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Even Warren Buffett overpriced his home | North Salem Real Estate

Homeowners on the West Coast typically won’t have much trouble off-loading their properties in today’s market. Unless, apparently, they’re Warren Buffett.

The iconic investor and Berkshire Hathaway BRK.A, +0.16%   chairman struggled for more than 1.5 years to sell his home in the gated community Emerald Bay, near Laguna Beach, Calif. But he finally did so, The Wall Street Journal reported Friday — for nearly a third less than his original asking price.

Buffett purchased the house, which was built in 1936, for $150,000 in 1971 and put it on the market in February 2017 for $11 million, Bloomberg reported. Last month, he decided to lower the listing price to $7.9 million, after it continued to languish on the market.

The home sold below asking, at just $7.5 million.

The property’s listing agent declined to identify the buyer. “I feel very good about the couple who bought the house and hope their family gets as much enjoyment from it as our family did,” Buffett said in a statement following the sale.

The house has plenty of selling points, including a nearly 3,600-square-feet interior and ocean views. Some ads for the property have even played up the Buffett connection with listing photos that include his beloved Coca-ColaKO, -0.03%  and The Wall Street Journal (a newspaper that’s owned by News Corp., the same company that owns MarketWatch).

So why did it take this long for a buyer to bite? There are lessons for every homeowner:

Buffett priced it too high, even for a fancy property

For starters, it appears that Buffett stumbled on one of the most common pitfalls that can cause a home to linger on the market for much longer than anticipated: He overpriced it. The median price for homes in the same ZIP code as Buffett’s property is roughly $1.88 million, according to data from real estate firm Redfin. And homes in that area stay on the market for a median of 226 days. Homes in Emerald Bay are listed for a median price of $6.5 million, according to Realtor.com (Realtor.com is operated by News Corp NWSA, +0.91%  subsidiary Move Inc.)

So, even at the home’s new listing price of $7.9 million, it is still well above the median price for the area at a time when home prices are starting to waveracross the country.

It’s not unusual for more expensive homes to stay on the market longer because there’s typically a smaller pool of potential buyers out there, said Daren Blomquist, senior vice president of communications at Attom Data Solutions, a real-estate data firm in Irvine, Calif. Still, the sheer length of time Buffett’s home has been up for sale suggests the list price doesn’t fit with buyers’ expectations. And the longer the house remains unsold, the more wary many buyers become.

Interest rates are on their way up, which makes buyers skittish

Other developments in recent months have also worked against high-end home sellers like Buffet though, Blomquist said. “Interest rates have ticked up,” he said. “This can really magnify the amount you’re paying. That’s one of the factors that has started to slow down some of the higher end markets.”

Additionally, the GOP-led tax reform package reduced the mortgage interest deduction and capped the property tax deduction at just $10,000. Property taxes for a multimillion-dollar home in a high-tax state like California could easily exceed that amount — and that could be making buyers more hesitant, Blomquist said.

There’s no shortage of homes for sale in Laguna Beach

Laguna Beach has also seen an increase in the number of homes on the market. Inventory there grew by 3% over the past year as of February. Nationally, home inventory has dropped 14%, according to Redfin. That makes the market more favorable to buyers, especially those in search of a bargain. In January, just 10% of properties in Buffett’s same ZIP code were sold above the list price, compared with 19% of homes nationally, according to Redfin.

If you’re looking to avoid some of Buffett’s mistakes, here’s what else to keep in mind.

Snoop around other homes for sale in the area — they’re your competition

If a home stays on the market too long, that alone could weigh on buyers’ minds. “They’ll think there’s something wrong with it,” Blomquist said. “That psychology builds on itself the longer it sits on the market.”

To avoid overpricing, experts suggest that sellers check what other homes in the area are selling for, and even consider asking a real-estate agent to show you the inside of those homes.

If your home isn’t selling, “Go see what they’ve got that you don’t,” said Mindy Jensen, the author of “How to Sell Your Home” and the community manager at real-estate website BiggerPockets.

In Buffett’s case, his home lacks many of the upgrades and amenities that buyers expect in Laguna Beach, Redfin RDFN, -2.19%  agent Max Black told MarketWatch in March. “At a price tag of $11 million, or just over $3,000 per square foot, luxury buyers will be comparing this property to other non-oceanfront homes with more upgrades that are priced in the $2,200 to $2,400 per square foot range,” Black said.

Don’t expect prospective buyers to have too much imagination

The listing for Buffett’s home shows personal touches that Buffett likes, but non-celebrities shouldn’t stage their homes this way, Jensen said. “Buyers have no imagination,” she said. “If they walk in and see you’ve got a bright green wall, they could say, ‘I hate that, so I won’t buy this house.’” Keep paint and finishes neutral, Jensen said. A few family photos are fine, but subtlety is good.

Some cosmetic changes can also help. Even if an entire kitchen renovation isn’t realistic, smaller improvements like fixing broken door knobs, or replacing outdated hardware on cabinets are good moves.

A fresh paint job is another easy upgrade, Jensen said. For example, homes with blue bathrooms, specifically lighter shades, sold for $5,400 more than expected, according to a paint color analysis from the real estate website ZillowZG, +1.05% “Paint is one of the cheapest things you can do to fix your house,” Jensen said.

Replacing the roof, on the other hand, isn’t likely to up the home’s value very much, relative to how much it will cost the seller.

Try some psychological warfare: Consider underpricing the home

If home sellers want to get their property off the market as quickly as they can, they’ll need to be aggressive with their pricing. And one sure-fire way of doing this is by pricing the property so it’s more affordable than other comparable listings.

Sellers should look for specific, psychological milestones when it comes to prices, Blomquist said. In other words, if the average listing price is $200,000, a seller may see more interest in the property if it’s priced at $190,000.

While this strategy is sure to speed the process along in nearly any market, in a competitive one it could also pay off — literally. “If people will flock to what they see as a bargain, they may bid up the price until it matches the desired sales price,” Blomquist said.

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https://www.marketwatch.com/story/warren-buffett-is-having-trouble-selling-his-home-how-to-avoid-that-same-fate-2018-02-28

Westchester sales and prices down | North Salem Real Estate

Westchester sales down 5.2%

WHITE PLAINS—Home sale prices were up sharply in the third quarter in the four-county market area of the Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors, with the exception of Westchester County where sales prices were relatively flat as compared to a year earlier.

Sales volume was off marginally throughout the region, with overall third quarter sales down 5.2% in Westchester; 1.8% in Orange and 1.2% in Rockland, while Putnam County’s sales numbers were flat with an increase of 0.3%.

Market results were mixed depending on product type and location. Realtors interviewed by Real Estate In-Depth said that while some negative market influences, specifically the cap on SALT deductions, low inventory and higher interest rates, may be impacting some buying decisions, it is way too early to tell just what real impacts they will have on the market going forward.

Westchester County posted a third quarter median sale price for a single-family home of $679,000, which was slightly lower than the third quarter of 2017 ($680,000). The median sale price for a single-family home in Putnam was $360,000, up 5.9% from the third quarter of 2017; the median sale price in Rockland was $475,000, up 6.7% and the Orange County median was $275,000, up 7.8%.

Hudson Valley Home Sales—Third Quarter 2018
County                 Change from 2017
Putnam                +0.3%
Rockland             -1.2%
Orange                -1.8%
Westchester       -5.2%

Editor’s NoteFor further coverage, including region-wide home sales statistics

Paul Breunich, president and CEO of William Pitt and Julia B. Fee Sotheby’s International Real Estate, said in connection with the Westchester County market that the declining sales numbers, while noteworthy, are not a sign of a troubled market. He insisted that the market appears to be in transition and that most market observers expect home sales to fall between 4% to 6% for the year countywide.

“The market is in an adjustment period and is in flux,” Breunich said. “With what is going on in the economy—the stock market, GDP, (low) unemployment and consumer confidence through the roof, that is all pointing to a very strong, healthy real estate market, but that is not being reflected in our marketplace, yet.”

Breunich said that he is concerned about consumer market perceptions of a severe downtown in Westchester home sales based on erroneous sales numbers released recently by a local brokerage firm that garnered national media coverage.

“These news stories have contributed toward an exaggerated negative narrative about the state of the real estate market in Westchester, spreading misinformation and miseducating consumers,” Julia B. Fee Sotheby’s stated in its third quarter market report on Westchester County. “The actual picture is dramatically different, according to our own analysis, and varies greatly by town and price range.”

He noted that the market is seeing a decline in sales, but not double digits as was erroneously reported in the press. He also said that some locations are stronger than others both in terms of home sales volume and pricing.

“You have to look at the reality of it,” Breunich said. “The market is still down five to six percentage points. That is not something to pull the fire alarm on about, but it is something to be aware of.”

He added that the federal tax reform law and the cap on SALT deductions might be having some impact on demand. However, there are other factors that influence demand, such as high consumer confidence and the strong economy, for example, and the market is working through all the factors, both positive and negative.

While bullish on the future of the Westchester County residential market, Breunich said the real estate market is no longer booming, but is in transition. He said it is too early to tell the true impact of federal tax reform and added that the first indications of its effect on the market will likely show up in the next six months or so when people file their taxes in the spring of 2019.

Joseph Rand, managing partner of Better Homes and Gardens Rand Realty, said the federal tax reform might be having a small impact on the very high end of the market where the loss of deductibility for mortgage interest and local taxes hits the hardest.

He noted that price appreciation was more pronounced in the lower‐priced markets.

In terms of the loss of the SALT deductions, he said, “We’re talking about a marginal, not a major, impact. Prices aren’t rising at the rate they are in the lower‐priced markets, they’re basically flat, not falling.”

A plus for the marketplace is that inventory levels are starting to respond to rising prices, noting that for the first time since 2012, inventory levels went up in the third quarter.

Rand noted the what is happening region wide is that after years of decline, single-family inventory was higher in almost every county in the region, stabilizing near that six‐month level that usually signals a balancing market. This market phenomenon occurs when demand is strong, and supply stays steady (or goes down) and prices go up. In response to the rising prices, eventually new inventory comes onto the market, he explained.

“Going forward, we believe that the appetite in the market can handle both the impact of tax reform and this increased inventory while still driving continued price appreciation,” Rand said. “With strong economic conditions, relatively low‐interest rates (and the specter of rate increases on the horizon), and pricing still at attractive 2004‐05 levels, we expect a robust market through the end of the year.”

Brokerage network Westchester Real Estate Inc. in its third quarter market report on Westchester County also discussed the positive and negative economic and regulatory forces affecting the housing market.

The firm concluded that with those forces factored it, it believes, “Westchester properties will always remain in high demand based on our proximity to NYC and fantastic quality of life. While we may see pullbacks or shifts at times, our housing market possesses innate strength and resilience. Prices are not decreasing, home sales are still strong, and Westchester’s real estate market is just fine!”

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Soaring lumber prices hitting home buyers, rehabbers | North Salem Real Estate

2_By_4_Clue_Stick.jpg (1132×1052)

Ranjit Sharma is a custom home builder, who specializes in upscale houses with fine trim and old world woodwork.

His company has been on a tear the past five years, thanks to the soaring housing market.

But he now worries about rising prices from tariffs on Canadian lumber that have sent the price of the beams, joists, and other wood he uses up almost 10 percent this year.

“Everything from the framing to the roofing to the interior trim,” he said,” has had price hikes.”

Reasons for price hikes

It’s not just tariffs causing the price spike:  Western wildfires and last year’s hurricanes in Texas and Florida are also causing many of Sharma’s suppliers to raise prices on materials like drywall.

“We have also seen prices on steel, drywall, flooring, concrete, and just about everything go up,” he said.

And these soaring prices can impact you not only if you are building a new home, but even if you are just rehabbing your kitchen, or replacing your back deck.

Not just home builders affected

Outside a Home Depot store in Deerfield Township, Jack Allen was loading supplies to build a deck and fence.

He says the price of cedar, that he was hoping to use for the fence, has almost doubled in the past year.

“Can’t afford a cedar fence any longer. Each picket is about $4, and there are two pickets every one foot.”

As a result, he’s downgrading to cheaper pressure treated lumber, which will lower his fence cost by a third.

For now, builder Ranjit Sharma is not passing along the price hikes to his home buyers. But he may soon because it’s about to cost him $5,000 – $10,000 more for each house he builds.

What can you do if you are planning a construction project? Builders suggest that cash-strapped homeowners:

Ask about cheaper wood, if you are using cedar or other woods that have spiked in price.

Downside the project (in other words, reduce the size of that deck).

Consider wood-look laminate flooring instead of real wood.

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https://www.abc27.com/news/consumer/don-t-waste-your-money/soaring-lumber-prices-hitting-home-buyers-rehabbers/1410436782

Baby Boomers won’t downsize homes anytime soon | North Salem Real Estate

Spring house

Baby Boomers are staying put and their kids are sticking with them.

A study released Thursday by Trulia examined the housing situations of homeowners 65 and older and compared it with a decade ago.

It uncovered a 3.4% jump in the number of seniors working in 2016 compared with 2005, and a 1.7% increase in the number living with younger generations.

It also showed that seniors appear to be holding off on downsizing just the same as they were 10 years prior.

Only 5.5% of seniors moved,according to Trulia, and of those who did, the split was pretty even between single-family and multifamily residences.

But Trulia analyst Alexandra Lee points out that while the percentage of downsizers hasn’t changed, the number of those moving actually has.

“Because the Boomer generation is so much larger than previous generations, that 5.5% moving rate translates into very different raw numbers across the years,” Lee wrote. “There were about 7 million more senior households in 2016 than 2005, meaning 386,000 more senior households moved in 2016.”

The age at which seniors decide to downsize has also shifted. The survey revealed that in 2005, seniors were moving into multifamily residences by age 75. By 2016, this had moved to 80.

The study sought to examine whether Baby Boomers holding onto their homes was driving up home prices. In looking at the nation’s top 100 metros, it determined that Boomers were not eroding affordability.

“Like the general population, seniors in expensive and unaffordable metros rent at much higher rates,” Lee wrote. “The higher the income required to purchase the median home, the lower the proportion of senior households that could downsize.”

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https://www.housingwire.com/articles/46757-baby-boomers-wont-downsize-homes-anytime-soon?utm_campaign=Newsletter%20-%20HousingWire%20Daily&utm_source=hs_email&utm_medium=email&utm_content=65785845&_hsenc=p2ANqtz-8DJkz26bVvBlKjbpqVtwDRlTZEW2huOUt-knTDcKEEdq4EO-a-n_9-htcpsaznU7v7J7YkAGQyY0DPwieutdTFa6lf3Q&_hsmi=65785845

Home price index up 6.6% | North Salem Real Estate

The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller 20-City Composite Home Price Index in the US rose 6.6 percent year-on-year in April 2018, easing from a downwardly revised 6.7 percent increase in March and missing market expectations of a 6.8 percent advance. Seattle recorded the biggest increase (13.1 percent), followed by Las Vegas (12.7 percent) and San Francisco (10.9 percent). Meanwhile, the national index, covering all nine US census divisions rose 6.4 percent, down from 6.5 percent in the previous month. Case Shiller Home Price Index in the United States averaged 161.11 Index Points from 2000 until 2018, reaching an all time high of 210.17 Index Points in April of 2018 and a record low of 100 Index Points in January of 2000.

 

United States S&P Case-Shiller Home Price Index

 

https://tradingeconomics.com/united-states/case-shiller-home-price-index

Millennial homeownership suddenly drops | North Salem Real Estate

Homeownership was crawling slowly back from its record low two years ago, but it just stalled, and the youngest homebuyers are behind that.

Millennials had been driving the nation’s overall homeownership rate, showing the biggest gains throughout 2017, but they dropped back in the first quarter of this year.

Millennial homeownership fell from a three-year high of 36 percent in the fourth quarter of last year back to 35.3 percent in the first quarter of this year, according to the U.S. Census. Meanwhile, the homeownership rate for Americans aged 35 to 64 rose.

That caused the overall homeownership rate to stall at 64.2 percent, unchanged from the last quarter, after rising steadily from 63.6 percent one year ago. Homeownership fell to a 50-year low of 62.9 percent in 2016, after the worst housing crash in history.

The culprit is pretty clear: weakening affordability. Home prices have jumped dramatically in the past year, and the gains accelerated in the first quarter of this year, as the supply of homes for sale continued to drop to record lows. Mortgage interest rates also surged at the start of this year to the highest level in four years.

“Millennials make up the largest share of those seeking starter homes, a portion of the market that saw inventory plummet 14.2 percent and prices leap nearly 10 percent year-over-year in Q1 2017,” wrote Cheryl Young, a senior economist at Trulia.

The supply of starter homes is so lean that March sales were down in that sector over 21 percent compared with a year ago, according to the National Association of Realtors. Sales of higher-priced homes gained.

Homebuilders are moving some production to the lower end, but their focus is on move-up and luxury homes. The median price of a newly built home jumped 5 percent in March annually, reflecting not just housing inflation, but a continuing mix-shift to more expensive homes.

“The homeownership rate climbing out of its 50-year low should be seen as an opportunity for builders in the for-sale space,” noted Young. “The sharp increase in renter households coming out of the Great Recession has finally begun to moderate as older millennials and Gen Xers shift into homeownership, presenting a boon for new construction.

Vacancy rates are down for both owned properties and rentals, meaning there will be no easing of today’s high rents, which should be another impetus for renters to become homeowners. But those high rents make it hard for young buyers to save for a down payment.

And mortgage rates are continuing to move higher. The average rate on the popular 30-year fixed averaged 4.58 percent for the week ended April 26, up from 4.47 percent the previous week and 4.03 percent the same week one year ago.

“Mortgage rates are now at their highest level since the week of August 22, 2013,” said Sam Khater, chief economist at Freddie Mac. “Higher Treasury yields, driven by rising commodity prices, more Treasury issuances and the steady stream of solid economic news, are behind the uptick in rates over the past week.”

 

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https://www.cnbc.com/2018/04/26/millennial-homeownership-suddenly-drops-after-a-good-run.html?__source=newsletter%7Ceveningbrief

3D printed homes for the poor | North Salem Real Estate

Imagine building a stronger, cheaper home in as little as 12 hours. That goal now appears feasible with the help of a 3-D printer. A 3-D-printed home was unveiled in Austin, Texas, during the South by Southwest (SXSW) technology conference and music festival this week.

“So I’m standing in front of the first permanent 3-D-printed home in America,” said Jason Ballard, co-founder of Austin-based ICON, a construction company that uses robotics, software and advanced materials to build houses.

The two-bedroom prototype contains space that can be used as a living/dining area, as well as three rooms that can be converted into bedrooms, a study or a bathroom, depending on where the home is located and the resources available. The homes will be anywhere from 56 square meters to 74 square meters in size.

At 35 square meters, the prototype home was successfully printed in a neighborhood near downtown Austin during a rainstorm, as strong winds kicked up dust in the area, according to Ballard.

3-D-printed homes for the poor

The goal is to print homes in developing countries during extreme weather conditions and amid the unpredictability of having electricity and water.

“We work with really the poorest families in the world that don’t have shelters,” said Brett Hagler, founder and chief executive officer with the nonprofit organization New Story. It aims to bring 3-D-printed homes first to Latin America and then expand to other developing countries. Hagler notes that using innovation and new technology will change how homes are manufactured to meet the need for housing around the world.

“The magnitude of the problem that we face is so big, it’s about a billion people that don’t have one of life’s most basic human needs, and that’s safe shelter,” he said.

“What we really need for the size of the issue is exponential growth,” he added, “and that has to come through significantly decreasing cost, increasing speed while doing that without sacrificing quality.”

ICON says the 3-D printer is 4.5-meters tall, 9 meters wide and made of lightweight aluminum. ICON created the device, software and unique mortar material it describes as “proprietary small-aggregate cementitious material” used to print the house. The 3-D printer is transportable because homes are printed on site. Ballard said he can imagine having many 3-D printers scattered around the world making homes.

“It’s actually a lot more simple to build a printer than it is to build a house,” Ballard said.

This rendering shows how a 3-D printer can print homes and create communities. A construction company based in Austin, Texas, and New Story, a nonprofit that aims to end homelessness globally, have teamed up to provide safe, permanent shelters.
This rendering shows how a 3-D printer can print homes and create communities. A construction company based in Austin, Texas, and New Story, a nonprofit that aims to end homelessness globally, have teamed up to provide safe, permanent shelters.

Faster and cheaper

“We ran this printer at about a quarter speed to print this house, and we were able to complete the house in less than 48 hours of print time,” Ballard said.

At full speed it could be as little as 12 hours to print a house. Building a traditional New Story home would take 15 days.

“Instead of it taking about a year to build a community, we could do it in just a few months,” Hagler said.

A 3-D-printed home is also less expensive.

“Traditional style on a New Story home is about $6,500 per home. We believe over time, we can get the new home below $4,000,” Hagler said.

Ballard said the material used to print the home is another highlight to this innovative way of building the property.

“We believe the comfort and the energy dynamics of this building are actually going to be once again better than conventional buildings. These houses should be more comfortable and they should require less energy to stay comfortable.”

Ballard said that a 3-D-printed house, “is a complete paradigm shift that has unbelievable advantages in speed, affordability, resiliency, sustainability, waste reduction, you name it. This isn’t just a slight improvement. This is a revolutionary improvement that I think is going to be quite disruptive in the industry.”

This new building technology will be brought to the world’s poorest and underserved first. New Story is working with local nonprofits, governments and families to help fund these homes. The nonprofit plans to start printing homes in El Salvador this year.

The goal is to create permanent 3-D-printed homes and communities in developing countries and beyond that will last for generations.

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Also learn: Why Use Unify CRM.

https://www.voanews.com/a/three-d-printed-house-quick-cheap-solution-poor-worldwide/4301324.html?trk1&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=2018-03-16&utm_source=archives

Home prices will take a hit | North Salem Real Estate

Congressional Republicans reached a deal on a reconciled version of the House and Senate tax bills, and while experts are still sifting through the fine print to determine its potential impact, one thing seems clear: Home prices will take a hit.

This could be good news or bad news depending on whether you already own a house or are a prospective buyer, but a Moody’s Analytics report released Monday estimates that by the summer of 2019 home prices will be down nationally by 4 percent compared to where they’d be if no tax bill was passed.

To be clear: This doesn’t mean home prices will fall by 4 percent from where they are right now, but Moody’s estimates they’ll be 4 percent less in the future than they would be if current conditions held.

The drops are projected to hit hardest in markets where home prices are already high. East Coast cities like New York, Philadelphia, and Washington D.C. show heavy drops, as do West Coast cities, including San Francisco and Los Angeles. South Florida and a few cities in the Midwest also stand to see substantial drops.

The home-price drops are mostly the result of three key provision changes in the tax bill, which could be signed by President Trump as early as this week: the lowered cap on mortgage-interest deductions (MID), from $1 million to $750,000; the cap on state and local tax (SALT) deductions of $10,000; and the doubling of the standard deduction.

Currently, homeowners can deduct interest they pay on their homes and second homes on loans up to $1 million in value. While lowering the cap to $750,000 is a fairly modest measure—the House bill lowered it to $500,000, and the deduction’s many critics would like it repealed outright—it means wealthy homeowners in hot real estate markets are exposed to higher tax bills.

The same goes for SALT deductions. Currently, taxpayers can deduct what they pay in state and local property and income taxes from their federal returns. Under the new law, taxpayers can only claim a maximum of $10,000, although it can be any combination of income or property taxes. This hits high tax states like New York and New Jersey particularly hard.

Because the MID and SALT deductions are baked into the price of homes, eliminating or capping the deductions will inherently lower the value of homes that are particularly exposed to the MID cap or are in high tax areas.

The new standard deduction complicates things further. When taxpayers file federal returns, they have a choice between itemizing their deductions or taking the standard deduction. The new law will double the standard deduction from $6,350 to $12,000 for individuals and from $12,700 to $24,000 couples.

It doesn’t make sense for taxpayers to itemize unless their deductions are greater than the standard deduction, and with the standard deduction doubling, fewer taxpayers will itemize. This will lead to fewer people taking the MID and SALT deductions, further weakening their value and thus home prices.

A recent Zillow report showed that under current law, roughly 44 percent of homes were worth enough to justify itemizing and taking the MID. Under the new law, only 14.4 percent are worth it.

 

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https://www.curbed.com/2017/12/18/16791532/tax-bill-home-prices-drop

5 Signs Your Bathroom is Outdated | North Salem Real Estate

Plus, 5 Ways to Make it Wow in the Now

Some old bathrooms are charming; claw foot tubs, sea foam tiles and pretty pedestal sinks can bring an amazing vintage vibe. Other old bathrooms are not so charming; they just look sad and out of date. If you’re brushing your teeth under Hollywood bulbs; bathing in a jetted, almond-colored tub; or storing your toiletries in an oak-encrusted medicine cabinet, there’s a good chance your bathroom’s among the latter.

Not sure where your bathroom stands? Here are a few signs that your bathroom could use an update:

1. Unfit Flooring

If you’ve got carpet in your bathroom, it’s time to replace it. Bathroom flooring is meant to endure years of heavy moisture and foot traffic. Not only is carpet susceptible to moisture damage and mold, but it also collects bacteria from your toilet. Gross.

The fix? Swap out sullied carpeting for large-format tiles in ceramic or natural stone. Or, consider hot trends like patterned tiles or laminates and ceramics that look like hardwood flooring.  You may also want to look into a  handicap accessible bathroom design, that way the bathroom is usable for everyone. Then, get that cozy carpet feel with a machine-washable bath mat.

2. Comatose Countertops

Boring old countertops can really drag a bathroom down — and rounded, mega-mauve countertops like these are a telltale sign that your bathroom saw its heyday in the 1990s.

The fix? Ditch the flat Formicas in favor of natural stone, engineered quartz or an up-to-date solid surface. Or, consider painting your countertops for a real budget-friendly solution. The key to modernizing your bathroom countertops is to focus on clean lines and earthy, neutral colors and textures.

3. Glaring Glamour Bulbs

Exposed bulbs were once the telltale sign of a glamorous bathroom upgrade. These days, they’re just the telltale sign of a dated space.

The fix? Updating your lighting is one of the cheapest and easiest ways to modernize your bathroom. Renew your vanity lighting with a pair of LED sconces placed on either side of the bathroom mirror. Or, install an updated bathroom bar that includes a white or frosted shade for each bulb to soften the light.

4. Unfashionable Fixtures and Accessories
Dull, clear-knobbed brass faucets; plate mirrors; and bathroom fixtures in beige, bisque and bone are anything but current — and industry experts are even declaring whirlpool bathtubs to be past their prime.

The fix? Think clean and crisp. White fixtures; framed mirrors; and sleek faucets in chrome, nickel or gold will go a long way in helping you modernize an outdated bathroom. And, if you’ve got the room and the budget to swap your old bathtub for a deep, free-standing soaker, you’ll create the kind of modern bathroom oasis that will impress and inspire your neighbors and friends.

5. Overworked Oak

There’s no denying the fact that golden-toned oak had a respectable run as the go-to bathroom cabinet material, but there’s also no denying the fact that the reign is over. And, if you’ve got old oak in your bathroom, there’s a good chance it’s looking a little worse for wear anyhow.

The fix? There are a number of ways to update tired bathroom cabinets, whether they’re made of oak or another material altogether. The first is paint; refacing your cabinets can give your bathroom a whole new look and feel at a far lower price point than an all-out replacement. The second option is to spring for new cabinets. In either case, think maximum storage in simple design — and opt for whites, refined neutrals and up-to-date wood finishes.

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https://www.homeadvisor.com/r/marketing/bathroom-outdated/?m=homesense&entry_point_id=32929273&comm_auth_dt=201711261455&comm_auth_id=respcons&entityID=13373861&comm_auth_hash=603ea0342f09a08ffcb094fd607bdaf1&rmid=11-24-2017_Outdated_Bathroom_HOLDOUT&rrid=aWQ9MTMzNzM4NjE=

Real Estate Prices Stay Strong in Westchester | North Salem Real Estate

WESTCHESTER COUNTY, NY — Real estate sales in the lower Hudson Valley slowed a little in the third quarter of 2017, according to a report from the Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors. That is because prospective homebuyers were operating in a market that has seen reductions in the supply of for-sale housing over the past four years.

In terms of price, the market is still strong.

“The 2017 year to date sales figures continue to trend significantly higher than the previous year for most of the lower Hudson region,” they said. (For more stories on local real estate, sign up for Patch’sdaily newsletter, news alerts and updates.)

Meanwhile, the double-digit percentage rate of shrinking inventory is continuing, HGAR officials said: down 16 percent in Orange, 16 percent in Putnam, 15 percent in Rockland and 8 percent in Westchester as compared to third quarter 2016.

They predicted the market will remain vibrant, citing . conditions including attractive mortgage rates, high employment and a healthy economy.

 

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https://patch.com/new-york/peekskill/real-estate-prices-stay-strong-westchester-county