Benefits to Home Buying During the Holidays – Hudson Valley Real Estate

November 27th, 2016

For those who do not mind, the holiday season may provide home buying bargains. Lots of family, school, and work activities, combined with the weather in many locations, lead to fewer real estate transactions over the holidays. Since fewer people overall are looking to buy houses, you will have less competition for your preferred house — and this gives you leverage. HolidayHomeBuying

Motivated sellers

Holiday home sellers often have to adjust their price downward or make other concessions if they want to sell. Keep this in mind as you search for homes. Bargains may be available, and listed prices may be more open to negotiation.  People who are selling their homes over the holidays often have great incentive to sell, such as an upcoming job relocation. If a house has already been on the market for some time, that incentive is multiplied.You may be able to use this urgency to your advantage (assuming you are not in a similarly urgent need to buy). Negotiate fairly but firmly with sellers and you should be able to extract a lower price and/or other concessions like paying part of the closing costs.

Potential tax advantages

If you itemize your taxes, you can deduct any points you paid upon closing, as well as property taxes and mortgage interest. Whether it is to your advantage to buy before or after year’s end depends on factors such as how many other deductions you have this year and expect to have next year. It is best to consult with a tax professional before purchase. Even though you do not want to make a decision on a home purchase strictly for tax reasons, it could be to your benefit to close before the end of the year.

Better interest rates

Within the general trend of interest rates, there is often a cyclical trend of lower interest rates during the holidays — not from the generosity of lenders but due to limited demand forcing greater competition among lenders. There are plenty of factors that can obscure or swamp this cycle, but in general, you should see preferable interest rates around the holidays compared to the times immediately before or after.

Faster closings

Generally, all parties involved have incentive to complete transactions toward the end of the year. Lenders want to close their books, real estate agents want to receive their commissions before the year closes, sellers want to move on to their new home and settle in for the holidays – and just like the sellers, you want to settle in as well. Since all parties are motivated and there are fewer transactions taking place during this time, it should be easier to put everything in place for a smooth and rapid closing. More helpful holiday tips HERE

9 Common Emotions Felt When Selling – Hudson Valley Real Estate

November 20th, 2016

Here’s what most people experience.  “Should I sell my house?” It’s a question every homeowner eventually asks. Whether it’s time to start house hunting or take on a complete remodel instead — the choice depends on you. It can be scary: It’s been your home, where you’ve lived and made memories. Chances are good it’s your most important asset and your biggest investment so far. Wrestling with the emotional heft of putting your home on the market is a difficult byproduct of real estate — but once a closing date has been set, the hard work is done. Right?

Actually, it’s not uncommon for sellers to feel pangs of regret when a buyer gets serious. If you’re feeling remorse for your soon-to-be-former home, don’t panic: You’re far from alone.

These true stories from real homeowners will help you decide if you should sell your home now or take another route to homeowner happiness.

Selling a home has its moments of joy and frustration. See the image below that details some of the emotions. Certainly contact The Susan Walski Global Team; we are here to help:


Getting Home Ready for the Holidays – Hudson Valley Real Estate

November 13th, 2016

It’s not too early to start planning Thanksgiving even Christmas present ideas and budgets in Hudson Valley. Check online for sales, and consider time-saving options such as gift cards and magazine subscriptions. natureBelow are just a few tips to get you all set:

Easy Invites

By November 1st, if you haven’t already done so, send out Thanksgiving dinner invitations. Design your own, or search online for customizable options — including e-mail invites.

Gift List

Consider time-saving options such as gift cards and magazine subscriptions.

Can Do

Preserve fruits and vegetables at the peak of freshness to enjoy later or give as gifts. Seek out unique recipes such as pickled green beans or cinnamon-ginger pears.

Bundled Up

As the weather cools, take stock of winter clothing. Donate outgrown garments, discard stained items and mismatched mittens and socks, and organize the rest neatly in closets and bureaus.

Warm Glow

Flickering candles set the scene for cozy evenings during the holidays. Set out a variety of styles around your home, such as on mantels and side tables, to instantly impart warmth and light.

Tucked Away

Conceal your living room clutter in existing storage pieces. Chests can hold throws and blankets, baskets corral stacks of magazines, and storage ottomans keep toys and books out of sight.

Nature’s Bounty

Decorate your home for the harvest season with all-natural elements. Set out a dish brimming with pinecones, berries, and moss, or fill a vase with twigs and dried flowers. See more holiday and seasonal tips for the  HERE

November Home Maintenance Tips – Hudson Valley Real Estate

November 6th, 2016

Be sure your fall exterior maintenance is complete and that your home is weather-tight—you’ll be grateful to have taken these steps now fall-frontporchwhen lower energy costs kick in during the winter. November is often a busy month, bringing with it a change of weather and a change of focus.

Dampness promotes moisture-related issues from mold and mildew to rot and decay, so do everything you can to dry out wet basements now. Here are a few “Must Do” Projects for November:

Whether you live in a hot or cold climate, the most important area in your home to insulate is your attic floor. This fully insulated “buffer zone” will not only help keep heat where you want it, but will also keep the lid on your energy costs.

The basic principle of good insulation is that you want to keep heat energy from doing what it does best—escaping. The goal is to trap a layer of unmoving air next to the heat source, which in this case is your heated home. In new framing, sprayed-on polyurethane foam, fiberglass, or cellulose insulation products—even recycled denim—all do a good job of trapping air in the wall cavity. If you’re retrofitting, you can have insulation blown in or lay batts yourself between floor joists to achieve the recommended R-values for your area.

The R-value of insulation is the measure of its resistance to heat flow. The higher the value the more effective it is. To see the recommended insulation R-values and cost estimates in your zip code, visit the Department of Energy. And be sure to eliminate drafts. Even a small draft can make your insulation less effective. Seal gaps around electrical outlets, ducts, windows and doors with foam sealants, caulking, or weatherstripping.

Autumn leaves are a gift to your garden that literally fall out of the trees, but leaving them untouched may smother the grassand lead to a variety of insect and disease problems. Instead, put them through a leaf shredder (or just run over them a few times with the mower), rake them up, and use them as fall mulch on flower or vegetable beds with a little fertilizer. Add compostand the leaves become soil by spring.

With colder temperatures on the horizon, getting your car into the garage is not only desirable but necessary. So while the weather remains mild, take a weekend to restore some order. Begin by clearing the clutter and taking stock of everything you want to keep. Next, figure out a plan that puts frequently used items close-at-hand and seasonal items (e.g., holiday decorations) in places that may be harder to reach. Finally, put your plan into action with smart organizational products that require minimal effort to use, like these 10 “Neat” Garage Storage Solutions. And remember to think vertically: taking advantage of both wall- and ceiling-mounted options makes good storage sense. More seasonal and month appropriate tips HERE

How to Reduce Home Buying Fears – Hudson Valley Real Estate

October 30th, 2016

There’s something lurking in the dark, visible by flickering computer light. Something’s haunting you. It’s… the real estate listings! Deep Afraiddown, you’d love to own a home, but whenever you take steps beyond idle window-shopping, a chill runs up your spine, and paralyzes you from moving ahead. You wake up in a cold sweat and it’s not Halloween!

We get it—you’re about to make a life-changing purchase, and you’re spooked. The main thing that home buying has in common with horror flicks: The fears are (mostly) mere figments of your imagination.

So in case you’re harboring some heebie-jeebies, here are some of home buyers’ top concerns—tackled head on so you know what you’re really dealing with:

Fear No. 1: ‘I’m afraid I can’t afford a home’

Some house hunters are possessed by worries that their entire savings account will get sucked into a black hole if they buy. Then they’ll never be able to afford vacations, or new clothes, or food beyond beans and rice or mac ‘n cheese ever again.

The best way to determine how financially ready you are to buy a home is to talk to a loan officer. Alternatively, you can also enter your income, debts, and other info in®’s home affordability calculator, to see exactly how much you can afford to spend on a home without going broke.

Fear No. 2: ‘I’m worried I won’t be able to buy a home I actually like’

The current economic climate may lead some buyers to believe that buying means they’ll end up living in a version of a “Saw” movie set—a windowless pit with exposed plumbing. (Without the severed limbs, however.) Fact is, interest rates are low, allowing homeowners to snag a great deal and pay less over the course of their loan. “Also, with the economy being in a downturn, many fantastic properties are being sold for under value,” says Tyler Ferguson, owner of Stone Reinvented.

Fear No. 3: ‘What if I buy a money pit?’

We’ve all seen that movie of the same name where Tom Hanks‘s life and bank account are shredded, thanks to a rapidly disintegrating old house. But hey, that’s just a movie—most houses aren’t money pits, and even if there are potential issues lurking in the shadows, like a leaking pipe, you can do plenty to protect yourself. Before the sale, “hire a good home inspector,” says Green. He or she should be able to see signs of water damage, or any electrical and plumbing red flags. A home inspector will also advise you on potential repair costs, which can provide leverage for you to go back to the sellers and lower the price you pay. See More fear tackling tips HERE


Top Ways to Finding the Right One – Hudson Valley Real Estate

October 23rd, 2016

Take the time to research and interview a real estate agent before choosing the one who’s right for you. Consider the real estate process: there’s time spent researching neighborhoods, searching for homes that match your budget (andRight Agent your lifestyle), negotiations on price and repairs, the commitment level of making one of the biggest purchases of your life. Does going it alone sound scarier than entering a haunted house at midnight?

Fear not: home-buying doesn’t have to be. A great real estate agent can help you navigate every step, with advice and connections to make getting to the closing table that much easier. And especially in hot real estate markets experienced agents can help you beat out the competition to buy or sell a home, and even save you money in the process. The trickiest part is finding that trustworthy agent. Here are a few ways to find the perfect match:

Consider chemistry

Most importantly, buyers and sellers need to be able to trust their real estate agent. If you feel a personal connection with your agent, you’ve probably found your match. BJ Ray, an agent with The BJ Ray Team at Unlimited Sotheby’s International Realty in Boston, MA, believes agents should see their clients as team members. “No transaction is without bumps, hurdles, and obstacles,” says Ray. “It’s important to remember that your own client is part of your team and, when a challenges arises, may also have a much-needed outsider’s perspective.”

Analyze their answers

Your agent will (thankfully!) take the lead and guide you through the process once you’ve signed on, but the initial interview with an agent is your time to take the lead. Don’t be afraid to ask the hard questions — it’ll help you get a sense of how they’ll handle tough situations down the road, and your agent will most likely appreciate your thorough approach. A real estate agent with Halstead Property, suggests using this time to check in on an agent’s dedication. She recommends asking how long an agent has worked in your location, plus: “Is this their full-time occupation, or are they a yoga teacher or struggling actor who sells real estate for a few hours a week? This is a big decision, and the agent should be a full-time, dedicated, and extremely experienced professional.”

Ask how they handle high-stress situations

Fact: The way an agent handles themselves during negotiations can make or break a deal. If you feel that your agent is confident enough to turn down a deal that they believe isn’t in your best interest, that’s a great sign. “A good agent knows how to understand the parties’ needs and how to bring a deal together without getting in the way,” says Amanda Jones, real estate agent with Compass in San Francisco, CA. “I also think that a good agent will help a buyer to walk away when it gets too heated. Sometimes silence is a great negotiation tactic.” More tips HERE

Now in October… A Great Time to Move UP!-Orange County Real Estate

October 16th, 2016

For those looking to sell a home and trade up, is now a good time for these buyers to start their search? YES!  Moving Up

The good news is that a significant number — 18.5 million homeowners, or 40% of all folks with a mortgage — now have at least 20% equity, according to real estate data firm RealtyTrac.

That’s because prices in the first seven months of this year increased faster than in any year since 2004, when the New York- Orange County real estate market…..More info HERE

Top Mistakes Sellers Can Make This Fall – Hudson Valley Real Estate

October 9th, 2016

Many people believe they’ll save money by listing their home as “for sale by owner” (FSBO), and sometimes they do. But selling a home is a mortgage-rateslot more complicated than selling practically anything else, including a car — which is certainly no walk in the park.

Think about it: This isn’t an agent’s first rodeo, but it might be yours. A good real estate agent knows how to price your home!

Here are just a few costly mistakes sellers tend to make.

1. They price it wrong

If you consistently beat everyone when playing along to The Price Is Right, you’re either a natural, or you study retail prices … a lot. Unless you devote time and usually money (hiring an appraiser) to figuring out the best price to list your home, chances are, you’ll get it wrong.

It’s common to think your house is worth more than it really is, especially if you’ve “improved it.” But not everyone appreciates a garage converted to a functional living space. They might prefer a garage to be a garage. And a pool doesn’t necessarily increase the value of your house either.

“On the other hand, some for-sale-by-owners shortchange themselves by underpricing their homes because they do not understand the current market.

2. They can’t (or won’t) make the time commitment

When people want to buy a home, they expect someone to respond to their inquiries and show the home when they want to see it. But many FSBO sellers show the home only when it’s convenient for them.

“Buyers want instant gratification and expect info when they want it,” says Korman. If you can’t communicate with buyers or show your home in a timely manner, expect the buyers to move on.

3. They’re emotionally involved

When selling a home, it’s a good idea to bring out your inner Spock by using logic instead of emotion. Otherwise, you might not take a strong first (and possibly best) offer from fear of making a bad deal.

Your connection with the home can also get in the way. “Sellers think of their property as their home, not just another house on the market. They have an emotional attachment to it, and when they try to sell, the facts get lost in the emotion. More sellers tips HERE

October 2016 Home Project Checklist – Hudson Valley Real Estate

October 2nd, 2016

Make the most of these beautiful, brisk October days by getting your home and garden ready for the coming winter—and tackling a few fun weekend projects while you’re at it. October is a month filled with simple pleasures: cooler temperatures, yard sales, leaf-peeping, apple-picking, and every kid’s favorite holiday, Halloween. But it’s also the time to tackle some fall home maintenance to make sure you—and your home—are prepared for the months ahead.


While the October weather is still pleasant, check the foundation for cracks, and caulk around the areas where masonry meets siding, where pipes or wires enter the house, and around the windows and door frames to prevent heat from escaping (and humidity and moisture from entering). Next, take a look at the roof. Check for any loose, curled, or missing shingles, because ice, rain, snow, and wind, as well as rapidly changing temperatures and humidity, will only make problems worse. And while you’re checking your roof, be sure to clean out the gutters and downspouts. Flush them with water, inspect joints, and tighten brackets if necessary. Remember: Clogged gutters are one of the major causes of ice dams. Lastly, check for any signs of peeling, missing, or blistering paint. Left uncorrected, peeling paint will cause the siding itself to deteriorate, leading to expensive repairs come spring.

Related: 10 Fall Home Maintenance Musts

Inside, it’s important to do everything you can to make certain that your home is weathertight and that your furnace is operating at peak performance, particularly because the cost of heating accounts for nearly 50 percent of your home’s energy costs. Sealing drafts around windows and doors, and installing sufficient insulation—particularly in the attic—are two economical ways to keep your indoor temperatures and energy costs in line. Having your heating system checked by a licensed contractor is a smart fall habit, too. Heating systems, no matter the fuel, will work more efficiently, last longer, and have fewer problems if properly serviced. At the very least, make certain to clean or replace filters.

This is also a good time, while in October to seal your driveway, give your outdoor deck and patio some TLC, and prepare your yard equipment for winter storage. Click here for a complete Fall Home Maintenance Checklist.

Although summer blooms have faded, there’s no reason not to have color throughout the month of October or fall. If you’re looking to plant something now, there are several options, from pansies and mums to kale and ornamental grasses. Check with your local garden center or nursery to see which varieties are best for your region. If you have a cool-season grass, an application of slow-release organic fertilizer now will provide your lawn with the strength it needs to make it through winter. Yes, the weather has cooled and your grass is no longer suffering in the same way it did over the summer, but it still needs a good drink weekly to keep it moist. Keep mowing as well, but lower the mowing height a bit—to about 2 inches—so you are cutting the blades a little shorter than usual. Do so until you’ve noticed growth has stopped and the lawn has reached dormancy.

Although some projects require a certain level of skill and expertise, there are many that do not. If you have basic skills, some tool know-how, and the ability to follow instructions, there are plenty of things you can do to improve both the look and comfort of your home this weekend. Whether it’s easy ways to boost your home’s curb appeal, or simple ways to transform a piece of furniture, build a bookcase, enhance a hall or entryway, or create clever kid’s room storage—you’ll find it all at Weekend DIY Projects. Be sure to check back every Friday, when new projects are published. More October tips HERE.

Related: Pumpkin Carving 101

Top Benefits to Fall Home Buying – Hudson Valley Real Estate

September 25th, 2016

Although the spring months are notoriously the best time to buy real estate (as well as have a wedding), fall may be the new ideal season to buy a home. Hear us out: One obvious reason is that it’s easier to get from open house to fall-frontporchopen house without questioning if you’ll need an AC repair ASAP upon moving into that home for sale in Phoenix, AZ. Also, families on a mission to move into a new home before school starts are out of the picture. Besides these two more obvious reasons, here are seven expert insights on why you should consider a fall real estate purchase.

1. There’s less competition.

Competition for houses drops off in the fall, a time many people consider to be off-season in real estate. But there are still homes for sale — and in some cases, there’s just as much inventory as there was during the spring and summer. “[Fall] means new inventory and repositioned old inventory that did not sell in the prime season,” says Wesley Stanton, a New York, NY, agent with The Stanton Hoch Team.

This puts you in a great position to negotiate. “Fall homebuyers should consider [making] lowball offers, followed by more aggressive negotiation,” says Brian Davis, a real estate investor and director of education at Spark Rental. Davis points out that many sellers are very motivated to sell before the holidays. If possible, buyers should let these sellers know that they can close before Thanksgiving or before the school winter break.

2. Sellers are worn-out.

Some sellers who put their homes on the market during the prime selling times of spring and summer might have been a tad overconfident by listing their homes for more than buyers were willing to spend. After months of no action, these sellers are often ready to make a deal. “Sellers who were unrealistic earlier in the year about price will now be more willing to reduce the price come fall,” says Thomas Miller, a Washington, DC, real estate agent. “Because there [are fewer buyers] and because the sellers are now eager to sell, they are more inclined to take the low offer than wait another six months for spring to come around.” More tips can be found HERE