Navigation

Call in the Pros: 4 Ways That Using a Mortgage Professional Will Save You a Lot of Money

It may seem better to go it alone when it comes to acquiring a mortgage, but there are many benefits associated with using a mortgage professional that can make finding your dream home a lot easier. If you’re currently getting prepared to hit the market and are weighing your options, here are some reasons that a professional who knows the neighborhood will save you money.

Strong Market Knowledge

Many homebuyers can take a look at the MLS listings to find the price of properties selling in the area, but a mortgage professional will know the market without having to look at a book. This means that if you have an ideal house in mind, they’ll be able to determine the right offer for the home you’re interested in so you don’t end up spending time on research and paying more than you should.

Access To Lenders

It may seem like you can get in touch with any lender and they’ll be happy to provide you with a great deal, but because a mortgage professional will have a business relationship with many lenders, they will be able to get you a better rate. While you can approach lenders on your own, there’s a good chance you won’t get as competitive a rate.

Time Is Money

You may have set aside the time to invest into your home search, but trying to find the right home at the right price can end up taking a lot of time. You’ll also need to know the ins and outs of the procedures when it comes to making an offer and closing the deal. The benefit of a mortgage professional is they’ll already have experience at their disposal and will be able to do the legwork for you.

Closing Time

It’s great to find the house of your dreams on your own, but a mortgage professional will be well versed in closing the deal. Instead of having to go back and forth on any home inspection issues or final offers, they’ll be able to advise you so that you can get the home you want at the price you’re looking for.

While many people want to go it alone on the real estate market, using a mortgage professional can save you both time and money in finding the right place. If you’re preparing to buy a home, contact Catskill Country Real Estate for a couple of great ideas and suggestions on lenders.

Buying Small, Living Large: 4 Big Pros to Buying a Smaller House or Condo

Are you on the hunt for a more efficient living space? Whether you’re a first-time buyer or downsizing from a larger home, buying small can still mean living big. Let’s explore four positives to living in a smaller, more intimate house or condo.

You’re Going To Save Money

The first, most obvious and most exciting reason is that you’re going to save money. The home itself will cost less than a larger one, especially if there is less land or property included. Even better: the money you save on space can be re-invested in quality. Losing a bedroom or two but having brand-new appliances? It might be a fair trade.

It’s Much Easier To Customize

Are you excited to renovate and customize your home to suit your family’s tastes? A smaller space is going to be far easier to make changes to. And while you may think that this limits your options, that’s not the case. As long as you buy with renovations in mind, you’ll be all set.

Bear in mind that some upgrades won’t work with a smaller home. For example, you may not be able to add that large deck or patio you’ve always wanted. Before you buy a small home, make sure it suits your future vision.

Living Small Is More Energy Efficient

Yes, it’s true: living smaller means using less energy. Much of the energy we use in our homes is for heating and/or cooling our living space. The smaller the home, the less energy needed for either. Depending on where you live, that difference can mean a lot of energy — and money — saved.

Cleaning Is A Lot Less Of A Chore

The smaller the space, the less of it there is to clean. It’s as simple as that. Even if the difference in cleaning time is as short as an hour each week, it adds up. Over ten years, that small one-hour difference becomes a total of more than three weeks! So if you’d rather not spend extra weeks or months cleaning your home, a smaller space is a big plus.

If you want to leave a smaller footprint, a great place to start is with a smaller new home. Contact Catskill Country Real Estate today to learn more about small houses and condos in your local area.

5 Things Nobody Tells You About Selling Your First Home

It’s often so exciting to think of buying a new home that homeowners forget about the sale, but there are a lot of details involved in putting a home on the market. Whether you’re just considering selling or are readying to put your home up, here are some things you might not know about the process.

 Marketing Strategy Is Important

 The days of putting a sign on the front yard and waiting for buyers are gone, so it’s important to have a strategy that will successfully highlight your house. Whether you decide to make a website, use social media or invest in a professional photographer, ensure you’re prepared to put your home out there.

 The Right Price Is Everything

 You have the ability to change your asking price at any time, but it’s best to hit the market with a price that is both reasonable and competitive. This will not only prevent your home from lingering on the market, it will make it more likely you’ll get the offer you’re looking for.

 Fixing It Up Is Important

 You might want to avoid minor fix-ups before selling your home, but maintenance issues can impact the offers you’ll receive. Instead of leaving these for the next homeowner, put time aside to do paint touch-ups, repair doors or insulate the windows so the small things don’t affect your offer.

 Prepare To Pack

 It’s great to receive an offer on your home, but packing up can be one of the most stressful aspects of moving. Instead of leaving this to the last minute, do some preliminary ‘spring cleaning’ to discard the stuff you won’t use and pack up the stuff you won’t soon need. This will make moving out a little smoother.

 Be Ready For An Open House

 It can be a pain to stage your home and leave on short notice to accommodate an interested homebuyer, but a good open house is one of your best bets for selling your home. This means your house should be clean and clutter free all the time so only a few last-minute fix-ups will be required.

 There are a lot of things involved in selling your first home, but by completing the little fix ups and choosing the right price, you’ll be well on your way to an interested buyer. If you’re currently getting ready to put your home on the market, contact Catskill Country Real Estate real estate professionals for more information.

2017 Home Decor Trends: Stay on Top of Modern Trends With This Handy Guide

Now that 2017 is here, it’s time to consider which upgrades you will make to your home. If you don’t have any major renovations planned, you can still tackle smaller projects or theme rooms. In today’s post we’ll explore some of the home decor trends expected to be popular in 2017.

Paint Colors: Confident, Composed & Comfortable

According to the color experts at paint company Behr, 2017’s trend colors express confidence, composition and comfort. If you plan on painting accent walls, rooms or even your entire home this year, these are worth exploring.

Confident palette colors include the bluish-green Jade Dragon, the fiery red Hot and Spicy and more. The Composed Palette is a bit muter, with blues and grays like Laid Back Gray and Polished Aqua. For those that love pastels, the Comfortable Palette has many soft notes. Life is a Peach and Everything’s Rosy are two great light link options.

Replacing DIY With Artisanal

If you’ve owned your home for a while, you may find that over time your do-it-yourself projects have added up. While DIY upgrades are fun and cost-effective, if they don’t match or pair well they can throw off continuity in your decor. Consider 2017 a chance to replace some of your older DIY items with similar ones created by artisans. You can always gift, sell or repurpose yours to ensure they find use in a new home.

Enjoy Saving Energy With Heated Floors

Heated floors are one of 2017’s decor trends that combine luxury with responsibility. It might be tough to imagine that heated floors actually save energy, but it’s true. In-floor heating can actually heat entire rooms with less energy than other central solutions. Still using electric baseboard heaters in small areas like bathrooms? Consider heating your floors instead.

Climbing Plants Are The New Art

If you’re struggling with how to fill a blank space on a wall, consider climbing plants. Indoor vines like the Pothos (or Devil’s Ivy) can add a lively splash of green to a wall area. Or, consider using creeper vines that grow upwards. Even a small shelf with a few attractive potted plants can set off an entire wall. The more life you can add to your home, the better!

With so many colors, upgrades and DIY upgrades to choose from, 2017 is set to be a great year for home renovators. For more insight into value-boosting decor upgrades, contact Catskill Country Real Estate.

Funny Man With The Bushy Eyebrows

It’s Christmas Eve day and warm for late December in Otisville, New York.  Well not quite Otisville, actually Mount Hope.  That’s sort of true, Catskill Country Real Estate is in the Town of Mount Hope, but our office address is actually Middletown, NY 10940.

It’s not easy having a difficult address to define or having bushy eyebrows.  Marilyn keeps trying to sit me down for a haircut and calm conversation.  Clippers out, comb, scissors and that awful buzzing sound fill my ears—oh—they need a buzz cut too.

TMI—yes I know.  Nobody really cares about haircuts these days—especially earcuts.  Well maybe barbers do, but I’d have to go to Facebook in that there seems to be a good deal of interest in photos of just about anything.  Updating status must include personal information about personal grooming—hold on, let me check Twitter too ……………………………………………

Yep—just as I suspected.  All the social network platforms show the broker with the bushy eyebrows is trending and may go viral.  There seems to be an unusual amount of static about busy real estate brokers, interest rates moving upward, and the Polar Vortex simmering down.

It’s been a very busy year for Catskill Country.  We’ve closed many transactions, formed more solid relationships with other real estate firms and REALTORS®, helped a number of folks get into homes, and expanded our services to a multi county territory.

Our reviews are moving steadily upward as we seek to maximize our relationships with new clients, referrals, and our advertising venues.  Our budget allows us to profile thousands of homes on our two websites making it easy for consumers to research and review almost too much information.

The one key difference between Catskill Country and our competitors centers on my absolute commitment to immediate contact with anyone wanting more information about real estate.  We welcome all questions and respond almost as soon as we are contacted so you aren’t waiting around for answers.

I  have bushy eyebrows  but– I understand how to listen and bring your real estate goals into focus, and accomplish the mission of helping you buy or sell property in the Mid-Hudson and Catskills Region of New York State.

Home Showing Tips: How to Stress the Positives Without Sounding like a Used Car Salesperson

salespersonSelling a home is a difficult enough task as it is, but the longer a home stays on the market the easier it is to fall into the trap of sounding like a used car salesperson and accidentally pushing people away.

There are ways to make sure potential buyers see the positive aspects of the home without coming on too strong and leaving them skeptical.

 Proper Staging Will Show Off The Best Parts Of A Home

Many sellers rely on the imagination of the buyer to sell aspects of a home. Why tell somebody to imagine all the things they could do with the back yard when proper staging can show them?

An empty deck will never look as appealing as one with beautiful patio furniture and a bland living room will never seem as inviting as one that has been properly staged. Allowing buyers to see the rooms at their best will give the seller a chance to step back and not have to push the rooms on them.

Avoid Being Too Personal

One rule of thumb when showing a home is to de-personalize as much as possible. The goal is to have potential buyers image themselves and their family living in the space, which can be hard to do when there are reminders of the family currently residing there.

It’s easy to become caught up in the moment when talking about personal lives and telling stories, so when a seller tells stories about their own upbringing in the home or how they raised a family there it can seem pushy and put people off.

Guide The Flow Of Traffic

Placing furniture in a certain way can actually dictate the flow of traffic through the rooms of a home. By clearing out bulky pieces of furniture or decorations that hinder foot traffic from flowing properly, a seller can help guide people through the space.

If there is a particular area that a seller wants people to spend more time in, they can accomplish this by giving that room a more open floor plan when compared to previous rooms. This acts as a traffic stop for people who have been naturally flowing towards that particular selling point.

 Have you been having problems when showing your home? Reach out to John Kavaller-Owner-Broker at Catskill Country Real Estate. He has the experience to highlight  the benefits of your property.

3 Quick Painting Tips That Will Help Take Your Walls from Tacky to Tasteful

PaintingWhether you happen to be a painting pro or you’ve never dared to pick up a roller, there are a few tricks of the trade that professionals use to make a paint job look its best. If you want to take an old, outdated paint job and turn it into something you can be proud of, here are a few tips from those who know best.

Start With A Perfectly Smooth Surface

If you’re trying to rush through it, sanding might seem like an unnecessary step in re-covering your walls, but it’s very important in order to level out the spackle paste and ensure that no ridges will appear in the paint around the nails. According to one professional painter, you should start by sanding from the baseboard to the ceiling with a fine grit sandpaper, and then move on to a horizontal sand that will make for a smooth wall finish.

Forget About The Plastic

The proper floor coverage while painting is just as important as the paint when it comes to getting the job done properly, so opt for a large canvas cloth instead of linens or plastic. Paint on linen can sink through to your floor and stain it, while paint on plastic takes a long time to dry and may end up smearing all over other things. A canvas cloth will keep any paint splotches away from your floor and ensure they aren’t tracked throughout the home after they fall.

Stick To One Wall

It can be tempting to get done the rudimentary step of completing the corners and trim before you move on to painting, but this can actually make for a less smooth finish. Instead of finishing one task at a time, complete the corners and trim on one wall and immediately reach for the roller. This is something professional painters do to ensure that the brushed and rolled paint will blend together more seamlessly.

There are a few simple steps you can follow when painting a room that will make it look like a professional did the job. By using a canvas cloth to cover your surfaces and sticking with one wall until the job is done, you should have a smooth new surface you can be proud of. If you’re currently painting your home and preparing to sell, contact John Kavaller, Owner-Broker at Catskill Country Real Estate for information about your options on the market.

Feeling Squeezed by Higher Rents? It Might Be Time to Consider Buying Your First Home

Buy NowWith the cost of rent going up across the board and becoming even less affordable in metropolitan centers, it’s never been a better time to seriously consider home ownership. While the price of a home and all the associated costs can certainly seem like a tight squeeze after years of renting, here are some reasons you may want to consider giving up your rental and springing for a home instead.

It’s An Automatic Savings

It’s a sure bet that the money you spend on rent is going down the drain as soon as the month is over, but investing your money into a home each month means that you’re actually putting it into something tangible that you can profit from later on. While there are no certainties that the price of your home will improve, there’s a good chance you’ll stand to make a bit of money in the end that will easily offset the cost of insurance and property taxes involved in buying a home.

The Insecurity Of Apartment Living

With apartments being bought up all the time and torn down to make way for new developments, it’s always a possibility that the day may come when your home won’t be your home anymore. The good thing about using your purchasing power to invest in a home is that it gives you the freedom of feeling like you really have something that belongs to you, and you probably won’t have to worry as much about your loud next door neighbors or a landlord that never completes the required maintenance on your apartment.

You Can Consider A Roommate

An apartment often means a smaller amount of space, but it’s possible that a home purchase may provide you with a little bit of extra room and a place for a renter who can help with the monthly bills. Whether you decide on a friend, relative or someone you don’t know, this can be a great way to make home purchasing a little bit more economical and still provide you with the equity you’ll need to make it a worthwhile, long term investment.

With rent becoming less affordable in so many cities, the idea of purchasing a home is becoming a more tenable reality for many people. If you’re interested in what is out there and are curious about your own possibilities for home ownership, you may want to contact John Kavaller, Broker-Owner at Catskill Country Real Estate.

How Your Home’s “Days on Market” Affects the Buyer’s Opinion

DomWhether you’ve done a lot of research on the real estate market or you’ve sold a home before, you may be aware that there can be a lot of trepidation around how long your house remains up for sale. If you’re concerned about your home’s market potential, here’s what you need to know about “Days on Market” and how it can impact your home sale.

“Days on Market” Explained

A fairly no-nonsense phrase, Days on Market (DOM) refers to how long a home has been listed on the real estate market. The DOM stat can be found on many Multiple List Systems (MLS), and this can be seen as a signifier to agents and buyers of a home’s overall popularity. The way days on the market are determined varies from listing to listing, but the common belief is that after a certain period of time, a home’s valuation can be diminished.

What It Means To Potential Homebuyers

When it comes to real estate, the general hope is that a home will sell within the first 60 days of being put up for sale, and this is why the DOM can say a lot to potential buyers about your home’s value.  While people may assume that a home that’s been sitting on the market for longer than this timeframe is either overpriced or in poor condition, there are ways the seller can get past this hiccup and still have selling success.

If “Days on Market” Are Adding Up

In the event that the first 30 days are drawing to a close and you haven’t received any offers, you may want to sit down with your real estate agent and decide on a new strategy together. While a home without offers can be a sign that your price is too high, you may also need to switch to an agent that will take a more assertive approach to selling. It can even be a good idea to remove your home from the market so the DOM can go back down to 0 and you can start from scratch.

 The Sullivan County, NY market remains a buyer’s affair.  Average days on market can be well over 200 days.  Creative marketing strategies like holding a first mortgage and offering a selling bonus may be the difference between selling or waiting.

A DOM in the double digits can often signal to buyers that there are issues with your home or asking price, so it’s important to keep this in mind when your home is on the market. If your home hasn’t received any offers and you’re considering switching agents, you may want to contact a Catskill Country Real Estate professional  for more information.

Are You Struggling to Close Buyers for Your Home? It Might Be Time to Look at Your Price

Buyer's MarketSince most homeowners would like their home to sell at a reasonable price and in a reasonable time, one of the struggles of putting a home on the market is determining the perfect price. Whether your house has been on the market for a while or you’re just readying yourself for what comes next, here are some reasons that it may be time to re-consider your price.

How Long Has It Been?

A house that has been placed on the market will attract the most attention within the first 21 days in most normal markets.  In slower buyer markets like Sullivan County, that time frame moves out to about 60 days While no offers within this 60 day time frame doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to lower your price, you may want to revisit the cost other houses in the area sold for and decide from here how much longer you’ll wait before receiving an offer.

Is It A Buyer’s Market?

When putting your home on the market, there will certainly be a value in mind that you will want to sell it for. However, if you’re currently in a buyer’s market and there is a lot for sale, it’s possible that the price you’re looking for is not something you’re going to be offered. For this reason, it’s important to look at what the market is like in your area.

Do You Have A Timeline In Mind?

Homeowners often have a timeline for when they want to sell their home by, but life can sometimes get in the way and make for the necessity of a swift sale. Whether family issues or a new job have appeared on the horizon, lowering the sale of your home can be a good option to get your house off the market more quickly. You may not get the exact price you were hoping for, but there are situations where waiting for the extra money may not be worth it.

If you’re selling your home and are re-considering your price, it’s a good idea to stay on top of market trends and determine your circumstances before sticking to your original estimate.  Correct pricing and property condition out weigh just about all other factors relative to making a sale within a reasonable time frame.

Catskill Country Real Estate provides comparable sales analysis to sellers with no obligation.  Just contact us to find out what your property should list for in today’s buyer’s market.