Archived News

Fresh Tips for the Spring Real Estate Market

Cortland County Board of Realtors®- The Voice of Real Estate

 

Fresh Tips for the Spring Real Estate Market

May 2017

Seventy-five percent of Americans believe that now is a good time to buy a house, according to a recent report from the National Association of Realtors®. That’s great news for anyone hoping to sell their home this spring.

“Seasonal patterns can differ somewhat depending on climate and where you are in the country, but generally speaking, spring is the busiest season for home buying and selling,” said Jamie Yaman, Cortland County Board of Realtors® President.  “The weather is pleasant, days are longer and curb appeal is at its peak, making it an ideal home shopping season.”

However, one disadvantage for sellers in some markets is housing inventory: it tends to skyrocket in the spring. So how can you make your home stand out amongst all the others? Here are some tips from The Cortland County Board of Realtors® to help you sell your home for the best price this season:

Clean, clean and clean some more. It may be cliché, but make sure that your home is ‘spring clean’ throughout the entire selling process. “When potential home buyers walk inside, they should see a well-organized, sparklingly clean house,” said Yaman. “If you can do nothing else, keep floors and windows scrubbed clean, take out trash and recycling frequently, and keep any clutter stored and out of the way.”

Bring fresh flowers indoors. Springtime brings fresh flowers which, when brought inside, can be used as low-cost decor and fragrance.  “Many people prefer natural to artificial scents, making this a perfect staging technique for open houses,” said Yaman. “Just be aware that some buyers may have allergies, so avoid flowers with high pollen counts like daisies, chrysanthemums or sunflowers.”

Improve your curb appeal. How your home looks when buyers walk up to it can be just as important as how it looks when they walk into it. “It is important to make sure that your home’s exterior is kept clean and well maintained throughout the season,” said Yaman. “At the very least, keep the grass trimmed by mowing regularly, make sure your shrubs and flower beds are well-tended and scrub or paint over any stains or chipped paint on your home’s exterior.

Let the light in. Take advantage of the longer, warmer days by opening up your windows and brightening up your home. “Keep your blinds open and your curtains pulled back to let in as much natural light as possible,” said Yaman. “If a room doesn’t receive much sunlight, a well-placed mirror can help capture and reflect light from other rooms to brighten a space.” 

By following a few tips and making a couple of simple improvements, you can make your home more appealing to buyers and hopefully help sell it quickly this spring.

If you are interested in selling or buying a home this spring, visit our website: www.cortlandmls.com for Realtors® in our local area and to view new listings.

Open House Weekend

Submitted by: Cortland County Board of REALTORS®

 

REALTOR® Nationwide Open House Weekend Offers Buyers a Snapshot of Local Housing Market

April 2017

 

With signs of the housing market recovering and favorable affordability conditions, this year’s spring buying season has the potential to be a busy one. Buyers in the Cortland area will have the opportunity to jump start the buying season on April 29th and 30th as Realtors® hold open houses all weekend long as part of the Realtor® Nationwide Open House Weekend.   

During that weekend Realtors® across the country will hold thousands of open houses from coast to coast, bringing attention to the many benefits of homeownership, as well as providing an opportunity for them to connect with consumers in the local community about housing issues that matter most to them. Realtors® will also be available to answer questions and provide insight on the local housing market and the home buying process.

“Forty-five percent of recent buyers used open houses as a way to find their dream home,” said Jamie Yaman, 2017 CCBR President, “Realtor® Nationwide Open House is a great chance for buyers to do just that, as well as get an idea of what they can afford in the local market. It’s also a good time for sellers to market their home and attract potential buyers.”

Open houses have traditionally been a helpful tool for buyers, however the National Association of Realtors®2012 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers shows that some buyers prefer them more than others. For instance, repeat buyers are more likely to use open houses than first-time buyers, as are buyers who were not born in the U.S. or whose primary language is not English. NAR also reports that older buyers rely more on open houses than younger buyers, and buyers with higher incomes are more likely to visit open houses.

“Realtors® visit hundreds of homes with buyers each year, and have a unique understanding of what buyers want and can get for the price in our local market,” said Yaman, “Realtors® understand that home is where we make memories, build our futures and feel comfortable and secure. It’s an investment in your future and we are here to help you achieve those dreams.”

The Cortland County Board of Realtors® says open houses can also give buyers a clear idea of what features are important to them in a home. According to NAR data the typical recently-purchased home was 1,860 square feet and was built in 1996. The typical buyer purchased a home with three bedrooms and two full bathrooms, while slightly half of the homes purchased were on a single level. When it comes to home features, buyers prefer central air conditioning the most, while walk-in closets were second. The two most common rooms buyers were willing to spend more for were a laundry room and a den/home office. 

“Buyers who are willing and able to take on the responsibilities of homeownership can begin their home search process by attending Realtor® Nationwide Open House Weekend and learn more about homeownership and local housing issues,” said Yaman.

Go to www.cortlandmls.com for more details and be sure to check out the Real Estate Guide in the Cortland Standard for the list of Open Houses.   

APRIL- Fair Housing Month

Submitted by: The Cortland County Board of Realtors®- The Voice of Real Estate

April is Fair Housing Month

April 2017 marks the 49th anniversary of the 1968 landmark Fair Housing Act. Each year REALTORS® recognize the significance of this event and reconfirm our commitment to upholding fair housing law as well as our commitment to offering equal professional service to all in their search for real property.

What Everyone Should Know About Equal Opportunity Housing

The sale and purchase of a home is one of the most significant events that any person will experience in his or her lifetime. It is more than the simple purchase of housing, for it includes the hopes, dreams, aspirations, and economic destiny of those involved.

The Law

Civil Rights Act of 1866: The Civil Rights Act of 1866 prohibits all racial discrimination in the sale or rental of property.

Fair Housing Act: The Fair Housing Act declares a national policy of fair housing throughout the United States. The law makes illegal any discrimination in the sale, lease or rental of housing, or making housing otherwise unavailable, because of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin.

Americans with Disabilities Act: Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act prohibits discrimination against persons with disabilities in places of public accommodations and commercial facilities.

Equal Credit Opportunity Act: The Equal Credit Opportunity Act makes discrimination unlawful with respect to any aspect of a credit application on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, marital status, age or because all or part of the applicant's income derives from any public assistance program.

State and Local Laws: State and local laws often provide broader coverage and prohibit discrimination based on additional classes not covered by federal law.

Responsibilities

The home seller, the home seeker, and the real estate professional all have rights and responsibilities under the law.

For the Home Seller: As a home seller or landlord you have a responsibility and a requirement under the law not to discriminate in the sale, rental and financing of property on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin. You cannot instruct the licensed broker or salesperson acting as your agent to convey for you any limitations in the sale or rental because the real estate professional is also bound by law not to discriminate. Under the law, a home seller or landlord cannot establish discriminatory terms or conditions in the purchase or rental; deny that housing is available, or advertise that the property is available only to persons of a certain race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin.

For the Home Seeker: You have the right to expect that housing will be available to you without discrimination or other limitations based on race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin

This includes the right to expect:

  • Housing in your price range made available to you without discrimination
  • Equal professional service
  • Ehe opportunity to consider a broad range of housing choices
  • No discriminatory limitations on communities or locations of housing
  • No discrimination in the financing, appraising, or insuring of housing
  • Reasonable accommodations in rules, practices and procedures for persons with disabilities
  • Non-discriminatory terms and conditions for the sale, rental, financing, or insuring of a dwelling
  • To be free from harassment or intimidation for exercising your fair housing rights.

For the Real Estate Professional: Agents in a real estate transaction are prohibited by law from discriminating on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin. A request from the home seller or landlord to act in a discriminatory manner in the sale, lease or rental cannot legally be fulfilled by the real estate professional.

The REALTOR® Fair Housing Program

The NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® has developed a Fair Housing Program to provide resources and guidance to REALTORS® in ensuring equal professional services for all people. The term REALTOR® identifies a licensed professional in real estate who is a member of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®. Not all licensed real estate brokers and salespersons are members of the National Association, and only those who are may identify themselves as REALTORS®. They conduct their business and activities in accordance with a strict Code of Ethics.

The Code of Ethics: Article 10 of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® Code of Ethics provides that, "REALTORS® shall not deny equal professional services to any person for reasons of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, national origin, sexual orientation, or gender identity. REALTORS® shall not be parties to any plan or agreement to discriminate against a person or persons on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, national origin, sexual orientation, or gender identity. REALTORS®, in their real estate employment practices, shall not discriminate against any person or persons on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, national origin, sexual orientation, or gender identity."

A REALTOR® pledges to conduct business in keeping with the spirit and letter of the Code of Ethics. Article 10 imposes obligations upon REALTORS® and is also a firm statement of support for equal opportunity in housing.

If You Suspect Discrimination

Call the Local Board of REALTORS®: Local Boards of REALTORS® will accept complaints alleging violations of the Code of Ethics filed by a home seeker who alleges discriminatory treatment in the availability, purchase or rental of housing. Local Boards of REALTORS® have a responsibility to enforce the Code of Ethics through professional standards procedures and corrective action in cases where a violation of the Code of Ethics is proven to have occurred.

Call the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development: Complaints alleging discrimination in housing may be filed with the nearest office of the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) or by by contacting them at  http://www.hud.gov.

 

For more information, visit our website at www.cortlandmls.com or check out this link to the National Association of Realtors® http://www.realtor.org/programs/fair-housing-program/what-everyone-should-know-about-equal-opportunity-housing

The Myth of the Mortgage Down Payment

Cortland County Board of Realtors®- The Voice of Real Estate

The Myth of the Mortgage Down Payment

February 2017

Did you know that the median down payment for first-time buyers has been 6 percent for three straight years?

If you answered no to this question, you are likely not alone. According to the National Association of Realtors® Aspiring Home Buyer Profile, 87 percent of non-homeowners indicated that a mortgage down payment of 10 percent or more is necessary.

The Aspiring Home Buyer Profile also finds that eight out of 10 non-owners indicated that owning a home is part of their American Dream. Yet, the confusion about down payment requirements is keeping aspiring home buyers from breaking in to the real estate market.

“Being unable to afford to buy was the number one reason non-owners cite as to why they don’t own. Unrealistic expectations about down payments have kept creditworthy borrowers with manageable levels of debt from exploring the prospects of buying a home,” said Jamie Yaman, CCBR President.

Every prospective buyer is different, but consumers should talk to lenders about their qualifications before throwing in the towel on their homeownership dreams.

“Those interested in buying their first home in 2017 should gather their financial paperwork, sit down with a lender to discuss their qualifications, and talk to family and friends for recommendations about a Realtor® who can help them get started on their home search,” said Yaman.

For those renters out there who are ready to join the majority who buy a home with less than a 20 percent down payment, follow these tips to help get you get started:

  1. Review your financial situation and personal savings to determine how much you can comfortably use for a down payment.

  2. Visit a few lenders and seek a mortgage preapproval to determine how much money you are actually qualified to borrow.

  3. Find a Realtor® and discuss your budget and needs. This will help a Realtor® hone in your search and only show you available homes in your price range. 

  4. Rely on professional help from the experts. This includes a Realtor® and your lender. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development also has a state-by-state resource guide of homeownership and home buying assistance programs in your state.

    Buying a home can sometimes be a challenging process, but with a little work and a Realtor® - a member of the National Association of Realtors®  -  at your side, 2017 may be a good time to start looking.

    To connect with a local Realtor®, see our local Market Reports and up to date listings, please visit: www.cortlandmls.com.

Tax Breaks You Can Only Claim as a Homeowner

Cortland County Board of Realtors®- The Voice of Real Estate

 

Tax Breaks You Can Only Claim as a Homeowner

March 2017

There are many benefits associated with homeownership. The American Dream offers financial gain and stability and many social benefits. A real estate agent will tell you that one of the biggest benefits associated with homeownership can be found when filing your taxes, and depending on your situation, there may be thousands of dollars coming back your way.

“Homeownership is an investment in your future,” said Jamie Yaman, CCBR President.  “It is where we make memories and feel comfortable and secure, it strengthens communities, and it offers homeowners financial security. Tax breaks are just one of many benefits of being a homeowner, and even those who have owned a home for years may be unaware of all of the opportunities for savings.”

As the deadline to file taxes approaches, the Cortland County Board of Realtors® wants to remind homeowners of the many tax benefits, savings and deductions they can take advantage of simply by owning a home.

The mortgage interest deduction. This may be the most notable and advantageous tax benefit that homeowners enjoy. The mortgage interest deduction allows homeowners to deduct the interest paid on a mortgage debt of up to $1 million on a primary residence and one additional residence. This deduction is especially helpful in the early years of a mortgage when the monthly payment goes largely toward interest.

Property taxes. It is widely known that being a homeowner means paying taxes on your property to local government, whether it is the city, county or state.

What you might not know is that these taxes are entirely deductible from your federal income tax, which is more great tax news for homeowners.

Mortgage insurance premium deduction. Homeowners with incomes of no more than $100,000 can deduct their mortgage insurance premiums if they were required to obtain insurance as a condition of receiving financing for the home. With the current obstacles that prospective homebuyers face, such as student loan debt, the deduction is a benefit that can save homeowners a great deal of money.

“If you are on the fence about buying a home, taking advantage of these tax benefits can help put your dream home within reach. By working with a Realtor® - a member of the National Association of Realtors® -  you can better understand the homebuying process and the many benefits that come with owning a home,” said Yaman.

Buying a home can sometimes be a challenging process, but with a little work and a Realtor® at your side, 2017 may be a good time to start looking.

For a local Market Report, to check out local listings or to find a local Realtor®- please visit www.cortlandmls.com

January Awards Luncheon

On January 25, 2017, the Cortland County Board of REALTORS® held their annual REALTOR® Awards Luncheon at The Sherman House on Main Street in Homer NY. The awards presented were Realtor® of the Year, President’s Award, Community Hero Award and the Community Service Award. In addition, certificates were given to our local REALTOR® members who have achieved a million dollars in sales through our MLS system and Years of Service was recognized for those who have served the Real Estate Industry within our local area.

The REALTOR® of the year award was created to recognize an outstanding active member of the Cortland County Board of Realtors®. This recipient must be a member in good standing with CCBR and meet specified accomplishments in local board activity, state association activity, national activity, community service, business accomplishments and must have Realtor® spirit. This year, the award was presented to Jason Hage.

The purpose of the President’s Award is to recognize a CCBR Realtor® who serves on committees, demonstrates strong professional ethics, has a cooperative spirit and willingness to participate in CCBR events such as education, membership meetings and community service events. This person puts forth strong effort in helping the CCBR President as needed. This year, the award was presented to Marie Ferro.

The CCBR Community Hero Award was developed to honor a non-Realtor who is making significant contributions through their time, actions, talents and dedication to the Cortland Community outside of any volunteer work done for their employer. This individual is admired for courage, outstanding achievements and noble qualities. The person nominated constantly shows, models, and demonstrates qualities of compassion and service. This year, Dianne Higgins was honored as a Cortland Community Hero.

The CCBR Community Service Award is designed to recognize a REALTOR® who has made exceptional contributions to improving the quality of life in their community. This award shows the community the positive difference REALTORS® make and inspire others to do the same. Whether this individual is coaching, sitting on the United Way board of directors or serving another term on the Cortland Regional Medical Center board of trustees, this individual stays involved in his community. This year, the award was presented for the second year in a row to Tim Alger, Associate Broker with Yaman Real Estate.

Four recipients were recognized for reaching Million Dollar Circle for 15 Years and becoming Lifetime Members of the Award: Tim Alger, Yaman Real Estate, Jason Hage, Hage Real Estate, Robert Palmer, United Country Palmer and Sean Mack, Hage Real Estate.

This past year we lost one of our founding members of our board. James Yaman, Yaman Real Estate was here when we began. Jim put in 70 Years of Service in the Real Estate Industry and was a member of our board the whole time. Jamie, Jim’s grandson was given a 70 year service award in his honor.

Congratulations to all of this year’s recipients!

 

 

Million Dollar Sales Awards:

1st time

Michael Dunn- NY Land Quest

Girard Kelly- NY Land Quest

2-4 years

Pam Cullip –Yaman Real Estate

Marie Ferro – Hage Real Estate

Kristopher Buchan- Tompkins Cortland Real Estate

Matthew Klink- NY Land Quest

Tracy Koenig- Yaman Real Estate

RJ Calale- Yaman Real Estate

Kathie Wilcox- Yaman Real Estate

Michael Gibbons- Hage Real Estate

Brian Jackson- NY Land Quest

Mindy Meyers- Heritage Realty of CNY

Mark Skodzinsky- Warren Real Estate

Linda Muirhead- Yaman Real Estate

5 years

Joanne Sweeney- Heritage Realty of CNY

Peter Martino- NY Land Quest

6-9 years

Terry Howell- Realty USA

Dana Decker- Heritage Realty of CNY

Carl Snyder- NY Land Quest

10 years

Jamie Yaman- Yaman Real Estate

Shuryl Menapace- Realty USA

11-14 years

Connic Mack- Yaman Real Estate

Corrie Oustad – Heritage Realty of CNY

15 years – Oliver Award- Life Time Members of Million Dollar Circle

Tim Alger – Yaman Real Estate

Jason Hage- Hage Real Estate

Sean Mack- Hage Real Estate

Bob Palmer – United Country Palmer Real Estae

16+ years

Nicki Wynn- Yaman Real Estate

Susan Briggs- Heritage Realty of CNY

Amy Cobb- Realty USA

Sally Kurtz- Heritage Realty of CNY

Diann Potter- Heritage Realty of CNY

Bill White – Yaman Real Estate

Jerry Hartnett- Hage Real Estate

Joan Plew- Yaman Real Estate

Years of Service (years served in the RE industry) are as follows:

 

5 Years

Matt Smith- Seven Valley Realty

10 years

Helen Ackerman- Hage Real Estate

Terry Howell- Realty USA

Cynthia Lohsen- United County Palmer

Shana Karn- Realty USA

Kathie Wilcox- Yaman Real Estate

15 years

Tim Alger- Yaman Real Estate

Jason Hage- Hage Real Estate

30 years

Jerry Hartnett- Hage Real Estate

Sandy Ludwig- Yaman Real Estate

Joan Plew- Yaman Real Estate

70 years

Jim Yaman- Yaman Real Estate

Hosting for the Holidays: Home Features for Entertaining

Hosting for the Holidays: Home Features for Entertaining

Do you dream of hosting the perfect family Thanksgiving celebration? Is it your fantasy to throw a New Year’s party that all of your friends remember? If you are currently house hunting, these are things you should let a Realtor® know.

“Realtors® work every day to help their clients find the ideal house that feels like home,” Jason Hage, CCBR President. “If to you, home is where you invite your friends and family to celebrate the holidays, then your Realtor® will help find you the perfect home in which to make those memories.”

But what exactly is the perfect home for hosting holiday parties? “You need to ask yourself ‘what kind of parties do I want to host?’ and ‘how do I plan on entertaining my guests?’” said Hage. “Once you have a vision, your Realtor® can help identify homes to help make it a reality.”

Here are a few things to consider when looking for your perfect holiday-hosting home.

Size of Parties: When you throw a party does your invitation list usually consist of three or four people or 10 or more people?  If your get-togethers tend to have guests numbering in the double digits, you will want to look for a home with larger living and dining rooms or outdoor space. Otherwise, be prepared to move some furniture around to make more space.

Open or Closed Kitchen: Do you like the idea of interacting with your guests while you prepare the party food, or do you prefer to keep the cooking behind closed doors? An open kitchen layout means your living room or dining room will flow directly into the kitchen, so you can still be a part of your party while you prep and cook.

If you tend to make a mess when you cook and would rather keep it hidden then a closed kitchen is for you.

Kitchen Island: If you enjoy making food preparation an aspect of the gathering, an island is a must-have for your dream party house. “An island is not only an excellent way to add more prep space to your kitchen,” said Hage. “It’s a place to sit and chat with your guests, decorate cookies or mix drinks.”

Dining Room: If you envision a sit-down dinner being the main draw of your holiday party then a formal dining room should be on your list of must-haves. “Consider how large a dining room and table you will need to seat your desired number of guests,” said Hage.  “It’s always a good idea to bring a measuring tape with you to a showing, that way you can know for sure the table that fits your guests will actually fit the room.” 

For additional articles, to view market reports for our local area, or to find a local Realtor®- please visit our website: www.cortlandmls.com

October is Fire Prevention Month

October is Fire Prevention Month: Here are some tips from the Cortland County Board of REALTORS® to keep your family and home safe.

Fires can strike anywhere at any time. Along with installing smoke detectors in your home, you should have a fire extinguisher in key areas such as the kitchen, bedrooms, workshop and garage. Walk your family through a fire drill so everyone knows what to do and where to go in case of fire. Make sure children know where the family will reunite if they have to leave the house in case of a fire.

The following simple precautions will help minimize the risk of a fire in your home:

  • The law requires that a property owner/landlord must provide working smoke detectors on each floor of a home. Be sure the detector is in good working condition and check the batteries regularly.
  • As of March 6, 2003 the law requires that a property owner/landlord must provide at least one working carbon monoxide detector. Be sure the detector is in good working condition and check the batteries regularly.
  • Assign a special closet for combustible materials and dangerous tools that you don’t want your children to touch. Put a good lock on the door and a heat detector inside to alert you to any fire danger.
  • Replace frayed electrical cords before they burn or cause a fire.
  • Don’t overload electrical circuits with too many appliances. If your fuses are blowing or your circuit breakers are popping, hire an electrician to look at your system.
  • Don’t run extension cords under rugs or carpets. The cords wear easily and may short out, causing a fire.
  • Nails or staples used to attach electrical cords to the walls or baseboards can damage the cords and cause fire or shock hazards. Tape cords to walls or floors instead of using nails or staples.
  • Keep combustibles away from the furnace, which can emit flames or sparks.
  • Apply fire stickers in the windows to alert firefighters to the presence of a child or an elderly or physically challenged person.
  • An electrical outlet or switch that is unusually warm or hot to the touch may indicate a potentially dangerous wiring condition. Unplug the cords and call an electrician.
  • Ceiling fixtures and recessed lights trap heat. Since overheating can lead to fire, don’t use a high-wattage bulb in such a fixture. If you don’t know the correct wattage, use a bulb of 60 or fewer watts.
  • Unplug your hair dryer or other small appliances in the bathroom when not in use.
  • Chargers, such as cell phone chargers, should not be left plugged in when not in use. These can become hot and start a fire.
  • An electric blanket should not be tucked in at the sides. It may overheat and start a fire.
  • Be sure to turn a heating pad off before you go to sleep. It can cause burns even at a relatively low setting.
  • The kitchen is one of the more dangerous rooms in the house. Open flames, sharp knives, hot pots and scalding liquids can cause serious injuries.
  • Look at your kitchen from the perspective of an accident waiting to happen. Are papers stacked too close to the range or cook top?
  • Keep the gas cook top away from open windows where wind could extinguish the cooking flames.
  • Keep the handles of pots and frying pans turned inward on the kitchen range so that they cannot be knocked over by accident.
  • To prevent grease fires, keep the stove clear of anything flammable, including potholders, napkins and towels.
  • Lighted candles should always be within sight. Never leave a burning candle unattended.
  • Be sure to check the batteries in all of your smoke and CO detectors at least 2x per year.

***Tips came from: HowStuffWorks “Fire Safety: Tips and Guidelines” www.home.howstuffworks.com***

 

Don’t forget to visit: www.cortlandmls.com for market reports, other helpful articles,

local listings and REALTORS® in our area.

Moving with Kids: Families Rely on Realtors® September 2016

Moving with Kids: Families Rely on Realtors® September 2016

Most people can relate to the complications and complexities involved with moving.  Whether you’re relocating to a recently purchased apartment or a starter home, resettling takes time, effort and planning.

Moving with kids requires even more planning and research. Finding a home with the appropriate amount of space, in your preferred school district, and convenient to a job or school location are often priorities for buyers with families.

According to the National Association of Realtors® Profile on Home Buyers and Sellers, eight in 10 home buyers worked with an agent to purchase a home in 2015. Agent use is even higher among buyers ages 36 to 50 (87 percent) and 35 and younger (89 percent) - the demographics most likely to have school-aged children.

“Fifty-three percent of families with children under the age of 18 reported that the hardest task in the home search process was finding the right property in the right location,” said Jason Hage, CCBR President. “Families find themselves needing a real estate professional with a wealth of local market knowledge, hands on attention and a broad range of resources to help find the right home.”

Families with children under the age of 18 often times have a greater urgency to sell their home too. Twenty-four percent of sellers had to sell their home urgently while 46 percent had to sell their home in a somewhat urgent or reasonable timeframe. This is mainly due to a fast moving market and the fact that most families prefer to get settled in before the new school season starts.

In many cases, families are looking to move because their home is too small. Twenty-nine percent of families with children under the age of 18 cited upsizing as the main reason for selling. “Neighborhood choice is another factor: 50 percent of families cited the quality of the school district as a reason for buying their home, and 43 percent decided upon their home because of  its convenience to schools,” said Hage.

The type of home purchased by families tends to differ from those without kids at home as well. The typical home of families with children under the age of 18 is a 2,100-square-foot, 4 bedroom and 2 full bathroom detached single-family house.

In citing the characteristics of families with children who are buying or selling a home, it is no surprise that they find themselves in need of a real estate professional to help with the buying and selling process.

If you are interested in selling or buying a home, visit our website, www.cortlandmls.com to find a local RealtorÒ, a member of the National Association of Realtors®.

Where Do Buyers Want to Live?

Where Do Buyers Want to Live?

August 2016

When someone buys a home they aren’t just buying the house - they are buying a neighborhood as well. But what exactly are potential homebuyers looking for in a new community?

According to the National Association of Realtors® 2016 Home Buyers and Sellers Generation Trends report, how old buyers are impacts the type of neighborhood that they want to call home.

 

“The stage of life a person is in life heavily influences the type of location he or she wants to live in and what is considered important,” said Jason Hage, CCBR President.  “A young, childless couple is going to be looking in different neighborhoods compared to a family of four or a couple searching for their future retirement home.”

Here are the features each generation said they considered important when choosing a potential neighborhood:

 

Millennial home buyers (35 years and younger). “For younger buyers, being close to work is the most important factor when choosing a neighborhood to live in,” said Hage.  “Millennials want a short commute, even if it means living on a smaller lot.” The price of the homes is also important; specifically, millennials are looking for affordable homes. Fifty percent of millennials said that the overall affordability of homes was an important factor in choosing a neighborhood.”

Gen X home buyers (ages 36 to 50). When Gen-Xers look for a neighborhood, they are the most likely to concentrate on school districts. “When children are in the picture they tend to become the driving force behind major decisions,” said Hage.  “Thirty-four percent of Gen-Xers said that convenience to schools was the deciding factor when choosing a neighborhood.”

Young boomer home buyers (ages 51 to 60). Young boomers were the most likely to say that the look of a neighborhood was an important factor in deciding where to live. “These buyers aren’t looking for a starter home, they are looking for a dream home and with that comes a beautiful neighborhood,” said Hage.   Twenty-eight percent of young boomers said that neighborhood design was a significant factor in picking a place to live, more than any other generation.

Older boomer home buyers (ages 61 to 69). Twenty-four percent of older boomers say that they are looking for a neighborhood that is convenient to entertainment and leisure activities. “These buyers tend to be considering retirement and are looking for a neighborhood where they can see themselves spending their extra free time,” said Hage. “They want to move to a community with lots to do, and they do not want to have to go far to do it.”

Silent generation home buyers (ages 70 to 90). “Home buyers who are either near or in retirement care about being close to family,” said Hage.  Fifty percent of the Silent Generation who participated in the survey said that convenience to friends and family was the factor most likely to influence where they want to live.

If you are interested in selling or buying a home this summer, please visit our website, www.cortlandmls.com, to find a RealtorÒ, a member of the National Association of Realtors®.

How to Host a Sizzling Summer Open House

How to Host a Sizzling Summer Open House

July 2016

According to the National Association of Realtors®, more than 40 percent of all homes sold last year were between the months of May and August. There are so many reasons why summer may be the perfect time to put your home on the market - families are trying to settle into a new place before the school year starts and buyers have their tax refunds firmly in hand. But with so many others reaching the same conclusion, how do you make your home stand out?

“A well planned open house allows potential buyers to picture how life in this home would be, and in the summer people tend to be more relaxed; it’s the time of vacations and lazy days,” said Jason Hage, CCBR President.  “So making your home’s open house a haven from the heat is the best way to help them visualize that this is the house is where they’ll want to spend all of their summers.”

                                     

Here are a few tips to help your home’s open house stand out this summer:

 

Pump the A/C. It’s easy for a house to become stuffy and warm during the summer, especially with exterior doors frequently opening and closing, so make sure that you have the air conditioning running whenever you’re hosting potential buyers, Hage reminds homeowners, “Just make sure to keep the temperature cool and inviting, not set to a deep freeze!”

Curb Appeal. Your home’s curb appeal is its first impression, and the summer months can be harsh on your home’s front lawn. “Unlike in winter, where fresh snow in the front yard can appear romantic and enticing to buyers, there is nothing attractive about the dry, dead lawns of summer,” said Hage. “Water frequently or update your home’s landscaping to something grass-free.”

Outdoor Living. If your home has a pool, a large deck or an outdoor kitchen, the summer months are the perfect time to highlight them.  “Put some lemonade out for buyers to enjoy on the patio and keep the pool crystal clean,” said Hage. “Remember, however, that summer means kids are out of school, and they may be joining their parents on open house tours, so make sure that pool gates are kept locked tight for safety.”

Embrace the Season. “Potential buyers may be hot and thirsty when they arrive, so prepare for it,” said Hage. “Have a cooler with ice-cold bottled water ready and waiting for them the moment they walk in the house, and have refreshing snacks, like watermelon or popsicles, available in the kitchen or on the patio. This will help home buyers picture your home as their oasis in the heat.”

Following a few easy open house tips can help you quickly find the right buyer this summer.

If you are interested in selling or buying a home this summer, visit our website: www.cortlandmls.com to find a local Realtor®, and to check out the latest local listings.

How to Avoid Real Estate Scams

How to Avoid Real Estate Cyber Scams

June 2016

Phishing, hacking, wire fraud - these are all ways people attempt to steal from others online. As real estate searches and transactions move more and more online, the chances of being caught up in a cyber scam have become even greater.

“By now most people have heard of the Nigerian prince scams or phishing emails asking for social security or banking information, but many people don’t know that they need to watch out for possible scams when buying or selling their home,” says Jason Hage, CCBR President.  “Cybercrimes have become increasingly sophisticated over the years and the people perpetrating them focus on situations where a lot of money is changing hands, making real estate transactions an ideal target.”

The National Association of Realtors® recently warned its members and consumers about one example, a wiring scam during the closing stage of the home buying and selling process. Hackers will break into the email accounts of consumers and real estate professionals to get details about a real estate transaction. The hacker will then send an email pretending to be the buyer, seller, real estate agent or someone else involved in the closing process and say there has been a last minute change and provide new wiring instructions; the instructions send the closing costs funds directly into the hacker’s bank account.

While it may seem like there are hundreds of ways for a criminal to take advantage of a consumer online, there are just as many ways consumers can protect themselves. Here are a few tips from Cortland County Board of Realtors® to help home buyers and sellers recognize and avoid real estate scams:

Do not send sensitive information via email. “Do not send banking information, your social security number or anything else that could be used to comprise your identity over email,” said Hage. “If you absolutely must send personal or sensitive information via email, only use encrypted email.” 

Do not click on unverified email. “If you do not recognize the name or email address of the sender, do not open the email,” said Hage. “And beware of any attachments or downloadable files from unknown email addresses; they can contain viruses or provide a way for a hacker to access your computer.”  

 

Do not use unsecured Wi-Fi. It may seem harmless to check banking information using the free Wi-Fi at your local coffee shop, but using an open connection can leave you vulnerable to hackers and scammers. Only access sensitive information on your home computer or on a secured network.

If you suspect fraud, tell someone. “If you suspect that fraud has or is in the process of occurring, contact all parties contacted to the transaction immediately,” said Hage. “Unfortunately, often there is nothing that can be done to retrieve money stolen in the scam, however, you should still report the incident to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center or the Federal Trade Commission.”

For more information on how to safely and securely buy or sell a home, contact Cortland County Board of Realtors® or visit www.cortlandmls.com  to find a local  RealtorÒ to speak with.

Reasons to Buy in 2016

Four Reasons to Buy a Home in 2016

May  2016

If you’ve been wavering about whether or not to purchase a home of your own, 2016 might be the year to take the plunge. 

“If your New Year’s resolution is to become a homeowner, this is a great year to buy,” said Jason Hage, CCBR President. “With home inventories increasing and a good job market and financial conditions, 2016 is shaping up to be a great year to get into your dream home.”    

Here are four reasons why 2016 is the year to become a homeowner:

Rent costs are high. Rent prices have been rising the past few years and are expected to continue climbing in 2016. What this means is in many cities owning is simply cheaper than renting. “While saving for a down payment can be a complicated financial maneuver for some, at the end of the day, a mortgage may be the better deal for many current renters who are ready, willing and able to purchase,” Hage. “And the money spent on your mortgage is paying for your own asset that will usually appreciate in value, rather than going to a landlord.”

Interest rates are low. Interest rates are historically low, and potential buyers cannot expect that to last forever. “Buyers may not see interest rates this low again in their lifetimes, so now is the time to jump on them,” Hage.  “Chances are you will see good rates throughout the year, but the sooner buyers lock something in the better deal they can expect to get.”

Home prices are stabilizing. More homeowners are expected to place their homes on the market in 2016, which should provide a boost to inventory and help in steadying rising prices. “Home prices have been climbing for years, but the market seems to be experiencing a cooling off period that potential home buyers can capitalize on,” said Hage.

Mortgage terms are clearer. Clearer, easier to understand loan terms and paperwork at the closing table should make things easier for homebuyers, especially first-time homebuyers, with the recent integration of several mortgage closing documents.  According to Hage.“This is going to help buyers better understand their financial commitment and keep surprises from showing up at the closing table.”

 

For local Market Reports, current local listings or to find a local Realtor®- please visit www.cortlandmls.com.

4 Reasons to Buy in 2016

The Cortland County Board of Realtors®- The Voice of Real Estate

 

Four Reasons to Buy a Home in 2016

May  2016

If you’ve been wavering about whether or not to purchase a home of your own, 2016 might be the year to take the plunge. 

“If your New Year’s resolution is to become a homeowner, this is a great year to buy,” said Jason Hage, CCBR President. “With home inventories increasing and a good job market and financial conditions, 2016 is shaping up to be a great year to get into your dream home.”    

Here are four reasons why 2016 is the year to become a homeowner:

Rent costs are high. Rent prices have been rising the past few years and are expected to continue climbing in 2016. What this means is in many cities owning is simply cheaper than renting. “While saving for a down payment can be a complicated financial maneuver for some, at the end of the day, a mortgage may be the better deal for many current renters who are ready, willing and able to purchase,” Hage. “And the money spent on your mortgage is paying for your own asset that will usually appreciate in value, rather than going to a landlord.”

Interest rates are low. Interest rates are historically low, and potential buyers cannot expect that to last forever. “Buyers may not see interest rates this low again in their lifetimes, so now is the time to jump on them,” Hage.  “Chances are you will see good rates throughout the year, but the sooner buyers lock something in the better deal they can expect to get.”

Home prices are stabilizing. More homeowners are expected to place their homes on the market in 2016, which should provide a boost to inventory and help in steadying rising prices. “Home prices have been climbing for years, but the market seems to be experiencing a cooling off period that potential home buyers can capitalize on,” said Hage.

Mortgage terms are clearer. Clearer, easier to understand loan terms and paperwork at the closing table should make things easier for homebuyers, especially first-time homebuyers, with the recent integration of several mortgage closing documents.  According to Hage.“This is going to help buyers better understand their financial commitment and keep surprises from showing up at the closing table.”

 

For local Market Reports, current local listings or to find a local Realtor®- please visit www.cortlandmls.com.

Realtor® Code of Ethics Protecting Consumers for over 100 Years

Realtor® Code of Ethics Protecting Consumers for over 100 Years

Working with a Realtor® gives buyers, sellers and investors many advantages they need to succeed in today’s real estate market. One of those advantages is the assurance that Realtors® subscribe to a strict Code of Ethics which provides their clients with the highest degree of professionalism, ethics and service.

“Not all real estate licensees are Realtors®,” said Julie Matijas, Executive Officer, Cortland County Board of REALTORS®. “Only those who are a member of the National Association of Realtors® can use the term “Realtor®” and subscribe to the Code of Ethics as a condition of NAR membership. Realtors® are the most trusted resource for real estate information and have access to advanced educational opportunities and training in real estate specialties, bringing value to buyers, sellers and investors.”

The Code is a comprehensive document spelling out professional responsibilities owed to clients, other Realtors® and the general public. All Realtors® must take comprehensive training on NAR’s Code of Ethics at least once every four years to retain their membership. However, beginning January 2017, training will have to take place every two years instead of every four.  Adopted in 1913, NAR was only the second trade or business group in the U.S. to adopt mandatory ethical standards for its members.   

“Real estate is a business based on trust, and working ethically is a way to build trustworthy relationships,” said Jason Hage, 2016 CCBR President. “Buying and selling a home is a major, life-altering decision, and buyers and sellers need to be able to depend on their Realtor® to guide them through the process with their best interests in mind. The Code helps provide an added layer of security to help Realtors® do just that.”

Consisting of 17 articles organized into duties to clients and customers, the public and Realtors®, the Code outlines numerous professional responsibilities. For instance, Realtors® must be honest with all parties in the real estate transaction, including their client, other Realtors® or real estate agents and their clients. Realtors® should also be forthcoming with all parties by disclosing all pertinent facts regarding the property and the transaction. If something seems questionable about a property, the Realtor® is obligated to investigate and make recommendations that buyers consult their own expert and inspectors. In addition, Realtors® must be truthful in advertising and communications with the public. When distributing newsletters, creating websites or placing advertisements, Realtors® must represent only their work and not take credit for the work of another real estate professional.    

Consumers can read more about the Code of Ethics and can find a summary of the Code that explains how it benefits them at www.realtor.org/code-of-ethics or at www.cortlandmls.com.

For Local Market Reports, to view local listings or to find a local Realtor®, please visit our website: www.cortlandmls.com.

 

Loaves and Fishes December 2015

 

Cortland County Board of REALTORS® give back to our Community.

 

The Cortland County Board of REALTORS® held their annual Christmas luncheon on December 16, 2015 at Loaves and Fishes on Court Street. Local REALTORS®, together with the Affiliate members including local attorneys and lending institutions, made a monetary donation of $1,228.00 to Loaves and Fishes. In addition, REALTORS® and many Affiliates donated unwrapped gifts for children and canned food items.

 

After a wonderful performance by “The Grace Notes” Quartet, and a visit from Santa Claus who did his “REALTOR®  Rendition” of “Things I'm Thankful for This Year” with  his side kick Eucalyptus the Elf, (AKA Jamie Yaman and Sean Mack) many REALTOR® members stayed to wrap all of the donated gifts for the local children that were distributed at the Loaves and Fishes Christmas Party on Friday, December 18, 2015.

For Market Reports, Up to Date Listings or to find a local Realtor® visit our website: www.Cortlandmls.com

Hosting your Home for the Holidays

Submitted by:  The CortlandCounty Board of Realtors®- The Voice of Real Estate

 

Hosting for the Holidays: Home Features for Entertaining

November 2015

Do you dream of hosting the perfect family Thanksgiving celebration? Is it your fantasy to throw a New Year’s party that all of your friends remember? If you are currently house hunting, these are things you should let a Realtor® know.

“Realtors® work every day to help their clients find the ideal house that feels like home,” Dana Decker, CCBR President. “If to you, home is where you invite your friends and family to celebrate the holidays, then your Realtor® will help find you the perfect home in which to make those memories.”

But what exactly is the perfect home for hosting holiday parties? “You need to ask yourself ‘what kind of parties do I want to host?’ and ‘how do I plan on entertaining my guests?’” said Decker. “Once you have a vision, your Realtor® can help identify homes to help make it a reality.”

Here are a few things to consider when looking for your perfect holiday-hosting home.

Size of Parties: When you throw a party does your invitation list usually consist of three or four people or 10 or more people?  If your get-togethers tend to have guests numbering in the double digits, you will want to look for a home with larger living and dining rooms or outdoor space. Otherwise, be prepared to move some furniture around to make more space.

Open or Closed Kitchen: Do you like the idea of interacting with your guests while you prepare the party food, or do you prefer to keep the cooking behind closed doors? An open kitchen layout means your living room or dining room will flow directly into the kitchen, so you can still be a part of your party while you prep and cook.

If you tend to make a mess when you cook and would rather keep it hidden then a closed kitchen is for you.

Kitchen Island: If you enjoy making food preparation an aspect of the gathering, an island is a must-have for your dream party house. “An island is not only an excellent way to add more prep space to your kitchen,” said Decker. “It’s a place to sit and chat with your guests, decorate cookies or mix drinks.”

Dining Room: If you envision a sit-down dinner being the main draw of your holiday party then a formal dining room should be on your list of must-haves. “Consider how large a dining room and table you will need to seat your desired number of guests,” said Decker. “It’s always a good idea to bring a measuring tape with you to a showing, that way you can know for sure the table that fits your guests will actually fit the room.” 

 

For more articles, local market reports, listings or to find a local Realtor®, visit: www.cortlandmls.com.

October-Fire Safety Month

October is Fire Prevention Month: Here are some tips from the Cortland County Board of REALTORS® to keep your family and home safe.

Fires can strike anywhere at any time. Along with installing smoke detectors in your home, you should have a fire extinguisher in key areas such as the kitchen, bedrooms, workshop and garage. Walk your family through a fire drill so everyone knows what to do and where to go in case of fire. Make sure children know where the family will reunite if they have to leave the house in case of a fire.

The following simple precautions will help minimize the risk of a fire in your home:

  • The law requires that a property owner/landlord must provide working smoke detectors on each floor of a home. Be sure the detector is in good working condition and check the batteries regularly.
  • As of March 6, 2003 the law requires that a property owner/landlord must provide at least one working carbon monoxide detector. Be sure the detector is in good working condition and check the batteries regularly.
  • Assign a special closet for combustible materials and dangerous tools that you don’t want your children to touch. Put a good lock on the door and a heat detector inside to alert you to any fire danger.
  • Replace frayed electrical cords before they burn or cause a fire.
  • Don’t overload electrical circuits with too many appliances. If your fuses are blowing or your circuit breakers are popping, hire an electrician to look at your system.
  • Don’t run extension cords under rugs or carpets. The cords wear easily and may short out, causing a fire.
  • Nails or staples used to attach electrical cords to the walls or baseboards can damage the cords and cause fire or shock hazards. Tape cords to walls or floors instead of using nails or staples.
  • Keep combustibles away from the furnace, which can emit flames or sparks.
  • Apply fire stickers in the windows to alert firefighters to the presence of a child or an elderly or physically challenged person.
  • An electrical outlet or switch that is unusually warm or hot to the touch may indicate a potentially dangerous wiring condition. Unplug the cords and call an electrician.
  • Ceiling fixtures and recessed lights trap heat. Since overheating can lead to fire, don’t use a high-wattage bulb in such a fixture. If you don’t know the correct wattage, use a bulb of 60 or fewer watts.
  • Unplug your hair dryer or other small appliances in the bathroom when not in use.
  • Chargers, such as cell phone chargers, should not be left plugged in when not in use. These can become hot and start a fire.
  • An electric blanket should not be tucked in at the sides. It may overheat and start a fire.
  • Be sure to turn a heating pad off before you go to sleep. It can cause burns even at a relatively low setting.
  • The kitchen is one of the more dangerous rooms in the house. Open flames, sharp knives, hot pots and scalding liquids can cause serious injuries.
  • Look at your kitchen from the perspective of an accident waiting to happen. Are papers stacked too close to the range or cook top?
  • Keep the gas cook top away from open windows where wind could extinguish the cooking flames.
  • Keep the handles of pots and frying pans turned inward on the kitchen range so that they cannot be knocked over by accident.
  • To prevent grease fires, keep the stove clear of anything flammable, including potholders, napkins and towels.
  • Lighted candles should always be within sight. Never leave a burning candle unattended.
  • Be sure to check the batteries in all of your smoke and CO detectors at least 2x per year.

***Tips came from: HowStuffWorks “Fire Safety: Tips and Guidelines” www.home.howstuffworks.com***

 

Don’t forget to visit: www.cortlandmls.com for market reports, other helpful articles,

local listings and REALTORS® in our area.

Housewarming Traditions Around the Globe

Submitted by: The Cortland County Board of Realtors®-The Voice of Real Estate

 

Housewarming Traditions From Around the Globe

September 2015

The saying goes that all real estate is local, but that does not mean that all homebuyers are local. According to the National Association of Realtors® 2015 international homebuyers report, global buyers spent an estimated $104 billion on housing in 2014, an increase of more than $10 billion from the previous year.

“We live in an international marketplace, and U.S real estate is extremely attractive to foreign buyers,” said Dana Decker, CCBR President. “International buyers recognize the country’s attractive prices, economic stability and well-defined property rights as an amazing opportunity for investment in their future.”

As more international buyers become a part of the fabric of American communities, they bring with them their many traditions and customs – including those that go along with moving into a new home.

The Cortland County Board of Realtors® has pulled together a few common housewarming traditions from around the globe, which you may want to use to welcome friends, family or neighbors into their new home.

Russia. According to Russian custom, a cat should cross over the threshold of the new home before anyone else enters. This is said to ensure that the homeowners will have a happy and prosperous life.

Thailand. Thai tradition dictates that visitors should bring a new homeowner three items: rice, water and a knife. The rice and water are so that food will always be plentiful and the homeowner will know prosperity, and the knife is to protect them from any evil spirits. There is also a traditional ceremony known as ‘Sen Wai Jour Teen’, during which the homeowner asks the ‘Lord of the Land’ and any restless ghosts and spirits in the vicinity for protection through an offering of food and water, flowers and incense.

China. Before moving into a new home, Chinese custom is to shine a light in every corner, closet and wardrobe of the house. This is said to let any lingering spirits know that it is time to leave and how to find the way outside.

France. When construction of a new home is finished, the French throw a traditional party called the ‘pendre la cremaillere,’ literally meaning ‘to hang the chimney hook.’ The phrase comes from medieval times when it was customary to invite over everyone who took part in the building of the house and eat dinner as a gesture of thanks. The food would be cooked in a large pot over a fire, where the chimney hook could be used to raise or lower the pot to heat or cool the food.

India. In India, it is considered lucky to move into a new house on Thursday, while Friday and Saturday are the unluckiest days to move. There is also the ceremonial housewarming known as ‘Grinha Pravesh,’ during which, in some parts of the country, a cow is allowed to walk through the house first, bringing good fortune to the homeowners.

Buying a home in a foreign country can by a complicated and trying process, and Realtors® have the expertise to serve clients in a variety of international real estate transactions. So whether you are from France or China, Japan or Australia, when you are ready to buy a home make sure to contact a Realtor®.

Visit: www.cortlandmls.com to find a local Realtor®, for local Market Reports and other helpful links and articles.

Know Before you Owe Rule takes effect October 3, 2015

Submitted by: Cortland County Board of Realtors®- The Voice of Real Estate

 

August 2015

 

Know Before you Owe Rule takes effect October 3, 2015

The Know Before you Owe Rule technically is known as the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure rule. TILA stands for Truth in Lending Act and RESPA stands for Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act. This rule goes into effect October 3, 2015.

What does this mean for you (the consumer) looking to purchase real estate? Let’s keep it simple! The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is the brains behind this Rule. The intent is to level the playing field amongst lenders to make it easier for you to shop effectively for a mortgage and make better informed choices. After all buying real estate is one of the biggest decisions and expenses that you will ever make. 

Gone are the forms known in the industry as the Good Faith Estimate (GFE) and the HUD-1 closing statement received at closing.  Those forms are being replaced by the Loan Estimate (LE) form and the Closing Disclosure (CD) form.

Loan Estimate LE form must be given to you 3 business days after making application for a mortgage and is good for 10 business days.  The LE form discloses to you the interest rate, monthly loan payment and the total closing costs all on Page One. This will make it easier to compare mortgage loans and assist you in making a better informed decision as to what loan is right for you. It will be in clearer language and design. More information about the various costs associated with a mortgage, interest rates, and how your payment may change over the course of your mortgage loan.  It will also warn you about fees and penalties to avoid.  The lender must provide more accurate numbers and in some case prohibits increases in cost amounts that you are not able to shop for.  There are exceptions! When you, as the consumer, has provide information that has changed or is inaccurate or you request changes in the loan services.

Closing Disclosure CD form must be received by the consumer 3 business days before closing on the mortgage loan. Currently the consumer may get that information only a day ahead, hours ahead or even at closing.  This make it difficult for the consumer to properly review and ask question, not to mention knowing exactly what they need to bring to the closing table in terms for money.  They can also compare the final numbers to those disclosed on the Loan Estimate LE form.

What can you expect in terms of the closing date?  Your Realtor® and Lender will most likely advise you that the typical 60 days to close from date of signing of purchase offer will be extended out by approximately 2 weeks.  Over time this may get back to the 60 days as everyone gets accustom to the Rule. This is not a bad thing! Consumers need to be better informed about their closing costs.  One note, should the closing disclosure form have changes or errors that relate to (1) Interest rate changes (beyond an allowed variance),  (2) Consumer changes type of mortgage, and (3)prepayment penalties, that 3 days has to start over.  In other words the form is corrected and sent to the consumer again 3 days before a new closing date.  There has been rumor that any and all changes would start the clock over.  However, that is not the case; numeric changes (not related to the above “clock stoppers” can be corrected within 30 days of closing. Non-numeric changes have up to 60 days after closing.

What if the disclosed amounts or costs are different between the Loan Estimate and the Closing Disclosure?  It depends. There are three categories in which the Lenders have varying degrees from which the numbers can deviate. One group they have to be the actual, another group there is a 10% variance and the other  “varies”.  Should the amounts vary beyond the allowed margins, the Lender would owe you that money.

Lastly, what type of transactions are required to use this Rule?  Some of the exceptions are, but not limited to, a cash deal, a commercial deal, a reverse mortgage, investment properties or a private lender that does less than 5 loans a year, this Rule does NOT apply.  If it is residential it does apply.  Always consult with your lender to determine if the type of loan you are using falls under the blanket of this new Rule.

If you are presently shopping for Real Estate, that effective date for the use of the “New Rule” only applies to transactions where you have made application on the 3rd of October.  If you made application on the 2nd the old or current forms and rules apply.

If you would like to review the new forms you can go to http://www.consumerfinance.gov and look for forms.

In closing, when buying real estate and obtaining a mortgage, “Know Before You Owe”.

 

For more information or to find a local Realtor®, visit www.cortlandmls.com

 

This information is supplied by information taken from the CFPB web site and a REALTOR® Magazine presented  live webcast on July 16, 2015 and your local Cortland County Board of Realtors®.