Diana's Neighborhood

Real Estate in New York & Connecticut – Won't you be my neighbor?

Buying Foreclosures

Buying Foreclosures – Tips for Foreclosure Profits  –  From About.com

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                                                                      emdot – Flickr.com

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November 18, 2010 Posted by | Buyers, Home, Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

Short Sale Info

Short Sale Info from About.com

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November 4, 2010 Posted by | Buyers, Real Estate, Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

Why You Should Work With a Realtor

Sharing another post from Realtor Magazine – Realtor.org

Why You Should Work With a REALTOR®

Not all real estate practitioners are REALTORS®. The term REALTOR® is a registered trademark that identifies a real estate professional who is a member of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION of REALTORS® and subscribes to its strict Code of Ethics. Here are five reasons why it pays to work with a REALTOR®.

1. You’ll have an expert to guide you through the process. Buying or selling a home usually requires disclosure forms, inspection reports, mortgage documents, insurance policies, deeds, and multi-page settlement statements. A knowledgeable expert will help you prepare the best deal, and avoid delays or costly mistakes.

2. Get objective information and opinions. REALTORS® can provide local community information on utilities, zoning, schools, and more. They’ll also be able to provide objective information about each property. A professional will be able to help you answer these two important questions: Will the property provide the environment I want for a home or investment? Second, will the property have resale value when I am ready to sell?

3. Find the best property out there. Sometimes the property you are seeking is available but not actively advertised in the market, and it will take some investigation by your REALTOR® to find all available properties.

4. Benefit from their negotiating experience. There are many negotiating factors, including but not limited to price, financing, terms, date of possession, and inclusion or exclusion of repairs, furnishings, or equipment. In addition, the purchase agreement should provide a period of time for you to complete appropriate inspections and investigations of the property before you are bound to complete the purchase. Your agent can advise you as to which investigations and inspections are recommended or required.

5. Property marketing power. Real estate doesn’t sell due to advertising alone. In fact, a large share of real estate sales comes as the result of a practitioner’s contacts through previous clients, referrals, friends, and family. When a property is marketed with the help of a REALTOR®, you do not have to allow strangers into your home. Your REALTOR® will generally prescreen and accompany qualified prospects through your property.

6. Real estate has its own language. If you don’t know a CMA from a PUD, you can understand why it’s important to work with a professional who is immersed in the industry and knows the real estate language.

7. REALTORS® have done it before. Most people buy and sell only a few homes in a lifetime, usually with quite a few years in between each purchase. And even if you’ve done it before, laws and regulations change. REALTORS®, on the other hand, handle hundreds of real estate transactions over the course of their career. Having an expert on your side is critical.

8. Buying and selling is emotional. A home often symbolizes family, rest, and security — it’s not just four walls and a roof. Because of this, home buying and selling can be an emotional undertaking. And for most people, a home is the biggest purchase they’ll ever make. Having a concerned, but objective, third party helps you stay focused on both the emotional and financial issues most important to you.

9. Ethical treatment. Every member of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION of REALTORS® makes a commitment to adhere to a strict Code of Ethics, which is based on professionalism and protection of the public. As a customer of a REALTOR®, you can expect honest and ethical treatment in all transaction-related matters. It is mandatory for REALTORS® to take the Code of Ethics orientation and they are also required to complete a refresher course every four years.

 

 

 

 

 

October 26, 2010 Posted by | Buyers, Real Estate, Realtor, Sellers, Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

Using a Realtor to Sell or Purchase a Home

Using a Realtor to Sell or Purchase a Home…

A just for fun You Tube Video from Power Sites – Watch and enjoying!

September 16, 2010 Posted by | Buyers, Fun Post, Home, Real Estate, Realtor, Sellers, Uncategorized, You Tube | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Home Buying Dos & Don’ts

Homebuying Do’s & Dont’s from HGTV’s FrontDoor.com

                                                         kansasexplorer 3128 ~Flickr.com

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                                                                  m_bahareth – Flickr.com

September 6, 2010 Posted by | Buyers, Front Door, HGTV, Home, Uncategorized | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Home Inspections – Know What Your Buying

Home Inspections – It Pays to Know What Your Buying ~ from Aol.RealEstate.com

                                                                JAGwired – Flickr.com

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                                                                      striatic – Flickr.com

It is highly recommended that everyone have a home inspection before purchasing a home.  All of my buyers have, even on the purchase of new construction.

September 2, 2010 Posted by | Buyers, Home, Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

Real Estate Appraisals 101

Real Estate Appraisals 101 – from AOL Real Estate…

                                                                  Wonderlane – Flickr.com

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                                                                   lauren keith – Flickr.com

August 15, 2010 Posted by | Buyers, Home, Real Estate, Sellers, Uncategorized | , , , , | Leave a comment

Finding a Good Real Estate Agent

Realtor

Finding a good Real Estate Agent can be tricky.  You can start your search on the web, maybe by company – like Century 21, then by state and finally narrowing it to a certain town or area(s) your interested in.  Lets say Putnam County in New York in either Brewster, Patterson, Carmel, Kent, Mahopac, Putnam Valley   –  Century 21 VJF Realty handles all these areas – along with Westchester, Dutchess, Columbia and Ulster counties in New York – and counties through out Connecticut.

After finding a Real Estate office your comfortable with, now you can search for a Realtor – one that suits the needs of their clients, being available evenings, weekends and holidays – a full time agent.  Maybe you prefer someone who has experience, is full of knowledge, energetic, is up on all that is going on in TODAY’S market – including foreclosures, short sales and the explosion of networking with Facebook, Twitter, Active Rain, has a website and/or a Blog!  If not, then at least consider an agent that has a computer at home so they have access to getting  info at all times – and – a cell phone!

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As a Realtor, I have come across agents that DO NOT HAVE A CELL PHONE – or don’t give out their cell phone number – or turn off their phones at 6pm – ??  Others that leave their laptop in the office, therefore not having access to the Multiple Listing Service until they’re back in the office – Mmmm??  In my book, these agents are part timers – not full time agents.  I’m sure they have their reasons, and my guess is it works for them and they’re OK with it.  But, if your not, make sure sure you ask questions BEFORE you set up an appointment to meet and go out with a Realtor.  Ask why they got into Real Estate – because they love looking at houses and they can make their own hours – or – because they are passionate about selling homes, they eat, sleep and dream of Real Estate!  Ask if they would be available when it’s convenient for YOU – what time can you call them until – what areas do they show and sell in.  Also, while getting to know them, see if they seem honest, have a sense of humor, patience and are they LISTENING to you and what YOU need – you’ll appreciate all of these qualities in an agent to get you through the process of buying and/or selling your home which can be one of the most complex and significant financial event in your life!

July 20, 2009 Posted by | Brewster, Buyers, Century 21 V.J.F. Realty, Putnam County, Real Estate, Realtor, Sellers | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Homebuying Dos and Don’ts

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If your taking advantage of this “Buyers Market”  –  here are some Dos and Don’ts from FRONTDOOR.COM <CLICK>

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Also, Listing Book is a great way to search like an agent and view all current listings that are updated every 30 minutes – unlike other Home Search sites – AND – it’s FREE!  Register for your account –       <CLICK HERE TO VIEW> 

victorian-ikkoskinen                                                                           ikkoskinen – Flickr.com

March 28, 2009 Posted by | Buyers, Home, Listing Book | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Housing Market – What goes DOWN, must come UP!

heading-up-andreia                                                                        Andreia – Flickr.com

Currently, we are in a “down” market.  But… “What goes down, must come up!” – right?  Many people know this of course, and have only one question – When will the market start going up?

coconut-tree-swami-stream2                                                                Swami Stream2– Flickr.com

This answer can vary, depending on the state and city or town – and on the type of home – single family, condo/townhomes or new construction. 

Some areas believe they have reached the bottom and there is only one way to go from there – UP!

looking-up-bill-in-ash-vegas1                                                                    Bill in Ash Vegas – Flickr.com

In the areas that I service – Westchester, Putnam and Dutchess Counties in New York and Fairfield and parts of Litchfield  Counties in Connecticut – I can honestly say that I am busy.  Many of my clients are aware that the high volume of inventory, low prices that are still negotiable – along with LOW INTEREST RATES – and the $8,000 tax credit – if it applies – makes it a FANTASTIC TIME TO BUY!

So, don’t catch yourself in the future saying, I should have bought that house.”

I promise to do my best…

fairies-in-the-garden-aussiegall1                                                             Aussiegall – Flickr.com

in helping your Home Buying dreams come true!

mushroom-house-ktylerconk                                                                    Ktylerconk – Flickr.com

“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”   – Eleanor Roosevelt

March 18, 2009 Posted by | Buyers, Connecticut, Home, NY, Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

Do You Want to Buy a House?

Do you want to buy a house??  If your answer is YES – Great!!   Interest rates are FANTASTIC – Inventory is HIGH – AND – most sellers are ANXIOUS!

country-house-visulogikvisulogik – Flickr.com

So, if your interested in a single family, multi – family home, condo or townhouse – I’d be happy to assist!

townhouse-sailorbillsailorbill – Flickr.com

December 29, 2008 Posted by | Buyers, Connecticut, First Time Home Buyers, Home, NY, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

2009 Could be the Best Year for Home Buyers

FrontDoor.com has a fantastic article about how 2009 could be the best year for home buyers!

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Some of the items mentioned is the home buyers tax credit, the increase of inventory of homes on the market and the decreasing interest rates.  It reads that interest rates are in the high 5’s and that there may be more reductions.  Well, there was a decrease in interest rates.  Just today, Carey Hollander with Patriot Home Funding said interest rates for a 30 fixed mortgage are in the LOW 5’s for someone with good credit.  For more info on Patriot Home Funding <CLICK>

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To read the entire article “The Last Year for Best Buying Opportunities – Considering buying a home? Take advantage of low prices and interest rates in 2009.” <CLICK HERE>

Happy House Hunting!

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December 13, 2008 Posted by | Buyers, First Time Home Buyers, Home, Money, Mortgage, Real Estate, Realtor, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

It’s a Wonderful Life – at Home

mysza831 – Flickr.compumpkin-road-mysza831

Oh, Thanksgiving has come and gone – but the Holidays do continue.  New Fairfield – Connecticut – has decorated the center of town and they will be having their TREE LIGHTING CEREMONY on Sunday, December 7th at 4pm on Memorial Field.  I do Love this time of the year.  Seeing the lights and holiday decorations takes me back in time to when I was a child and Christmas was my favorite time of the year!

FreaksAnon – Flickr.comchristmas-light-freaksanon

Now as an adult, I admit that I do get a bit stressed – between deciding what to buy for who, getting and decorating the tree, sending out cards, baking, wrapping, trying ever so hard to keep many gifts a secret – which can be difficult for me, and preparing for Christmas Eve at my house… Whew!  I do love – and need to take a break – with my laptop in hand so that I can keep working, I LOVE watching Holiday movies. 

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The HALLMARK CHANNEL has begun their Holiday shows and they do a great job at pulling on my heart strings.

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Another all time favorite of mine – and a tradition – is watching, “IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE”.   Starring James Stewart and Donna Reed.  This 1946 movie made #4 of Moviefone’s list of 25 “Flicks That’ll Lift Your Spirits” as it prompts, then answers the question of what would happen if a whole life was erased as if it had never been lived??

elif ayse – Flickr.comsnow-flake-elif-ayse

It snowed yesterday, making it a perfect time to make some hot cocoa, light a fire, and pop in a great movie!

fireplace-hey-paulHey Paul – Flickr.com

December 1, 2008 Posted by | Christmas, Fun Post, New Fairfield, Uncategorized, Winter | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Should I Move?

  Todd D Jones – FLICKR.com

FrontDoor.com has a QUIZ you can take if your wondering if now is a good time to sell your home and move – and so many other guides and tips to homebuying and/or selling.

stone-house-jsome1 Jsome1 – FlickR.com

Many of you may be renting and would love to have the ability to control the heat – instead of feeling as though your living in a cold stone house.  I guess the Flinstones didn’t mind!shoe-house-james-gordon

James Gordon – FlickR.com

Others may want to go from their started home to a bit larger home to accommodate their growing family or to start a family.  I’ve been there – feeling like the old woman, living in a shoe filled with children!  For years I waited to be able to move to a larger home since we had 5 growing children.  I knew it would be difficult for us to afford a larger home in Harrison, NY – so, we made the best decision of our lives – to do the commute up and down I-684 and move to New Fairfield, Connecticut!

November 13, 2008 Posted by | Buyers, Connecticut, Fairfield County, First Time Home Buyers, Moving, New Fairfield, NY, Real Estate, Realtor, Sellers, Uncategorized, Westchester County | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Great Real Estate Agent

Qualities of a great real estate agent

By Ilyce Glink | Published: 9/03/08

BY: FRONTDOOR.com

 

realtors 

When shopping for a home, matching an agent to your needs is vital.

There are great real estate agents and terrible real estate agents. Within each category are agents whose behavior puts them at the top and bottom of the spectrum.

In other words, the best real estate agents are truly stellar. The worst agents? Well, let’s just say that if you wind up with a terrible real estate agent you’ll probably have war stories to share about your home purchase or sale at the next cocktail party you attend. (Unfortunately, stories about terrible real estate agents are shared more often than stories about great real estate agents.)

When hiring a real estate agent to help you buy your next home, the trick is to find one who really listens to what you have to say; who will go the extra mile to help make your purchase a little less stressful; who will help you be objective when you become emotional about plunking down the single biggest chunk of cash ever; and who can help you understand and work with local market conditions.

 

I suspect that most buyers spend more time thinking about the curtains they’ll hang, the granite countertops they’ll install, or the boxes they’ll need for their move than the agent they’ll hire to help with the purchase of the property itself.

Why is that? Why isn’t creating a home-buying team the top priority when beginning the process of buying a home?

Perhaps it is because going through the process isn’t perceived as being that much fun.

But that’s where hiring a great real estate agent can make all the difference. What qualities should you look for?

The real estate agent you hire should have an intimate knowledge with your neighborhood of choice. The agent should have worked in a neighborhood for awhile, seen a lot of the housing stock, and know the history of the neighborhood, trends associated with it and where the locals hang out. The agent should know about home values and should have the ability to come to you and tell you what other homes have sold for in the neighborhood and what other homes are listed for in the same neighborhood. The agent should also have information to back up why some homes are listed for more than others and be able to represent you when you are ready to make an offer for a home. The agent should know about the school district, shopping, commuting and recreational options. He or she should basically be a wealth of information, and be able to point out the flaws as well as the outstanding features of the community.

The real estate agent you hire should be able to really listen to your wants, needs, dreams and desires, and ask questions that help you delve beneath the surface to figure out what’s really driving those wants and needs. Real estate agents sometimes say that “buyers are liars,” because buyers tend to change their mind about what they really want to buy during the home-buying process. But if an agent is able to draw out the buyer ahead of time, and help him or her focus on the important issues of the purchase, it will save everyone a lot of time.

It’s also important to hire an agent who is willing to tell you what you may not want to hear — but should. If you’re a buyer who is unrealistic about a local neighborhood, you’ll want an agent to tell you that what you want to buy can’t be found for the price and is unworkable in the current marketplace. No one wants to have their dreams dashed, but you’ll come to see that your real estate agent is doing you a favor by not allowing you to run away from reality.

A great real estate agent comes laden with resources, similar to a hotel concierge. (Some real estate companies talk about the “concierge” services they provide.) The agent you hire should be able to provide you with a handful of great home inspectors, mortgage lenders and real estate attorneys for you to interview. (Be wary of the agent who steers you to one specific inspector, mortgage lender or real estate attorney. What you want is a choice of great partners.) If you need help locating service people, a handyman, or even a new pediatrician, a great real estate agent should have those names and numbers at his or her fingertips. Being a walking neighborhood directory for many longtime top agents is part of the service they provide.

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A great real estate agent stays in touch. Top real estate agents use technology to help them communicate frequently with their buyers. E-mail, BlackBerrys, iPhones, cell phones, electronic newsletters, Web sites, digital photography and video help agents share properties that they’ve previewed, provide feedback, and keep buyers updated on the progress that is being made.

Finally, when you hire an agent, it’s like a short-term marriage. When the transaction is completed, when you’ve bought your new home, the intense relationship you’ve created comes to an end. With a great real estate agent, you’ll find you don’t want your time together to end. While these are just some of the qualities you should look for in determining whether the agent is a good match for you, you still need to make sure to get referrals and recommendations for the agent from other buyers he or she has represented recently.

What happens next? Dinner — ostensibly to discuss past and future deals, but really to move your relationship into the long-term-friendship stage.

Images through iClipArt.com

October 2, 2008 Posted by | Real Estate, Realtor, Uncategorized | , , , , , | Leave a comment

It’s a Great Time to Buy a Home!

A very good friend of mine, Anthony Frascone with Wells Fargo Home Mortgage, has been keeping me informed on the housing news.

I just received this e-mail from him…

 

I hope this note finds you and your family well…

As I am sure you have seen in the headlines, last weekend the Fed stepped in and took control of the government sponsored entities Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. This has caused benefits and has restored confidence in mortgage back securities and collateralized debt obligations, which has had  positive impact on 30yr fixed mortgage rates.

Other positive news is the strength of the US Dollar vs. other currencies. After years of a devaluation, the Dollar has reversed to a 12 month high, and combined with reduced demand for oil, we have seen barrel of oil prices drop from $147 to $100 (32% decrease), which has been a blessing for us consumers at the gas pump (people smile when you fill up at $3.61 a gallon, compare to $4.45 a gallon), and eases fears a bit as we approach home heating oil season as prices are easing a bit for the winter season.

Rates have dropped about .625% to .75%, which means on a $300,000 mortgage, a monthly payment has dropped by $147 a month. Rates are now available in the 5.375% to 6% range.

This can translate into ancost effective refinance to a lower rate, an opportunity for debt consolidation, switching an adjustable rate mortgage to secure fixed rate mortgage , and to purchase a home and have lower monthly costs.
 
Combine this with home prices that have become more affordable, and you have a positive effect for a home buyer, lowering their debt to income qualifying ratios by 3%, giving them more and more buying power.
There has been a lot of noise regarding the challenging economic news, and there is a way to go on the road to recovery, but there has also been some very positive changes, that everyone should realize. One key strength that all of us do have is the power to ask questions and get answers from all of our current service providers, whoever they are…Insurance specialists, heating oil, auto – home life policies, contractors and fuel providers, and local banks….we are a combined force that drives the local and National economy that also has a direct affect on the Global economy, so the people who we give are hard earned money to for goods and services should always provide us the best pricing available combined with great service on top of it
 
 For more information call Tony direct @ 203~648~6713
I hope this news gives everyone a smile, as it did to me.  It’s a great time to buy, the clouds have parted and there’s a beautiful blue sky to view!
                                                                                  
 
 Thanks to GOOGLE for the “For Sale” Image
 
 

 

 

 

 

 

September 12, 2008 Posted by | Buyers, Connecticut, NY, Uncategorized | , , , , , | Leave a comment

LIFE AS A REALTOR – Realtor Open House Day (4)

Realtor Open House Day – yeah!  I viewed a home in Patterson, NY – with a spectacular garden.  The homeowner has transformed what was a house surrounded by trees to a home with a secret garden!

This immaculately kept, contemporary home is just minutes from the train station, 684 and 84.  Every room has views of the outside and the sound of the waterfall is mesmerising!  It  is a perfect home for entertaining!

WON’T YOU BE MY NEIGHBOR?

May 15, 2008 Posted by | NY, Patterson, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment