Needs and Wants of Luxury Home Buyers and Sellers

Yesterday, I had the pleasure of being a guest on a radio show, where a discussion was held in connection with the Needs and Wants of Luxury Home Buyers and Sellers. Being on the air was a first for me, but proved to be a wonderful experience. I was interviewed  by Raj Rajpal, who has been ranked top #1 Mortgage Originator in Staten Island (Richmond County) for the last 18 Years in a row, and  top 1% Originators in the country for the last 12 years in a row by Mortgage Originator Magazine. In short, he is an expert in his field always providing top customer service.

“Real Estate and More with Raj” – radio show. From left to right, Kristina Gershteyn, Deborah Camacho, Raj Rajpal and Victoria Rivadeneira (not pictured).

A few weeks ago Raj approached me to do a segment on his show “Real Estate and More with Raj” on the subject of luxury real estate, a topic with which I have first hand knowledge and experience. I was flattered when he said he followed my career closely and thought I’d be a perfect candidate for the show. It went well and was over in a flash, inspiring me to do a series of posts on the subject in the future, so stay tuned.

Below is the recording of the show which provides great information to anyone who is thinking of buying or selling a high-end residence.

I hope these tips and tools help you and if you have a question please leave me a comment below. Enjoy!

Listen to internet radio with Real Estate and More with Raj on Blog Talk Radio

 To find out more about this home please visit 79 Flagg Ct Staten Island NY 

To find out more about this home please visit 35 Peter Ct Staten Island NY

To find out more about this home please visit 111 Benedict Rd Staten Island NY

Staten Island 1st Quarter 2012 Real Estate Market Snapshot

Here are the latest news for our Staten Island Real Estate market from Vitale Sunshine Realtors. This report reflects total number of one family and two family homes sold on Staten Island, NY in the first quarter of 2012 compared to same period in 2011, as well as the average sales price of these properties.

Graph #1

This graph represents the median sales price for Staten Island, NY One Family Homes sold in the 1st quarter of 2012 compared to the same period in 2011.

According to Graph #1:

The average price of One Family Attached homes has slightly increased, by 0.37%, since the same time last year.

The average price of One Family Semi-Attached homes has decreased by 2.31% since the same time last year.

The average price of One Family Detached homes has decreased by 9.14% since the same time last year.

Graph #2

This graph represents the median sales price for Staten Island, NY Two Family Homes sold in the 1st quarter of 2012 compared to the same period in 2011.

According to Graph #2:

The average price of Two Family Attached homes has increased by 21.36% since the same time last year.

The average price of Two Family Semi-Attached homes has increased by 1.37% since the same time last year.

The average price of Two Family Detached homes has increased by 6.26% since the same time last year.

Graph #3

This graph represents total number of units sold of One Family Homes on Staten Island, NY in the 1st quarter of 2012 compared to the same period in 2011

According to Graph #3:

The number of units sold of One Family-Attached homes has decreased by 23 units since the same time last year.

The number of units sold of One Family Semi-Attached homes has increased by 14 units since the same time last year.

The number of units sold of One Family Detached homes has decreased by 3 units since the same time last year.

Graph #4

This graph represents total number of units sold of Two Family Homes on Staten Island, NY in the 1st quarter of 2012 compared to the same period in 2011

According to Graph #4:

The number of units sold of Two Family-Attached homes has increased by 3 units since the same time last year.

The number of units sold of Two Family Semi-Attached homes has decreased by 15 units since the same time last year.

The number of units sold of Two Family Detached homes has decreased by 10 units since the same time last year.

The graphs above represent the most up to date information on home sales in Staten Island, NY  for the 1st Quarter of 2012.

Kristina Gershteyn is a licensed real estate professional at Vitale Sunshine Realtors. Curious what your Staten Island home or condo is worth? For questions or more information, call me today!  (917)363-1508. 

 

“I Don’t Want To Give My House Away”

“I don’t want to give my house away.”

Have you ever heard this phrase? Or maybe even used it? As a real estate agent working in Staten Island, NY, I hear this phrase more often than one can imagine, especially in recent years. One reason this phrase comes up at the listing presentations, is mainly because we live in a real estate market that has gone soft. Soft market conditions affect the incoming offers, leaving sellers scared and confused. I will clarify some of these confusions. To begin answer this question:

What establishes the fair market value of your home? 

A) Zillow, Trulia, Etc. estimates

B) What you paid for the property

C) What your friend heard their friend paid for a house last year on Whatchamacallit St

D)  TheCMA(comparative market analysis) report performed by your real estate agent

E) What a buyer is willing to pay for your home

F) The bank appraisal

G) What you think your house is worth

(Leave your answers in the comments below, let’s discuss…)

The most accurate answer is E.

Long explanation:

The definition of the term fair market value  is as follows – “Fair market value (FMV) is an estimate of the market value of a property, based on what a knowledgeable, willing, and unpressured buyer would probably pay to a knowledgeable, willing, and unpressured seller in the market. An estimate of fair market value may be founded either on precedent or extrapolation. Fair market value differs from the intrinsic value that an individual may place on the same asset based on their own preferences and circumstances”.

Short explanation:

Fair Market Value is the price that  a buyer is willing to pay for your home.

F is a practical answer. The appraisal is going to play an important role in establishing the fair market value based on sold comparables, however, the appraisal only gives you an estimate and never establishes the value 100%. If you are not able to call in an appraisal before putting the house on the market, always ask you real estate agent to perform a CMA. Look to your real estate agent to educate you on the conditions of the local market.

Factors such as location, features and condition of the house will directly affect the attainment of the highest and best price for the property. Furthermore, your own circumstances such as the reasons why you’re moving in the first place, will influence your decision making process.

All things considered, ask yourself again – are you really giving your house away? Or are you simply getting the best possible offer under the current market conditions?

P/S Remember: You will only sell your house if you are willing to accept the offer. Keyword is willing. In the end the choice to sell or not to sell is always yours.

Warren Buffet on Real Estate: Buy!

Real Estate in Staten Island

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Suppose you were looking to buy a house in Staten Island and were, say, indecisive. Given the chance, who would you ask for real estate investment advice: your mother or Warren Buffet?

If you picked your mother, well I’m sure she’s a very sweet lady, but I have a feeling she might not be a successful billionaire investor, like the gentleman mentioned above. Although, of course, I don’t want to be making any assumptions about your mom. In any case, the choice is yours.

But, if you said Warren Buffet – you’re in luck! He has voiced his opinion and thus sent news channels around the country into a frenzy.

Earlier this week, Warren Buffet sat down with CNBC’s Squawk Box for his annual “Ask Warren” three-hour talk. Below are some highlights from the interview:

On Single-Family Homes

” I would say the single-family homes are cheap now, too. If I had a way of buying a couple hundred thousand single-family homes and had a way of managing— I would load up on them and I would— I would take mortgages out at very, very low rates.

On Interest Rates

” It’s a way, in effect, to short the dollar because you can— you can take a 30-year mortgage and if it turns out your interest rate’s too high, next week you refinance lower. And if it turns out it’s too low, the other guy’s stuck with it for 30 years. So it’s a very attractive asset class now.

On Investment in Stocks vs Real Estate

If I knew where I was going to want to live the next five or 10 years I would— I would buy a home and I’d finance it with a 30-year mortgage, and it’s a terrific deal.

On Buying Multiple Homes

And if I— literally, if I was an investor that was a handy type, which I’m not, and I could buy a couple of them at distressed prices and find renters, I think that’s— and again take a 30-year mortgage, it’s a leveraged way of owning a very cheap asset now and I think that’s probably as an attractive an investment as you can make now.”

And if that wasn’t enough, the very next day Donald Trump went on record to say that “the best thing you can own is real estate.”

Watch the full length interview below

Now, I don’t know about you but when Warren Buffet and Donald Trump say “buy!” I listen. Over the last couple of weeks, housing economists have been coming to the same conclusion: real estate recovery is on the horizon.

Realtors Decline in Numbers

LuMaxArt FS Collection Orange0101

LuMaxArt FS Collection Orange0101

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As the housing market continues to struggle, the number of members of the National Association of Realtors dips below 1 million. The highly inter-dependent relationship between the number of actively practicing Realtors and the economy is what guides the changes that can be seen in this profession. As you are well aware, the real estate market, in Staten Island, as well as nationally, has been declining for the past few years and experts are predicting a long road ahead to recovery.  Due to these reasons, many Realtors have left the industry or found a second job as a source of extra income. Now, as never before, the Darwin’s theory of  the survival of the fittest applies.

So what does that mean for you as a seller or a buyer? Brace yourself – this is good news!  Before the market crash, many have rushed to take the real estate license exam for the lure of easy money. Now the game has changed. In a tough real estate market it is harder to practice real estate and it takes a trained and experienced professional to close the deal. The hours are longer, transactions are more difficult, negotiation skills have to be sharp and the local market knowledge is key to a successful and mutually agreeable closing of a transaction. Implementing technology in the real estate industry is not simply an option, it’s a necessity, and meeting challenges through innovation is what gets things done.

A little tip: When selecting a real estate representative make sure they are an active professional and not a part time amateur. A true professional is someone who’s available and is willing to put in the effort.