Tag Archives: Bedford Corners Homes

Bedford Corners Homes

The Best Triangle House Since The Pyramids | Bedford Corners Real Estate

Triangles, and the sloping ceilings they create, don’t make a natural fit for human habitation. But for his idyllic wooden house in rural Sweden,architect Leo Qvarsebo embraced the triangle, creating for himself a sloping isosceles of a summer home.

Positioned between a patch of woodland and a green pastures, the Qvarsebo Summerhouse was designed like a triangle to give stunning, unobstructed views of an idyllic vista in Dalarna. Large windows frame the landscape on three separate floors, while the front of the building opens up to a gorgeous terrace, including a swing set for Qvarsebo’s children.

Qvarsebo says that despite the fact it isn’t very close to any trees, he thinks of it as a treehouse for adults. As such, there’s a rope connected to the peak of the roof, so he and his kids can scale the facade. Even inside, though, climbing the home’s central staircase is meant to feel like a treehouse. “The climb to the top is via several levels and offers both views and privacy,” he says. “From each level of the house you can see up to the next, creating a curiosity to continue to climb and once you’re up, the view is breathtaking.”

 

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http://www.builderonline.com/newsletter/the-best-triangle-house-since-the-pyramids_c?utm_source=newsletter&utm_content=Brief&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=BP_103015%20(1)&he=bd1fdc24fd8e2adb3989dffba484790dcdb46483

 

Weak home purchase contracts hint at pause in sales activity | Bedford Corners Real Estate

Contracts to buy previously owned U.S. houses unexpectedly fell in June after five straight months of increase, suggesting some cooling in home resales activity after recent hefty gains.

The decline in contracts, which came on the heels of reports showing the pace of home price appreciation stalling in major cities and new home sales dropping, did little to change perceptions that the housing market recovery was on track given a tightening labor market.

“The June decline is a hiccup. It is important to bear in mind that there is still plenty of fundamental support for the housing market,” said Jennifer Lee, a senior economist at BMO Capital Markets in Toronto.

The National Association of Realtors said on Wednesday its Pending Home Sales Index, based on contracts signed last month, declined 1.8 percent to 110.3.

Still, the index was the third highest reading for this year and contracts were up 8.2 percent from a year ago.

Pending home contracts become sales after a month or two, and last month’s drop pointed to a pause in sales of existing homes after they reached a near 8-1/2-year high in June.

Economists had forecast pending home sales rising 1.0 percent last month.

U.S. financial markets were little moved by the data as investors awaited the outcome of the Federal Reserve’s two-day policy meeting. The housing index .HGX was up 0.97 percent.

The U.S. central bank’s statement will be scrutinized for clues on the timing of the first rate hike, which is expected later this year. The Fed has kept its short-term interest rate near zero since December 2008.

 

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http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/07/29/us-usa-economy-idUSKCN0Q322920150729

 

Hamptons real estate sales slowing down | Bedford Corners Real Estate

After a record breaking number of home sales in the Hamptons in 2014, things are beginning to cool down in the luxury real estate destination.

Both sales and median prices of Hamptons real estate are down in 2015 from where they were last year, according to a report by Douglas Elliman Real Estate.

The median sales price for a home in the Hamptons declined 6.5 percent to $849,000 compared to 2014, according to the report. The number of homes that were sold fell 15.7 percent to 590 this year, down from 700 sales at this time last year. However, average home price rose 2.5 percent year over year.

The conflicting data are a result of a reaction in the market from last year’s sales, said Jonathan Miller, president of Miller Samuel Real Estate Appraisers, who authored the report.

Last year saw an explosion of pent-up demand as people began to consider real estate again for the first time since the housing crisis, Miller said. That demand resulted in 700 sales, a record number.

“That demand has mostly been absorbed, so what we have now is the prices showing mixed trends, but sales are down,” he said. “There isn’t the same sense of urgency by buyers that there was a year ago, but there is still above-average activity occurring. It’s just not at the breakneck pace it was last year.”

The current market in the Hamptons is just returning to normal, the CEO of Douglas Elliman, Dottie Herman, said. While sales aren’t record breaking, they are still healthy.

She also noted that in a small market like the Hamptons, big outliers can move data.

For the fabulously wealthy, a Hamptons property is soon to hit the market at $95 million, according to real estate agents at Sotheby’s. The estate, known as Burnt Point, is an 18,000-square-foot shingle traditional built on 25 acres with water on three sides. The home is being sold by the Stewart J. Rahr Foundation, and the proceeds will continue to fund the foundation’s philanthropic efforts.

 

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http://finance.yahoo.com/news/hamptons-real-estate-sales-slowing-150105444.html;_ylt=AwrC1CkpeLJVE28AVDLQtDMD;_ylu=X3oDMTByOHZyb21tBGNvbG8DYmYxBHBvcwMxBHZ0aWQDBHNlYwNzcg–

Peek Inside the Rembrandt’s Former House | Bedford Corners Homes

As far as famous artists go, Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn, born July 15, 1606, has to be among the most celebrated and well-known. He’s most revered for his oil-on-canvas paintings and his etchings completed during the Dutch golden age of painting in the 17th century. This period saw several Dutch artists practicing in a style of detailed realism.

A big chunk of Rembrandt’s work, including several famous self-portraits and arguably his most famous painting ever, The Night Watch (1642), was created over two decades while he lived in a central Amsterdam house. In celebration of the renowned master’s birthday, more than four centuries ago today, here’s a look at his former home.

Exterior Home Improvements That Increase Value | Bedford Corners Real Estate

Yesterday on Housecall, we discussed ways to increase your home value with indoor décor. Today, we’re focusing on what you can do outside the home to give it an added monetary boost.

Curb appeal is everything when it comes to selling your home, and that means your home’s exterior needs to be in optimal condition. In fact, 71 percent of prospective home buyers say that a home’s curb appeal is an important factor in their buying decision. This infographic fromLawnStarter shows seven exterior home improvements that can increase resale value and help sell your home even faster:

LawnStarterIG

Replace Your Front Door

Believe it or not, a front door says a lot about you and your home. A quality front door can be a huge asset for your home’s value, and how secure your home feels upon entrance. Kelly Fallis of Remote Stylist says, “It’s the first thing a buyer walks through. Repaint or replace; their first impression rests on it.” According to House Logic, a standard 20-gauge steel door can cost around $1,230, but that investment can more than pay for itself with the amount of value it adds to your home. A quality front door replacement can bring you a return of around 102 percent, which makes it a great bang for your buck.

Updated Landscaping

Over 92 percent of prospective home buyers use the Internet at some point during their search process, meaning a lot of eyes are going to be looking for pictures of your home. You want to be able to showcase your property in the best light possible to drive interested parties in for a closer look. According to Bankrate, a quality landscaping job has the potential to net you a whopping 252 percent return in increased home value. John Harris, a landscape economist, has stated that updated landscaping can increase a home’s value by 28 percent and have it sold 10-15 percent quicker.

New Paint

Most prospective homeowners tend to look at what they need to update or work on in the homes that they look at. Repainting your home can cause less stress on the buyer since they know that the job is fresh and adds to the look of the home. That being said, don’t go overboard with color choices. Choose warm and inviting colors, such as taupe, tan or white. “Individuals too often minimize the impact of a first impression,” says James Alisch, managing director of WOW 1 DAY PAINTING. “The exterior paint job of a home greatly impacts how potential buyers feel about a place.” You want to make sure that potential buyers can envision themselves inside your home, and having a neutral exterior color is appealing to a larger pool of buyers. If you do feel the need to add some brighter colors, make sure that they aren’t overpowering and can work well with the neutral base. It’s best to consult your local home improvement store to discuss your options and budget.

 

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http://blog.rismedia.com/2015/7-exterior-home-improvements-that-increase-resale-value/

Distressed Sales: 10 Percent of Sales in April 2015 | Bedford Corners Real Estate

In the monthly REALTORS® Confidence Index Survey, NAR asks REALTORS® about the characteristics of their last sale for the month. For reported sales for April 2015, distressed sales accounted for 10 percent of sales (10 percent in March 2015; 15 percent in April 2014). About 7 percent of reported sales were foreclosed properties, and about 3 percent were short sales.[1]

With rising home values and a declining foreclosure inventory (except for states with judicial foreclosures such as NY, NJ, CT), sales of foreclosed properties have declined as well. The decline in foreclosed properties on the market may help to explain to some degree why investment sales have generally been on the decline.

Foreclosed property sold at an average 20 percent discount, while short sales sold at an average 14 percent discount.  For the past 12 months, distressed properties in “above average” condition were discounted by an average of 9-11 percent, while properties in “below average” condition were discounted at an average of 15-20 percent. Having fewer foreclosures creates further pressure for prices to move up in the coming months.

 

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http://economistsoutlook.blogs.realtor.org/2015/06/03/distressed-sales-10-percent-of-sales-in-april-2015/

Credit News | Bedford Corners Real Estate

Some Great Ways to Take Advantage of an “Average to Good” or “Excellent” Credit Score
For those who achieve an “average to good” FICO score (660 and above) or an “excellent” score (740 and above), there are many ways to take advantage of this achievement by opening new doors for opportunity and savings. As a real estate/financing professional, you can share these tips with your client base to bring value added and allow your clients to do further business with you.
Here are some things those with great credit can take advantage of (but must be aware of the potential downsides):
● Transferring Credit Card Balances
Many credit cards can charge an exorbitant interest rate, and these rates coupled with debt can lead to large payments and wasted money. In fact, the average credit card debt in the US is currently over $6,500. Fortunately, those with great credit are eligible for a method to pay debt off rather quickly and easily. People with great credit should be eligible for a 0 percent interest rate on balance transfers, which essentially allows one to transfer credit card debt from a high interest card to a no interest account for a certain time period.
It’s important to note a few things when considering this option:
– Some of these cards will slap on a 3% fee for transferring balances, and you should make sure to find a card that doesn’t charge this fee.
– Opening new credit reduces your average age of credit which will drop your credit scores.  Do not open new cards if you plan on applying for a mortgage or loan  within 2 years since scores may drop substantially after opening new credit.  Make sure the cards you open are done strategically and not often.
●​ Credit Card Upgrades
High FICO scores will also make consumers eligible for the best credit card offerings. Many of the cards offered to those above a 660 score have better benefits, rewards, and perks unavailable to others. In addition, these cards often offer sign-on bonuses.  Clearly if your scores are above a 740 the perks are even better.   However, consumers have to make sure that they follow our tips when opening a new card in order to maintain their score (see the tips here) and should contact us with any questions.
●​ Home Refinance
Those with great credit can also take advantage of historically low home interest rates. With a higher FICO score, many can lock in a much better rate for their mortgage. Even a small improvement in interest rates can lead to savings in the hundreds of thousands over the life of a mortgage.
●​ Negotiating better interest rates or transfer offers with current credit cards
If you have existing cards and have excellent credit scores you can ask the creditor for lower interest rates or transfer offers on your existing cards.  This is great if you don’t want to reduce your scores by opening new credit.
● ​Requesting limit increases on current cards
The higher your credit limits the more leeway you have to charge without reducing your credit scores.  Since balance-to-limit ratios on revolving credit (credit cards) must be under 10% for the best score increases, it is great to have high limits.  Calling your creditor and asking for a limit increase can help your scores.  The creditor will pull your credit reports and scores for approval so the scores can drop a little from the inquiry.  If you have had many third party inquiries during the year it could drop scores significantly and it might be best to wait a year from the latest third party review.
Do you have any credit questions?
Tracy Becker, President
155 White Plains Road
Suite 200
Tarrytown, NY 10591
or  (toll free) 866-388-9400
F :(914) 524-5014 ​​

NAHB Updates Local Impact of Home Building Numbers | Bedford Corners Real Estate

In addition to studies customized to a particular area, NAHB has traditionally produced a “typical local” report using national average inputs.  This report—showing the jobs, income and taxes generated by residential construction in a typical local area—is available free to everyone on NAHB’s web site.

In April 2015, NAHB updated the typical local report.  A quick summary of the new numbers is as follows:

The updated estimates of the one-year impacts (including income earned during construction and the ripple effect that occurs when some of the income is spent) of building 100 single-family homes are

  • $28.7 million in local income,
  • $3.6 million in taxes and other revenue for local governments, and
  • 394 local jobs.

And the annual, ongoing impacts (resulting from the home becoming occupied and the occupants participating in the local economy) are

  • $4.1 million in local income,
  • $1.0 million in taxes and other revenue for local governments, and
  • 69 local jobs.

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http://eyeonhousing.org/2015/04/nahb-updates-local-impact-of-home-building-numbers/

Most renters are not ready (or willing) to buy | Bedford Corners Real Estate

The rent may be too damn high, but it’s not enough to turn most renters into buyers.

The gap between rental costs and household income is widening to “unsustainable levels” in many parts of the country, new research published Monday by the National Association of Realtors found, “and the situation could worsen unless new home construction meaningfully rises.” In the last five years, a typical rent rose 15% while the income of renters grew by only 11%, the study found. The top markets where renters have seen the highest increase in rents since 2009 are New York (51%), Seattle, (32%), San Jose, Calif., (26%), Denver, (24%) and St. Louis. (22%).

“Many of the metro areas that have experienced the highest rent increases are popular to millennials because of their employment opportunities,” Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist said in a statement. “With a stronger economy and labor market, it’s critical to increase housing starts for entry-level buyers or else many will face affordability issues if their incomes aren’t compensating for the gains in home prices.”

But most renters are reluctant to buy. Only 12% of current renters say they plan to buy a home within the next year, according to the latest “Housing Confidence Index” published last week by real-estate company Zillow, although this was up 25% on the previous year. On a scale of 1 to 100, with a reading of more than 50 indicating general confidence, the housing confidence index rose to 70.6 in January 2015, up 4.4 points over the previous year.

 

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http://www.marketwatch.com/story/most-renters-are-not-ready-or-willing-to-buy-2015-03-14

Move Quickly through the Mortgage Approval Process before Rates Climb | #BedfordCorners Real Estate

If you’ve got the itch to ditch your landlord and take the leap to homeownership, mortgage rates are still low by historical standards. But beware because they are expected to begin creeping higher throughout the year.

“The cost of renting is really high right now. Rents have been rising and rising,” says Lawrence Yun, chief economist at the National Association of Realtors. “Renters are getting squeezed, and some want to convert to ownership.”.

The NAR expects 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages to average 3.80 percent in the first quarter. However, mortgage rates are forecast to start inching higher throughout the year. The NAR forecasts an average 4 percent rate in the second quarter, 4.3 percent in the third quarter and 4.7 percent in the fourth quarter.

Economic forces, including an improving U.S. labor market and faster economic growth, are conspiring to push mortgage rates higher this year. “The Federal Reserve is likely to raise short-term interest rates in the summer, which will be a signal for the rest of the market for rates to go higher,” Yun says.

“There’s a window of opportunity for buying and refinancing at crazy-low rates, but it’s closing,” says Gina Pogol, loan expert at Charlotte, North Carolina-based LendingTree.

If this is the year you want to sign on the dotted line and become a homeowner, experts have several suggestions to help you move quickly through the mortgage approval process.

The overall lending environment remains stringent, and the best mortgage rates will be awarded to those with higher credit scores. Your credit score is a three-digit number generated using information on your credit report, and generally, the higher it is, the better. Here’s what you need to do to get the best rates.

Mind your credit score. “Minimum credit scores required by lenders have steadily dropped, and mortgage insurers’ underwriting guidelines have also loosened a bit, but it’s still a little tough,” Pogol says. “Average FICOs of applicants approved for home loans continue to come down, but they’re still hovering around the 700 mark. Unfortunately, three-fourths of U.S. consumers have scores lower than 700.”

What’s an ideal credit score? “To get the best rate, strive for above 740. That is the benchmark for A-plus lending,” says Jeannie Meronk, assistant vice president and mortgage loan officer at First State Bank of Illinois.

Visit your lender before you hit the open houses. Create a game plan that makes sense for your budget. It pays to talk to a lender about what you can afford and qualify for before you fall in love with a home outside your price range.

“It is really important from a budget standpoint to be shopping in the right price range,” Meronk says.

Just because you qualify for a certain loan amount doesn’t mean that is what you should spend. Consider your monthly budget, and determine what level of monthly payment feels comfortable. Remember that there will be other costs relating to homeownership, including property taxes, maintenance and unexpected repairs.

Also know that most sellers won’t take an offer seriously unless you have been preapproved for a loan. “Preapproval means actually applying for a loan, having your credit checked and your income documented. Preapproved means that as long as the property meets the lender’s requirements, you can close,” Pogol says.

Don’t make any changes to your financial picture. Once you’ve been preapproved, this is not the time to open new credit cards, change jobs, transfer large sums of money or make big-ticket purchases using credit. “Once you are preapproved, don’t apply for any new credit. If you go ahead and finance furniture, it can mess up the amount that you were preapproved for,” Meronk says.

If you are fortunate enough to have a parent, in-law or relative who is willing to gift you some or all of your intended down payment, be sure to talk with your lender about this. You will need to document this properly with a letter for your lender.

If you are thinking of buying a rental property, however, gift money can’t be used toward a down payment. It only can be used for a primary residence, according to Meronk.

If you are self-employed, expect to jump through more hoops. Be prepared to provide two years’ worth of tax returns. If your income fluctuated from one year to the next, underwriters will average the income from the two years. Also, underwriters will look at your income after your business deductions have been taken.

“It often comes as a surprise to self-employed applicants that their gross income isn’t counted by underwriters. It’s their taxable income that’s used. So if you write off every meal and every vacation as a business expense, that comes off the top of your income,” Pogol says.

 

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http://money.usnews.com/money/personal-finance/articles/2015/03/03/