing and saleable.

Source: RIS Media’s housecall, March, 2019.

Thursday, November 7, 2019


Economic business cycles, measured for 165 years in America, have never lasted more than 10 years, until the current expansion.  “The economic recovery that began mid-2009 set a longevity record as it entered July 2019, and the recovery is expected to continue at least into next year.

“The current expansion has created more than 20 million jobs, raised family incomes and rebuilt consumer confidence.  The CoreLogic Special Report: The Role of Housing in the Longest Economic Expansion, these economic forces have driven a recovery in home construction, prices and equity.”

After the dust settled from the financial crisis in 2008, home prices began to recover in 2011 and have continued to date.  The CoreLogic Home Price Index for the U.S. has recorded a 59% increase in prices since January 2011. (see chart below).  Of course, we must not forget that homes prices fell drastically in 2008-2009, so part of the increase in prices was actually recouping what had been lost. 

A recent article in Newsday, reported Long Island home price increased 4.2% for the 3rd quarter, but the number of sales for the year fell 1.3%.  The luxury market (those selling for over $1.1 million) reported a decrease of 3.6% in median price for the 3rd quarter.  Clearly, the luxury home buyer is more price sensitive, at this time, and sellers have been adjusting their prices to encourage sales.

The important take away here is that home prices must respond to market pressures. The environment is dynamic- sellers and their realtors must be vigilant.  At Beninati Associates, we keep our eye on the market.  If you are thinking of buying or selling, call us at 631 765 5333, we’ll give you an up to date assessment of market conditions and help you develop a market strategy for your sale or purchase.

Sources: Economic Expansion Reaches Milestone, CoreLogic, October 16,2019; Newsday, “Surge in LI Home Prices,” October 25, 2019, page A33.