Albany, NY Real Estate News

  In reality, it is a pretty nice time to buy a home. Home prices in this area have leveled out. You do not want your home value to decrease rapidly due to the negative effects of the economy. It is also important to consider how long you will be in the home that you are about to purchase. If the market continues to drop and you end up moving and selling in a year, you may have been wiser to wait a bit longer. You could end up selling your home for less that you paid for it. This would leave additional money to continue to pay on. However if you plan on being in the house for several years, you will have time to wait for the housing market to begin to increase in value again. This means that the risk you take in purchasing your home is a lot less than if you were moving very quickly. In...
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How to easily settle into a new home. Protect delicate plants from damage by making funnel-shaped cardboard protectors. If you're moving in cold weather, be sure to seal the plants in plastic as well. Make sure all the rooms are clean before placing furniture into them. Dust the baseboards, and vacuum and wash the kitchen and bathroom floors. Clean storage spaces before filling them as well. Paint them if you have the time. Before moving furniture into a room, decide how you want to it arranged. The best way is to make newspaper cutouts of the furniture. To do this, measure the dimensions of the item, and tape together newspaper pages to match the "footprint" of the furniture. This allows you to easily try out several floor plans before hauling in all the furniture. To prevent items fro...
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By Kevin Clancy, Real Estate Broker - Albany New York
(Http://www.clancyrealestate.com)
Not a week goes by that I don't receive multiple requests to complete a Broker Price Opinion (BPO) for an out of state BPO firm.  A Broker Price Opinion is an opinion of value generally based on a drive by of the property. In general, BPOs are completed by a lender to evaluate non performing collateral. The problem is most lenders sub out the BPO work to regional or national firms that then hire local real estate agents to complete these tasks.  BPO's  are often compared to appraisals. THEY ARE NOT APPRAISALS. As an appraiser I have minimal standards for a report I need to meet,I need to abide by the Uniform Standards of Professional Practice, I have to have a state license, I have to pass an exam,  and I have to have met experience requirements to obtain a license that was reviewed by ...
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By Kevin Clancy, Real Estate Broker - Albany New York
(Http://www.clancyrealestate.com)
The evaporation of 100%  investor Loan to value mortgages and stated income loans was hard enough on local investors. Now Fannie and Freddie, as I understand it, have  reduced the number of homes an investor can finance from 10 down to 4. This is  major problem for any investor that wants to purchase multiple properties in an area to actual generate a decent passive income. It seems the lending pendulum is swinging the other way. Mortgage money that was far too easy to obtain 2 years ago is now becoming more difficult particularly for investors. Investors buying multiple units now may be limited to a solid banking relationship with a local portfolio lender just like the old days. Bottom line, investors buying multiple properties are going to have a harder time but the deals can get done...
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By Kevin Clancy, Real Estate Broker - Albany New York
(Http://www.clancyrealestate.com)
The bad news is everywhere! Just this week I noted the closings or announced closings of Garcia's Restaurant, Supersteel, Oak express, and Thomasville furniture. Garcia's has been an Albany fixture for years. The furniture store closings are of concern because furniture and appliances are closely related to housing activity. You would think the Albany real estate market is grinding to a halt. This just isn't the case. Yes, the over all volume of homes sold is down 20% over 2007 but buyers and sellers are still very active from what I see.   Particularly for a seasonal period that is generally fairly slow. Prices on the higher end homes are taking a hit no question about it. However prices on homes that fall below $250k or so are still relatively stable. That said the spate of closings a...
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Home buyers are visting websites - including IncredibleAgents.com, AgentRank.com, and HomeGain.com - that rate the services of REALTORs. Agent information usually available on the sites includes recent sales history, average time that property listings sat on the market before selling, and testimonials or reviews from clients. Site users can search for agents for free by simply entering a ZIP code, but it should be kept in mind that consumer feedback does not always accurately reflect the quality of service.
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A CMA, or Comparable Market Analysis is how we determine the approximate current value of a property. This is done by comparing the subject property to similar properties (style, square footage, location, amenities) that have sold in the past 6-12 months, are currently on the market, were listed but did not sell, and have sold but have not yet closed. Keeping in mind that determining property value is more of an art than a science, the CMA process allows the agent to review market statistics to help determine the best possible listing price and most probable sales price.
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You owe more money on your home than it's worth, and you can't take out a home equity loan because there's no worth there to tap into. You're in a financial crisis. This is not a good place to be and you have to find ways to deal with it. Here are some steps you can take to ease the financial and emotional stresses of this situation. Get the Property Ready to Sell Step 1 Pack away all those knickknacks and photo albums that are collecting dust. A clutter-free environment will clear the way to potential buyers. Leave your emotional attachments behind and take action to sell your home. Step 2 Paint the interior walls and remove old furniture. Store it, sell it, or donate it to a thrift store. Potential buyers want to envision their furniture in the room, not yours. Leave only what is nec...
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The temperatures are falling, but before winter's chill descends, there are a lot of things to do inside and outside your home to get it ready for the cold months ahead. Safety check Make sure your smoke detector has fresh batteries and that the fire extinguishers are fully charged. Since your heating system will soon be getting a work out, you'll need to change or replace filters and clean the vents. Now might be the time for a professional duct cleaning as well. You'll also want to have your chimney cleaned to prevent dangerous creosote build up. Get the yard ready Give the yard and gutters a thorough cleaning and move debris away from the perimeter of the house. This is a good time to trim back the branches of shrubs and trees that are touching the house. You can reduce the damage f...
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What is exclusive buyer representation and how did it develop? In 1983, a Federal Trade Commission study revealed that over 72% of all home buyers nationwide mistakenly believed they were being represented by the agent who was showing them homes. As a result, laws requiring agents to disclose exactly who they represent have been passed all over the country. When consumers became aware that most agents worked for the seller, they began demanding their own representation. 
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New home communities are more popular than ever! With good reason – new home builders are using popular, open floor-plans, including appliances, sod, and blinds, and helping make it easier than ever to get into a new home with little or no money. New home transactions typically seem a lot easier, as well. If a buyer chose to, they could get through a new home transaction without contacting anyone except the on-site sales agent! However, this would open you up to HUGE losses. Take these simple steps to protect yourself in a new home transaction, and to ensure that yours is a success. Use a Realtor Who Has New Home Sales Experience Many people think that they can save money by not using, or don’t need the services of a Realtor when buying a new construction home. This couldn’t be further ...
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How do you lock in an interest rate? Locking in a mortgage rate with a lender is one way to ensure that same rate still will be available when you need it.Lock-ins make sense when borrowers expect rates to rise during the next 30 to 60 days, which is the usual length of time lock-ins are available. A lock-in given at the time of application is useful because it may take the lender several weeks or longer to prepare a loan application (though automated loan practices are cutting this time dramatically). However, some lenders require borrowers to pay lock-in fees to assure particular rates and terms. Be sure to check that the rates and points are guaranteed and that your lock-in period is long enough. If your lock-in expires, most lenders will offer the loan based on the prevailing inter...
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What is the difference between market value and appraised value? The appraised value of a house is a certified appraiser's opinion of the worth of a home at a given point in time. Lenders require appraisals as part of the loan application process; fees range from $200 to $300. Market value is what price the house will bring at a given point in time. A comparative market analysis is an informal estimate of market value, based on sales of comparable properties, performed by a real estate agent or broker. Either an appraisal or a comparative market analysis is the most accurate way to determine what your home is worth. How do you increase the value of your property? The biggest factor that can affect property value - market conditions - are outside of your control. But other factors - inc...
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Where can I get a list of architects? If you need an architect, contact a local chapter of the American Institute of Architects or the national organization itself at 1735 New York Avenue, N.W.; Washington, DC 20006; (202) 626-7300. Also contact friends or colleagues who have recently worked with an architect for referrals. Take the time to interview several before choosing an architect. Where do I get information on remodeling? Try these sources: National Association of the Remodeling Industry, 4301 N. Fairfax Drive, Suite 310,Arlington, VA 22203; (847) 298-9200. "Rehab a Home With HUD’s 203(K)," published by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, 7th and D St., S.W., Washington, DC 20410. "Cost vs. Value Report," by Remodeling magazine, 1 Thomas Circle, N.W., Suite 600...
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What is guaranteed replacement cost insurance? Guaranteed replacement insurance is a more comprehensive policy. It tends to cost more, but it promises to cover the complete costs - less deductible - of replacing a destroyed house. With these sorts of policies, limits on the policies are not as common, because complete coverage is more explicit. What kind of home insurance should I get? A standard homeowners policy protects against fire, lightning, wind, storms, hail, explosions, riots, aircraft wrecks, vehicle crashes, smoke, vandalism, theft, breaking glass, falling objects, weight of snow or sleet, collapsing buildings, freezing of plumbing fixtures, electrical damage and water damage from plumbing, heating or air conditioning systems, according to the Insurance Information Institute...
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What are some guidelines to follow when trying to find a contractor? While hiring contractors recommended by friends is usually a safe route, never hire a construction professional without first checking him or her out. If your state has a licensing board for contractors, call to find out if there are any outstanding complaints against that license holder. Also, call your local Better Business Bureau to see if there are any complaints on file. If you are satisfied with the answers you find there, interview the contractor candidates. Ask what kind of worker's compensation insurance they carry and get policy and insurance company phone numbers so you can verify the information. If they are not covered, you could be liable for any work-related injury incurred during the project. Also be s...
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American home owners sell and move, on average, every five to seven years. Why do home owners move? People who have lived in the same home for the past 30 years have a hard time understanding this phenomena. They are shocked that people move so often, but I know one thing for certain: Their day to sell and move will come as well. Here are the top 15 reasons why people sell and move: 1) Lifestyle change. Others are simply tired of owning a home and would prefer to travel, pursue a hobby or be less responsible. We used to call these people misfits or boomers, but many past a certain age want to find a calling that is meaningful to them. So, for these people, home ownership loses its priority status and turns into the ticket for realizing dreams. 2) Home is too small. First-time home buye...
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Get your finances in order The loan terms and mortgage rates you qualify for will be determined by your credit history. You could be offered a smaller loan or charged a higher rate if a lender is concerned you might not be able to repay. Before going to the lenders, first-time buyers should give themselves the financial equivalent of a physical exam. Check your credit score and credit reports with the three major credit bureaus and fixing any errors. Pay down some debt, especially high-interest debt such as credit cards, that might flag you as a riskier borrower. Some debt is okay, being overloaded will likely tarnish your loan terms.
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  You can get help doing this Nearly 23 percent of first down payments come as gifts from relatives and friends, according to a recent survey by the National Association of Realtors. Not many first-time buyers pony up the complete down payment by themselves.  This help is great, there are also other places you can look. There are many down-payment assistance programs for first-time buyers that are offered by banks, local governments and charities. Many are open only to low- or moderate-income buyers and some are targeted to specific communities. Some local programs lend buyers a substantial portion of the down payment. Many lenders have information about assistance programs that borrowers can seek help from.  
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How long before yo uplan to buy? Your time horizon for purchasing a home determines how best to invest down-payment money. Those planning to buy in three years or less should put the money in conservative investments such as short-term certificates of deposit or short-term bond mutual funds to shield themselves from potential market downturns. If you're waiting at least five years to buy, you can invest more aggressively. A balanced mutual fund that invests in 60 percent stocks and 40 percent bonds, such as Vanguard Balanced Index Fund, is a good choice and should perform better over the longer period.
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