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Mary Alice Ruppert
REALTOR®, ABR, AHWD, CRB, ePro, GRI, SFR
Licensed Associate Broker
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Articles Tagged "Homebuying tips"

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
Uncategorized | 1 Posts
December
20

What Buyers Need to Know About Closing Costs

Closing Costs for Buyers - Coach Realtors

Buying a home is a tried and trusted way to put down roots for your family and build wealth. However, it's a significant investment, and before it's down, you may be surprised by all the fees, points, and other funds you have to pour into that investment. Our REALTORS® know that last-minute surprises are never pleasant, which is why first-time homebuyers should thoroughly understand what closing costs to expect and who is expected to pay them. This is crucial because it is the buyer's responsibility to pay for many of the expenses.

  • Closing Costs for Sellers
    Prorated property taxes owed, as well as any transfer taxes, are the seller's responsibility. Likewise, the seller is responsible for paying the agent commission, which is usually anywhere from 5% to 8% of the sales price, title insurance, any HOA fees owed, their attorney fees, closing credits, and any escrow money they owe to the buyer.

  • Closing Costs for Buyers
    Buyers will have to shell out money for originating and processing the loan. Origination fees are typically 1% of the total amount of the loan. The bank will also add an application fee, which is usually around $300. 

    A potentially very advantageous fee that is optional is to buy points which allow buyers to reduce the long-term interest rate and thus the total amount they will pay for the loan. Points usually go for about 1% of the total loan value and allow buyers to receive a .25% reduction in the rate for every point they buy. 

    Buyers will also have to pay for the appraisal fee, which is usually between $300-500 dollars, $20-30 for a credit report, tax service fees, mortgage insurance, homeowner's insurance, property tax, and HOA dues. With the inclusion of HOA dues and mortgage insurance, these additional costs can easily add several thousand dollars to the home's purchase price. 

  • It's Not Nailed Down Until It's Nailed Down
    It's not nailed down and determined who's going to pay what costs until it is spelled out in the contract. Buyers should always make sure that the responsibility for payment is clearly defined and assigned in the contract. Buyers should always work closely with their real estate agent, attorney, and lender to confirm that everything is lined up and that everyone knows who's paying what and how much they're paying. The more open the communication, the less likely surprises will pop up and risk sinking the deal.

  • Ways to Save a Buck 
    Where there's a will, there's always a way to save money. It's possible to find mortgage lenders that don't charge origination fees. You can also find down-payment assistance programs and grants to cover closing costs. And, it's almost always possible to include the closing costs into the loan and pay these off over time. However, the disadvantage to this strategy is that you will end up paying them back with interest; thus, they will cost you more if you don't pay them off right away.    

We know you have lots of questions about buying a home. We invite you to contact us to learn more about the closing costs associated with the Nassau County homes for sale or Suffolk County homes for sale you have your eye on. We will be happy to give you the answers you need to make the best decision for your goals.

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.

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.

April
19

Hiring a Moving Company? 5 Things You Still Need to Do

Moving Day Chores - Coach Realtors

Moving your home isn't as easy as hiring professional movers, and voila, everything is done. No matter how competent the movers are, there are still several tasks to take care of before the crew makes an appearance on the scheduled moving day. Our REALTORS® know that starting the moving preparations well in advance can give your moving adventure considerable momentum and make for a pleasant experience. Following are the top five things you still need to do before the moving company arrives.

  1. Declutter, Clean, and Organize
    Let's not drag dust, dirt, and unused items from your old home to your new one. Before moving day, unplug and clean electrical appliances, remove batteries from devices, empty drawers, bookshelves, and cupboards, wash and dry clothes and linens, throw out garbage and wash trash cans, drain the fuel out of any-fuel powered tools, and wipe surfaces clean. Pre-pack small and valuable items to ensure they don't go missing during the move. Also, go through your things and set aside items you haven't used in the past year. Give some to close friends and family members, have a yard sale, donate to charity organizations, or get rid of worthless stuff. This will lighten the load and cut your moving costs considerably.


  2. Establish a No-Pack Zone
    Before movers arrive, take all the items that you don't want your movers to pack or load on the truck into a separate room. These items include valuables of all kinds, essentials boxes, personal documents, and small electronic devices of crucial importance. Just to be safe, mark that room as a no-pack or no-entry zone and consider locking it. If you can't afford to spare an entire room for such items, cordon off one section of a room and make it identifiable as a no-pack zone. Also, be sure to mark any household items that won't be relocated to your new home.


  3. Plan for Kids and Pets
    As movers march in and out of your house, carrying furniture and heavy boxes, the conditions in your home will be downright dangerous for your pets and kids. They could be trapped, stepped on, injured, or crushed in the commotion. Their routine will be disturbed, and they may get scared or upset by the activities and new faces. Your furry family members could also slip out through an open door. As such, it's important to leave your pets and small kids with a relative, close friend, or a sitter. That way, you won't have to constantly keep an eye on your curious toddler or snoopy dog and will be able to focus on the urgent matters at hand.


  4. Prepare Your Home for the Movers
    You want to make sure the movers can easily maneuver your items around and leave your home in good condition. Cover floors, carpets, stairs, and walls with protective materials, place doormats in front of entrances, take decorations from the wall, add foam padding to your door frames, and use corner guards to prevent denting or chipping. You should also check your rugs and floors for anything that could be hazardous during the move, like slack or bunched carpeting or loose floorboards. Also, measure all doorways and hallways that your appliances, furniture, and other large items will pass through to ensure they will fit. You may have to remove trim or take doors off of their hinges to make spaces wider.


  5. Inventory All Your Possessions
    Keep an itemized checklist of everything you're moving. This will serve as proof of the contents of your household shipment if something goes missing or gets damaged during the move. It's a good idea to take photos of expensive items to prove their condition before they're loaded on the moving truck. After packing, make sure to label each box based on its corresponding room in your new home. This will make unpacking easier.

Ready to put your house on the market among Nassau County homes for sale or Suffolk County homes for sale? We encourage you to contact us and find out how we can help.

October
5

Buyers: Ask These 6 Crucial Questions During a Video Tour

Video Tour Questions - Homebuyers - Coach Realtors

There are six crucial questions that our REALTORS® recommend asking during a video tour. The answers you receive will let you know whether it's the right property for you, or whether it's time to move on down the road to the next house. 

  1. Do You Have Any Concerns?
    This is a broad question, but it is very important to ask when the video tour comes to an end. This allows your Realtor to tell you what they think about the property. Maybe the storage space is inadequate, or perhaps the windows don't allow sufficient light into the home. There may be structural flaws, high utility bills, or an unsavory history of neighborhood problems. Asking this one question allows your realtor to tell you all the flaws and problems they see.

  2. Can You Show Me a Close Up of the Cabinets/Appliances/Fixtures?
    A little polish and a touch of wax can make any cabinet or stainless steel finish look fabulous from afar. However, dings, dents, and blemishes become clear as day the closer you get. So, don't hesitate to ask Mr. Demille to give these the close up they deserve. If there is nothing to hide, the homeowner will happily oblige your request.

  3. How Silent is the Home?
    If you have children or work from home, then you know a silent space is worth its weight in gold. Ask the homeowner how well the home is soundproofed and whether there is additional insulation between walls and floors. It's also a good idea to ask them when the home was last insulated and what R-Value products were used. This is a bonus that can clue you into the home's energy-efficiency and whether or not the furnace is adequate to heat the home in winter effectively.

  4. How Long Has the Home Been on the Market?
    Most Nassau County and Suffolk County homes aren't on the market for long. If the home has been on and off the market for a long time, it could be because the home is overpriced for the neighborhood, has structural defects, or has a negative history attached to it. Whatever the reason, it's not likely you want to try and tackle a problem that can leave you with a poorly performing investment.

  5. What Do You Like (and Not Like) About the Home?
    Homeowners will gladly tell you about the many things they like about their home. They may even wax nostalgic over holiday parties on the patio, birthday celebrations in the dining room, and family gatherings in the yard. Listen to how they answer these questions because they may just hide a few details they don't want you to know; like the fact the neighbors constantly complain about noise, the HOA's rules prevent gatherings, or the water heater doesn't supply enough hot water when guests come to visit.

  6. Are There Any Structural Issues with the Home?
    Listen to the sounds of carpets and flooring as your hosts walk around. Please pay attention to the way hot water heaters, faucets, stoves, and other elements sound when they are in operation. If it sounds over the video, you can bet it sounds worse in person.

We're open for business, and it is always our pleasure to schedule video home tours for Nassau County homes for sale and Suffolk County homes for saleWe encourage you to contact us to schedule a video tour of the homes you want to see in the region.

September
21

Buyers: 5 Reasons to Consider Waterfront Living

Waterfront Living - Buy a Home - Coach Realtors

Our REALTORS® know that one of the biggest draws of Long Island is the chance to live by the shore!

Seaside property is always in demand in Long Island. Whether you're looking at Nassau County homes for sale or Suffolk County homes for sale, you shouldn't pass up the opportunity to visit some coastal homes.

Many people have never considered that they might be able to find the ideal coastal property for them. If you haven't thought about it before, now is the perfect time to give coastal living a much closer look. It is more attainable than you think!

When you buy a waterfront property, you're not just getting a new home. The truth is, you're signing on to a whole new lifestyle that can be deeply rewarding. For the right buyer, the benefits are undeniable.

Let's look at the top reasons waterfront living can't be beat:

  1. Convenient Frontage and Water Access
    With your waterfront property, you'll also receive something that any boater covets: The chance to get out on the water any time of the day or night from the convenience of your own ramp or other access point. And whether you're on the boat or relaxing onshore, the tranquility will ease your mind.

  2. High Potential to Accumulate Value
    Waterfront properties typically see the highest appreciation among homes of similar size. When it comes to amenities, few other things compare to living right on the water. That makes them a terrific medium- or long-term investment. When the time comes to sell, you'll be well taken care of!

  3. The Ideal Self-Rental Property
    When vacationers visit Long Island, they're just as eager to hit the shore as locals. Waterfront property is an enticing prospect for a platform like Airbnb. Maintained and marketed correctly, you can parlay your waterfront home into a profitable vacation rental venture and pay your mortgage costs at the same time.

  4. Permanent Views for Your Enjoyment
    When you buy a home in an area under development, you never know what the view will look like next year – let alone in 10 or 15. Most waterfront areas have strict regulations about development, so the value of the view you fell in love with is protected for the long haul.

  5. Feel More Connected to Nature Than Ever
    In today's modern, busy world, it can be difficult to make the time you need to spend a few hours out in nature. A waterfront property has a built-in solution: With the wealth of sea birds, plant life, fish, and small animals that make a waterfront their home, you will always have your own little natural oasis.

When you want to buy a waterfront home, it's crucial to work with an expert in these unique properties. Your real estate agent can help you find one that offers the beauty and privacy you want, all while helping you make sure that your dreams for the property can be realized.

Contact us to learn more. We look forward to helping you.

September
8

Should You Buy a Vacation Home in 2020?

Vacation Home Pros & Cons - Coach Realtors

Like many people, you've probably dreamt of owning a vacation property. But is 2020 the right year to take the plunge on a second home? After all, mortgage rates are at a historical low. But this is a time of economic uncertainty. And we don't know when the economy will fully recover from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. There's a lot to consider before you invest, which is why Our REALTORS® give you this rundown of the pros and cons of buying a vacation home in 2020.

  • Pro: Mortgage Interest Rates Are Hitting Record Lows
    If you have the income stability, buying a vacation home in 2020 may make a lot of sense. Mortgage interest rates at a historical low and it's predicted that this will continue into 2021. According to Freddie Mac, the average interest rates in August 2020 dropped below 3% for the first time ever.

  • Con: Being Approved for a Mortgage is Trickier
    With the coronavirus pandemic, all lenders are concerned with the continuity of income. Pre-COVID-19, only a few employment verifications were needed to approve a new loan. Now there are more stringent requirements and processes to prove that a homebuyer is financially stable and will be able to pay a mortgage.

  • Pro: You Can Earn Extra Income
    If the vacation home you plan to buy is in one of the most in-demand cities, you could tap into a new source of income by renting it out. Rental property websites like Airbnb, HomeAway, and VRBO have changed how people vacation. Over the last few months, travelers have been staying at hotels much less and instead opting for vacation rentals because they can easily social distance. And don't forget about tax deductions. If the home is rented out for more than 14 days, it can be considered a business, which means you can deduct any business-related expenses.

  • Con: There are a Couple of Risks
    While real estate is usually one of the best investments you can make, there are several risks associated with owning a vacation property, especially during these uncertain times. To begin with, vacation homes tend to be more susceptible to the effects of economic downturns. 

    What's more, the area where you're planning to buy might take more time to recover from the pandemic. With this in mind, you should consider how the social distancing measures or the closure of attractions and restaurants will affect the appeal.

  • Pro: Buying a Vacation Property is More Feasible Than you Think
    You probably know that vacation homes have long been the playground for the rich. In 2020, however, you don't have to be a multimillionaire to afford a second home. The barriers have come crashing down and there are loads of opportunities for potential buyers like you and at lower price points. If you're willing to dig deep or take on a few renovation projects, it can be possible to make your vacation home dream a reality, at a fraction of the cost.

  • Con: The Upkeep Can Be Time-Consuming and Expensive
    A vacation home is one of the most hands-on investments you can get yourself into. There's a lot of upkeep involved with it and at the very least, you'll have to prep, clean, and restock the property between every guest's stay. There will also be the marketing aspect and unplanned costs for repairs and maintenance.

Before you start looking for Nassau County homes for sale or Suffolk County homes for sale, talk to our REALTORS® to get an insight into the current real estate market conditions and find out if this is the time to take the shot. Contact us today.

July
13

Don't Buy Into These 6 Real Estate Myths

Real Estate Myths - Coach Realtors

Whether you're looking for Nassau County homes for sale or Suffolk County homes for sale, there's one thing you can count on: Our REALTORS® are there to make the whole process easier for you. We'll guide you every step of the way so you can make informed choices.

Unfortunately, even savvy buyers often believe some real estate myths.

It's no surprise certain real estate myths are so common. They've been around a long time and it's easy to pick them up through word of mouth. Some real estate myths were truths once upon a time. However, real estate changes quickly – and it's important to move with the times.

To make things even more complicated, the coronavirus pandemic has changed real estate in a very short time. Buyers and sellers around Long Island need to be aware of how COVID-19 has shaped the local market, but it's also crucial not to overcorrect.

Here are the biggest real estate myths to bust in 2020:

  1. Myth: There Are Fewer Buyers Out There Today
    While March and April saw fewer buyers than in recent years, activity on the real estate market has rebounded. Both buyers and sellers should be aware that the market is vigorous, spurred on by low interest rates and other opportunities. You should prepare for today's market just as you would in past years, but expect longer transaction times and a few extra steps in the process.

  2. Myth: Home Prices Are Poised to Fall Dramatically
    Home prices have generally remained steady throughout the pandemic. Although there is some regional variation, the basics remain the same: People will always need a place to live, so there'll always be healthy demand. With that in mind, buyers shouldn't sit tight and assume that a much better market is around the corner. Taking a proactive stance is best.

  3. Myth: You Can't Buy Without an In-Person Visit
    The best real estate agents have adapted quickly to the needs of clients in the age of coronavirus. Video showings and virtual tours of homes for sale are becoming much more common. With help from your own agent, you can do the proper due diligence, including getting plenty of photos. "Drive-by closings" and other new innovations make the process easier.

  4. Myth: You Don't Need an Agent to Buy a Home
    While it's technically true you can buy a home without your own agent, it's best to think twice. Your real estate agent is there to represent your interests at every turn. That's more vital now than ever before, and it makes a difference: Buyers with their own agents have the opportunity to spend less time on the market, get a better deal, and find a home they'll truly love.

  5. Myth: You'll Need a 20% Down Payment
    A 20% down payment can open doors, and will save money in the long run by helping you cut the amount you'll need to finance. However, there are many alternatives – especially for first-time homebuyers. Federally backed home mortgage programs such as the FHA home loan provide for much smaller down payments, from zero to about 3.5%.

  6. Myth: Preapproval Harms Your Credit Score
    Preapproval accelerates the buying process and gives greater confidence in your buying budget. It enables you to see the nuts and bolts of the finance package you are eligible for and makes the bidding process much faster, too. These benefits come with few drawbacks: Your credit is unaffected unless you place several mortgage applications at one time.

When it's time to buy your next Long Island home, Coach Realtors is here to help. Contact us for personalized advice.

November
18

Pros and Cons of Jumping on the Airbnb Bandwagon

Airbnb Hosting - Long Island - Coach REALTORS

Are you thinking about capitalizing on the Airbnb trend and purchasing a rental property? You're certainly not alone! Millions of homeowners around the world have embraced Airbnb as a second or even primary source of income, but success isn't as simple as shopping for a Suffolk County home for sale and setting up a mattress in a spare room. Prepping your home to become part of the hospitality industry isn't for everyone, and it takes work to turn your home into an Airbnb earner. Our REALTORS® are here to help you make an informed decision, with a look at the pros and cons of jumping on the Airbnb bandwagon.

Should You Consider Airbnb?

  • Turn a Second Home or Spare Room into Extra Income
    Let's start with the biggest pro, and the reason you're probably interested in Airbnb in the first place. If your home has a good location and you prep it properly, you can turn your Airbnb property into a significant source of income. It takes work to excel with Airbnb, but if you stick with it, the payoff can be significant. You can rent out unused space in your own home, or purchase a property specifically as an Airbnb investment. Either way, you can generate extra income without Airbnb being your main job.

  • Prepping a Home for Airbnb Can Be Costly
    While you can certainly generate significant income with an Airbnb property, the eventual payoff often comes with a substantial upfront cost. If you're renting out a home through Airbnb, your customers will expect a home that's ready to host guests. That may require significant renovations to create a comfortable, inviting space. You'll also need to think about the costs of utilities, cleaning, landscaping, and anything else required for your property to look its best.

  • Competition Is Fierce
    Part of the reason that prepping a home for Airbnb can be costly is that the level of competition can be quite high. There are millions of Airbnb properties around the world, and you'll also be competing with local hotels for business. While competition is far from a dealbreaker, it's important to recognize that an Airbnb home isn't a turnkey investment.

  • Show Your Love for Your Community
    Do you love the place that you call home, and enjoy helping people discover all that your community has to offer? As an Airbnb host, you put yourself in a perfect position to promote your community and draw new business to the area.

  • Local Regulations Can Make Things Complicated
    Before making the leap with Airbnb, it's critical to check out the local regulations for rental and hospitality properties. There may be limits on how long you can rent out the property, and taxes can vary significantly based on location. You'll also want to check whether your mortgage lender allows you to sublet the property and look at how renting the property out will impact your homeowners insurance.

  • Becoming Part of the Hospitality Industry
    Behind every Airbnb success story, there's usually an enthusiastic host who loves making guests feel at home. If you love helping guests feel comfortable and pointing them toward the best local attractions, then Airbnb may be for you. If you don't like the hospitality side of things, then a traditional rental property may be a better fit.

Whether you're looking for a home that allows you to become part of the sharing economy with Airbnb or simply searching for the perfect place to call home, we can help. Contact us to buy and sell homes throughout Suffolk County.

October
15

Buying a House: Does Commute Time Matter?

Commute Time - Coach REALTORS

When you're buying a house, many intangible factors come into play. Is it in a safe neighborhood? How is the school system? Does it have a great view? Our REALTORS® find that for many people, job commute is one of the top criteria for evaluating homes.

Today's job landscape has gone beyond the traditional nine-to-five workday, so commute time isn't such a cut-and-dried issue. Here are some expert tips for putting job commute in perspective when choosing a home to buy.

  • How Far Is "Too Far?"
    According to the Census Bureau, the average commuter travels just over 25 minutes each way, which is the equivalent of adding an extra half-day to your work week. Times are even higher in congested metropolitan areas. If you're considering a certain home, take a test run of your potential commute under actual traffic conditions so you have an accurate picture.

  • Hidden Costs of Commuting
    Obviously, longer commutes will affect your finances through costs of maintaining a car, which include wear and tear as well as gas, oil and other specific charges. If you choose a home further away from work because it's more affordable, higher commuting costs can actually nullify the savings. 

  • Commuting and Your Health
    Commuting is largely unproductive time. As a result, people often find themselves becoming frustrated or dwelling on problems and other unpleasant topics. Scientific studies indicate people with longer commutes are more susceptible to high blood pressure, muscle and joint pain, stress, anxiety and lower levels of life satisfaction in general. On the other hand, commute time can be a benefit if you enjoy listening to audiobooks, podcasts or other forms of passive entertainment.

  • Availability of Public Transportation
    Longer commutes can be more palatable if you have ready access to public transportation. In addition to saving on vehicle expenses, you can put the travel time to good use working, reading or even catching up on sleep.

  • Consider Your Lifestyle
    Single adults and people with more active lifestyles may be willing to accept a longer commute because they're spending less time at home. Married couples and people with kids usually don't want to sacrifice precious family time to hours spent on the road.

  • Can Commute Time Affect Your Mortgage?
    Owner-occupied homes are considered the least risky scenario for mortgages. If your one-way commute is longer than one hour, a lender may suspect you're purchasing the home as a secondary residence or investment property, both of which carry greater risk and higher rates. Be prepared to answer questions and provide documentation supporting your purpose.

  • Creative Job Structure
    Telecommuting is a trend that continues to grow. The New York Times cites recent Gallup poll findings that 43 percent of Americans spend at least some time working remotely. More companies are also offering options such as flex-time that allow workers to commute during non-peak hours.

Whether you're buying or selling a home on Long Island, our experienced REALTORS® have the know-how to help you find the solution you're looking for. Contact us at Coach REALTORS® today and get started.

September
16

Relocation 101: Tips for Buying a Home in a Different State

Relocation 101 - Coach REALTORS

Buying a house is a big deal, whether you're moving across town or across the country. Of course, a long-distance move to a different state comes with its own unique challenges, starting with how to shop for the right home across state lines. How do you shop, when you can't readily visit target homes and neighborhoods? Our REALTORS® love helping buyers find the right home no matter their location, and we've put together key tips to help you buy a home in a different state.

  • Start By Contacting Your Coach Real Estate AgentMoving to a new state means you'll have a harder time doing extensive research in person, so contacting a local expert takes on added importance. You can learn plenty about the local real estate market from your Coach agent. They have access to more than 130,000 real estate professionals in over 70 countries Let a local expert start scouting homes that may match your needs. In addition to checking listings in your target destination, they can provide current market trends and analysis on your future destinations. Choosing the right neighborhood plays a huge role in long-term happiness with a home, and with a little digging, you can get the scoop on even small-town neighborhoods.

  • ...But Don't Take Everything at Face Value
    While online information is easily accessible, it also has limitations. Online listings can be outdated, and photos can provide a poor representation of what the home is really like, Be cautious about falling in love with a home based on listing photos alone. Virtual tours can provide a more realistic representation of what a home has to offer, but not every listing will have a virtual tour available.

  • Take a Trip to Scout the Community If Possible
    You may not be able to stop by whenever there's an open house that catches your eye, but it's worth arranging a scouting trip to your new community if possible. So, let our relocation team help you arrange area tours. Visiting a community in person can confirm what you learn online and will provide the type of impressions that can only be formed first-hand. Plan ahead for your visit, so that you'll have time to scout homes while your there.

  • Get A Home Inspection
    Once you get serious about making an offer on a specific home, it pays to have a home inspection. It's required in many cases, but even when not required an inspection can tell you so much about a home. A home inspection provides peace of mind that the home won't have any hidden issues, which is especially important when you're shopping in a different state. Your local expert can get you a first-hand recommendation to a reputable home inspector.

  • Contact Local Utilities and Research Property Restrictions
    Save time and headaches by researching local utilities ahead of time, including power, water, internet, phone service, and garbage collection. You'll also want to check out property restrictions in the area, so you have an idea of what you'll be able to do with your new home.

  • The Right Real Estate Agent and Resources Make All the Difference
    When you're shopping across state lines, the right real estate agent makes all the difference in making it a smooth process. Our team at Coach REALTORS® is a member of Leading Real Estate Companies of the World, aka LeadingRE, a robust international network that helps buyers shop for homes no matter their location. Wherever you're shopping from and moving to, you can find a local real estate expert by contacting your home Coach agent.

Ready to make your own move to Long Island? No matter where you're shopping from, our team is here to help you find the right local home. Contact us to buy and sell homes throughout the Long Island area and the World.

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 5:57:33 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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