North Salem NY Weekend Real Estate Report | RobReportBlogNEXT POST
Email versus Social Media Marketing | Pound Ridge NY Homes Yesterday we hosted our biggest webinar yet, The Science of Email Marketing! With 20,000 registrants, the event gave rise to a great discussion and became a number one trending topic on Twitter. As we were unable to answer all of our participants’ questions live, we decided to address some of…
What you need to know when you are considering Home Insurance:
1. You’re a statistic.
To an insurer, you’re not a person; you’re a set of risks. An insurer bases its premium (or its decision to insure you at all) on your “risk factors,” including your occupation, who you are, what you own, and how you live.
2. Know your home’s value.
Before you choose a policy, it is essential to establish your home’s replacement cost. A local builder can provide the best estimate.
3. Insurers differ.
As with anything else you buy, what seems to be the same product can be priced differently by different companies. You can save money by comparison shopping.
4. Don’t just look at price.
A low price is no bargain if an insurer takes forever to service your claim. Research the insurer’s record for claims service, as well as its financial stability.
5. Go beyond the basics.
A basic homeowners policy may not promise to entirely replace your home.
6. Demand discounts. Insurers provide discounts to reward behavior that reduces risk.
However, Americans waste money every year because they forget to ask for them!
7. At claims time, your insurer isn’t necessarily your friend.
Your idea of fair compensation may not match that of your insurer. Your insurer’s job is to restore you financially. Your job is to prove your losses so you get what you need.
Gas Furnaces vs. Oil and electric Furnaces
Most residential furnaces are old, highly inefficient, and a cause of high energy bills and pollution. And many are oil furnaces, which raises the question: is it worth changing to a gas furnace?
Furnace and fuels
For many years oil and natural gas heating systems were in direct competition, without no clear economical advantage of any of them.
Today, in most cases, gas furnaces are a better option due to their efficiency, cleanness, easier maintenance, and also by economical reasons. Propane isn’t such a good option, and electricity isn’t a true economical choice, except for small needs…
The oil and gas prices are still fluctuating, making it difficult to give a definitive advice. But most experts bet on gas, even considering prices fluctuations or the supply and connection charges, surcharges, discounts, etc. involving the different fuels.
Electric furnaces have low maintenance requirements and are easy to install and cheap, but they are much more expensive to operate than gas (and oil…) furnaces.
Electric furnaces should only be considered for infrequently uses and small needs, mostly in moderate climates. But in this case electric furnaces have other well positioned competitors, like modern gas stoves or even insert fireplaces…
Oil furnaces are no more a popular option. Their efficiency has risen a lot (80% and more are the standard), and there are now new high-efficient oil furnaces offered by manufacturers like Carrier/Bryant or Thermo Pride, but that doesn’t make them a first option.
High efficient oil furnaces – with a reliability that prior models didn’t offer – require a different and better chimney, often an upgrade with a stainless steel liner inside the old structure. Installing a sealed-vent model is highly advantageous, even if that costs more…
Oil Furnaces disadvantages
Oil furnaces are now a relatively clean option, but not as cleaner as the gas one; they also require more maintenance than their gas or electric counterparts, besides storage tanks and insurance costs and other higher requirements; but above all, they involve higher running costs – a trend that will not be reversed in the future, according to most forecasts…
New natural gas and propane furnaces
In most cases, switching from oil or electric furnaces to gas units is an economical option. Even if the gas furnaces require relining the chimney or a plastic venting out the side wall, as high-efficiency furnaces do.
Gas furnaces are cleaner, require low maintenance, provide higher energy savings and are more friendly for the environment. Bet on a highly efficient gas furnace system, if you are not considering hypotheses like solar, heat pumps or space heating combined with high levels of home insulation and sealing…
Propane furnaces are usually modified natural gas equipment, for regions where natural gas isn’t available.
Chappaqua NY Weekly Real Estate Report | Chappaqua NY HomesNEXT POST
Home Ownership in The US Drops | Bedford NY Homes A smaller percentage of American households own their own homes today than at any time since 1998, a dramatic decline from the all-time high in homeownership just six years ago. The homeownership gap between white and minority households is approaching 30 percent, greater than it has ever been as long…
Sales of existing homes jumped in December, marking the fifth month of gains in the past six months, based on an industry report released Thursday.
Previously-owned home sales climbed 12.3% in December to an annual rate of 5.28 million, from 4.70 million in November, according to the National Association of Realtors.
That puts sales at the highest level since the homebuyer tax credit expired in June, said Stuart Hoffman, chief economist at PNC Financial Services Group.
The December rate came in much higher than expected. A consensus of experts surveyed by Briefing.com had forecast an annualized sales rate of 4.8 million. However, sales were down 2.9% from 12 months earlier and fell 4.7% in 2010.
“December was a nice finish to the year, but looking at the bigger picture — home sales and prices have been scraping along the bottom for the last three years,” Hoffman said. “So, while we’re not digging a deeper hole — the housing market is still quite weak, and there are still more homes available on the market than there are likely to be buyers.”
The median price of all existing homes sold in December was $168,800, down 1% from a year ago.
Meanwhile, the inventory of homes on the market fell 4.2% in December to 3.56 million units. That’s enough inventory to last 8.1 months, and is down from a 9.5-month supply in November.
While that’s an improvement, Hoffman said that data doesn’t reflect the large number of foreclosures that could soon enter on the market.
“What’s hidden behind the curtain are potential foreclosures adding to those inventory levels,” he said. “Even as we have jobs growing, inventory is still large and more foreclosures are going to be coming on the market. Prices will go down and it’s going to continue to be very much a buyer’s market.”
That said, Hoffman expects sales to gradually improve — rising about 4% or 5% — by the end of 2011, as the employment picture improves.
“I do think there will be more sales in 2011, because job growth will support homebuyers,” Hoffman said. “We’re getting back to the underlying demand without the homebuyer tax credit, but housing is still not contributing much to the overall economic improvement in the economy.”
Lewisboro is rich in natural areas and is a component of the biotic corridor. Two Westchester County Parks are on Lewisboro’s borders, and there are 6 town parks and several community preserves.
Ward Pound Ridge Reservation is Westchester County’s largest (4,700 acre) park. In addition to many trails, there are camping facilities and a Trailside Museum. The main entrance is on route 121 in Cross River.
Mountain Lakes Camp is a County park on the northern border of Lewisboro, with beautiful ponds and trails in the forest. The most popular trail leads to Look Out Point which is perched on top of a cliff overlooking Lake Waccabuc,Lake Oscaleta and Lake Rippowam.
The Lewisboro Town Park on Route 35 contains tennis courts, the town pool, ball fields, and outdoor basketball courts. When ice skating is available in winter, a sign is posted. There are also some walking trails in this park that connect to the adjacent Ward Pound Ridge Reservation.
The Leon Levy Preserve was acquired by the town in 2006 as open space. While some trails exist in this 370-acre (1.5 km2) parcel, as of 2008 additional horse and hiking trails are under development and parking is still limited.
The Brownell Preserve is 118 acres (0.48 km2) of forested land given to the town. It has a 2-mile (3.2 km) trail that loops past an overlook of Lake Katonah.
The Old Field Preserve was obtained in 2003, and contains about 100 acres (0.40 km2) of woods, wetlands, and sizable old fields (thus, the name). The meadows will be preserved to support the birds and animals that are dependent upon this increasingly rare habitat.
Fox Valley Park has a variety of sports facilities for the town, including very busy soccer fields, ball fields, and tennis courts.
See Walking Wild Lewisboro for information on park facilities and trail maps.
Armonk NY real estate was UP 34% in 2010 compared to 2009. Very good news. The Armonk NY median price dropped 6.37% to $955,000. Sellers understand there is a lot of competition to sell and need to price accordingly.
2010 Armonk Sales Numbers
3664 average square feet
$4,000,000 high price
$460,000 low price
$955,000 Median price
$337 average price per foot
215 average days on market
92.95% average sold to ask price
2009 Armonk Sales Numbers
3906 average square feet
$5,100,000 high price
$425,000 low price
$1,020,000 Median price
$338 average price per foot
190 average days on market
91.56% average sold to ask price