vendor area Global 21016 (SMALLER PIC)

Realtors and other business people network during the 10th Annual Global Real Estate Summit & Expo, held at the Dyker Beach Golf Course in Brooklyn, N.Y.

BROOKLYN/STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. – Realtors and other business people seeking stronger ties to international commerce were drawn to the 10th Annual Global Real Estate Summit & Expo, held Sept. 15 in Brooklyn, N.Y.

Co-hosted by the Staten Island Board of Realtors® (SIBOR) and the Brooklyn Real Estate Board, this year’s gathering attracted hundreds of attendees to the Dyker Beach Golf Course, where the Summit was held in a borough other than Staten Island for the first time in its 10-year history.

“This event is important not just for Staten Island but for all the boroughs,” said Ron Molcho, a SIBOR director and chairman of the Global Real Estate Summit, during an interview with Spectrum News NY1. “Today our businesses are no longer limited to our locale. We are able to engage with clients across the globe.”

Relocating the Summit to a new venue across the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge was a logical next step in its growth as a prominent business event, said SIBOR CEO Sandy Krueger in advance of the event. “Talking about global real estate requires that we expand horizons beyond our boundaries. “We see this initiative evolving into a citywide program.”

A variety of notable businesses and organizations participated at the Summit, such as: RE/MAX; Douglas Elliman Real Estate; Halstead Property; New York Wheel; Sotheby’s International Realty; Gale International; New York City Economic Development Corp.; NYC Department of City Planning; NYU School of Professional Studies Schack Institute of Real Estate; Wells Fargo Home Mortgage; Citi; Empire State Bank; HSBC Bank USA; Quontic Bank; Triangle Equities; Keller Williams Realty; CBRE; NY1 News, and others.

The daylong event also included the Global Real Estate Summit’s 2016 media partners: The Real Deal; Staten Island Media Group (Staten Island Advance/SILive.com); Star Network, and Brooklyn Home Reporter.

Presenting sponsor of SIBOR’s 10th annual Global Real Estate Summit was InterContinental Capital Group.

Experts at the symposium discussed a range of topics, such as: “Financial Issues in Global Transactions; “Marketing Across Borders: The Developer Connection;” “Paradigm Shift: The Multi-Cultural Millennial Effect;” “The Renaissance of Staten Island’s North Shore,” and “A Broker’s Perspective: Rules of International Engagement.”

About The Staten Island Board of REALTORS® (SIBOR)

Having marked its 100th anniversary in October 2015, the Staten Island Board of REALTORS® (SIBOR) is the largest professional and trade association in Staten Island, N.Y.

SIBOR exists to enhance the ability and opportunity of its members to conduct their business successfully and ethically, and promote the preservation of the public’s right to own, transfer and use real property.

Comprised of approximately 1,800 members, SIBOR serves real estate agents, brokers and affiliated professionals throughout the borough and surrounding areas.

SIBOR is the provider of the Staten Island Multiple Listing Service Inc. (SIMLS), which works as a clearinghouse through which more than 250 local real estate firms exchange information on properties they have listed for sale. Together, its members participate in over 3,000 real estate transactions every year.

All SIBOR Realtors belong to the New York State Association of REALTORS® (NYSAR) and the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR).

SIBOR may be reached at 718-928-3220 and viewed online at www.SIBOR.com. SIBOR may also be visited on Facebook at “Staten Island Board of Realtors” and “SIBOR Global Real Estate Summit,” and on Twitter via @SIBOR.

Media Contact: Barton Horowitz
Relevant Public Relations, LLC
Headquarters: 718‑682‑1509
Mobile: 917‑715‑8761
Email: Bhorowitz@RelevantPR.com

SIBOR CYPHER FEST PIC 2016

Adorned with the work of Brazilian artist Spiros, a wall at 12 Broad St., in Staten Island’s Stapleton community, highlights NYC Arts Cypher’s “Don’t Be A Bully” and “Pillz Killz” initiatives, along with a tribute to the community’s diversity. (Photo by Sarah Gunn/ NYC Arts Cypher)

Community festival features work of prominent street artists

Staten Island, N.Y. – A $3,600 grant from the Staten Island Board of Realtors (SIBOR) has played a significant role in establishing an A-list artist roster for the Cypher Fest art festival on Staten Island.

The event, presented by the non-profit organization NYC Arts Cypher, will take place 2 to 8 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 10.

With a mission of beautifying Staten Island’s North Shore community of Stapleton, the art festival will feature a combination of international and local artists, whose creations include bright and colorful murals displayed on walls along the Bay Street/Broad Street corridor and adjacent area.

“The aim of this event is to bring the community together, and to introduce more people to Staten Island,” said Charlie Balducci, president and founder of NYC Arts Cypher. “… With the funding we have received from SIBOR, we have been able to keep producing mural, after mural. It is very exciting to have an organization so proactive in this beautification process. The neighborhood is becoming brighter and livelier.”

“SIBOR’s generosity helped to make this an international event, attracting artists from such nations as Italy, Spain, Colombia and Australia,” Balducci added. “A portion of the SIBOR funds were even used to cover the travel expenses of artists traveling to Staten Island from Brazil.”

The artwork at the festival ranges from purely entertaining to serious subject matter, including issues of concern – such as anti-bullying awareness – which NYC Arts Cypher addresses through its programs.

“NYC Arts Cypher is devoted to enhancing the quality of life in its community through youth-centric programs and artistic endeavors. SIBOR appreciates the work of this organization and is privileged to be among its supporters,” said Sandy Krueger, CEO of SIBOR.

NYC Arts Cypher has been promoting positive values through arts and entertainment since 2004.

“Our programs and awareness initiatives have been growing to match the needs of the community over the past decade, and we’re not slowing down,” Balducci said.

The first annual Cypher Fest embraces the talents of such renowned artists as Jorit Agoch, Sipros, Crisp, and numerous others.

DJ’s and break-dancers also will add to the festivities, with entertainment by popular 12-year-old DJ Fussyman, a NYC Arts Cypher protégé who is featured in a 25-foot portrait at the corner of Bay and Broad streets.

About The Staten Island Board of REALTORS® (SIBOR)

Having marked its 100th anniversary in October 2015, the Staten Island Board of REALTORS® (SIBOR) is the largest professional and trade association in Staten Island, N.Y.

SIBOR exists to enhance the ability and opportunity of its members to conduct their business successfully and ethically, and promote the preservation of the public’s right to own, transfer and use real property.

Comprised of approximately 1,800 members, SIBOR serves real estate agents, brokers and affiliated professionals throughout the borough and surrounding areas.

SIBOR is the provider of the Staten Island Multiple Listing Service Inc. (SIMLS), which works as a clearinghouse through which more than 250 local real estate firms exchange information on properties they have listed for sale. Together, its members participate in over 3,000 real estate transactions every year.

All SIBOR Realtors belong to the New York State Association of REALTORS® (NYSAR) and the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR).

SIBOR may be reached at 718-928-3220 and viewed online at www.SIBOR.com. SIBOR may also be visited on Facebook at “Staten Island Board of Realtors” and “SIBOR Global Real Estate Summit,” and on Twitter via @SIBOR.

About NYC Arts Cypher

NYC Arts Cypher is an official 501c3 nonprofit organization that is committed to promoting positive values through arts and entertainment programs, projects and events. The organization is focused on the youth and emerging artists in our communities, in particular, at-risk teens who have difficulty working in an academic setting. The organization’s goal is to motivate young people to apply their energies in a positive and productive manner.

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Media Contact: Barton Horowitz
Relevant Public Relations, LLC
Headquarters: 718‑682‑1509
Mobile: 917‑715‑8761
Email: Bhorowitz@RelevantPR.com

Have you decided to sell your home? The following advice from SIBOR and the New York State Association of Realtors can help your house look its best when potential buyers stop by.

wingman 1

Are you interested in buying or selling property on Staten Island or the surrounding area? Contact the Staten Island Board of REALTORS® (SIBOR). All SIBOR Realtors belong to the New York State Association of REALTORS® (NYSAR) and the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR).

SIBOR may be reached at 718-928-3220 and viewed online at www.SIBOR.com. SIBOR may also be visited on Facebook at “Staten Island Board of Realtors” and “SIBOR Global Real Estate Summit,” and on Twitter via @SIBOR.

By following a few tips and making a couple of simple improvements, you can make your home more appealing to buyers and hopefully help sell it quickly this spring. (Photo credit: © Sunny studio -- Fotolia #79784055)

By following a few tips and making a couple of simple improvements, you can make your home more appealing to buyers, and hopefully help sell it quickly this spring.
(Photo credit: © Sunny studio — Fotolia #79784055)

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y.  (April 6, 2016) – Seventy-five percent of Americans believe that now is a good time to buy a house, according to a recent report from the National Association of Realtors®. That’s great news for Staten Islanders hoping to sell their home this spring.

“Seasonal patterns can differ somewhat depending on climate and where you are in the country, but generally speaking, spring is the busiest season for home buying and selling,” said Claire Bisignano Chesnoff, president of the Staten Island Board of Realtors (SIBOR). “The weather is pleasant, days are longer and curb appeal is at its peak, making it an ideal home shopping season.”

However, one disadvantage for sellers in some markets is housing inventory: It tends to skyrocket in the spring.

So how can you make your home stand out amongst all the others? Here are some tips from SIBOR to help you sell your Staten Island home for the best price this season:

Clean, clean and clean some more. It may be cliché, but make sure that your home is ‘spring clean’ throughout the entire selling process. “When potential home buyers walk inside, they should see a well-organized, sparklingly clean house,” said Ms. Bisignano Chesnoff. “If you can do nothing else, keep floors and windows scrubbed clean, take out trash and recycling frequently, and keep any clutter stored and out of the way.”

Bring fresh flowers indoors. Springtime brings fresh flowers which, when brought inside, can be used as low-cost decor and fragrance.  “Many people prefer natural to artificial scents, making this a perfect staging technique for open houses,” said Ms. Bisignano Chesnoff. “Just be aware that some buyers may have allergies, so avoid flowers with high pollen counts like daisies, chrysanthemums or sunflowers.”

Improve your curb appeal. How your home looks when buyers walk up to it can be just as important as how it looks when they walk into it. “It is important to make sure that your home’s exterior is kept clean and well maintained throughout the season,” said Ms. Bisignano Chesnoff. “At the very least, keep the grass trimmed by mowing regularly, make sure your shrubs and flower beds are well-tended and scrub or paint over any stains or chipped paint on your home’s exterior.

Let the light in. Take advantage of the longer, warmer days by opening up your windows and brightening up your home. “Keep your blinds open and your curtains pulled back to let in as much natural light as possible,” said Ms. Bisignano Chesnoff. “If a room doesn’t receive much sunlight, a well-placed mirror can help capture and reflect light from other rooms to brighten a space.”

By following a few tips and making a couple of simple improvements, you can make your home more appealing to buyers and hopefully help sell it quickly this spring.

If you are interested in selling or buying a home this spring, contact SIBOR.

About The Staten Island Board of REALTORS® (SIBOR)

Having marked its 100th anniversary in October 2015, the Staten Island Board of REALTORS® (SIBOR) is the largest not-for-profit professional and trade association in Staten Island, N.Y.

SIBOR exists to enhance the ability and opportunity of its members to conduct their business successfully and ethically, and promote the preservation of the public’s right to own, transfer and use real property.

Comprised of approximately 1,800 members, SIBOR serves real estate agents, brokers and affiliated professionals throughout the borough and surrounding areas.

SIBOR is the provider of the Staten Island Multiple Listing Service Inc. (SIMLS), which works as a clearinghouse through which more than 250 local real estate firms exchange information on properties they have listed for sale. Together, its members participate in over 3,700 real estate transactions every year.

All SIBOR Realtors belong to the New York State Association of REALTORS® (NYSAR) and the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR).

SIBOR may be reached at 718-928-3220 and viewed online at www.SIBOR.com. SIBOR may also be visited on Facebook at “Staten Island Board of Realtors” and on Twitter via @SIBOR.

Media Contact: Barton Horowitz
Relevant Public Relations, LLC
Headquarters: 718‑682‑1509
Mobile: 917‑715‑8761
Email: Bhorowitz@RelevantPR.com

. A large part of a homeowner’s monthly loan payments is taxes, which can be deducted annually.

A large part of a homeowner’s monthly loan payments is taxes, which can be deducted annually.

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y.  (March 18, 2016) — As the deadline to file taxes approaches, the Staten Island Board of Realtors (SIBOR) wants to remind homeowners of the many tax benefits, savings and deductions they can take advantage of simply by being homeowners.

“There are many social and personal benefits of owning a home, but some of the most significant financial benefits only become apparent at tax time,” said Claire Bisignano Chesnoff, president of SIBOR. “Many new homeowners, and even those who have owned their home for years, may be unaware of some of the fantastic tax breaks that come with owning a home.”

HERE ARE SOME DEDUCTIONS, CREDITS AND TIPS OF WHICH MANY HOMEOWNERS MAY NOT BE AWARE:

Mortgage interest deduction. “If you took out a loan to pay for your primary or a secondary home, you can deduct the interest paid on your mortgage up to $1 million,” said Mrs. Bisignano Chesnoff. “These savings can add up very quickly.”

Property tax deductions. A large part of a homeowner’s monthly loan payments is taxes, which can be deducted annually. “If you bought your home during this tax year, remember to pull out the settlement sheet you received at closing for more tax deduction data,” said Mrs. Bisignano Chesnoff. “When you purchased the property from the seller, the year’s tax payments were divided so that you were responsible for paying the taxes during the portion the year you owned the home; and your share of those taxes is deductible.”

Energy efficiency tax credit. This provision allows homeowners to claim a tax credit (or a dollar-for-dollar reduction in taxes) of up to 10 percent of the amount spent, up to $500, for many green improvements done to their home that year. “If you installed energy-efficient windows or solar panels in your home, make sure that is reflected in your tax returns,” said Mrs. Bisignano Chesnoff.

Home improvements. When it comes to taxes, home improvement expenses are not something homeowners can generally deduct on their taxes. However, improvements done to meet a medical need can be deducted. “If you installed a wheelchair ramp or added handrails, you can deduct these projects as medical expenses,” said Mrs. Bisignano Chesnoff. “Still, you cannot deduct the entire cost of the equipment or renovation, only the amount left over when the added value to the home is subtracted from the cost of the improvement. Also, be prepared to document that the improvement is medically necessary by having at least one letter from a physician stating the need.”

To find a Realtor® to learn more about homeownership and its tax breaks, contact SIBOR. or visit SIBOR.com.

About The Staten Island Board of REALTORS® (SIBOR)

Having marked its 100th anniversary in October 2015, the Staten Island Board of REALTORS® (SIBOR) is the largest not-for-profit professional and trade association in Staten Island, N.Y.

SIBOR exists to enhance the ability and opportunity of its members to conduct their business successfully and ethically, and promote the preservation of the public’s right to own, transfer and use real property.

Comprised of approximately 1,800 members, SIBOR serves real estate agents, brokers and affiliated professionals throughout the borough and surrounding areas.

SIBOR is the provider of the Staten Island Multiple Listing Service Inc. (SIMLS), which works as a clearinghouse through which more than 250 local real estate firms exchange information on properties they have listed for sale. Together, its members participate in over 3,700 real estate transactions every year.

All SIBOR Realtors belong to the New York State Association of REALTORS® (NYSAR) and the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR).

SIBOR may be reached at 718-928-3220 and viewed online at www.SIBOR.com. SIBOR may also be visited on Facebook at “Staten Island Board of Realtors” and on Twitter via @SIBOR.

Media Contact: Barton Horowitz
Relevant Public Relations, LLC
Headquarters: 718‑682‑1509
Mobile: 917‑715‑8761
Email: Bhorowitz@RelevantPR.com

Woman Collecting Keys To Property From Estate Agent

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. – Single women will be a growing demographic when it comes to homebuyers in 2016, according to new data from the National Association of Realtors® (NAR).

“Single women buyers have made up a larger share of the housing market than their male counterparts since the early 1990s, buying at nearly twice the rate,” said Sandy Krueger, CEO of the Staten Island Board of Realtors (SIBOR). “These women have a strong desire to feel settled and be part of a community and do not believe that marriage is a prerequisite to homeownership.”

According to NAR’s 2015 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, single women accounted for 15 percent of all home buyers; many believe that number will increase in the next few years. Women buyers had a median age of 50, 72 percent purchased detached single-family homes and 90 percent used a real estate agent or broker to guide them through the purchase process.

Here are some reasons why single women are set to take the 2016 real estate market by storm:

Desire to Own. Thirty-seven percent of unmarried female homebuyers said that the desire to own their own home was their primary reason for purchasing a house. “Women are the most likely to make sacrifices, like cutting spending on entertainment or luxury items, to afford purchasing their home,” said Krueger. “This demonstrates just how high a priority they place on homeownership.”

Rising Incomes. In large cities across the country, women have seen a significant rise in average income the past few years. “Traditionally, single female homebuyers have had to stretch their budget to buy a home,” said Krueger. “Now, with higher incomes, these unmarried women can enter the housing market without taking on as much of a financial burden.”

Availability of Housing. According to NAR research, single women typically purchase single-family homes with three bedrooms and two bathrooms; the same properties usually targeted by investment buyers. “It’s good news that over the last year, people buying homes strictly as investment properties were not as active in the market,” said Krueger. “If investors continue to back away from the market, that means housing could become even more affordable for single buyers in 2016.”

Contact SIBOR to connect with a Realtor about buying a home in 2016. SIBOR may be reached at 718-928-3220 and viewed online at www.SIBOR.com. SIBOR may also be visited on Facebook at “Staten Island Board of Realtors” and on Twitter via @SIBOR.

About The Staten Island Board of REALTORS® (SIBOR)

Having marked its 100th anniversary in October 2015, the Staten Island Board of REALTORS® (SIBOR) is the largest not-for-profit professional and trade association in Staten Island, N.Y.

SIBOR exists to enhance the ability and opportunity of its members to conduct their business successfully and ethically, and promote the preservation of the public’s right to own, transfer and use real property.

Comprised of approximately 1,800 members, SIBOR serves real estate agents, brokers and affiliated professionals throughout the borough and surrounding areas.

SIBOR is the provider of the Staten Island Multiple Listing Service Inc. (SIMLS), which works as a clearinghouse through which more than 250 local real estate firms exchange information on properties they have listed for sale. Together, its members participate in over 3,700 real estate transactions every year.

All SIBOR Realtors belong to the New York State Association of REALTORS® (NYSAR) and the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR).

Media Contact: Barton Horowitz
Relevant Public Relations, LLC
Headquarters: 718‑682‑1509
Mobile: 917‑715‑8761
Email: Bhorowitz@RelevantPR.com

Beautiful woman very happy after buying a new house

Are you seeking to buy a home on Staten Island and saving for a down payment? Meeting with a Staten Island Realtor can help you determine if you are ready to buy.

According to the following article by Keeping Current Matters,  you may be closer to your dream home than you think:

In a recent study conducted by Builder.com, researchers determined that nationwide it would take “nearly eight years” for a first-time buyer to save enough for a down payment on their dream home.

Depending on where you live, median rents, incomes and home prices all vary. By determining the percentage a renter spends on housing in each state and the amount needed for a 10% down payment, they were able to establish how long (in years) it would take for an average resident to save.

According to the study, residents in South Dakota are able to save for a down payment the quickest in just under 3.5 years. Below is a map created using the data for each state:

KCM 1

What if you only needed to save 3%?

What if you were able to take advantage of one of the Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae 3% down programs? Suddenly saving for a down payment no longer takes 5 or 10 years, but becomes attainable in under two years in many states as shown in the map below.

KCM2

Bottom Line

Whether you have just started to save for a down payment, or have been for years, you may be closer to your dream home than you think! Meet with a local real estate professional who can help you evaluate your ability to buy today.

About The Staten Island Board of REALTORS® (SIBOR)

At 100 years old, the Staten Island Board of REALTORS® (SIBOR) is the largest not-for-profit professional and trade association in Staten Island, N.Y.

SIBOR exists to enhance the ability and opportunity of its members to conduct their business successfully and ethically, and promote the preservation of the public’s right to own, transfer and use real property.

Comprised of approximately 1,800 members, SIBOR serves real estate agents, brokers and affiliated professionals throughout the borough and surrounding areas.

SIBOR is the provider of the Staten Island Multiple Listing Service Inc. (SIMLS), which works as a clearinghouse through which more than 250 local real estate firms exchange information on properties they have listed for sale. Together, its members participate in over 3,000 real estate transactions every year.

All SIBOR Realtors belong to the New York State Association of REALTORS® (NYSAR) and the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR).

SIBOR may be reached at 718-928-3220 and viewed online at www.SIBOR.com. SIBOR may also be visited on Facebook at “Staten Island Board of Realtors” and “SIBOR 100” (showcasing some of the organization’s latest highlights and accomplishments), and on Twitter via @SIBOR.

Media Contact: Barton Horowitz
Relevant Public Relations, LLC
Headquarters: 718‑682‑1509
Mobile: 917‑715‑8761
Email: Bhorowitz@RelevantPR.com

Hand holding smart phone with home control application with clock and computer at background, Smart home concept.

New products allow homeowners to monitor their homes from a distance — even internationally.

Many people grew up with the idea that one day we would all be living in homes like the Jetsons, the 1960s cartoon family living in the future, with a closet that showers and dresses you and a robot that makes your breakfast.

While homes aren’t yet quite there, smart home technology has advanced leaps and bounds in recent years and has become more popular than ever.

For some homebuyers on Staten Island, smart technology can be an alluring perk; and for homeowners, it provides worthwhile advantages.

“Technology has changed the way we live in and interact with our homes,” said Sandy Krueger, CEO of the Staten Island Board of Realtors (SIBOR). “Smart homes can be programmed to react to their owner and tailored to fit with a person’s lifestyle – homeowners can even design the home to meet their specific needs.”

Here are a few ways smart home technology can be utilized:

SECURITY

New products allow homeowners to monitor their homes from a distance — even internationally.

Owners can lock doors and windows from their portable computers, or access security camera recordings from a mobile device.

“It’s not just about keeping the property safe, it’s about keeping you and your family safe, too,” Krueger said. “Fire, carbon monoxide and gas leak alarms that connect to your smartphone can give you peace of mind that everything is all right in your home even when you aren’t physically there.”

ENERGY SAVINGS

Smart thermostats allow homeowners to program their home’s temperature and adjust it even after they’ve left, avoiding any needless heating or cooling of an empty house.

Automated lighting programs let people turn the lights on and off in their home from their smartphone or laptop from anywhere in the world.

“Smart green features have been in high demand for years now,” Krueger said. “These products not only help the environment but also bring your electricity and water bills down, saving you money.”

CONVENIENCE

One of the main appeals of smart homes is that they can make the homeowner’s life easier.

A garage-door opener connected to your smartphone and a sprinkler system that syncs with the weather forecast so the lawn is never watered when it’s raining are all features that simplify day-to-day life. Soon, instead of having to check the refrigerator to see if anything is running low, a homeowner will receive a text message from their smart kitchen reminding him or her to buy eggs.

Although the benefits that these technologies provide are numerous, it is important not lose sight of the risks smart homes can pose to the owner’s privacy. As smart technology becomes more established in homes, it becomes even more important that the necessary precautions are taken to protect data and privacy.

That’s why the National Association of Realtors® worked with the Online Trust Alliance, a non-profit with the mission to enhance online trust, to create the Smart Home Checklist. The checklist offers guidance to home buyers and sellers about how to stay in control of the privacy and security of their smart home technology.

For more information on the value or smart home technology and how to protect your privacy in your home, contact SIBOR or visit www.SIBOR.com.

About The Staten Island Board of REALTORS® (SIBOR)

At 100 years old, the Staten Island Board of REALTORS® (SIBOR) is the largest not-for-profit professional and trade association in Staten Island, N.Y.

SIBOR exists to enhance the ability and opportunity of its members to conduct their business successfully and ethically, and promote the preservation of the public’s right to own, transfer and use real property.

Comprised of approximately 1,800 members, SIBOR serves real estate agents, brokers and affiliated professionals throughout the borough and surrounding areas.

SIBOR is the provider of the Staten Island Multiple Listing Service Inc. (SIMLS), which works as a clearinghouse through which more than 250 local real estate firms exchange information on properties they have listed for sale. Together, its members participate in over 3,000 real estate transactions every year.

All SIBOR Realtors belong to the New York State Association of REALTORS® (NYSAR) and the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR).

SIBOR may be reached at 718-928-3220 and viewed online at www.SIBOR.com. SIBOR may also be visited on Facebook at “Staten Island Board of Realtors” and “SIBOR 100” (showcasing some of the organization’s latest highlights and accomplishments), and on Twitter via @SIBOR.

Media Contact: Barton Horowitz
Relevant Public Relations, LLC
Headquarters: 718‑682‑1509
Mobile: 917‑715‑8761
Email: Bhorowitz@RelevantPR.com

 

Small house in the gloves

As Staten Islanders enjoy autumn and begin thinking about spending the approaching holiday season in the warmth of their home, some may be considering relocation to a new home and putting their current one on the marketplace.

Selling your home during the winter months can be a daunting task. The holiday season is already a hectic time of year and selling a house can be stressful. However, there are distinct advantages to selling your home during the winter.

“The housing inventory is always lower in the winter months, meaning fewer listings and less competition,” said Dilshad (Dil) Gillani, president of the Staten Island Board of Realtors (SIBOR). “By just taking a few simple steps to prepare and stage your home, you can sell your home sooner rather than later.”

Here is some advice from SIBOR to make sure your house is sold at the best price and with the least amount of stress this winter:

1) Keep your home warm. It may seem obvious, but make sure that the moment potential buyers walk into your home they can warm up from the chilly outdoors. “This will help would-be homebuyers imagine themselves coming in from the cold into their new house,” Gillani said. “You’ll also want to find any drafts in your house and seal them up. They’ll be very noticeable in your otherwise warm and toasty home.”

2) Holiday Plans. Make sure that you plan any trips out of town or holiday parties well ahead of time. Timing is extremely important when selling a home, so you want to make sure that offers aren’t coming in when you’re out of town or that potential buyers show up during your annual family holiday dinner.
3) Decorate for the season. Keep your seasonal decorations conservative, but a light and bright or beautifully decorated home with well-placed greenery can give prospective buyers a picture of how their own decorations could fit in the home. “Just make sure that you remove any holiday decorations as soon as the holidays are over,” Gillani said. “Do not be the house with lights still up in February.”  

4) Manage Your Curb Appeal. Many houses look their best during the warmer months, but a home with simple seasonal decorations, bright lights or greenery is still warm and inviting and appealing to would-be buyers. You should make sure that your driveway and sidewalks are always swept or shoveled and clear off any decks or patios. Also, remove any potentially dangerous dangling icicles or built up snow from your roof.

5) Hire a Realtor®. Finally, SIBOR reminds sellers that all real estate is local, so it’s important to work with a Realtor® who is familiar with your neighborhood and community. Realtors® know what buyers in your area are looking for and can create a marketing strategy that will help you achieve the best results.

About The Staten Island Board of REALTORS® (SIBOR)

At 100 years old, the Staten Island Board of REALTORS® (SIBOR) is the largest not-for-profit professional and trade association in Staten Island, N.Y.

SIBOR exists to enhance the ability and opportunity of its members to conduct their business successfully and ethically, and promote the preservation of the public’s right to own, transfer and use real property.

Comprised of approximately 1,800 members, SIBOR serves real estate agents, brokers and affiliated professionals throughout the borough and surrounding areas.

SIBOR is the provider of the Staten Island Multiple Listing Service Inc. (SIMLS), which works as a clearinghouse through which more than 250 local real estate firms exchange information on properties they have listed for sale. Together, its members participate in over 3,000 real estate transactions every year.

All SIBOR Realtors belong to the New York State Association of REALTORS® (NYSAR) and the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR).

SIBOR may be reached at 718-928-3220 and viewed online at www.SIBOR.com. SIBOR may also be visited on Facebook at “Staten Island Board of Realtors” and “SIBOR 100” (showcasing some of the organization’s latest highlights and accomplishments), and on Twitter via @SIBOR.

Media Contact: Barton Horowitz

Relevant Public Relations, LLC
Headquarters: 718‑682‑1509
Mobile: 917‑715‑8761
Email: Bhorowitz@RelevantPR.com

Real estate agent selling home holding mini house

 

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. – Millennials, those aged 18 to 34, are looking for a career that allows them to be independent, flexible and entrepreneurial, according to a recent study from Bentley University. A career in real estate meets all of these specifications, and also offers a laundry list of advantages and benefits that make it the perfect occupation for young professionals.

“Now that the real estate market is on the upswing, there are huge opportunities for young people to enter the industry, and joining the National Association of Realtors® and the Staten Island Board of Realtors® (SIBOR) offers millennials even more advantages,” said Sandy Krueger, CEO of SIBOR. “With benefits such as a Young Professional Network and other networking opportunities, there has never been a better time for a young person to become a Realtor®.”

A real estate education on Staten Island is particularly convenient because of SIBOR’s educational wing: the Richmond County Real Estate Institute.

Launched in September of 1980, the school held its first class at Snug Harbor, Livingston. It has the distinction of being the first school in New York state to be operated by a local real estate board, and the first of its kind to run independently of a college or university.

LEARN AT SIBOR HEADQUARTERS IN BULLS HEAD/GRANITEVILLE

Today, located under the roof of SIBOR headquarters, 1535 Richmond Ave., Bulls Head/Graniteville, the institute continues to offer a professional environment, with qualified teachers and state-of- the-art instructional equipment that encourage students to succeed.

Over more than three decades, thousands of students have attended classes at the school, successfully completing one or more of its many state-approved programs.

The Richmond County Real Estate Institute offers a variety of classes designed to launch or enhance the careers of real estate professionals. Courses help students qualify as New York state-licensed sales people and brokers, and prepare them for official designations, such as Graduate, REALTOR® Institute (GRI); Certified Residential Specialist (CRS); Certified International Property Specialist (CIPS), and others.

In addition, the school offers an array of professional-enhancement classes, such as: Basic Taxes; How to Prepare for a Home Inspection; Office Building Management, and Notary Public, to name just a few. The institute even provides defensive-driving classes.

HERE ARE SOME OF THE ADVANTAGES MILLENNIALS CAN EXPECT FROM A CAREER IN REAL ESTATE:

  • Be your own boss. Millennials are the true entrepreneurial generation, and real estate is the ultimate profession for self-starters. Real estate agents are independent contractors, meaning agents can choose to work as much or as little as they want; it all depends on their aspirations. “The success of your business is entirely in your own hands,” Krueger said.
  • Earn what you want. A career in real estate offers individuals the flexibility and freedom to set their own pace and income goals. Profits are often directly linked to efforts, so agents can choose to work as much or as little as they want; it all depends on their aspirations. Realtors® have access to additional education and resources that can help grow their business and increase their income. There is really no limit on how far hardworking, motivated men and women can advance in the field.
  • Make your own schedule. Real estate has never been a 9-to-5 business, and while Realtors® are often at the mercy of their client’s timetable, they also have a lot of freedom when creating their own schedule. “If you need to arrange a doctor’s appointment or attend a family event, you can organize your schedule around it,” Krueger said. “And you may never have to ask permission to take a vacation!”
  • Be a part of your community. Building relationships and becoming a presence in the community is an important part of any agent’s business. “Realtors® have unparalleled knowledge of their local neighborhoods and regional market conditions, and to maintain that knowledge, many are active participants in their community,” Krueger said. “Realtors® live in the communities where they work, so helping their neighbors achieve the dream of homeownership and being a good neighbor are important.”

For more information about becoming a Realtor®, the Richmond County Real Estate Institute may be reached at 718-928-3225, or via e-mail: debbie@sibor.com.

About The Staten Island Board of REALTORS® (SIBOR)

The 100-year-old Staten Island Board of REALTORS® (SIBOR) is the largest not-for-profit professional and trade association in Staten Island, N.Y.

SIBOR exists to enhance the ability and opportunity of its members to conduct their business successfully and ethically, and promote the preservation of the public’s right to own, transfer and use real property.

Comprised of approximately 1,800 members, SIBOR serves real estate agents, brokers and affiliated professionals throughout the borough and surrounding areas.

SIBOR is the provider of the Staten Island Multiple Listing Service Inc. (SIMLS), which works as a clearinghouse through which more than 250 local real estate firms exchange information on properties they have listed for sale. Together, its members participate in over 3,000 real estate transactions every year.

All SIBOR Realtors belong to the New York State Association of REALTORS® (NYSAR) and the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR).

SIBOR may be reached at 718-928-3220 and viewed online at www.SIBOR.com. SIBOR may also be visited on Facebook at “Staten Island Board of Realtors” and “SIBOR 100” (showcasing some of the organization’s latest highlights and accomplishments), and on Twitter via @SIBOR.

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Media Contact: Barton Horowitz

Relevant Public Relations, LLC
Headquarters: 718‑682‑1509
Mobile: 917‑715‑8761
Email: Bhorowitz@RelevantPR.com

Members of the Staten Island Real Estate Board, now the Staten Board of Realtors, gather Dec. 14, 1922 in front of the Staten Island Club.

Members of the Staten Island Real Estate Board, now the Staten Board of Realtors, gather Dec. 14, 1922 in front of the Staten Island Club.

SIBOR’s roots date back to 1915 when Staten Island was referred to as ‘the best real estate on the best spot on Earth’

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y.  – When the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge accepted traffic for the first time in November 1964, it marked the beginning of an era for the expansion of homeownership on Staten Island. New York City’s greenest and most suburban-like borough had finally become more easily accessible to motorists, attracting a surge of new residents to the Island.

As visitors in search of their dream properties began arriving, many were assisted by members of the Staten Island Board of Realtors (SIBOR). Marking its 100th anniversary this month, the organization remains devoted to high ethical standards as its members represent the sellers or buyers of homes in the borough.

“Our organization’s dedication to the American Dream has not faltered in its 100-year history, and neither has its commitment to ensuring that Staten Island continues to be a great place to live, work and visit,” said Dilshad (Dil) Gillani, president of SIBOR. “I feel particularly fortunate to be SIBOR’s president during this milestone anniversary.”

SIBOR’s roots date back to 1915 when New York City Commissioner of Public Works Henry P. Morrison referred to Staten Island as “the best real estate on the best spot on earth.”  On Oct. 31 of that year, Morrison and a host of other officials were documented in the New York Times as guest speakers during an event marking a “New Realty Board on Staten Island.”

A week earlier, more than 100 people had gathered in St. George to officially launch the Real Estate Board of Staten Island and install Anning S. Prall as its first president. Prall also distinguished himself as a U.S. Congressman, president of the city Board of Education, and chairman of the Federal Communications Commission.

Since then, the Island’s population has grown from 76,000 to nearly 480,000. Through the years, 53 presidents have helped guide the organization, and the once modest-size group of real estate professionals has evolved into the present day Staten Island Board of Realtors (SIBOR), serving approximately 1,800 REALTORS® and affiliated professionals throughout the borough and surrounding areas.

REALTOR FAMILY

All SIBOR Realtors belong to the New York State Association of REALTORS® (NYSAR) and the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR). These three levels of the association comprise the “Realtor family” that strives to be the collective force influencing and shaping the real estate industry.

The Realtor family seeks to be the leading advocate of the right to own, use, and transfer real property; the acknowledged leader in developing standards for efficient, effective, and ethical real estate business practices; and valued by highly skilled real estate professionals and viewed by them as crucial to their success.

Working on behalf of Staten Island property owners, SIBOR, NAR and NYSAR provide the tools for professional development, research and exchange of information among its members and to the public and government for the purpose of preserving the free enterprise system, and the right to own, use, and transfer real property.

SIBOR is the largest trade association on Staten Island. The organization exists to enhance the ability and opportunity of its members to conduct their business successfully and ethically, and to promote the preservation of the public’s right to own, transfer and use real property.

PROPERTY INFORMATION, CAREER EDUCATION

SIBOR is the provider of the Staten Island Multiple Listing Service (SIMLS), which works as a clearinghouse through which more than 250 local real estate firms exchange information on properties they have listed for sale.

SIBOR also has an educational component: The Richmond County Real Estate Institute (RCREI) is the largest real estate school on Staten Island, providing Real Estate Pre-Licensing Courses and Post-Licensing Continuing Education Courses.

In addition, SIBOR’s membership, individually and as a group, is actively involved in an array of local causes and community activities, helping to enhance the Island’s quality of life.

SIBOR’S LEADERSHIP

SIBOR is governed by a board of 20 volunteer officers and directors, plus the CEO of SIBOR and board counsel. Two seats on the board are reserved for non-Realtor directors.

The 2015 SIBOR Board:  Dilshad (Dil) Gillani, president; Claire Bisignano Chesnoff, president-elect; Greg A. Sokol, secretary/treasurer; Laird Klein, immediate past president; Sandy Kreuger, CEO of SIBOR;  Michael Blasi; Sean Cusick; Michael R. Diaz, past president; Philip Guarnieri (non-Realtor); Donna A. Iadarola; Andrew D. Klapper (non-Realtor); Vivian P. Kokkinos; Anthony Licciardello; Hector Mesa; Ron Molcho; Angelo Pappalardo; Frank Reali, past president; Scott Setaro; Joseph Tirone; Rocio Uchofen; George K. Wonica, past president, and Alfred M. Fazio, Esq., board counsel.

 

SIBOR may be reached at 718-928-3220 and viewed online at www.SIBOR.com. SIBOR may also be visited on Facebook at “Staten Island Board of Realtors” and “SIBOR 100” (showcasing some of the organization’s latest highlights and accomplishments), and on Twitter via @SIBOR.

 

Media Contact: Barton Horowitz
Relevant Public Relations, LLC
Headquarters: 718‑682‑1509
Mobile: 917‑715‑8761
Email: Bhorowitz@RelevantPR.com

Repair of roof

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. – Your home’s curb appeal is the first chance to impress potential buyers shopping for a place on Staten Island to call their own.

Whether buyers are wowed by a beautiful and well-maintained yard or are repelled by dirty exterior walls and an overgrown lawn can significantly impact your home’s sales price if you’re thinking of selling it.

“When buyers pull up to a house, they want to be able to picture themselves living in and coming home to it. Dead grass and chipped paint can make that all the more difficult to visualize,” said Sandy Krueger, CEO of the Staten Island Board of Realtors (SIBOR). “Making sure your home is prepared – both inside and out – before you put it on the market could help it sell faster and for top dollar.”

Here are a few tips to ensure your curb appeal is making the best impression on potential buyers:

1) Clean your house

“It’s not only the inside of your home that needs to be kept clean of dirt and grime, the outside of your home should be just as spotless,” Krueger said. “Clean your outer walls with soapy water and wash your windows inside and out.” According to SIBOR, washing your house can substantially raise the sale price.

2) Apply a new coat of paint

After you’ve cleaned your home’s exterior, the next step is to apply a fresh coat of paint. “A new coat of paint is like a face-lift for your home,” Krueger said. “But don’t try to make a statement with your home’s color. If your home is a wildly different color from the other homes in your neighborhood, it could negatively affect a buyer’s perception of the home’s value.”

3) Have a well-manicured yard

Your front yard creates your home’s first impression to prospective buyers, so make sure that your lawn is green and trimmed and your shrubs and flower beds are well tended. “It is important to keep your yard neat, raking any fallen leaves and pulling any weeds,” Krueger said. “If there is a barren tree in your front yard, cut it down and replace it with grass.”

4) Repair the roof

If your roof is damaged, dirty or missing shingles, it can have a negative impact on the value of your home. If your neighbors’ roofs are well maintained or have been recently replaced, it will make yours look especially ragged. Sometimes a good cleaning is all you need to have your roof look like new. However, that isn’t a project you will want to take on yourself without the proper equipment; hire a professional with the right tools and training, who will be able to clean your roof without damaging it.

By making a few simple changes to your home’s exterior, you can increase your home’s value and hopefully help it sell more quickly.

 

As the Staten Island, N.Y., housing market continues to gain traction, new homebuyers seeking to live the American Dream in the borough are wise to prepare ahead for ownership.Staten Island next exit green signal vector

New Listings on Staten Island increased 4.3 percent in May, as Pending Sales rose 19 percent and levels of inventory dropped 21.4 percent.

Prices continued to gain traction. The Median Sales Price increased 4 percent to $402,500. Days on Market was down 7.9 percent to 134 days. Sellers were encouraged as Months Supply of Inventory was down 28.4 percent to 6.7 months.

The Staten Island Board of Realtors suggests the following 10 tips from the National Association of REALTORS®  for smoothing your path to homeownership:

  1. Decide what you can afford. Generally, you can afford a home equal in value to between two and three times your gross income.
  2. Develop your home wish list. Then, prioritize the features on your list.
  3. Select where you want to live. Compile a list of three or four neighborhoods you’d like to live in, taking into account items such as schools, recreational facilities, area expansion plans, and safety.
  4. Start saving. Do you have enough money saved to qualify for a mortgage and cover your down payment? Ideally, you should have 20 percent of the purchase price saved as a down payment. Also, don’t forget to factor in closing costs. Closing costs — including taxes, attorney’s fee, and transfer fees — average between 2 and 7 percent of the home price.
  5. Get your credit in order. Obtain a copy of your credit report to make sure it is accurate and to correct any errors immediately. A credit report provides a history of your credit, bad debts, and any late payments.
  6. Determine your mortgage qualifications. How large of mortgage do you qualify for? Also, explore different loan options — such as 30-year or 15-year fixed mortgages or ARMs — and decide what’s best for you.
  7. Get preapproved. Organize all the documentation a lender will need to preapprove you for a loan. You might need W-2 forms, copies of at least one pay stub, account numbers, and copies of two to four months of bank or credit union statements.
  8. Weigh other sources of help with a down payment. Do you qualify for any special mortgage or down payment assistance programs? Check with your state and local government on down payment assistance programs for first-time buyers. Or, if you have an IRA account, you can use the money you’ve saved to buy your fist home without paying a penalty for early withdrawal.
  9. Calculate the costs of homeownership. This should include property taxes, insurance, maintenance and utilities, and association fees, if applicable.
  10. Contact a REALTOR®. Find an experienced REALTOR® who can help guide you through the process.

About The Staten Island Board of REALTORS® (SIBOR)

Approaching its 100th anniversary, the Staten Island Board of REALTORS® (SIBOR) is the largest not-for-profit professional and trade association in Staten Island, N.Y.

SIBOR exists to enhance the ability and opportunity of its members to conduct their business successfully and ethically; and to promote the preservation of the public’s right to own, transfer and use real property.

Comprised of approximately 1,800 members, SIBOR serves real estate agents, brokers and affiliated professionals throughout the borough and surrounding areas.

SIBOR is the provider of the Staten Island Multiple Listing Service Inc. (SIMLS), which works as a clearinghouse through which more than 250 local real estate firms exchange information on properties they have listed for sale. Together, its members participate in over 3,000 real estate transactions every year.

All SIBOR members belong to the New York State Association of REALTORS® (NYSAR) and the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR).

SIBOR may be reached at 718-928-3220 and viewed online at www.SIBOR.com. SIBOR may also be visited on Facebook at “Staten Island Board of Realtors” and “SIBOR 100” (showcasing some of the organization’s latest highlights and accomplishments), and on Twitter via @SIBOR.

Media Contact: Barton Horowitz
Relevant Public Relations, LLC
Headquarters: 718‑682‑1509
Mobile: 917‑715‑8761
Email: Bhorowitz@RelevantPR.com

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. – Whether you live on Staten Island or elsewhere, if you own a home, you know it’s an important investment.

And like the best investments, it can make you some serious money. There are people happy to stay in your spare room or park in your driveway — and pay good money for it. 

The Staten Island Board of Realtors (SIBOR) suggests you don’t let opportunities slip by.

Follow these tips to turn your property into a money-maker:

Rent out your driveway

Do you have more parking space than cars to fill it?

If you live near an express bus stop or a Staten Island Rapid Transit train station,  you can collect parking fees from drivers willing to pay for proximity.

Make your home a star

If your property’s got the face for close-ups, you might want to rent it out for film or catalog shoots. This is not new for Staten Island—think Godfather House for example.

Shop your home around to film studios, production companies, and advertising firms. If a scout picks your house, you can earn about $2,000 to $4,000 per day —not to mention the chance to watch your abode on the silver screen.

Go back to the land

Those with a green thumb and a couple hundred square feet of growing space can turn their seasonal produce yield into regular income. You can save up to $23 per plant by building an edible garden with big ticket vegetables like tomatoes, cucumbers, and green beans. Sometimes, money does grow on trees.

Take in boarders

Whether you have a spare bedroom or a whole spare house, there are people who want to rent it. If your abode has a certain charm and you’re willing to put in marketing hours, you can transform unused space into a monthly moneymaker.

  • Bed & breakfast: Have a cozy home and like playing host or hostess? A bed and breakfast might be for you. Costs and revenue vary greatly by the number of rooms: The more rooms at, say, $100, the more potential income, but that also means higher costs for upkeep.
  • Rent your house: If you go on vacation or are otherwise out of town for extended periods, you might consider renting out the whole house. Be prepared for a commitment of time and money to make it work, or just hire a professional property manager for peace of mind. To calculate how much you could earn, check out the rental prices of other homes in your neighborhood.

About The Staten Island Board of REALTORS® (SIBOR)

The Staten Island Board of REALTORS® (SIBOR) is the largest not-for-profit trade association in Staten Island, N.Y.

SIBOR exists to enhance the ability and opportunity of its members to conduct their business successfully and ethically; and to promote the preservation of the public’s right to own, transfer and use real property.

Comprised of over 1,600 members, SIBOR serves real estate agents, brokers and affiliated professionals throughout the borough and surrounding areas.

SIBOR is the provider of the Staten Island Multiple Listing Service Inc. (SIMLS), which works as a clearinghouse through which more than 250 local real estate firms exchange information on properties they have listed for sale. Together, its members participate in over 3,000 real estate transactions every year.

All SIBOR members belong to the New York State Association of REALTORS® (NYSAR) and the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR).

SIBOR may be reached at 718-979-0007 and viewed online at http://siborrealtors.com. SIBOR may also be visited on Facebook at “Staten Island Board of Realtors,” on Twitter via @SIBOR, and on YouTube at the Staten Island Board of Realtors and RelevantPR channels.

Media Contact: Barton Horowitz

Relevant Public Relations, LLC

Headquarters: 718‑682‑1509

Mobile: 917‑715‑8761

Email: Bhorowitz@RelevantPR.com

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. – The Staten Island Board of Realtors (SIBOR) is reminding homeowners to carefully check a contractor’s reputation before signing on the dotted line.

Whether you’re planning an addition for a growing family, repairing damage in the aftermath of superstorm Sandy or simply getting new storm windows, finding a competent and reliable contractor is the first step to a successful and satisfying home improvement project.

As real estate professionals and your fellow neighbors, SIBOR members know firsthand that HOME OWNERSHIP MATTERS, and your home may be your most valuable financial asset.

That’s why it’s important to be cautious when you hire someone to work on it. Home improvement and repair and maintenance contractors often advertise online, in newspapers, the Yellow Pages, and on radio and TV.

However, don’t consider an ad an indication of the quality of a contractor’s work. Your best bet is a reality check from those in the know: Friends, neighbors, or co-workers who have had improvement work done. Get written estimates from several firms. Ask for explanations for price variations. Don’t automatically choose the lowest bidder.

ASSISTANCE ON STATEN ISLAND

Locally, you can contact NARI-HIC Staten Island Home Improvement Contractors Association for information about firms in the borough. The group is a non-profit trade association with a general membership of licensed, reputable contracting firms, and a roster of associate and affiliate members who support them.

Before hiring a home-improvement professional, SIBOR suggests you consider the following information from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC): Depending on the size and complexity of your project, you may choose to work with a number of different professionals.

YOUR OPTIONS MAY INCLUDE:

  • General Contractors manage all aspects of your project, including hiring and supervising subcontractors, getting building permits, and scheduling inspections. They also work with architects and designers.
  • Specialty Contractors install particular products, such as cabinets and bathroom fixtures.
  • Architects design homes, additions, and major renovations. If your project includes structural changes, you may want to hire an architect who specializes in home remodeling.
  • Designers have expertise in specific areas of the home, such as kitchens and baths.
  • Design/Build Contractors provide one-stop service. They see your project through from start to finish. Some firms have architects on staff; others use certified designers.

About The Staten Island Board of REALTORS® (SIBOR)

The Staten Island Board of REALTORS® (SIBOR) is the largest not-for-profit trade association in Staten Island, N.Y.

SIBOR exists to enhance the ability and opportunity of its members to conduct their business successfully and ethically; and to promote the preservation of the public’s right to own, transfer and use real property.

Comprised of over 1,600 members, SIBOR serves real estate agents, brokers and affiliated professionals throughout the borough and surrounding areas.

SIBOR is the provider of the Staten Island Multiple Listing Service Inc. (SIMLS), which works as a clearinghouse through which more than 250 local real estate firms exchange information on properties they have listed for sale. Together, its members participate in over 3,000 real estate transactions every year.

All SIBOR members belong to the New York State Association of REALTORS® (NYSAR) and the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR).

SIBOR may be reached at 718-979-0007 and viewed online at http://siborrealtors.com. SIBOR may also be visited on Facebook at “Staten Island Board of Realtors,” on Twitter via @SIBOR, and on YouTube at the Staten Island Board of Realtors and RelevantPR channels.

Media Contact: Barton Horowitz

Relevant Public Relations, LLC

Headquarters: 718‑682‑1509

Mobile: 917‑715‑8761

Email: Bhorowitz@RelevantPR.com

 

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — Changes are coming to the critically important National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP)  that could impact real estate transactions and property owners across the country. That’s according to experts from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), which manages the government’s flood insurance program, who spoke in Washington, D.C.,  to Realtors® during a session at the recent Realtors® Midyear Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo.

Members of the Staten Island Board of Realtors (SIBOR) attended the conference and met with legislators to discuss a variety of housing-related issues.

Kristin Robinson, a FEMA senior advisor, summarized last year’s Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act, which reauthorized the critically important NFIP through 2017 so property owners could affordably access flood insurance.

SIBOR and the National Association of Realtors® strongly supported the legislation and believes the government’s insurance program saves taxpayers property and money because it increases the number of self-insured properties and reduces the cost of post-flood disaster governmental assistance.

The NFIP is responsible for writing and renewing flood insurance policies for more than 5.6 million home and business owners in more than 21,000 communities nationwide where flood insurance is required for a mortgage. Before Congress passed the legislation, the program operated under short-term extensions.

WREAKING HAVOC

In the past five years, there were 18 extensions and several lapses in program coverage, delaying or cancelling thousands of real estate transactions daily according to NAR’s own research, wreaking havoc on real estate markets.

Robinson said the NFIP is $24 billion in debt following several disastrous storms in recent years since the costs and consequences of flooding continue to increase. “For decades the program has made flood insurance available at subsidized rates that did not reflect the true risk of flooding; artificially low rates and discounts are no longer sustainable,” she said.

Andy Neal, actuary, addressed the gradual phase-out of subsidized rates, which was included in last year’s legislation to preserve the flood insurance program and critically important property insurance coverage for the nation’s homeowners. Neal said rate subsidies are being phased out over the next several years to help increase the NFIP’s soundness and financial stability.

ROUTINE RATE INCREASES

The majority of policyholders, more than 80 percent, are not subsidized and won’t be impacted by subsidized rate changes since they are already paying full actuarial rates, he said. However, these owners could see routine annual rate increases.

“Only about 20 percent of NFIP policies receive subsidies, mostly older structures built before the community’s first flood insurance rate map was issued, which are known as pre-FIRM properties. Some of these policyholders will be impacted by the gradual phase-out of subsidized rates; an even smaller number will see immediate changes to their insurance policy rates,” said Neal.

Rate changes are likely to affect owners of subsidized pre-FIRM non-primary residences, business properties, and properties that have experienced severe repetitive flood losses. Owners of some pre-FIRM condos and multi-family units will also see their rates gradually increase. Owners of pre-FIRM primary residences will retain their subsidies unless the policy lapses; it suffers a severe, repeated flood loss; or it’s sold to a new owner, which is retroactive to July 6, 2012, when the legislation was enacted. Some grandfathered principal residences will also lose their subsidies over a several year period, but not until the communities’ flood map is revised.

CHECK WITH INSURANCE AGENT

Neal recommended that home and property owners talk to their insurance agent to determine if their property is currently being subsidized. He said flood insurance rates vary based on a property’s location, elevation and flood risk and can be as low as a few hundred dollars up to $10,000 or more if the property is well below flood level and had severe repeated flood losses.

While higher rates may place a greater burden on families, there are investments homeowners can make to either reduce or better access their flood risk so they can continue to protect their families and possessions from damaging floods. According to Neal, homeowners can lower their risk by elevating their property and potentially reduce their flood insurance rates by having an elevation certificate completed to determine the property’s elevation relative to the base flood elevation. Elevation certificates can cost several hundred dollars to complete but could potentially lower homeowners’ flood insurance premiums.

Some homeowners with flood insurance policies have already received quotes for higher rates, which may be caused by several other factors such as improvements to mapping. As FEMA improves its mapping technology and draws more accurate flood maps, some homes may now be located in a flood zone, or a higher risk zone, where flood insurance is more expensive. Also, some insurance agents may adjust rates to correct previous mistakes made about the home’s features when they are re-evaluating an insurance policy at renewal.

About The Staten Island Board of REALTORS® (SIBOR)

The Staten Island Board of REALTORS® (SIBOR) is the largest not-for-profit trade association in Staten Island, N.Y.

SIBOR exists to enhance the ability and opportunity of its members to conduct their business successfully and ethically; and to promote the preservation of the public’s right to own, transfer and use real property.

Comprised of over 1,600 members, SIBOR serves real estate agents, brokers and affiliated professionals throughout the borough and surrounding areas.

SIBOR is the provider of the Staten Island Multiple Listing Service Inc. (SIMLS), which works as a clearinghouse through which more than 250 local real estate firms exchange information on properties they have listed for sale. Together, its members participate in over 3,000 real estate transactions every year.

All SIBOR members belong to the New York State Association of REALTORS® (NYSAR) and the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR).

SIBOR may be reached at 718-979-0007 and viewed online at http://siborrealtors.com. SIBOR may also be visited on Facebook at “Staten Island Board of Realtors,” on Twitter via @SIBOR, and on YouTube at the Staten Island Board of Realtors and RelevantPR channels.

Media Contact: Barton Horowitz

Relevant Public Relations, LLC

Headquarters: 718‑682‑1509

Mobile: 917‑715‑8761

Email: Bhorowitz@RelevantPR.com

By Guelda Voien/The Real Deal

Staten Island homeowners who have struggled in the five months since Hurricane Sandy to get federal disaster assistance are being urged to be patient just a little longer: Help, their city councilman told them, is on the way.

The weary homeowners heard the plea Saturday [April 6] at a real estate forum, where city officials along with building and financial experts laid out options for relocation, federally subsidized mortgages, short sales and reconstruction as well as new FEMA construction guidelines for the borough.

City Councilman James Oddo estimated the money from Washington – for either selling or repairing storm-ravaged homes – would be coming in four to six weeks, sometime in May, if all goes as planned.

“It’s almost sinful, five months later, to ask you guys to have patience,” Oddo told the crowd at the meeting, sponsored by the Staten Island Board of Realtors.

For those hardest hit, the federal dollars should allow them to sell their homes to the government and move; homeowners who want to stay put will have to follow the FEMA guidelines, which limit how and where they can rebuild. READ MORE …

NEW YORK (Money Magazine)

Are you a homeowner? Not planning to sell your house anytime soon?

You can still take advantage of the rebound in the market by putting your rising home equity to work for you in the long run. Seize the opportunity to refinance.If you haven’t had enough equity to refinance your mortgage at the record-low rates of the past couple of years, it’s time to try again. Chances are you own more of your home than you did a year ago; according to the Federal Reserve, homeowners’ equity rose 18% from the third quarter of 2011 to the same period last year.

Related: Does it pay to refinance?

For a traditional refi, lenders typically require 20% equity; should you fall short of that, you’ll have to choose either a refi with private mortgage insurance or an FHA loan. PMI rates have come down, so that’s probably the better choice if your credit score is above 680. Otherwise, go for the FHA, which has less stringent underwriting guidelines. READ MORE …

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Thank you for visiting the blog site of the Staten Island Board of REALTORS® (SIBOR)

The Staten Island Board of REALTORS® (SIBOR) is the largest not-for-profit trade association inStaten Island, N.Y.

SIBOR exists to enhance the ability and opportunity of its members to conduct their business successfully and ethically; and to promote the preservation of the public’s right to own, transfer and use real property.

Comprised of over 1,600 members, SIBOR serves real estate agents, brokers and affiliated professionals throughout the borough and surrounding areas.

SIBOR is the provider of the Staten Island Multiple Listing Service Inc. (SIMLS),which works as a clearinghouse through which more than 250 local real estate firms exchange information on properties they have listed for sale. Together, its members participate in over 3,000 real estate transactions every year.

All SIBOR members belong to the New York State Association of REALTORS® (NYSAR) and the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR).

SIBOR may be reached at 718-928-3220 and viewed online at http://siborrealtors.com. SIBOR may also be visited on Facebook at “Staten Island Board of Realtors,” on Twitter via @SIBOR, and on YouTube at the Staten Island Board of Realtors and RelevantPR channels.

SIBOR Media Contact: Barton Horowitz

Relevant Public Relations, LLC

Headquarters: 718‑682‑1509

Mobile: 917‑715‑8761

Email: Bhorowitz@RelevantPR.com


Many have reported on Robert Shiller’s recent comments on the investment aspect of homeownership. Shiller, a Yale professor and co-founder of the Case-Shiller Home Price Index, is famous for making provocative comments on house prices and the financial benefits of owning a home. In a recent Bloomberg Televisioninterview, Shiller responded to a question about homeownership as an investment this way:

“So, why was it considered an investment? That was a fad. That was an idea that took hold in the early 2000′s. And I don’t expect it to come back. Not with the same force. So people might just decide, ‘Yeah, I’ll diversify my portfolio. I’ll live in a rental.’ That is a very sensible thing for many people to do.”

Today, we would like to debate Shiller’s notion by offering three FINANCIAL reasons to purchase a home:

1.) You Can’t Live in Your IRA

When you buy your own home you are not taking available dollars away from another investment. You are replacing one housing expense (rent) which has no potential for a return on investment with another (mortgage payment) that does give you an opportunity for a return. We realize that there has been research showing that over the last 30 years renting has been less expensive than owning. That research also says that if you invested the entire difference between the rent payment and mortgage payment you may have done better financially. There are two challenges with this conclusion:

  • Today, in the vast majority of the country, renting is actually more expensive than owning a home.
  • History has proven that tenants DO NOT invest the difference in their rent and mortgage payments.

2.) Homeownership Creates Wealth

Paying a mortgage creates what financial experts call ‘forced savings’. The Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University released a study titled America’s Rental Housing: Meeting Challenges, Building on Opportunities. In the study, they actually quantified the difference in family wealth between renters and homeowners:

“[R]enters have only a fraction of the net wealth of owners. Near the peak of the housing bubble in 2007, the median net wealth of homeowners was $234,600—about 46 times the $5,100 median for renters. Even if homeowner wealth fell back to 1995 levels, it would still be 27.5 times the median for renters.”

3.) There Are Tremendous Tax Advantages to Investing in a Home

There is no doubt that selling an investment such as gold is easier than selling your home. However, this liquidity comes at a price. The price is called capital gains. That is the tax you pay on any financial gain you receive from the investment. This tax doesn’t apply the same way when you sell your primary residence:

Theresa Palagonia, a CPA and the Accounting Manager for the firm G.S. Garritano & Associates, was good enough to explain the Home Sale Exclusion Rules:

“You may qualify to exclude from your income all or part of any gain from the sale of your main home.

Maximum Exclusion

You can exclude up to $250,000 of the gain on the sale of your main home if all of the following are true:

  • You meet the ownership test.
  • You meet the use test.
  • During the 2 year period ending on the date of the sale, you did not exclude gain from the sale of another home.

If you and another person owned the home jointly but file separate returns, each of you can exclude up to $250,000 of gain from the sale of your interest in the home if each of you meets the three conditions listed above.

You may be able to exclude up to $500,000 of the gain on the sale of your main home if you are married and file a joint return and meet the requirements. (Special rules apply for joint returns.)

We will let you decide for yourself whether homeownership makes sense financially.

— Reposted with permission of KEEPING CURRENT MATTERS

Thank you for visiting the blog site of the  Staten Island Board of REALTORS® (SIBOR)

The Staten Island Board of REALTORS® (SIBOR) is the largest not-for-profit trade association in Staten Island, N.Y.

SIBOR exists to enhance the ability and opportunity of its members to conduct their business successfully and ethically; and to promote the preservation of the public’s right to own, transfer and use real property.

Comprised of over 1,600 members, SIBOR serves real estate agents, brokers and affiliated professionals throughout the borough and surrounding areas.

SIBOR is the provider of the Staten Island Multiple Listing Service Inc. (SIMLS), which works as a clearinghouse through which more than 250 local real estate firms exchange information on properties they have listed for sale. Together, its members participate in over 3,000 real estate transactions every year.

All SIBOR members belong to the New York State Association of REALTORS® (NYSAR) and the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR).

SIBOR may be reached at 718-928-3220 and viewed online at http://siborrealtors.com. SIBOR may also be visited on Facebook at “Staten Island Board of Realtors,” on Twitter via @SIBOR, and on YouTube at the Staten Island Board of Realtors and RelevantPR channels.

Media Contact: Barton Horowitz

Relevant Public Relations, LLC

Headquarters: 718‑682‑1509

Mobile: 917‑715‑8761

Email: Bhorowitz@RelevantPR.com