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Murphy Realty Group's Blog

By Murphy Realty Group | Broker in 12401
  • Mortgage Payments Fall To All-Time Lows

    Posted Under: Market Conditions in Ulster County, Home Buying in Ulster County, Financing in Ulster County  |  June 19, 2012 12:00 PM  |  184 views  |  No comments

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    Mortgage payments

    It's a money-saving time to be a Woodstock home buyer. Historically, mortgage rates of all types -- conventional, FHA, VA and USDA -- have never been lower and low mortgage rates make for low monthly payments. 

    According to Freddie Mac's weekly mortgage rate survey, the average 30-year fixed rate mortgage fell to 3.67% nationwide last week for borrowers willing to pay 0.7 discount points at closing, plus a full set of closing costs. 0.7 discount points is a one-time closing cost equal to 0.7 percent of your loan size, or $700 per $100,000 borrowed.

    Today's mortgage rates are a bargain as compared to just 1 year ago.

    In early-June 2011, the average 30-year fixed rate mortgage nationwide was higher by 88 basis points, or 0.88%. If you are among the many U.S. homeowners who bought or refinanced a home around that time, refinancing to today's mortgage rates could save you 10% or more on your payment.  

    Home buyers have measurably more buying power, too.

    Here is how mortgage payments on a typical 30-year fixed rate mortgage have changed in 12 months :

    • June 2011 : $509.66 principal + interest per $100,000 borrowed
    • June 2012 : $458.59 principal + interest per $100,000 borrowed

    Setting the math to a real-life example, a homeowner whose $350,000, 30-year fixed rate mortgage dates to last June would recognize monthly savings of at least $179 per month just by refinancing into a new 30-year fixed rate mortgage at today's current levels. That's more than $2,145 in payment savings per year.

    Even after accounting for the required loan discount points and closing costs, the "break-even point" on a refinance like that can come quickly.

    Mortgage rates have been dropping but there's no promise they'll fall forever. Once rates reverse higher, they're expected to rise sharply. Therefore, if you're planning to buy a home or refinance one in New York , consider locking in a mortgage rate while mortgage rates are low.

    The market looks good for that today.

    Whether looking for a new home, a second home, weekender, country retreat..... start your search for Ulster County Real Estate here!

    Ulster County Real Estate: Catskills Real Estate, Hudson Valley Real Estate, Upstate NY Real Estate, Ulster County Homes For Sale, Ulster County Log Homes For Sale

  • Simple Real Estate Definitions : Home Inspection

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Ulster County, Home Selling in Ulster County, Property Q&A in Ulster County  |  June 19, 2012 11:42 AM  |  162 views  |  No comments

    Get a home inspectionWhen you preview homes as a home buyer, you can get a good feel for the home's visible traits -- its finishes, its room counts, and its landscaping, for example. What you can't get a feel for, though, is the home's "bones".

    It's for this reason that real estate professionals recommend that you have a property formally inspected immediately after going into contract for it.

    A home inspection is a thorough, top-to-bottom check-up of a property's structure and systems. It is not the same as a home appraisal, which is a valuation of the property. By contrast, home inspections are an objective report on a home's physical condition.

    Home inspections are performed by home inspectors who will typically do the following :

    • Check heating and cooling systems for leaks and efficiency
    • Check electrical systems for safety and soundness of design
    • Check plumbing systems for venting, distribution, and drainage

    In addition, a home inspector will review a home's roofing system; its doors, windows and garages; plus, any attic spaces and basements, where appropriate.

    A home inspection may also uncover out-of-code electrical work that municipalities required to be fixed by law.

    Meanwhile, it's not just home buyers who can order inspections. Sellers can order them, too.

    One recommended tactic is for a home seller to have the home inspected prior to listing for sale so that all required repairs can be made in advance of showing the home. This can speed up and simplify the sales process, and may help your home sell at a higher price. Buyers often prefer homes in "move-in" ready condition.

    A thorough home inspection can take up to 6 hours to complete, depending on the size of the home.

    Ulster County Real Estate: Catskills Real Estate, Hudson Valley Real Estate, Upstate NY Real Estate, Ulster County Homes For Sale, Ulster County Log Homes For Sale, Ulster County NY Real Estate

  • How To Keep Your Home House Fly Free

    Posted Under: Home Selling in Ulster County, How To... in Ulster County, Home Ownership in Ulster County  |  June 19, 2012 10:50 AM  |  173 views  |  No comments

    Keep your home house-fly freeAs the calendar turns and the temperatures start to rise in Ulster County and nationwide, we begin to spot more bugs, insects and pests as compared to during the winter.

    Hiring an exterminator is one way to limit the number of ground-based bugs in your home. For example, periodic treatments can help to keep ants, beetles and termites at bay.

    For airborne pests, however, prevention can be more difficult.

    House flies can be especially nagging. They often enter through open doors and windows, then buzz through kitchen and bedrooms, spreading germs and general annoyance.

    If your home is battling house flies, the good news is that there are a number of chemical-free, environmentally-friendly ways to reduce or eliminate house flies; solutions that are safe for homes with children and pets.

    First, make sure your screen doors and screened-in windows are all in working order. Tears, rips and holes should be repaired or replaced. This is often a house fly's easiest point of entry into your home.

    Next, remember that house flies are attracted to surfaces with sugar or protein. Therefore, it's important to keep kitchen surfaces and non-carpeted floors clean because these are probable "hot spots" for a house fly. Clean once or multiple times per day, and try to use products containing orange, clove or lemon oil. These oils often repel flies.

    Then, examine all trash cans. Lids should remain tightly closed and garbage bags should be changed frequently. Garbage is a breeding ground for house flies and, because flies can hatch from eggs in a matter of hours, the sooner your garbage is sealed and moved to a garage or outdoor dumpster, the better.

    Lastly, consider placing 2-3 dozen cloves into an apple and leaving it in a room in which flies are bothersome. The smell of the cloves repels flies and, although it won't prevent flies from returning, the method is helpful for temporary fly relief.

    Ulster County Real Estate | Ulster County Homes For Sale | Ulster County Townhouses For Sale | Ulster County Condos | Ulster County Commercial Real Estate | Ulster County Land | Ulster County Luxury Homes | Ulster County MLS | Ulster County Real Estate Blog
  • Existing Home Sales Climb 3.4 Percent In April

    Posted Under: Market Conditions in Ulster County, Home Buying in Ulster County, Home Selling in Ulster County  |  May 25, 2012 12:11 PM  |  190 views  |  No comments

    Existing Home Supply

    Low mortgage rates are helping to make homes more affordable. It appears home buyers have taken notice.

    According to the National Association of REALTORS®, Existing Home Sales rose 3.4% in April from the month prior, registering 4.62 million homes sold on a seasonally-adjusted, annualized basis.

    An "existing home" is a home that's been previously occupied. April's sales volume represents a 10 percent jump from April of last year.

    For buyers and sellers in New Paltz , the April Existing Home Sales report supports the notion that the housing market may be improving; that the "bottom" occurred sometime in late-2011. Home values have been rising in many U.S. markets and home builders now report the highest levels of foot traffic through models since 2007.

    Demand for U.S. housing is growing.

    It also helps that home affordability is at an all-time high. Not in recorded history have this many homes for sale been affordable to buyers earning a moderate household income, on a percentage basis. Additionally, there is now a larger stock of homes from which buyers can choose.  

    In April, the number of homes for sale nationwide jumped 9.5 percent to 2.54 million -- the largest home resale inventory of the year.

    At the current pace of sales, it would take 6.6 months for the complete home inventory to sell. Analysts consider a 6.0-month supply to be a market in balance. Anything less than a 6-month supply suggests a "buyer's market".

    Home values peaked nationwide in April 2007. Since then, it's been an uneven recovery. Some markets came back quickly, while others did not. On a neighborhood-by-neighborhood basis, even, there's signifcant variance in how home values have fared.

    In other words, although the April Existing Home Sales report indicates housing strength nationally, it's the local data that matters most to today's buyers and sellers. To get real-time real estate data for a particular street or area, talk with a local real estate agent.

    Ulster County Real Estate: Catskills Real Estate, Hudson Valley Real Estate, Upstate NY Real Estate, New York Real Estate, Ulster County Homes For Sale

  • Small Repairs That Can Raise Your Sales Price

    Posted Under: Home Selling in Ulster County, Remodel & Renovate in Ulster County, How To... in Ulster County  |  May 18, 2012 8:01 AM  |  189 views  |  No comments

    Ulster County Homes For Sale

    If you're actively preparing to list your home for sale, resist the temptation to make major home improvements. Nationwide, home improvement projects recoup just 58 cents on the dollar, says Remodeling Magazine.

    Rather, for a better return on your time and money, focus on the minor projects instead. It's the smaller projects in Woodstock that tend to have a bigger, long-term payoff.

    So, how do you determine which projects are the "smaller ones"? It's obvious when you think like a buyer.

    Consider : Home buyers don't always notice when your home is in working order. In fact, they expect it to be that way. What they do notice, however, is when things are "broken". When a buyer sees torn screens in your windows or burnt out light bulbs, it makes him wonder what else in the home has not been cared for.

    This is one reason why -- especially during warmer months -- it's sensible to hire an exterminator prior to selling your home. If a prospective buyer uncovers bugs in your bathroom, it can leave a lasting, negative impression -- one that won't likely lead to a purchase contrast.

    So, with "small repairs" in mind, here are 5 simple projects that you can tackle in a weekend, and that will help your home show better. Each is low-cost and high-impact:

    1. Repair or remove torn screen doors
    2. Fix all leaky faucets and toilets
    3. Touch up holes and cracks in paint, interior and exterior
    4. Apply a lubricant to squeaky doors and cabinets
    5. Get "clutter" into storage and physically out of the way

    In addition, you'll want to pull weeds from your yard, seed any bare spots you find, and lay down fresh mulch, where appropriate.

    You won't need to spend big bucks to get your home ready for sale but the time spent on repairs will have a pay-off in the end. Homes that show better often sell much faster, and at higher prices.

    For more tips and information, visit our Ulster County Real Estate website

  • Home Values Start The Year Strong

    Posted Under: Market Conditions in Ulster County, Home Buying in Ulster County, Home Selling in Ulster County  |  May 3, 2012 11:41 AM  |  211 views  |  No comments

    HPI 2007-2012

    Home prices started the year on an upswing. 

    According to the Federal Home Finance Agency's Home Price Index, home prices rose by a seasonally-adjusted 0.3 percent between January and February 2012. The index is up 0.4% over the past year, offering a counter-story to the Case-Shiller Index's assertion that home values are sinking.

    Last week, Standard & Poor's Case-Shiller Index said home values had dropped more than 3 percent in the prior 12 months. 

    As a home buyer or seller in New Paltz , data showing "rising home values" or "falling home values" may be of interest to you, but we can't forget that most home valuation trackers -- including both the government's Home Price Index and the private sector Case-Shiller Index -- have a severe, built-in flaw.

    Both used "aged" data. Today, the calendar reads May. Yet, we're still discussing February's housing data.

    Data that is two-plus months old is of little value to everyday buyers and sellers wanting to know the "right now" of housing. And, even then, characterizing the data as "two-plus months old" may be a stretch. This is because the home values used in the Home Price index and the Case-Shiller Index are collected from actual transactions, but at the time of closing.

    Considering that most purchases require 45-60 days to close, we can know that when we look at the Home Price Index and Case-Shiller Index reports for February, what we're really seeing is a snapshot of the housing market as it existed two-plus month plus 60 days ago.

    Data that's 5 months old is of little relevance to today's buyers and sellers. Today's market is driven by today's economics.

    The Home Price Index is a useful gauge for economists and law-makers. It highlights long-term trends in housing which can be helpful in allocating resources to a particular project or policy. For home buyers and seller throughout New York , though, it's much less useful. Real-time data is what matters to you.

    For that, talk to a real estate professional at Murphy Realty Group. For more information, visit our website and browse through all the available Ulster County Homes For Sale

  • ULSTER COUNTY TOWNHOUSES FOR SALE

    Posted Under: General Area in Ulster County, Home Buying in Ulster County, In My Neighborhood in Ulster County  |  March 30, 2012 9:37 AM  |  271 views  |  No comments

    Ulster County TownhouseAdmired for its natural beauty and noted for its historic roots, Ulster County has been alluring tourists and visitors from the New York City metropolitan areas for centuries.  The tranquil Catskill Mountains, the scenic Hudson River and the many farmlands of the valley, have attracted many people seeking rest and relaxation.  Not only occasional visitors but there are many second homeowners who travel the New York State Thruway each Friday afternoon to arrive at their “country place” and “detox” from the hustle and bustle of their weekday lives in the city.  But, in addition to the tourists and second homeowners, the Ulster County area appeals to many full time residents who make it their home on a day to day basis.  It’s hard to imagine while driving around the picturesque country sides that people are fortunate enough to live here everyday. [Read more...]

    Ulster County Real Estate: Catskills Real Estate, Hudson Valley Real Estate, Upstate NY Real Estate, New York Real Estate, Ulster County Homes For Sale

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