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  Mon Nov 05

Home Inspection List - You do as many as possible to prepare

Prepare your house for an inspection


What will a home inspector be looking at and how you can prepare for a home inspection?  The below listing may be helpful in preparing for a home inspection.  Many of these items can be done with little or no cost and many are regular maintenance items for a home. 

  1. Remove grade or mulch from contact with siding.  Six (6) or more inches of clearance is preferred. 
  2. Clean out dirty gutters or debris from the roof. 
  3. Divert all water away from the house; i.e. downspouts, sump pump, condensation drains, etc.  Grade should slope away from the structure.  Clean out basement entry drains. 
  4. Trim trees, roots and bushes back from the foundation, roof, siding and chimney. 
  5. Paint all weathered exterior wood and caulk around the trim, chimney, windows and doors. 
  6. Seal asphalt driveways, if cracking. 
  7. Seal or point up masonry chimney caps.  Install metal fluecap. 
  8. Clean or replace HVAC filter.  Clean dirty air returns and plenum. 
  9. Point up any failing mortar joints in brick or block. 
  10. Test all smoke detectors to ensure they are in safe working condition. 
  11. Update attic ventilation if none is present. 
  12. Have the chimney, fireplace or woodstove cleaned and provide the buyer with a copy of the cleaning record. 
  13. Seal masonry walls in the basement. 
  14. Don't do quick cheap repairs.  You may raise questions that will unfairly cause great concern to buyers and inspectors. 
  15. Ensure that all doors and windows are in proper operating condition, including repairing or replacing any cracked window panes. 
  16. Ensure that all plumbing fixtures (toilet, tub, shower, and sinks) are in proper working conditions.  Check for and fix any leaks.  Caulk around fixtures if necessary. 
  17. Install GFCI receptacles near all water sources.  Test all present GFCI receptacles for proper operation. 
  18. Check sump pump for proper operation. 
  19. Replace any burned out light bulbs. 
  20. Remove rotting wood and/or firewood from contact with the house. 
  21. Ensure that proper grading is followed under a deck. 
  22. Install proper vapor barrier in crawlspaces. 
  23. Caulk all exterior wall penetrations. 
  24. Check to ensure that the crawlspace is dry and install a proper vapor barrier if necessary.  Remove any visible moisture from a crawlspace.  Moisture levels in wood should be below 18% to deter rot and mildew. 
  25. Check that bath vents are properly vented and in working condition. 
  26. Remove paints, solvents, gas, etc., from crawlspace, basement, attic, porch, etc. 
  27. If windows are at or below grade, install window wells and covers. 
  28. Have clear access to attic, crawlspace, heating system, garage and other areas that will need to be inspected. 
  29. If the house is vacant, make sure that all utilities are turned on, including water, electric, water heater, furnace, air condition and breaks in the main panel.

 

   
  Sun Oct 28

5 Ways to Enhance Curb Appeal

Boosting your home’s curb appeal is a must when placing your home on the market. When readying your home for sale, consider making cost-effective upgrades that add value, rather than over-the-top remodeling projects. According to Remodeling magazine’s 2015 Cost vs. Value Report, several exterior improvements recoup the most return, including new entry doors, siding and roofing.

“Choosing the right renovations to ensure your home stands out among the rest is key,” says Matt Hess, Power Home Remodeling Group, “and with intense focus on increasing curb appeal this year, we recommend moving that to the top of the to-do list and avoiding over-upgrades and mammoth projects where you won’t get your money back.”

These high-ROI exterior projects that enhance curb appeal include:

Replacing Entry Doors – Updating your home's front door can drastically impact its value and draw in a potential buyer. Think about replacing a door with half-glass panels or a change in color, and modernize the look with a mortise lock with lever handle and matching finish.

Creating Functional Outdoor Living Spaces
 – Outdoor living is here to stay, and buyers are taking notice. Consider enhancing your backyard with a new high-end feature or large gathering area, such as a patio with comfortable furniture, a stone fire pit, an outdoor kitchen or a fireplace with an out cove.


Modernizing the Siding – New vinyl siding and trim can make even an older home look brand new. Choose a color that balances both personal taste and long-term ROI. Newer trends include bolder shades like deep blues and heavy greens, while bright white homes continue to resonate. For those who like a pop of color, consider a neutral siding – maybe a taupe or gray – with a bolder trim color.

Making Minor Updates to Landscaping – Add seasonal flowers or a stone border to spruce up your garden. You could also create your own wall garden to grow herbs in mason jars – a feature many buyers will appreciate, says the Power Home Remodeling Group.

Lighting Up with LEDs – LED lights continue to be a popular, inexpensive trend and are a great way to subtly light your yard. From rope lights to walkway or garden fixtures, there are all sorts of LED options that coordinate with your home's exterior. They are dimmable and low-maintenance – you don't have to worry about going outside to turn them off or on.

   
  Sun Oct 28

How Landscape Design Can Boost Home Value

(Family Features) A recent survey conducted by the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) found that sustainable, low-maintenance designs are top trends among residential landscape projects. The study, which asked landscape architects to rate the expected popularity of outdoor design elements, points to a great demand for ecologically sensitive upgrades intended to preserve the environment, conserve water and reduce landscape maintenance.

According to the study, the top five upgrades are native plantings, adapted drought plantings, food or vegetable gardens, fire pits and fireplaces and low-maintenance landscapes. If you'd like to incorporate these ideas into your outdoor space, it’s best to hire a professional. Here’s why:

1. A landscape architect is well equipped to design an outdoor living space that will add value to your home, extend your living space and allow you to enjoy all that nature has to offer in a controlled setting. From arbors to fountains, they can create a space that is both inviting and environmentally sustainable.

2. Hiring a landscape architect is a terrific investment for your home. Research from Virginia Tech shows that landscapes literally grow in value over time, while traditional home additions or remodels start to lose value the minute the dust settles.

3. Landscape architects are licensed professionals who often work with landscaping or other construction companies to install their designs. Think of the fashion designer imagining an outfit while a clothing manufacturer makes the apparel, or an artist designing a wall poster that's printed by another company.

4. Landscape architects are trained to think about landscapes as systems. They will assess your property's problem areas, as well as possibilities, and create a solid plan that addresses both the big picture and exact details of how your landscape will look. They will handle all the details, saving you time and stress.

5. Landscape architects will deliver a finished project that you will love and that will comply with regulations and codes. It will be a special place that you and your family and friends will enjoy for years to come.

   
  Thu Oct 18

Turning Buyers Into an LLC

Creating a separate legal entity for buying a second home is a smart way for ordinary households to protect themselves

If you’re working with a couple interested in buying a second home as an investment property, you might suggest they talk to a lawyer about setting up a limited liability corporation or other legal entity before they buy. That way, if they’re sued by someone who was on the property after they bought it, they can limit their damages and protect their personal assets against losses.

Suppose a contractor they hire makes negligent repairs to a deck and it collapses while tenants and guests are having a barbecue. The judgment in a case like this could easily exceed the equity the owners have in the property and even the coverage limits on their insurance policy.

Or perhaps they rent the property to a person who owns a dog not covered in a typical landlord policy and the dog bites someone on the property. State Farm, for example, determines risk based on a dog's bite history not its breed. The company paid $121 million in dog bite claims in 2016 at an average of $33,000 a claim. A claim of that amount might exceed the equity the homeowners have in their property. That could make their personal assets vulnerable to the judgment.

Or let’s say the carbon monoxide detector is faulty and the property has a 20-year-old furnace that develops cracks, releasing gas indoors. Tragically, a family of four staying in the property is killed. The owners could face four wrongful death actions caused by negligence.

Gravity of Risk

These are rare occurrences, to be sure, but they point to the gravity of risks that investment property owners can face. In fact, the scenarios illustrate one of the main differences between real estate and other types of investments like stocks or bonds: real estate can carry risks that exceed the investment in the asset.

Of course, an owner’s first layer of protection is insurance, but owners might fail to recognize that their losses can exceed coverage limits. Or there may be exceptions or carve-outs in the coverage that exclude or limit the losses. These gaps in coverage might expose the owner to unlimited liability. In today’s litigious world, $100,000, $300,000, or even $500,000 liability coverage may be inadequate. Also, owners converting their home to an investment property might not think to take out landlord or vacant property coverage.

To get the right amount of protection, buyers should strongly consider a personal liability umbrella policy with $1 million to $2 million in coverage. But they should also consider forming and running a corporation or LLC. The type of entity they can form varies and is governed by state law, but nearly all states allow incorporated entities like limited liability corporations, partnerships, C corporations, and subchapter S corporations.

Pricing Considerations

Deciding which type of entity to set up and how to structure it should be done with advice of counsel. The process may not be expensive. Depending on the area and particularities of the household, the legal work can be done for a few hundred dollars. There are also do-it-yourself forms online, but self-help isn’t recommended; these entities, whether for  your own investments or your clients’, have to be set up correctly to get the maximum protection.

Investing in real estate can be a smart decision. The right property can outperform other investment vehicles. But because real estate investment comes with potential pitfalls, it makes sense to have sufficient insurance and for investors to consider setting up an LLC or other type of entity to separate their liability from their personal assets.


   
  Mon Oct 08

Fixed Rate Doesn't Mean Fixed Payments

This is one of the best times to get a fixed-rate mortgage. A fixed rate simply means that the mortgage lender charges you a fixed rate of interest that doesn't ever change over the life of the loan.

If you get a fixed rate of 4.00 percent, you will be paying four percent in interest until you sell the home. At such a low rate, it's unlikely you'd refinance.

You can see how much you pay in interest in an amortization schedule. The longer you pay on a fixed rate, the more interest you pay down because your interest payment is front-loaded into the beginning years of your loan schedule.

 

The longer you own your home and pay on your mortgage, you'll see that a greater percentage of your monthly payment goes to reduce principal, helping you to build equity or ownership in the home.

An adjustable rate mortgage is initially lower than a fixed rate, but the loan will adjust periodically according to market rates after one year, three years, five years, or whatever you and the lender have agreed to.

The danger is that the new adjusted rate could become too expensive for you, especially if it adjusts higher every year. Part of your terms can include ceilings that limit the number of times and the amount your loan can increase. Adjustments can add as much as two percentage points more to your interest rate, or as much as several hundred dollars more to your monthly payment.

Rates first hit historical lows in 2011, and have retouched those lows several times since. Any time the national average for fixed rate mortgages is below four percent, that's a gift to homebuyers. Adjustable rates are certain to be higher down the road, making fixed rates a lower risk.

Even with a fixed rate mortgage, your monthly payment can change in other ways. You may decide to roll the costs of your mortgage into your loan, in which case you'll be paying the APR rate because the loan amount is higher, yet is still being compressed into a 30, 15 or ten-year term, depending on your loan.

Another way your monthly payment can change is by adding private mortgage insurance (PMI). If you put less than 20 percent of your home's purchase price as a down payment, lenders will require that you pay for PMI. Rates on PMI vary, but you can expect your payments to rise by 0.3 percent to 1.2 percent of the loan amount.

Last, your monthly payments can include escrows for hazard insurance and for property taxes. You should receive a statement from your insurer when it's time to renew your insurance, and your lender will divide the annual amount into monthly payments.

Your property tax authority will send you a new statement annually, usually in the spring or early summer. If you're basing your future payments on what the previous owner paid, you may be in for a surprise. Your tax basis will be based on the purchase price of the home. Most communities limit the amount that the taxing authority can raise property taxes every year.

Mortgage interest, PMI and property taxes are deductible from your income taxes if you itemize, but you still have to make the payments. For these reasons, you want to stick closely to borrowing guidelines such as loan-to-income and debt-to-income ratios.

Your mortgage should be no more than 28 to 32 percent of your gross income or 36 to 42 percent of your income including your monthly debts. That way you'll be able to handle any future changes in your monthly mortgage payments.

   
  Fri Nov 09

GREAT TIME TO PURCHASE

The Housing Market is Doing Just Fine

There are some that think that housing affordability is a challenge. Historically, that’s not true. Others think that home prices are approaching bubble values. If we look back over the last sixteen years, that is also not the case. As a matter of fact, the numbers show that the U.S. residential real estate market is doing just fine.

Here are two articles and excerpts that make this point:

The Housing Market Is Finally Starting to Look HealthyThe NY Times

It has been an excruciatingly long time coming, but the housing sector in the United States is finally getting healthy. Thank millennials and thank homebuilders who are starting to produce more of the starter houses young people demand.”

Why the U.S. Housing Market Is Good and Getting Even BetterThe Street

“Interest rates are so low now that a family can buy the median-priced U.S. home on income of less than $45,000 a year -- about $11,000 less than the median household income. And half of America's houses are cheaper than that.” 
There are those worried that all this positive talk resembles what was being said in 2004 and 2005. Jonathan Smoke, Chief Economist at realtor.com, explains the difference very simply but effectively:
“The havoc during the last cycle was the result of building too many homes and of speculation fueled by loose credit. That’s the exact opposite of what we have today.” (emphasis added)
   
  Sat Oct 06

Real Estate Info

Common Appraisal Myths

An appraisal is an important part of many real estate transactions. An appraisal is typically done if a buyer requires a mortgage loan to purchase a property. The appraisal is done by an appraiser (who is licensed), and it's based on multiple data gathered during an inspection by the appraiser. When it comes to appraisals, there are many myths or misconceptions around them. Whether you're looking to buy a home, looking to refinance a current mortgage, or you're looking for more information about all that goes into real estate transactions, here are some of the most common myths when it comes to appraisals.

An Appraisal is the same as a Home Inspection

While both an appraisal and home inspection provide important information to all parties, the two are not the same. An appraisal is done to determine the value of a property, generally for the benefit of a lender. The appraiser will inspect a property for improvements and deficiencies but only to determine the overall value of a property. A home inspection, on the other hand, is an inspection, but its main purpose is to look at the 'guts' of a property, assessing the overall condition, and inspecting the major systems, appliances and structure to determine the shape of a property. The appraisal is done to determine the value of a property; a home inspection (which isn't required) is done to determine the overall health of a property.

Assessed Value, Appraised Value and Market Value are all the Same

For many properties and in many states, the idea that the assessed value, appraised value and the market value are equal is understandable. But, in many areas and instances, this isn't the case. Assessed value is determined by an assessor (who works for a city, town or county) and is usually used to levy taxes; if the assessor doesn't actually physically inspect the property, s/he won't know if any improvements (remodeling projects, interior updates, additions, etc.) have been done. The same can also be said if nearby properties have not been reassessed for a long period of time or they don't reflect the area's current real estate market. Appraised value is determined by an appraiser, and is a result of a detailed physical inspection of a property and research done on the neighborhood and any nearby recently sold properties. Market values are consumer-driven and can be influenced by a buyer - if a buyer is willing and able to pay more for a property, then the market value is what the buyer is willing to pay. While all three values can be similar, all three also have the chance of being vastly different.

The Appraiser is Hired by the Buyer

An appraisal is required when a home is being purchased with a mortgage loan; a current homeowner is looking to refinance his/her existing mortgage; or when someone is selling a home to someone that is not an all-cash buyer. The appraisal acts as a security for the lender to understand the value of the property when making the loan decision. Due to federal changes several years ago, although the lender orders the appraisal, the lender does not hire a specific appraiser; the appraiser comes from a 'pool'. For the majority of property transactions, the buyer is responsible for the cost of the appraisal (sometimes a seller will cover the cost of the appraisal, but this is unique, and for the most part the buyer or borrower pays the costs through the lender). There are times when a seller may want to get an appraisal to get an idea of a home's value before listing the property - in this case, the seller would hire the appraiser and pay for the appraisal.

The Appraisal Varies Whether it's For the Buyer or Seller

Typically, an appraiser has no vested interest in the price of a property - s/he doesn't represent any particular person. The appraiser should complete an independent and objective appraisal, simply performing the service of determining a property's appraised value. Appraisals can be done for a number of reasons: insurance, home loans, tax losses, estates, liquidation and net worth. Because of this, depending upon the purpose of the appraisal, the market value and appraised value can vary, but the appraiser does not complete an appraisal in favor of the seller or the buyer.

Appraisers Use a Formula to Determine the Value of a Property

The way in which appraisers determine the value of a property is very detailed. An appraiser will analyze all aspects of a property: location, condition, size, proximity to amenities and other facilities, and s/he will also consider the recent sale prices of comparable properties in the area. Other items that are considered in the appraisal: number of bedrooms and bathrooms and the floor plan functionality. The appraiser does a visual and physical inspection of the interior and exterior of the property. S/he will take into consideration the type of flooring in a home; the materials used in the kitchens, bathrooms, and other rooms; the siding and any other recent upgrades. An appraiser will also consider things that need to be repaired, and other miscellaneous items. Far from a specific formula, appraisers use a lot of data to determine the appraised value of a property and an appraisal can take a number of hours to complete depending on the size of a house and complexity of the property.

 
   
  Wed Sep 26

Long Island Index Releases Study of Region’s Complex Relationship with Accessory Apartments

Long Island Index Releases Study of Region’s Complex Relationship with Accessory Apartments

That Experience Should Inform Future Policies Relating to the Need for Affordable Housing

Garden City, NY – June 26, 2017 – The Long Island Index, a project of the Rauch Foundation, today released a study that explores the complex relationship between Long Island and accessory apartments, a housing type that has been used both legally and illegally in a wide range of communities to address the need for affordable housing and the desire of seniors to remain in their homes. A classic accessory apartment is a separate, secondary, dwelling unit of much smaller size than the primary home, either in the house itself or in a carriage house or converted garage.

The study – titled “Home Remedies, Accessory Apartments on Long Island: Lessons Learned” – is written by former Newsday reporter and freelance writer Elizabeth Moore. It reveals that almost four decades after some Long Island towns began cautiously allowing accessory apartments in single-family homes, this housing type is broadly accepted in Suffolk County, even as it remains controversial in much of Nassau. At the same time, despite any number of crackdowns, amnesties and code changes, both counties continue to contend with rampant illegal apartments whose owners are uninterested in finding ways to be legal. Several jurisdictions have all but resigned themselves to the illegality by assessing extra taxes on presumed scofflaws who refuse to allow inspectors access to their homes. Still, for many Long Islanders accessory apartments are essential, and Long Island’s experience with them holds a key to addressing the need for affordable housing in the future.

The study reveals lessons learned on Long Island, as well as in other parts of the country. Those lessons illuminate the forms of accessory apartments that have gained traction in local communities and the communities’ capacity to enforce existing zoning codes.

The study includes a map showing where on Long Island accessory apartments are permitted, limited, grandfathered, and not permitted. It also includes an appendix containing the local policy on accessory apartments in every city, town, and incorporated village on Long Island.

The need for accessory apartments stems from the fact that Long Island has gone from being one of the most affordable places to raise a family to one of the least affordable. The single-family neighborhoods that defined Long Island’s appeal are now home to shrinking families struggling to cover the costs of all those empty bedrooms, even as the region’s work force faces a shortage of moderately priced rental housing. As a result, single-family homeowners installed an estimated 90,000 illegal apartments by the mid-1980s, according to the Long Island Regional Planning Board.

Accessory apartments have proven their worth as the most affordable type of rental housing in the region. They can be easily accommodated because they don’t require large infusions of capital, new roads, new sewers or expansion of the electrical grid. Instead, existing neighborhoods absorb the rental-seeking population like a sponge, while stabilizing finances for tax-strapped homeowners. They also provide affordable housing that is blended throughout the community rather than clustered, and having a resident homeowner usually means that they are better maintained than rentals with absentee owners.

Today, nine of Suffolk’s 10 towns have established procedures to legalize or authorize accessory apartments for nonrelatives. In Nassau only one has: the town of Hempstead allows homeowners 62 and older to apply for “senior residence” accessory apartment permits, and 848 apartments currently hold such permits. Another 1,344 so-called “mother-daughter” permits have been issued by the town to homeowners who build apartments for family members. Oyster Bay, Smithtown and North Hempstead only permit mother-daughter apartments, or (in Oyster Bay) apartments for domestic servants.

Of 97 Long Island villages with zoning powers, seven issue permits for accessory apartments, while another four allow continuation of apartments that predated their codes. Another 24 permit apartments only in limited circumstances. But 62 do not allow them.

“This study offers a fascinating account of how Long Island has struggled with accessory apartments,” said Nancy Rauch Douzinas, President of the Rauch Foundation. “It reveals lessons that should inform future policy, as the challenge to provide affordable housing continues.”

“Affordability is key to the region’s economic future,” said Ann Golob, Director of the Long Island Index. “Accessory apartments are not the only solution, but this study shows that they are a necessary one.”

For further information, contact Henry Miller at hmiller@highimpactpartnering.com.

About the Long Island Index
Now in its 14th year, the Long Island Index is a source of unbiased reliable data for businesses, nonprofits, civic organizations, educators, and townships throughout the region. Funded by the Rauch Foundation, its overarching goals are to measure where we are and show trends over time, encourage regional thinking, compare Long Island’s situation with those in similar regions, increase awareness of issues and their interrelatedness, and inspire Long Islanders to work together to achieve shared goals. The Long Island Index reports are available for download at www.longislandindex.org; its interactive maps – an online resource with detailed demographic, residential, transportation and educational information – are also accessible from the Index’s website.

About the Rauch Foundation
The Rauch Foundation (www.rauchfoundation.org) is a Long Island-based family foundation that invests in ideas and organizations that spark and sustain early success in children and systemic change in our communities. The Foundation was established in 1961 by Louis Rauch and Philip Rauch, Jr. Funding for the Foundation was made possible by the success of the Ideal Corporation, an auto parts manufacturer founded in 1913 by their father, Philip Rauch, Sr.

   
  Wed Sep 19

2018 Indicators Report Long Island

Challenges Facing the Region Essays

A Better Long Island for All by Bob Keeler

The Need to Tackle Segregation Head-On by Elaine Gross

Build Apartments, and They Will Come by Marianne Garvin

Education and the Economy by Tom Rogers

Moving a Region Forward by Shuprotim Bhaumik

Building Regional Leadership for the Innovation Economy by Bruce Stillman

Creating Alliances Among Long Island’s 665 Government Entities by Jeffrey Kraut

 

Press Release Announcing the Final Long Island Index Report

April 19, 2018

The Long Island Index, a project of the Rauch Foundation, released today its final report of regional indicators. The report provides the latest data on conditions on Long Island, trends over time, and comparisons with competing suburbs – prepared by Regional Plan Association. It also illuminates the Index’s now-proven formula for regional progress, reveals the results of a recent public opinion survey, and contains reflections by members of the Index’s Advisory Committee on challenges and opportunities facing Long Island. In doing so, the report points the way to maximizing the region’s extraordinary potential, noting that, while progress is being made, “maintaining Long Island’s high quality of life, and extending its benefits to more of its residents, will require accelerated response and innovative approaches.”

The data covers such topics as the economy, communities, health and education, environment, and governance. It reveals, for instance, that Nassau and Suffolk’s economy continues to expand, but not by enough or in the types of industries to raise standards of living for everyone. More people moved out of Long Island than moved in, not including foreign immigration, during every year since 2000, even though most Long Islanders identify very strongly with their county – at least twice as strongly as residents of Westchester, southern Connecticut, and northern New Jersey.

The data also shows that Long Island’s population is growing slowly but changing rapidly. Long Island is doing well by health outcome measures, such as life expectancy, but there is a wide gap between the health of affluent and lower-income residents. Long Island spends more per student than other parts of the region, but with smaller and wealthier school districts spending more in local taxes than larger and poorer ones.

In 2018, Long Island looks physically much as it did a generation ago – with attractive neighborhoods of single-family homes built mostly during Long Island’s growth spurt from the 1940s to the 1970s. While there are a growing number of communities starting to provide more diverse housing options, Long Island is lagging other parts of the New York region and is unaffordable for too many. Long Island also has some of the highest rates of carbon emission and water consumption in the region, and declining rates of open space protection. In addition, Long Island’s 665 units of local government are far more than in other parts of the United States, and few Long Island residents have confidence that public officials will address their concerns if they tried to bring them to their attention.

Fifteen years ago, the Rauch Foundation created the Long Island Index, a regional index to inspire and advance regional thinking. It was a bold – now proven – experiment by the Foundation, which had always intended, once the experiment was completed, to pass the responsibility to another entity. The Rauch Foundation and Newsday recently announced that a new research entity at Newsday – called nextLI – will succeed the Long Island Index as the regional index for Long Island. nextLI will carry on the tradition of producing and publishing high-caliber research and information that is essential to understanding Long Island’s regional challenges, while creating an innovative digital platform for civic engagement. The Long Island Index’s website (www.longislandindex.org) will continue to present the 15 years of data that it has compiled, and the Rauch Foundation will initially support the new research entity to ensure a smooth transition.

During those 15 years, the Long Island Index has revealed a now-proven formula for maximizing Long Island’s extraordinary potential for economic growth and prosperity for all. That formula has four components: provide objective data that illuminates Long Island in a broader context; focus on regional assets and the potential for leveraging them; generate new models of working together; and realize progress through concerted advocacy and public engagement.

There is no better example of the impact and potential of this model than the successful effort to achieve MTA approval of construction of the Long Island Rail Road’s Third Track. The Long Island Index conducted the research that revealed the regional benefits of the Third Track, which strengthens a key regional asset, the LIRR. The Right Track for Long Island Coalition provided a new way of working together and generated crucial public engagement, complementing the strong leadership of Governor Andrew Cuomo, to advance the initiative to the point of MTA approval.

“The Long Island Index has created a remarkable legacy of providing objective data to inspire regional thinking,” said Nancy Rauch Douzinas, President of the Rauch Foundation. “But, while the region is making progress, it’s not rapid enough. We must implement the Index’s proven formula more fully, in other areas highlighted in this report, to maximize regional progress.”

“This final report illuminates Long Island’s challenges and opportunities,” said Ann Golob, Director of the Long Island Index. “It’s time to address them more aggressively, making progress on many more fronts simultaneously. This report points the way. If we follow it, we can make Long Island the centerpiece of a vibrant economy that enhances the lives of all Long Islanders.”

   
  Sat Nov 10

WHY SHOULD I HIRE A REAL ESTATE AGENT ?

 Education & Experience

You don't need to know everything about buying and selling real estate if you hire a real estate professional who does. Henry Ford once said that when you hire people who are smarter than you are, it proves you are smarter than they are. The trick is to find the right person. For the most part, they all cost roughly the same. Why not hire a person with more education and experience than you? We're all looking for more precious time in our lives, and hiring pros gives us that time.

Agents are Buffers

Agents take the spam out of your property showings and visits. If you're a buyer of new homes, your agent will whip out her sword and keep the builder's agents at bay, preventing them from biting or nipping at your heels. If you're a seller, your agent will filter all those phone calls that lead to nowhere from lookie loos and try to induce serious buyers to immediately write an offer.

Negotiation Skills & Confidentiality

Top producing agents negotiate well because, unlike most buyers and sellers, they can remove themselves from the emotional aspects of the transaction and because they are skilled. It's part of their job description. Good agents are not messengers, delivering buyer's offers to sellers and vice versa. They are professionals who are trained to present their client's case in the best light and agree to hold client information confidential from competing interests.
 
 

 

   
   
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