Tag Archives: Mount Kisco NY Homes

Construction Job Openings Decline in August | Mt Kisco Real Estate

The count of unfilled jobs in the overall construction sector fell in August, as residential construction employment hiring accelerated in August and September.

According to the BLS Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) and NAHB analysis, the number of open construction sector jobs (on a seasonally adjusted basis) fell to 184,000 in August, after establishing a cycle high of 225,000 in July (post-data revisions). The July estimate represents the highest monthly count of open, unfilled jobs since February 2007.

The open position rate (job openings as a percent of total employment) for August was 2.7%. On a smoothed twelve-month moving average basis, the open position rate for the construction sector held steady at 2.9%, near a cycle high.

The overall trend for open construction jobs has been increasing since the end of the Great Recession. This is consistent with survey data indicating that access to labor remains a top business challenge for builders.


The construction sector hiring rate, as measured on a twelve-month moving average basis, ticked up to 4.7% in August.

Monthly employment data for September 2016 (the employment count data from the BLS establishment survey are published one month ahead of the JOLTS data) indicate that home builder and remodeler net hiring continued to rebound, as sector employment increased by 15,700 after posting a 14,400 gain in August. These gains come after a recent period of hiring weakness, which has reduced the 6-month moving average of jobs gains for residential construction to just under 4,000.

Residential construction employment now stands at 2.617 million, broken down as 738,000 builders and 1.879 million residential specialty trade contractors.


Over the last 12 months home builders and remodelers have added 146,000 jobs on a net basis. Since the low point of industry employment following the Great Recession, residential construction has gained 631,000 positions.


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Inventory update | Mt Kisco Real Estate

When we publishedWill Sellers Step up the Plate in 2016? “two weeks ago December market report weren’t in yet and it was clearly too early to blow the bugle over the inventory picture for the coming season

The reports are now in and hands are reaching for the nearest brass instruments.  Too many signals from too many sources are not looking good, especially for the mid to lower tier entry-level homes that Millennials need to escape the Rent Trap.

“Insufficient supply levels” is how NAR’s Lawrence Yun characterized the inventory picture when he released December existing home sales.  The headlines last week.  His careful choice of words masked the very serious possibility that inventories at the outset this year could be worse than last or even 20013 when shortages erupted in bubbles across California.

Here’s a quick review of the latest:


NAR Traffic Report

Seller traffic was broadly “weak” across most states in December, as measured by Sentrilock, the leading lock box system.  Seller traffic was reported to be “strong” only in North Dakota where much residential construction took place as builders anticipated strong housing demand in the wake of the boom in oil production. There was also “very strong” selling activity in Puerto Rico, where significant out-migration is taking place, given the economy’s financial woes.2016-01-25_12-07-38 

NAR Existing Home Sales and Realtor Confidence Index

Total housing inventory at the end of December dropped 12.3 percent to 1.79 million existing homes available for sale, and is now 3.8 percent lower than a year ago (1.86 million). Unsold inventory is at a 3.9-month supply at the current sales pace, down from 5.1 months in November and the lowest since January 2005 (3.6 months).

Nationally, properties sold in December 2015 were typically on the market 58 days compared to 66 days one year ago.  Fewer days on the market are an indication that inventory remains tight. Short sales were on the market for the longest time at 86 days, while foreclosed properties typically stayed on the market for 68 days. Non-distressed properties were typically on the market for 57 days. Nationally, approximately 32 percent of properties were on the market for less than a month when sold.


Active inventories on Zillow in December fell by 7.7 percent from December 2014.  Listings on the site dropped from 1,6012,255 to 1,477,330 (SAAR).


December median age of inventory was 94 days, which is up 12 percent from November but still down 6 percent year-over-year.


Last month (November) prices spiked due to a dearth of properties on the market. In December, there was a three-month supply of homes for sale, a steep slide from the 4.1 months reported in November. The lack of inventory supported a fast market, where the typical home sold in 41 days, a week faster than a year ago.  December listings fell 10.3 percent from November and 5.4 from December 2014.


Source: Re/Max


The inventory of homes for sale remains very tight in many metros across the country, at a level that is 14.2% lower than December 2014. At the rate of home sales in December, the national Months’ Supply of Inventory was 4.9, down from 5.7 one year ago. A 6.0 months’ supply indicates a market balanced equally between buyers and sellers. The number of homes for sale in December was 12.5% less than in November and 14.2% less than in December last year. The average loss of inventory on a year-over-year basis for 2015 was 12.2%. The highest month supply was seen in Augusta, ME at 14.1 months.  Three metros had a supply less than 2 months, San Francisco with 1.1, Denver, CO 1.8 and Seattle at 1.9 months.


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Homes are officially being sold at the highest prices, ever | Mt Kisco Realtor

Thanks to rising demand and shrinking supply, the median existing-home price for all housing types reached an all-time high in June.

According to the latest data from the National Association of Realtors, the median existing-homes sales price rose to $236,400, which exceeds the previous peak median sales price set in July 2006 of $230,400.

June’s total also rose 6.5% above June 2014.

In May, the median existing-home price for all housing types was $228,700, which was 7.9% above May 2014.

That marked the 39th consecutive month of year-over-year price gains, making June the 40th straight month of year-over-year price gains.

Despite record prices, existing-home sales also reached their highest pace in more than eight years.

Total existing-home sales, which are completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, increased 3.2% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.49 million in June from a downwardly revised 5.32 million in May.

Sales are now at their highest pace since February 2007 (5.79 million), have increased year-over-year for nine consecutive months and are 9.6% above a year ago (5.01 million).

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said that buoyed by June’s solid gain in closings, this year’s spring buying season has been the strongest since the crisis began.

“Buyers have come back in force, leading to the strongest past two months in sales since early 2007,” Yun said. “This wave of demand is being fueled by a year-plus of steady job growth and an improving economy that’s giving more households the financial wherewithal and incentive to buy.”

According to NAR’s report, total housing inventory at the end of June rose slightly by 0.9% to 2.30 million existing homes available for sale, which is is 0.4% higher than the same time period a year ago (2.29 million).

Unsold inventory is at a 5.0-month supply at the current sales pace, down from 5.1 months in May.

“Limited inventory amidst strong demand continues to push home prices higher, leading to declining affordability for prospective buyers,” said Yun. “Local officials in recent years have rightly authorized permits for new apartment construction, but more needs to be done for condominiums and single-family homes.”

According to NAR’s report, the percent share of first-time buyers fell to 30% in June from 32% in May, but remained at or above 30% for the fourth consecutive month.

One year ago, first-time buyers represented 28% of all buyers.

NAR President Chris Polychron said that Realtors are reporting “drastic imbalances” of supply in relation to demand in many metro areas — especially in the West.

“The demand for buying has really heated up this summer, leading to multiple bidders and homes selling at or above asking price,” Polychron said. “Furthermore, tight inventory conditions are being exacerbated by the fact that some homeowners are hesitant to sell because they’re not optimistic they’ll have adequate time to find an affordable property to move into.”


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Mortgage Rates at 3.87% | Mount Kisco Real Estate

The average rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage remained at 3.87% in the week that ended June 4, matching the prior week’s reading, which was the highest since the end of 2014, according to a Thursday report from federally controlled mortgage-buyer Freddie Mac.

A year ago, the 30-year rate was at 4.14%. A record low of 3.31% for the 30-year mortgage was hit in November 2012.

The average rate for the 15-year fixed-rate mortgage decreased to 3.08% in the latest week from 3.11% in the prior week.

Meanwhile, the rate for a 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage rose to 2.96% from 2.90%. The rate for a 1-year Treasury-indexed ARM jumped up to 2.59% from 2.50%.


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Builders increased building activity in April | Mt Kisco Real Estate

Builders increased building activity in April to a level not seen since November 2007. Total starts increased 20.2% from March to April to a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 1.135 million. The increase was broad based with a 16.7% increase in single-family starts to a level of 733,000, the highest since January 2008, and multifamily (2 or more units in the structure) increase of 27.2% to an annual rate of 402,000.

Some of the increase in the total and both sectors was due to poor readings in February and March due to particularly cold and snow-laden weather. But the increases, particularly in the single-family market, are also indicative of the continued healing taking place. Home buyers have been reluctant to buy until there is a clear sign that the economy, and more particularly their own future, is more positive. As employment grows and some wages increase and as home equity improves, some of those households break out of their concerns and are beginning to shop for a new home.

Permits were also up suggesting the positive trend will continue. Total permits rose 10.1% to 1.143 million units, the highest since December 2007. Single-family permits were up 3.7% from March to 666,000 and multifamily permits totaled 477,000 the highest since April 2006. Apartment construction continues to grow as most newly formed households are turning to renting.

Single-family starts increased in all regions and multifamily starts increased in the West and Northeast and were virtually unchanged in the Midwest. Multifamily starts were down 20% in the South. Single-family permits were up in every region and multifamily permits were up in the Northeast and South and virtually unchanged in the West. Multifamily permits were down 6% in the Midwest.


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Flips Flopped in 2014 | Mt Kisco Real Estate

Don’t tell the HGTV producers who find audiences for their endless stream of shows devoted to house flipping, but it’s looking like flipping is losing popularity.

RealtyTrac® reports that last year flips fell to their lowest market share since 2011.  Some 136,269 U.S. single family homes were flipped in 2014, 5.4 percent of all single family home sales during the year.

A total of 32,578 U.S. single family homes were flipped in the fourth quarter, representing 5.3 percent of all single family home sales during the quarter. The 5.3 percent share of flips in the fourth quarter was up 11 percent from the previous quarter but still down 12 percent from a year ago.

Flips are dwindling despite improving returns.  The average gross profit — the difference between the purchase price and flipped price — for completed flips of single family homes in the fourth quarter was $65,993, representing a 37.1 percent gross return. That was up from an average gross profit of $65,285 representing a 36.5 percent gross return in the third quarter, and an average gross profit of $63,017 representing a 36.4 percent gross return in the fourth quarter of 2013.

“Investors have picked much of the low-hanging fruit when it comes to home flipping over the past three years since home prices bottomed out in the first quarter of 2012,” said Daren Blomquist, vice president at RealtyTrac. “As home price appreciation slows to single digits in most markets, flippers need to be more selective and creative about the properties and neighborhoods they target.

“In many cases the best neighborhoods for profitable flipping in a slower-appreciating market are those that come with a higher risk because of location and condition of properties, but also have a bigger upside if investors are able to correctly predict the path of progress in the region,” Blomquist added. “It appears that most investors completing flips in the fourth quarter were able to do just that. Even though the share of flips was down from a year ago during the quarter, the average gross return per flip increased.”

Zips with highest share of Q4 flips in Detroit, Los Angeles, Memphis, Miami
Among zip codes with at least 10 single family home flips completed in the fourth quarter of 2014, there were 10 where flips represented 25 percent or more of all single family home sales during the quarter. Metropolitan statistical areas with top 10 zip codes for share of flips in the fourth quarter were Detroit, Los Angeles, Memphis, Miami, Jacksonville, Florida, Tampa and San Diego.


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Here’s the budget of a 27-year-old who owns 2 houses | Mt Kisco Real Estate

After graduating college in 2009, Brian Maida lived with his parents for about two years in order to save the money to buy his first home.

He bought a second one in 2013.

Maida, 27, lives in New Jersey and works in business development and sales. He says it only took about $14,000 to buy that first place, which he now rents out for supplemental income.

“I was able to refinance that loan within a year and show them that I had 20% equity based on their appraisal, and that lowered my payment by almost 20%,” Maida explains. “You can get pretty good deals on real estate if you look hard and negotiate.”

He bought his second place, where he now lives, in  a short sale with  5% down, and he currently pays private mortgage insurance (PMI).

In fact, Maida devotes the bulk of his monthly budget to his properties, and plans to buy a third property in March of this year. “I liquidated my 401(K) and Roth IRA,” he explains. “I no longer believe in investing in the stock market — I follow it too much. I would rather buy real estate and leverage my money. Right now I own about $250,000 in real estate, and I put in maybe $40,000.”

Below, Maida shares his monthly budget based on his $5,656 monthly income ($4,306 from his salary, $1,350 rental income from his investment property). He budgets according to take-home pay from his base salary, plus paycheck withdrawals like medical insurance but excluding taxes. He chooses to list out the withdrawals in case he ever becomes a contractor in the future. “I don’t even put commission on here, because in my role, I could make $100,000 one year and $200,000 the next,” he adds. “All the commission is extra money I’d save.”

All numbers are rounded to the nearest dollar.

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maida budget

Brian Maida

To simplify the visual, we’ve abbreviated Maida’s primary home, where he lives, as “PH.” We’ve also condensed the costs of his investment property ($1,307) into one category that includes his separate payments for the mortgage, taxes, HOA fee, the landlord/tenant policy, and any other costs.

The “pets” category includes two categories that Maida lists separately for his two dogs and a cat: food/treats/toys/vet ($200) and walking/sitting ($60). His “accident insurance” category includes both his personal death and dismemberment coverage and his enrollment in his employer’s legal plan.

Vegaprocity” includes costs associated with the vegan website Maida runs on the side. In fact, he provides a downloadable budgeting template on his site.

His monthly costs, which he splits into fixed and variable categories, add up to $4,674 a month, leaving a difference of $982. “If stick to this budget, I save about $12,000 a year,” Maida explains. “My tax return is another approximately $3,000 — that’s $15,000 a year.  Next, I’d like to buy a house for $250,000 to $500,000.”


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Why you need grab bars in your bathroom | Mt Kisco Real Estate

You might think the kitchen, with its hot stoves and sharp utensils, would be the most dangerous room in your home, but it’s actually the bathroom. According to a 2011 report from the national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, falls­—the No. 1 problem—most often occurred in or around the bathtub, shower, or toilet.

“We get lots of calls for slips and falls in the bathroom,” says Howard Mell, M.D., a spokesman for the American College of Emergency Physicians who works at several hospitals in Cleveland.

The bathroom is especially hazardous for women, who are at a higher risk than men for falling and getting hurt, perhaps because of lesser body strength and bone mass.

For those age 65 and older, falls often cause more serious injuries, such as hip fractures. Seniors, according to the report, were also more likely to be injured getting on or off the toilet. Standing after sitting for a long time, especially if you’re dehydrated or taking certain med­ications, can result in a sudden drop in blood pressure that can cause light-­headedness or dizziness.

But few of us have bathrooms that are equipped with grab bars, a secure safety device that looks like a railing and could prevent falls. Here are other modifications you can make to your bathroom to make it a safer place.


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Kitchen DIY Projects to Tackle This Weekend | Mt Kisco Real Estate

The kitchen is the most popular room to remodel, but sadly, it is not the cheapest. One way to offset those costs is by completing the work yourself. Despite its high traffic, there are plenty of kitchen remodeling projects homeowners can accomplish without the help of a professional. If you want to shed some costs and transform your kitchen, read on to learn more about seven easy DIY projects perfect for any kitchen remodel.

The Benefits of Kitchen Remodels

Before you begin your kitchen remodel, you have to know why you are remodeling. Homeowners redo their kitchens for a variety of reasons; some just want a new look, some are planning to move, some can’t deal with their tile floors, and others just want more functionality. However, when we talked to homeowners across the country, three dominant reasons became evident.

Homeowners remodel their kitchens to:

  • Increase the value of their home
  • Add different designs
  • Install more storage or make it more convenient

1. DIY Kitchen Countertops

Kitchens almost always start and end with the countertops. Homeowners tend to shy away from working with expensive features—like their countertops—but as you will see, installing your own kitchen countertops is a job anyone can handle.

After you decide on your material, know the dimensions and have your counters cut (by the manufacturer), all homeowners can follow the steps below.

  1. Double-check that the counter size and cuts are perfect
  2. Add the sink before you install the counters (sink hole should be cut)
  3. Place countertop on workstation with plenty of space
  4. Drill a hole for the faucet and the brackets
  5. Add silicone around sink hole (ask countertop manufacturer what silicone or adhesive they recommend)
  6. Add the sink to the countertop
  7. Place countertop in desired location
  8. Seal all spaces with colored adhesive (match the countertop)
  9. Connect water lines

Thailand 2008 - House 1

2. How to Install a Sink

There are those homeowners who grow tired of looking at the same kitchen sinks for years and years. Much like the kitchen counters, all it takes is careful precision and a steady hand.

If you are installing a new sink, you will need to cut a hole in the countertop, just as we did above. The sink manufacturer should provide a cutting template. Just like the counters, install the faucet and waste line to the sink before the sink is secured in the hole—much easier.

Use the following steps to install the sink:

  1. Turn your sink over on your countertop in the desired location
  2. Trace around the sink
  3. Drill four holes at the corners of the sink placement
  4. Use a jigsaw to cut from corner to corner
  5. Check that the sink fits inside the hole
  6. Seal the cut edges of the countertop with a preservative primer
  7. Put the faucet in the sink and install the hoses as well
  8. Install the waste line as the instructions show
  9. Add a layer of adhesive on the counter where the sink will sit
  10. Some homeowners add retaining clips around the edges of the sink at this time
  11. Once you put the sink into place, tighten the clips if needed
  12. Connect the faucets and waste lines

For a more detailed description, please see our friends over at the DIY Network.

3. DIY Kitchen Cabinets

Much like the counters, homeowners tend to shy away from installing their own kitchen cabinets. Fortunately, installing kitchen cabinets is just as easy as hanging a TV or large painting. As long as you have a plan and know where the studs are, you can install your kitchen cabinets without a professional.

  1. Measure and find studs in the wall (mark them)
  2. Hang a support board (so you don’t have to hold the cabinet as you install)
  3. Remove cabinet doors
  4. Attach adjacent cabinets together
  5. Attach kitchen cabinets to the wall with the drill
  6. Install base kitchen cabinets using the same steps

4. Paint Kitchen Appliances

One of the cheapest and quickest ways to transform your kitchen is by giving it a fresh coat of paint. While the average price to paint an interior room is $1,655, you can drastically reduce the overall cost by completing the job yourself.

If you choose to go bold, we highly recommend consulting a professional first. Interior design pros know what colors work in what rooms. If you’re looking for a smaller job, painting kitchen appliances could have the same design effect and yet, take half the time. Most major appliance manufacturers offer paint, panel kits, and other fix-ups on their websites. With these kits, you could redo your refrigerator, oven, or dishwasher.

Whether you want a fresh look for your home or are planning to sell it in the near future, a coat of paint inside the home will make the space look newer, brighter, and even a little more spacious.

7 Easy Kitchen DIY Projects-6

5. DIY Tile Backsplash

The backsplash has become the new necessity in kitchen remodels across the country. Backsplashes can give dull or small kitchens that “wow” factor we all seek. They come in a wide array of designs, matching your traditional, rustic, or modern kitchen. As long as you’re not afraid to get your hands dirty, you can install the backsplash yourself.

Follow the steps below to install your own tiled kitchen backsplash:

  1. Measure the distance between your top cabinet and your countertop
  2. Grab your tiled backsplash and cut it to match the distance you just measured
  3. Remove the outlet covers on the wall
  4. Clean the walls to remove all oils, grease, and marks
  5. Place your tile on the wall in the desired location
  6. Carefully add the bottom row of the backsplash, starting with the left-hand side
  7. Make sure it is straight and even before moving forward or applying pressure
  8. To add the grout, cut the edge of the grout bag and evenly distribute it with an evening tool or a floater
  9. Apply grout to the backsplash in a diagonal pattern
  10. Then, push the grout into the joints going the opposite direction
  11. Make sure there is grout in all joints
  12. Use a damp sponge and clean all the grout and joints

6. Clean Grout on Tile Floor

Speaking of tile and grout, a terrific way to update your kitchen with little to no cost at all is by cleaning the grout on your tile floor.The visible grout lines made from water, sand, and cement absorb grease and dirt faster than tiles. As a result, it may discolor quickly, resulting in an ugly design for your kitchen floor.

The savvier DIYer would create his or her own grout cleaner from any combination of baking soda, vinegar, hydrogen peroxide or (oxygen) bleach. As an extra precaution, only use bleach if you have light-colored grout. However, the safer bet would be to buy a special pH-balanced product from a flooring company to protect against discoloration.

Depending on the chosen cleaner, it’s always best to let it sit within the grout for a few minutes before scrubbing it in. If you’re using a combination of hydrogen peroxide and baking soda, let the peroxide settle before hitting the scrubber.

After pouring a healthy amount of cleaner and letting it sit, gently add your baking soda (if you’re using it). Then, use your toothbrush or specialty brush and rub away the dirt. Don’t be afraid to use some muscle. Most homeowners ignore their grout for months, if not years, so a good amount of grease and dirt could be hiding.

7. DIY Fixes for the Refrigerator

Food is the main reason we enter and leave the kitchen, but if your fridge is on the fritz, the kitchen loses all purpose. Luckily, homeowners can fix some of the most common refrigerator issues.

The most common problem fridges face is leakage. A range of issues could cause a refrigerator to leak, but the most common culprit is a loose gasket. A refrigerator gasket is the flexible elastic strip attached to the outer edge of a refrigerator or freezer.

Read more: http://www.improvenet.com/a/7-easy-kitchen-diy-projects#ixzz3JiQSpfGp