Westchester County Real Estate Blog

Sellers Beware! Five White Lies That Could Hurt Your Chances of Selling Your Home

We’ve all come to accept—and perhaps even expect—some of the “enhanced language” that sellers often use in real estate listings.

You know the ones we’re talking about: “Cozy” can be code for small, “charming” likely means old, “efficient” often stands in for small, and “unique” might suggest it’s hard to sell.

Yes, some sellers use language to smooth over a home’s rough spots. But when homeowners veer into actual untruths, it’s a problem.

It’s one thing to hide clutter and spruce up the living room furniture to prepare the home to sell, but it’s another thing entirely when sellers outright fib to potential buyers. Read on to get the lowdown on how white lies can torpedo a sale.

Fudging the truth or telling a lie?

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Five Tell-Tale Signs You’re Ready to Buy a House — Beyond Having a Down Payment

When it comes to buying a home, there are the obvious signs you’re ready. The main one? You’ve got enough money saved for a down payment (which doesn’t have to be 20 percent, by the way!), with some cash left over in savings for a cushion. But you also have to be emotionally prepared for ride that could include bidding wars, inspection concerns, and other twists like appraisal gaps.  (All things we are happy to explain to you!) 

But what are some lesser-known — yet still important — signs you’re ready to become a homeowner? Here’s what the real estate experts have to say:

You’ll stay put for a while.

Amid the pandemic, an estimated 50% of all Americans were considering a move. Remote work and new flexible leasing models made frequent moves and test-driving different cities easier than ever before.

If you’re looking to become a homeowner, you don’t necessarily have...

The Three Best Practices for Selling Your Home This Year

A new year usually brings with it the opportunity for new experiences. If that resonates with you because you’re considering making a move, you’re likely juggling a mix of excitement over your next home and a sense of attachment to your current one.

A great way to ease some of those emotions and ensure you’re feeling confident in your decision is to keep these three best practices in mind.

1. Price Your Home Right

The housing market shifted in 2022 as mortgage rates rose, buyer demand eased, and the number of homes for sale grew. As a seller, you’ll want to recognize things are different now and price your house appropriately based on where the market is today. Greg McBride, Chief Financial Analyst at Bankrate, explains:

“Price your home realistically. This isn’t the housing market of April...

31 Ways to Save for Your Down Payment

There’s a meme going around that says something like, “I unsubscribed from Netflix and have been packing my own lunch; should be able to afford a house any day now!” This is exactly the type of zinger that resonates with today’s generation of homebuyers. Home prices are at record highs, and factors like student loan debt, salaries not keeping pace with inflation, and high rent prices all make saving for a down payment really difficult.

To put it another way? It’s passé (and laughable, really) to tell anyone that skipping an iced coffee run here and there will magically translate to a down payment fund in this unprecedented market. But if you are looking to put some money aside for a down payment,...

4 Things First Time Home Buyers Are Never Prepared For

Buying a home for the first time is an exciting part of life. After renting or living with family, it’s finally time to have your own place. What once seemed like a dream can quickly become a reality once you find the perfect place — after your offer gets accepted and you eventually close. Having keys in hand and walking through your home for the first time is so gratifying.

However, a few things can quickly bring your head out of the clouds if you aren’t in the know. Of course, owning a home is well worth the investment in yourself and your future, but that doesn’t mean it can’t come with some unexpected costs and roadblocks. But don't worry, we're here to help you navigate the road ahead! Here are...

How to Sell Your Home During a Real Estate Slowdown

Selling a home is proving to be not quite as easy as it was last year—or even six months ago, for that matter.

Between the news that we already seem to be slipping into an unofficial recession and a home market slowdown, many sellers are starting to feel like they’re up against an impossible task. The Federal Reserve’s most recent interest rate hike of 0.75% is expected to push up mortgage rates that had already reached a 20-year high, putting further pressure on a stressed market.

But if you’re in a position to sell, there’s absolutely no reason to give up hope!  While you might not be able to bank on receiving multiple offers over your home’s asking price (the way we've seen over the last 2 years); but with a little foresight and strategic thinking, you’ll be scheduling the moving trucks in no time.

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Buying a Home with a Rental Unit

Buying a home can be full of difficult decisions; and as interest rates rise, some buyers may experience more difficulty planning financially for the property they envision buying.  For people looking for a different way to help pay their mortgage every month, choosing a multi-family property or a home with an attached rental unit might help offset costs and provide the monthly income that makes their mortgage payment a little easier to accomplish.

What Is an Attached Rental Unit?

An attached rental unit, formally called an Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU), is typically a smaller living space adjacent to a main home. It might be a tiny house in the backyard, or something more like a self-contained mother-in-law apartment attached to the house. It can even be a small apartment over the garage. In many cases, it is even a 2-Family Home where the owner lives in one unit and rents the other.  There aren’t a lot of rules about what an ADU has to be, except...

How to Ace a Home Inspection and Sell Your Home Fast

The home inspection can be a particularly stressful part of the home buying process for buyers, but the equally anxious seller might be waiting with bated breath for the results as well. The buyer is typically responsible for scheduling and paying for the home inspection, but if the house is revealed to have major issues, the seller can be on the hook for repairs - or could lose the deal entirely.

When selling a home, one of he most nerve-wracking parts of the process is waiting to see the outcome of the home inspection. Home inspection issues like termite or mold damage can mean the seller will have to shell out money, credits, or concessions to make things right with the buyer. If the buyer is...

Can't Afford the Home You Could a Year Ago? Here's What to Do

Credit scores saw a jump during the first year of the pandemic. Now, amid high inflation and rising consumer debt, they’re holding steady - and thats not necessarily a good thing.

The national average FICO credit score sits at 716, which is still an all-time high but is unchanged from a year ago, according to a new report from FICO, the analytics company that developed one of the go-to credit scores for lenders.

This leveling-off of the score is significant, as 2022 marks the first time in over a decade that the average FICO score has not increased year over year.

FICO scores range from 300 (poor) to 850 (excellent). Credit scores are used by lenders to determine how risky (or not) you’ll be as a borrower; they impact the terms of credit cards, personal loans and mortgages.

It seems...