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Larry Theodore

Century 21 American Homes would like to congratulate Larry Theodore – Licensed broker associate – Farmingdale.

Larry Theodore

Larry was recently honored at the Century 21 Awards Banquet for being the top-producing Century 21 real estate agent in the New York metro region for 2016, as well as one of the top 21 agents in Century 21 Worldwide.

Source: Newsday.com

Larry was also featured recently in Top Agent Magazine. The article captures Larry’s early days as an entrepreneur at the age of 13 with his very own landscaping business. Larry learned the value of hard work from his grandfather, he gives his all in each of his 100+ transactions done every year.

Source: TopAgentMagazine.com

Larry’s hard work and dedication to his clients inspires all of us.

To learn more about Larry Theodore, visit LarryTheodore.com, e-mail ltheodore@c21amhomes.com, or call 516-859-8738.

For Your To-Do List: Buy a Home

If you’re not planning on buying a home any time soon, perhaps you should be. Just over half (54 percent) of Americans say they are likely to buy a home in the next five years – up 12 percent from last year – according to the 2017 BMO Harris Bank Homebuyers Report. In addition, Americans surveyed will average a 32 percent down payment.

The report, conducted by Pollara, also found that:

– Among likely first-time buyers, 80 percent plan to get preapproved for a mortgage before making an offer and 10 percent are already preapproved.

– Around four-in-five will set a budget before looking for a home.

– The majority (65 percent) of those looking to buy a new home will consult a real estate agent, while 61 percent said they will visit online real estate websites and 38 percent will seek recommendations from friends and family.

The benefits of homeownership are many, but among the most significant are:

– Owning a home is a secure long-term investment.

– Tax deductions make homeownership a much smarter financial path than renting.

– When you own a home, you are free to do with it as you see fit – paint, remodel, add-on and personalize to your heart’s content.

According to the report, 70 percent of American homeowners spent six months or less looking for a new home before they made a purchase. In addition, 10 percent bought their home without participating in an active real estate search – or even any plan to buy at all – because a specific property caught their attention.

The report also found that Millennials (the generation born between 1982 and 2004) are more likely to use a mobile device as a resource to help in their home search (37 percent). In addition, Millennials are more likely than older age groups to rely on recommendations from friends and family (45 percent) when conducting a home search.

Source: BMO Harris Bank

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2017. All rights reserved.

Mortgage Rates Bottom to New Low

Mortgage rates this week bottomed to a new low for the year, with the 30-year, fixed rate averaging 3.94 percent, according to Freddie Mac’s recently released Primary Mortgage Market Survey® (PMMS®). The 15-year, fixed rate, at the same time, averaged 3.19 percent, while the 5-year, Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable rate averaged 3.11 percent.

modern yellow detached house in the suburbs

modern yellow detached house in the suburbs

“In a short week following Memorial Day, the 10-year Treasury yield fell four basis points,” says Sean Beckett, chief economist at Freddie Mac. “The 30-year mortgage rate remained relatively flat, falling one basis point to 3.94 percent and once again hitting a new 2017 low.”

Source: Freddie Mac

For the latest real estate news and trends, bookmark RISMedia.com.

The post Mortgage Rates Bottom to New Low appeared first on RISMedia.

The Best Is Yet to Come for Homebuyers

It’s a seller’s market out there, and for homebuyers, the struggle this spring is real: few affordable options, and price growth that just won’t quit.

Another issue’s working against them, too: timing.

According to a recent analysis by Zillow, the best time for buyers isn’t spring, but summer—the end of summer, that is. Why? There’s more supply as the season winds down, specifically in August, and sellers who weren’t so lucky earlier on become anxious to unload, cutting prices before the weather changes and the school year starts.

In the analysis, August had more listings than any other month (8,000 more in L.A., for instance), and saw the highest share of listings with lowered prices. Comparing reductions over the spring and summer months:

Zillow_Buy_Reductions

“In such a competitive housing market, it’s easy for buyers to get frustrated when they are putting in multiple offers without success,” says Dr. Svenja Gudell, chief economist at Zillow. “Buyers who start their home search in the spring may still be looking months later—but for those who can wait it out, the end of summer will bring more favorable conditions. Homes that may have been overpriced earlier in the year are more likely to have a price reduction, and those listings passed over in earlier months may look better with a fresh perspective.”

For more information, please visit www.zillow.com.

Suzanne De Vita is RISMedia’s online news editor. Email her your real estate news ideas at sdevita@rismedia.com.

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2017. All rights reserved.

The No. 1 Obstacle for Would-Be Homeowners

For all the hurdles to homeownership, one obstacle is stubbornly more insurmountable than the rest: the down payment.

Renters are having trouble stacking up the savings to place a down payment on a home, according to the recently released Zillow® Housing Aspirations Report (ZHAR). Seventy percent of renters surveyed in the report say the down payment is more of a hindrance than debt (cited by 50 percent of those surveyed), job security (38.5 percent) and qualifying for a mortgage (53.2 percent)—though those aspects are barriers, as well. Low supply was a roadblock for just 11.2 percent of those surveyed.

“With home values close to record highs, it’s no surprise renters are concerned about coming up with enough money to buy a home,” says Dr. Svenja Gudell, chief economist at Zillow. “Rising rents are also a factor—it’s extremely difficult to save when you’re paying record-high rents.”

The irony? The difficulty of coming up with a down payment is keeping most renters from saving money as a homeowner. In 33 of the 35 major metropolitan areas, a monthly mortgage is less expensive than monthly rent.

Though renters have low down payment options, the long-term savings gained with 20 percent down—a general standard—often outweigh those earned upfront.

“While it is possible to put down as little as 3 percent on a home, the trade-off is a higher interest rate and costly private mortgage insurance—a financial trade-off that may make sense for some buyers,” Gudell says.

Renters, still, have not lost sight of their homeownership goals. Sixty-three percent of those surveyed are “confident” in their ability to afford a home “someday;” 25 percent have a more definitive timeline, planning to buy a home in the next three to five years. Twenty-two percent of millennial renters, markedly, plan to buy a home in the next one to two years. Only 2 percent of millennial renters plan on never buying a home.

Importantly, 66 percent of those surveyed equate owning a home with the American Dream.

For more information, please visit www.zillow.com

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2017. All rights reserved.

5 Things to Check Before Moving In

Buying a new house is an exciting process that marks a new chapter in life. For many people, it’s fun to shop around and tour different properties. When you’re serious about purchasing a home, there are a few important parts of the property to check before you move in.

The Neighborhood
You should feel comfortable with the quality of the neighborhood, which will influence the value of your home. Look at the condition of the other homes and check to see if people are loitering at different times of the day. The house should also be in proximity to your job, or nearby schools if you have children. Some individuals who don’t have a family may want to purchase a home in a good school district due to the impact that it’ll have on the value of the property.

Storage Space
The storage space that is available in the home influences how much clutter will be left out in the open. Look for plenty of storage space that is available in the bedroom closets or in the kitchen to ensure that you can comfortably fit everything that you own without feeling cramped.

Plumbing System
Run the faucets to inspect the water pressure and ask the owners if the pipes are insulated. Hire professionals to check if the radiators are working and if the hot water tank needs to be replaced soon.

The Roof
The roof is one of the more costly features of the home and protects the interior setting from damage due to environmental elements. Hire a professional roofer to determine the lifespan of the roofing material and if it needs any repairs. The tiles or shingles should be secure on the roof deck, and there shouldn’t be any leaks present.

Sufficient Drainage
Many buyers make the mistake of overlooking the drainage on the property, but it can cause issues if not in good shape. Insufficient drainage can lead to severe structural problems in the home.

Although it can be easy to fall in love with a house, there are several areas to check before making an offer to ensure that you won’t run into problems down the road. By taking the time to inspect each part of the property, you can have peace of mind knowing you’re making a good investment.

By Kara Masterson

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2017. All rights reserved.

Navigating the Home-Buying Process: 5 Tips

Buying a home for the first time can be complex and daunting, especially in a competitive housing market. A new book, “My First Home: A Step-by-Step Guide to Achieving the Ultimate American Dream,” aims to help first-time buyers navigate the process.

Below are five tips from author Shashank Shekhar, a blogger, media source and radio and television personality:

1. Move Quickly
In this kind of market, if you see a home you like, you’d better be prepared to jump on it. Don’t hem and haw—make the offer.

2. Understand the Seller’s Needs
The best deal is not always the most money. The seller might be in escrow on their new home. They need their current residence—the one you’re wanting to buy—to close before they can move, so you need to move from contract to closing quickly. Sometimes, it could be the opposite: The seller wants to stay in the home longer than the typical 30-45 days for closing. In that case, offering rent back to the seller might be a clincher.

It’s your real estate agent’s job to find out the real motivations and needs of the seller and craft your offer accordingly. Sometimes it’s obvious; other times, it’s not.

3. Get Your Loan Officer to Call the Listing Agent
When you make an offer, the loan officer should explain to the listing agent that you are well qualified and that the transaction will close on time. Sellers and listing agents feel more comfortable working with loan officers who are proactive in their communication. They also feel more assured that the loan won’t fall through.

4. Be Aggressive on the Terms and/or Price
In most cases, you need to be ready to be aggressive with terms like quick closing, no appraisal/loan/inspection contingencies, etc. Be sure to discuss these with your loan officer and real estate agent. You need to be qualified to take such risks with your earnest money deposit—or else, don’t do it!

5. Hire a Real Estate Agent
Work with a real estate agent that understands the market. Agents who truly understand market dynamics and are well connected can get their clients’ offers accepted even when it’s not the highest. Work with people actively closing real estate transactions—your nephew’s girlfriend is only a good option if she’s legitimately qualified.

Source: Shashank Shekhar, Arcus Lending

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2017. All rights reserved.

Getting Ready to Rent? Buying Might be a Smarter Choice

Between down payments and closing costs, buying a home is a big financial commitment that may seem out of reach for those who ultimately choose to rent instead. However, in today’s market environment of rising rents, the difference in cost between renting and owning is actually narrowing, making this a favorable time to buy a home in most U.S. cities.

According to the Beracha, Hardin & Johnson Buy vs. Rent (BH&J) Index, 15 of the 23 cities covered are solidly in buy territory, while another five are only marginally in rent territory.

Want to know if buying is a better than renting for you? Ask yourself the following questions:

How stable is my employment situation? Lenders will take the length of time you’ve spent at your current job into consideration, so if you’ve jumped around a lot or just started a new position, that may work against you.

Are you ready to settle down for awhile? Buying a home is an excellent long-term investment, not usually a quick flip. So if you’re still testing out different cities or interested in seeing the world, renting may be a better option.

What shape is your credit in? Your credit score weighs heavily in securing a favorable mortgage loan. If yours is not in the best shape, it may be better to rent while you work at building a better credit profile.

What’s your true financial picture? While your salary may seem more than sufficient to make your projected mortgage payments, keep in mind that homeownership involves many different costs, from property taxes to repairs. So run the numbers carefully before deciding to buy.

The best way to decide whether to rent or buy is to consult a real estate professional in your area. If you’d like more real estate information, please contact me.

Published with permission from RISMedia.

10 Easy Home Improvements to Make on Your Fixer Upper

There is something awesome about buying a fixer upper and doing the renovations yourself. Some people fix them up a bit at a time, using cash as they have it available. If you want to make a big impact by doing small things, here are 10 things you need to include.

Paint cans ready to be used on white background

1. Change Out the Lighting
Nothing says outdated like an old-fashioned gold chandelier. Lighting is something that can be updated easily and won’t cost a bunch of money. It is one of the smallest things you can do that will have the biggest impact.

2. Paint
There is an old saying: “If a barn needs to be painted, slap some paint on it.” You will be amazed at what some paint can do to your home. A new hue can cover imperfections and give the room the blast of color it needs. Forget drab, white walls that are lackluster. Give your home a color makeover.

3. New Fixtures
Just like the lighting, the fixtures in the home become outdated quickly. Start with the kitchen faucet and then move on to the bathroom. You can update and upgrade a fixer upper by just adding these small touches.

4. Paint Cabinets/Add New Hardware

If you have new cabinets in the budget, then you should go for it. However, if your budget is limited, then you may want to try to paint them. Painting old cabinets and installing new hardware will give the kitchen a facelift. If the cabinets are old but sturdy, then you can bring them back to life. Painting is inexpensive and has a huge impact.

5. Rip Out Old Carpeting
Carpet is great when it is new; however, when it is old and dingy, it can really have a negative impact on a space. Hardwoods are the best option, followed by laminate floors. However, if you are stretched for money, you may try a bag floor or a penny style one. There are creative options online that allow you to do great things with your floors for less.

6. Add Curb Appeal
The curb appeal of the home is everything. It does not matter how great the inside looks if the outside is in shambles. Clean up any dead plants and add some new ones. Be sure to pick flowers and shrubs that bloom at different times. This will allow you to have color year-round. Add some shutters and a fresh coat of paint to the porch. Use decorative numbers to display the address. Finally, replace the mailbox if necessary.

7. Repaint Ceilings
Ceilings are often overlooked. They are usually white and the color is reserved for the walls. However, people do not realize how dirty these ceilings can be. A fresh coat of paint on the ceiling can really enhance the whole room. The walls are not the only thing that needs to be painted.

8. Upgrade the Exterior Façade
The biggest impact you can have on the outside of a home is to replace or paint siding. If you have it in the budget, you can add brick and stone accents. Most fixer upper homes have chipping paint and worn out siding. Splurge for some nice siding or paint a great color to update the home’s look.

9. Replace the Windows
New windows are expensive, but they are important. If you have old windows in your home, you need to spend the money to upgrade them. Windows are great for keeping the elements at bay. You will save yourself money in the long run by sealing offdrafty openings.

10. Update the Heating and Cooling Unit
To help the process of heating and cooling a home, you need to make sure the home has an updated HVAC unit. The air filters are just as important as the unit. Filters with a rating of Merv 11 have “astro pleating” to help ensure no dirt or dust gets into your system. Extend the livelihood of your unit by selecting quality air filters.

By Cary Teller

Editor’s Note: This was originally published on RISMedia’s blog, Housecall. See what else is cookin’ now at blog.rismedia.com:

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2017. All rights reserved.

Know Your Real Estate: 5 Researching Tips for Homebuyers

Being a first-time homebuyer can be an intimidating prospect; it seems like there’s so much to learn! The process doesn’t get less challenging the second or third time around. Here are five tips to help you research and prepare for your next home-buying experience.

Location, Location, Location
It’s a cliché but it’s true: location really is the most important part of the real estate equation. However, the right location isn’t the same for everyone. Take your family’s priorities into account and know where you would buy a home and where you would not. Try to be flexible; if you’re longing for a place with a yard, then a balcony might not cut it—however, a roof deck might! Always look for the exception to the rule. It’s also a good idea to compare home prices around the home that you’re considering. This will help you figure out if your house is a good deal and in line with the market expectations.

Find Your Financing
Finding the perfect house can take years, but once you find it things will move quickly. Most real estate markets are fast-moving and a great house at a great price can easily go on the market in the morning and be under contract by the evening. When you find that house, you have to be ready to jump on it. This means that you should have your financing figured out before you make an offer. Ask friends, family, any law or finance professionals your family uses, or your REALTOR® for a recommendation for a mortgage company. Be sure to get quotes from several different firms so you have a general idea of what your rate really should be.

Understand the Vocabulary

You should educate yourself about some of the jargon that comes with the real estate territory; otherwise, you might find yourself completely out of your league when discussing purchasing terms.

Check Out the Neighborhood
If you’re looking for homes outside of the neighborhood you live in, the best way to get a feel for it is to go and spend the day there. Find a few open houses you’re interested in and go make a day of it. Have lunch, stroll the streets, check out the parks and schools, and find out what kind of people live there. These are the things that give a neighborhood its flavor, and things that you can’t know until you go there and see for yourself.

Choose an Agent
A real estate agent can make or break your home-buying experience. If you don’t have an agent you already know and like, ask for recommendations and check local ratings sites. This can be a very personal relationship, so if you find an agent you believe in, hang on to them!

Buying a home is an exciting and stressful process, but with these tips, you’ll have a great experience researching, shopping for and purchasing your next home.

Published with permission from RISMedia.

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Elmhurst, NY 11373

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Syosset, NY 11791

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Farmingdale, NY 11735

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Franklin Square, NY 11010

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