Albany, NY Real Estate News

By Kevin Clancy, Real Estate Broker - Albany New York
(Http://www.clancyrealestate.com)
Well its about time. The Greater Capital Region Association of Realtors expects up to a 15 percent decline in the number of licensed Realtors in the Capital Region according to a recent article published in the Business Review. Currently there are 3,500+- Realtors in the Capital Region. This is simply too many Realtors. In 2008 roughly 8,000+- homes were sold in the Capital region. Since each sale generally has a listing and selling agent, this equates to roughly 16,000+- sides. It averages out to less then 5+- home sales per agent on average which is close to the national average of only 6 homes sales per agent per year.  As in any industry the top performers do the bulk of the business. The top 100 agents in Albany sold just over 27% of the homes in 2008 as of today according to the C...
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Investment real estate can be fruitful, but you must choose your property, your agent, and most importantly, your location carefully. If you are eager to become a landlord or you think that you have a good lead on an area of the city that would provide some great rental income, here are some tips on how to be successful in the realm of rental property. Location, location, location. You have heard it before; real estate is all about location. If you plan on purchasing a multi-family and renting it out for income, you must first find a place with a healthy--and hopefully booming--rental market. College cities and towns can be a great place to buy investment property since some students choose to live off-campus, and still more end up staying at least a year or two in the city where they w...
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Are looking for tips for buying a home during a recession? Firstly, you need to know what you are going to be up against. There are some tips that will surely help you to get the best deal possible. After all, the buyer is usually in the position of power during these times. While there may not be as many homes on the market during a real estate recession, if you can find something that suits your needs, saving money is a distinct possibility. Here are some tips if you are going to buy during a real estate recession. It is important to remember that you can get a lower than market value price during a recession. This is not the way that things always work out, but you should try your best to get the lowest possible price. While this may be a good rule of thumb no matter when you are bu...
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Although I have historically been a real tree guy when it comes to decking the halls, the quality of fake Christmas trees has steadily improved to the point where it makes pretty good sense to own one. Sure, it rather flies in the face of tradition, and "oh tannenbaum" and all that, but the really good ones come with Christmas tree light preinstalled and even have that pine tree smell. And they look very realistic. In fact, the only real reason to not own one is the hassle of setting it up and tearing it down every Christmas. Well, Treekeeper solves that problem as well.   Treekeeper is a very simple idea. Place the tree - stand an all - in a zip up bag that can stand up and store it in the corner of your garage. It comes with a built in dolly wheel array so you don't even have to lug i...
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Older homes have a tendency to have all kinds of drafty areas and sealing them up tends to be a nightmare. However, if you want to bring down your heating bill it becomes necessary to take care of the problem. Installing new windows can help, but finding the specific problem areas would make things a lot easier. Well this Black & Decker Thermal Leak Detector can help you with exactly that. To use it, point it at a wall for a reference temperature, then go to the areas you think might be letting in the cold air. The gadget will then turn either red or blue depending on if it has found a cold or a hot spot. I'm sure you can guess which color indicates which. It only changes color when it detects a temperature change of 1, 5, or 10 degrees Fahrenheit (it can be switched to Celsius). It wil...
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If you haven't already, you'll need to come up with cash for your down payment and closing costs. Lenders like to see 20 percent of the home's price as a down payment. If you can put down more than that, the lender may be willing to approve a larger loan. If you have less, you'll need to find loans that can accommodate you. Various private and public agencies - including Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, the Federal Housing Administration, and the Department of Veterans Affairs - provide low down payment mortgages through banks and mortgage companies. If you qualify, it's possible to pay as little as 3 percent up front. For more, check out their Web sites at Fanniemae.com or Freddiemac.com. A warning: With a down payment under 20 percent, you will probably wind up having to pay for private mortg...
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Green House Hunting. House hunting itself is a similarly eco-shameful exercise. Driving around town (sometimes in two cars and often to rule out a place because it is near the shopping mall or on a busy street) is just wasteful. Green homebuyers and their Realtors can use aerial maps and satellite street views to virtually rule it out. How to do this? Find a listing you like on FrontDoor.com, click Map View, then click Satellite to see where the property is located compared to large businesses and busy intersections. Then, go to maps.google.com, enter the listing address and click on street view to see the home from the street, and even look up and down the street to scope out the neighborhood. No gas required, and no exhaust emitted.
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The Sekai camera is an iPhone applet which promises to allow homebuyers to use their phone camera to "tag" the homes, streets and neighborhood hot spots they see in the real world, and (someday) link in real time to other users' tags of the same things, and even listing data. Imagine that. You take a picture of a house on your phone, and a second later, the property listing details, online value estimates, and even YouTube videos of the property's interior show up on your screen. This may not be fully enabled in the year 2009, but it's coming, and well worth waiting for.
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Giroptic.  It's a 360-degree panoramic camera -- literally a still/video camera with a lens that does a spin on top of a tripod for seamless (not seasick) virtual tours. The kicker? It captures a full motion 360 of the room IN A SINGLE SHOT, and it's digital, so it uploads super fast. Why do you care? When Realtors can quickly and inexpensively get high-quality panoramic video shots that are easy to download themselves, you will get vastly increased numbers of good video tours! And, as this sort of thing gets easier and easier, the agents using these technologies will drive the agents who post those listings with no pictures at all (don't you hate those?!) out of business. In 2009, we should also see a massive increase in the number of YouTube videos posted for home sale listings. These...
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After the too-good-to-be-true housing boom in the first half of this decade, 2008 was a dose of reality. The subprime mortgage crisis and the collapse of major financial institutions made this year a tough one for real estate. Expect 2009 to be filled with more change and adjustment in home values and expectations. On a positive note, help is on the way from the Feds, and some experts say a slow recovery could begin in late 2009. Prepare yourself for the challenges -- and opportunities -- of 2009 by getting familiar with what to expect in the housing market. Continued market adjustments. With home prices in some markets having reached astronomical levels, it was inevitable a reset button be pushed. Sellers will continue to be challenged in 2009 as the inflated pricing of years past adju...
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Since you most likely will need to get a mortgage to buy a house, you must make sure your credit history is as clean as possible. A few months before you start house hunting, get copies of your credit report. Make sure the facts are correct, and fix any problems you discover.
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If you can't commit to remaining in one place for at least a few years, then owning is probably not for you, at least not yet. With the transaction costs of buying and selling a home, you may end up losing money if you sell any sooner. Even though the Internet gives buyers unprecedented access to home listings, most new buyers (and many more experienced ones) are better off using a professional agent. Look for an exclusive buyer agent, if possible, who will have your interests at heart and can help you with strategies during the bidding process.
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Buying an Albany NY Home that Might Contain Lead Paint Lead in Homes Built Before 1978 One source of exposure to lead is the lead-based paint that was often used in homes that were built prior to 1978, when the Federal Government banned lead paint in residential structures. Federal regulations require that home sellers provide lead disclosures to home buyers who are purchasing a home built before that year. Lead Can Affect Health Disclosures are required because lead is a potential health risk. Depending on the level of exposure, lead can cause damage to the brain and nervous system, behavior problems, slowed growth, headaches, difficulties during pregnancy, high blood pressure, digestive problems and muscle and joint pain. Lead can affect everyone in the family, but children are often ...
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By Kevin Clancy, Real Estate Broker - Albany New York
(Http://www.clancyrealestate.com)
60 Minutes ran a story tonight on the second wave of foreclosures we are going to face as "Alt-A" and Option arm loans start resetting. The numbers thrown out on the program pegged the value of these loans in the the $1.5 Trillion range. If you watched the interview it made you think the bottom was going to fall out on  the real estate market and homes values would be following stock values into an Abyss.  Let me say there were some very good points made on the show. However, real estate is local. It always has been and always will be . Yes there certain factors that impact real estate on a national level. (Interest rates being one) But for the most part real estate values are driven by local characteristics. As a real estate broker and appraiser I have been involved in thousands of rea...
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By Kevin Clancy, Real Estate Broker - Albany New York
(Http://www.clancyrealestate.com)
I read and subscribe to many periodicals including the Wallstreet Journal, Businessweek, The Business Review, Inc Magazine,  etc, etc. My wife subscribes to many magazines but her main read is "People".  I noticed a funny thing in my home over the last couple of weeks. A good percentage of people visiting picked up the "people" magazine. Nobody picked up my BusinessWeek!  Then I started thinking "People" costs me over $200 a year which is outrageous in my opinion! Do you really need to know what star is dating whom? Obviously many, many, people do. BusinessWeek comes out weekly and I pay a small fraction of what I pay for "People". Yet business week provides great insight into the economy and business environment. Ditto for the Wallstreet journal, Business Review, Inc magazine etc.  A W...
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By Kevin Clancy, Real Estate Broker - Albany New York
(Http://www.clancyrealestate.com)
First let me say I understand the pain of being a property owner in upstate NY. We have some of the highest overall tax burdens in the entire country when you figure in income tax, gas taxes, sales taxes, and property taxes. However, for now I want to talk about property taxes. I still hear it all the time. "They did a revaluation in my town when values were at their peak, why don't they do another revaluation now that values are down so I can save money".  This shows a fundamental lack of understanding of how property taxes are figured. First property values, in the Capital Region,  in general have not dropped much if they have dropped at all. But lets assume they have. Suppose property values in a town dropped 20% over the past year. A home assessed for $200,000 is now worth $160,000....
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By Kevin Clancy, Real Estate Broker - Albany New York
(Http://www.clancyrealestate.com)
The perception among many is the Realtors simply drop homes in our Multiple Listing Service (MLS) system and they sell themselves. This is far from the truth! As a broker I spend a considerably amount of time networking and keeping track of current and future deals that may or may not  be listed in the MLS. I can think of two recent deals I did simply by talking to other brokers and knowing what inventory they had coming on the market before it hit the MLS.  Right now I have the following non MLS listed  deals available. These properties will not be found in the MLS but are available for viewing. If you see one that works for you visit me online at Albany NY real estate for sale or call me directly. What MLS listed sales? View thousands of MLS listed sales for free at Albany NY Multiple...
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Do you know how much house you can afford? Probably not, unless you've talked with a lender. Pre-approval helps you in other ways. Consider this scenario. A home seller gets two similar offers. One is accompanied by a letter from the buyer's bank that states she is pre-approved for a mortgage in the amount of the offer. The other has no supporting documents. Which offer do you think the seller will consider first? Real estate experts tell first-time home buyers that it's critical to apply for a loan before shopping for a home, and it's true; this is an essential first step. But do you know that it's far better to be preapproved for a loan than to be prequalified? There are more advantages to gaining preapproval than you would initially surmise.
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Finding the right loan and lender is crucial to your home buying success. It's up to you to determine which lender is best for your needs, and it's always a good idea to have at least a bit of background about the loan process before you talk to a lender. A local or online mortgage broker may find you a lender in another part of the country. An online bank might not have a local office where employees can help you one-on-one. Some out of town lenders don't understand the types of heating systems used in specific areas, they aren't familiar with private septic systems, and they don't immediately understand common classifications and terms used by local appraisers. Those are just a few examples of problems I've seen that caused significant slow-downs in loans made by an out of town lende...
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Your credit reports are an ongoing look at how you manage your finances. You must know exactly what your credit reports say about your financial history before you apply for a mortgage, because the reports play an important role in the mortgage approval process and in determining the interest rate and other loan terms that a lender offers you. If you haven't looked at your credit reports, you might be surprised at their contents, because errors are common.
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