The Final Walkthrough

After you have negotiated on pricing, terms, closing date, conducted an inspection, signed contracts, secured your financing, and cleared title (woah that’s a lot!) comes the final walkthrough. The purpose of the final walkthrough just before you officially close on the property is to check to make sure their are no new issues that have popped up since you conducted an inspection and to check that any repairs were done that you negotiated for.

Typically the final walkthrough will be conducted either the day of the closing or the day before. It’s important that you thoroughly inspect the property because once you sign that paperwork with your attorney any repairs that need to be made are yours to deal with. You also want to make sure that any of the items that were to left behind such as the Refrigerator, Dishwasher, Washing Machine or Dryer are there and are in tact and are in good working condition. On the other hand, you also want to make sure that anything that you do not want in the home was not left there for you to deal with such as any furniture or personal belongings the seller thought that they could just leave for you to handle!

 

You’ll want to go through the entire home (similar to your inspection) and check on all the appliances, the plumbing, the windows, doors, and inspect the exterior and below-grade level for any potential mishaps. Don’t forget to check all the utilities, whether its steam heat or a hydro air system.

Remember to inspect the exterior of the property which may reveal any issues with the siding, roof, or any external systems such as the air condenser for the central air system or the irrigation system in the lawn.

After this is all said and done, you can go and buy your new home with some peace of mind!

If you are thinking about buying or selling real estate in lower Westchester County, give us a call today!

 

Frank Morris

Licensed Real Estate Salesperson

71 Pondfield Road

Bronxville NY 10708

O: 914-337-1312 Ext 330

C: 914-500-9194

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Westchester’s Top 3 Housing Styles

 

 

While working with plenty of buyers and sellers in the Westchester County area, we have compiled a list of what we believe is Westchester County residents top three favorite housing styles and their descriptions. Curb appeal is huge when you are selling your home, and in our opinion these three styles are some of our buyers favorite homes!

3. Cape Cods

 

 

 

cape cod-2

 

Typically consisting of one and half stories, Cape Cods have dormered ceilings on the second level and were adopted from Britain’s single family housing style that were ultimately built to create mid priced homes. They stand out due to their prominent dormered second level and windows on the second story. Typically they are not oversized, so generally they fall into an affordable and cute style for many first time home buyers.

 

2. Tudors

Tudor

 

Another adoption of an English style home which is known for prominent gabled roofs that have a sharp pitch and the interiors are known for timber support beams. The exterior is a mixture of this timber and classical brick. These homes in England were considered ones of prominence and are known to be able to withstand several different climates, which is why they are really popular along the east coast. Many neighborhoods within Westchester can be seen flooded with Tudors, especially Crestwood section of Yonkers or Fleetwood Mount Vernon.

  1. Colonials

 

351marbledalerd-2

 

Westchester Counties favorite style home is no doubt the center hall colonial. The original American style home which began being built as early as the 1600’s by our first settlers in America. Colonial homes are known for their perfect symmetry, with evenly spaced out windows, a center hall staircase leading to the upper level, and perfectly rectangular dimensions of the floor plan and exterior walls.

 

Feel free to comment below on your favorite home style!

 

As always, if you are thinking about buying or selling Real Estate in Westchester County, give us a call today!

 

Frank Morris

Licensed Real Estate Salesperson

71 Pondfield Road

Bronxville NY 10708

O: 914-337-1312

C: 914-500-9194

 

Pet Friendly Housing, The Buyers Dilemma

Do you have any pets?

The one question that Real Estate asks and most in the industry fear the answer for any buyer who is looking for a co-op, condo, or rental apartment.

But Why?

Although the pet policies in the State of New York have changed dramatically since the mid 20th century, when in almost all cases no pets were allowed in rental buildings, it is still very difficult for pet owners to find rental apartment or to purchase co-op’s and condo’s in New York City along with surrounding suburbs like Westchester.

Nonetheless, many buildings in recent years have amended their pet policies to allow pets restricted by weight or breed. Many buildings have also begun to recognize the therapeutic value of having a pet and have allowed homeowners and/or renters to bring pets into the building as emotional support animals.

Even with all these changes, it is not easy for those who are searching in the New York City or Westchester County area to find housing if they are pet owners. Lets just put it this way, their are currently about 800 co-op apartments for sale in the entire county of Westchester, 100 of which accept pets! Therefore their about 100 co-ops on the market that will accept a pet currently, that makes it very tough to be a buyer in our current market!

Cats are wee bit easier to get into buildings, as most people keep their cats indoors so many buildings are not troubled by Cats, dogs are unfortunately a greater hurdle, and this is where in fact many co-op and condo’s have house rules restricting the weight of these animals and in many cases restrict against non aggressive breeds such as pit bulls, Rottweiler’s, and Dobermans.

Difficult but not impossible, and many buildings as stated earlier are changing their policies to conform with owners that have emotional support animals and are modernizing their policies. Do not be too discouraged, their is hope and there is plenty of great buildings that allow pets, you just have to be diligent and ready to jump on them when they reach the market.

Frank Morris

Licensed Real Estate Salesperson

71 Pondfield Road

Bronxville NY 10708

 

 

Town Of Eastchester Market Data

The first quarter of 2017 has ended and the market statistics are in!

 

Here is the most recent single family data in the Town of Eastchester specified by village and their respective School Districts (Eastchester, Tuckahoe, and Bronxville). For comparison we will be looking at March 2016 numbers in each of the School Districts. All of the data will be followed by a summary of what each School District is reflecting and what the trends tell us.

Eastchester School District:

MARCH 2016 AVERAGE SALES PRICE: 722,500

 

MARCH 2017 AVERAGE SALES PRICE: 807,783

INCREASE OF 11.8%

 

HOMES FOR SALE MARCH 2016: 32

HOMES FOR SALES MARCH 2017: 32

 

PRICE PER SQUARE FOOT 2016: $367

PRICE PER SQUARE FOOT 2017: $404

REFLECTS A 10.1% INCREASE

 

DAYS ON MARKET 2016: 75

DAYS ON MARKET 2017: 85

 

MONTHS SUPPLY 2016: 3.1

MONTHS SUPPLY 2017: 3.5

LP/SP 2016: 98.4%

LP/SP 2017: 97%

 

The Eastchester School District is the best performer of the three School districts when we compare it to last year. We see about an 12% increase in the average sales price in the market, while the exact same amount of inventory for sale is on the market. We also see an increase in the price per square foot up about 10% since last year. A slight increase in the supply of inventory from 3.5% (This means that at the current rate of sale, all inventory will be sold in about 3.5 months). The average list price to sales price has decreased to about 97%, meaning sellers are getting on average about 97% of what they are asking for. We can attribute this to the sellers and brokers tendency to price aggressively while the prices are trending upward and supply is low. The amount of inventory has increased slightly but we still see a lack of inventory for sale and a lot of activity in the average price range (about 800k) for Single Family in the Eastchester School District.

 

 

 

TUCKAHOE SCHOOL DISTRICT

MARCH 2016 AVERAGE SALES PRICE: 1,115,369

 

MARCH 2017 AVERAGE SALES PRICE: 773,156

DECREASE OF 30.7%

 

HOMES FOR SALE MARCH 2016: 21

HOMES FOR SALES MARCH 2017: 18

 

PRICE PER SQUARE FOOT 2016: $366

PRICE PER SQUARE FOOT 2017: $314 REFLECTS ABOUT A 14.2% DECREASE

 

DAYS ON MARKET 2016: 82

DAYS ON MARKET 2017: 97

 

MONTHS SUPPLY 2016: 5.3

MONTHS SUPPLY 2017: 5.2

LP/SP 2016: 93.1%

LP/SP 2017: 95.1%

The Tuckahoe School District shows some interesting data when compared to March of last year. It must be taken into consideration that the Tuckahoe School District encompasses a small amount of homes and can be influenced greatly by sales in their luxury markets, such as Bronxville Manor situated alongside of the Siwanoy Country Club. This is why we notice such a drastic decrease in the average sales price from about 1.1 million to 773,156. We notice a slight drop in the inventory for sale there. Along with a slight drop in the price per square foot. The days on market has increased, again most likely due to aggressive pricing due to the market trending upwards. The list price to sales price average has increased to sellers getting about 95% of what they are asking, most likely due to minimal luxury sales this year which is also reflected in the average sales price.

 

BRONXVILLE SCHOOL DISTRICT

 

MARCH 2016 AVERAGE SALES PRICE: 2,007,222

 

MARCH 2017 AVERAGE SALES PRICE: 1,541,488-

 REFLECTS A 23.2% DECREASE

HOMES FOR SALE MARCH 2016: 36

 

HOMES FOR SALES MARCH 2017: 47

 

 

PRICE PER SQUARE FOOT 2016: $367

PRICE PER SQUARE FOOT 2017: $404

REFLECTS A 10.1% INCREASE

 

DAYS ON MARKET 2016: 122

DAYS ON MARKET 2017: 82

DECREASE 29.5%

 

MONTHS SUPPLY 2016: 6.8

MONTHS SUPPLY 2017: 10.2

INCREASE 50%

LP/SP 2016: 93.5%

LP/SP 2017: 96.8%

 

Bronxville School District is the slowest performer of the three school districts, which is not a surprise as we have seen a lag in recent years in the luxury sector. We have seen a 23% drop in the average sales price, not surprising as the very high end homes at the top of the market have had little movement. We have also seen an increase in the amount of inventory on the market, making Bronxville generally a buyers market with 10.2 months supply of inventory on the market, with the exception of the homes in the market place that are priced around 2 million and below. Sellers on average are obtaining more than they were this time last year at 96.8% of the listing price, this we can attribute to brokers and sellers gaining a good education of where they need to be on pricing to actually sell their home over the last couple of years.

Staging Your Home For Sale

Statistically 49% of buyers are influenced in their decision based on whether or not a home is staged for sale or not according to buyers agents and the National Association of Realtors. We offer a complimentary walkthrough with our personal staging expert as apart of our services!

Here are some tips to getting your home prepped for sale:

Paint- a fresh coat of paint makes a huge difference! neutral colors are always a good choice, off whites, light blues and green etc. You would be surprised how much a fresh coat of paint will brighten up the interior. Painting the exterior can be costly, so you may want to paint your front door over and give the home some curb appeal, a high gloss will give an extra shine to the front door and give your buyers a good first impression. Kitchens and bathroom’s sell homes, so instead of replacing tile work in the kitchen or bathroom you may want to consider using some ceramic epoxy.

Declutter- You want to allow a purchaser to envision themselves living in the home, therefore remove any personal belonging such as family photos, refrigerator magnets, and any other Knick knacks that can be stored away. Less is more, and you want to open the space so a prospective buyer can visualize their own unique wants.

Light- Allowing adequate light into your home is very important and your home shows much better when the sun can do its job and brighten the space. You want to make sure that all windows are thoroughly cleaned and the blinds are opened to allow as much natural light as possible to come in.

Odors- You may not realize it, but almost every home has a unique scent, especially if you have pets. Before you go to market and while showing the home, make sure your home ventilates properly by opening the windows and leaving them open for 24 hours, their are also many non scented odor eliminators that you can place around the home, be careful to not overdo any deodorizer you spray if you choose to do so, and no funky flavors, use typical air fresheners.

Kitchen and Bath- If your budget allows, updating the kitchen and bathrooms will be money well spent. Stainless steel appliances can be purchased used for bargain prices, and re-tiling the backsplash and bathroom can go along way, just make sure if you decide to renovate, that you commit, it does not make sense to have outdated cabinets and countertops and stainless steel appliances, and in the bathroom it does not make sense to re-tile if you are not going to replace an old vanity. Kitchen and Bathroom are good places to see a return on investment.

Spruce Up- If your budget is tight, some Murphys oil to the flooring can go a long way if you have wood floors, if you have carpeting be sure to have it professionally steam cleaned. Check the tile work in your bathroom for any grout or caulking that needs to be replaced, buyers notice these things!

Curb Appeal- You don’t get a second chance to give the buyer a first impression, so make sure your lawn and shrubbery is well maintained and put some potted plants on the porch in front of the door, as stated above, remember high glosses for front doors for an extra shine.

Define the room- If you have nooks or extra rooms it is important to give it a purpose and define it for the buyer, and extra room can be staged as an office, library, or sitting room.

 

We hope this information was useful, and if your thinking about buying or selling in the Westchester area, keep us in mind!

Frank Morris

Licensed Real Estate Salesperson

71 Pondfield Road

Bronxville NY 10708

 

 

Eastchester 350th Anniversary

Eastchester recently celebrated its 350th anniversary as a township, the town pre-dates the revolutionary war, and was settled originally by puritan farmers who moved from Connecticut. The first area of settlement was in the Northern Bronx, Eastchester once encompassed a much larger land mass and stretched as far South as the present day Bronx, and covered the entire area of what is today known as the City of Mount Vernon. Most of the people whom lived in Eastchester traded crops in the nearby market in Central New York City. Eventually much of the land that was known as Eastchester would become annexed by the Bronx borough and the City of Mount Vernon at and around California Road in Eastchester.

 

At the time settling in this area was not what it would be like today. The winters could be deadly, and the families often came under attack by Native American tribes. The local wildlife, which included bears and rattlesnakes, offered another obstacle for the settlers. The reason that the settlers came to Eastchester is widely speculated, though often a movement was inspired by issues arising in local churches or a lack of food and or water.

 

The towns original peoples were of Christian belief, and the these values were virtually embedded into the township. The first document recorded is known as the Eastchester Covenant, which is symbolic of the new settlers of the Americas striving for independence from tyranny in Great Britain. The document reflected a governing body that was made up of the citizens of Eastchester.

A deeper understand of the roots of the town definitely make one feel more connected to its history, and it is pleasant to know that the original settlers held dear to their hearts the same principles that present day Americans do, such as freedom of speech, the right to vote, and equality amongst all individuals.

We hope this blog was informative and helpful to those who are interested in learning about the roots of this awesome town.

 

Barhite and Holzinger Inc

Licensed Real Estate Sales and Property Management

71 Pondfield Road

Bronxville NY 10708

 

 

Property Negotation 101

All homebuyers want the best deal that they can possibly get, while all sellers want to sell their property for the best possible value. There are a few things that we believe distinctly separate good negotiators from bad ones.

 

  • Many people believe that you must be a ruthless competitor in order to negotiate well, that you must make yours terms clear and present it as a take it or leave it, and you must do it with aggression. In our experience, this is in fact more counterproductive than is widely believed. Aside from the money and terms of the agreement, the relationship aspect is important for negotiation, so it is wise to establish rapport with the party you are negotiating with and show recognition for their position. No one likes to feel dominated during negotiation, and it often drives people away.
  • We recognize that their are some folks who just cant be reckoned with, and who do have that strong personality in which it seems like a deal can never be made. While keeping in mind the tip above to be courteous and considerate of the other sides wants and needs, we have found the old “mirror and match” sales phrase effective when negotiating or communicating with anyone, if you are negotiating with a hard headed individual, you may have to step into character yourself while maintaining composure so as not to blow the deal. People often times have the easiest communication with people who talk or act like themselves, this tactic is very useful.
  • Time. Use time to your advantage, if you are lucky enough to not be competing against other purchasers or sellers you should take your time. The first reason is because usually things become tense during a negotiation, and you want to make sure that you issue a response to an offer with a clear head. As the buyer, you don’t want to seem to desperate, and as the seller, your property sitting on the open market creates buyer urgency to get the deal done. Expect there to be some issues that arise during a negotiation, don’t run from them or try and jump down the other parties throat, take a step back, think over your options, and resume the negotiation. In Real Estate, you often have at least 24 hours to respond to an offer.
  • Keep in mind all of the things that you want out of the deal. The best price, the best terms, closing date, inspection, closing costs. With all the different factors that effect a real estate deal there are many concessions to be made. Perhaps it is more important to you to close quickly rather then obtain your price, if that is the case, then you should offer the buyer or seller “ok your price, but my terms, I need to close this as soon as possible”. Perhaps you may want the buyer to waive the property inspection, or maybe there is a piece of furniture in the sellers home that you would like, this is all subject to negotiation, and should be added by your attorney to the contract of sale.
  • Most people believe they will have to scream their terms at the other party and hang up on them or walk away from the conference table to really get their point across. In fact, we have seen successful negotiators as much more keen to listening rather then doing most of the talking. When the other party is talking, they reveal key information that you can use to your advantage. For instance, if it is revealed during your talk that the sellers must sell the property to purchase another home they have in contract, then it has become pretty apparent that these sellers are highly motivated, and must make a deal quickly. If this is the case, you can offer to expedite the closing as quickly as possible in return for a price reduction.

We hope these basic tips are helpful on your next property negotiation!

 

Frank Morris

Licensed Real Estate Salesperson

71 Pondfield Road

Bronxville NY 10708

914-500-9194

Property Inspection 101

Whether you are buying a homing, or getting a home prepared for sale, we always strongly recommend that you have the property inspected either pre-sale so there are no surprises to you, the seller, and to have one before you enter in a contractual agreement to purchase the property.

One thing that scares most homebuyers away is water. Although its true that most basements are conditioned to take on some moisture, you want to thoroughly check the land surrounding the property to check for a good slope in the land along with proper drainage. Water damage can lead to more costly repairs such as re-wrapping the foundation and dreaded mold build up. You want to make sure the property was built and landscaped to encourage water to move away from the home, and if is not, that it has proper drainage to deal with the issue of water.

The next line item often worries a lot of home purchasers, and that’s the roof. The roof holds a lot of the integrity of the home as it prevents water leaks and proper run-off for weathering. The age of the roof is one thing to consider, asphalt roofs usually last about 20 years while other styles may last as long as 40 years. Although  at quick glance you can observe any patching that has been done to an asphalt roof by taking notice of the layers of asphalt that have been laid, multiple layers of patching can be a sign of the end of life for an asphalt roof.

One of the other costly projects to keep an eye out for is the electrical system. It is pretty easy to take a look at the electrical panel and notice its out of date, those cylinder old-time electrical fuses are a sure sign that the system is outdated. You may also notice if the outlets are updated, and are not the old two prong outlets. Not only can old electrical be hazardous, though depending on the size of the home, re-wiring an entire home can be pretty costly to the purchaser, as much as 15,000 or more.

There are many more components to the home inspection that we haven’t touched, although these are some of the big line items to look out for while you are searching for a home to purchase, or if you are thinking about putting your home on the market and want to determine the value of repairs.

 

We hope this information was helpful, and if you or someone you know is looking to buy or sell real estate, please keep us in mind at Barhite and Holzinger.

 

Frank Morris

Licensed Real Estate Salesperson

71 Pondfield Road

Bronxville NY 10708

Selling your home in the first quarter

barhite-logoMany homeowners put off selling their home around the holidays for obvious reasons in Westchester County. Between the weather and added stress of the holiday season, it just doesn’t feel like a good time for many homeowners to list their property, besides, the spring market is the strongest, right?

Yes and no, there are benefits to listing your property for sale in the Winter and around the holiday season. Firstly, the first quarter is a big job transfer season for many purchasers, therefore these people are looking around the holidays for a new home. Secondly, you can be sure that the buyers that are looking at homes are motivated, people who go out and look at homes to purchase when there is snow on the ground and with the holidays around the corner are potentially more serious buyers, and there is a less a chance of those buyers that sellers dread coming around and just looking at a home for the heck of it. Lastly, the fact that most homeowners do not put their homes on the market at this time makes for less competition for you when listing your home, the less competition, the better your home shows on the market.

Regardless, most sellers wait until the second quarter to list their home for sale. The sun is shining, and it just feels more motivating to sell and show the home, we can understand this. Although, listing in the first quarter may be more beneficial to the seller. The same principles apply to the holiday season as do the first quarter, and perhaps even more so. Like the sellers, purchasers also fall into the belief that there will be more inventory after the holidays, therefore many buyers are on their toes waiting for January 2nd to come around. This is somewhat true, as inventory does start to come back on the market at that time, although many sellers will still wait until the spring or summer. We believe if you choose to list in the first quarter, you will be able to find those high urgency buyers that have waited for the holidays to end, and you will face less competition then in the spring and summer market.

We hope this makes sense and is helpful to our sellers!

Remember, if you are local to Eastchester and are looking to buy or sell Real Estate, please keep us in mind!

Best,

 

Frank

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