Tag Archives: #ArmonkNY

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?

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

Freddie Mac real estate outlook | Armonk Real Estate

Freddie Mac (OTCQB: FMCC) released today its monthly Outlook for October showing that housing remains a bright spot in the face of a marginally improving U.S. economy and tight inventories of for-sale homes. However, mortgage activity, which has benefited greatly from low mortgage rates post-Brexit, is starting to see a slowdown in refinance activity that will persist into next year as the mortgage market transitions to a purchase-dominated mix.

Outlook Highlights

  • Continued strength in consumer spending and a reduction in the drag from inventory spending should boost second half growth, resulting in full-year 2016 GDP growth of 1.6 percent. The economy should do modestly better in 2017, posting 1.9 percent year-over-year growth.
  • A mature expansion operating near full employment only needs to generate enough jobs to keep the unemployment rate steady. Expect the unemployment rate to decline slightly over the next year-and-a-half, ending 2017 at 4.7 percent.
  • Even if worldwide bond yields recover to the pre-Brexit status quo, mortgage interest rates are likely to remain low for an extended period. Expect a gradual rise in rates throughout the remainder of 2016 and into 2017, with the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaging 3.9 percent in the fourth quarter of 2017.
  • Don’t expect much increase in total home sales going forward with a slight decline in seasonally-adjusted sales in the fourth quarter. Next year, rising new home sales driven by increases in new single-family housing construction will push total home sales slightly higher, to 6.16 million in 2017 compared to 6.04 million in 2016.
  • Forecasting house prices will grow at a 5.6 percent annual rate in 2016, moderating to 4.7 percent in 2017.

Quote: Attributed to Sean Becketti, Chief Economist, Freddie Mac.

“The economy and labor markets are looking better. We’re even seeing modest wage gains. And Fed watchers are increasingly predicting a December rate hike as things improve. However, worldwide economic growth is weak and its prospects have gotten worse. This may all sound familiar because we’ve been here before… last year.

“As the economy sputters along a little bit faster than stall speed, the U.S. housing market continues to be a bright spot, though there’s less room to run than in the prior few years. Unlike new home sales, existing home sales have nearly recovered back to pre-recession norms. Regardless, we see new home sales improving some next year driven by increases in new single-family housing construction which will push total home sales slightly higher.”

 

 

 

 

Remodeling: 2016 Cost vs Value Report | Armonk Real Estate

This site compares average cost for 30 popular remodeling projects with the value those projects retain at resale in 100 U.S. markets. Check out this year’s trends and how they compare to prior years.
Midrange
2016 National Averages
PROJECT
JOB COST
RESALE VALUE
COST RECOUPED
CHANGE VS 2015
Attic Insulation (fiberglass) $1,268 $1,482 116.9%
Backup Power Generator $12,712 $7,556 59.4%
Basement Remodel $68,490 $48,194 70.4%
Bathroom Addition $42,233 $23,727 56.2%
Bathroom Remodel $17,908 $11,769 65.7%
Deck Addition (composite) $16,798 $10,819 64.4%
Deck Addition (wood) $10,471 $7,850 75.0%
Entry Door Replacement (fiberglass) $3,126 $2,574 82.3%
Entry Door Replacement (steel) $1,335 $1,217 91.1%
Family Room Addition $86,615 $58,807 67.9%
Garage Door Replacement $1,652 $1,512 91.5%
Major Kitchen Remodel $59,999 $38,938 64.9%
Manufactured Stone Veneer $7,519 $6,988 92.9%
Master Suite Addition $115,810 $74,224 64.1%
Minor Kitchen Remodel $20,122 $16,716 83.1%
Roofing Replacement $20,142 $14,446 71.7%
Siding Replacement $14,100 $10,857 77.0%
Two-Story Addition $171,056 $118,555 69.3%
Upscale
2016 National Averages
PROJECT
JOB COST
RESALE VALUE
COST RECOUPED
CHANGE VS 2015
Bathroom Addition $79,380 $45,006 56.7%
Bathroom Remodel $57,411 $32,998 57.5%
Deck Addition (composite) $37,943 $21,877 57.7%
Garage Door Replacement $3,140 $2,830 90.1%
Grand Entrance (fiberglass) $7,971 $5,545 69.6%
Major Kitchen Remodel $119,909 $73,707 61.5%
Master Suite Addition $245,474 $140,448 57.2%
Window Replacement (vinyl) $14,725 $10,794 73.3%
Window Replacement (wood) $18,087 $13,050 72.1%
read more…
http://www.remodeling.hw.net/cost-vs-value/2016/

U.S. single-family housing starts hit 9-year high | Armonk Real Estate

Construction on new houses rose in February to a five-month high, led by the biggest increase in single-family units in nine years.

Housing starts climbed 5.2% last month to an annual pace of 1.18 million, the Commerce Department said Wednesday. Economists polled by MarketWatch had expected starts to rise at a seasonally adjusted 1.15 million rate.

The faster pace of construction signals that housing will remain one of the best-performing segments of the U.S. economy and help underpin growth in 2016. A surge in new hiring over the past several years has created an expanding pool of potential homeowners who can benefit from ultra-low interest rates.

“Housing continues to be a bright spot for the US economy,” said Steve Blitz, chief economist at ITG Investment Research.

The pickup in construction last month was centered on single-family homes.

Single-family starts jumped 7.2% to an annual rate of 822,000. That’s the highest level since November 2007, one month before the Great Recession started.

Builders were especially busy in the West, where starts hit a nine-year peak. New construction in the Midwest reached the highest level in 1½ years.

Little letup is likely, either. Permits for new construction, a sign of future demand, rose 3.2% to an annual rate of 1.17 million. Permits are running 6.3% above year-ago levels.

Permits for single-family homes, which account for about three-quarters of the housing market, edged up slightly last month and remain near a postrecession high.

 

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http://www.marketwatch.com/story/us-single-family-housing-starts-hit-9-year-high-2016-03-16?siteid=bnbh

30 Year Mortgage Rates Rise to 3.98% | Armonk Real Estate

Freddie today released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey® (PMMS®), showing average fixed mortgage rates rising amid continued market expectations of a possible rate increase by the Federal Reserve and following a stronger than expected jobs report.

News Facts

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 3.98 percent with an average 0.6 point for the week endingNovember 12, 2015, up from last week when it averaged 3.87 percent. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 4.01 percent.
  • 15-year FRM this week averaged 3.20 percent with an average 0.6 point, up from last week when it averaged 3.09 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 3.20 percent.
  • 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 3.03 percent this week with an average 0.4 point, up from last week when it averaged 2.96 percent. A year ago, the 5-year ARM averaged 3.02 percent.
  • 1-year Treasury-indexed ARM averaged 2.65 percent this week with an average 0.2 point, up from 2.62 percent last week. At this time last year, the 1-year ARM averaged 2.43 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 the Regional and National Mortgage Rate Details and Definitions. Borrowers may still pay closing costs which are not included in the survey.

As of January 1, 2016, the PMMS will no longer provide results for the 1-year ARM or the regional breakouts for the 30-year and 15-year fixed rate mortgages, or the 5/1 Hybrid ARM.

Quote
Attributed to Sean Becketti, chief economist, Freddie Mac.

“A surprisingly strong October jobs report showed 271,000 jobs added and wage growth of 0.4 percent from last month, exceeding many experts’ expectations. The positive employment reports pushed Treasury yields to about 2.3 percent as investors responded by placing a higher likelihood on a December rate hike. Mortgage rates followed with the 30-year jumping 11 basis points to 3.98 percent, the highest since July. There is only one more employment report before the December FOMC meeting, which will have major implications on whether we see a rate hike in 2015.”

Pending #Homes Sales Down Again | Armonk Real Estate

Although the Pending Home Sales Index decreased for the second consecutive month in September to its second lowest reading in 2015, the PHSI has increased year-over-year for 13 consecutive months. The Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI), a forward-looking indicator based on signed contracts reported by theNational Association of Realtors (NAR), decreased 2.3% in September to 106.8 from a downwardly revised 109.3 in August. However, the PHSI is up 3.0% from September a year ago.

Pending Home Sales September 2015

The PHSI declined in all four regions in September, ranging from 0.2% in the West to 4.0% in the Northeast. Year- over-year, The West, Midwest and Northeast were up, ranging from 6.6% in the West to 3.9% in the Northeast. The South reported a small 0.1% decline from last September.

Although the PHSI declined the past two months, existing sales increased in September. Coming just three days after a surprisingly weak new home sales report for September, NAR attributed the PHSI decline to the “stubbornly-low inventory.” However, disappointing job creation numbers in August and September suggest the decline is a demand-side issue. Despite these recent reports, builder confidence reached its highest level in ten years, painting the prospect of a good year for builders in 2016.

 

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http://eyeonhousing.org/2015/10/pending-sales-down-again/

Move up Buyers Move the Housing Markets | Armonk Real Estate

Purchases by current homeowners helped bolster home prices in August, according to results from the latest Campbell/Inside Mortgage Finance HousingPulse Tracking Survey.

“Current homeowner purchases are supporting the housing market,” said Tom Popik, research director for Campbell Surveys. “Metrics such as the sales-to-list price ratio show a strong housing market, particularly in western states. Nonetheless, forward-looking commentary from real estate agents may indicate some softening in the future.”

The market share for current homebuyers surged in the summer while the first-time homebuyer share declined. Current homeowners accounted for 49.3% of purchases in August, based on a three-month moving average after hitting a 12-month low of 44.9% in March.

The first-time homebuyer share was 38.3% in May – a level not seen since 2010. But higher home prices and seasonal patterns combined to push the first-time buyer share down to 36.4% in August. The investor share of home purchases has also fallen from 18.7% in March to 14.4% in August. NAR’s Realtor Confidence Index reported a 32 percent share for first-timers in August, up from 28 percent in July.

2015-09-25_10-10-31Source: NAR’s Realtor Confidence Report, August 2015

The sales-to-list price ratio for non-distressed properties declined modestly in August (to 98.3%) compared with the previous month (98.5%) but remained above the level seen in August 2014 (97.5%). All three states on the west coast maintained sales-to-list price ratios above 100% in August, led by California at 102.2%.

The median existing–home price for all housing types in August was $228,700, which is 4.7 percent above August 2014 ($218,400). August’s price increase marks the 42nd consecutive month of year–over–year gains.

The average time on market for non-distressed properties continued to decline in August, hitting 7.9 weeks compared with an average of 8.2 weeks the previous month and 8.6 weeks in August 2014. Non-distressed properties sold in the Pacific Northwest in August were on the market for an average of 4.5 weeks. NAR reported that properties typically stayed on the market for 47 days in August, an increase from 42 days in July but below the 53 days in August 2014. Forty percent of homes sold in August were on the market for less than a month.

 

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http://www.realestateeconomywatch.com/2015/09/move-up-buyers-move-the-housing-markets/

30 Year Mortgage Rates average 3.91% | Armonk Real Estate

Freddie Mac (OTCQB: FMCC) today released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey® (PMMS®), showing average fixed mortgage rates largely unchanged ahead of the Federal Open Market Committee’s vote on an interest-rate increase for the first time in more than nine years.

News Facts

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 3.91 percent with an average 0.6 point for the week ending September 17, 2015, up from last week when it averaged 3.90 percent. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 4.23 percent.
  • 15-year FRM this week averaged 3.11 percent with an average 0.6 point, up from last week when it averaged 3.10 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 3.37 percent.
  • 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 2.92 percent this week with an average 0.5 point, up from last week when it averaged 2.91 percent. A year ago, the 5-year ARM averaged 3.06 percent.
  • 1-year Treasury-indexed ARM averaged 2.56 percent this week with an average 0.2 point, down from last week when it averaged 2.63 percent. At this time last year, the 1-year ARM averaged 2.43 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.

Quote
Attributed to Sean Becketti, chief economist, Freddie Mac.

“The Treasury market was relatively quiet this week, and as a result the 30-year mortgage rate barely budged. Inflation fell shy of expectations in August, up 0.2 percent over the past year, but core consumer prices increased 1.8 percent year-over-year. Low mortgage rates help to support housing markets, which continue to bring good news. The National Association of Home Builders’ HMI came in above expectations at 62, which is a ten year high.”

Obama calls Westchester County housing racist | Armonk Real Estate

The Obama administration’s heavy-handed attempts at social engineering just moved to a disturbing new level — right in Westchester.

The Justice Department wants the county held in contempt of court, fined $60,000 a month and forced to set up an escrow account of $1.65 million — in a move growing out of its longstanding claim that the county’s housing policies are racist.

It’s a preposterous claim, of course. And Friday, County Executive Rob Astorino holds a press conference to decry it.

Good for him. Because the move is based on a technicality, and it actually says more about Team Obama’s overreach than about anything the county has or hasn’t done.

The Justice Department’s claim focuses on 28 units of “affordable” housing that are to be built in downtown Chappaqua, home of Hillary Clinton. Under a 2009 consent decree, Westchester agreed to build 750 units in wealthy, largely white towns and to “market them aggressively” to non-whites. Financing for the first 450 units was to have been approved by the end of last year.

Westchester actually met that deadline — but the feds disqualified the Chappaqua project anyway, because the town hadn’t yet issued all required permits by Dec. 31. And because Astorino’s office, the feds say, didn’t ride roughshod over the town and bully it into submission.

Let’s be honest: For years, the administration has been trying to, as one official put it, “remove zip codes in the quality of life in America.” Meaning anyone should be able to live anywhere, even if they can’t afford it.

Its legal case is based on the dubious notion of “disparate impact” — statistical differences by race without any specific proof of actual discrimination.

Want more evidence Justice’s act is politically motivated? Note, then, that it filed its motion despite the fact that the Chappaqua housing project was recently fast-tracked.

 

read more…

 

http://nypost.com/2015/07/23/team-obama-claims-westchester-is-racist-in-latest-overreach/

Mortgage Rates at 4.04% survey says | Armonk Real Estate

Freddie Mac  today released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey® (PMMS®), showing fixed mortgage rates reversing course once again and moving lower amid mixed economic and housing data.

News Facts

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 4.04 percent with an average 0.6 point for the week ending July 23, 2015, down from last week when it averaged 4.09 percent. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 4.13 percent.
  • 15-year FRM this week averaged 3.21 percent with an average 0.6 point, down from last week when it averaged 3.25 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 3.26 percent.
  • 1-year Treasury-indexed ARM averaged 2.54 percent this week with an average 0.3 point, up from last week when it averaged 2.50 percent. At this time last year, the 1-year ARM averaged 2.39 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.

Quote
Attributed to Sean Becketti, chief economist, Freddie Mac.

“U.S. Treasury yields dropped following announcements that many blue chip companies’ earnings failed to meet expectations. This drove the 30-year fixed rate mortgage down 5 basis points to 4.04 percent this week. Housing continues to be the bright spot in the economic recovery. Existing home sales beat market expectations coming in at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.49 million homes. This is up 9.6 percent from a year ago and the fastest pace since 2007. Also, housing starts jumped 9.8 percent responding to strong demand in the multifamily market.”