Mar 25 2015

Vote For Fillmore Real Estate – Best in Brooklyn

Fillmore Real Estate is in the running for Best of Brooklyn as voted by the readers of the Brooklyn Spectator and Home Reporter.

Please take a moment to click on the check box below and vote for Fillmore.
Fillmore Best Real Estate broker in Brooklyn

Thank you!!!

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Mar 23 2015

Fillmore Real Estate – The Best Real Estate Broker In Brooklyn

Why I’ve chosen Fillmore Real Estate…and you should too.

As a real estate salesperson, I am required by the laws of the State of New York to be affiliated with a real estate company.  The company I’m affiliated with has oversight over the legal aspects of any real estate transaction I perform, which protects you as a consumer.  The arrangement also gives me access to valuable services, marketing materials and training that help me better serve you.Fillmore Real Estate Sell Your Brooklyn Property

With that being the case, I took a lot of time and care when it came to choosing a place to hang my license, and after careful consideration I choose Fillmore.

Here are a few reasons why I think Fillmore Real Estate is the Best Broker in Brooklyn:

Fillmore Has Been Selling Real Estate in Brooklyn Since 1966 – Fillmore Real Estate is not a fly-by-night operation or a company that has moved from Manhattan to jump on the “Brooklyn Band Wagon”.  Fillmore Real Estate has been selling real estate here in Brooklyn since 1966, that means we know Brooklyn.

Fillmore Sells All Over Brooklyn – The Manhattan newcomers like to sell in the “hot” neighborhoods in Brooklyn.  We sell wherever there are properties to be bought or sold. We have 16 offices with over 300 real estate professionals scattered throughout Brooklyn, meaning that I can sell in any Brooklyn neighborhood and I have access to inventory that fits any buyer’s budget.

Fillmore’s Website Get 800,000 visitors per month – Our state of the art website attracts visitors from around the world, and all of them will see any listing that I post there, which is how I can get properties sold so quickly.

Fillmore is a Member of the Leading Real Estate Companies of the World –  Once you’ve sold your home, are looking to relocate outside of New York City?  As a member of the Leading Real Estate Companies of the World, I can refer you to a top real estate professional any where in the world, from Albania to Zambia!

Fillmore Is a member of The Brooklyn MLS – By being a member of the Brooklyn Multiple Listing Service, Fillmore ensures that every member of the Brooklyn Board of Realtors, over 1300 of them, knows about your property is for sale and potentially bring the perfect buyer.

Fillmore Is A Member of RESell Fast in BrooklynBNY – The Real Estate Board of New York’s (REBNY) mission is to “unites more than 16,000 talented, influential real estate professionals as it works to protect, improve and advance the business of real estate in New York City.”  Pertinent information about any property that I list is made available to all 16,000 of those real estate professionals, most of whom are in Manhattan, so they can bring potential buyers to view the property.

Fillmore is a Member of the LIBOR – For those of you who didn’t know it, the boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens are part of Long Island.  There are brokers and agents who are part of the Long Island Board of Realtors (LIBOR) who have buyers looking to purchase property in Brooklyn.  Due to that fact, Fillmore Real Estate is also a member of LIBOR.

Training – The real estate industry is ever changing.  Fillmore works hard to keep all the real estate professionals affiliated with the company well training.  There are several training classes for me to take throughout the year, so I can keep my sales skills sharp and my real estate knowledge up-to-date.

In Conclusion

These are only some of the reasons that I chose Fillmore Real Estate Brooklyn as the firm that I wanted to be affiliated with.  Do you want to learn more about Fillmore and how through the various services it provides, I can get your property sold quickly and for the best possible price?  Give me a call at the number below or click here to email me.
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Mar 20 2015

Its the First Day of Spring!

I know, I know…snow is in the forecast for today, but here’s a reminder that better weather is just ahead!

 

Flowers Celebrating the First Day of Spring
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Mar 17 2015

The NYS Disclosure Form – Why Should I Sign This?

If you’ve bought or sold real estate in Brooklyn, New York (or anywhere in New York State for that matter) you’ve seen this Question Markform.  Its the New York State Disclosure Form, and as the form states, its purpose is to “help you to make informed choices about your relationship with the real estate broker and its sales associates.”

What exactly does that mean?  First off, by signing the form it does not obligate you to do anything what so ever.  It does not mean you have to pay the real estate broker or salesperson who presents it to you any money, or work exclusively with that agent or broker.  As it states on the first line of the form, it is not a contract.
New York State Disclosure Form
The Disclosure Form is for informational purposes.  What it does is inform you who the real estate broker or agent that hands it to you for signature actually works for, and with whom her fiduciary responsibility lies.  When you’re buying or selling a piece of real estate, whether its a house, condo, co-op or a piece of vacant land, the real estate broker or agent represents whoever hires her and pays her commission.  When an broker or agent is trying to find a renter for an apartment, the agent represents the landlord, even if the renter pays the commission.

Real Estate Brokers and Salespersons are obligated by law to have you sign the disclosure form before they can represent you in a real estate transaction.

For more information regarding this form, ask the real estate professional who hands it to you to explain it in more detail.  By signing the form, you confirm that you fully understand who she primarily represents, whether its you or the other party in the deal, and you’re OK with that.

Happy House Hunting!
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Mar 14 2015

15 Tips For Better Home Showings

15 Tips For Better Home Showings

  1. Remove clutter and clear off counters. Throw out stacks of newspapers and magazines and stow away most of
    your small decorative items. Put excess furniture in storage, and remove out-of-season clothing items that are cramping closet space. Don’t forget to clean out the garage, too.
  2. Wash your windows and screens. This will help get more light into the interior of the home.
  3. Keep everything extra clean. A clean house will make a strong first impression and send a message to buyers that the home has been well-cared for. Wash fingerprints from light switch plates, mop and wax floors, and clean the stove and refrigerator. Polish your doorknobs. It’s worth hiring a cleaning service if you can afford it.
  4. Get rid of smells. Clean carpeting and drapes to eliminate cooking odors, smoke, and pet smells. Open the windows to air out the house. Potpourri or scented candles will help.

Livingroom Open House Ready

  1. Brighten your rooms. Put higher wattage bulbs in light fixtures to brighten up rooms and basements. Replace any burned-out bulbs in closets. Clean the walls, or better yet, brush on a fresh coat of neutral color paint.
  2. Don’t disregard minor repairs. Small problems such as sticky doors, torn screens, cracked caulking, or a dripping faucet may seem trivial, but they’ll give buyers the impression that the house isn’t well-maintained.
  3. Add some greenery. Put beautiful plants throughout your home.
  4. Patch holes. Repair any holes in your driveway and reapply sealant, if applicable.
  5. Add a touch of color in the living room. A colored afghan or throw on the couch will jazz up a dull room. Buy new accent pillows for the sofa.
  6. Make centerpieces for your tables. Use brightly colored fruit or flowers.
  7. Set the scene. Set the table with fancy dishes and candles, and create other vignettes throughout the home to help buyers picture living there. For example, in the basement you might display a chess game in progress.
  8. Replace heavy curtains with sheer ones.. Sheer curtains let in more light. Show off the view if you have one.
  9. Make the bathrooms feel luxurious. Put away those old towels and toothbrushes. When buyers enter your bathroom, they should feel pampered. Add a new shower curtain, new towels, and fancy guest soaps. Make sure your personal toiletry items and medications are out of sight.
  10. Send your pets to a neighbor or take them outside. If that’s not possible, crate them or confine them to one room (ideally in the basement), and let the real estate practitioner know where they’ll be to eliminate surprises.
  11. Lock up valuables, jewelry, and money. If your opens house is extremely successful, as you hope it will be, its impossible to watch everyone all the time.

I sincerely hope these tips and ideas are of value to you. If there is any way I can be of service, please contact me at the number below, or click here. I would consider it a privilege to be of service to you!

Happy House Selling!

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Mar 09 2015

The Rainy Day Fund – Don’t Buy a House Without One.

The Rainy Day Fund – Don’t Buy a House Without One.

First Time Home Buyers Seminar – Lesson Seven

To be financially secure, even if you’re not planning to buy real estate, you should have a Rainy Day Fund.

Things go wrong…that’s a fact of life.

You spend $150 on a ticket to see your all time favorite artist perform at the Barclay Center…and the flu hits you so badly First Time Home Buyers Seminar Onlineon concert day that you can’t raise your head off your pillow. You buy your dream car, a Lexus with all the upgrades…and just as you make your first payment, someone breaks your tail lights and keys it on both sides. You move into your dream home that you just purchased in Canarsie Brooklyn…and a week later Hurricane Sandy floods the basement and first floor, destroying almost everything you own, including your car.

These examples of things that can go wrong really happened, either to me personally or to someone I know. Of course the last one is an extreme example of what can go wrong when you buy a house, but it leads to an import question. Once you’ve closed on your new home, do you have money left to fix what can go wrong?

When you own a piece of property you are solely responsible to pay for any problem that pops up. If the boiler breaks down, the roof starts to leak, hornets built a nest in your attic, a tree root breaks your sewer line, your refrigerator just stops working, or, the worst case scenario, you lose your job, you have to come up with the money needed to handle those problems.

And using credit cards is not the solution because you’re creating a lot of bad debt that will drain you financially. Credit cards are instruments of the devil…but that’s a discussion for a different post.

I’ve worked with buyers who had maxed out credit cards, empty savings accounts and decimated 401ks once they finished buying their new home. That’s a horrible position to be in, especially if all your new expenses make it impossible to save money.

Pink Piggy BankFinancial Advisers recommend having at lease 6 months worth of your monthly expenses squirreled away in a Rainy Day Fund. After you’ve done all of your calculations and you know what you will spend to close on your new house, condo or co-op you should still have some cash left to cover emergencies. If you don’t, it might not be the right time for you to buy or you need to buy a less expensive property.

I’m not trying to discourage anyone from buying real estate. In my opinion, for most people it’s better to own than to rent, but it’s extremely important to buy when you can afford to do so. No one wants to face foreclosure or live in a leaky house filled with mold because you can’t afford to fix it.

Things go wrong…that’s a fact of life, and having a Rainy Day Fund even after you’ve made a major purchase like buying a house will help you weather the storm.

Happy House Hunting

Main Page – First Time Home Buyers Seminar Online

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Mar 02 2015

How Much Cash Am I Going to Need to Buy A House, Condo or Co-op?

How Much Cash Am I Going to Need to Buy A House, Condo or Co-op?

First Time Home Buyers Seminar – Lesson Six

This is one of the most important questions you can ask yourself when you’re thinking about buying real estate. In order to First Time Home Buyers Seminar Onlinedetermine if you are ready, willing and able to buy a new home, you need to know if you have enough money not only to make the purchase, but deal with any “surprises” that might arise after you close on the property.

I will answer the question in two parts. The first part, How much money will you need to close on the property, I will answer in this post. The second part of the question, how much money should you have on hand to cover emergencies, mishaps and other expenses, I will answer in the next post. The answers to both questions are vital to determine if you can afford to buy real estate or not.

How Much Cash Do You Need to Close?

The Down Payment

Most people know that when you want to buy a piece of real estate and you’re going to take out a mortgage in order to do so, you need down payment money. Since the recent economic downturn and the end of the “zero down” scenarios that were part of the cause of it, you will need to have a significant amount of cash on hand to buy your dream home.

  • The Conventional Loan – If you want to get a traditional loan from Chase, Citibank, Bank of America or some other bank or mortgage banker, most people will need to put 20% down on any type of property they want to buy, be it a house, condo or co-op. That means that in order to buy a $500,000 house, you’ll need $100,000 for the down payment alone. That does not include closing costs. If your credit is really good (over 750) you might be able to get away with 10% down. Talk to your favorite mortgage professional to find out how much money you will have to put down.
  • FHA Loan – If you qualify, you can get a loan backed by the Federal Housing Administration for as little as 3.5% down. To get this type of loan, you can have a credit score as low as 580 and you’ll have to pay mortgage insurance, which insures your lender in the event you default on the loan. So, if you want to purchase a $500,000 house, you’ll need a down payment of $17,500. Keep in mind that the less money you put down, the more your mortgage will be.  Also, you cannot get a FHA loan for a co-op apartment, any other type of property is fine.
  • All Cash – I’m including this one for those who are confused about the difference between earnest money, the money you put down to secure the property when you sign a contract, and the down payment. If you’re paying for a property in cash, you may have to put some money down when you sign the contract, but you won’t have any type of down payment. That only applies when you’re taking out a mortgage.

The Home Inspection

Only a very unwise person would buy a house or a condo without having a home inspection (also called an engineer’s report) performed on the property, unless you’re a contractor, a house flipper or someone very familiar with construction who is an First Time Home Buyer Seminar - Home Inspectionexpert at spotting structural, electrical, plumbing and any other problem that a piece of real estate might have. If the property you want to buy is a co-op, you might be safe opting out of getting a report done since major issues are the responsibility of the cooperative.

Home Inspections can range from $300 to over a $1000 depending on the size of the property. The truth of the matter is- If you can’t afford to pay for a home inspection, you can’t afford to buy a house.

The Attorney

In New York State you need to have an attorney to represent you when you buy or sell real estate.  Once you have an accepted offer, your attorney will review the contract and negotiate terms with the opposing attorney before you sign it.  He or she will review the mortgage documents you receive from your lender for accuracy and any hidden issues.  He or she will also be there at closing to tell you which documents you should sign and what they mean.

You can hire an attorney to handle your real estate transaction for as low as $600 or as much as $2000.  Keep in mind that like everything else in life, you get what you pay for.  Most attorneys will want some if not all of their payment up front.

Closing Costs

There are other fees involved when you purchase (and sell) property in New York City.  There are bank fees, taxes, filing fees and more.  Here’s a sample of some of the fees you may need to pay at closing:

  • Mortgage Application Fee – (To cover the banks costs) –  $300 – $800 (approx)
  • Mortgage Processing Fee – (Again to cover the banks costs) – $300 or more (approx)
  • Appraisal Fee – (So the bank can determine if the property is worth what you’re asking them to lend you.) – Between $300 – $1500 (approx)
  • Credit Report – (So the bank can determine if you’ll pay them back) – $20 – $100 (approx)
  • Filing Fees (for documents required to be filed with the NYC Dept of Finance) – $200 – $800 (approx)
  • Title Search – (To ensure the person selling the property is the owner, the only owner and there are no leans) – Check with your mortgage banker
  • Title Insurance – (To insure you just in case something in the title search is missed) – Check with your mortgage banker
  • Mortgage Recording Tax – (So the State & City of New York can get paid) –  a minimum of 50 cents per $100 of mortgage debt (it will probably be more)
  • UCC-1 Filing: (For Co-ops Only – The document is the bank informing the world that you owe a personal debt) – $100
  • Recognition Agreement: (For Co-ops Only – Click here for an explanation) – $200 or more.

For an exact breakdown of the closing costs you’ll need to pay, consult with your mortgage professional.  A quick and dirty rule of thumb is to have at least 3-4% of the price of the property on hand for closing costs and incidentals. If you don’t have that kind of money, you might be able to finance your closing costs.

In Conclusion

As you’ve discovered by now, buying a house condo or co-op in Brooklyn, New York or anywhere in the five boroughs is not cheap.  You’ll need down payment money, money for a home inspection, money for your attorney and money for closing costs.  In a future lesson, I’ll tell you about various ways you can get the money you need for the down payment and the closing costs, but the next lesson will focus on why it’s so important to have money left over to put in a “rainy day” fund once you’ve closed on your new home.

Happy House Hunting

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Feb 24 2015

Sell Quickly and for the Highest Price Possible

If you’re thinking of selling your Brooklyn, NY rental property, give me a call!

Sell house quickly

You can call me or email me by clicking here.

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Feb 18 2015

Brooklyn Renters – Know Your Rights

Is your apartment too cold?

Is your hot water just tepid?

Have you been asking your landlord to make repairs to no avail?

The Pratt Area Community Council hosts “Tenant’s Rights Workshops & Legal Clinics” every second Thursday of each month.  This month, the meeting is being held on February 18, 2015 at 6:30 pm at the 896-900 Fulton Street, 2nd floor (Between Waverly and Washington).  The upcoming expiration of the rent stabilization law in June of this year will be the main topic of discussion.

If you have a pressing legal issue related to renting an apartment, you can also call the PACC and request an appointment for FREE legal advice.  For more information about the upcoming workshop or to make an appointment, please go to the Pratt Community Council’s Website.

Regards,

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Jan 15 2015

Property Tax Relief for Brooklyn Homeowners

Governor Cuomo has announced a $1.66 billion property tax credit program that will give financial relief to both homeowners and renters. Brooklyn Homeowners Property tax ReliefTaxpayers with incomes below $250,000 will benefit from this new tax credit that will save Brooklynites (and all New Yorkers) an average of $950.

This tax relief is welcome.  Anything that lowers the cost of home ownership will help increase the number of New Yorkers who can afford to own a home of their own, as well as help those who may be experiencing financial difficulty to hold on to their home.

For more information about this tax relief program, go to Property Tax Relief for Middle Class Families.

 

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