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Mary Alice Ruppert
REALTOR®, ABR, AHWD, CRB, ePro, GRI, SFR
Licensed Associate Broker
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Buy a home

Live, Love, Long Island Blog Home

Buy a home | 24 Posts
Homeownership | 25 Posts
Long Island, NY | 55 Posts
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Sell a home | 18 Posts
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April
25

5 Tips for Finally Organizing Your Garage

Garage Organization - Homeowners - Coach Realtors

Spring is here, and that means it's time to break out the dust mops, clear away the cobwebs, and most importantly, get your garage organized. Of all the spring cleaning chores you will tackle, our REALTORS® know that cleaning the garage is one of the most challenging because it's typically the least organized space. Fortunately, with a little planning and a touch of elbow grease, you can use the following tips to finally get it organized!

  1. Make a Plan, Stan
    Start by determining where you want to put everything. Bicycles, gardening gear, sports equipment, tools, etc. should be well organized by category and zone. You will want to determine how much of each category you need space for, and determine the best way to maximize the use of your garage space by dedicating sufficient space for each required zone.

  2. Tackle it in Stages
    You don't have to do it all at once. Dividing it into stages can make the task less daunting. When we show Nassau County homes for sale we can always tell which homeowners took the time to clean out the garage in stages and do the job right. For example:
    ​​​​​​​
    • Clean out the clutter
    • Organize items into their appropriate categories.
    • Clean the freed spaces of dust, debris, cobwebs, etc.
    • Install storage systems (i.e. pegboard, shelving, cabinets, etc.)
    • Put things in their proper place

  3. Detach Yourself and Declutter
    Do you really need to keep it? Is it something you've used once and never again? Is it something you've never used and may never need? One of the biggest problems with garage cleanouts is that garages become a storage closet for all the things we think we'll need, and all the things our heartstrings won't let us let go of. The reality is that most of the things in your garage can go and you will never miss them. If it's old, damaged, broken, outdated, or a specialty item you are not likely to use again, then get rid of it. Sell it on eBay, put it on Craigslist, or simply donate it to Goodwill. 

  4. Invest in Quality Storage Solutions
    We show many Suffolk County homes for sale, and we can't stress enough just how important it is to invest in high-quality storage solutions. Not only do these look better during a showing, but they add real value to the home. Homebuyers love to see well-organized cabinets, shelves, pegboards, etc. It helps keep the space cleaner and more open, but more importantly, it shows that the homeowner cared about details and thus the rest of the home is also likely to be well taken care of. Organizing systems made of steel, wood, and other durable materials are well worth the investment in this regard.

  5. Don't Be Afraid to Look Up
    Overhead storage systems are fantastic inclusions during any garage organization project. They are ideal for holiday decor, seasonal sports equipment, and other items you rarely use. Installing ceiling systems can free up the rest of the garage and give you enough space for a workbench, additional car, etc. 

We're happy to give you more ideas on ways you can organize your garage this spring. Contact us and we will be happy to tell you about some of the features and systems we see installed in homes throughout the area. 

April
18

Get Moving at These Fitness Centers Around Long Island

Long Island Fitness Centers - Coach Realtors

Spring is when many of us emerge from semi-hibernation and realize it's time to get in shape. Luckily, there are a lot of great places to do that around Long Island. Our REALTORS® are here to share their favorite fitness centers in Nassau and Suffolk counties. 

Nassau County

Located on the western end of Long Island, Nassau County borders the Queens borough of New York and is a bit more urbanized than Suffolk County. If you're in the market for Nassau County homes for sale, consider looking for one near these excellent fitness centers.

  • Dimensional Training Studios - 42 Nassau Blvd., Garden City, NY 11530
    Offering a wide range of small group fitness classes, Dimensional Training Studios is a contemporary studio focusing on High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) fitness. With a convenient location just minutes from many Garden City homes for sale, it's a highly rated studio with great fitness coaches who can motivate you to be your best. 

  • Sportset Health & Fitness Club - 60 Maple Ave., Rockville Centre, NY 11570
    You'll find everything from yoga classes to personal training at Sportset Health & Fitness Club, a spacious modern gym and fitness club in Rockville Center. Monthly membership includes over 70 group classes. The gym even offers massage therapy and complimentary childcare. Sportset Health & Fitness is just a short drive from these Rockville Center homes for sale.

  • Legacy Strength - 222 Jericho Turnpike, Floral Park, NY 11001
    The small group strength training programs at Legacy Strength are designed to help you become the strongest and fittest version of yourself. Located within walking distance of many Floral Park homes for sale, Legacy Strength offers strength and conditioning, nutrition coaching, cardio training, and motivational trainers who will meet you where you are at while pushing you to excel.

Suffolk County

Encompassing the eastern portion of Long Island, Suffolk County has a bit more of a rural atmosphere, with lots of large single-family homes on large plots of land. Be sure to check out these fitness centers near Suffolk County homes for sale.

  • Results Gym - 840-15 Connetquot Ave., Islip Terrace, NY 11752
    Results Gym is an outstanding fitness center in Islip Terrace. This spacious facility offers personal training, group classes, performance tracking, a full recovery center, and a complete array of the latest cardio and strength training equipment. Located a stone's throw from these East Islip homes for sale, Results Gym is the perfect place to take your fitness to the next level. 

  • LIFW Gym - 6160 Jericho Turnpike, Commack, NY 11725
    With a spacious, modern facility spanning 4,200 square feet, LIFW Gym offers customized fitness training for every individual. They offer small group classes and personal training to match your needs. With a convenient location near many Commack homes for sale, LIFW Gym also provides nutrition counseling, sports training, and chiropractic care. 

  • Peak Performance 33 Gym - 33 Walt Whitman Rd., Huntington Station, NY 11746
    With a great selection of workout equipment, Peak Performance 33 Gym has top-notch personal trainers who have helped countless Suffolk County residents reach their full potential. It's very much an "old school" gym, with an owner/trainer who's been in the business for 30 years. Peak Performance 33 Gym is an excellent independently owned fitness center just minutes from these Huntington Station homes for sale.

Contact us today to learn more about life on Long Island. Our team of real estate agents are dedicated to helping you find your dream home in Nassau and Suffolk counties. 

April
11

Potted Plants for Your Backyard Patio

Patio Potted Plants - Homeowners - Coach Realtors

If you've been waiting for warm sunshine and blooms in your garden, wait no longer. Spring is here, and it's time to spruce up your backyard patio for outdoor parties, family events, and relaxing weekends. To create show-stopping appeal and an inviting atmosphere, our REALTORS® suggests adding potted plants filled with lush greenery and colorful flowers.

Potted plants will quickly add beauty, color, and fragrance to your outdoor space. However, when choosing patio plants for Nassau County homes for sale and Suffolk County homes for sale, it's essential to consider the local climate and weather conditions. In these areas, you can expect mild temperatures during spring and summer, cooler temperatures and rain during fall, and frost and snow during winter. With that in mind, here are some good choices for patio plants.

  1. Begonias
    From wax begonias to more complex tuberous varieties, few plants will tolerate such a wide variety of growing conditions. Begonias produce deep green leaves, colorful pink and red blooms, and fleshy stems that tolerate drought. They are equally happy in sun and shade.

  2. Boxwood
    No formal patio should be without the elegance of a boxwood planted in a beautiful stone urn. The Petite Pillar variety maintains its tidy shape in containers, while the Green Tower larger variety makes excellent border dividers and screening plants for privacy.

  3. Bromeliad
    The long, pointed leaves of Bromeliad have exotic tropical appeal. When they bloom, they produce tall flower stems in orange, purple, pink, red, and yellow hues. After the blooms fade, you can make more by simply re-potting the pups that form around the mother plant.

  4. Caladium
    Caladium leaves are shaped like elephant ears in white, green, orange, pink, and red shades. When planted from spring bulbs, they come to life when summer temperatures sizzle. These plants are pest-resistant, need little maintenance, and love seasonal rain showers.

  5. Croton
    Often found as household plants in local garden centers, Croton makes excellent patio plants. The leathery rainbow-hued leaves thrive in full sun with moderate watering. When exposed to full sun and rainfall, they will grow much larger in patio containers.

  6. Heliotrope
    What could be better than the sweet vanilla scent and showy, violet blossom clusters of Heliotrope? This Peruvian native thrives in full sun or partial shade and moist, rich soil. When planted in decorative pots, it's definitely a show-stopper for your patio.

  7. Lantana
    Lantana is a very hardy annual that blooms all summer with zero help from you. It produces brilliant blooms in shades of orange, pink, red, and yellow. Lantana is drought tolerant and loves full sun, even in sizzling summer temperatures. Pollinators love it too!

  8. Lavender
    These hardy perennials have silvery foliage and deep purple-blue flowers that create romantic charm, and they smell amazing! Plant them in pretty pots or baskets near seating areas, so when you run your hands over the flowers, they will release their fragrance.

  9. Marigolds
    If you're looking for annuals with brilliant color and minimal maintenance, marigolds pop in patio planters. Marigolds thrive in sun and heat with little water and last until the first hard freeze. To keep them blooming, pinch off the spent flowers.

  10. Roses
    If you love traditional charm, beautiful color, and fragrant smells, plant roses. They make wonderful patio plants that are much more robust than you think. When choosing pots, plastic and wood are better than ceramic and stone because they protect plants from winter frost.

If you're considering buying or selling in the Long Island area, contact us for information on properties and prices that meet your needs.

     
    March
    7

    Follow These Steps for a Beautiful Butterfly Garden

    Creating a Butterfly Garden - Coach Realtors

    Planting a butterfly garden has many rewards. Chief among them, of course, are visitations by these extravagantly beautiful fluttering insects that all of us, from children and upwards, delight in. But there's also the enjoyment you'll feel at creating an attractively landscaped garden with interesting plants and eye-catching colors and foliage.

    Perhaps the biggest reward, however, is that you'll be helping butterflies in the area of Nassau county homes for sale and Suffolk County homes for sale by way of countering some of the hardships that are besetting these fascinating insects nationwide: principally, loss of habitat.

    What to Plant in Your Butterfly Garden

    Before launching your butterfly garden, visit some local nurseries and talk to a staff member knowledgeable in local butterflies and their needs. You might also go to a local public butterfly garden such as Floral Park Centennial Garden, where an expert can advise you on local plants for your garden.

    When you visit a nursery, you'll see a wide variety of plants labeled "butterfly attractor" or "butterfly plant." Many of these plants, such as members of the Buddleia genus, are great butterfly-attracting plants. The problem with some of them is that they are non-native and have become invasive since being introduced to the United States. So if at all possible, concentrate on acquiring native plants. These are plants that butterflies from this region evolved with and find most nourishing.

    Then, there's the matter of choosing pollen-bearing plants for energy and planting other species for caterpillar food. Flowers are, of course, the main source of nectar, which helps migratory butterflies such as monarchs make their way to warmer climates in the winter. But the flowering nectar plants will be different from the plants you plant for caterpillar food. The latter are plants that will attract the butterfly when seeking to lay eggs. Once the eggs hatch, the caterpillars eat the leaves, then turn into a chrysalis and, eventually, a butterfly. Both types of plants are recommended for creating a well-balanced butterfly garden.

    Of course, the plants you choose will also depend on the conditions in your yard. Choose a sunny, open spot (dappled shade in part of the garden is OK) for best results. Among the plants you might try:

    • Sweet Pepperbush (also called Summersweet, or Clethra alnifolia)
    • Virginia Sweetspire (Itea virginica)
    • Buttonbush (Cephalanthis occidentalis)
    • New Jersey Tea (Ceanothus americanus)
    • Blazing Star (Liatris)
    • Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea)
    • Giant Hyssop (Agastache)
    • Joe-Pye Weed (Eutrochium)
    • Milkweed (Asclepias)

    A word about milkweed: there are several milkweed species, but it's best if you plant those native to our area. Milkweed is an important plant for migratory monarch butterflies in particular, whose decline has been partially attributed to destruction of milkweed in fields and due to development.

    Some non-native plants that are butterfly attractors and do well in our area are alyssum, lantana, petunias, and zinnias.

    You can plant such herbs as parsley and dill and fennel and sage for caterpillar food.

    Vary your plantings, including annuals and perennials, as well as bushes, shrubs, and vines. Butterflies and caterpillars need protection from predators, such as birds. Yes, we love birds, but they do eat insects, so give your butterflies a break by planting your garden near a bush or tree where they can shelter. A shallow pan with damp gravel or rocks will be helpful to provide moisture and minerals. 

    Need tips on what sells when improving your property? Our REALTORS® can help. Contact us today. 

    November
    8

    Where to Make a (5K) Run for It This Holiday Season

    Holiday 5Ks Around Long Island - Coach Realtors

    We can all use a little help staying in shape when the holidays roll around. It's hard to motivate yourself to go for a run when it's cold outside, and who can turn down all that stuffing and pumpkin pie? Our REALTORS® understand the struggle.

    Luckily, the holiday season also brings plenty of opportunities to hit the pavement on Long Island. Check out these fun 5K runs and walks in Nassau and Suffolk Counties this season! They all offer an opportunity to stay active and support a worthy cause.

    • Nassau County Turkey Trot - 1899 Park Blvd., Westbury, NY 11590
      On Sunday, November 14th, the annual Nassau County Turkey Trot returns to Westbury, NY. This event includes both 5K and 10K races, and the 5K is stroller-friendly. All participants are encouraged to bring food donations for those in need, either to the race site or pre-race check-ins. The run takes place in beautiful Eisenhower Park, convenient to many Nassau County homes for sale.

    • Smithtown Kickers Turkey Trot - 51 Lawrence Ave., Smithtown, NY 11787
      With all proceeds going to Angela's House and Smithtown Children Foundation, the Smithtown Kickers Turkey Trot has become a beloved annual tradition. This year's race takes place on Thanksgiving Day, November 25th. It's a 5K run/walk that begins at Smithtown Elementary School and follows a course through the heart of the city, near many Smithtown homes for sale. The event also includes a 1-mile kids' fun run, with prizes for top finishers in various age groups. 

    • Port Washington Thanksgiving Day Run - Manorhaven Blvd., Port Washington, NY 11050
      A 5-mile race through the rolling hills of Nassau County, the Port Washington Thanksgiving Day Run has been going strong for over 40 years now. After being held as a virtual event in 2020, the race is back in its true form this year. Expect some great views across the bay as you near the finish line in Manorhaven Park, a stone's throw from these Port Washington homes for sale.

    • Conquer the Hills 5K - 501 Horseblock Rd., Farmingville, NY 11738
      Farmingville's Conquer the Hills 5K takes place on November 26th this year, better known as Black Friday! The race begins and ends in Farmingville Hills County Park, a beautiful green space just minutes from many Suffolk County homes for sale. In addition to the 5K race, this event also includes a 2.6K hike, which is a great option for participants who want to experience the park at their own pace. 

    • Santa's 5K Toy Trot - 49 Smith St, Patchogue, NY 11772
      Like many races, Santa's 5K Toy Trot had to be a virtual event last year. But this venerable tradition is back for 2021, returning to Patchogue's Shorefront Park on December 5th. Santa's 5K Toy Trot is a run/walk that offers great views of Great South Bay and a chance to support a great cause. Proceeds benefit the Kiwanis Foundation, and participants are asked to bring one unwrapped toy for their annual community toy drive.

    • Jingle Bell Run - 1000 Hempstead Turnpike, Hempstead, NY 11549
      On Saturday, December 11th, lace up your shoes and put on your most festive holiday costume to participate in the annual Jingle Bell Run. The race takes place at Hofstra University in the Nassau County community of Hempstead, and 100% of the proceeds go toward the Arthritis Foundation and its goal of fighting arthritis. It's a fun, festive 5K that helps support a great cause. 

    Looking for more information on life on Long Island? Contact us today, and be sure to ask our agents about finding your dream home in Nassau and Suffolk counties. 

    October
    25

    Bathroom Remodel: How to Choose the Right Bathtub

    Choosing a Bathtub - Remodeling Tips - Coach Realtors

    Soaking in a warm, relaxing bath is something everyone looks forward to after a long day. When showing properties, our REALTORS® are always asked about bathroom upgrades with spa-like features seen in many of these Nassau County homes for sale and Suffolk County homes for sale.

    If you're considering a bathroom remodel, you have many bathtub styles to choose from for your space. Before you make your final selection, consider the size of your bathroom, your personal needs, and the finished look you want to achieve.

    • Drop-In Tubs
      Drop-in tubs are the most common type found in homes. The tub shell is fitted inside a framed enclosure that may be surrounded by sheetrock walls or tiles. With drop-in rectangular tubs, three sides are sealed in and one long side is open so you can step into the tub.

      Undermount drop-in tubs are installed where the top of the tub sits at floor level creating a very modern bathroom. Most drop-in tubs are made of porcelain, acrylic, or fiberglass, the least expensive options.

    • Corner Tubs
      Corner tubs are similar to drop-ins, but they're much larger and wider. Their large, square proportions make them great for dual bathing. To accommodate the size and shape, you need a large corner area in your bathroom for installation. If you have an area near a large window, this may be the perfect place for a relaxing bath while enjoying a beautiful view of the garden.

    • Freestanding Tubs
      Freestanding tubs feature solid bases or cradles and sculpted bathing bowls. They come in many shapes including rectangular, square, oval, and round. One advantage of freestanding tubs is they can sit anywhere in the bathroom and don't have to be connected to walls for stability. However, you need a larger bathroom because the tub will take up open floor space. Freestanding tubs are most popular in porcelain and acrylic, but they also come in copper, stainless steel, and colors for a higher price.

    • Clawfoot Tubs
      Although clawfoot tubs made out of cast iron date back to the Victorian era, they are still very popular with homeowners today. Their freestanding style, oval shape, and brass or chrome claw feet create a reminiscent eclectic style that works in both traditional and contemporary homes. Most clawfoot tubs are especially deep, so they're perfect for those long bubble bath soaks.
    • Special Features
      Most bathtub manufacturers offer a variety of options for special features, especially for their top-of-the-line products. If you want ultimate relaxation and health benefits, you don't have to look far for a lot of great options:

      • Whirlpool Jets – By choosing a tub with whirlpool jets, you can relax in water with various heat settings, foot massage jets, multi-speed bubbles, and silent motor technology.

      • Chromatherapy – Whether you prefer peaceful pink or soothing blue, chromatherapy includes underwater LED lights that change color to suit your mood.

      • Music – With resonant speaker panels that attach to the tub and send sound through the water, you can relax to your favorite playlist while soaking.

      • Digital Controls – A built-in digital touchpad lets you easily control water temperature, jet direction, water color, and your favorite tunes.

    If you're planning to buy or sell a home, contact us for information and real estate advice from our professionals.

    August
    30

    Yes, You Can Make Your Offer Stand Out From the Rest

    Make an Offer Stand Out - Buy a Home - Coach Realtors

    The time has finally arrived when you're ready to purchase a home. You found the perfect property, your finances are in order, and you're ready to make an offer. There's only one problem, so is every other buyer that's looking for their dream home. In a seller's market, our REALTORS® can help you move to the front of the line.

    In a seller's market, buyers outnumber available homes for sale. Buyers often face bidding wars and full-price offers for Nassau County homes for sale and Suffolk County homes for sale that don't sit on the market very long. You need to make your offer stand out so sellers will take notice!

    • Make a Clean Offer
      A clean offer means that it shouldn't be contingent on the sale of another property, have financial constraints, or ask for seller concessions like discounts or paid closing costs. In a competitive market, sellers don't need to make contingency sales or offer discounts. They want well-qualified buyers with pre-approved loans and few risks that may jeopardize the sale.

    • Offer Above-Asking Price
      When buyers outnumber available homes, it's not the time to make low offers. If you want the house, you may have to go above the asking price. Even an offer of $3,000 - $5,000 more will show the seller that you're a serious buyer. A reasonable offer above the asking price won't change your mortgage payment much, but it may get you into your dream home.

    • Put Down More Earnest Money
      When buying a home, earnest money deposits (EMDs) prove that you're a good-faith buyer. On average, EMDs are 1-3% of the purchase price, but you can make a larger deposit. Your agent will hold on to your deposit, which will go toward your down payment and closing costs. However, if you sign the contract and don't buy the home, the seller can keep your deposit.

    • Make a Larger Down Payment
      Making a larger down payment than required by your lender will send a message of good faith to the seller. By putting more money down, you're showing the seller that you're a serious buyer who is capable of meeting all financial obligations. A larger down payment assures the seller that the loan is not at risk and the sale won't fall through.

    • Pay with Cash
      Cash offers are very appealing to eager sellers because they aren't subject to loan approvals, financing contingencies, and lending procedures by banks. Lenders require property inspections and appraisal contingencies prior to loan approvals to protect their interests. Cash offers keep the sale between the buyer and the seller, so the deal moves quickly without a long process.

    • Get a Pre-Approved Mortgage
      In a tight seller's market, multiple offers are often entered on the same home within just a few hours. This can lead to a bidding war where the seller will have to choose the most qualified buyer. A pre-approval letter from a lender that states the amount of money you can borrow for a mortgage will significantly increase your chances of moving to the front of the line.

    • Add an Escalation Clause
      An escalation clause means that your offer will outbid other offers up to a maximum price. Keep in mind, even with an escalation clause the seller can still make a counteroffer. Instead of accepting your escalation clause, the seller can raise the listing price. At that point, you can decide the best way to close the deal.

    If you're thinking about buying or selling on Long Island, contact us for information and prices on available properties that meet your needs.

    August
    16

    On the Menu: Where to Order Fajitas Around Long Island

    Order Fajitas Around Long Island - Coach Realtors

    National Fajita Day is coming up on August 18th. How are you planning to celebrate? Our REALTORS® highly recommend stopping by one of these Mexican restaurants on Long Island and ordering yourself some delicious fajitas. Throw in some margaritas and a few friends, and you'll have a real party! Here are some of the top restaurants to visit on National Fajita Day.

    • Oaxaca Mexican Food Treasure: 385 New York Ave., Huntington, NY 11743
      Oaxaca Mexican Food Treasure is near many great Huntington homes for sale. This authentic Mexican restaurant was named one of the Top 10 Restaurants on Long Island by Newsday.

      Fajitas Rio Bravo is well worth ordering here. You can get it with beef, chicken, pork, or shrimp. The peppers and onions are always tasty and well-seasoned. If you save room for dessert, the free flan is incredible.

    • Pico Tequila Grill: 1930 Jericho Turnpike, East Northport, NY 11731
      If you're looking at East Northport homes for sale, stop by Pico Tequila Grill for some fajitas. Everything on the menu is made fresh, and they offer Happy Hour specials daily.

      The Fajitas Platter here is a popular order. You can order it with vegetables, chicken, steak, or shrimp. The fajitas come with lime rice and black beans, and you can choose between corn and flour tortillas.

    • Gracia's Taqueria & More: 285 Commack Rd., Commack, NY 11725
      They may have named themselves after tacos, but Gracia's Taqueria & More has some amazing fajitas, too. You can order Fajitas de Pollo, Fajitas de Carne, or Fajitas de Camaron. Or, you can get a combo platter and enjoy one of each.

      Gracia's is near Commack homes for sale. They also have a lot of sharable appetizers, like the Andale Queso Fundito and Fiesta Nachos Cheese.

    • El Guapo Tacos & Tequila: 52 Old Country Rd., Mineola, NY 11501
      El Guapo Tacos & Tequila is just minutes from many Garden City homes for sale. They offer takeout, so you can order your fajitas to-go if you're in a hurry.

      In addition to fajitas, El Guapo has excellent chips and salsa, so make sure you enjoy them while waiting for your order. Their guacamole is also exceptional.

    • Habanero Mexican Grill: 465 Atlantic Ave., East Rockway, NY 11518
      This modern Mexican restaurant is near Hewlett homes for sale. They're open for lunch and dinner, so you can enjoy your fajitas whenever it is convenient. 

      Habanero Mexican Grill hasn't always offered fajitas, but they recently added them to the menu. The chicken and shrimp fajitas are a fan favorite! If you want to round out your meal, you can add a side of cilantro rice or cheese fries to your order. The 3-milk cake is the perfect dessert!

    • Margarita's Cafe: 97 Manorhaven Blvd., Port Washington, NY 11050
      If you're looking at Port Washington homes for sale, then this is a great place to get your fajita fix. Margarita's Cafe even offers salmon fajitas, which are unique and delicious. Their vegetarian fajitas, made with seasonal veggies and squash, are also popular.

      As the name would suggest, this restaurant has a great selection of margaritas. The Mar Azul, made with blue agave tequila, will really please your taste buds. The coconut margaritas are delicious, too. Don't forget a round of guacamole for the table, either! It's made fresh to order.

    Whether you're looking at Nassau County homes for sale or Suffolk County homes for sale, stopping to celebrate National Fajita Day is sure to add to the fun. Enjoy your meal, and don't forget to contact us if you're looking for a real estate agent on Long Island.

    July
    26

    Tips Before Buying an Older Home

    Buying an Older Home - Long Island - Coach Realtors

    For some people, there's something alluring and almost whimsical about living in an old house. It's the history, the craftsmanship, and the nostalgic factor that you can't find in a newer build. If you're looking for a home whose walls are filled with history, our REALTORS® can help you find the home of your dreams.

    It's no secret that old houses carry a lot of charm and character. They just don't build them like they used to anymore. But for all their charms, buying an older house is a complicated affair. You must be prepared to spend more money long-term than your initial listing price. Even then, you might run into some issues.

    Here are a few things you need to look out for when buying an old house.

    What Counts As an Older Home?

    Age is subjective when it comes to houses. As a general rule of thumb, an old house is one that's fifty years or older, and one built before 1920 is considered antique. But again, housing age is subjective – it's a condition based on numerous factors, including location, architectural style, and even local climate and geology.

    For instance, houses in urban cores across the country, such as New York and Massachusetts, tend to be older, averaging over 50 years old.

    To help you do your due diligence, here are the factors you need to consider when buying an older home.

    • Construction Style
      In most cases, the construction style of a home is an indicator of its quality. Prefabricated homes are generally constructed to lower quality standards than custom-built new homes. Homes constructed in the Tudor, Craftsman, Victorian, or Queen Anne styles are usually solidly built, more durable, and can handle several rounds of repairs and renovations.

    • Climate and Geology
      Certain climates can age a home. Houses in desert areas and places that experience extreme weather conditions tend to age faster. A house in Chicago will need repairs sooner than one in milder climates. Geological factors such as earthquakes, sinkholes, and high water tables can also accelerate the aging process. Homes in geologically active areas will require more repair and maintenance over their lifetime as such activities can lead to structural damage.

    Things to Pay Attention to When Buying an Old House

    If the age of a home is subjective, what are the factors you should pay attention to more? Here's a breakdown.

    • Foundation Issues
      When buying an old home, two inspections are better than one. A structural inspection can reveal the extent of foundation issues if any. These issues could range from small settlement cracks to damaged support footings. Look out for wall cracks, windows that won't open, and doors that won't latch. Such minor issues could indicate a larger, more inherent problem.

    • Lead and Asbestos
      Lead and asbestos are neurotoxic materials that were used in piping systems and insulations until relatively very recently. Lead is common in many pre-World War II plumbing systems and in paints made before 1978. Asbestos wasn't banned in residential applications until the late 1980s. In addition, you have to look out for toxic gases, such as Radon, that could severely impact air quality. These issues also necessitate a rigorous inspection process.

    • Previous Renovations
      Old homes have likely changed hands many times over. An inspection could highlight recent renovations and ensure that the house is up to code and industry standards. Some old and antique houses have been updated so many times that it's difficult to determine their age. Sometimes the only remaining original components are the foundation and exterior of the house.

    Looking for Some Old School Charm?

    Buying an old house has its challenges. With smart planning and the right realtor by your side, you can find a property that's well worth the hassle. Check out our Nassau County homes for sale and Suffolk County homes for sale to find vintage homes with some of that old-school charm. Contact us, and we can help you navigate the hurdles that come with buying an older home.

    June
    21

    When Does an Early Offer Make Sense?

    When to Make an Early Offer - Buy a Home - Coach Realtors

    With mortgage rates at historic lows, 2021 is a great time to buy a home. If you fall in love with a property, you should definitely consider making an early offer, or you might lose out, considering the market is a strong seller's market. Our REALTORS® can help you craft the perfect proposal, one that couples financial details with the nuances of negotiations to help you close on the house of your dreams.

    Currently, the housing market remains open, and the demand to buy is high. But housing inventory is low, and it's easy to find yourself in a bidding war with other homebuyers. The offer of purchase opens the communication channels that lead to the final deal.

    Making an offer is not a choice you should make lightly. But just how long should you wait before you make an offer?

    Here's everything you need to know about making an early offer.

    The Early Bid Gets the Worm

    When you're in the market for a new home, you shouldn't wait too long after finding a house that's a good fit before making an offer. You should submit a bid as soon as you're sure you want to buy it.

    Typically in a seller's market, sellers prefer to keep their houses longer on the open market to give buyers plenty of time to visit and bid on the home. Knowing this, many buyers hesitate to make an early offer thinking they're at a disadvantage. However, in a fast-moving market, a pre-emptive offer may get you the house that you want. Remember, good homes get snatched up pretty quickly.

    When is an early offer your best bet? If you have preapproval and have done your research, then you should make an early bid. There's no point in waiting if you have everything in order. You never know who else is interested.

    A popular saying in real estate is: the first offer is the best offer. There's no other point when a house is most attractive than when it's first listed. And this works in favor of those who make early offers.

    House-hunting tip: To make your offer attractive, shorten the contingency period to a week or so. This way, you won't constrain the seller's marketing time if the deal fails to go through.

    Use Caution with Early Offers

    While an early offer may get you the house, you're unlikely to make a bargain in the process. For pre-emptive offers to be considered, they must be high to garner attention. You must be willing to pay a higher price when you make an early offer so you can't have any doubts about the house.

    It's clear that your bid will have to stand out when competing against other buyers. You'll need to be strategic, and a personal touch could give you the edge you need.

    • Write a personal letter. Most people have a special attachment to their homes, and a heartfelt letter could make your offer more attractive.

    • If you can, offer to absorb a few of the closing cost fees. This will stick in the seller's mind and can sometimes be the difference between you and other buyers.

    • Submit a clean, fair proposal and back it up with the required documentation such as preapproval letters and proof of funds.

    Make an Offer on a House the Right Way

    Don't shy away from making an offer on a house you love just because the market is competitive. It doesn't cost a thing to make an offer. The right real estate agent will guide you through the process and work to find you the right home for you.

    Ready to make an offer on a new home? We can help. Contact us today and tour our beautiful Nassau County homes for sale and Suffolk County homes for sale.

    Disclaimer: All information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. All properties are subject to prior sale, change or withdrawal. Neither listing broker(s) or information provider(s) shall be responsible for any typographical errors, misinformation, misprints and shall be held totally harmless. Listing(s) information is provided for consumers personal, non-commercial use and may not be used for any purpose other than to identify prospective properties consumers may be interested in purchasing. Information on this site was last updated 05/18/2022. The listing information on this page last changed on 05/18/2022. The data relating to real estate for sale on this website comes in part from the Internet Data Exchange program of OneKey MLS (last updated Wed 05/18/2022 6:46:24 PM EST). Real estate listings held by brokerage firms other than Coach Realtors may be marked with the Internet Data Exchange logo and detailed information about those properties will include the name of the listing broker(s) when required by the MLS. All rights reserved. --

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