Buying a Long Island NY Home: Maximizing Your Money

When it comes to buying a Long Island NY home, there are things buyers need to be aware of. But if you're on the selling end, there are some Long Island NY home improvements you need to think about as well.

A new Consumer Reports survey details many of the do's and don'ts for those buying a Long Island NY home, as well as those selling a Long Island NY home.

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We have more tips on buying a Long Island NY home, as well as tips on selling a Long Island NY home, in the two sections of Long Island NY Home Buying Tips and Long Island NY Home Selling Tips under the Long Island NY Real Estate Categories to your right.
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And don't forget, we also post tips on selling and buying a Long Island NY home daily on Twitter and Facebook. Find us there as well.
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Income Tax Preparer Tricks of the Trade

Here comes February, and here comes income tax time again. It seems like every year, income tax preparation companies try to find new ways to separate you from your money by not telling you everything. For example, if you made less than $53,000 last year, you can get your taxes prepared for you absolutely free of charge. Think tax preparers are going to tell you this?

There are more income tax tips in this video…

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We have more income tax tips and articles in the Taxes section under the Long Island NY Real Estate Categories to your right.
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And don't forget, we also post tips daily on Twitter and Facebook, sometimes pertaining to Taxes and the Long Island NY economy, or the economy in general. Find us there as well. ..

Existing Long Island NY Home Sales Increased in December

According to figures from the National Association of Realtors, existing Long Island NY home sales increased in December, reaching an annual pace nationally of more than 5 million sales for the sixth time in seven months. Median home prices for last year reached their highest level since 2007 but the total number of sales dropped 3.1% compared to the previous year.

Existing Long Island NY home sales ended the year strong after a sluggish start.

The total number of existing Long Island NY home sales includes completed transactions for condominiums, co-ops, townhomes and single-family homes. Nationwide, this increased 2.4% to reach a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.04 million last month compared to 4.92 million in November. When compared to a year earlier, sales for last month were 3.5% higher.

In total, there were 4.95 million sales for 2014 which is 3.1% less compared to 2013. The national median home price for existing homes was $208,500, the highest figure seen since 2007 when it reached $219,000. This figure is 5.8% higher than 2013 when the median price was $197,100.

Long Island NY Home Sales Close Strong for the Year

Long Island NY home sales picked up in December, closing out a year that began sluggishly but which showed signs of improvement during the second half. Long Island NY home sales began to improve over last summer as inventory levels increased, prices moderated and economic growth began to accelerate. According to real estate experts, sales were much better during the second half of last year, up by 8% compared to the first six months of the year.

We'll keep you informed on Long Island NY home sales as we move through 2015. In the meantime, you can get more information about news that may affect Long Island NY home sales in our section on Long Island NY Real Estate News to your right under Long Island NY Real Estate Categories.

Remember, we post tips daily to Twitter, and also on our Facebook Page. We'd love you to check us out there too.

Long Island NY Homebuyers Say Location Still Matters

Nearly half of Long Island NY homebuyers surveyed by The Demand Institute who say they plan to move at some point in the future say that location still matters for them.

While some Long Island NY homebuyers say they will move for a larger or nicer home, or perhaps buy a home for the first time, three out of every four movers say that a location consideration is a reason for moving.

Most Long Island NY homebuyers surveyed still say location is an important factor

Most Long Island NY homebuyers who answered the survey said they won't go very far. More people seem to be wanting to move closer to city centers and are looking for denser, more walkable living. But most Americans in general say they will still continue to choose to live in the suburbs.

Findings of Long Island NY Homebuyers Surveyed

For most Long Island NY homebuyers, the location of their home is as important as or even more important than the physical home itself. So it's not surprising that location-related reasons play a critical role in the decision on when and where to move. 75% cite one or more location-related reasons for why they are planning to move.

While location plays a big rol in housing decisions, most Long Island NY homebuyers say they will stay in state, and more than half (59%) will move within 30 miles of their current home, and 27% of those plan to move less than 10 miles from where they live now.

A big factor for Long Island NY homebuyers is the desire to feel safe where they live. "Safe Neighborhoods" is a top unmet housing need for many Long Island NY homebuyers, as well as most Americans nationwide.

Other location-related priorities vary greatly. Those with school-age children care about good schools, while those in the workforce want to be close to their job. Others want to be in walkable areas near entertainment, services and public transit, and some don't want to be close to anything at all.

Since most Long Island NY homebuyers have at least one car, they continue to be fine with being a short drive from most services and amenities. Still, most do want to be within walking distance of one or two places, like a park, bus stop or convenience store.

There are important benefits associated with more walkability. More walkable communities report stronger expectations with home price growth, and are also more likely to report that their quality of live has improved in the past few years.

As you can see, there is tremendous diversity among Long Island NY homebuyers in terms of features and benefits. This diversity will likely persist going forward, given that these differences reflect divergent consumer needs and preferences. And this is a good thing, providing Long Island NY homebuyers with options consistent with their life stage and preferences.

If you're considering joining the ranks of Long Island NY homebuyers but are not sure where to begin, give us a call or fill out our short contact form here on our site. We're always available to sit down and discuss your moving plans with you and help you find the right neighborhood for your lifestyle and desires.

Long Island NY Real Estate News – February 2015

Long Island NY Real Estate News - February 2015

In our Long Island NY Real Estate News for February 2015:

Protect Your Long Island NY Mortgage Until It's Funded

Getting a Long Island NY mortgage does not just entail applying for the loan and getting an approval letter. There are still things that can go wrong, and you need to be aware of these so you don't find yourself out all the cash to get the loan, and still not get the funds you thought you were approved for.

Why Your Long Island NY Mortgage May Not Get Funding

Your Long Island NY mortgage can still fall apart even after you think you are approved.

You've gotten the call that your Long Island NY mortgage was approved, and your lender coordinates a closing date with you. You get the movers all lined up, you notify the utility companies to switch the untilites over to your name effective on your closing date, and you send out the change of address notices. Everything's all set to move in, until you get another call from your lender that says, your loan has fallen through.

There are no formal statistics on deals that are approved but then don't actually close. These 11th hour disapprovals happen more often than many people realize. What they also don't know is that losing the loan at the last moment is almost always preventable and possibly fixable.

The most common mistake people make after their loan has been approved but before it closes is taking out additional credit after the lender has reviewed your credit report. Buying furniture on credit after you've been approved, or new appliances for the house, are both big no-no's! If your income to debt ratio was close during the initial documentation review, taking on more debt might push you into a debt ratio the bank deems unacceptable.

The bottom line is — just don't do it. Wait until your deal has completely closed before taking on any new debt. Your normal purchase of gas and a night at the movies isn't likely to cause any problems. It's a major purchase or opening new accounts that will get your loan denied.

Another mistake that may or may not be repairable is changing jobs during the loan funding process. Lenders almost always verify your employment shortly before the loan is set to close. If anyone that submitted financial documentation for your loan is planning to changed employers or stop working, it's best to wait until after the loan closes.

One you will never recover from is if you submit fraudulent income statements. When getting a Long Island NY mortgage, there are no undocumented income statements. The lender will validate your income statement with the IRS or other taxing authority. What you submit to the lender must be exactly what you submitted to the IRS. Often the original loan approval is based on a contingency that your income be validated by the IRS.

Between the time you are initially approved for your Long Island NY mortgage and when the deal closes, try to keep everything the same regarding your financial situation.

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Long Island NY Mortgage Rates Up

Long Island NY mortgage rates ticked up this week for the first time in 2015 following positive home sales reports.

Freddie Mac says a 30-year fixed-rate Long Island NY mortgage averaged 3.66 percent this week, up from 3.63 percent last week. A year ago, 30-year rates averaged 4.31 percent. The all-time low of 3.31 percent was set in November 2012.

A 15-year fix averaged 2.98 percent this week, up from 2.93 percent. A one-year adjustable-rate mortgage rose to 2.38 percent.

New-home sales in December rose 11.6 percent, a better monthly gain than had been expected. Existing-home sales rose 2.4 percent in December.

A separate report from the National Association of Realtors said pending sales of existing homes, a more forward-looking gauge of housing market activity, fell in December, though contract signings remained above year-ago levels.

We'll continue to keep you updated here on any news that might affect Long Island NY mortgage rates, either up or down.