Shopping opportunity to unite homebuyers, sellers and Realtors
STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. (June 1, 2016) – Shopping for a new home? The Staten Island Board of Realtors (SIBOR) is preparing for a special event you won’t want to miss.
To enhance your house-hunting experience, Realtors across Staten Island will be participating in “Open House Weekend.” The largest coordinated event of its type in the borough, the special home-shopping opportunity will take place Saturday and Sunday, June 11 and 12.
Despite today’s tech tools, open houses have remained among the top home-buying resources.
In the past, as much as 45 percent of all home buyers in the nation used an open-house visit in their home-search process. For buyers, it’s a chance to get an idea of what they can afford in the local market and also get a feel for what they need and want in a home. It’s also a convenient way for sellers to showcase their home, as well as scope out any competition in the area.
“Buying a home is one of the most important – and often the largest – purchases in life. Deciding on a particular house requires thoughtful planning and decision-making,” said Sandy Krueger, CEO of the Staten Island Board of Realtors. “It’s important for buyers to decide what they require in a home. Visiting open houses can help buyers assess the wide variety of options and help them get a better picture of what is truly important to them.”
GETTING READY TO BUY A HOME
When shopping for a home, there are a number of things you should do in order to make the buying process as smooth as possible. The National Association of REALTORS® offers these tips for preparing for homeownership:
Decide what you can afford. Generally, you can afford a home equal in value to between two and three times your gross income.
Develop your home wish list. Then, prioritize the features on your list.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Get preapproved. Organize all the documentation a lender will need to pre-approve 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.
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, inquire if you can use the money you’ve saved to buy your fist home without paying a penalty for early withdrawal.
Calculate the costs of homeownership. This should include property taxes, insurance, maintenance and utilities, and association fees, if applicable.
Contact a REALTOR®. Find an experienced Realtor® who can help guide you through the process.
BENEFITS TO KEEP IN MIND
Realtors understand the decision to own a home is a very personal one, and they believe that anyone who is able and willing to assume the responsibilities of owning a home should have the opportunity to pursue that dream.
SIBOR’s Open House Weekend is one way of getting a step closer to fulfilling the dream. With this in mind, homebuyers may consider the following benefits during Open House Weekend:
- Owning a home has long-standing government support in this country because homeownership benefits individuals and families, strengthens our communities, and is integral to our nation’s economy.
- Home sales in this country generate more than 2.5 million private-sector jobs in an average year. For every two homes sold, a job is created. Homeownership is an investment in your future.
- The home is where we make memories, build our futures, and feel comfortable and secure.
- Owning a home offers immediate shelter benefits and long-term value.
TO LOCATE OPEN HOUSES ON STATEN ISLAND
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.