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Priscilla Toomey on Real Estate: The Truth about Square Feet PDF Print Email

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By Priscilla R. Toomey, Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker JD, ABR, Julia B. Fee Sotheby’s International Realty


May 23, 2018:  In New York City there has been litigation over the number of square feet that are represented for a home so there can be greater consistency in what is shown on a listing. In Westchester – well, it’s a little like the “Wild West”(chester). Towns and villages do have measurements, but they use their own standards. Homeowners can measure the home themselves, but they are likely to use their own approach. Yet a lot of buyers in our area come from New York City or other areas where price per square foot is viewed as very important.

Past listings for a given property may state a square footage that is not accurate. Then, when the property is about to come on the market again, the question is: did it shrink or grow or is the listing broker just copying the square footage from the old listing? If there has been a renovation since its most recent sale, the property should be re-measured, regardless.

The rules have also changed. Once upon a time, finished basements were routinely included. Now only those that meet specific requirements can be. And attics were often included, as well. Many were used as living space of one kind or another, although they were not listed on the certificate of occupancy and therefore should not have been included. These are sometimes included today, but they are not supposed to be included in the number of square feet of living space but rather noted separately on the listing.

One reason to strive for accuracy is that the number of square feet listed for a given dwelling determines the price per square foot and buyers do use that for comparison purposes. So increasing the number of stated square feet lowers the price per square foot and makes that home look more competitive. Yet, when a listing is entered into our area Multiple Listing Service, the number of square feet is designated as “estimated.”

When square feet are very important to a buyer, one approach is to ask if there is a professionally measured floor plan to accompany the listing. Often there is. If there isn’t, a buyer can arrange through their agent to have one drawn for a modest cost. It’s important that the person engaged for this job is a professional who follows the American National Standards Institute ("ANSI") guidelines.

With all this said, perhaps the most important thing to keep in mind is that square footage is only one of several very important factors in making a homebuying decision. While a buyer rightfully would want to know about how many square feet there are in a given home, the quality of the school district, the home’s condition, the commuting time, proximity to a Metro-North station, the town’s amenities and ambiance, prices paid for recent comparable sales, and other factors are just as important. After all, they’re what make any given buyer a happy long-term resident.

Pictured here:  Priscilla Toomey, licensed associate real estate broker, JD, ABR, Top5, certified EcoBroker, SRES with Julia B. Fee/Sotheby's International Realty, 2 Park Place, Bronxville, NY 10708; cell, 914-559-8084; email, CLOAKING .   

Photo courtesy Julia B. Fee/Sotheby's International Realty

Editor's note:  As a public service, MyhometownBronxville publishes press releases, statements, and articles from local institutions, officeholders, candidates, and individuals. MyhometownBronxville does not fact-check statements therein, and any opinions expressed therein do not necessarily reflect the thinking of its staff.

 
Priscilla Toomey on Real Estate: Swing into Spring with these 11 Home 'To-Dos' PDF Print Email

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By Priscilla R. Toomey, Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker JD, ABR, Julia B. Fee Sotheby’s International Realty


Apr. 25, 2018:  On days the weather is really saying “it’s spring,” one worthwhile activity is to walk around the outside of your home to see what needs to be repaired or spruced up. And then, of course, a good look around the inside is next. Here are 10 things to look for:

  1. Clear gutters and downspouts of leaves and other debris.

  2. Inspect your roof for missing or damaged shingles or tiles.

  3. Inspect your driveway, walkways, and deck for any damage or cracks that need to be sealed.

  4. Remove any vegetation that may have grown around your HVAC compressors.

  5. Check screens and repair any holes; check and repair seals around windows and doors.

  6. Replace or clean HVAC filters.

  7. Clean the dryer vent and check the washer fill hose for any damage that needs repair.

  8. Repair any place where there is cracked or peeling paint (both inside and outside)—check door sills, which may need to be re-varnished after a punishing winter.

  9. Vacuum refrigerator coils.

  10. Replace batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.

  11. Drain your water heater to get rid of any sediment build-up.

…and enjoy the spring weather as it finally comes our way, knowing you have taken care of your home’s wellbeing!

Pictured here:  Priscilla Toomey, licensed associate real estate broker, JD, ABR, Top5, certified EcoBroker, SRES with Julia B. Fee/Sotheby's International Realty, 2 Park Place, Bronxville, NY 10708; cell, 914-559-8084; email, CLOAKING .   

Photo courtesy Julia B. Fee/Sotheby's International Realty

Editor's note:  As a public service, MyhometownBronxville publishes press releases, statements, and articles from local institutions, officeholders, candidates, and individuals. MyhometownBronxville does not fact-check statements therein, and any opinions expressed therein do not necessarily reflect the thinking of its staff.

 
Admiral Real Estate Receives CoStar Power Broker Awards PDF Print Email

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By Staff, Admiral Real Estate Services Corp.


Apr. 4, 2018:  The Bronxville-based commercial real estate brokerage firm Admiral Real Estate Services Corp. is pleased to announce that the firm and two of its brokers, Jonathan Gordon and Joan Simon, have been recognized as CoStar Power Brokers by CoStar Group (NASDAQ: CSGP), commercial real estate’s leading independent research firm.

This annual award recognizes the “best of the best” in commercial real estate brokerage by spotlighting the U.S. firms and individual brokers who closed the highest transaction volume in commercial property sales or leases for the previous calendar year (this year, 2017) in their respective markets. 

As the largest professional research organization serving the commercial real estate industry, CoStar is uniquely positioned to identify the top firms and brokers in each market throughout the U.S. All awards are based on transaction data in CoStar's commercial real estate database, the largest independently researched database of commercial real estate property information available online.

Admiral Real Estate Services Corp. was recognized as a top Westchester/Connecticut commercial leasing firm. Gordon and Simon qualified as top brokers in the Westchester/Connecticut commercial real estate market based on the total leasing transactions each closed during 2017. 

Admiral Real Estate Services has been the recipient of a CoStar Power Broker designation every year since 2010. 

"Every year, we are honored to recognize those individual brokers and firms who have outperformed their peers," said CoStar Group founder and CEO Andrew C. Florance. "These industry leaders have demonstrated exceptional sales and leasing success, and we congratulate them on their achievement."

Pictured here (rotating): Jonathan Gordon and Joan Simon.

Photos courtesy Admiral Real Estate Services Corp.


Editor's note:  As a public service, MyhometownBronxville publishes press releases, statements, and articles from local institutions, legislators, and candidates. MyhometownBronxville does not fact-check statements therein, and any opinions expressed therein do not necessarily reflect the thinking of its staff.

 
Priscilla Toomey on Real Estate: Is It the Bargain You Think It Is? PDF Print Email

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By Priscilla R. Toomey, Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker, Julia B. Fee/Sotheby's International Realty


Mar. 14, 2018:  Often homebuyers see an especially attractive price and the fact that the property is in foreclosure or is a short sale doesn’t deter them from offering to buy it. It should. 

The reason the property is bank-owned or on its way to that status is that the owners have serious financial difficulties and can’t keep current with their mortgage payments. As a consequence, they rarely spend any of the precious money they do have on home repairs or renovations – or on “deferred maintenance.” They have come to accept their home’s condition for quite a while and probably don’t even see the issues a buyer would. The buyer inherits that condition and will need funds to cover the cost of repairs and renovations. 

Every so often, a house comes on the market in foreclosure or as a short sale and it happens to be the least attractive home on the most attractive block. If you find that home through some serendipitous event, ask yourself:

  • Do I have a pre-approval or verification of funds to show that I can afford the purchase?

  • Do I know my lender can act quickly to give me a mortgage commitment (the mortgagee bank doesn’t like to wait) 

  • Do I have sufficient funds for the work that needs to be done and that I want to do? 

  • Would I want the house and location even if it were not a foreclosure or a short sale, i.e., not bargain-priced? 

  • If it’s a short sale, am I prepared to wait an open-ended amount of time for the current lenders to approve the sale – six to eight months is not unusual. 

What you have stumbled upon may, in fact, be the rare terrific house and an unbeatable price – just be sure it is before you commit to it.

Pictured here:  Priscilla Toomey, licensed associate real estate broker, JD, ABR, Top5, certified EcoBroker, SRES with Julia B. Fee/Sotheby's International Realty, 2 Park Place, Bronxville, NY 10708; cell, 914-559-8084; email, CLOAKING .   

Photo courtesy Julia B. Fee/Sotheby's International Realty 

Editor's note:  As a public service, MyhometownBronxville publishes press releases, statements, and articles from local institutions, legislators, and candidates. MyhometownBronxville does not fact-check statements therein, and any opinions expressed therein do not necessarily reflect the thinking of its staff.

 
Priscilla Toomey on Real Estate: Don't Wait Till It's Too Late PDF Print Email

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By Priscilla R. Toomey, Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker, Julia B. Fee/Sotheby's International Realty


Feb. 14, 2018:  There is an area real estate office with a sign that reads: "The house you saw yesterday and are thinking of putting an offer on tomorrow is the same house someone else saw yesterday and is putting an offer on today." ‎It's only human nature to think another more a desirable, less expensive, larger, more recently renovated house will come on the market at some point in the future. It might. But you could lose out on the house you just saw and loved in the meantime.

Let me repeat other words of wisdom a very experienced agent tried to impart to a "newbie" once upon a time: "Half the journey is finding the house, the other half is making it yours."

There's a reason behind the saying "the grass is always greener," but, as we know, it often doesn't hold true. Sometimes it just appears to be that way and we'd be happier if we'd made an offer on that earlier house we loved--before someone else snatched it up.

Today's buyers tend to want everything on their wish list and believe they should wait until they find it. Yet the "sweet spot" in buying a home is often a house that is not perfect but that has most of the items on that buyer's checklist--but most likely not all. Those are the homes other buyers may have passed over and can be bought at an attractive price and made your own.

This applies especially to kitchen/family room combinations ("open plan"). Many older homes ‎were built with traditional kitchens, and converting them to beautiful open-plan kitchen/family room combinations is, admittedly, a chunk of work and expense. But at the end of the day, you have something that suits your taste, not someone else's, and gives you joy to live in and come home to.

Homes that meet most, though not all, of your criteria as a buyer may be the perfect solution for you. Don't lose what you love.

Pictured here:  Priscilla Toomey, licensed associate real estate broker, JD, ABR, Top5, certified EcoBroker, SRES with Julia B. Fee/Sotheby's International Realty, 2 Park Place, Bronxville, NY 10708; cell, 914-559-8084; email, CLOAKING .   

Photo courtesy Julia B. Fee/Sotheby's International Realty 

Editor's note:  As a public service, MyhometownBronxville publishes press releases, statements, and articles from local institutions, legislators, and candidates. MyhometownBronxville does not fact-check statements therein, and any opinions expressed therein do not necessarily reflect the thinking of its staff.

 
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