Trends vs fads in real estate – Part 1

TrendOrFad-MegaphoneOk, full disclosure here. I have a new secret vice. I’m addicted to “Tiny House Nation”, The new interest in going small is a refreshing switch from the bigger, badder, better trend that dominated until 2008 financial crisis.

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For Sale in White Plains – 1 BR/1 BA Commuter’s Delight Co-op

11 Westview White Plains - Longacre Gardens

Just the Facts:

Address: 11 Westview Ave. #18.2
Complex: Longacre Gardens
Square Feet: 800
Asking Price: $149,999
Maintenance: $755/month w/o STAR rebate

Every once in a while, I come across an unusually strong opportunity for either a first-time buyer or someone who is downsizing.

If you’ve been house hunting in the condo or co-op market, you know the drill…

A cooperative is easy on the budget, often costing about half as much to own as a condo…but OH BOY – what about all those restrictions? You generally can’t rent it, most have fairly long wait lists for onsite parking, and God forbid that you might have a dog!

A condo will give you more of the flexibility you yearn for. You generally get parking right away, renting is usually allowed, and if you have a dog, you can usually find a complex that will accept your pet. But price-wise, it’s often out of reach.

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Westchester July 4th Fireworks 2016…

Mamaroneck Ave - 4th of July - Mamaroneck NYHello everybody!  

It’s that time of year again when people are searching for fireworks and other festivities for the 4th of July.  Here is a partial list of Independence Day celebrations for Westchester that are fun for the entire family.

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The Suburban – Millennial Paradox – Part 2

Hartsdale NY - Manor WoodsIn my previous blog post, I began a discussion on why some suburban enclaves have buyers fighting for position, while other areas, although rising in value, sometimes seem like “consolation prizes” to buyers priced out of the more popular areas. This second part deals with what homeowners (and potential home sellers)  should be pushing for in their towns if they want their home values to be sustainable going forward.

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The Suburban – Millennial Paradox (Part 1)…

21 Browning - Ossining NY 10562So what exactly is the suburban millennial paradox? I decided on this title because it best described what I would like to think about as a major shift in home buyer preferences from the boomer/genX generations to the millennials.

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The NYC commute – beyond the train ride…

Metro-North Train from Irvington to NYCRecently, Inman News wrote about commutes across the country.  Not surprisingly, the NYC commute was rated the longest in the nation. So its no small wonder that commuting distance (read commuting TIME) plays a big role in determining home values. For many home owners, their home values have become something of a crap-shoot. Take away train line or even just at station stop, add major congestion on  primary local arteries and those who were previously sitting on pretty pile of equity may see it all go south.

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When a home doesn’t appraise…why it happens and what to do about it…

The numbers game...

The numbers game…

We live in an interesting world.  With home prices rising and inventories low, the last thing most of you would be expecting from me is a news letter about appraisal problems.  How could that possibly be an issue right now?  This would seem like a total no-brainer. Prices are going UP, so what’s the problem?

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State of the Scarsdale Housing Market – Trends from 2015 & onward…

Tudor Facade Dry Brush - 500px

Scarsdale Village on a Summer Day

Scarsdale has always been a famous Westchester location. It has a panache that is all its own.  Often with very good reason, I might add.  It is a lovely town and the village center has tremendous old-world charm.

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Fuzzy math and market stats…

knowing your numbers!

Last week I released several market reports.  Every time I do this, I agonize over the numbers and worry that buyers and sellers will take these numbers the wrong way, or perhaps too literally.

Numbers don’t lie, but they can be loaded with caveats…

There are times when I calculate the median sales and know that the results are just “wrong”. I don’t mean “wrong” in the sense that the calculations are incorrect.  I mean that even though numbers don’t lie, they can be distorted by random quirks.

I used to be a biologist and actually spent many years in the lab. Outliers in biological systems are common and they can skew the data and make a general mess of things.  And so it is with real estate. When you drill down into towns and villages, the total numbers go down and that means random variances in the housing stock can give distort the picture, kind of like a fun house mirror.

So then I have to ask myself, am I wrong or is it something about the numbers?  Did sales prices REALLY go up over 20% in town “A” over a mere  year? Or did condo sales prices really tank in town “B”?

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State of the Larchmont Housing Market – Trends from 2015 & onward…

Spring Buds Manor Park - 500px

Manor Park – Larchmont – Early Spring

Larchmont is a village and P.O. in the town of Mamaroneck.  As such it is part of the Sound Shore portion of lower Westchester, hugging the Long Island Sound on its eastern point.

The Larchmont market, like other markets along the Sound Shore, is an appreciating market.  It is one of the most popular destinations for those seeking to move to the suburbs from Manhattan or one of the other boroughs.  The bulk of this market is the single family home market.  There are several very popular cooperative complexes along with a brand new luxury condo complex (The Cambium) that has just started closing their first sales at a good clip.

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