Westchester County Real Estate Blog

9 Ways to Save Money While Renting

With inflation jacking up the price of groceries to gas and beyond, just about everything has more expensive these days - and rent is no exception.

According to the most recent Realtor.com rental report, the median rent in the 50 largest U.S. cities has been setting record highs for 17 months straight, currently hovering at $1,879.

With numbers like that, finding ways to save money while renting - to buy a house, pay for a vacation, or fund other life goals - may seem like a daunting exercise in self-deprivation. But experts insist that today’s renters can still amass some cash reserves without feeling much of a pinch. It all comes down to pinpointing your priorities, and shedding the rest.

Renters just need to focus their search on what...

What is a Contingent Offer? What it Means When Buying a Home

A contingent offer means that an offer on a new home has been made and the seller has accepted it, but that the final sale is contingent upon certain criteria that have to be met. These criteria, or types of contingencies, are clauses in a sales contract that typically fall under three major categories: appraisal, home inspection, and mortgage approval.

Such contingencies are mainly put in place so that buyers can back out of a real estate sale sale if something goes wrong, usually without losing their earnest money deposit. A seller might entertain other offers after a refusal, but won’t deal with another buyer until the contingent offer is settled in one way or another.

Home inspection contingent offer

One of the most common contingencies for home buyers is the home inspection contingency....

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 can’t...

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 question:...

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 may still...

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 the seller...

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 to...