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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

  • NAR Survey Finds American Dream Depends on Affordability

    Posted To: MND NewsWire

    Homeownership as an American dream is alive and well according to new data from the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) 2018 Housing Opportunities and Market Experience (HOME) Survey. The survey was conducted across all 12 months of last year. Sixty-four percent of respondents were homeowners, 27 percent were renters, and 9 percent were non-homeowners living with a family member without paying rent. NAR just released Aspiring Home Buyers Profile , which focuses on survey responses from non-homebuyers, both those who rent and those living with a family member. Of the non-owners, 45 percent were 34 years or under, 59 percent make an income of under $50,000, and 43 percent live in suburban areas. Across the quarters of 2018 non-homeowners were consistent in their desire to own a home in...(read more)

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  • MBS RECAP: Minimal Bond Market Damage Thanks to Stocks' Hard Start

    Posted To: MBS Commentary

    The S&P had been idling in place with prices between 2560 and 2600 for more than a week. During that week, we've discussed the risks associated with a break above 2600. Simply put, if stocks managed to break above their nearest notable technical ceiling, perhaps bonds would do the same. In that case, we were looking at yields of 2.75% as the correlated ceiling. Now today, the S&P closed at 2610 and 10yr Treasury yields not even above 2.72%. To be fair, when stocks broke that ceiling this morning, bonds definitely came along for the ride . But everything played out on a smaller scale, as if both sides of the market were suppressed by some larger uncertainty. While there were quite a few brexit-related headlines in the news, we'd be far better served by focusing our attention...(read more)

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  • Mortgage Rates Unchanged Again as Markets Remain Cautious

    Posted To: Mortgage Rate Watch

    Mortgage rates were unchanged yet again today. Given that rates are based on trading levels in underlying bond markets, it's no surprise to learn that bond investors have been hesitant to take things too far in either direction after pulling up slightly from the long-term lows achieved in early January. The same could be said for the stock market, but replace early January with late December. For either side of the market, the biggest lingering uncertainty is the fate of the government shutdown . The extent to which a shutdown resolution would move markets remains to be seen. But at the very least, there's a risk that a resolution would push stocks and interest rates higher in unison--at least temporarily. From there, it would fall to actual economic data to set the tone. In that regard, bonds...(read more)

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  • LO Resources; CRM, PR, and Sales Products; January Training

    Posted To: Pipeline Press

    Are rates too high given where the U.S. economy is? Traders, investors, and the Fed think they’re where they need to be, given the information we have. Others believe they will head lower this year due to a slowing economy. The release of bank big bank earnings today is shedding some light on economic temperature, but recall that the word “patient” appeared in the recent FOMC minutes as well as in several comments by Fed Chairman Jay Powell related to the timing of potential upcoming rate hikes. (The last time we saw “patient” show up in Fed speak then Chairwoman Janet Yellen used it in reference to rate hikes in early 2015.) Would you patiently wait for your paycheck? U.S. government owes an estimated $5.3 billion to federal workers who have not been paid since...(read more)

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  • MBS Day Ahead: Stocks and Bonds in Holding Patterns, Waiting For Info

    Posted To: MBS Commentary

    Neither side of the market (debt/bonds or stocks/equity) feels like it has enough information to move out of recent holding patterns. These sideways trends emerged last week after a an apparent "New Year Bounce" toward higher stock prices and bond yields had proven itself to be a false start. Perhaps 2019's early trend could have remained intact were it not for several key sources of uncertainty. There is an important brexit-related vote in UK parliament tonight, but it will only be important for US bond markets if the vote offers a surprising result. Right now, the expectation seems to be that the Prime Minister's brexit plan will be overwhelmingly rejected. But if it's a reasonably close call, that would leave hope alive for brexit to happen on schedule. There are two...(read more)

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  • MBS RECAP: Bonds Stay in Solid Shape Despite Morning Weakness

    Posted To: MBS Commentary

    The overnight trading session was thinly-traded due to a holiday closure in Tokyo. Buyers outnumbered sellers until the domestic session. Promptly after the 820am CME Open , sellers showed up in US Treasuries. Bond market weakness radiated out from there. By the end of the day, it would become more clear that some of the selling was related to corporate debt hedging (read more about why that matters HERE ). Bonds were weaker throughout the morning hours, and then leveled off after European markets closed. It's not uncommon to see Treasuries level-off or reverse course right after European bond markets close. This can happen for a variety of reasons although it can be as simple as a sudden drop in market participation that happens when only one of the three continental areas is trading...(read more)

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  • Mortgage Rates Unchanged to Start the Week

    Posted To: Mortgage Rate Watch

    Mortgage rates held their ground today, keeping them in line with long-term lows achieved over the past 2 weeks. To be fair, it was the previous week that offered the biggest benefits, but last week was no slouch. Factoring out the first few days of January, it would have been the best week for mortgage rates since April 2018. It was a relatively quiet day for financial markets with the bonds that underlie mortgage rates trading in mostly the same territory as last week. It remains to be seen how markets will react to the absence of the typical spread of economic data (much of which is on hold due to the government shutdown ). Beyond that, the shutdown could certainly begin to have an effect on the economy itself although it's hard to say how big of an effect that would be. With this now being...(read more)

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  • MBA Revives Income Verification During Govt Shutdown

    Posted To: MND NewsWire

    At least one part of the shutdown is over as the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced it has resumed its Income Verification Express Service (IVES.) The service, which provides tax transcripts essential for processing mortgage applications for non-W-2 wage earners, was shut down, along with many federal government services, on December 21 and its workers were furloughed. The Mortgage Bankers Association took credit for the turnaround , saying it was its "successful advocacy" that got the IRS to restart the program. Robert Broeksmit, president and CEO of MBA said he took the appeal directly to Craig Phillips, a counselor to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. Broeksmit said he told Phillips "Look, this is staring to be a problem for the lending industry," and asked, "Could you make these...(read more)

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  • Secondary Marketing; Digital and Property Inspection Products; Radian's RADAR Rate Product

    Posted To: Pipeline Press

    My cat Myrtle has never flown coach. She doesn’t have the same complaint I have of airline workers who don’t seem to realize that “full” means full. For some reason they’ve created “completely full,” “extremely full,” “very full,” and, “full.” How did that change? Our industry is always grappling with change (as in alteration, not pennies and nickels), the latest being lenders having to shift their borrower’s expectations due to government paralysis. STRATMOR discusses this in its latest blog, “Home Financing Despite the Partial Shutdown .” Servicers and MBS investors are following regulators’ plea for financial institutions to work with borrowers affected by the government shutdown, along...(read more)

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  • MBS Week Ahead: Record-Breaking Shutdown and Data Darkness

    Posted To: MBS Commentary

    The government shutdown is now the longest ever, and there are a variety of interesting implications. The first is that multiple economic reports will not be released as scheduled. The notable examples in the current week include Retail Sales and the New Residential Construction report ( housing starts and building permits). An absence of econ data naturally increases uncertainty. In and of itself, uncertainty is good for the bond market , but investors will still have access to a few other economic reports that could help form a consensus about what the economy might be doing. Of those, the only reports on this week's calendar with any market-moving history worth mentioning are the Philly Fed Index on Thursday and Consumer Sentiment on Friday. To put their past market-movement potential...(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