Westchester County Real Estate Blog

6 Telltale Signs You're looking at a Cheaply Flipped Bathroom

A well-designed bathroom in a newly renovated home can woo just about any buyer. It's hard not to fall for a bathroom outfitted with a new toilet, tub, and tile because - in most instances, it is safe to assume that your bathroom will be fully functional and free of problems for years to come.

But behind those flawless new fixtures and finishes may be hiding ugly truths about the quality of the bathroom renovation. Worst case scenario? You’re looking at a cheap flip.

A cheaply flipped bathroom is usually the result of hasty workmanship or a money-saving strategy from cash-strapped owners. In the business of home flipping, the quicker you can get the property remodeled and sold, the more successful you’ll be. But renovations take time, and some bathroom updates such as plumbing, painting, and tile laying...

What Is a Good Credit Score to Buy a Home?

If you're hoping to buy a home with a conventional mortgage, one number you’ll want to get to know well is your credit score. Also called a credit rating or FICO score, this three-digit number is a numerical representation of your credit report, which outlines your history of paying off debts.

Why does your minimum credit score matter? Because when you apply for a mortgage to buy a home, lenders want some reassurance a borrower will repay them later! One way they assess this is to check your creditworthiness by scrutinizing your credit report and score carefully. A high score proves you have reliably paid off past debts, whether they’re from a credit card or other type of loan.

In short, your credit score matters, especially in real estate. This brings us to an important...

5 Signs a Home You Hope To Buy Is Overpriced

Here’s a not-so-fun fact for homebuyers: Real estate prices have been rising by double-digit percentages for 36 straight weeks, currently clocking in at a national median of $449,000.

That’s the bad news, but here’s the good: There are several clear signs that the raging seller’s market we’ve experienced over the past few years has reached its peak and is on the decline - and home prices may soon follow suit.

Even though asking prices are still climbing, recent data shows that more sellers overreached what buyers were willing to pay, and had to reduce their asking price.

The thing is, many home sellers haven’t gotten the memo yet. Or they have, but are in denial, hanging on to some long-shot hope that their property...

8 Things Every Home Inspection Checklist Should Include

Buying a new home can be a thrilling and terrifying adventure. During the process, you’ll need to address dozens of details regarding your new abode, including potential problems with the foundation, structure appliances, fixtures, electricity, plumbing, and more. But, thankfully, there’s a simple and effective solution to ensure your new dwelling doesn’t turn out to be a nightmare: getting a home inspection.

A critical component of the buying process, a home inspection is like a test drive for a new house. First, the potential owner should hire an experienced and qualified professional for the job; a smart place to search is the American Society of Home Inspectors, a not-for-profit association that establishes standards for property inspectors, identifying problems that the buyer may want to negotiate with...

Economists Have a Strange New Buzzword for the Housing Market That Will Shock Buyers and Sellers

The housing market has been called plenty of things this summer: red-hotinsanebrutal. But the latest word to describe the state of real estate today is almost shocking in its tepidness: balanced.

But what does a balanced housing market actually look like—and mean—for buyers and sellers?

In a nutshell, “balance” means that the raging seller’s market that’s dominated since the COVID-19 pandemic is slowly shifting—not into full ...

Your Parents Want To Help You Buy a House? Ensure This Dream Come True Doesn't Turn Into a Nightmare

Wow-- your parents want to help bankroll your first house!

Maybe you won't have to save for a down payment or face mortgage payments for the next 30 years. Sounds fantastic, right?

Yes and no. We all know that no matter how close you are with your family, sometimes relationships can get complicated - espically if you add money to the mix.

What if your parents don't like your version of a dream home? Accepting a generous gift will naturally come with some strings attacked, but there is still a way to set boundaries.

Here's how to gratefully accept financial aid while maintaing a good relationship before, during, and after you buy a home.

How parents help their kids

Many parents happily hand over cash to assist their children with buying their first home. And their kids are usually glad to take it.

According...

Homes Haven't Been This Unaffordable Since 1989

The average monthly mortgage payment jumped 54% year over year in June while the media household income rose only 5.8%, according to the NAR's Housing Affordability Index. As home affordability weakened and the median home price shot to a record $413,800 in June, NAR's index fell to its lowest reading in 33 years. Home prices have increased at a pace that far exceeds wage gains, especially for low- and middle-income workers.

Housing affordability "dramatically tumbled" in the second quarter amid rising mortgage rates and climbing home prices, NAR data shows. Monthly mortgage payments on a typical existing single-damily home surged by nearly a third compared to the first quarter and by half compared to a year earlier. The 30-year fixed-rate mortage has nearly doubled in that time. Although rates stabilixed somewhat this month, they...

Is the Market Changing? 4 New Realities of Buying a Home Today

The real estate market is changing, and fast. For two long years, we've been in a red-hot seller's market, where home sellers hot exactly what they wanted - high home prices, zero strings attached - and often much more.

Now, however, the pendulum is starting to swing back in buyers' favor. While it's nowhere near an official buyers' market, there are signs the market is cooling, sellers are no longer calling all the shots, and buyers have more roof for negotation than they have had in the past.

If you're considering looking for a home in this market, here's a closer to look at what to expect:

Old norm: Almost every market was red-hot

New norm: Some markets are cooling down

Potential homebuyers need to understand that all real estate is local. The national...