Author: barthorowitz

A Glimpse into the Staten Island and National Housing Markets

While Halloween decorations are beginning to adorn homes on Staten Island and across the country, the real estate market this fall is looking far from scary. The Staten Island housing market in September 2019 revealed that new listings increased 11.9 percent as compared to the same period a year ago; pending sales remained level at 326, and inventory levels fell 1.6 percent, according to newly released statistics from Staten Island Board of Realtors® (SIBOR). Prices on the Island continued to gain traction in September. The median sales price increased 2 percent to $560,000. “Days on Market” was up 17.1...

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What are the biggest determinants of wealth?

Many people plan to build their net worth by buying CDs or stocks, or just having a savings account. Recently, however, Economist Jonathan Eggleston and Survey Statistician Donald Hays, both of the U.S. Census Bureau, shared the biggest determinants of wealth … “The biggest determinants of household wealth [are] owning a home and having a retirement account.” (Shown in the graph below): This does not come as a surprise, as we often mention that homeownership can help you to increase your family’s wealth. This study reinforces that idea:  “Net worth is an important indicator of economic well-being and provides insights into a household’s economic health.” Having equity in your home can help...

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What FICO® Score Do You Need to Qualify for a Mortgage?

While a recent announcement from CNBC shares that the average national FICO® score has reached an all-time high of 706, the good news for potential buyers is that you don’t need a score that high to qualify for a mortgage. Let’s unpack the credit score myth so you can to become a homeowner sooner than you may think. With today’s low interest rates, many believe now is a great time to buy – and rightfully so! Fannie Mae recently noted that 58% of Americans surveyed say it is a good time to buy. Similarly, the Q3 2019 HOME Survey by the National Association of Realtors said 63% of people...

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A Millennial’s Guide to Homeownership

Why Should You Read This Online Guide? If you are one of the millions of millennials who has seen their peers recently begin to buy homes and you are wondering what it would take for you to do the same — you’ve found the right eGuide! The goal of this eGuide is to provide you with the information you need to make the best decision for you and your family in regard to homeownership. We break down the myths and stereotypes that have long been believed to be true, as well as shed light on the opportunity you have...

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Report: Many first-time homebuyers are wrong about their down payment

According to the ‘2019 Home Buyer Report’ conducted by Nerdwallet, many first-time buyers still believe they need a 20% down payment to buy a home in today’s market: “More than 6 in 10 (62%) Americans believe you must put at least 20% down in order to purchase a home.” When potential homebuyers think they need a 20% down payment to enter the market, they also tend to think they’ll have to wait several years (in some markets) to come up with the necessary funds to buy their dream homes. The report continues to say, “The truth: 32% of current U.S. homeowners put 5% or...

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