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Showing posts with label Queens. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Queens. Show all posts

October 29, 2013

Sandy Hits Howard Beach, and We Stand Strong

Hi Folks,
   In honor of friends and loved ones that have been severely impacted by Hurricane Sandy and continue to struggle, I am dedicating this post in their honor.

   In 2005, I was glued to the TV watching images of people on their roofs awaiting rescue. It seemed like they were stranded on Mars. I wanted to reach through my TV and pluck them off their homes myself. I had never seen anything like it, and living in New York, I foolishly thought it could never happen hear.

   Fast Forward to 2012: On this day just one year ago, I was home with my 6 year old son and joking about the possibility of losing power. He gathered all of his little flashlights and prepared them with fresh batteries. Yes, he knows the routine, because a year earlier, we faced Irene, and had no power for 3 days. We were veterans. So with the storm dumping some hit and miss rain and just winds blowing, my junior storm veteran kept asking me when the storm is going to hit. I told him I think this was it.

   About 8pm, the lights went out. We calmly got our flashlights ready and headed to the front door. There were sparks in the air and booming, with transformers blowing out on the poles (from the wind, I had thought). I turned on my portable radio and no sooner did I do that, I heard a loud twirling sound outside. It sounded like a freight train. Initial convincing thought: Tornado! No sooner did that thought cross my mind, my Emergency Alert went off on my cell phone and it warned the Howard Beach area to "take cover" for life and death conditions imminent. Yep, a tornado for sure I figured. To the basement we went! We put our Spongebob headlamps on our foreheads (silly, but I had to do whatever it took to keep him calm when the twister hit!!). I said we need to wait a little while and I was going to attempt reading to him by headlamp to keep things calm.

   Suddenly, I started hearing sounds like "Glop Glop Glop", or what you hear when a train is backed up. It turns out that we have a drain in the basement floor to drain out any seepage/leaks from big rainstorms, which never amounted to anything more than a damp floor in some spots. But this was different. I walked over with a big flashlight, and it was gushing up from the drain. I told my son that reading has to be moved back upstairs, since the water was coming fast and furious. He waited on the stairs and I grabbed anything I needed to bring up with us.

   When we got upstairs, I opened the front door, and our home became an island. Water up 2 of the 4 front steps, cars stuck in the water. Armageddon within less than 30 minutes, Images of Katrina flashed through my head. How can I get him to the roof? What is the best way? Strap him to my back? As I felt myself panic, I realized I needed to shelve the emotions, and focus on keeping him calm. I told my son that the streets were being washed by Sandy. Inside, I felt fear, but I knew that as long as that water did not hit the 3rd and 4th step, we'd be OK where we were.

   Then it hit the 3rd step, and I made a plan B in case it started coming into the main floor; we would camp out on the Dining Room table. I came down to peer at the basement with a flashlight, and it sounded like Niagara Falls. Water was shooting up from the floor! I saw the next high tide was coming at 8:20am, so I got him to take some rest, and I sat up with my radio listening to the news. There was no chance I was taking a snooze with this unprecedented catastrophe in progress and my little guy needing me to be the wall between him and the storm, both mentally and physically.

   To make a very long story short, the waters receded over night, and 12 days later, power returned !! My basement was gutted and made brand new, thanks to quick action by FEMA. I lost a lot of treasured items stored in my basement, however, I was given something in return that is more valuable than any of it: life.

   Many people lost lives in Sandy, and many people have still not recovered, even though their lives were spared. I was able to recover and move forward. I am thankful, and always pray for those who lost family and are still in dire straits.

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Have a Great Week
Rob Eisenstein
HomeRun Homes - Rent to Own Homes, since 2002
"Located at the Corner of Technology and Real Estate"
Rent to Own Homes and Real Estate Blog for HomeRun Homes: http://blogging.lease2buy.com
HomeRun Homes Websites: http://www.lease2buy.com and http://www.homerunhomes.com

TAGS: #sandy #howardbeach #newyork #queens #hurricane #superstorm

June 14, 2011

Real Estate Snapshot Of Long Island and New York City

Good Morning,

   Welcome back !

   Today, on a personal note, I was born and raised in Queens, NY (Howard Beach), and currently reside in Long Island, NY. My business has no physical boundaries, as our website covers every state and multiple countries around the world, however, as a homeowner and a local business owner, I like to keep my finger on the pulse of the housing market in this part of the world. Today, I'd like to focus on the Long Island and New York City markets, and I spoke with some local folks for their perspective on how things are going. I can tell you this;

   There has been a, "A marked upswing in the past couple of months, contrary to local newspaper articles", according to Janet M. Maffucci, an agent with Netter Real Estate in West Islip (an office of approximately 40 agents). Maffucci bolsters her claim with the yard stick of "sides", which she explains as parts of a transaction. She explains "sides" as follows: "For instance, if I get the Buyer for an "in-house" Listing (belongs to someone else in the office), that would be 2 "sides" for Netter RE because my office brought the Buyer AND its our Listing. Sometimes you just Sell an outside Real Estates Listing, so we would then have just 1 "side" of that transaction. So all together, we add up all these "sides" of transactions that the Sales Agents are involved in on a daily basis.". As for quantity, at the "height" of the Market in 2005-2006, Maffucci tells us she had, "40 sides on the "board" at any given time", but in the, "depths of the Market crash", she says, "we dipped into single digits". Maffucci proudly says that they are back up to 39 sides for the past few weeks, to which she concludes, as a, "definite upswing in the Real Estate Market".

   In terms of pricing and value, Erik Reilly, a Broker Associate with REMAX Shores in Oceanside, weighed in and said that he believes that, "Long Island values have come in for a "soft landing" however affordability has never been better.". Reilly says that with the low interest rates are with "prices down 20-25%" that there has, "never been a better time to buy for the long term." he does caution that Values may come down some more when interest rates rise or if more "distressed inventory (REO and short sales) puts downward pressure on values", but still believes that the cost of owning right now, "has never been better.". To the people who say, "you can't get a mortgage these days", Reilly says that this is incorrect, and adds that you can get a mortgage with a job and "decent credit".

   Lori Beldiny, an Associate Real Estate Broker with Coldwell Banker in Suffolk Country, says that as an active Associate Broker for 20 years, she has seen "many types of Markets". Beldiny says that currently, "our climate is strained with the negative press from media and challenges of our lending community.". She reminds us that last year at this time, the Government offered a $7,000 Tax advantage, which she says, "created a positive atmosphere for buyers who were actively looking but became real instead of tire kickers." As for today, as far as the Spring is concerned, it is, "opening up to a slow start.", and she points to the the "weather and lack of confidence" for the reasons. Beldiny says, however, that Realtors realize the timing now is "awesome", and that, "Money is cheap to borrow and supply of homes keeping prices at all time low's."

   In terms of our neighbors to the West (8 million + !), inventory is tight, says Jennifer A. Chiongbian, SVP & Licensed Associate Broker with Rutenberg Realty in New York City. Chiongbian says that, "extremely tight inventory has left prospective renters left with no choice but to pay higher prices and left with almost nothing to choose from.". As an example of how tight the inventory is, she say that Manhattan is, "already known to have an average of a 1% vacancy rate; at times a bit higher, at times slightly bit lower.", and says that currently, "we are boasting a .69% vacancy rate" (which, she adds, spans data from 39,000 buildings from 96th St. to Battery Park; which is considered prime Manhattan area). In contrast, she tells us that at this same time last year, they were averaging .98% total vacancy. Her prediction; "The peak summer rental months are just beginning, and from what I can see out there, there will be no respite from this rental gouging until September, so hang onto your hats!"

   Based on the "on-the-front-lines" information that was provided above, things don't seem as bad as the media would like us to believe. Are you a local Long Island or New York City Realtor or Investor? What's your take on our market? We'd love to hear from you.

Have a Great Week, and Happy Rent-to-Owning !
Rob Eisenstein
HomeRun Homes Blog http://blogging.lease2buy.com
HomeRun Homes Website http://www.lease2buy.com

TAGS: #longisland #NYC #realestate