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Bedford NY Supervisor update | Bedford NY Homes


Dear  Residents,

It’s been a brutal winter – and as last night’s snowfall  tells us, it keeps coming back at us.


The winter has been tougher than usual on our roads.  We  are working as promptly as we can to restore them to good condition.  In  addition to working to fix potholes, the Town Board is considering a substantial  increase in funding for paving – approximately 30% to $1.1 million.  Further, we  have moved up to May 6 the scheduled date for adoption of the Capital Plan to  allow us to begin paving.   We aim to complete most paving and associated  drainage work projects in the summer before school  starts.

I also wish to mention that we are discussing with the  New York State Department of Transportation the need for attending to the even  greater deterioration in the state roads in our Town, such as Routes 22, 117,  121, 137 and 172.


As to potholes you find in our Town roads, please call  our Pothole Hotline at 666-7669 or feel free to contact me at 666-6530 or  Supervisor@BedfordNY.gov.


We  appreciate your understanding and patience.


Chris  Burdick



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Homebuilder survey: Housing slump ahoy! | Bedford NY Real Estate


The new home market is getting no spring lift whatsoever at least based on the National Association of Home Builder’s housing market index, which missed expectations for the last seven out of eight months, coming in at a lower-than-expected 47.

The index has been stuck below breakeven 50 for three months now, even though it’s the start of the “spring buying season.”

The homebuilder index weakness is centered in traffic, which remains far below 50 at 32.

Details for March once again showed serious weakness in traffic, at 33 versus February’s 31. Weakness in traffic points to lack of participation by first-time homebuyers and the importance of all-cash buyers who have been holding up the housing market, and who are now disappearing.

The official position of NAHB is that there is confidence in future activity, but there’s not a lot to support that. Expectations for tomorrow’s, mortgage applications, housing starts and permit data are no better than flat.

“Builder confidence has been in a holding pattern the past three months,” said NAHB Chairman Kevin Kelly, a home builder and developer from Wilmington, Del.  “Looking ahead, as the spring home buying season gets into full swing and demand increases, builders are expecting sales prospects to improve in the months ahead.”

The housing market index posted a record 10-point loss to 46 in February and hasn’t yet recovered, in what is a bad omen for the housing sector where many are banking on spring strength.




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Property prices are rising swiftly. The Bank of England may intervene | Bedford Real Estate


BRITAIN’S housing market is like food in a microwave, says Spencer Dale, the chief economist at the Bank of England. It can “turn from lukewarm to scalding hot in a matter of a few economic seconds”. Since the crisis the bank has gained new tools to control the market’s temperature. Now that the heat is rising, it may soon start testing them out.

Until last year house prices were rising predominantly in prosperous central London boroughs. That was largely because of an influx of cash-rich buyers, says Neal Hudson of Savills, an estate agency. People saw posh property in the capital as a shelter from economic turmoil abroad. Elsewhere in Britain, the housing market was torpid. Potential buyers struggled to find mortgages. Falling real wages, economic uncertainty and the memory of plummeting house prices during the crisis curbed Britons’ obsession with property.




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Jumbo mortgages fill in lending gap | Bedford NY Real Estate


Mortgage credit availability remains on the upward trajectory that it has been on since November 2013, a trade industry group said.

According to the Mortgage Bankers Association, the mortgage credit availability index increased .44% from 113.5 in February to 114 in March.

The index was benchmarked to 100 in March 2012, and if the MCAI was tracked in 2007, it would have been at a level of roughly 800.

“Consistent with past months, many lenders and investors are providing borrowers seeking higher loan amounts with a broader range of financing options by introducing new jumbo loan programs,” said Mike Fratantoni, MBA’s chief economist.

This trend in jumbo mortgages follows the recent mortgage application reports from the trade group, which show a growth in purchase volume for applications with higher loan amounts and contraction in home purchase application volume for lower-balance loans.

According to the most recent survey, the average contract interest rate for 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages with jumbo loan balances increased to 4.46% from 4.45%.

“Over the month, some lenders made a complete exit from wholesale lending operations, while other lenders moved to enter that space or expanded operations,” Fratantoni said.




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Two Types of Real Estate I’ll Never Invest In | Bedford Real Estate


I generally try to avoid blanket statements such as this, but I’m confident I will never invest in the following two types of real estate:

1. A Speculative Development Project I know, I know some of the most successful real estate investors in the world have made vast fortunes and built empires through development. I just won’t be one of them. Right or wrong, here is my rationale:

  • Development is all about timing and I’m not clever enough to consistently time the market over an entire investing career. Often the best time to build is when the market is in the gutter and development doesn’t “pencil” (i.e. the numbers look awful). If you start to build when the market is on fire, you’ll often miss the party before you finish construction.
  • Developers often have to “land bank” to wait for the right time to build. The holding cost of land creates a negative carry investment, which eats into the project’s final returns.
  • The entitlement and permitting process is expensive and tortuous. Get out your checkbook, because every consultant and city agency is going to have its hand out. The EIR (Environmental Impact Report) alone can wreck a pre-development budget (traffic study, wind study, etc.) and everything takes 2-3 times longer than your “most conservative” project timeline.
  • Too much construction / execution risk. One failed development can crush a company’s reputation and balance sheet; erasing years of positive returns. Why not let others develop and just wait for a market dip to buy buildings below replacement cost?

2. A Suburban Office Property I probably wouldn’t be able to sleep at night if I owned a leveraged office property outside of a major city. Here’s why…




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What Every Homebuyer Should Know About Mortgage Rates in 2014 | Bedford NY Homes


Get in while the gettin’s good.

That’s one way to sum up what homebuyers should know about mortgage rates in 2014.

Of course, there’s a little more to it than that, so if you’re looking to get the best possible rate in 2014 you should be aware of where mortgages stand and where experts think they’re going.

What’s happening now The good news is that rates are still attractive right now. In January, the average commitment rate on a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage was 4.43 percent, according to Freddie Mac. That’s up from last year, but still lower than the annual average of every year from 2011 back to 1971. (Freddie Mac was chartered by Congress in 1970.)

The bad news? Rates will continue to rise. How high they rise depends on two things: the Federal Reserve and the economy. Here are a couple of ways those two factors are affecting rates.

The Fed is scaling back its economic stimulus program The Fed has reduced its bond purchasing program, which helped to keep mortgage rates low. As it continues to scale back on bonds, rates will likely increase.

Investors just aren’t that into mortgage notes According to Reuters, “Upbeat trade data from China and an optimistic economic outlook from Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen whetted investors’ appetite for risk.”

So what does that have to do with mortgage rates? Confident investors don’t buy safe investments like mortgage notes — they bet on riskier (and more profitable) investments. That usually means that mortgage rates will go up.

Predictions for 2014 It’s likely that mortgage rates will rise above 5 percent this year, according to the Mortgage Banker’s Association (MBA).

“We expect mortgage rates will increase above 5 percent in 2014 and then increase further to 5.5 percent by the end of 2015,” said Jay Brinkmann, MBA’s Chief Economist and Senior Vice President for Research and Education in a press release. “As a result, mortgage refinancing will continue to drop, and borrowers seeking to tap the equity in their homes will be more likely to rely on home equity seconds rather than cash-out refinances.”




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How to Get the Best Home Loan for Your Needs | Bedford NY Real Estate


Location, school ratings, number of bedrooms, outdoor spaces. These are the things potential homeowners focus on when they start house hunting. They’re all important factors, for sure. Even more crucial: How will you pay for your home?


Home loans are not a one-size-fits-all proposition. They differ based on their type, such as fixed or adjustable rate, and their loan term. Loans also vary in interest rate and annual percentage rate (APR).

To ensure you’re getting the best home loan for your situation, you’ll want to do your homework, talk to reputable credit counselors and lenders and follow these tips:

Fixed or adjustable?

There are two main types of mortgages: fixed rate and adjustable rate.

Most homeowners today opt for fixed-rate mortgages. With a fixed-rate mortgage, you are locked in to a set interest rate, resulting in monthly mortgage payments that remain the same for the entire term of the loan. The No. 1 benefit of this type of mortgage is inflation protection. If mortgage rates go up, your rate will not follow suit. Conversely, if rates drop, your interest rate will not drop. (Of course, you could refinance your mortgage if rates dropped significantly.)

Most lenders offer 15- and 30-year fixed mortgages, and some also offer 20-year terms. The longer the term of your fixed mortgage, the lower your monthly payment because you’re paying over many years. With a 30-year term, however, you will end up paying more interest over time.

A 15-year fixed mortgage will have a higher monthly payment because you’re paying for fewer years. On the other hand, you’re building equity at a faster rate and will pay less interest over the life of your loan. The shorter the term of your loan, the lower your interest rate will likely be.

An adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) is a loan with an interest rate that will change over the life of the loan. ARMs have adjustment periods that determine how often their interest rates can change and they have initial “fixed” periods during which their interest rates won’t change at all — most often 3, 5 or 7 years. After this period, rates can readjust. These loans are often considered riskier because the interest rate and payments can increase when the loan adjusts. However, if you’re planning to live in your home for a shorter period of time, these loans may make sense for you, especially because you’re likely to obtain a lower interest rate than with a fixed mortgage.




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Bedford Schools Make More Cuts To Keep Budget Under Tax Cap | Bedford Real Estate


Bedford residents would see a 2.99 percent drop in their property tax bill under the 2014-2015 Bedford Central School District preliminary budget, while residents from Pound Ridge, New Castle and North Castle will see an increase.

The tax rate would drop in Bedford to $134.29 per $1,000 of assessed value. It would increase in:

  • Mount Kisco by 5.75 percent to $73.45 per $1,000 of assessed value
  • Pound Ridge by 4.31 percent to $83.89 per $1,000 of assessed value
  • New Castle by 8.86 percent to $73.03 per $1,000 of assessed value
  • North Castle by 7.84 percent to $650.47 per $1,000 of assessed value

While no major programs were cut in the $123.5 million budget, School Superintendent Jere Hochman said this will be the last year he will be able to say that.

“In spite of negotiations with all unions which resulted in a significantly reduced trajectory of salary and benefit increases (reduced to 3 percent), the board’s use of reserves ($3 million), and previous year’s cuts and efficiencies, this budget includes over $2 million in cuts and some changes in service expectations,” he said.






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Something is out of whack for housing | Bedford Real Estate


It is hard to look at the falling snow across much of the mid-Atlantic on Monday and not blame the weather for sluggish home sales this winter. For anyone east of Nevada, this has seemed like one of the coldest and snowiest winters in a very long time, and it is. While Americans hunker down in their homes, the prospect of house hunting is less enticing.

Home sales numbers so far back that up, but some claim the lackluster sales are not due to the weather but to the seasons, or specifically, seasonal adjustments that are out of whack.

The housing market has been abnormal in many respects over the past few years. Analysts at Goldman Sachs point to an elevated level of distressed sales, the first-time homebuyer tax credit in 2009 and 2010, and significant investor activity in 2012 and 2013.

“Now that the housing market is normalizing with fewer distressed sales and less investor activity, applying these unusual seasonal factors may distort housing indicators,” the analysts wrote in a report.



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