Tag Archives: Cross River Luxury Real Estate

10 Forgiving Houseplants You Can Grow Anywhere | Cross River Real Estate

Even if you don’t have big windows with southern exposures, you can successfully keep greenery (and keep it alive) indoors. A wide variety of plants can grow and even thrive in spots with limited sunlight. And with the abundance of benefits that come with bringing plants into your day-to-day life—including stress reduction, toxin removal, and increased moisture in the air—there’s no reason not to do so. No light? No problem. These 10 easy-care houseplants are sure to brighten any corner in your home, even one a little lacking in sunshine.

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Philodendron

For decades, philodendron has been a houseplant mainstay. Native to the American tropics, it thrives in an indoor environment and is easily adaptable to lower-light situations. It comes in both vining and shrub-like varieties, so you can choose whichever strikes your fancy. Available on Amazon; $2.41 for a 4-inch pot.

Arrowhead Vine

Named for its distinctive arrow-shaped leaf, this shadow-dweller often springs up in variegated shades of bronze, pink, and green. Arrowhead vines also grow well in low to medium light and will lengthen as they mature—making them a popular pick for hanging basketsAvailable on Amazon; $4.20.

Chinese Evergreen

A suitable choice for any beginner, the Chinese evergreen requires very little attention to turn into a highly ornamental addition to any room. Even if you follow a when-I-remember-to watering schedule, this plant will still reward your home with showy, lustrous leaves of green streaked with silver, yellow, or white. Available on Amazon; $14.99 for 6-inch pot.

Snake Plant

The snake plant, a succulent, is one of the most tolerant houseplants in practically every way, enduring both low light and drought. Its strikingly long, erect leaves are typically edged in yellow-gold, yielding an architectural shape that especially complements modern decor. Available at The Home Depot; $18.88.

Fern

Ferns are familiar forest floor inhabitants, but several varieties, like the rabbit foot fern, have made the move to the home. Like their natural-setting counterparts, they thrive in low-light conditions. With their soft, lush fronds, ferns add dramatic visual interest to a room. Available on Amazon; $9.99.

Peperomia

Peperomia is highly decorative, small, and super low maintenance. Don’t worry if you forget to water it one week—it can tolerate dry conditions. A member of the pepper family, peperomia’s leaves come in a variety of vibrant colors, shapes, sizes, and textures, with many presenting a deeply waffled appearance. Available on Amazon; $4.99 for a 4-inch pot.

Spider Plant

The spider plant’s slender, arching blades create a sunburst display in hanging baskets and on top of columns. And it’s as beneficial as it is beautiful: This houseplant improves indoor air quality by filtering out benzene, formaldehyde, carbon monoxide, and xylene. Available on Amazon; $4.69 for a 3.5-inch pot.

Cast Iron Plant

Aptly named, the cast iron plant is ruggedly hardy. It can survive with little light, tolerate irregular watering, and weather fluctuating temperatures to last all year. It’s nearly indestructible. Don’t worry about trimming it back or repotting, either; this slow grower will not overrun your home like an aggressive vining houseplant might. Available on Amazon; $14.99.

Rubber Plant

The thick, glossy leaves of the rubber plant put on an outstanding show. While smaller, a potted plant can function as a naturally elegant centerpiece for the table, but over time it can grow to more than three feet tall. When it does, move it near an entrance or fireplace for a pop of greenery. Available at The Home Depot; $23.46.

Peace Lily

A shade-loving plant that thrives indoors, the peace lily produces elegant white blooms in spring. It’s an ideal housemate: It is not only ranked as one of the top 10 best household plants for cleaning the air, it can also succeed with fluorescent fixtures as its main light source. Available on Amazon; $12.98.

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https://www.bobvila.com/slideshow/10-forgiving-houseplants-you-can-grow-anywhere-48175#philodendron-low-light-plant

Mortgage rates drop to 4.06% | Cross River Real Estate

Freddie Mac (OTCQB: FMCC) today released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey® (PMMS®), showing that the average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage dropped 22 basis points.

Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s chief economist, says, “The Federal Reserve’s concern about the prospects for slowing economic growth caused investor jitters to drive down mortgage rates by the largest amount in over ten years. Despite negative outlooks by some, the economy continues to churn out jobs, which is great for housing demand. We have recently seen home sales start to recover and with this week’s rate drop we expect a continued rise in purchase demand.”

News Facts

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 4.06 percent with an average 0.5 point for the week ending March 28, 2019, down from last week when it averaged 4.28 percent. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 4.40 percent. 
  • 15-year FRM this week averaged 3.57 percent with an average 0.4 point, down from last week when it averaged 3.71 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 3.90 percent. 
  • 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 3.75 percent with an average 0.3 point, down from last week when it averaged 3.84 percent. A year ago at this time, the 5-year ARM averaged 3.66 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 link for the Definitions. Borrowers may still pay closing costs which are not included in the survey.

New York’s Property Tax Rate Among Highest In Nation | Cross River Real Estate

New York's Property Tax Rate Among Highest In Nation

The property tax rate in New York is high compared to the rest of the country. That’s according to a new report Wednesday from the financial news and opinion site 24/7 Wall St., which reviewed the effective rate — meaning the total amount of property taxes paid each year as a percentage of the total value of all occupied homes — for every state. The data is from the 2015 fiscal year and came from the conservative think tank Tax Foundation. If you want more information about seafarers tax deduction, click here.

New York’s effective property tax rate ranked 14th highest in the country, the report found, nestled between Iowa and Kansas. On average, state and local governments across the country bring in about $1,500 a year in property taxes per person. Here are the numbers for New York:

  • Effective property tax rate: 1.4 percent
  • Median home value: $314,500
  • Per capita property taxes: $2,696.90
  • Median household income: $64,894

If those numbers seem like too much, you might consider moving to Hawaii, where the effective property tax rate was just .29 percent. If that sounds like a dream, consider this — the median Hawaiian home is worth more than $617,000 and the typical household earns about $77,000 a year, so don’t forget to bring a checkbook and perhaps buy a lottery ticket upon arrival. Alabama, Louisiana, West Virginia and Wyoming rounded out the five states with the lowest property tax rates.

On the flip side, residents in the Northeast appear to pay the highest rates, with New Jersey, New Hampshire and Vermont all appearing in the top five. New Jerseyans pay more than anyone else in the country with an effective property tax rate of 2.16 percent, the authors found. Residents pay more than $3,000 per capita and the median household income is just over $80,000 a year. A typical home in the state costs about $335,000.

Here are the 10 states with the highest effective property tax rates:Subscribe

  1. New Jersey
  2. Illinois
  3. New Hampshire
  4. Wisconsin
  5. Vermont
  6. Texas
  7. Nebraska
  8. Connecticut
  9. Ohio
  10. Rhode Island

Property taxes are the single largest money-maker for local governments and they’re spent almost entirely on a local level. Generally they are used to fund fire, police, schools, roads, cleaning and repairs.

“As a result, the United States is a patchwork of property tax codes, and depending on where you live, property taxes can be either a trivial expense or a major financial burden,” the report said.

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https://patch.com/new-york/bedford/s/glmoy/new-york-s-property-tax-rate-among-highest-in-nation?utm_source=alert-breakingnews&utm_medium=email&utm_term=weather&utm_campaign=alert

UK house prices take pre-Brexit hit: Nationwide | Cross River Real Estate

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A Union flag hangs across a street of houses in London

A Union flag hangs across a street of houses in London. d

British house prices took a pre-Brexit hit in December, falling by the most in monthly terms since mid-2012 and rising by their slowest pace in nearly six years in annual terms, according to data from mortgage lender Nationwide.

House prices fell by 0.7 percent from November, the biggest monthly fall since July 2012, Friday’s data showed.

Compared with a year earlier, prices rose by just 0.5 percent compared with a 1.9 percent rise in November.

Both readings were below all forecasts in a Reuters poll of economists.

Nationwide said it expected prices to rise at a “low single-digit pace” in 2019 but its forecast was dependent on we buy houses Sacramento the economy continuing to grow modestly, something that looked “unusually uncertain.”

Prime Minister Theresa May is struggling to overcome deep opposition in her own Conservative Party to the Brexit divorce deal she agreed with other European Union leaders, raising the prospect of an economically damaging no-deal departure from the EU in March.


London Houses & Flats on MoveFlat.co.uk, many Britain’s housing market has weakened since the June 2016 Brexit vote, led by price falls in London.

At the time of the referendum, Nationwide’s measure of house prices was rising by about 5 percent a year.

Bank of England Governor Mark Carney said last month that in the event of a “disorderly” departure from the EU — not the central bank’s base-case scenario — house prices could slump by 30 percent as part of a broader economic shock.

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https://www.investing.com/news/economic-indicators/uk-house-prices-rise-at-slowest-pace-in-nearly-6-years-nationwide-1737126

Yardi reports average US rent drops | Cross River Real Estate

September 2018 marked the first time in eight months that U.S. multifamily rents did not increase. The $1,412 national average for the month represented a $1 drop from August and a 3.1% year-to-date increase; year-over-year rent growth remained unchanged at 3%, according to a survey of 127 markets by Yardi® Matrix.

The report presents an overall bright outlook for the multifamily sector. A slight decline in rents is normal at the start of fall, it says, “When rent growth traditionally begins to hibernate for winter.” Strong demand countering the steady wave of new supply is another positive sign. “Long-term demand for rentals is likely to remain high for a variety of demographic and social reasons,” the report notes.

Year-over-year rent growth leaders for September were Orlando, Fla.; Las Vegas; Phoenix; Tampa, Fla.; and California’sInland Empire.

View the full Yardi Matrix Multifamily National Report for September 2018 for additional detail and insight into 127 major U.S. real estate markets.

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Existing home sales increase 1.1% | Cross River Real Estate

Existing-home sales increased 1.1% in March, but remain down 1.2% from a year ago. The first-time buyer share of 30% is also down from 32% a year ago. The National Association of Realtors reported that 50% of homes sold last month were on the market less than a month. The March inventory increased 5.7%, but remains 7.2% below the level a year ago, and has decreased for 34 consecutive months on a year-over-year basis. At the current sales rate, the March unsold inventory represents a 3.6-month supply, down from a 3.8-month supply a year ago. March existing sales reached a seasonally adjusted rate of 5.60 million units, compared to 5.54 million in February. Total existing home sales include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops.

Existing sales increased 6.3% in the Northeast and 5.7% in the Midwest, reversing weather-impacted declines last month. Existing sales declined slightly by 0.4% in the South and 3.1% in the West. Year-over-year sales increased 0.8% in the West and 0.4% in the South, while declining by 1.5% in the Midwest and 9.3% in the Northeast.

Homes stayed on the market for 30 days in March, down from 37 days In February.

The March all-cash sales share was 20%, down from 24% last month and 23% a year ago. Individual investors purchased a 15% share in March, unchanged from February, and down from 18% a year ago.

The March median sales price of $250,400 was up 5.8% from a year ago, representing the 73rd consecutive month of year-over-year increases. The March median condominium/co-op price of $236,100 was up 4.8% from a year ago.

The seasonal spring increase in demand is facing the combination of increasing mortgage rates and a tight inventory. However, the economy continues to add jobs, and new residential construction offers buyers a wider choice in homes. These prospective buyers contribute to builder confidence remaining in solid territory.

 

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eyeonhousing.org

Canada home prices fall | Cross River Real Estate

Canadian home prices dipped in February after two consecutive months of gains, weighed by declines in Toronto and a number of other cities, data showed on Wednesday.

The Teranet-National Bank Composite House Price Index, which measures changes for repeat sales of single-family homes, showed prices were down 0.1 percent last month compared to January.

Price growth also continued to decelerate on an annual basis. Home prices were up 7.5 percent compared to last year, the smallest annual increase since March 2016.

On a monthly basis, prices were down in seven out of the 11 cities surveyed, including a 0.1 percent decline in Toronto. Home sales in Canada’s largest city have been dampened by tighter mortgages rules and moves taken by the Ontario government last year to try to cool the market.

The retreat in Toronto prices, which had climbed in January, may have been due to buyers rushing into the market ahead of the new mortgage rules that came into effect at the start of the year, the report said.

In Vancouver, one of the most expensive markets in the country, prices rose 0.4 percent to hit a record. However, the unadjusted figures, which are not smoothed to remove volatility, showed prices were down 1.3 percent, in line with cooler home sales last month.

Economists are watching to see how Canada’s housing market adjusts to the tighter lending rules and local government regulations that have come as the central bank is also raising interest rates.

 

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https://ca.reuters.com/article/businessNews/idCAKCN1GQ1NW-OCABS

Wiring Outlets and Switches | Cross River Real Estate

Play it smart and stay safe when wiring outlets and switches

Buying a Dimmer Switch

Buying a Dimmer Switch

Dimmer switches are available in many styles and configurations, including slides, knobs and touch-sensitive dimming mechanisms. However, check these key things:

  • Capacity (how many lights it can control). The capacity will be measured in watts. Add up the wattage of the bulbs in all the fixtures the switch controls to make sure it falls within the switch rating listed on the package or instructions.
  • Single-pole or three-way. Buy a ‘single-pole’ switch if one switch controls the lights or a ‘three-way’ if you have two switches controlling the same lights.
  • Light type. Standard and halogen bulbs require standard incandescent dimmers. A few fluorescent lights can be dimmed with special dimmer switches, but most can’t. Low-voltage lights may also require special dimmers.

Don't Reverse Hot and Neutral Wires

Don’t Reverse Hot and Neutral Wires

Connecting the black hot wire to the neutral terminal of an outlet creates the potential for a lethal shock. The trouble is that you may not realize the mistake until someone gets shocked, because lights and most other plug-in devices will still work; they just won’t work safely.

Always connect the white wire to the neutral terminal of outlets and light fixtures. The neutral terminal is always marked. It’s usually identified by a silver or light-colored screw. Connect the hot wire to the other terminal. If there’s a green or bare copper wire, that’s the ground. Connect the ground to the green grounding screw or to a ground wire or grounded box.

Cutting Wires Too Short

Cutting Wires Too Short

Wires that are cut too short make wire connections difficult and—since you’re more likely to make poor connections—dangerous. Leave the wires long enough to protrude at least 3 in. from the box.

If you run into short wires, there’s an easy fix. Simply add 6-in. extensions onto the existing wires. The photo shows a type of wire connector that’s easier to install in tight spots. You’ll find these in hardware stores and home centers.

Be Positive the Power's Off

Be Positive the Power’s Off

When you’re doing electrical work, don’t assume that because you flicked a switch or flipped a circuit breaker the power is off—always double-check. Buy a noncontact voltage tester and check all the wires in the box before you do any work—or plan on some melted dental work!

Circuit-Finding Radio

Circuit-Finding Radio

Instead of running upstairs, let the Rolling Stones help you find the right breaker. Find circuit breakers by plugging a loud radio into the outlet you’re working on. You’ll know you have the right circuit breaker when the music dies. But don’t assume the electricity is off in all the other outlets or lights in the room. Before doing any wiring, plug the radio into other outlets you plan to work on. Some duplex outlets can have different circuits running to adjacent outlets. To be safe, test both the top and bottom with the radio. For lights, turn the light switch on and off to be sure.

Don't Install a Three-Slot Receptacle Without a Ground

Don’t Install a Three-Slot Receptacle Without a Ground

If you have two-slot outlets, it’s tempting to replace them with three-slot outlets so you can plug in three-prong plugs. But don’t do this unless you’re sure there’s a ground available. Use a tester to see if your outlet is grounded. A series of lights indicates whether the outlet is wired correctly or what fault exists. These inexpensive testers are readily available at home centers and hardware stores.

If you discover a three-slot outlet in an ungrounded box, the easiest fix is to simply replace it with a two-slot outlet as shown.

Don't Wire a GFCI Backward

Don’t Wire a GFCI Backward

GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupter) outlets protect you from a lethal shock by shutting off the power when they sense slight differences in current. They have two pairs of terminals. One pair, labeled ‘line,’ is for incoming power for the GFCI outlet itself. The other set is labeled ‘load’ and provides protection for downstream outlets. You’ll lose the shock protection if you mix up the line and load connections.

Oversize Plates Hide Mistakes

Oversize Plates Hide Mistakes

When you’re installing drywall or paneling, small mistakes can leave big gaps around electrical boxes. Luckily, there’s a product made just for this situation. ‘Oversize’ cover plates (about $1) for switches and outlets are available in standard colors at home centers and hardware stores. They’re 1/2 in. to 3/4 in. longer and wider than standard plates, so they can be a bit conspicuous. Electrical codes don’t allow gaps wider than 1/8 in. around boxes, so fill gaps with joint compound or caulk before you screw on the cover plate.

Poor Support for Outlets and Switches

Poor Support for Outlets and Switches

Loose switches or outlets can look bad, but worse yet, they’re dangerous. Loosely connected outlets can move around, causing the wires to loosen from the terminals. Loose wires can arc and overheat, creating a potential fire hazard.

Fix loose outlets by shimming under the screws to create a tight connection to the box. You can buy special spacers at home centers and hardware stores. Other options include small washers or a coil of wire wrapped around the screw.

Recessing Boxes Behind the Wall Surface

Recessing Boxes Behind the Wall Surface

Electrical boxes must be flush to the wall surface if the wall surface is a combustible material. Boxes recessed behind combustible materials like wood present a fire hazard because the wood is left exposed to potential heat and sparks.

The fix is simply to install a metal or plastic box extension. If you use a metal box extension on a plastic box, connect the metal extension to the ground wire in the box using a grounding clip and a short piece of wire.

Squint-Free Wire Stripper

Squint-Free Wire Stripper

Ninety percent of the time, you use your wire stripper to strip the same gauge wire. Now, the days of searching your wire stripper for the right size hole are over. Use a Testor’s Enamel Paint Marker (about $3 at a home center) to mark a line across the hole. After a couple of minutes of drying time, you’ll be able to stick the wire in the marked hole with zero eyestrain and work a heck of a lot faster on your latest wiring project. If you’re stripping more than one wire gauge size, mark the holes in different colors.

Wrap Wires Clockwise Around Terminal Screws

Wrap Wires Clockwise Around Terminal Screws

Wrapping the wire clockwise ensures that the loop on the end of the wire will tend to close when the screw is tightened. If you put the loop over the screw in the counterclockwise direction, tightening the screw will force the loop open and could create a loose connection.

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https://www.familyhandyman.com/electrical/wiring/wiring-switches-and-outlets/view-all/

Why is Aetna subsidized? | Cross River Real Estate

Hartford-based insurer Aetna will receive roughly $34 million in city and state subsidies to move its headquarters to a luxury boutique office building being erected in the trendy Meatpacking District, the de Blasio and Cuomo administrations announced in separate press releases Thursday.

Aetna will take 145,000 square feet at 61 Ninth Ave., the entirety of the building’s office space. The high-end commercial property is being developed by a partnership between Aurora Capital Associates and Vornado Realty Trust, a $17.6 billion public real estate company that is one of the city’s biggest and richest landlords.

Aetna will recieve $24 million of “performance-based tax credits” over 10 years, according to a statement from Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office. The administration said Aetna will add 250 “senior” positions to the new headquarters and invest $84 million in the space.

Mayor Bill de Blasio’s office announced that Aetna will receive $9.6 million in financial assistance from the city’s Economic Development Corp. The subsidy will come in the form of a $4.25 million break on sales taxes for materials purchased for the site, $3.8 million in property-tax relief and $1.5 million of other sales-tax benefits and other breaks, according to the city.

Aurora and Vornado have been developing the Rafael Vinoly-designed 61 Ninth Ave. with the aim of fetching soaring rents in a neighborhood that has become a pricey and exclusive enclave for high-end tech firms, hedge funds and other deep-pocketed tenants.

Some fiscal watchdogs took a dim view of a multibillion-dollar insurance company being showered with millions of subsidy dollars so it can pay robust rents in a hot neighborhood to a landlord also worth billions.

“The city’s economy is the strongest that it’s been for generations,” said James Parrott, an economist and longtime critic of subsidy policy. “Tax breaks only serve to make New York City real estate more costly. Why would you want to do that?”

The city, in its press release announcing the deal, stated that Aetna’s move would generate $146 million in economic benefits to the city. A spokesman for the Economic Development Corp. couldn’t immediately describe in detail how it calculated that.

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http://www.crainsnewyork.com/article/20170629/REAL_ESTATE/170629850/huge-insurer-gets-34-million-in-subsidies-to-pay-high-rents-in-hot#utm_medium=email&utm_source=cnyb-realestate&utm_campaign=cnyb-realestate-20170629

Mortgage rates average 3.91% | Cross River Real Estate

Freddie Mac (OTCQB: FMCC) today released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey® (PMMS®), showing average mortgage rates increasing across the board for the first time in over a month.

News Facts

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 3.91 percent with an average 0.5 point for the week ending June 15, 2017, up from last week when it averaged 3.89 percent. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 3.54 percent.
  • 15-year FRM this week averaged 3.18 percent with an average 0.5 point, up from last week when it averaged 3.16 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 2.81 percent.
  • 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 3.15 percent this week with an average 0.5 point, up from last week when it averaged 3.11 percent. A year ago at this time, the 5-year ARM averaged 2.74 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 link for the Definitions. Borrowers may still pay closing costs which are not included in the survey.

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

“The 30-year mortgage rate rose 2 basis points over the week to 3.91 percent. However, our survey was conducted before investors drove Treasury yields sharply lower in a reaction to the surprisingly weak CPI release. If that drop in yields sticks, mortgage rates are likely to follow in next week’s survey.”