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WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. – The Westchester real estate market is improving, and its momentum might have some staying power, according to Westchester County’s Hudson Gateway Multiple Listing Service, which just released its second quarter analysis for 2012.

Realtors reported 1,788 closed residential sales in Westchester County during the second quarter, which is an increase of 13.0 percent over the same period last year.
IRVINGTON, N.Y. – Former Irvington resident Alison Strachan says she visits the Old Croton Aqueduct park as often as she can.

I "grew up on the OCA," she wrote on The Tarrytown Daily Voice

Strachan is not alone. The Old Croton Aqueduct Historic State Park has seen a more than 20 percent increase in visitors so far in 2012. The park has had 708,402 visitors this year, nearly 145,000 more than the same time period last year. The Aqueduct park was created in 1968 and spans the Western edge of Westchester County from Yonkers to the Croton Dam.

The Rockefeller State Park and Preserve in Pocantico Hills also saw attendance jump more than 20 percent. It recorded 236,732 visitors this year, nearly 49,000 more visitors than the same time last year.

The two parks are following a trend. The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation has announced that overall attendance within the system has increased by 2.3 million since last year — a 5.6 percent increase. New York State has seen nearly 43.7 million visitors at its 178 state parks and 35 historic sites this year.


"It is gratifying that so many people continue to enjoy and appreciate the New York state park system year after year," State Parks Commissioner Rose Harvey said. "New Yorkers are fortunate to have such high-quality and inviting state parks and historic sites across the state."

The statewide increase can be attributed to great weather and well-attended events such as Nik Wallenda's tightrope walk across Niagara Falls in June, Harvey says.

Lesley Walter, a Friends of the Old Croton Aqueduct board member, believes the historic park is popular because it is dog-friendly.

"For that reason alone the OCA Trail is very well-used," she said.

Rockefeller State Park Preserve has become so popular that it doesn't have a down season anymore, park Manager Alix Schnee said. Fall is the park's busiest time, Schnee said.

"It used to be that the summers were very slow, that's no longer the case," she said. "We also had tremendous attendance during the peony season this year; we were literally jammed in the courtyard; and people came all day long."

Although summer is winding down, Harvey said the park system is expecting even more visitors.

"We've had a tremendous season so far, and we hope that our visitors enjoyed their time swimming, camping, golfing, hiking and sightseeing at our parks and historic sites," Harvey said. "But the year is far from over, and fall is one of the best times to get outside in New York."
The last phase of the Westchester NY, home buying process is crucial. You have already taken care of the inspection and the like, but now you have to wrap it all up. Then, your entire home shopping process will finally pay off on closing day. As they say, “It’s time to bring it on home!”

Whether it be Scarsdale, New Rochelle or Bedford, hopefully, your settlement process has moved forward without hitting any major snags. But at this point you need to review these ten last-minute tips for a smooth closing to make sure that you have covered all the bases.

Ten Last-Minute Tips for a Smooth Closing 
  1. You reviewed your estimated closing twice already and are about to review the document a third and final time right before closing. Don’t wait until the last few days or hours.
  2. Check with the closing company to make sure the seller has stayed on schedule.
  3. If you have negotiated for repairs to be made by the seller, chances are he will wait until the last minute to do them. He will want to make sure all of your contingencies have been met and removed and you are locked into the deal before he spends a single cent on your requested repairs. Make sure you and your Realtor keep tabs on the seller to get them done in time.
  4. Hopefully you have been staying on top of your mortgage broker or bank. Have all of your newest bank statements, pay stubs, and records ready just in case there is an eleventh-hour request for yet another document. Make sure your loan is approved and ready to fund in time for the closing.
  5. Confirm that the appraisal came in at the appropriate amount and that the official report has been sent to your mortgage company for approval of your loan. Without it, you won’t get your loan finalized.
  6. Review every document sent to you and return it immediately. Time is of the essence, and you need to be ahead of schedule at all times.
  7. If you have had an attorney work with you on this purchase deal, ask him to come to the closing. He will be able to do any last-minute troubleshooting on your behalf. If the escrow officer or closing agent knows your lawyer will be attending, all those little details will probably be taken care of before you arrive.
  8. Have your funds ready and transferred to escrow. You handed over your deposit money way back at the start of escrow. But where is the remainder of your funds for your down payment coming from? Are you pulling money out of a money market account, mutual fund, or savings account? Plan ahead by getting the money ready to be transferred or wired into the closing account. Banks, for instance, can often take a day or two when you request a wire transfer of a large sum. If you plan ahead you’ll also avoid paying penalties for withdrawing funds from other investment accounts. This could save you big bucks. The money must be in the escrow account prior to the closing day.
  9. Never close on a Friday. Always schedule a closing on a Wednesday or Thursday. Last-minute items often get delayed. Closing on a Wednesday allows for an extra day or two, just in case.
  10. Don’t plan to take possession of the property on the day of closing. In fact, be flexible for at least two days after the preferred closing date. Things always go wrong, and closings are often delayed.
Mirroring national trends, for the first six months of 2012, the Westchester County residential real estate market has continuedto strengthen, laying a firm foundation for a sustained housing recovery in our area. Pending sales have been exceptionallystrong in each of the first six months of this year, higher by double digits versus 2011. Closed sales for the second quarter of 2012are 15% higher than 2011 in Southern Westchester County, and are 22% higher in Northern Westchester County. The housingmarket began to improve in the first quarter of the year and has continued to sharply advance in the second quarter as consumerconfidence in the housing market has risen.
If we, in Westchester County go back to 2002, everyone wanted to buy a home, and we wanted everyone to be able to get a mortgage in order to buy a home. Unfortunately, we went too far in that direction and people who were not ready for homeownership entered into it. But there are times when we go too far in the other direction – when qualified people aren’t entering into homeownership. It’s up to us as Realtors to give good advice so our buyers don’t get caught in either situation (wanting a home they can’t afford or thinking they can’t achieve homeownership). We are counselors – we must educate with the heart of a teacher. Explaining that if prices are going up, they should buy before prices go up even more and if prices are falling, they shouldn’t necessarily run away from the idea of owning a home.
Here is a sampling of Scarsdale area homes that recently sold.
  • 18 Rural Drive, Scarsdale: Sold for $1,511,000 on June 13. This four bed, three bath, 3,309 square foot home sits on a .49 acre lot.
  • 47 Woodruff Avenue, Scarsdale: Sold for $625,000 on June 12. This three bed, two bath, 1,800 square foot home sits on a 4,922 square foot lot.
  • 14 Virginia Place, Larchmont: Sold for $980,000 on June 11. This four bed, four bath, 2,179 square foot home sits a 0.26 acre lot.
  • 61 Bon Air Ave, New Rochelle: Sold for $650,000 on June 11. This four bed, four bath, 2,978 square foot home sits on a 0.27 acre lot.
  • 7 Harcourt Road, Scarsdale: Sold for $1,425,000 on June 8. This five bed, four bath, 3,157 square foot home sits on a 0.29 acre lot.
  • 13 Harvard Road Scarsdale: Sold for $627,500 on June 8. This three bed, three bath, 1,901 square foot home sits on a 9,714 square foot lot.
  • 205 Rogers Drive, Scarsdale: Sold for $381,500 on June 8. This is a 9,583 square foot lot.
The information is provided by AOL Real Estate
WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. – The Westchester real estate market is improving, and its momentum might have some staying power, according to Westchester County’s Hudson Gateway Multiple Listing Service, which just released its second quarter analysis for 2012.

Realtors reported 1,788 closed residential sales in Westchester County during the second quarter, which is an increase of 13.0 percent over the same period last year.

The U.S. finally has moved beyond attention-grabbing predictions from housing "experts" that housing is bottoming. The numbers are now convincing.

Nearly seven years after the housing bubble burst, most indexes of house prices are bending up. "We finally saw some rising home prices," S&P's David Blitzer said a few weeks ago as he reported the first monthly increase in the slow-moving S&P/Case-Shiller house-price data after seven months of declines.

The U.S. finally has moved beyond attention-grabbing predictions from housing "experts" that housing is bottoming. The numbers are now convincing, according to David Wessel on The News Hub. (Photo: Bloomberg News) Nearly 10% more existing homes were sold in May than in the same month a year earlier, many purchased by investors who plan to rent them for now.

 

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Mortgage News Daily

  • MBS RECAP: Might as Well Hit This Weekend With Some Hope

    Posted To: MBS Commentary

    By today, it became clear that bonds were fully locked into a sideways consolidation in a range defined by the highs seen on Wed/Thu and the lows marked by the 3.06% technical levels. Of the past 3 sideways days, today was the least volatile and most lenders saw fit to offer just slightly stronger rate sheets despite 'unchanged' levels in bond markets. Consolidations like this can happen simply because markets are catching their breath after a strong move or because they're settling down ahead of the next event that might cause a strong move. If we're dealing with the latter, the event in question is likely to be Wednesday's Fed events (announcement, press conference and updated rate hike outlook). Of those three, it's the(t "dots" he dot plot that conveys...(read more)

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  • Best Day of a Rotten Week For Mortgage Rates

    Posted To: Mortgage Rate Watch

    Mortgage rates actually fell today, on average--something they haven't been able to say all week, or indeed at nearly any time during the past 4 weeks. Yesterday, in particular, was the worst day for rates since 2011 for most lenders, with anything less than an ideal loan scenario garnering 30yr fixed quotes of 4.875% to 5.0%. With all of the above in mind, today's token improvement isn't necessarily exciting, but at least it's better than the alternative. Much of this week's rapid rise was seen in the first half of the week. Starting on Wednesday afternoon, markets began settling into a more sideways pattern, apparently getting in position for more volatility in the coming week. If there's an event that's likely to serve as the catalyst for that volatility, it's the Fed Announcement on Wednesday...(read more)

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  • Many Enlist, but Flood Coverage Still Falls Short

    Posted To: MND NewsWire

    Even as flood water continue to sit in living rooms and kitchens across a large swath of North Carolina it is clear that most of those homes are not insured against the damage. Mary Williams Walsh, writing in the New York Times, says that in North Carolina and South Carolina, which suffered less widespread damage, only about 335,000 homes in total have flood insurance. The Urban Institute (UI) reports that the number of policies homeowners purchased through the National Flood Insurance Program (NIP) has declined over the last ten years and the total is now just over 5 million nationwide. There are also some private insurance policies, but nowhere near enough to cover the affected homes. Sarah Strochak, Jun Zhu, and Laurie Goodman used data from the Census Bureau's 2017 American Housing Survey...(read more)

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  • MBS Day Ahead: Pain and Belief Radiating Across The Rate Spectrum

    Posted To: MBS Commentary

    More often than not, when I use the word "believe" (or belief), it's in some vague and positive context. For instance, something like "bond buyers are starting to believe again." That won't be the case today--at least not as far as the positive context is concerned. Today I want to talk about the beliefs that have radiated up from the short end of the yield curve over the past few years. They're like an infection that started in the toe but spread to more vital organs surprisingly quickly. The "yield curve" is just a fancy way of referring to the spectrum of time associated with various loans. The loans in this case are those taken out by the US government (via the Treasury Department) to finance all of its various spending. For instance, there are...(read more)

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  • Investor Products; Mortgage Fraud Paper; Wells, PUF, BMO Harris Personnel Changes

    Posted To: Pipeline Press

    When I spent an hour interviewing Angelo Mozilo on stage last week for the American Pacific Mortgage Summit, one of the issues we discussed was the competitive environment for lenders, and the evolution of the mortgage loan originator. Angelo, who is very much in command of his game, is a strong believer in the strength of the relationship that originators have with their clients, and the future that originators have in the lending industry. Lenders always have their eyes on the horizon, watching the changing competitive environment, and along those lines I penned a piece for the STRATMOR Group titled “The Rise of the Credit Unions.” Fraud, Legal Chatter, Warnings Jonathan Foxx published, entitled “Mortgage Fraud Challenges: How to Catch a Crook.” “Tracking down...(read more)

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  • MBS RECAP: Not a Win, But At Least It's Not a Loss

    Posted To: MBS Commentary

    After a series of demoralizing losses, it feels like some small victory for bonds to simply remain sideways today. That wasn't necessarily a given early this morning. In fact, yields hit new intraday highs for the week--the highest levels since May. Move down the curve just a bit and 5yr yields are at the highest levels since 2008--just another victim of the relentless move toward higher short-term rates. All that to say that the biggest risks to the long-term rate outlook have yet to subside. Rather, today simply suggests we may finally be leveling off before making the next big decision--something that seems likely to follow next week's Fed Announcement and updated rate hike outlook. As for specific market movers today, attempting to pin the tail on any particular donkey is a fool's...(read more)

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  • Mortgage Rates Trying to Stop The Bleeding

    Posted To: Mortgage Rate Watch

    Mortgage rates were mostly able to hold steady today, although they technically moved just a bit higher and that technically leaves them at the highest levels in 7 years. But hey! Let's focus on the positives... In terms of day-over-day changes, today was the best day of the week so far! To get an idea of where we are and why we're there, check out the last two days of commentary--always easily accessible here . As for today, it stands at least some chance to serve as the early stage of a ceiling for rates. Whether that proves to be true and how long such a ceiling lasts remains to be seen. In any event, next week's Fed announcement (Wednesday) has the greatest potential to kick off the next set of bigger moves. If volatility dies down between now and then, it would at least be better than...(read more)

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  • Existing Home Sales Level Out After Long Decline

    Posted To: MND NewsWire

    It was a disappointment, but at least it wasn't a loss. Existing home sales, which were expected to increase in August after four straight months of declines instead remained unchanged from July. In fact, almost the entire report on August's existing home sales can be summarized by the word, "flat." Said sales of single-family homes, townhouses, condos, and cooperative apartments were at the seasonally adjusted rate of 5.34 million, identical to the July rate. Sales in July had fallen 1.5 percent below those from a year earlier, and that too was unchanged in the August to August comparisons. Existing home sales were selling at an annual rate of 5.42 million in August of last year. Econoday said the analysts it polls were expecting at least a modest increase after months of lagging sales analysts...(read more)

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  • Vendor Mgt. and POS Products; Upcoming Events; Ask a Lender's Sunset?

    Posted To: Pipeline Press

    This Saturday is the autumn equinox – season-wise, we know what is on the way. “Rob, we, like everyone else, are watching the approaching winter, and higher rates, and wondering if there are ways to improve our financial picture without laying people off or cutting LO comp. Heard of anything?” This is going to sound like a paid ad, but it is not. I refer folks to Riivos (ex-Alight). It’s a cloud-based application for mortgage companies, regardless of size, that “integrates with your core systems (G/L, LOS, payroll, etc.) to show where your BPs are going, what actions you can take to improve profitability, and insight into how those decisions ripple through the company and increase P&L.” They specialize in “what if” scenarios. IMHO, and my...(read more)

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  • MBS Day Ahead: Long-Term Trend is a Cheap Trick. Here's The Reality For Rates

    Posted To: MBS Commentary

    One of the themes we often revisit in times of trouble is the long-term bull market in bonds. This traces back to the 80's and provides a shockingly linear set of lower highs and lower lows in 10yr yields. Most recently, we've seen yields rise back to the upper boundary of the long-term trend. There's still a chance they could hold ground here, but any further weakness means an official breakout. One other reason to hold out hope is that yields are also at the top of a shorter-term uptrend (teal lines). This could offer some technical support of its own, but it should be noted that the current version of that uptrend is much less linear than the one seen from 2002-2007. Incidentally, I think all of this "big picture trend" business is just a cheap trick (one I've often...(read more)

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Bonnie Koff  |  Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker  |  William Raveis Legends Realty Group  | Tarrytown Office 
914-332-6300  |  37 Main Street, Tarrytown, New York 10591  |  Email