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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: Nice Gains More About Europe Than Fed

    Posted To: MBS Commentary

    Bonds surged to significantly stronger levels in the presence of the Fed Minutes today. Any time we see strong gains on a day with a Fed release, chances are the Fed is behind the move. Incidentally, that's NOT the case today (spoiler in the headline, I know). So how did Europe trump the Fed in terms of bond market impact? In short, this is all about Italian political drama. The two anti-Eurozone parties who are forming a coalition government in Italy are waiting for confirmation of their staffing choices from the Italian prime minister (yeah... things work differently over there). One of the picks had previously referred to the Eurozone as a noose around Italy's neck. It's not overboard to consider this political regime as potentially pushing Italy away from the Euro. That's...(read more)

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  • Mortgage Rates Drop to Lowest Levels in 2 Weeks

    Posted To: Mortgage Rate Watch

    This week hadn't been too traumatic for mortgage rates through yesterday afternoon, but neither had it been positive in any noticeable way. That changed today as rates fell abruptly to the lowest levels since last Monday. Granted, at the time, last Monday's rates were still pretty close to the worst in 7 years, but the point is that we've managed to find our way back from the even higher rates that followed. Help came chiefly from European political developments where Italy is a day or two away from confirming a government that could end up pushing the country out of the Eurozone . Even though that's far from guaranteed, the mere risk of such a thing is enough to drive investors toward safer haven bonds like those issued by Germany or the US. In general, excess demand for bonds means rates...(read more)

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  • Houses Passes S2155, Unwinds Less of Dodd-Frank Than Hoped

    Posted To: MND NewsWire

    The House of Representatives passed a sweeping overhaul of regulations included in the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act on Tuesday. Senate Bill 2155, which passed the upper house in March, received a 258 to 259 vote in the House. It now goes to the White House for what is expected to be certain presidential approval. The bill did not go nearly as far as the House had hoped in rolling back Dodd-Frank. Leadership agreed to vote on the compromise bill negotiated in the Senate between Republicans and Democrats only after a promise of a vote latter this year on other changes House members, especially House Financial Services Chair Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) were demanding. According to Bloomberg, the legislation gives smaller banks relief from post-crisis rules that they...(read more)

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  • New Home Sales Continue to Improve on Annual Basis

    Posted To: MND NewsWire

    New home sales dipped in April, a reversal that was expected by many analysts . The U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development said sales of newly constructed homes during the month were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 662,000 units. This is 1.5 percent below the revised rate of 672,000 units in March. The March estimate was revised down from 694,000 units, erasing much of that month's reported 4 percent gain. Despite the downturn, sales are now running 11.6 percent above the April 2017 estimate of 593,000 sales. In March the year-over-year gain was reported at 8.8 percent. Analysts polled by Econoday had expected sales to be in the 650,000 to 692,000 range. The consensus was 677,000. On a non-seasonally adjusted basis there were 64,000 new homes sold in...(read more)

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  • Freddie Mac to Address Origination Barriers for Young Buyers

    Posted To: MND NewsWire

    Reams of data have been gathered about what appear to be significant changes in the profile of younger homebuyers and consequently mortgage borrowers. This usually means the Millennial generation, but recently Gen Z, those born in 1995 and later have begun moving into homeownership as well. A recent report by Freddie Mac says the Millennials came of age after the housing crisis and since home prices bottomed out, rents have increased an average of 20 percent. "It's not easy to save up for a down payment when you're pouring you money into rapidly escalating rents." And even those who do have savings, may have difficulty convincing a bank they have the necessary income to qualify for a loan: Increasingly, millennials don't have only one on-payroll job and a W-2 to show income. Add to that the...(read more)

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  • Lender Products; Congress' Take on TILA, PACE Loans, and MLO Licensing

    Posted To: Pipeline Press

    Every vendor here at the MBA conference suggests they can help clients close more loans faster, more efficiently and compliantly. If only all these lenders had more loans in their pipelines to close! But lenders here in NY are an optimistic bunch. Lender Products Yesterday at the MBA Secondary conference in New York, Mortgage Coach and Optimal Blue announced an enhanced integration that avails access to accurate pricing within the Mortgage Coach platform. Now every Mortgage Coach-powered loan originator can include real-time product and pricing data within the Total Cost Analysis – in seconds without ever leaving the Mortgage Coach app – giving their borrowers the transparent and accurate loan options they need to make a confident mortgage decision faster. “Combining the sophisticated...(read more)

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  • MBS Day Ahead: Italian Impact Continues, Helping Bonds Start Strong

    Posted To: MBS Commentary

    I woke up this morning to an automated alert from MBS Live letting me know I'd need to hustle to the desk and explain whatever it was that caused the friendly spike more than 6bps lower in 10yr yields (all the way down to 3.0%). The safest bet was that it was something to do with Italy, and my chart of Italian spreads vs German Bunds didn't disappoint. Equities markets happened to be playing ball as well. It's been a good morning to be a safe-haven US Treasury bond (especially longer duration bonds like 10 and 30yr securities). The net effect on the bigger picture for the US bond market is that it sets us up to challenge the important 3.05-3.06% floor (obviously). In fact, it gives us a huge head start for the day. Remember the lessons from bonds 2-3 weeks ago though. As we attempted...(read more)

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  • Refinance Applications Near 18-Year Low

    Posted To: MND NewsWire

    Mortgage rates surged significantly during the week ended May 18, sending mortgage activity skidding for the fifth straight week . The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) says its Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, dropped by 2.6 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier. On an unadjusted basis there was a 3 percent decline. The seasonally adjusted Purc h ase Index decreased 2 percent from one week earlier. The unadjusted Purchase Index decreased 3 percent compared with the previous week but remained 3 percent higher than the same week in 2017. Refinance activity hit a near 18-year low . The Refinance Index declined another 4 percent compared to the previous week, to its lowest level since December 2000. Refinancing also continues to lose...(read more)

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  • MBS RECAP: Bonds on Autopilot Ahead of Fed Minutes and Treasury Auction

    Posted To: MBS Commentary

    For the 2nd straight day , trading levels in bond markets held inside a narrow range--far narrower than that seen on any given day last week, let alone the entire week. This could be incidental or it could be in anticipation of some future event. The leading candidates as far as future events would be tomorrow's release of the Fed Minutes at 2pm as well as the first serious Treasury auction of the week (5yr Notes at 1pm). Given that the bigger of the two events hits an hour later, that's where we'd be looking for intraday risk-- at least it would be if we were in a more normal environment. As it stands, the bond market is exceptionally well availed of the Fed's plans and it's unlikely that new information is going to be gleaned from this or any near-term release. The only...(read more)

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  • Mortgage Rates Super Flat So Far This Week

    Posted To: Mortgage Rate Watch

    After quite a bit of volatility and a move up to 7-year highs last week, mortgage rates have managed to avoid any semblance of drama so far this week. In fact, each of the past 2 days has seen the average lender keep 30yr fixed rates perfectly in-line with Friday's latest levels. The worst that could be said of these rates is that they're very close to last week's highs. The second worst thing that could be said of these rates is that they're the latest in a series of gradual moves higher over the past few years. The general expectation is that rates can continue to move higher as long as the economy continues to tolerate higher borrowing costs. Mortgage lenders know that we are now in a rising rate environment. That means they're less likely to offer huge improvements on rate sheets unless...(read more)

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Residential Real Estate Sales

Westchester County, NY

 
Westchester Top 5 Real Estate

2009-2010 Top 5

Top Real Estate Agent Award

Westchester Magazine Top Realtor

2010-2011 Westchester Top Realtor

Westchester Magazine Top Realtor Award

For more information about fair housing practices, please visit the HUD website.


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