Tag Archives: Mt Kisco Luxury Homes

New Study Suggests MLS Sold Prices are Inflated in Down Markets | Mt Kisco Real Estate

Transaction prices reported by multiple listing services may differ by an average of 8.75 percent from sold prices reported on HUD-1 settlement statements, possibly because brokers are under pressure to inflate prices in a declining market, according to a new study by three real estate economists at Florida Gulf Coast University published last month by the Appraisal Journal.

In residential appraisal assignments, appraisers often place heavy reliance, at least as a starting point, on multiple listing services (MLS) for property information and transaction prices.Errors will almost inevitably find their way into large databases, and an MLS is certainly no exception. The purpose of this study is to examine the prevalence and magnitude of differences in MLS-reported transaction prices compared to their associated HUD-1 (HUD) Settlement Statements, said the article..

The study found MLS errors are related to market conditions, not property price levels, and are likely to be smaller during a market boom and larger during a market bust.  The study found that MLS-reported prices supplied by brokers on or after the settlement date overstated HUD-reported prices in 6.25% of the sample and understated HUD-reported prices in 2.50%. The data used in the analysis were drawn from the two years before, the year of, and the two years after the market peak between 2004 and 2008.  The study compared HUD-1 and MLS prices from a sample of 670 HUD-1 Settlement Statements obtained from two banks operating in a Southern state.

2016-01-19_9-41-34Source: “Reported Price Errors:A Caveat for Appraisers” in The Appraisal Journal

“This finding is consistent with, but certainly does not prove, the notion that if brokers are motivated to inflate MLS prices, pressure to do so is likely to be greater in declining markets. However, there may be other explanations for the price discrepancies. One such explanation is the possibility that during declining markets, brokers may report initial contract prices that may be subject to downward adjustment between contract and settlement dates. A related possibility is that some prices are renegotiated at the time of closing to accommodate buyers’ cash needs. Regardless of explanation, however, the result is a misstating of price,” the authors concluded.

The study urged appraisers to use other sources in addition to MLS transaction prices to verify reported sale prices, especially when a sale price contradicts sale prices of comparable properties.


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What Is A Good Credit Score? | Mt Kisco Real Estate

You’ve heard it all before – you need to take care of your credit score like it’s grandma’s prized china or maybe your new cellphone.

But if you’re more of the goal-oriented type, what constitutes a win when it comes to credit score?

How do you know when your score is among the best?

First, a few facts: When you hear the term credit score, most people are referring to your FICO score. Actually, it’s FICO scores. You have three separate scores – one from each of the three major credit reporting bureaus based on the information they have on you. This means that your FICO score from Equifax might be different from your Experian or TransUnion score, but probably not drastically different. It is, you’d better do some investigation.

The highest score possible is 850 while the lowest is 300. In reality, achieving an 850 probably isn’t going to happen. It would take a perfect combination of many factors to get there. A simple lack of negative entries on your credit report isn’t going to result in an 850.

For more on this, read What are the best ways to rebuild my credit score quickly?

What’s the magic number that will get you the best interest rates, payment terms and perks that come from being rated among the best of the best?

According to Anthony Sprauve, director of public relations at FICO, “If you have a FICO score above 760, you’re going to be getting the best rates and opportunities.” How hard is it to get that number? Looking at the averages, it’s no easy task. For people 25 to 34 years of age, the average score is 628. As you get older your score rises. By the time you reach age 45 to 54, the average is 647; at 55-plus, it’s 697.

If those statistics seem a little depressing, don’t worry. Even if you don’t reach that coveted 760 number, it’s not like you’ll have to pay cash for everything the rest of your life. Good Scores for Different Purposes For example, if you’re looking to buy a home, a score of 500 qualifies you for a FHA loan.

Other statistics show that more than 97% of all FHA loans went to people with scores above 620. Just because you qualify doesn’t mean you’ll be approved, but if you exceed that 620 number, your chances are quite good.

Conventional mortgages are hard to get with a score below 620 and some lenders require at least 700. This is why financial gurus advise people who want to buy a home to not miss bill payments or overextend themselves with credit cards or other loans.

You’re going to need stellar credit to become a homeowner in most cases. Also remember that the better your credit score is, the lower the interest rate you’ll be offered. Consider a 30-year mortgage of $200,000 at a fixed rate: According to one data set, the difference in interest rates for people with a 760 score versus a 620 could be 1.6%. That’s $68,000 difference over the life of the mortgage. Recent statistics showed that more than 70% of applicants are approved for car leases, and finding a credit card company to approve you probably won’t be difficult.

In both cases, the higher your score, the better your terms – and the less you’ll pay in interest.

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Consumer Credit Expands on Auto, Student Loans | Mt Kisco Real Estate

The Federal Reserve Board recently reported that consumer credit outstanding rose by a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.2%, $138.7 billion, in January 2015. Consumer credit outstanding now totals $3.3 trillion.

The expansion of total consumer credit outstanding reflected an increase in the outstanding amount of non-revolving consumer credit. Non-revolving consumer credit includes auto loans and student loans. According to the report, non-revolving credit outstanding grew by a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 6.3%, $152.7 billion, in January 2015, 0.5 percentage points faster than the 5.8%, $140.2 billion, growth recorded in December 2014. There is now $2.4 trillion in outstanding non-revolving credit, 73.3% of the total amount of consumer credit outstanding.

The growth in non-revolving credit was partially offset by a contraction in the outstanding amount of revolving credit. Revolving credit outstanding is largely composed of consumer credit card debt. After recording an increase of 8.4%, $74.2 billion, in December 2014, revolving credit outstanding registered a 1.6% decrease, -$13.9 billion, in January 2015. As of January 2015, revolving credit outstanding totals $0.9 trillion, 26.7% of total consumer credit outstanding.


A previous post illustrated that depository institutions are the largest holders of outstanding consumer credit. According to data from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), which collects banking statistics from depository institutions as part of its responsibility to guarantee the safety of depositor’s accounts, the growth in the amount of loans to individuals, which includes credit cards, other revolving credit plans, automobile loans, and other loans to individuals, but excludes loans to individuals that are secured by real estate, has been accelerating since 2012. As a result, the gap between growth in outstanding loans to individuals and growth in total net lending has converged.

According to Figure 2, loans to individuals made by depository institutions fell by 2.9% in 2009, but total net loans and leases fell by 8.4% indicating that the contraction in loans to individuals was not as severe as other lending made by depository institutions in 2009. Total net loans and leases is equal to the total amount of loans and leases less the reserve for debts gone bad. In 2010, loans to individuals rose by 24.4% while total net loans and leases grew by 1.3%, indicating that growth in loans to individuals exceeded the growth of total net loans and leases. However, the 2010 increase in consumer lending of 24.4% reflects financial institutions’ implementation of the FAS 166/167 accounting rules which moved loans from pools of securitized assets to the balance sheets of lenders. Since 2011, the gap between the growth in loans to individuals and total net loans and leases has closed as growth in loans to individuals has accelerated.


In contrast, the gap between growth in single-family and multifamily lending compared to growth in total net loans and leases had steadily widened until 2014. In 2014, the gap between lending secured by single- and multifamily real estate and total net loans and leases converged. Figure 3 illustrates this result. According to the figure, between 2009 and 2013, the widening gap in growth rates occurred during a period in which lending secured my single-family and multifamily residences was declining and overall lending by depository institutions was growing. In 2014, the gap between the growth in single-and multifamily loans outstanding and total net loans and leases closed as loans for single- and multifamily real estate returned to growth.


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A Game Plan for Setting Your Listing Price | Mt Kisco Real Estate

Setting a home’s list price isn’t an exact science. A good real estate agent will recommend a price range, but never assign an exact price — that’s ultimately for the seller to decide.

Although sellers aren’t required to price according to inventory levels or the market condition, it’s smart to discuss these matters with your agent early and often to make an informed decision. Here are some considerations to keep in mind when choosing your listing price.

Discuss price reductions before listing

If you aren’t highly motivated to unload your home, time is on your side. Absent recent or obvious comparable sales, the market value of your home could fall within a broader range. If you want to give it a shot at the top of the range, go for it. Then monitor buyer traffic to see how the market responds.

If you try the higher end of your home’s price range, agree with your agent early on that, after a set amount of time, you will drop the price. You can then use that price reduction as a marketing tool to get more people in the door. At least you will know that the higher price strategy did not work.

Pricing low doesn’t guarantee multiple offers

When homeowners hear about other sellers who received multiple offers or sold their homes for over the asking price, they assume it can happen to them, too. But just because your neighbor received three offers within two weeks does not mean you will.

The homes that receive multiple offers are sometimes purposely priced low to get that activity. These home are generally in a good location and in their best showing condition. And for all you know, the seller of the low-priced home with multiple offers was in a rush to sell and left money on the table.

If you price your home low, be prepared to take that price. While it’s not unheard of, raising your list price several weeks into the listing will surely turn off potential buyers.

Many agents look for a quick sale

Well-intentioned agents don’t want to watch your home sit on the market. They understand that homes that go weeks or months with few showings will ultimately sell for less than if they had been priced correctly right out of the gate.

Sometimes it becomes a battle — one you need to avoid. If your agent pushes for a lower number but still agrees to take the listing at your higher price, you may want to reconsider working with that agent. He or she represents your interests in the marketplace, both to other agents and the buyers they encounter. An agent who doesn’t get their way on pricing may end up sabotaging your sale. A good agent will agree to support your higher price strategy, but have a price discussion after some time on the market.

Determining the real market value

The true market value of a home is what an able and willing buyer and seller agree to in an arms-length transaction. But you won’t know that until the end of the process.

If the home sells within a few days of listing, chances are you listed too low. If months go by without any action, you hit the high mark. A home that is priced right will get some steady action. If you receive second or third showings from multiple buyers over the course of a few weeks, you’ve likely hit the mark with pricing.


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Beachfront Cottage in Dennis Port Wants $88K | Mt Kisco Real Estate

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With an $88,000 price tag, this Dennis Port cottage probably would have been included on last week’s map of Cape Cod’s least expensive beachfront listings, but the property hit the market just days ago. Located in Chase’s Ocean Grove, the seasonal home “is right on the edge of a gorgeous Nantucket Sound beach!!” Built in 1950, the 292 square foot studio features an enclosed porch, a full bath and an outdoor shower. The lot in the classic cottage community is just 740 square feet – perfect for those who despise yard work and really, really enjoy residential density. According to the listing, the beachfront home is a “popular rental,” but there’s no mention of weekly rates. There’s an annual land lease fee of $6,500 and, for better or for worse, all of the furniture is included in the sale.



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Haunted Houses in New Orleans | Mt Kisco Homes

8 Haunted Houses in New Orleans That Will Scare Your Pants Off


The Hermann-Grima House in New Orleans’s French Quarter is said to be alive with pleasant, friendly Southern ghosts. They’ve been known to scatter scented rose and lavender around the rooms and light the fireplaces to make it cozy. Built in 1831 for prosperous Creoles, it’s now a museum and one of the most significant residences in New Orleans.

Source: Flickr user wallyg

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Sources of Financing for New Home Sales Relatively Unchanged for Third Quarter | Mt Kisco Homes


The onset of the housing crisis in 2007 led to a decline in the share of new home sales due to conventional mortgage financing and increases in the shares due to mortgages backed by the FHA and the Department of Veteran’s Affairs (VA), as well as cash purchases.

Third quarter data from the Census Bureau’s Quarterly Sales by Price and Financing indicate that count of cash-based new single-family home sales stood at 8,000 for the quarter or about 7% of total sales. During the 2002-2003 period, cash sales made up only 4% of purchases. In contrast, cash purchases constitute a considerably larger share of the existing home market – 24% in September per National Association of Realtors estimates.

It is worth noting that another measure of cash sales for total new construction from CoreLogic shows a higher level of cash sales than the Census: 16% in July 2014.

New home sales due to FHA-backed loans were 12% of the market during the third quarter according to the Census estimates. This is down from 28% in the first quarter of 2010 and is closer to the 10% 2002-2003 average. As the conventional mortgage financing share has risen, the share of new single-family home sales due to FHA-backed mortgages has declined.

VA-backed loans were responsible for about 8% of new home sales during the third quarter of 2014.

These sources of financing serve distinct market segments, which is revealed in part by the median new home price allocable to each. For the third quarter, the median new home price due to FHA financing was $201,500. The median price for VA-backed loans rose to $258,900.

Conventional mortgage financing had a median price of $298,400.

Finally, the median price for cash purchases for the third quarter was $284,300.

Analysis of mortgage markets is important because it suggests the underlying strength of housing demand, particularly for younger buyers with less equity or savings who must use a mortgage to buy a home.


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Mount Kisco Scores High In Economic Growth Survey | Mt Kisco Real Estate

Mount Kisco receives high marks in a new economic growth survey from financial news site NerdWallet.

The municipality comes in seventh out of 188 communities that were researched for the site’s “Cities on the Rise” survey.

Criteria used for the survey, according to NerdWallet, involve growth in income, employment and population.

NerdWallet’s data, which are as recent as 2012, show that Mount Kisco’s working-age population is 8,863 and that it had a median income of $50,342.

The survey also shows that from 2009 to 2012, Mount Kisco’s working-age population grew by 5.47 percent and that its median income grew by 18.75 percent.

Mount Kisco was also the highest-scoring Westchester County community in the survey. The next-highest community in Westchester is Mamaroneck, which came in 14th.



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You Know It’s a Tough Market When Ben Bernanke Can’t Refinance | Mt Kisco Real Estate


Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

Ben S. Bernanke, former chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve.

Ben S. Bernanke said the mortgage market is so tight that even he is having a hard time refinancing his own home loan.

The former Federal Reserve chairman, speaking at a conference in Chicago yesterday, told moderator Mark Zandi of Moody’s Analytics Inc. — “just between the two of us” — that “I recently tried to refinance my mortgage and I was unsuccessful in doing so.”

When the audience laughed, Bernanke said, “I’m not making that up.”

“I think it’s entirely possible” that lenders “may have gone a little bit too far on mortgage credit conditions,” he said.

Bernanke, addressing a conference of the National Investment Center for Seniors Housing and Care in Chicago yesterday, said that the first-time home buyer market is “not what it should be” as the economy in general strengthens.

“The housing area is one area where regulation has not yet got it right,” Bernanke said. “I think the tightness of mortgage credit, lending is still probably excessive.”



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