Tag Archives: Armonk NY Luxury Homes

Armonk NY Luxury Homes

Is now really the time to invest in Real Estate? | Armonk Real Estate

According to a recent survey conducted by Better Homes and Gardens® Real Estate, as many as 89 percent of U.S. investors would strongly consider pursuing real estate as part of a broader investment strategy.

The same study, which was also cited by the National Mortgage Professional’s Magazine, goes on to reveal an even higher percentage of millennial investors — 96% — expressed interest in purchasing real estate for investment purposes. So I thought it would be nice to investigate these claims to find out why this does or does not represent sound strategy.

There are a myriad of reasons to invest in real estate. Likewise, there must be plenty of reasons not to invest. Let’s take a look.

Real Estate Investing: The Pros

  • The timing may be ripe. Given the uncertainty surrounding the upcoming elections, many investment managers are predicting a volatile stock market; this is regardless of who sits in the Oval Office, this January.
  • Hefty Earnings potential. When you reach the level of competence necessary to complete a deal on your own without making mistakes your earnings potential will soar.
  • You call the shots. As a real estate investor, you’re ultimately accountable to you and your checkbook. Of course, you will need to stay on top of your local coding regulations and ordinances. But once you get the hang of it, you really shouldn’t have any problems with ordinances.
  • Nurture your inner builder. Getting into the residential investment business entails lots of renovation work. As such, you can certainly expect to play with your fair share of power tools. Of course, if your favorite pastime is catching re-runs of ‘This Old House’, you probably already love using these tools. Perhaps this explains why so many contractors wind up investing in real estate.
  • A ‘hands on’ investment. Real estate investing is unique in that it’s almost as much a career or a way of life as it is a form of investing. Indeed, the fact that real estate is involves so much sweat equity makes it unique among other investments.

That notwithstanding, the hands-on aspect of buying and rehabbing homes is also why you’ll face less competition from investors than you might expect in stocks or bonds.

Real Estate Investing: The Cons

  • Substantial risk involved. The business side of real estate investing is fraught with risk. Unlike purchasing mutual funds or savings bonds, with real estate you can lose money; this is one of the reasons that seasoned real estate investors caution neophytes never to get too emotional about a property and always be willing to walk away.
  • You could pay dearly for your mistakes. Another thing that’s so different about real estate is that you pay dearly for your errors in this field. For example, if you sign a deal only to realize afterward that the numbers don’t add up – walking away is not always an option.
  • Requires a significant investment. Don’t let the late night infomercials fool you. It takes serious resources to pull off a successful real estate deal from start to finish. Hence, it’s important that you have a plan and stick to it, going into every investment.
  • Demands a well-defined skill set. For anyone used to going into the office every day and ‘punching the clock’, real estate can be a daunting field. Namely, because it requires the investor to become proficient in activities that you may not be accustomed to doing on a daily basis.

So these are the pluses and minuses. As prohibitive as the potential drawbacks might be, real estate still has the potential to offer substantial dividends – both in the form of financial rewards and in the satisfaction that comes from building something with your hands.

Hence, if you’re willing to learn the ropes and put in the effort, you should find your goals very attainable.

Should You Decide to Take the Plunge Know This

  • If you do choose to invest in real estate, don’t go in blind. Prepare a road map first. Determine what it will take to accomplish your goals for each property beforehand; this includes finances, materials, personnel planning, etc. Upon completing your plan be sure to meet with the concerned parties.
  • Always expect the unexpected. When meeting with sellers, buyers or investors be sure to expect the best but plan for the worse. There’s always the potential that the deal may fall through. Doing so will help put all other parties at ease while preventing you from getting too emotionally invested.
  • Find a good CPA and attorney. While you may already be familiar with accounting and various legalities, it helps to have a professional on speed dial in case a problem that you aren’t familiar with crops up.

It’s important to point out that I’m not here to advise you one way or another, as it relates to whether to invest in real estate or not. My job is to bring you the facts and let you decide what to do with them. That said, now that we’ve covered the advantages and disadvantages of real estate investing, what do you think?

read more…

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/is-now-really-the-time-to-invest-in-real-estate_us_57f6477de4b0568704999ef7

House Prices to Median Household Income | Armonk Real Estate

The Census Bureau released the Income, Poverty and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2015 this morning. The report showed a significant increase in the real median household income and a decline in poverty.  For an overview, see from Nick Timiraos and Janet Adamy at the WSJ: U.S. Household Incomes Surged 5.2% in 2015, First Gain Since 2007 and from Jason Furman, Sandra Black, and Matt Fiedler at the CEA: Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance in the United States in 2015

One of the metrics to follow is a ratio of house prices to incomes.   The following graphs use annual averages of house prices indexes – Case-Shiller and CoreLogic – and the nominal median household income (and the mean for the fourth fifth income) through 2015.

Note: Most reporting today is on the REAL median household income (adjusted for inflation over time).  These graphs use nominal income since we are comparing to nominal house prices.

House Prices and Median Household IncomeClick on graph for larger image.

This graph shows the ratio of house price indexes divided by the Median Household Income through 2015 (the HPI is first multiplied by 1000).

This uses the annual average CoreLogic and the National Case-Shiller index since 1976.

As of 2015, house prices were above the median historical ratio – but far below the bubble peak.

The second graph is similar but uses the mean of the fourth fifth household income (if we separate households into fifths, this is the second highest income group).

House Prices and WagesThese are key households since they are more likely to be homeowners (and home buyers).

Using this group, prices are well below the bubble peak.

Going forward, I think it would be a positive if incomes outpaced house prices, or at least kept pace with house prices increases for a few years.

 

read more…

 

http://www.calculatedriskblog.com/

Local Market Conditions Shape How Interest Rates Impact Prices | Armonk Real Estate

Local market conditions raging from supply and demand to local population growth have a substantial impact on how federal monetary policy affects home prices, according to new study to be published in the Journal of Housing Economics next month.

Motivated by the fact that the period of house price inflation prior to the economic downturn in 2008-9 was characterized by significant differences in inflation rates across markets, economists at the Swiss Institute of Banking and Finance and Middle Tennessee State University found that the vast differences in home price inflation rates experienced at the local level, especially before 2006, can be tied to differences in local demand and supply conditions that systematically and predictably cause monetary policy to different local consequences.

‘Why did we see so very different house price inflation rates across MSAs when all MSAs are subject to the same federal funds rate in a highly integrated financial market?2 The key point of this study is to show empirically that the vast differences in home price inflation rates experienced at the MSA level, especially prior to 2006, can be tied to differences in local demand and supply conditions that systematically and predictably cause monetary policy to have rather different consequences at the local level.3

Local population growth is a key demand side factor and the percentage of undevelopable land a primary supply side factor that determine how national monetary policy impacts house price inflation rates at the MSA level. the study found. MSAs with a high share of undevelopable land or strong population growth are far more prone to experience house price inflation from a reduction in the federal funds rate than MSAs without those characteristics.

A higher quality of life, by contrast, appears to moderate the impact of a change in the federal funds rate on house price inflation. For the larger set of MSAs contained in the FHFA data set, there is evidence that large values for land use restrictions and high income growth during the period before the house price crash in 2007-8 are also important to explain a strong response of MSAs to changes in monetary policy.

 

read more…

 

http://www.realestateeconomywatch.com/2016/02/local-market-conditions-shape-how-interest-rates-impact-prices/

Bidding wars return to home market | Armonk Real Estate

Christina and Kevin Dirks have been searching for a house in the Denver area for four months at prices up to $275,000. They made offers on six homes—and were outbid on each one.

“When we first started looking, you had to pay $10,000 over” list price to win the bidding, Ms. Dirks said. “Then, as the weeks went by, it went up to $20,000. And now it’s up to $30,000 and $40,000.”

Ms. Dirks, a 28-year-old office coordinator, said she and her husband, a 30-year-old merchandiser, hope that as the market slows down this winter, “people will put a halt on being so crazy.”

Bidding wars, a hallmark of last decade’s housing boom, are making a comeback in a number of metro areas across the U.S. But while the earlier wars reflected enthusiasm fueled by easy-money mortgages, the current froth stems from a market short of homes for sale.

The reasons for the scant supply are myriad, including a much-slower-than-expected recovery in home construction. Yet an equally significant problem is that millions of people aren’t listing their homes for sale because they suspect they can’t qualify for a new mortgage, can’t afford the costs associated with a sale or fear that they won’t prevail in the scrum for the few houses available.

At the end of May, there were 2.3 million existing U.S. homes for sale, enough supply to last 5.1 months at the current sales pace. That is below the six to seven months of supply that the National Association of Realtors says is needed for a balanced market.

But in more than one-third of the 300 largest metropolitan areas tracked by Realtor.com, homes listed for sale in June had been on the market for a median of less than two months. A low median figure indicates rapid turnover in inventory as demand for homes exceeds supply.

Those include big markets like San Francisco, with a median time on market of 27 days, and Dallas at 38 days, as well as smaller markets like Vallejo, Calif., at 26 days and Kennewick, Wash., at 36 days.

The tightest market in June was Santa Rosa, Calif., a relatively affordable Bay Area suburb, where the median time a home was on the market was 24 days.

In those markets with limited supply, bidding wars tend to push prices higher, creating price bubbles. According to Realtor.com, the $580,000 median listing price in Santa Rosa is up nearly 10% from a year ago. That handily outpaces the national average increase in resale prices, which the National Association of Realtors calculates at 7.9%. Realtor.com is operated by Move Inc., which like The Wall Street Journal is owned by News Corp.

The low supply of homes reflects a reluctance or inability of owners to sell their current house or apartment and trade up to their next, often larger, one. Some remain skittish about the economy, their own finances or their ability to qualify for a mortgage. Others can’t sell because they are underwater, meaning they owe more on their mortgages than the homes are worth.

Even though U.S. home prices are up 31% in the past five years, 15.4% of homes—an estimated 7.9 million—remained underwater in the first quarter, according to real estate website Zillow. The long term average is 3% to 5%, Zillow says. These owners can’t sell unless they have thousands, sometimes tens of thousands, of dollars on hand to pay the shortfall on their old mortgage and finance costs of selling and moving.

Another pressure on housing inventories is growth in U.S. household formation. The U.S. added roughly 1.5 million households in the first quarter from a year earlier, though almost all were formed by renters.

 

read more…

 

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/bidding-wars-return-home-market-000700177.html

Mortgage Rates drop again | Armonk Real Estate

Freddie Mac today released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey® (PMMS®), showing average fixed mortgage rates falling for the third consecutive week as bond yields continued to drop despite a strong employment report. Averaging 3.66 percent, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is at its lowest level since the week ending May 23, 2013 when it averaged 3.59 percent. This also marks the first time the 15-year fixed rate mortgage has fallen below 3 percent since the week ending May 30, 2013.

News Facts

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 3.66 percent with an average 0.6 point for the week ending January 15, 2014, down from last week when it averaged 3.73 percent. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 4.41 percent.
  • 15-year FRM this week averaged 2.98 percent with an average 0.5 point, down from last week when it averaged 3.05 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 3.45 percent.
  • 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 2.90 percent this week with an average 0.4 point, down from last week when it averaged 2.98 percent. A year ago, the 5-year ARM averaged 3.10 percent.
  • 1-year Treasury-indexed ARM averaged 2.37 percent this week with an average 0.4 point, down from last week when it averaged 2.39 percent. At this time last year, the 1-year ARM averaged 2.56 percent.

Average commitment rates should be reported along with average fees and points to reflect the total upfront cost of obtaining the mortgage. Visit the following links for theRegional and National Mortgage Rate Details and Definitions. Borrowers may still pay closing costs which are not included in the survey.

Quotes
Attributed to Frank Nothaft, vice president and chief economist, Freddie Mac.

“Mortgage rates fell for the third consecutive week as oil prices plummeted and long term treasury yields continued to drop despite a strong employment report. The economy exceeded expectations by adding 252,000 jobs in December which followed an upward revision of 50,000 jobs to the prior two months. The unemployment rate fell to 5.6 percent which was the lowest since June 2008.”

Dick Clark’s unbelievable Flintstones-style house finally sells at half off | Armonk Real Estate

Clark's wife would join him for a kiss at midnight for his famous New Year's Rockin' Eve bashes in New York. Here, they're ringing in 2009.

Clark’s wife would join him for a kiss at midnight for his famous New Year’s Rockin’ Eve bashes in New York. Here, …

CLICK ANY PHOTO FOR A SLIDESHOW.

After almost three years, the “romantic getaway” that TV legend Dick Clark and his wife built on a hilltop in Malibu, California — the house that so many people have likened to the architecture of “The Flintstones” — has finally sold.

It went for an appropriately eccentric $1,777,777,reported our friends at Trulia.

Clark and his wife, Kari, were married at 7 p.m. on July 7, 1977 (7/7/77), in a ceremony that supposedly lasted 17 minutes and had seven guests. And he is said to have had a post office box numbered 7777.

The house sold for just a hair over half the initial asking price of $3.5 million.

Yahoo Homes spoke to the listing agent, Diane Carter of Coldwell Banker, earlier this year, when the price was cut to $3 million. She said the Clarks built it in 1988 as a “romantic getaway.” The couple listed it in March 2012, not long before the TV host died at age 82.

 

read more…

 

https://homes.yahoo.com/blogs/spaces/unbelievable–flintstones–style-house-built-by-dick-clark-finally-sells-192310144.html

Symmetry Can Rescue Your Room | Armonk Real Estate

Human faces, snowflakes, violins, the Eiffel Tower — so much of our world is symmetrical, it’s no wonder the eye is drawn to things with a mirror-image quality, including interiors. No matter your decor style, embracing symmetry can help your space look its best. Whether you’re bringing grandeur to a small space or doing more with your art collection, here are 10 reasons to work symmetry into your rooms.

Tankless Water Heaters | Armonk Homes

Several months after my husband and I and our two kids moved from the US to a space-efficient flat in London, I dragged our contractor into the back of one of our bathrooms to show him a strange, small silver box mounted on the wall and asked if he could remove it. “Not a good idea,” he said. “It’s your water heater.”

Long favored in Japan and Europe where square footage is at a premium, tankless water heaters provide hot water on demand when you need it. According to the EPA, residential electric water heaters are the second highest energy users in American households: “The energy consumed by your refrigerator, dishwasher, clothes washer, and dryer combined use less energy than your current standard water heater.” Tankless water heaters offer big savings in energy use and space. The question is: Can these little units cater to the water heating needs of larger homes? Read our primer to find out if a tankless water heater should be on your house remodeling or tank replacement short list.

Michaelis Boyd Architects Bathroom, Remodelista

Michaelis Boyd Architects Bathroom, Remodelista

Above: A London bathroom by Michaelis Boyd Architects.

With the help of a demure tankless water heater that barely took up any space in our London flat, four of us bathed, showered, washed clothes, and otherwise ran hot water without ever experiencing shortages or wars over water pressure.

What is a tankless water heater and how does is work?

Unlike standard water heaters that keep water hot and ready for use at all times in insulated 20- to 80-gallon tanks, tankless models don’t store hot water, they heat on demand. When a hot water tap is turned on, cold water runs through a pipe into the unit where a flow sensor turns on a gas burner or an electric element to heat the water to the desired temperature. When the hot water tap is closed, the flow sensor turns off the burner.

Tankless Water Heater Diagram, Remodelista

Tankless Water Heater Diagram, Remodelista

Above: The inner workings of a gas-powered tankless water heater. Image via Better Water Heaters.

How are tankless water heaters powered?

Tankless water heaters can be fueled by gas (natural or propane) or electricity. Gas-powered units require venting (just like standard tank heaters). Most gas models also have electronic controls, so an electric outlet is needed. Full electric tankless heaters don’t need venting but have minimum voltage and AMP requirements—consult a professional to be sure your power is adequate.

Steibel Tempra Plus Electric Tankless Water Heater, Remodelista

Steibel Tempra Plus Electric Tankless Water Heater, Remodelista

Above: The Steibel Tempra Plus Whole-House Electric Tankless Water Heater doesn’t require venting, which allows for location flexibility.

Are there different types of tankless water heaters?

Two types of heaters are generally offered: whole house and point of use. Whole-house systems are powerful enough to generate hot water at flow rates to serve a household. Point-of-use units have low flow rates and are designed to supply hot water for a single appliance or location. These compact contraptions are typically installed directly adjacent to wherever they’re needed, such as under a sink; they’re most often used to augment a system when instant or additional hot water is needed.

How much hot water can a tankless heater generate?

Unlike standard water heaters, which draw on reserves, tankless water heaters provide a continuous supply of hot water. Sound too good to be true? Well, sort of. While the stream of hot water is unlimited, tankless models can only heat and deliver water at a certain flow rate. That output, or capacity, is measured in gallons per minute (gpm). So, while a tankless water heater won’t “run out” of hot water like a storage tank can, there may be an issue of not being able to pump out enough hot water for multiple uses at the same time. 

read more…

https://homes.yahoo.com/news/remodeling-101-tankless-water-heaters-090000458.html

Huge Downward Revision In August New Home Sales | Armonk Real Estate

New home sales were flat in September after a big downward revision to August’s report.

New home sales rose 0.2% to an annualized pace of 467,000 in September, while August’s blowout number was revised down to a pace of 466,000 from a prior report of 504,000.

Expectations were for new home sales to fall 6.8% in September to an annualized selling rate of 470,000, down from August’s 18% increase to an annualized rate of 504,000.

According to the latest report from the Census, the median home sales price in September was $259,000 and the average was $313,200.

The report also showed that the current rate of sales represents 5.3 months supply at the current sales rate.

In a note to clients following the report, Ian Shepherdson at Pantheon Macro wrote, “I n one line: Revisions mean no clear breakout from the range yet.”

Shepherdson added, ”  Given the size and frequency of large revisions to the data, we wonder why the numbers are published so early; they’d be much more reliable if  they were released with a longer delay. Taking the revisions into account, we cannot now say with any conviction that sales have broken definitively above the 400-to-460K trend in place since late 2012, though the rebound in the NAHB survey over the summer suggests it is just a matter of time.”

 

read more….

 

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/comes-home-sales-133706795.html

How Rare are Housing Bubbles? | #Armonk Real Estate

Do house prices experience periodic bull and bear markets like the stock market?  Or are they stable in real (inflation-adjusted) terms most of the time, with big disruptions once or twice in a century?  Two popular house price series tell these very different stories.  Knowing which is better will lead to superior investment outcomes and improved policy decisions.

Karl (Chip) Case, of Wellesley College, and the Nobel Prize-winning Yale professor Robert Shiller, have constructed the most widely-known suite of indices, which are now part of the S&P index family. Here is the Case-Shiller national house price index in real terms from 1890 through December 2013:

Figure 1
Case-Shiller National House Price Index in Constant Dollars, 1890-2013

Housing bubbles

Source: http://www.multpl.com/case-shiller-home-price-index-inflation-adjusted/

And here is a house price series distributed by the data firm of Crandall, Pierce & Co., consisting of the median new home sales price in constant dollars collected by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. (For brevity, we call this the “Crandall” series.)

Figure 2
Crandall, Pierce Median New Home Sale Prices in Constant Dollars, March 1963-March 2014.03

Housing bubbles

Source: Crandall, Pierce & Co., Libertyville, IL.  Reprinted with permission.

Could any two charts describing the same underlying phenomenon look more different?  In the Case-Shiller chart, there was one great bear market in the last 50 years, from late 2006 to early 2012, following a massive price expansion or bubble.1

In the Crandall chart, however, bull and bear markets have alternated in a remarkably regular pattern.  All of the bear markets represent losses of roughly 20%, with the crash of 2008-2011 only a little worse than the three other housing bear markets that occurred in 1968-1970, 1979-1982, and 1988-1992.  The Crandall chart also shows real prices rising pretty smartly – 1.35% per year – while the Case-Shiller chart shows a much slower rise.

Note that the two price series do not purport to measure the same thing.  The Crandall data are for new houses only; the Case-Shiller data are intended to reflect the entire stock of housing capital.2 The Crandall data are for a median house, the size and quality of which are constantly changing; Case and Shiller explicitly adjust for changes in the size and quality of a house. There are many other differences, so it’s understandable that the two series disagree somewhat – but they’re both intended to track house prices, so the contrast between them is striking and troubling.

 

 

read more….

 

 

http://www.valuewalk.com/2014/09/rare-housing-bubbles/