Author: barthorowitz

Staten Island Realtors Annual ‘Adopt a Senior’ Program Brings Joy To 500 Nursing Home Residents

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — Staten Island Board of Realtors’ (SIBOR) headquarters in Graniteville doubled as a staging area in December for members and office staff’s final community initiative of 2011: The annual “Adopt a Senior” program. Chaired by Annmarie Izzo of SIBOR, with the teamwork of her office colleagues, the program attracted scores of Realtors from across Staten Island, who generously contributed gift items for local seniors without families. As a result, some 500 seniors residing in nursing homes around the borough received an assortment of gift donations — such as games, books, puzzles, hand lotions, makeup, face cream, perfume, cologne, clothing including sweaters, scarves, hats, socks, gloves, pajamas, undershirts, jogging outfits and undergarments — just in time for the winters holidays. In recent days, the SIBOR volunteers packed their cars with the gift donations, took them to the nursing homes scattered throughout the borough and hand-delivered the care packages directly to the seniors. The nursing homes included: Eger Harbor House, Carmel Richmond, Golden Gate, Silver Lake, Verrazano, Seaview, Staten Island Care Center and Clove Lakes.  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...

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The Truth About Staten Island: 9/11 Nativity Scene Arrives in Time for Christmas

Most of the attention on the 9/11 memorial has been focused on Lower Manhattan for this, the 10th anniversary of the attacks. There was the grand opening on Sept. 11, of course, but also budget woes at the museum and wrangling over the fate of a Greek Orthodox Church. For a more festive memorial, however, travel across the waters of New York harbor to Staten Island, where a crèche honoring the first responders who died 10 years ago has been installed. At the Casa Belvedere/The Italian Cultural Foundation, an 18-foot-long nativity crafted  artisans from Campania has been installed, a gift from the Naples Chamber of Commerce.  Read more...

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Existing-Home Sales in U.S. Continue to Climb in November

(Dec. 21, 2011) — Existing-home sales rose again in the United States during November and remain above a year ago, according to the National Association of Realtors®. Also released today were periodic benchmark revisions with downward adjustments to sales and inventory data since 2007, led by a decline in for-sale-by-owners.     Although rebenchmarking resulted in lower adjustments to several years of home sales data, the month-to-month characterization of market conditions did not change. There are no changes to home prices or month’s supply. The latest monthly data shows total existing-home sales, which are completed transactions that include single-family, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, increased 4 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.42 million in November from 4.25 million in October, and are 12.2 percent above the 3.94 million-unit pace in November 2010. 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 1,800 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 (SIMLS), which works as a clearinghouse...

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Real Estate: Today’s Golden Opportunity

(Dec. 20, 2011) — Everyone wants to comment on the current real estate market. They want to talk about how now is not the time to buy a home. Some even argue owning a house has never been a great investment. Most say it will be a long time before real estate again begins to appreciate. It all sounds so familiar to us. It was just a decade ago that many made the same arguments about gold as an investment. Gold had dropped from over $400 an ounce to $250 an ounce (a 40% decline) from February 1996 to August 1999. People ran from gold as though it was a plague. Lord William Rees-Mogg, the current Chairman of The Zurich Club, in 1997 said:  “No investment has been so thoroughly exploded as gold; most people think that there will no more be another gold boom than there will be another boom in tulip futures in The Netherlands.” Two years later in 1999, Don Wolanchuk author of the Wolanchuk Report explained: “Everybody hates gold. You can’t have a bottom until everybody is out. And everybody is out of the gold sector.” Everyone knows what happened next. The proclamation of gold’s death was rather premature. Gold rose from $250 an ounce to over $1,500 an ounce in the next twelve years. We see the same situation with real estate today. We are not...

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The Truth About Staten Island: Regardless of Your Birthplace, Our Borough Can Warm Up Memories and The Heart

The following column from Staten Island Advance/SILive writer and editor Margorie Hack celebrates both memories and the present day spirit of the holiday season: It happened last Thursday. I pushed open the back door of the Advance, headed for home, and I was met by a strong smell of wood smoke. Aah, I thought, someone in a nearby house has a fireplace.     Though I’m not particularly looking forward to the cold weather that’s on its way, one thing I have always loved about the winter is it’s fireplace season.     When I was in fifth-grade, we moved into a house that had a fireplace that opened both to the dining room and the living room; there was another one directly below it in the basement, which my parents quickly turned into a warm, inviting family room.     We had a huge wood pile outside our house and by the end of winter, its size had always dwindled considerably because we so often lit the fireplace.     The smell and the flicker of the flames stood in sharp contrast to the snow that almost always blanketed the Great Outdoors on the eastern side of Cleveland. I always felt just a wee bit closer to those around me and something about the flames always succeeded in firing up my imagination. READ MORE...

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