Merrick, NY Real Estate News

By Jill Sackler, LI South Shore Real Estate - Broker Associate
(Charles Rutenberg Realty Inc. 516-575-7500)
AT HOME WITH DIVERSITY AWARENESS  C'MON MAMA, BABY NEEDS A NEW PAIR OF SHOES In the movies, this famous line is often uttered by the actor as he prepares to throw the dice at the Craps table.The game is played like this:  A throw of 7 or 11 wins; a 2, 3, or 12 lose. #5, as well as other previously unmentioned combinations, dictates you have to keep on trying until you repeat your original number before throwing a 7 or 11, which loses the bet and the dice. I was meeting my clients for the first time.  They didn't have access to a car so I offered to pick them up at their house. I paid little attention to their home address, at first. Mom greeted me warmly with a big hug and a kiss on both cheeks; my first clue that she was of a different culture. Americans tend to be a little more reserv...
Comments 39
By Beth and Richard Witt, Long Island Cash Home Buyer 516-330-6940
(Long Island Cash Home Buyer)
Open House "Just Price Reduced" Totally Updated Colonial - Merrick, NY 6/14/14 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM RE/MAX Wittney Estates  View this "Just Price Reduced Charmer" In The Prime "Wenshaw Park Area" Driving direction to 1310 Whittier Ave., Merrick, NY 11566   If you have any questions about this Newly Updated Colonial in Wenshaw Park contact  Katherine Giordano with RE/MAX Wittney Estates.   Let her vast experience and love for the real estate business serve you when it's time for you to buy or sell your home.         Click Here for a Free Pre-Approval                   9 Things Buyers Should Know About When Buying A House   41 Important Real Estate Terms & Definitions         To Learn About Buyer Representation Click Here       It's Time To Buy Click Here To Learn Why   What Should We Offer...
Comments 1
By Beth and Richard Witt, Long Island Cash Home Buyer 516-330-6940
(Long Island Cash Home Buyer)
RE/MAX Wittney Estates     If you have any questions about this Newly Updated Colonial in Wenshaw Park contact  Katherine Giordano with RE/MAX Wittney Estates.   Let her vast experience and love for the real estate business serve you when it's time for you to buy or sell your home.         Click Here for a Free Pre-Approval                   9 Things Buyers Should Know About When Buying A House   41 Important Real Estate Terms & Definitions         To Learn About Buyer Representation Click Here       It's Time To Buy Click Here To Learn Why   What Should We Offer What Will They Take   Buying Your New Home       Click here for a "Free ON-LINE Property Evaluation".                Are you looking to sell your home fast and without any issues?   We buy Long Island homes in any condition.  ...
Comments 2
By Jill Sackler, LI South Shore Real Estate - Broker Associate
(Charles Rutenberg Realty Inc. 516-575-7500)
Swim When You're Ready - The Video Challenge   Exactly 2 years ago, I attempted my first video profile and wrote about its challenges here: Smile - You're on Candid Camera! Video Blogs "Insecurities that we may have already addressed some 25 years ago and which we aren't anxious to revisit anytime soon may, suddenly, make a return appearance. Getting in front of a camera is a new experience for many and it requires a period of adjustment."Support for my attempt was evident in the comments posted by the ActiveRain community. While response was, mainly, positive, there was no denying that my inaugural video was, most definitely, amateurish. It lacked action, diversity, multiple camera angles and, of course, brevity. Just like orange is the new black, a 1-minute video replaces the 3-minute...
Comments 22
By Jill Sackler, LI South Shore Real Estate - Broker Associate
(Charles Rutenberg Realty Inc. 516-575-7500)
  "I'd Like to Encourage You to Fail..."   Graduation season is upon us. Commencements will be held at every educational institution across the nation and countless inspirational speeches will be heard by graduates and guests, alike.    Last weekend, my son graduated from the University of Buffalo. He pursued two degrees, a BS in Finance and a BA in Economics. Now comes the real challenging part - securing a job!   The Dean of the School of Management addressed us first and he began his message with the controversial words above. He continued, "before you ask for a refund on your tuition, let me explain." The gist of his speech is paraphrased below. We are a risk-averse nation; we play it safe and we don't always appreciate the learning opportunities inherent in failure. He went on to l...
Comments 10
By Jill Sackler, LI South Shore Real Estate - Broker Associate
(Charles Rutenberg Realty Inc. 516-575-7500)
The Secret Gardens of Long Island   The Secret Garden is an all-time favorite novel written by Frances Hodgson Burnett in 1911. Many decades later, it came to life in the form of a movie, a musical and a ballet. A recent Newsday article (5/2/2014) entitled Garden Conservancy's Open Days: Rare Viewing Chance (Jessica Damiano) stirred up fond memories of discovering the book with former sixth grade classes. The article explains a program, from 1995, whose purpose it is to display examples of horticultural excellence. Clicking on the link above will give you addresses, dates and times for Long Island's 2014 tour. For a nominal $5.00 fee and free to children under 12, the public has access to the real life Secret Gardens of Long Island. A lovely opportunity - not to be missed!            
Comments 12
By Jill Sackler, LI South Shore Real Estate - Broker Associate
(Charles Rutenberg Realty Inc. 516-575-7500)
A Woman's Place Is In The Home (Her New One) Best Days and Time to Hold an Open House Although I tried mightily to explain, I couldn't get the homeowner to imagine it could be done any other way. She was adament that open houses were meant to be held on consecutive Saturdays and Sundays and her rationale was delightful. She envisioned a housewife who would tour homes on Saturday while her husband stayed home to watch sports. If the wife liked what she saw, then she'd drag her husband back on Sunday to see it.  The concept struck a familiar chord from 1950's T.V., but it was a point of view that immediately struck me as outmoded. I've been in this industry a few years - but, maybe, not long enough to know if such a mindset was ever prevalent. This couple, mid-80's, were former business o...
Comments 13
By Geri Sonkin, Long Island Real Estate & Staging Expert
(Douglas Elliman Real Estate 516-457-7103)
It was the gloomiest of days here on the south shore of Long Island, taking back any promise of spring we'd witnessed in recent weeks.  But, on the agenda, weather not withstanding, was a long awaited closing that had magic written all over it from the first phone call.  The seller was referred to me by a friend many months before.  It felt like a foregone conclusion from the moment I met this delightful and straightforward couple that I would represent them in the sale of their home. If we could custom order the perfect clients, they would have been these people.  My first visit to the house was last summer, when everything was in bloom and they were searching for information on the best way to prepare for the perfect sale.  We talked about the things that needed to be done in the comi...
Comments 13
By Jill Sackler, LI South Shore Real Estate - Broker Associate
(Charles Rutenberg Realty Inc. 516-575-7500)
Your Forever Home - Is It Love At First Sight? With zero interest in moving and even less interest in becoming a landlord, I never saw it coming, but I was captivated by this house. It wasn't the biggest, the fanciest or even in the most elegant part of the neighborhood, but none of that mattered. As soon as I walked into the Broker's Open, I fell in love.      I have to tell you that this never happens to me. As an agent, of course I preview houses constantly. Big or small, expensive or not, I rarely have a reaction one way or the other. But this one was visceral. All rational thought went out the window. I was mesmerized by this residence. Who's to say what details are important when making a purchase of this magnitude? It's just a feeling that you get. Something that washes over you ...
Comments 16
By Jill Sackler, LI South Shore Real Estate - Broker Associate
(Charles Rutenberg Realty Inc. 516-575-7500)
Long Island South Shore,  Merrick Open House  No Worries. Grandfathered Flood Insurance Premium $500/Year!! South Merrick Comfortable, Spacious Split, Quiet Street W/ Little Traffic, Room To Spread Out - Tons Of Upgrades - New Ss Kitchen Appliances, New W & D, New Hw Heater, Gas Heat, Upgraded Electric, Beautiful Wood Floors, New Cac Compressor, New Garage Door Opener, New Landscaping, Built-Ins, Storage Everywhere  
Comments 8
By Jill Sackler, LI South Shore Real Estate - Broker Associate
(Charles Rutenberg Realty Inc. 516-575-7500)
FIRST REAL ESTATE EXPERIENCE   It was 45 minutes past the appointed hour. I really wanted to leave so what was I still doing there? It was a particularly run down part of town. Most homes vacant - boarded up. I felt anxious. Then the family showed up. The nicest people you could possibly imagine - parents who wanted to buy a house for their son, his wife and their 2 little kids. They were using all the cash they had saved from the minimum wage jobs they had obtained as immigrants to our country. We saw dozens of houses - one worse than the next. Hard hat areas, to be honest. Roofs that were caving in, debris on the floor that rivaled hoarder T.V. The son was in construction. He felt sure he could fix it up. Boy, did he ever! About a year later, when I saw it, I couldn't believe my eyes....
Comments 14
By Geri Sonkin, Long Island Real Estate & Staging Expert
(Douglas Elliman Real Estate 516-457-7103)
I still remember the day, over forty years ago when I had an epiphany while stopped at a red light on Lakeville Road in New Hyde Park.  The impact it had on me was so profound as to record it in my memory bank in the most infinite detail.  I found myself uttering, barely above a whisper and to nobody in particular, that the world as an absolute didn't exist.  I suddenly understood that every event in our lives to the present moment, helps to create the building blocks of the world as we perceive it. In other words, for the person who has been raised without love and protection from the adults with power over him, he sees the universe as an unfriendly, often dangerous place, a mine field to be dealt with in any way, legal or otherwise, that brings him out alive at the other end. Converse...
Comments 5
By Jill Sackler, LI South Shore Real Estate - Broker Associate
(Charles Rutenberg Realty Inc. 516-575-7500)
No Post Code Envy? Just Give it a Little Time!  Part III Flood-insurance-101-what-you-need-to-know-Part-iWhere-have-south-shore-buyers-gone-Part-ii In a recent conversation with a senior acquaintance, I was describing the difficulties of our local real estate market. Her two-word response of "It's Merrick!" seemed simplistic to me, at first, in light of all the complications that have arisen with the rezoned flood maps and their, consequential, meteoric rise in insurance premiums.With time, I came to see her perspective for the long view in which it was intended. Merrick, like many of the Long Island south shore communities bordering Sunrise Highway, has a tremendous amount to offer and it's only rational to believe that, given a chance, this, too, shall pass.   As a Merrick resident, I...
Comments 7
By Jill Sackler, LI South Shore Real Estate - Broker Associate
(Charles Rutenberg Realty Inc. 516-575-7500)
Where Have South Shore Buyers Gone?  Part II Where have South Shore Buyers gone?Long time passingWhere have South Shore Buyers gone?Long time agoWhere have South Shore Buyers gone?They've overlooked us, every one!When will they all return? With knowledge they'll discern.   (R.I.P. Pete Seeger 1/27/2014)Flood-Insurance-101-What-you-need-to-know-Part-INo-post-code-envy-just-give-it-a-little-time-part-iii Widespread uncertainty surrounds increases in flood insurance premiums.   President Obama Signs Flood Bill Into Law   On March 21, 2014, President Obama signed the “Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act” into law. This law repeals FEMA’s authority to increase premium rates at time of sale or new flood map, and refunds the excessive premium to those who bought a property before FEMA ...
Comments 11
By Jill Sackler, LI South Shore Real Estate - Broker Associate
(Charles Rutenberg Realty Inc. 516-575-7500)
Flood Insurance 101 - What You Need to Know   If you live or work in a coastal community, then, no doubt, you've been personally affected by the widespread uncertainty surrounding increases in flood insurance premiums.     President Obama Signs Flood Bill Into Law   On March 21, 2014, President Obama signed the “Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act” into law. This law repeals FEMA’s authority to increase premium rates at time of sale or new flood map, and refunds the excessive premium to those who bought a property before FEMA warned them of the rate increase. The bill limits premium increases to 18% annually on newer properties and 25% for some older ones. Additionally, the bill adds a small assessment on policies until everyone is paying full cost for flood insurance.     Sourc...
Comments 6
By Jill Sackler, LI South Shore Real Estate - Broker Associate
(Charles Rutenberg Realty Inc. 516-575-7500)
Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) - The Definition   The process of selling your house begins with a Market Analysis carefully prepared by a local agent. Take your time looking over all the information and understanding where your home best fits in. Some of the properties included may be a little smaller or larger than yours; some may be more or less expensive. Pay attention to lot size, garage size, bedrooms, baths, basement etc. as well as the number of days the listing was on the market (DOM). Well done, it is a very accurate representation of your home's current worth but, in a fluid market, even six months can make a noticeable difference in price and render the market analysis moot.While the definition for terms like active, solds etc. may appear to be self-explanatory, below, I e...
Comments 11
By Jill Sackler, LI South Shore Real Estate - Broker Associate
(Charles Rutenberg Realty Inc. 516-575-7500)
Urban Students Discover Their Roots on the Yucatan Peninsula A recent winter break afforded me the most amazing opportunity to chaperone a middle school excursion to the Yucantan Peninsula. Each year, approximately 25 extra deserving students are rewarded with an all expense-paid trip to an educational and, sometimes, exotic locale. M.S. 136, also known as Charles O'Dewey Middle School, is located in Sunset Park, Brooklyn. My husband, principal, along with his trusted staff, have worked really hard throughout the years to create a comfortable environment, rich in education and innovation. Three jam-packed days were spent traveling to and touring famous sights like the ruins and pyramids of Chichen Itza, Tulum and Kabo Maya. As we visited and ate lunch in an authentic Mayan village, zip-...
Comments 1
By Geri Sonkin, Long Island Real Estate & Staging Expert
(Douglas Elliman Real Estate 516-457-7103)
Yesterday started earlier than usual for me, joining the south shore chapter of LIBOR for a well attended breakfast meeting at the Merrick Park Golf Course building.  Dennis Miller, an expert in Flood Insurance requirements and all its nuances and changes, spoke to a spellbound crowd.  Fortunately for me, I was testing out an app I'd downloaded some time ago.  I realized there was too much information being disseminated, and too probable a chance I'd miss something or get some of it wrong.   While people were scrambling for paper and pen to scribble as fast as they could, hoping the hieroglyphics held the information they needed.  I, realizing it wasn't happening, remembered the app and turned it on.  There was no way to know , through this exercise whether it would, in fact, cut throug...
Comments 10
By Geri Sonkin, Long Island Real Estate & Staging Expert
(Douglas Elliman Real Estate 516-457-7103)
This was the sight I awoke to this morning.  The major predicted storm was dropping snowflakes the size of small elephants at a rate of about four to five inches an hour, adding to the densely packed snow and ice already glued to every flat surface around.  It may be pretty to look at but I, for one, am ready for an early spring.  
Comments 8
By Jill Sackler, LI South Shore Real Estate - Broker Associate
(Charles Rutenberg Realty Inc. 516-575-7500)
Move While You're Still Young Enough to Enjoy It   Normally, when you're selling one home, you're enthusiastically planning for the purchase of another.But not always. Forty years was a very long time to live in one place. All their life cycle milestones were tied to this residence.  Every displayed memento needing to be wrapped, sold or trashed unleashed a torrent of near- paralyzing memories. Packing up was excruciating.  Picture elderly clients with serious health concerns. Leaving the house normally meant a visit to the doctor. A flight of steps and practically any distance at all needed to be avoided at all costs. Their minds were on other issues - pressing issues like estate planning - serious issues - matters of life and death.  My home visits needed to be brief. Sitting for any ...
Comments 14
Merrick, NY Real Estate Professionals