Tag Archives: Waccabuc

Renters Insurance | Waccabuc Real Estate

Look around any rented apartment, condominium or house and you’re likely to find the same things you would see in an owner-occupied home — furniture, clothes, electronics, and other belongings. In other words, you’ll see the same items that play an important role in everyday life.

A standard home insurance policy typically provides a homeowner with some protection for these types of belongings, and similar protection is also available to renters. Unfortunately, renters insurance remains a vastly underused resource. Surveys and studies show that less than half of renters in the U.S. have renters insurance.

You may be a young professional in your first loft or a retiree enjoying more coziness and less yardwork. Either way, if you rent, the best way to help protect your valued belongings is renters insurance. If you own a home already, we suggest to learn more about the First American Home Warranty benefits.

Two kinds of property: the landlord’s and yours

Why is it so important for renters to get protection for their belongings? It’s a matter of where the landlord’s coverage ends and where your coverage should begin.

Say, for example, that a severe storm tears part of the roof off your apartment building while you’re at work and lets the rain pour in. Just your luck, the hole in the roof is directly above the spot in the kitchen where you keep the coffee maker that brews a perfect cup every time.

You come home, see this dripping disaster and wonder, “Who’s going to pay for this?” Actually, you should rephrase it as a two-part question:

  • “Who pays for the damage to the building?” If your landlord has adequately insured the property, that coverage could help ensure that you’ll have a sound roof over your head again when repairs are complete.
  • “Now that the building is squared away, who pays for my coffee maker?” A standard renters policy could help pay to replace your little morning brewmeister, if your policy covers this type of damage.

The reason for turning one question into two is simple. Your landlord’s policy typically covers the structure of the building and the appliances. Your belongings, however, are more than likely excluded from his or her coverage.

What do renters need protection from?

A renters policy could provide some of the same safeguards as homeowners insurance, which could help protect your belongings from threats including:

  • Fire
  • Smoke
  • Water
  • Lightning
  • Theft
  • Vandalism
  • Windstorm
  • Explosion (yes, you read that right.)

Here’s an important point to remember: As with homeowners insurance, your coverage may be subject to limitations. Your agent can help you understand what items may be covered and what kind of threats may not be applicable.

For example, the scenario above could be viable in the case of a rainstorm, in which the water falls from the sky. Floodwaters, on the other hand, typically aren’t covered by standard homeowners or renters policies, and fall under the domain of flood insurance coverage, which is available for purchase through the U.S. government’s FloodSmart program.

The good news is that a renters policy may help protect your property from more common types of water damage, such as damage resulting from a burst pipe.

Protect your wallet along with your stuff

A renters policy could offer a potential safeguard for more than your personal belongings.

You try to be a good host, but some guests just find their way to trouble like a dog finds its way to dropped food. If one of your guests suffers an injury at your rental and tries to hold you responsible, renters insurance could help pay the cost of legal expenses and/or medical treatment.

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Mortgage Rates Hold Steady | #Waccabuc Real Estate


reddie Mac (OTCQB: FMCC) today released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey® (PMMS®), showing average fixed mortgage rates holding largely steady for the third straight week amid light economic reports.

News Facts

  • 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 4.10 percent with an average 0.5 point for the week ending September 4, 2014, unchanged from last week. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 4.57 percent.
  • 15-year FRM this week averaged 3.24 percent with an average 0.5 point, down from last week when it averaged 3.25 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 3.59 percent.
  • 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) averaged 2.97 percent this week with an average 0.5 point, unchanged from last week. A year ago, the 5-year ARM averaged 3.28 percent.
  • 1-year Treasury-indexed ARM averaged 2.40 percent this week with an average 0.4 point, up from last week when it averaged 2.39 percent. At this time last year, the 1-year ARM averaged 2.71 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 links for the Regional and National Mortgage Rate Details and Definitions. Borrowers may still pay closing costs which are not included in the survey.

Attributed to Frank Nothaft, vice president and chief economist, Freddie Mac.

“Mortgage rates were little changed amid a week of light economic reports. The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rate remained unchanged from the previous week at 4.10 percent. Of the few releases, the ISM’s manufacturing index rose to 59.0 in August from 57.1 the previous month. This was the highest reading of the index since March 2011.”

US pending home sales rebound | #Waccabuc Real Estate


US pending home sales rebounded last month to their highest levels in nearly a year, the National Association of Realtors said Thursday, in report providing further evidence of a steadying housing market.

The NAR’s pending home sales index surged 3.3 percent in July to 105.9, its highest level since August 2013.

The increase in the forward-looking indicator, which is based on contract signings, came in much stronger than expected. The average estimate was for a modest 0.5 percent rise.

Pending home sales have climbed in four of the past five months. The June decline in pending home sales was steeper than first thought, with the drop revised to 1.3 percent from 1.1 percent.

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said that favorable housing conditions spurred increased contract activity last month.

“Interest rates are lower than they were a year ago, price growth continues to moderate and total housing inventory is at its highest level since August 2012,” he said.

“More importantly, steady job additions to the economy are helping family finances and giving them added confidence to enter the market.”


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Freddie Mac 2014 Second Quarter Refinance Report | Waccabuc Real Estate


Freddie Mac (OTCQB: FMCC) today released the results of its second quarter 2014 quarterly refinance analysis, showing that borrowers will save in aggregate more than $1 billion in interest payments over the coming year, as borrowers continued to shorten their payment terms and build equity in their homes.

News Facts

  • Of borrowers who refinanced during the second quarter of 2014, 40 percent shortened their loan term, approximately the same as the previous quarter and the highest since 1992.
  • In the second quarter, an estimated $7.8 billion in net home equity was cashed out during a refinance of conventional prime-credit home mortgages, up from the revised $5 billion last quarter. Adjusted for inflation, annual cash-out volumes during 2010 through 2013 have been the smallest since 1997.
  • In aggregate, U.S. home equity grew by an estimated $4.1 trillion during the two-year period through March 31, 2014. Much of this gain was attributable to home value gains.
  • The average mortgage interest rate reduction in the second quarter was about 1.4 percentage points — or a savings of about 24 percent. On a $200,000 loan, that translates into interest savings of about $2,800 during the next 12 months. Homeowners who refinanced through HARP during the second quarter of 2014 benefited from an average mortgage interest rate reduction of 1.6 percentage points and will save an average of $3,200 in interest payments during the first 12 months, or about $260 every month.
  • About 79 percent of those who refinanced their first-lien home mortgage maintained approximately the same loan amount or lowered their principal balance by paying in additional money at the closing table, down 4 percent from the previous quarter. The peak was 88 percent during the second quarter of 2012.
  • The median age of the original loan outstanding before refinance increased to 7.3 years during the first quarter, the most since the analysis began in 1985 and unchanged from the previous quarter.

Attributed to Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac vice president and chief economist:

“The housing market realized a significant shift in the second quarter of this year as refinance activity fell below 50 percent marking the onset of the first purchase-dominated market the industry has seen since 2000 and an end to the refinance boom that started in late 2008. In this time we saw fixed mortgage rates hit all-time lows, with the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage falling well below 4 percent. We also estimate over 25 million American borrowers refinanced their loans to the tune of over $70 billion in total interest payment savings. However, since 2008 homeowners cashed-out approximately $215 billion in home equity, adjusted for inflation. The low level of cash-out refinance volume in the second quarter, despite the estimated $2.8 billion increase over last quarter, reflects how much home equity was lost during the Great Recession. Even with recent home price gains and rock-bottom interest rates, American households are not cashing out equity at rates we’ve seen historically. Regardless of the minimal level of cash-out refinance activity, when we couple it with lower mortgage rates and shorter terms homeowners have taken out through refinance over the past couple years, they have accelerated principal pay down and contributed to the rebound in home-equity accumulation.”





Two charts show where Americans stand on housing | Waccbuc Homes


More than two in five adults believe that the housing market continues to be a serious problem, according to a recent survey from the MacArthur Foundation on people’s attitude toward the housing crisis.

chart 1

(source: MacArthur Foundation: click image for larger view)

The survey polled a sample of 1,355 people in April 2014.

“While economists and housing experts say that the housing crisis is behind us, large proportions of the American people are not feeling the relief. Very high proportions of the public continue to believe that we are still in the midst of the housing crisis or that the worst is yet to come,” the report stated.

And this is not the only negative news for the market.

Two-thirds of the public believes that it is less likely today than it was 20 or 30 years ago for a family to build equity and wealth through homeownership.

But it is not all bad. Some indicators suggest that the American public’s views about the housing crisis are shifting slightly toward the positive.

“We see an uptick in the proportion of the public who believe that the housing crisis is behind us and a decrease in the proportion who characterize the housing market as a serious problem,” the report said.

“However, even with these shifts, concerns about housing continue to outweigh optimism, and the public has a real sense that affordable housing is a challenge for many Americans,” it added.



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How I Raised My Credit Score 67 Points in 3 Months | Waccabuc Real Estate


You can’t blame Eddie for feeling like trying to build better credit was a lost cause. In the spring of 2011, he lost his job. When he found another one three months later, he had to take a significant pay cut. He managed to keep paying his mortgage, car payment and utilities on time, but his four credit cards “went into the toilet. That killed my (credit) score,” he wrote in an email. At the end of that horrible year, he found a better-paying job, but by that time, he said, “the damage was done.”

And when he thought things couldn’t get worse, they did. On Jan. 25, 2013, he was in a near-fatal car accident. The other driver was uninsured, and because he didn’t have collision insurance, Eddie had to come up with the difference between what the insurance covered and what he owed on the car, as well as try to buy another car immediately. With his credit in poor shape, he shopped around for a car loan for bad credit, creating “16 inquiries over 15 days.” The only loan he could get was at 17.99%, and the inquiries were another setback for his credit.

When he posted a comment on the Credit.com blog earlier this year, he figured he might as well give up on any hope of rebuilding his credit:

Now that I know my REAL score is 560-ish, it doesn’t matter. I will not get out of this hole before I die. I have one small credit card that I use 10% of and pay to $0 every month, but that is only going to buy me a few points a month. That’s like tossing deck chairs off the Titanic to try and keep it from sinking.

Despite his frustrations with the credit system — including the fact that increasing his income didn’t help his scores, and that his credit scores varied widely from source to source — he kept reading, learning and plugging away. He monitors his free credit scores at Credit.com and other sites, and he tries to make sure the advice he is following is reliable. And his hard work is paying off.

Recently, he emailed me with the following update:

Just wanted to get back with you. When I first contacted you, my scores were 598 across the board. Now, based on my having a Capital One credit card with a $200 limit, using $30 a month and paying it on time (early in fact) down to $0, that card has increased my limit to $500.

Also, the next reporting period after 12 of my inquiries reached one year, my score changed. My last report showed my scores to be 665. I have no need to apply for more credit right now, and I will refrain for another year and see what the combination of another year of positive reporting from Capital One plus more age on the current 4 inquiries does for me.

I don’t know if the 6 months of positive reporting from the credit card or the inquiries aging had more of an effect, but my score jumped 67 points in 3 months, from Jan to March. Those inquiries were 12 months old as of Feb 14th. So many people on the blogs don’t seem to get that even if you get the credit you applied for, it’s still an inquiry.



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Teatown Lake Reservation | Waccabuc Real Estate


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April 30, 2014
Eastern Box Turtle

On the List!
Saturday, May 3
11:00 am – 12:00 pm
Mother/Daughter Hike at Cliffdale Farm
Sunday, May 4
10:00 am – 12:00 pm

For more information about this program

Fishing at Teatown on Saturdays – MEMBERS ONLY


Teatown’s Annual Plant Sale
A gardener’s paradise!!
Friday, May 9th
4:00 pm – 7:00 pm
$10 admission per person
Saturday, May 10th
9 am – 2 pm
Teatown Camp:
Summer is Just
Around the Corner!
Summer Camp

Teatown’s Natural

Science Day Camp!
Four sessions this summer
Teatown’s Environmental Science Academy
for Teens
Visit Teatown
Like us on FacebookFollow us on TwitterFind us on PinterestView our videos on YouTube
1600 Spring Valley Road
Ossining, NY 10562
Nature Center hours:
9:00am-5:00pm daily
Trails are open 365 days a year from dawn to dusk.
Teatown Lake Reservation’s
mission is to conserve open
space and to educate and
involve the regional community
in order to sustain the diversity
of wildlife, plants and habitats
for future generations.

Your donation can make

an immediate impact to help

conserve and protect the

diversity of wildlife, plants

and habitats…

today and into the future.

Why We Do What We Do
Support Teatown this Spring:

Imagine for a moment, Teatown without…

Dogwoods blooming in the Spring on the Back 40 Trail

– Or maples on display in all their glorious fall colors at Vernay Lake

– Or walking the Lakeside Trail without the sound of bird song

– Or without a forest at all

These are very real threats to the biodiversity of Teatown’s preserve. So, what are we doing? How is Teatown leading as part of the solution?

Read on and become part of the solution…

Events at Teatown:
Fishing at Teatown, Members-Only
Saturdays in May and June
(must pre-register, rules apply)
More information about Members-Only Fishing

Teatown’s Annual Plant Sale

($10 First Pick on May 9, Free May 10)
Movie on the Lawn, Members-Only
Friday, June 6 at 7:15
More information about Members-Only – Movie on the Lawn

Not a member, but want to participate in the Members-Only programs? Become a member today here!
Teatown is Seeking an EMT Health Director for Summer Camp

Teatown is seeking an EMT to act as Health Director for its science day camp, June 30th-August 22nd. Responsibilities include responding to camper illness or injury, coordinating first aid supplies and medications, and speaking with parents about camper health issues. Candidates must be at least 21 years old, physically active and comfortable navigating through a natural setting on foot or by an off-road vehicle. Please contact Lisa Baugh at lbaugh@teatown.org or call 762-2912 ext. 137.

I Love My Park Day

Saturday, May 3, 9:30 am – 2:30 pm
On the Old Croton Aqueduct Trail

Co-sponsored by Teatown, join friends of the Old Croton Aqueduct on “I Love My Park Day” on the Old Croton Aqueduct Trail in Cortlandt/Ossining and lop vines, remove invasive plants and bushes and learn invasive plant ID and pruning/removal techniques.

Reigster in advance here
Walk-ins also are welcome.

In the Nature Center: Seeing Connections

Ready-Made Art in Nature

By Ashya Venjara

On exhibit May 1 – 31, 2014

Reception: Saturday, May 3, 3-5 pm

…Nature being the richest form of inspiration one can imagine,

I work with a macro lens to capture the finest of details and draw attention to beauty on a miniature scale. The images I find in nature are ready made, which I then extract into something original…Seeing connections in nature is a path to greater awareness of our relationship to the universe.

Picture this: April housing market | Waccabuc Real Estate


March housing inventory was up for the first time since 2010, but this is taking a back seat to the continuing rise in home prices.

Looking at 38 unique markets, Movoto Real Estate’s monthly report found that the median list price per square foot index was up 7.1% over where it was in March of 2013 to $186. Compared to March 2012, it is drastically up 23.2%.

Out of all the markets studied, 34 witnessed a year-over-year increase in median list price per square foot, with only two remaining the same and two recording slight decreases.

But nothing tells the story better than an infographic (see below), which shows the state of the April 2014 housing market.





Look Inside The Restored Gate Lodges At Vizcaya | Waccabuc Real Estate


33 images

[Photos courtesy RJ Heisenbottle Architects]

The two halves of Miami’s sublime Vizcaya, with the villa and gardens on one side and the farm village (and formerly the farm) on the other, are linked across South Miami Avenue by coordinating gate lodges that were recently the recipients of a restoration by architect Richard Heisenbottle. These are highly ornate gateways to each realm that both include, multi-level buildings. They included functional spaces for the estate as well as, in the western lodge, a residence for the chauffeur. That lodge incorporated an archway over the driveway and easy access to the garage, where Vizcaya’s vehicles were kept.