Merrick, NY Real Estate News

By Geri Sonkin, Long Island Real Estate & Staging Expert
(Douglas Elliman Real Estate 516-457-7103)
Nicholas James, an intimate bistro style restaurant with a New York flair, sits at 2057 Merrick Road, just east of Merrick Avenue, in the town of Merrick.  With crisp linens, tasty, well prepared dishes and a welcoming atmosphere you can count on consistently good food at moderate prices.   This is one of my go to places for a leisurely lunch with friends.  A favorite choice of mine is the grilled BBQ organic salmon, served over wilted spinach and roasted sweet potato, with a delicious mango salsa.  Another great option is their cheese Steak Panini, grilled angus, with caramelized onions, mozzarella cheese, pesto aioli, served with a side salad.  With so many delectible items on their lunch menu, you're sure to find just the right thing to satisfy your palate. Prefer to dine out in the ...
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By Jill Sackler, LI South Shore Real Estate - Broker Associate
(Charles Rutenberg Realty Inc. 516-575-7500)
A Trulia Question for Fellow Real Estate Agents   I received a call this afternoon from a buyer I'm currently working with about a phone call she received from someone claiming to represent Trulia.  The caller did not identify himself and there was no phone number that came up that she could call back for confirmation - just a bunch of zeros. The caller was asking if she was currently working with an agent. My buyer responded that she was but did not give out any other information. When she hung up, she realized this sounded very strange and thought to call me right away to see if this was legitimate. I've never heard of this before and it doesn't sound right. This buyer initially contacted me through Trulia, in regard to another listed property. I very much doubt that Trulia follows up...
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By Jill Sackler, LI South Shore Real Estate - Broker Associate
(Charles Rutenberg Realty Inc. 516-575-7500)
Relief Hopefully on the Horizon for Long Island Homeowners in Flood Zones Homeowners who are situated in flood zones may finally get relief sometime later this week, when a bill comes up for Senate action. This is known as the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act and it is in response to the 2012 Biggert-Waters flood Insurance Law.  If you live and work on Long Island's south shore, as I do, you are desperate to hear some good news about flood insurance rates. The practice of grandfathering current homeowners' flood insurance premiums for future buyers came to a halt after Superstorm Sandy. There have been huge consequences for flood zone homeowners. Real estate values have dropped noticeably. Much of the real estate inventory on Long Island's south shore has attracted little int...
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By Jill Sackler, LI South Shore Real Estate - Broker Associate
(Charles Rutenberg Realty Inc. 516-575-7500)
Blueprints on Long Island There's a whole lot of drawing going on, in several Long Island communties. Walkable developments centered around a transit hub are still in the early planning stages in areas like Huntington Station, Wyandanch, Hicksville, Farmingdale and Ronkonkoma. In Patchogue, they have just about finished building and have begun renting.  Long Island has a scarcity of rental units and these revitalization programs are in response to the demand for more apartments. As a former Roe Boulevard resident for more than a decade, I'm a huge fan of Patchogue and I've been eagerly awaiting its progress for many years. Yesterday, I was able to visit the New Village at Patchogue for the very first time. The leasing office is now open for this mixed-use luxury development. Each apartm...
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By Jill Sackler, LI South Shore Real Estate - Broker Associate
(Charles Rutenberg Realty Inc. 516-575-7500)
Homeowner:  Do You Wonder Why Your Home Expired? This morning, the status of the house below read expired on my local MLS. The description read: Stunning, Totally Updated Colonial. State Of The Art Eik, Silestone Counters, Porcelain Fls,Thomasville Cabinets, Under Counter Lighting. High Hats Throughout. Gracious Staircase, 5000 Watt Solar, Ugs. 9% Reduction In Taxes Approved For 2014. I couldn't help but notice it's location south of Merrick Rd. and not an awful lot of properties have moved in the last 1 1/2 years since Superstorm Sandy. But you know, homeowner, your home is not really all that close to water (Camman's pond isn't normally a big problem.) I'm certain it's actually closer to Main Street, and my favorite real estate term in the whole wide world, walkability, is totally app...
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By Jill Sackler, LI South Shore Real Estate - Broker Associate
(Charles Rutenberg Realty Inc. 516-575-7500)
A couple of days ago, my cell phone rang once and before I could get to it, it shut off. I was just about to call back the missed number 649-232-9844 when something stopped me. I didn't recognize the area code and I happened to be sitting in front of the computer at the time, so I typed in the phone number. What I got back in my search results was unexpected. "This is a scam originating from several Caribbean islands, including Grenada (area code 473), Dominica (area code 767), Jamaica (area code 876), Montserrat (area code 664), and Turks and Caicos Islands (area code 649)." "WARNING: DO NOT RETURN ONE-RING CALLS FROM ANY CARIBBEAN ISLAND AREA CODE" The call is disconnected after one ring and there is no message left. If you routinely call back your missed phone calls, as I do, you wil...
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By Jill Sackler, LI South Shore Real Estate - Broker Associate
(Charles Rutenberg Realty Inc. 516-575-7500)
SHOULD YOU ACCEPT EVERY GOOGLE+ INVITATION YOU RECEIVE? Generally speaking, in the past, if I received an invitation, I was quick to return the favor. Especially in instances where there were people in common, (and this time there were none) I put little thought into my response. I just assumed (feel silly using that expression) that everyone is on the up and up and has good intentions, at heart.    In December, an incident transpired that gave me pause and brought an automatic "yes" to an immediate end.   A gentleman (and I use the term loosely) issued an invitation which I accepted. A couple of unsuitable (and unprofessional) messages followed after which I made the decision to remove him from my circles.   I imagined this to be the end but, it was more like the beginning. A pop-up em...
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By Jill Sackler, LI South Shore Real Estate - Broker Associate
(Charles Rutenberg Realty Inc. 516-575-7500)
MARKET REPORT   MERRICK, NY 11566    2013   RESIDENTIAL/CO-OP   HOW'S MERRICK DOING? Check out the # of sales and median price in 2013.   Great News! The chart below shows home sales in Merrick for the entire year of 2013. Year over year, the residential real estate market has really picked up!   For December, 2013: Year over year, there were 6 fewer homes sold in December, 2013 with a total of 23 home sales. There were zero co-ops/condos sold in December, 2013.     Available inventory of 128 in December, and the current median list price of $494,500 has dropped since last month.   We'll revisit each month to see how Merrick is faring.           
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By Jill Sackler, LI South Shore Real Estate - Broker Associate
(Charles Rutenberg Realty Inc. 516-575-7500)
To Be or Not to Be - a NAR Member? To be honest, I never put any thought into whether or not I should be a NAR member. Right from the beginning, I just was. The first real estate firm I joined required local board and NAR membership from all its agents.  Sure, I've read all the posts about ethics and all forms of appropriate behavior that distinguishes a REALTOR from a non-member. However, I knew I would always act professionally, regardless of membership.  Just recently, an issue came up that clarified the nuances of NAR membership for me. Another agent solicited and won my listing while I was still under contract. The details are less important than the sudden realization that non-membership (the other agent's status) limits your options for recourse. For a NAR member, arbitration is ...
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By Geri Sonkin, Long Island Real Estate & Staging Expert
(Douglas Elliman Real Estate 516-457-7103)
I always caution consumers not to read more into the numbers than there actually is.  When looking at sold properties in all of zip code 11566, Merrick, N. Merrick and S. Merrick, one has to remember to factor in the unusual circumstances as we began the year and were in the rebuilding process after Hurricane Sandy. After a number of difficult and uncertain years, 2013 certainly showed evidence of a recovering market, with prices increasing and homes selling much faster than they had for a long time.  The first graph shows the numbers for the past twelve months. Available inventory by the end of the year was down to 127, partially reflecting seasonal factors and that properties, when priced well, were selling quickly, sometimes in an atmosphere of competitive bidding wars.  327 homes, o...
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By Geri Sonkin, Long Island Real Estate & Staging Expert
(Douglas Elliman Real Estate 516-457-7103)
To say it's freezing on Long Island doesn't begin to describe the temperatures that chill you to the bone and threaten frostbite right through those gloves you were positive would keep your hands warm.  I had to be out for a good part of the day today.  A couple of stops in Merrick, to check on a home in inventory and make sure the weather was not wreaking havoc on it, to stop by a soon to be new listing, grab a quick bite of lunch, before venturing out once again to a hopefully quick stop in Bethpage. Even my car creaked and moaned as it reluctantly turned over instinctively at the press of the start button.  The mirrors did a spastic dance as they tried to figure out exactly where they were supposed to be and the windows sounded mightily like they were going to crack at the insanity o...
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By Jill Sackler, LI South Shore Real Estate - Broker Associate
(Charles Rutenberg Realty Inc. 516-575-7500)
No Big Deal Any neighborhood known for its NYC hipsters - Astoria, Long Island City or Williamsburg, just to name a few, and the loft would have been gone in the snap of a finger. I didn't scrutinize the details like I should have when another agent from my firm offered me a referral. His 6-month listing was coming to an end and there were no buyers in sight. Rather than renew, and in light of the fact that summer was nearing and he desired time for travel and family, he offered the co-op apartment to me.  Shortly after I got it, I realized for the first time that crucial paperwork was missing. Only a handful of years in the business, but I've already amassed a significant amount of experience with missing C of O's and building department paperwork in various counties; for private house...
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By Jill Sackler, LI South Shore Real Estate - Broker Associate
(Charles Rutenberg Realty Inc. 516-575-7500)
MLS Photo Flop No need to adjust your eyes. This single, unrotated picture of the house is, indeed, the only one that appears for this particular listing. For the life of me, I can't figure out how agents, clients or customers can think this is a suitable representation of the property.  With all the available statistics on the percentage of buyers who begin (and rule out) their search online, it needs to be ingrained in the minds of those in our business that pictures do count. Here's hoping it was just a placeholder for more and better ones to come!  
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By Jill Sackler, LI South Shore Real Estate - Broker Associate
(Charles Rutenberg Realty Inc. 516-575-7500)
Authority - Gets You Where You Need To Go A wise man once said that when we first begin blogging, we believe we're great, but we actually stink. After a while, and with loads of practice, we really do become great. In blogging, we seek to replicate the look and feel of a community which allows our subscribers to window shop at their own pace, scour the Internet for insight into our experience and personality and make crucial financial decisions based on pre-recorded testimonials. It's widely accepted that business is conducted with people we know, like and trust.  People first, then commerce. Key to business transacted in person is a brick and mortar venue, longevity in that location, civil responsibility, a reliable referral source, and positive history. A computer provides us with the...
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By Jill Sackler, LI South Shore Real Estate - Broker Associate
(Charles Rutenberg Realty Inc. 516-575-7500)
MARKET REPORT   MERRICK, NY 11566   NOVEMBER, 2013   RESIDENTIAL/CO-OP   HOW'S MERRICK DOING? Check out the # of sales and median price in November, 2013.     This chart depicts residential and condo/co-op sales for the month of November in years 2011, 2012 and 2013.    Great News! Year over year, there were 20 more homes sold in November, 2013 with 35 home sales. There were zero co-ops/condos sold in November, 2013.     Available inventory is 144, and the current median list price of $524,900 remains stable.   We'll revisit each month to see how Merrick is faring.        
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By Geri Sonkin, Long Island Real Estate & Staging Expert
(Douglas Elliman Real Estate 516-457-7103)
This was what I awoke to see yesterday as mother nature gave us a break from chilly temperatures.  I was on my way to an early appointment when I had to stop the car to try to capture the beauty in the fog.  Interestingly, try as I might, the camera and I were seeing two different scenes.  The fog at some spots was as thick as pea soup, but the eye of my iPhone seemed to cut through it. If we stop and take notice, there is so much beauty in our world, don't you think?
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By Jill Sackler, LI South Shore Real Estate - Broker Associate
(Charles Rutenberg Realty Inc. 516-575-7500)
SELLING WITH SENIORS   "This amount represents a lifetime's worth of savings," is a sentiment you may often hear expressed by a senior interested in purchasing his final home and, it really is his biggest financial investment at that stage of life. No doubt about it, it's a long, slow process. Understandably, seniors do not wish to feel rushed. They want to take their time making this grand decision and they want to completely trust the person they've hired for the job. Home with amenities are attractive to them. They'd like to keep up a certain quality of life without having to worry about common maintenance issues. Other like-minded couples of a similar age range, in close proximity, are great for a built-in social life and a feeling of community.     55+ Community in Nassau County on...
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By Jill Sackler, LI South Shore Real Estate - Broker Associate
(Charles Rutenberg Realty Inc. 516-575-7500)
The New Black Friday Starts on Thursday   In years past, Black Friday meant middle of the night wakes-ups, long johns to survive those freezing temps and travel mugs of coffee or hot cocoa for the younger set. Was it pleasant? No, not really but, you have to admit it was exciting.  Black Friday was new and amazing deals were available for those brave enough to confront the elements. (Read, not only, single degrees outdoors but hordes of people who, sometimes, resorted to pushing and shoving for their chance to buy that last flat screen T.V.) Most likely, in an attempt to attract even more customers and limit their potential for bodily harm and store liability, opening hours have begun to creep up until they are now firmly encroaching on Thanksgiving dinner. Many big name department stor...
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By Jill Sackler, LI South Shore Real Estate - Broker Associate
(Charles Rutenberg Realty Inc. 516-575-7500)
INSIDE MERRICK, DEC 2013 ISSUE, YOU'RE NOT JUST GIVING IT AWAY Inside Merrick is a community magazine that welcomes contributions from local residents. It's terrific hometown exposure, with a circulation of 5000, distributed the old-fashioned way - by U.S. Postal Service! Look for me in Inside Merrick. I'll be sharing information on what I'm most passionate and knowledgeable about - the trials and tribulations of moving!      
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By Jill Sackler, LI South Shore Real Estate - Broker Associate
(Charles Rutenberg Realty Inc. 516-575-7500)
Memories Lost in the Attic   Moving day brings only chaos and confusion. Mementos individually wrapped in tissue paper, neatly labeled moving boxes, a carefully crafted to-do list - forget them all - "the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry." When moving day finally comes, find yourself the only quiet little corner that remains and stay there, out of harm's way, until the job is done.  And if those sunflowers you've been happily growing the last few months, happen to get trampled on by moving men, in the midst of all the frenetic activity, try hard not to shed a tear. It's all just a part of the moving process. Oh, you were so proud! That leisurely work pace you'd adopted over the last 3 months - 2 hours of packing in the morning, an outside activity in the afternoon - this wa...
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Merrick, NY Real Estate Professionals