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Yes, I am a Proud Father - 10/24/09 09:21 PM
****Caution: Bragging Father Alert******* One of the neat things about parenthood is seeing your son or daughter do well at something, especially if it is unexpected. This morning our oldest son had to put in a shift, in the rain, at the local grocery for a cub scout fundraiser. They had a table set up outside the Stop & Shop in Ossining, where they were selling popcorn to benefit Pack 49. Luke was part of the first shift, from 11-12am, and the first 10 minutes was punctuated by 2 other scouts sort of mumbling to passersby with limited success. Now, you (6 comments)
An "Out of the Box" Open House Idea - 10/23/09 08:56 AM
I have a listing that is a "mystery." Nice house, aggressive price, well exposed location, and no deal. We've had two offers, but neither went together. One factoid: I get more lawn sign calls on this property than any other. What to do? Hold an open house? Are you crazy? I HATE open houses. An open house on a weekday afternoon? Are you nuts? Well, I guess I'm nuts. Given the close proximity to a local school which dismisses at 3pm and the nice weather, mortgage broker Trevor Curran (who came up with the idea) and I held 180 Weyman Avenue, New Rochelle, open from 2:30-4pm (9 comments)
Find a Home Across the Country with MLSCloud.com - 10/14/09 08:19 PM
Having lived in Rochester, Austin, Philadelphia, New Jersey, Boston and Maryland, I am sometimes curious about those markets. I do have the occasional pipe dream about getting a condo in Center City Philadelphia or vacation home outside Rochester. Until now, my only option was Realtor.com. Now, consumers and licensees alike can find the official public MLS search for dozens of markets, sponsored by the local associations with MLSCloud.com.
Billing itself as a "Network of MLS Public Web Sites" with the listings of almost 600,000 agents, the site links, in one comprehensive place, a growing list of areas across the country. (1 comments)
Don't Touch Asbestos - 10/14/09 07:18 AM
I have been meaning to write about this for quite a while, and two recent incidents have moved me to do so. While inspecting the basement of an older home, I saw old furnace pipe insulation that was probably asbestos. When I pointed this out to the homeowner, he said "Oh, that isn't asbestos," and promptly flicked at it with his bare hand. I was halfway up the stairs in a jiffy. I met a buyer at a home in the Bronx. We walked in the kitchen, and a nice pile of obviously recently dumped asbestos like material was right in (9 comments)
Renting Chic - 10/13/09 07:28 AM
It seems that anything the New York Times writes about suddenly becomes the fab new trend. Renting is now the chic thing in New York City. The upshot of the article is that renting is simpler, often cheaper, and has far fewer headaches. While one of the people interviewed did get a little misty eyed at not having a Viking stove, overall he was at peace with it. This is not what I would call the best reporting from the Times. I could care less about yuppies with a "been there, done that" attitude about writing off their mortgage interest on their (4 comments)
What Does a "For Sale By Owner" Want? - 10/11/09 02:36 AM
Many of my colleagues believe that a for sale by owner (FSBO) wants to eat their young, draw and quarter real estate agents, and own a broom with a glove compartment. My experience is that few do. FSBOs are not a different species. Consider this: Home Depot sold tens of thousands of drills in recent years to people who didn't want drills. They wanted holes. FBSO's may not want an agent, but nobody with their home listed on the MLS wants an agent either. You read that right: No home seller wants an agent. They have no use for them. They (101 comments)
MLS Vice President, Northern Westchester: Your Truly - 10/11/09 02:13 AM
"I don’t care to belong to any club that will have me as a member"- Groucho Marx In either a sign of the Apocalypse, recognition from my peers or a little of both, it is official: the 2010 Westchester-Putnam MLS board of directors will include me as a Vice President.
Although the term does not begin until 2010, myself and the other new board members were at this past week's meeting, which was actually pretty good brain food about where our association is going and how it will adapt to the changing times. Other newly-elected board members include:
President - Gary Leogrande, Keller (0 comments)
Clotheslines: Eyesore or Nostalgia? - 10/10/09 08:24 PM
My wife and I don't have a horse in this race, but I recall in my childhood in the 70's that everyone in my neighborhood had a clothesline. Most of my neighbors used them. Ann grew up in an apartment in which many people dried their clothes on their terrace, but that was forbidden when the building went co-op. In my corner of the world they gradually phased out with cheaper technology and busier lifestyles, but I always viewed clothes drying in a suburban back yard as, well, suburban. Evidently, some communities don't view it that way, and many have banned clotheslines altogether. (5 comments)
The 1955 Open Permit - 10/09/09 09:00 AM
In 1955, Dwight Eisenhower was president, the Dodgers were in Brooklyn, and there were 48 states in the Union. My parents were married only 5 years, and just 2 of their 4 sons were born. I wasn't on the scene until 1967. In 2009, Dwight Eisenhower is gone 40 years. The Dodgers have been out of Brooklyn for over 50. Ann and I just celebrated our 8th anniversary on what would have been my parents' 59th, and we've had 50 states in the USA for 51 years. One of my listings pending sale had a closing delayed recently because the (24 comments)
Are Condo and Co op Boards Banana Republics? - 10/04/09 12:48 PM
I recently closed on a co op purchase with a young couple that reminded me of the silliness that most co op board approvals really are. This couple had nothing to worry about- both were professionals and graduates of one of the most highly regarded universities in America, and believe me when I tell you that the co op needed them more than the other way around. Yet, several times a year I find myself on the sidelines watching a condo or co op board looking down its nose at anxious applicants and prospective purchasers who have to sweat out board (1 comments)
Are Short Sales Sold "As Is?" - 10/04/09 11:54 AM
As happy as I'll be when the day comes that I don't have to do anymore short sales, the fact is that I am in the midst of several. And even though the public by and large understands what short sales are about now more than they did 2 years ago, questions remain, such as how to address physical issues with the property. Issue: FHA appraisal. The appraisal flagged the rotting wood on the rear deck. The seller has no equity or proceeds to address the matter. If the buyer wants to close on their FHA loan, they'll have to fix this themselves. (10 comments)
Phil Faranda is broker and owner of J. Philip Real Estate LLC in Briarcliff Manor, NY. Since founding the firm as a sole practitioner in late 2005, the team has grown to over 30 agents & closed 350+ transactions valued at $140 million. He is in his 4th term as Vice President of the HGMLS. This blog commentary is geared toward consumers and industry colleagues alike. You can reach him at (914) 723-8900. Warning: *Sarcasm and irony advisory at all times.*
There is no doubt in my mind that the house would still be on the market if it wasn't for Phil's proactive efforts.
Phil was very responsive to our requests; he was very professional and respectful; he always gave us his honest opinion on the questions we asked. ... more
Phil is a very honorable and respectful realtor. He has gone way above and beyond the call of duty for me not only once, but twice. He helped sell ... more
Disclaimer: ActiveRain Corp. does not necessarily endorse the real estate agents, loan officers and brokers listed on this site. These real estate profiles, blogs and blog entries are provided here as a courtesy to our visitors to help them make an informed decision when buying or selling a house. ActiveRain Corp. takes no responsibility for the content in these profiles, that are written by the members of this community.