Tag Archives: Katonah NY Homes

Katonah NY Homes

US Mortgage Apps surge 25% | Katonah Real Estate

Applications for U.S. house mortgages surged 25.5 percent in the week ended October 2nd, 2015, rebounding from a 6.7 percent fall in the previous period and posting the highest gain since-mid January as many applications were filled prior to the TILA-RESPA regulation took effect on October 3rd, introducing changes to the mortgage process. In addition, fixed 30-year mortgage rates averaged 3.99 percent, the lowest in five months. Refinancing applications soared 24.2 percent and purchase applications went up 27.4 percent. Mortgage Applications in the United States averaged 0.54 percent from 2007 until 2015, reaching an all time high of 49.10 percent in January of 2015 and a record low of -38.80 percent in January of 2009. Mortgage Applications in the United States is reported by the Mortgage Bankers Association of America.


Actual Previous Highest Lowest Dates Unit Frequency
25.50 -6.70 49.10 -38.80 2007 – 2015 percent Weekly
Mortgage Applications measure the change in the number of new applications for mortgages backed by the Mortgage Bankers Association during the reported week. Mortgage applications include both refinancing and home purchasing. This page provides – United States MBA Mortgage Applications – actual values, historical data, forecast, chart, statistics, economic calendar and news. Content for – United States MBA Mortgage Applications – was last refreshed on Wednesday, October 7, 2015.
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Boost Your All-White Color Scheme | Katonah Real Estate

Love the look of fresh white but don’t want to feel like you live in a cold, minimalist compound? Here’s how to boost white to get a livable, inviting look that feels airy, open and full of personality.

Manhattan Studios Rentals Set Record | Katonah Real Estate

Manhattan’s smallest apartments are fueling big gains in rents.

The median rent in the borough jumped 8.9 percent last month to $3,375, according to a report Thursday by appraiser Miller Samuel Inc. and brokerage Douglas Elliman Real Estate. Costs for studio apartments climbed 10 percent to a median $2,351, while rents for one-bedrooms rose 9.4 percent to $3,400, both the highest in more than seven years of record-keeping.

New York’s smaller apartments are luring new tenants entering an improving job market in the city, as well as those who can’t afford bigger homes. Would-be buyers who have been shut out of owning because of high prices and tight credit are also lingering as renters.

“The studio and one-bedroom market is the more common jumping-off point for first-time buyers,” said Jonathan Miller, president of Miller Samuel and a Bloomberg View contributor. Rents are rising “because of the logjam that has been created by people who have either been priced out of the purchase market or don’t qualify for a mortgage.”

Manhattan apartment prices jumped to the highest since their 2008 peak in the fourth quarter as buyers competed for a limited supply of homes. Demand was greatest for one-bedroom apartments, which accounted for 38 percent of all sales last quarter, Miller said.

A strengthening job market is also fueling housing demand. New York City’s private sector added 112,300 jobs in the 12 months through January, and the unemployment rate fell to 7.1 percent that month from 8.3 percent a year earlier, the New York State Labor Department said Tuesday.

More Affordable

While employment is improving, incomes aren’t rising as fast as Manhattan rents, leading tenants to seek affordability by finding smaller spaces, Gary Malin, president of brokerage Citi Habitats, said in an interview.

“Smaller apartments are drawing more attention because there’s more of an appetite for those price points if there’s only a certain amount of money you can afford to spend,” Malin said.

Citi Habitats, which also released a report today on the Manhattan rental market, said the average rent for a studio increased 5 percent in February from a year earlier to $2,150. Rents for one-bedroom units climbed 3 percent to $2,893.

Rents declined at the higher end of the market. Two-bedroom units fell 2 percent to $3,957, and three-bedrooms dropped 1 percent to $5,133, Citi Habitats said.


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1.8 Million Bubble-Era HELOCS Could Bust | Katonah Real Estate

More than half, 56 percent, of the 3.3 million Home Equity Lines of Credit scheduled to reset over the next four years with fully amortizing monthly payments replacing interest-only payments are on properties that are seriously underwater, according to a new report from RealtyTrac.

With no equity remaining in the Bubble-era HRLOCs, the risk is high that the resets will trigger widespread foreclosures as owners struggle to meet the higher monthly payments.

A total of 3,262,036 HELOCs with an estimated total balance of $158 billion that originated during the housing price bubble between 2005 and 2008 are still open and scheduled to reset between 2015 and 2018. Of these, 1,834,588 (56 percent) are on residential properties that are seriously underwater, meaning the combined loan to value ratio of all outstanding loans secured by the property is 125 percent or higher.

“Homes purchased or refinanced near the peak of the housing bubble between 2005 and 2008 are much more likely to still be underwater despite the strong recovery in home prices over the last three years,” said Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac. “Furthermore, many homeowners with HELOCs who have positive equity likely already refinanced to mitigate the payment shock from a resetting HELOC — an option not readily available for homeowners still underwater.

“While these underwater homeowners experiencing payment shock from resetting HELOCs are at higher risk for default, the good news is that we’ve already seen a large wave of more than 700,000 resetting HELOCs in 2014 without a corresponding wave of defaults,” Blomquist noted. “The bad news is that a much lower 40 percent of those 2014 HELOC resets were on seriously underwater homes. We are entering a period of higher risk over the next four years when it comes to resetting bubble-era HELOCs — especially given slowing home price appreciation that offers underwater homeowners less hope of recovering their equity in the short term.”



States with most HELOC resets are California, Florida, Illinois, Texas and New Jersey

With 645,872 HELOCs scheduled to reset over the next four years, California led the way among the states in terms of sheer volume of resetting HELOCs. A total of 423,706 (66 percent) of those resetting HELOCs in California are on homes still seriously underwater, and the average monthly payment increase on HELOCs resetting in California over the next four years is $215.

Florida had the second highest number among all states of resetting HELOCs over the next four years, with 513,229, followed by Illinois with 158,199. In both Florida and Illinois, seriously underwater homes backed 71 percent of the resetting HELOCs over the next four years.

Texas had the fourth highest number of resetting HELOCs with 158,017 over the next four years — 36 percent of which were on seriously underwater homes, and New Jersey had the fifth highest number of resetting HELOCs with 145,312 over the next four years — 47 percent of which were on seriously underwater homes.


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Mixing Vintage and Modern in an Urban Family Kitchen | South Salem Real Estate

Emily and Ian Allison’s kitchen looked like it was thrown together on a whim, that’s because it kind of was. When previous owners converted their 1888-built home into a duplex, they put together an ad hoc kitchen on the second floor because the original kitchen resided on the ground floor. So when the Allisons bought both units and rented out the bottom floor, they were stuck with a kitchen that seriously lacked function. “There wasn’t even a single drawer,” says Ian. “It was a bummer.”

Housing Costs Plunge for Owners, Soar for Renters | Katonah Real Estate

A much higher proportion of renters than homeowners are cost burdened by their housing expenses and the number is growing quickly due to rising rents and affordable home prices.

Last year, 39.6 million households spent more than 30 percent of their income on housing, down from 40.9 million in 2012 and a peak of 42.7 million in 2010.  Still, just over a third of U.S. households (34 percent) were cost burdened in 2013, including about a quarter of all homeowners (26 percent) and half of all renters (49 percent), according to the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies.

Last year’s decline in the number of cost-burdened households, however, occurred almost exclusively among homeowners.  Cost burdened households are those where housing costs exceed 30 percent of income.


Nearly 19 million owners were cost burdened in 2013, down from 20.3 million in 2012.  The number of owners with severe cost burdens – paying more than 50 percent of income for housing – also slid, from 8.5 million in 2012 to 8.1 million in 2013.  The easing of owner cost burdens is due in part to a dramatic decline in median homeowner housing costs.  After surging during the housing bubble, inflation-adjusted owner costs have dropped to about 2.5 percent below their 2001 level (Figure 2).  Owner burdens are also down due to a significant reduction in the overall number of homeowners – fully 294,000 fewer households in 2013 than 2012.  This decline in the number of homeowners for the third straight year (and the fifth time since 2007) suggests that many burdened owners dropped out of ownership, moving into the costly rental market.



With many exiting ownership and new households forming, the number of renter households was up by 615,000 in 2013.  Indeed, a major reason why renter cost burdens remain persistently high is that the overall number of renters continues to grow.  Despite a slight decline in cost-burdened share, the sharp growth in renter households pushed the number with cost burdens up for the twelfth consecutive year, reaching 20.8 million in 2013.  Of these, about 11.2 million were severely burdened in both years.  Cost pressures also continue to drive burdens higher as over the past decade, renter costs have largely gone up, while renter incomes have declined.  As Figure 2 shows, real median renter costs in 2013 were about five percent higher than in 2001 while, even with modest income gains in 2013, median incomes were nearly 11 percent lower.  If past patterns hold and income growth remains stagnant, rental costs continue to climb, and affordable ownership stays out of reach, rental cost burdens will only continue to grow.


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Housing starts drop 2.8% in October but permits up | Katonah Real Estate

Privately-owned housing starts dropped 2.8% in October to print at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,009,000 units, which is still 7.8% above the October 2013 rate of 936,000.

Single-family housing starts, which have been lagging through the summer and fall, finally perked up, growing 4.2% from last month’s tepid performance.

This comes one day after the National Association of Home Builder’s monthly survey said builder confidence is up for November.

Notably the only region with gains in starts was the South, which saw an increase of 10.1%. The West saw a drop of 10.9%, the Northeast dropped 16.4% and the Midwest plunged 18.5%.

“While permits rose in October, starts declined on weakness in the multi-family sector. Still, following yesterday’s rise in the NAHB Index, there appears to be a significant amount of confidence amid home builders breaking ground on new projects as low financing costs and improvement in the labor market are expected to bring new demand for housing,” said Lindsey Piegza, chief economist for Sterne Agee. “While there has been improvement in sales since a weak start to the year, demand has hardly been robust. Minimal income, lackluster savings, and more stringent borrowing restrictions are in some cases outweighing historically low borrowing costs.

“After a surge in buying activity in mid-2013 sparked by the Fed’s taper talk, demand slipped noticeably and has since been unable to recapture the highs of 2013. In the end, without jobs and income growth, consumers remain restrained, translating into positive, but modest demand,” she said.

Privately-owned housing units authorized by building permits in October were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,080,000, which was 4.8% above the revised September rate of 1,031,000 and is 1.2% above the October 2013 estimate of 1,067,000.

Paul Diggle, property economist for Capital Economics, was optimistic in his outlook.

“The decline in housing starts in October was entirely driven by a fall in the volatile multi-family component,” Diggle said. “With single-family starts, building permits and homebuilder confidence all rising, the outlook is becoming increasingly positive.”

The permits level is also the highest since June 2008.

Single-family authorizations in October were at a rate of 640,000, which makes for a 1.4% gain on the revised September figure of 631,000.


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Dreamy 1830s Abode Was a Stop on the Underground Railroad | Katonah Real Estate



Location: Westerville, Ohio
Price: $1,250,000
The Skinny: Several homes in the northeastern Columbus suburb of Westerville, Ohio, were stations on the Underground Railroad. One of them, an updated five-bedroom with a spiffy columned facade, some beautiful mounted panels rescued from the LeVeque Tower, a Jeffersonian-looking dome topped with a skylight, and a 1930s schoolhouse outfitted for guest accommodations, was put on the market just the other day.

The oldest sections, which were built in 1830, according to the marketing material, have a healthy amount of exposed brick that’s since been balanced out by large windows and glass doors in the rear of the home. Much of the yellow pine and walnut woodwork is original, and there’s vintage tiling in a few of the bathrooms. With a pool and an expansive brick patio, facing out on a about five acres with “mature trees & landscaping,” this handsome historic hodgepodge is priced at $1.25M.



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Removing Wall to Wall Carpeting by Bob Villa | Katonah Homes

Source: charlesandhudson.com

Source: charlesandhudson.com

I am moving to a new house where the living room and dining area have wall-to-wall carpeting. I asked the previous owner, and he told me there is hardwood flooring underneath. Could you please tell me how to remove carpet?

Even with regular vacuuming, carpeting accumulates a great deal of dust, dirt and debris. So if and when you finally decide to rip it up, be sure to give the floor covering one last good vacuuming. Empty the room of furnishings, open the windows and don your dust mask — then get to work!

Materials & tools

  • Large contractor trash bags
  • Nail puller pliers
  • Steel putty knife
  • Flat pry bar (at least 15 inches)
  • Hammer
  • Utility knife (or tin snips)
  • Leather work gloves
  • Carpet padding adhesive remover (optional)
  • Scraper (optional)

Step 1

Was your carpeting installed under shoe molding? Assuming it was, the first thing to do is remove that trimwork with your putty knife and pry bar. Check the molding for damage: If it remains in good shape, save it for reuse. Chances are the trim is full of nails; when pulling them out, take care not to inflict any avoidable damage. If the molding looks a little worse for wear, consider giving it a fresh coat of paint prior to re-installation.

Step 2

Now that there is no obstruction between you and the carpeting, use a utility knife or a sharpened pair of tin snips to cut the material into three- or four-foot-wide strips. (Cut all the way through the backing but stop short of the flooring beneath.) Once complete, begin pulling the carpet away from the tack strips on the perimeter. Roll up the sections as you remove them, placing them into heavy-duty trash bags ready for disposal.


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5 Best Places to Hide Emergency Cash at Home | Katonah Real Esate

They call it saving for a rainy day, but when we wait for the rainy day before we begin saving, we’re left in a quandary if we need funds on hand in the event of an emergency. Personal finance experts suggest keeping a financial reserve of three to six months of living expenses at all times. But according to a recent poll by the nonprofit Corporation for Enterprise Development, 44 percent of Americans don’t readily have the liquid assets they need to cover surprise expenses — and even fewer people hold it in the form of that classic currency: cash.

In the event of some national emergency, major catastrophe or just a bad power outage, financial institutions could be rendered temporarily inoperable, as well as your ability to withdraw money or use your credit or debit card. Having some physical cash is practical, though you might hesitate to position any in your home since a suitable, theft-proof hiding spot is hard to find. The old money-taped-to-the-underside-of-the-toilet-lid trick doesn’t work. (Just like under your mattress, it’s one of the first places burglars look.)

Consider these unique and safe hiding places right in your own home to tuck your emergency savings fund.

1. Inside false infrastructure. Constructing fake fixtures around the house, like a drain pipe in the basement, return air vent in the living room or power outlet on a bedroom wall, gives the appearance of working household parts, but in fact, acts as a facade for hiding your emergency money inside. Some homeowners may need to be on the handier side for this idea, since it may involve some do-it-yourself drilling, fitting and securing. Too DIY intensive? Many online vendors sell installation-ready versions that double as light switches or electrical plates.

2. Buried outside. What better way to hide money inside your house than hiding it outside? Pick a reasonably conspicuous spot in your yard or garden to bury your money, and carefully protected, nobody will find it — except you, as long as you remember where you dug. Be sure not to leave your $20s, $50s and $100s uncovered, since the elements can decompose the paper over time. Instead, zip cash up in bags, put it in glass jars and/or wrap the bills in plastic or a small tarp. Unless would-be thieves have a shovel, light and plenty of time on their side, they’re unlikely to look in the ground.

3. Disguised and dispersed. Sometimes, hiding your money in less conspicuous places can be the most inconspicuous hiding spot that a thief might overlook. Are you a devout bibliophile? Hollowing out a book to stuff some bills into is an outdated method, but not for anyone with an extensive library of tomes floor to ceiling, where the “money book” is hidden among hundreds of other books and more difficult to find. What about hiding some cash in an envelope in a box of blank envelopes? Odds are the irony will be lost on a burglar with a low IQ. Money doesn’t have to be folded or stacked, either: It can be rolled into bike tires, curtain rods, hollow broom handles, table legs, or anything cylindrical that needs more than a bit of dismantling. (Remember, you don’t need to keep all your emergency money in one place, either.)

4. Sleeping with the fishes. If you own some pets of the aquatic kind, and their tank is large enough, roll your emergency proceeds securely in a solid color jar and hide it among the coral, seaweed, Atlantis ruins or behind the water filter — places that even the most concentrated, keen eye might miss. If that’s not opaque enough, go for an envelope wrapped in plastic, more plastic and a Ziplock bag, and place it flat at the bottom of the tank under colored gravel. Homeowners with a fish pond can do better by nestling a jar of money at the pond bottom, making sure it’s submerged and heavy enough to prevent flotation to the top. Don’t worry — the fish won’t tell.



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