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Rockland County : Real Estate Advice

  • All36
  • Local Info3
  • Home Buying14
  • Home Selling1
  • Market Conditions2

Activity 454
Tue Nov 7, 2017
Kathleen "Kat" Palmiotti answered:

You no longer have to have 20% for a downpayment. In fact, many mortgages now require only 3%, 3.5% or 5%, and some mortgages (VA, USDA) don't require any down payment for the mortgage company. For those mortgages, you would still need an earnest deposit to be provided when you sign the contract, so the seller knows you have "skin in the game" but you don't need a downpayment for the mortgage company.

It is rare that I have a buyer in Orange County now that has 20% saved for a downpayment.

Also, please keep in mind that closing costs could be relatively significant as well, so when saving, you'd need the actual down payment and closing costs.

I hope that helped.


Kat Palmiotti, Licensed Associate Broker, 914-419-0270,
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Tue Oct 31, 2017
Roebadamo asked:
Mon Oct 30, 2017
Roebadamo asked:
The house is located in Congers, NY. It's not a foreclosure as the house is worth more than is currently owed. Myself and the co-owner cannot agree on a private sale, hence the public…
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Thu Sep 28, 2017
Mary C answered:

Please follow the instructions below on how to find a Section 8 rental listings.

1. Click the Rent tab on our homepage
2. Enter your desired area in the search bar and hit Enter
3. Click More, enter the keyword 'Section 8', and click Add.

Thank you for using Trulia!

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Fri Sep 15, 2017
Kathy Burgreen answered:
No. You will need to post your home for sale on Zillow first. Zillow and Trulia are the same company (Zillow Group). Your listing will sync to Trulia within 24 - 36 hours. You will need to log in to Zillow, claim your address, then follow the instructions to list your home for sale.

BEWARE: Realtors who pay monthly advertising fees to Zillow and Trulia will have their pictures posted on your listing. Their monthly fees allow them to appear on For Sale By Owner listings. If you are not listed in the MLS system ( - Hudson Gateway of Realtors), both Zillow and Trulia have a default agent that buyers can submit a Contact form to. When realtors get a lead from your buyers, they will tell these buyers that your home is NOT for sale - simply because it's not listed in the MLS system. I'm a recently retired realtor and this was how we were trained. Briefly, it means why should a realtor help out your buyer when we are trying to make a living. If the buyer contacts us, we have every right to show "your" buyer listings in the MLS and tell "your" buyer that since your home is not listed in the MLS, it's not for sale.

One option you do have - you can Google "Flat fee brokers" for Rockland County. A flat fee broker allows you to post your listing in the MLS system for a small fee and you are required to pay a buyers broker a commission (about 3%). The benefit to you is you save the other 3% by not listing with a full service broker. You will be in charge for everything - marketing, negotiations, contract, deadlines, disclosures, etc. You're still selling by owner. The other benefit to you is once your home is listed in the MLS -, ALL realtors will mention your home to buyers.
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Sat Jul 15, 2017
Aaron Davis asked:
I am buying a property from a private seller in New York State and using an FHA loan. Its the normal FHA 203b type, NOT an FHA 203k. The appraiser came in and required a bunch of repairs…
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Mon Jul 3, 2017
Faith answered:

Pending means an offer has been made on the home and it is in the process of closing.

Thank you for using Trulia!

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Wed Jun 28, 2017
Kathy Burgreen answered:
In theory, yes you can have a home inspection before an offer is made BUT you will need to do it secretly and you will be wasting your money. The issues / challenges are as follows:

1. When your agent schedules you for a private showing, you can ask to have a 1 - 2 hour private showing instead of the typical 30 min. - 1 hour. Your agent may not agree to this and the listing agent may get suspicious and wonder why you need a longer showing. During this 2 hour showing is when your contractor can do a home inspection. Beware - there are some things your contractor will not have access to for inspection.

2. Since you will pay for the home inspection and you have no contract, suppose you don't want the house? You just wasted money on an inspection. You will need to pay for another inspection for a different house and on and on. You will save money and it makes more sense to WAIT until you have a signed contract from the seller - then have a home inspection done.

3. ALL purchase contracts to buy a home give the buyers a specific time period (this is negotiable) to have the buyer complete all contingencies - including a home inspection. When you submit an offer, your offer will include contingencies. Examples: home inspection, appraisal, financing, etc. You can have as many contingencies as you wish. Contingencies mean you will NOT buy the home if any of the contingencies do not meet your satisfaction. Therefore, if a home inspection reveals the house needs repairs, you have the right to walk away and cancel the contract. You will also get your earnest money back.

4. The best thing to do is when you submit an offer on a home, you will include the following contingencies: home inspection, roof inspection, appraisal, financing. You will also include 3 weeks (21 days) to complete all contingencies. During the winter season, I would allow 4 weeks but there is no snow now, so 3 weeks should be plenty of time. Worst case scenario is the seller may either reject your offer or counter. At that point, you will need to make a decision as to what is important to you.
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Wed Jun 21, 2017
Diane Hettrick asked:
What does it take for you to not send me listings that do not allow pets? I have cats. I have that on my profile yet you send me all these listings that do not allow cats. Why? Let me…
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Thu Jun 15, 2017
Steve asked:
I realize that the selling price will reflect the roof condition but I can't decide if I stand to recoup an investment of $15,000 in a roof repair.
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Mon Jun 5, 2017
Mje5150 asked:
Why? It was incredibly useful. The zoom in and out on search area is not sufficient because it is impossible to exclude areas I don't want while including areas I do want.
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Mon Jun 5, 2017
Good morning Danielle!

There are two mortgage loan programs with low down payments currently. The FHA program allows for a down payment of only 3.5% AND you can request the Seller include most of your closing costs in the purchase price, thus reducing your out-of-pocket expenses.

There is also a FannieMae loan program with 3% down payment required.

Your best bet is to get Prequalified by a very experienced mortgage professional.

I hope that helps!
Trevor Curran
NMLS #40140
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Mon May 29, 2017
Kathy Burgreen answered:
You need to go to the tax assessor's office / website for the county the home is located in. Usually the exact address will be sufficient. If you are in NYC, this does not work for co-op and condo buildings. ... more
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Mon May 15, 2017
Hurstmarc answered:
i have lived in Haverstraw for 12 years. crime levels are not an issue; there have been practically no robberies or vandalism in my condominium complex during this entire period. the downtown is very ethnic and very friendly; there is no threatening elements. excellent variety of latin type restaurants and businesses. do not think twice about this neighborhood it is a good place to live.. ... more
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Sat May 13, 2017
Almu asked:
I'm buying a condo with the idea of renting it out and buying a better home in a 2 years. What's the best strategy? less debt or more cash for downpay
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Mon May 8, 2017
Kathy Burgreen answered:
Sorry to reply so late. You will need to make some decisions because you have several challenges. So my advice is as follows:

1. If you live in NJ and work in NY, verify the income tax because you will be subject to income taxes for both states.

2. Commute to work - Working near Grand Central is the easy part because you can use public transportation (commuter rail) and be at work within 30 min. Your spouse who works in Purchase will have the stressful commute from NJ because of traffic on the bridges and highways. There is no direct public transportation from NJ to Purchase. All public transit from NJ goes to Manhattan and you need to switch to the MetroNorth to Purchase. Therefore your spouse is looking at driving 5 days/week. Time frame - from NJ to Purchase: anywhere from 45 min. to 2 hours with the average 1.5 hrs. The easy way would be taking the Garden State Parkway, Palisades Parkway, etc. to 287 in Rockland County, NY, then taking the Tappan Zee bridge to Westchester and taking 684 to Purchase. This method will reduce traffic congestion and get you to work faster. It may be a bit out of the way driving BUT you will get to work faster on most days. The other way taking the George Washington Bridge to either the Henry Hudson Parkway or Major Deegan (87) to Cross Westchester Expressway (287) will take much longer because you will be sitting in traffic in NJ before the George Washington Bridge and on the bridge itself. I hear the traffic reports every morning and they always announce anywhere from a 30 min. to 1 hour delay at the George Washington Bridge. And this is between 7:00 - 10:00AM.

3. I'm a former realtor and life long NYC area resident. If I were you, it would make your lives SO MUCH easier if you lived in Westchester County. You will save money on income taxes (you don't have to pay NJ income taxes), gas, bridge tolls (George Washington Bridge is $15.00/round trip), Tappan Zee Bridge is $8.00/round trip, car repairs - plenty of potholes driving from NJ - Purchase, you can sleep later, etc.

Places to live in Westchester for under $700K? - White Plains, New Rochelle, Mamaroneck, Dobbs Ferry, Tarrytown, north Yonkers, Cortlandt, Somers, Yorktown, Mount Kisco, Valhalla, etc.
I know property taxes are expensive BUT they do pay for our excellent public schools. Since you have a child, you will want your child to attend a top rated school and Westchester has plenty of top rated schools.
Your worst case scenario? At $700K, you may have to compromise on not affording a house in a wealthy area with one of the top rated schools. So you go 1 step down. The schools are still good but the housing is a bit cheaper. OR you could buy a condo instead of a house and have your child attend that top rated school in the wealthy area.
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Wed Apr 19, 2017
Kathy Burgreen answered:
What professionals are you referring to? If you're looking for a lender or agent, you can click on Mortgage or Find an Agent at the top of the page. If you're looking for contractors, I use Angie's List or Home Advisor. ... more
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