Exit Realty Achieve's Blog
Homeowners are worth 30x’s more than renters.
High demand and short supply in the rental market have driven rates up nationwide. Shaun Donovan, Secretary of Housing & Urban Development, says “We are in the midst of the worst rental affordability crisis that this country has known.”
Long Island is particularly challenged with only 21% of households living in rentals compared to healthier rental markets at 33% and 37% in Western Connecticut and the Hudson Valley, respectively.
With decreased affordability and a short supply of attractive rental options, buying a home may be your next best investment.
Still uncertain if you should make the change from renter to homeowner?
Check out these 5 Financial Reasons To Buy A Home Today:
If you have any questions about buying a home on Long Island, reach out to our office to talk with a real estate professional about your unique needs and concerns.
The new mortgage rules issued by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) are in effect as of January 10th, 2014. Banks can no longer engage in irresponsible lending practices leaving borrowers unable to repay their mortgages. Lenders can only provide “Qualified Mortgages” that comply with the “Ability-to-Repay” rule.
CFPB director Richard Cordray states there will be "No debt traps. No surprises. No runarounds. These are bedrock concepts backed by our new common-sense rules."
Here are 8 features of the 2014 mortgage rules you need to know:No-doc or low-doc loans are prohibited: Lenders must supply and verify complete consumer financial information. Limited points and fees: No more than 3% for a loan of more than $100,000. No risky loan features: Terms cannot exceed 30 years, no interest-only payments, no negative-amortization payments where principal increases. Tightened Debt-to Income Ratio: Borrowers cannot exceed 43% Debt-to-Income Ratio (DTI) No “teaser” rates: Lenders must verify a borrower’s ability to repay BOTH principal and interest over the long-term, NOT only during an introductory or “teaser” period with lower interest rates. Contact with missed payments: Mortgage lenders must attempt contact with homeowners within 36 days of a missed payment. They must also provide available payment options no later than 45 days after the due date. Clear monthly billing statements: Lenders must send clear statements indicating what portion of your payment went to escrow and principal, balance owed, and any service or transactional fees. Early warning for ARM: Lenders must notify borrowers of increased rates 210-240 days before the next payment and follow up with an additional notice 60-120 days before the new payment is due.
Contact our office today to learn more about how the new mortgage rules will affect your homebuying process.
Selling your home this winter?
2014 started with Winter Storm Hercules bringing heaps of snow and record setting artic temperatures to Long Island. With more snow and frigid weather on the way, homebuyers may be more likely to stay put than venture out to open houses.
But that doesn't mean falling behind on home care and maintenance. The buyers are out there, and those buyers are serious about finding a home. Show homebuyers you are just as serious with a stellar first impression.
Topnotch curb appeal is an essential part of your winter selling strategy. Capture the attention of prospective homebuyers with these 7 simple seasonal tips to maximize winter curb appeal and help sell your home:
1) Clear driveway, sidewalk, and steps of ice and snow: Stay safe by taking care of these areas every day.
2) Add a colorful mailbox: A bright colored mailbox with visible house numbers makes your home easy to find.
3) Install driveway lighting: Welcome your evening prospects with lights leading right up to the front door.
4) Upgrade the front entrance: Paint your door trim a bright color as a contrast against stark winter white. Decorate the front door with a simple wreath. Make sure the entrance is well-lit. Add a natural fiber welcome mat.
5) Add large house street numbers: Make it easy for buyers to identify your home with easily visible street numbers.
6) Add some hearty winter greens: Try shrubs like juniper, cedar, ivy, holly, and boxwood.
7) Clean and Declutter: Keep entryways tidy and store sand, salt, shovels, and snowblowers neatly in the garage. Add runners and sturdy welcome mats for safety. Clean windows and replace burned-out exterior lightbulbs.
Try these simple winter tips to keep your home in tip-top selling shape. Enjoy selling success by maximizing your home’s winter curb appeal!
The US real estate market was the comeback kid in 2013. Low inventory, historically low interest rates, increasing home values, and consumer confidence spurred the housing recovery in 2013.In 2014, the continued recovery is expected to be slow and steady. Robert Denk, the assistant VP for forecasting and analysis of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), states that we are “past the point where we are digging out of holes and repairing the carnage of the housing markets. It’s no longer about the boom and the bust. Now it’s about the underlying (state and regional) economies and how that is supporting the housing recovery.”
So what’s in store for 2014?
Here are 10 real estate market trends to watch for in 2014!
*Keep in mind that local market trends may vary from the list below. Don’t forget to consult with your local EXIT Realty Achieve REALTOR® for the latest market news and information.*
1) Home Prices Increase: Most markets are already seeing home prices normalize close to pre-recession prices. Moderate home price increases are expected in 2014 with increases averaging 3-5%.
2) Mortgage Rates Increase: NAR is forecasting 30-year fixed mortgage rates to hit 5.4% by the end of 2014. While rates are on the rise, homebuyers are more likely to secure a mortgage next year.
3) The “Renter Nation” Persists: The “renter nation” will continue its reign in 2014. Millennials will still struggle to become homeowners in 2014. Burdened with substantial student loan debts, this generation will continue to represent a large portion of the multifamily and single-family rental markets.
4) Millennial Move: Austin, Seattle, Portland, and the Twin Cities in Minneapolis are seeing all real estate sectors influenced by this generation.
5) Inventory Returns: More homes will be entering the market in 2014.
Property owners in the Town of Huntington who were affected by Superstorm Sandy will be able to apply for a refund on part of their 2013 property taxes. The Town of Huntington voted unanimously on December 6 to grant tax assessment relief for those properties affected by Superstorm Sandy.
The Superstorm Sandy Assessment Relief Act allows taxing jurisdictions to provide tax relief to property owners during the time they could not use their property. The legislation applies to all properties affected by Superstorm Sandy.
A refund for 2013 town taxes will range from 15 - 100% of a property’s improved value. The tax relief only applies to the Town portion of property tax. Suffolk County has also voted to take part in the program and school boards also have an option to join.
You can also call the Town of Huntington Assessor Roger Ramme for more information at 631-351-3226.
Floods are the most common, and most costly, natural disaster. Superstorm Sandy cost an estimated $65 billion in property damage. Hurricane Katrina cost $108 billion in damages. 60% of all declared disasters in the past several years involved flooding.
Every home carries a potential risk for flooding. Even a small amount of water in your home can cause major damage. Almost 20% of flood insurance claims come from moderate-to-low-risk areas. Flooding can occur from poor drainage systems, rapid accumulation of rainfall, flood after fire, melting snow, and broken water mains.
Approximately 5.5 million people currently hold flood insurance policies in more than 21,800 US communities. Changes to the federal flood insurance program, the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), threaten to raise premiums by redrawing flood zone maps and eliminating subsidies.
The controversial premium hikes are due to the implementation of The Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012 (BW-12). Administered by The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), BW-12 requires the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) to raise rates reflecting true flood risk, making the program more financially stable, and change how the Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) affects policyholders.
What does this mean for individuals?
Flood insurance premiums will jump by thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars a year for some home and business owners. Rate hikes will hit hardest in places like the Gulf Coast, the New Jersey shore, and Florida.
What does this mean for the housing recovery?
According to the Insurance Journal, affected regions could see a decrease in home sales. Benefits extended to current homeowners can’t be passed along to prospective buyers. Premium rate hikes could also lead to another foreclosure crisis in chronic flood zones.
How are REALTORS® involved?
The National Association of REALTORS®, NAR, testified on November 19, 2013, before the US House Financial Services Subcommittee on Housing and Insurance.
Current market trends and seasonal opportunities are creating an ideal time to buy. But what if you still can’t afford to buy a home?
Financial assistance is available for first-time homebuyers on Long Island and Westchester/Hudson Valley. Community Housing Innovations, Inc. is giving $1 million in grants to first-time homebuyers. CHI has provided down payment assistance to over 450 families in the Hudson Valley Region and Long Island. CHIoffers eligible buyers down payment and rehabilitation grants averaging $25,000 from the New York State Affordable Housing Corporation.
Prospective buyers must have an annual income that falls below 112 percent of the region's medium income. The maximum grant will vary based on your needs as determined by CHI. Buyers must also successfully complete a series of homebuyer education classes provided by CHI.
Ready to own your dream home?
Join us and Chase Bank for a FREE, no obligation, Home Buying and Selling Seminar, Saturday December 7th, from 11:00-12:30 at Exit Realty Achieve in Smithtown, NY. We will answer all your questions and help you register for the CHI Long Island classes beginning in January.
Don’t miss this amazing opportunity!
Call 631-543-2009 by December 1st to reserve your space at the seminar.
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Thinking of buying, selling, or investing in real estate?
Exit Realty Achieve and Chase Bank are hosting a FREE, no obligation, Home Buying and Selling Seminar, Saturday December 7th, from 11:00-12:30 at Exit Realty Achieve in Smithtown, NY.
We will have experts in all phases of the buying and selling process. Real estate professionals, experienced mortgage bankers, and real estate attorneys will be on hand to provide you with information and advice to help achieve your real estate goals.
What can you expect?Greater understanding of the buying and selling process. Current real estate market information. Information on new mortgage programs. Information on how mortgages have changed in recent years. Information on how to protect yourself when buying, selling, or investing. FOOD and FUN!
We are looking forward to seeing you at this special event!
Don't miss this event - Space is limited!
PLEASE R.S.V.P. by December 1st to:
Exit Realty Achieve
956 W. Jericho Turnpike
Smithtown, NY 11787
Exit Realty Achieve is proud to participate in Toys For Tots and Smithtown Animal Shelter Holiday Collection this season.
Toys For Tots was founded in Los Angeles in 1947 by William Hendricks, a Untied States Marine Corps Reservist. In the first year, Hendricks collected an estimated 5000 toys for local children. Today, over 469 million toys to over 216 million less fortunate children, have been delivered by Toys For Tots.
Donate to Toys For Tots:We are accepting new, unwrapped toys at our office. Please be sure to deliver your toys no later than December 12th. Personal pick up will be available for those who cannot come to our office. Contact us if you are unable to purchase a toy - one of our agents will purchase a toy on your behalf. Online purchases can be sent directly to our office*.
The Smithtown Animal Shelter cares for lost, stray, and surrendered animals for Smithtown residents. The shelter aims to reunite lost pets with their owners and find new homes for unclaimed and relinquished pets. The shelter is open Monday through Friday 8-5 and Saturdays from 8-4. The shelter is closed on Sundays and holidays.
Donate to the Smithtown Animal Shelter:We are accepting new and used blankets, linens, and towels. Unopened bags, canned food, treats, and new toys will be accepted. Please be sure to deliver your toys no later than December 12th. Personal pick up will be available for those who cannot come to our office. Online purchases can be sent directly to our office*.
Exit Realty Achieve and our agents will make sure everyone can participate in helping their community.
Make your donation today!
* Send donations to:
EXIT Realty Achieve Attn: Toys For Tots
956 W. Jericho Turnpike
Smithtown NY, 11787
3 Reasons Why You Should Buy a House Today!
Still thinking of buying a house?
Homeownership can help you save money, build net worth, and provide a sense of security and well-being. However, many Americans are still experiencing the effect of the economic crisis of 2008 and Superstorm Sandy. A challenging job market and rising home prices are other factors challenging homeownership.
But the American Dream lives on. Americans still believe in the benefits of homeownership despite the recent housing and economic crisis.
Here are 3 reasons why you should buy a house today:
1) Save money and build net worth: Homeownership is 35% cheaper than renting in the US, including the 100 largest metro areas. A homeowners net worth is over 30 times greater than renters. A homeowners net worth averages $174,500. A renter’s net worth averages only $5100.
2) Take advantage of low mortgage rates:
National mortgage rates are still low compared to a historic average of 6.06 at the beginning of the financial crisis in 2003, to an average of 4.78 from 2008 until today.
Borrowing costs are at a 4-month low with an average rate for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage of 4.1% for the week.
Low mortgage rates are due to The Federal Reserve buying mortgage backed securities to stimulate the economy. The Fed has decided to continue to purchase bonds which will keep mortgage rates down, but not for long.
Mortgage rates will rise when the Fed beings to taper, or diminish, bond buying. Projected interest rates will be about one or more percent higher in 2014.
Five Smithtown schools were named as New York State Reward Schools by the New York State Commissioner for the 2013-14 school year.
High School East, Accompsett Middle School, Accompsett Elementary, Mills Pond Elementary and Mt. Pleasant Elementary Schools have received the designation as a Reward School. According to the State's Departement of Education the Reward Stautus takes into consideration "those schools that have the highest achievement in the state or are making the most progress and do not have significant gaps in student achievement that are not being closed,”.
The following criteria must also be met for the schools to be considered Reward Status:
Good schools are just another reason to move to Smithtown, NY. Consider the additional information on www.greatschools.org If you are considering relocating to this community we can certainly help you with any real estate needs. Call EXIT Realty Achieve at 631-543-2009