Are you in town this Fourth of July weekend? If you don’t have a rooftop of your own to watch from (or a friend’s to mooch off), have no fear — there are plenty of free, primo spots to watch the fireworks in four out of the five boroughs. Macy’s 40th annual Fourth of July fireworks show is set off from five barges: one double barge south of the Brooklyn Bridge and the remaining four along the East River, spread between 23rd and 37th Streets.
Sparks will begin to fly around 9:20 p.m. and last for about 30 minutes. Jersey City’s Freedom & Fireworks Festival can also be seen from certain parts of Manhattan and Brooklyn and will begin at 9:30 p.m. In case of rain, start times will be delayed — but rest assured that the show will go on.
Pro tip: It’s generally easier to see fireworks from low-rise Brooklyn and Queens than it is from within Manhattan. See our picks for the best (free!) places to watch below.
Q. Our house has been for sale on and off for 18 months, with no acceptable results. We started out by pricing our home at $850,000, then reduced it to $810,000, changed Realtors and went back on at $770,000.
Three weeks ago, we reduced the price of the property to $725,000, but still haven’t had an offer. Either the market is sliding down (as we have reduced our pricing), or we are missing something else.
I read your blog on home valuations with interest and would like your opinion. During this time, Zillow has "zestimated" our house at as much as $880,000, down to $860,000 and currently suggests our property is worth $796,000. Our last appraisal was $700,000 back in 2004. We are reluctant to reduce the price further without better evidence that it would do any good.
What do you think we should do? Should we just wait until a buyer comes along?
In many real estate markets, certain segments have seen no movement while others seem to be quite hot. Your issue may not be price but lack of buyers looking in your price range.
Frequently, owners get hung up on what online sites say their home is worth. But those sites run the gamut from extremely accurate to extremely inaccurate, so we don’t give those sites much credence. Those sites help by providing a general range of values but don’t specifically reflect what a buyer will pay for your home.
There are many reasons homes don’t sell in certain markets. Some real estate markets have certain sweet spots. If homebuyers are looking for something specific, they may shy away from your type of home. Consider that split-level homes from the ’60s and ’70s were once the ideal homes to live in, but now many homebuyers wouldn’t consider living in one. If you have a home like that, you might find that homebuyers are looking for other type of homes. If your home is in a market where homes are torn down and replaced by newly constructed homes, your home may be priced above the market for a teardown and may not be in favor with some homebuyers.
Britons voted Thursday to sever their economic and political union with Europe after a quarter century. The victory of the Brexit campaign came as a great surprise, shaking financial markets and lowering the outlook for economic growth in the U.S.
Legally, the divorce won’t be final for years, but markets and governments are reacting now. In the long run, the vote raises big questions about what’s next for the economy and global security. In short, Brexit delivered a big dose of uncertainty.
“Buying just got riskier. Selling just got riskier. Lending just got riskier, all because the market is more turbulent and less predictable,” Redfin chief economist Nela Richardson said. “It takes a certain amount of confidence to buy a huge asset like a house and markets just lost their confidence.”
While the headlines look bad, remember that the U.S. economy remains fundamentally sound. And global unease has a silver lining for homebuyers—cheap loans.
Brexit is big, but it’s today’s news. Getting a handle on the housing market begs for some crystal-ball gazing into tomorrow’s news. We can’t see the future, but here’s what we do know.
Will this hurt home prices?
It depends. Nationally, price growth might slow in the near term. Buyers with money in the stock market aren’t as rich as they were yesterday and they’re spooked. But mortgages are about to get cheaper, which will give them more incentive.
Home construction has risen but is running near historic lows; homeownership is at its lowest rate in decades, and poor households face acute hardships finding a place they can afford, the annual State of the Nation’s Housing report concluded.
When a home buyer and seller have reached a deal, it is time for the (sometimes) dreaded "Home Inspection". Buyers just want to be sure their new home is problem-free...and seller usually just want to pack up and move.
by Lisa Prevost, New York Times.
By 5 p.m., they had submitted an offer for the full asking price of $942,000. The sellers wanted to give it more time. After several days, the couple raised their offer to $999,000. The sellers wanted another week. “We asked them to give us a number they would take it off the market for,” Ms. Krivickova said. “They said no.”
The couple really wanted the house. They huddled with Mr. Scinta, who analyzed recent sales prices of similar properties to help them strike a balance between a strong offer and an overzealous offer, which, if it exceeded the bank’s appraisal, could cause problems with financing.
Finally, on a Monday morning, they submitted their highest offer: $1,087,000, a full 15 percent premium. Mr. Scinta heard back that afternoon.
Summer is fast approaching and we’re on our way to longer, sunnier days. With that comes the desire to spend more time outdoors with friends and family, barbecuing, throwing pool parties and winding down after a long work week. What better way to treat yourself than with a brand new deck? Keep reading for four of this year’s hottest outdoor trends for decks!
1. The Party Place
Pump up the jams with a deck dedicated to good times. When laying down the wood, composite material or tile for your new outdoor space, consider the things you need to make the perfect entertainment center. We recommend creating a space set aside for a fabulous outdoor kitchen, complete with a grill, sink and fridge for stowing your favorite sips. Next, add an area for guests to sit and relax, complete with a few lounge chairs in sun-proof, stain-resistant material and some comfortable outdoor pillows. Finish with an area rug underfoot and layered lighting to make sure the party lasts all night long.
2. A Mixed Motif
If you’re opting for a space that’s more Zen, look no further than mixed materials. By combining salvaged wood and concrete, you create the ideal foundation for a relaxing outdoor deck. Add a low barrier wall for a little privacy and a few stairs for ease of access to your mini-getaway. With this design, less is best. Consider adding in benches when pouring concrete, or adding minimalistic furniture that doesn’t take away from the simplicity of the style. Choose color pairings that are relaxing and serene, like blue and gray or green and white.
3. A Personal Vacation Home
Do you have a hobby that requires its own space? Need an area to just get away from time to time? We love the idea of a small shed or backyard home dedicated to your favorite activities, such as pottery, painting or yoga. By building a small deck around it, you’re essentially building your own miniature vacation home, a retreat from everyday life or a particularly stressful day. A deck allows your shed to blend into its outdoor setting, lending a homey feel that seamlessly matches your garden space or pool area.
4. The Layered Look
If you lean towards the eclectic side of decor, we suggest using your outdoor deck to defy style norms—and gravity—with multi-level surfaces and a pergola for a layered look. This style is especially striking when paired with a smaller lot, as it helps to fill the design void. Pair Mid-century and eclectic outdoor furniture with bold colors throughout to achieve a fashion-forward look. Keep accessories minimal with a few accents like outdoor lighting and textured area rugs to round out your backyard look.
If you're looking to score a deal while house hunting, you may have considered buying a foreclosed home. These are houses whose owners were unable to pay the mortgage or sell the property. As a result, the lender assumed ownership and is now trying to sell it to recoup some of its costs.
While foreclosures aren't as common today as they were during the height of thehousing crisis in 2008, they do still happen. Currently, according to RealtyTrac, 1 in 13,000 homes ends up in foreclosure. In states with the highest frequency, such as Maryland and New Jersey, that ratio shoots up to 1 in approximately every 550 homes. That's a lot of foreclosed places.
The increase in sales of previously owned homes and new single-family residences in April illustrates growing demand for owner-occupied housing and the improving ability of prospective homebuyers to save for downpayments and handle monthly mortgage obligations. Interest rates on residential mortgages remain near historic lows, maintaining housing affordability and stimulating a higher volume of single-family home purchases even as prices continue to rise and for-sale inventory remains limited. Low interest rates and a slight moderation in mortgage lending criteria will continue to propel the single-family home market in the near term, and builders could be encouraged to introduce more starter homes to the construction cycle to capture rising demand.
'Crawl in this business before you run,' advises one veteran flipper.
House flipping is hot. Last year marked a high, since 2007, in the number of people trying to buy houses cheap, fix them up, and sell them, according to real estate information company RealtyTrac.
And who can blame the newcomers when the average gross profit in the first quarter of this year for flipping was $58,520? Keep it up and maybe you could even get your own house flipping reality TV show. There’s just one problem: lots of people are losing money.
Get 12 quick facts about the home mortgage process.
Homebuyers with little money for a down payment are finding more home loans available for a low down payment or even no down payment.
The Federal Housing Administration, or FHA, insures loans with small down payments, and private mortgage insurers have relaxed their down-payment requirements. It's even possible to get a mortgage today with no money down. The nation's biggest credit union offers "zero-down" mortgages. The Department of Veterans Affairs, or VA, and the Department of Agriculture, or USDA, guarantee home loans with no down payments.
Following are a few options for borrowers seeking low-down-payment and zero-down-payment home mortgages.
Buyers Are More Pessimistic About the Election
Homebuyers hit a gloomy note last month when we asked about the presidential election, with nearly 27 percent saying it will make the housing market worse.
That doesn’t sound like much, but it’s almost double the negative response we got in February. Far fewer buyers said the election would have no effect on housing and the share who think it will make the market better inched down.
There are a number of reasons why appraisals come in low. Here are a few:
This Old House host Kevin O'Connor and his Dad, Dave, talk about their family history in New Jersey, and their family experiences on the Jersey Shore, from the front porch of their summer home on Long Beach Island.
Tress Realty Group compiles some of the best real estate news, tips, and information for buyers, sellers and investors.