Downsizing is a great option for seniors who are looking to make a move, but it can bring a lot of questions even as you’re trying to answer a few. Knowing the right time to downsize is important. You may be thinking about how to make your post-retirement years as safe and comfortable as possible, but it’s important to ensure that your finances are in check and that you’re able to find a home that meets your needs while staying within your budget. This can be tricky depending on the area where you’re looking, so it pays off to do some research before you make any decisions.
Preparing for a downsize can be a lot of work, because it includes not only the packing and moving, but it also means going through all your belongings to figure out what you’ll bring to the new home. Keep in mind that the more items you can discard, the more room you’ll have, which helps eliminate fall hazards, one of the most common causes of injury in seniors.
If downsizing is on the horizon for you, here are a few tips on how to get started.
Check out the area first
If you’re thinking of buying a home in a particular area or neighborhood, it helps to check it out first. You might rent a vacation home there for a week to get a feel for the weather, the people, and the community. This is also a great way to test the waters and see what you’d like to have in a home, from the size to the location. You should also scope out the housing market in the area you decide to live in, to see if you can actually afford to live there. In Bay Shore, average home prices have been an average of $356,000 over the past month.
Don’t overlook the details
It’s important to know what to look for in a new home when you’re downsizing. You may find a great home that’s just the right size, but if the details are wrong, it might not be the best fit for you in the long run. Take a look at all parts of the home. A one-story two-bedroom might just be perfect, but if there’s a large yard to take care of, you may end up regretting it down the road. Does your chosen house sit in a neighborhood with an HOA that will cost potentially hundreds of dollars per year? Are there grab bars in the bathroom? If not, you can always purchase them later, since they’re easy to install. (You can find grab bars on Amazon for $23.37 each.) Make sure you know the ins and outs of the home and the area before making a commitment.
Staying organized while you pack and declutter is essential because it helps keep your belongings separated from the items you plan to get rid of, and because it enables you to reduce stress while you’re preparing for such a major life change. Make packing lists as you go, and clean at the same time so you’ll have less to do on moving day. Try not to make a “maybe” pile when going through your belongings, as it’s best to be definitive. Donate, trash, or sell the things you know you don’t want to take, and measure the rooms in the new house to make sure your furniture will fit.
Get some help
These days, many cities have companies that specialize in helping seniors downsize, so look to see if there’s something like that available for you. These professionals can help you declutter, pack, transport, and unpack your belongings. You can also ask friends and loved ones to help you get everything organized and ready for moving day, and have someone help you clean the old house when all is said and done.
Downsizing is one of the biggest decisions you’ll ever make, so it’s crucial to ensure that you take your time and research your options. Finding the right home for your post-retirement years takes a lot of careful thought, but it’s well worth it if it keeps you safe and healthy.
Written By: Mike Longsdon
If you have just bought a home or are in the process of buying one, you may have a good idea what mortgage insurance is. It is quite possible you’re paying it right now. To make things affordable for homebuyers, one of the prerequisites of opting for a mortgage via any lending organization is getting mortgage insurance on specific varieties of loans.
The fundamental advantage of mortgage insurance is securing the lender and shielding it from a financial risk or uncertainty on behalf of the homebuyer. But it also makes accessibility for the homebuyer easy even if they do not have a truckload of money to pay for it up front. Sure, there is no doubt that acquiring a mortgage with mortgage insurance can help you get your dream house quickly ,however, you have to understand the flipside of it – which is the fact that mortgage insurance payments will stack up higher and higher in the long run.
If you’re getting that butterflies in the stomach feeling, there is no need to worry at all. We have compiled a handful of effective and simple ways to lessen the burden of paying for mortgage insurance. Check it out…
Wrap Your Head Around LTV
Eliminating mortgage insurance heavily relies on what type of loan you have acquired – as well as that loan’s LTV and mortgage insurance specifications and requirements. LTV is short for (Loan-to-Value) ratio, and it basically calculates the amount of equity you have stacked in your home.
You can easily calculate this by dividing the amount of your current loan (the balance that remains) by the original value of your real estate, then multiply the total amount by 100. Remember, the higher the number of payments you make, the lower the loan-to-value ratio. If your LTV is 80% or higher, you don’t have to pay mortgage insurance. This means that if you make a down payment of at least 20% of the home value, you can avoid mortgage insurance.
Paying Mortgage Insurance? Here is How You Can Stop!
For FHA Loans
If you have acquired an FHA loan, you have to understand that you don’t have an option to cancel making FHA loan mortgage insurance. So what do you do? The best way out of this is to transfer your loan into a conventional loan via refinancing. The fastest way to do that is if you have a low loan-to-value ratio or if you have drastically enhanced your credit score.
For Lender-Paid Mortgage Insurance
If you have acquired a lender-paid mortgage insurance, the first thing you have to understand is that no lender is going to be paying for your insurance contrary to what they have advertised. What happens is the lender pays for your mortgage and then asks you to make repayments to cover that cost with a slightly raised interest rate.
Sure, this might have sounded awesome to you when you first acquired the loan. However, you may want to reconsider your refinancing options, especially if you’re eligible for a brand new loan without the need to pay any mortgage insurance, interest, or either.
When the Value of Property Increases
If your vicinity’s market has gone up, and you have already spent quite a bit of money making improvements to your house, your house’ true value (and equity) probably has gone up too since the date of purchase. And this may very well mean that your loan balance falls below 80% of the home value. If this happens, the lender has to remove the mortgage insurance requirement.
So now you know that ditching mortgage insurance is possible. More importantly, you know how to do it. Who doesn’t like canceling a monthly payment? Feel free to discuss this with us and see what’s the best way out of mortgage insurance for you.
Everyone desires to have a one-stop shopping experience. It saves times and energy and makes shopping enjoyable. As such, many people prefer shopping in malls with various outlets. If you find yourself in Riverhead on Long Island, you can have one of your best shopping experiences at The Tanger Outlet Center.
Located at 200 Tanger Mall Drive, Riverhead, New York, 11901, The Tanger Outlet Center has almost 150 stores that offer premium services at decent prices.
The two-section outlet center is well placed to meet all your shopping needs within a short time. The center houses all almost all your favorite designer and brand-name stores.
As such, you are assured of quality stuff and prices beyond your imagination. You can shop from brands like Nike, Polo Ralph Lauren, Armani, Calvin Klein, Lacoste, Puma, and Victoria’s Secret. You can also shop at Williams Sonoma, Barneys New York, Charley’s Philly Steaks, Banana Republic, Columbia Factory Store, Restoration Hardware, and H&M among several others.
Aside from having the best of shopping experience at The Tanger Outlet, you can also enjoy some discount sales by joining the TangerClub. As a member, you will receive notifications of the latest deals and sales events.
The outlet also has The Tanger Best Price Promise, which offers shoppers an instant cash refund on the difference in price if an item purchased at Tanger is advertised for less. The offer aims at installing confidence in shoppers that The Tanger outlet has the best deal in town.
Surf through The Tanger Outlet official website to check on their deals before making a visit to Riverhead. On the website, you can also get the coupons & sales offers for Tanger Outlets in Riverhead. That aside, you can get yourself a coupon book containing some great deals from the shopper services. The book is free for TangerClub members.
Phone: 631 369 2732
Ready to buy the house of your dreams?
It doesn’t matter if you have already started doing the due diligence or if you are unsure of the market. Making an offer is a pivotal point in the house buying process.
Let’s look at some things that’ll help you make a compelling offer and up your chances of getting that home your heart is set on!
Do Comprehensive Research
Nothing is more important than identifying the most vital aspects of the house, especially if you are buying the house with your partner. Do this even before you start looking for houses. In a hot market, it is a truism that you will probably not get the time needed to adequately investigate whether or not the house is near a good school district or make up your mind regarding how many bedrooms you would like to have. If you are interested in a house, sit together and jot down everything that is important to you.
Being crystal clear about your criteria is curial before stepping into the market. Keep in mind that you should also establish the factors you are willing to work around or be more flexible with. Doing so will provide you with a sense of clarity; you won’t be surprised by anything when you start making offers. And it will certainly minimize much of the stress that comes along with buying the house of your dreams.
Convince the Seller Why You Want to Buy Their House
Yes, it is absolutely vital to be personal about it. You see, selling a house can be just as stressful as buying one. And sellers would very much like to know whether or not they are giving their house to the right family.
It couldn’t hurt to write a personal letter to the sellers, explaining what their house means to you. Assure them that they are indeed passing it on in the right hands and that you will most certainly take care of it. When it comes to multiple offers, this a very good way to make yours stand out of the rest.
Look for an Experienced and Skilled Real Estate Agent
There is no question a qualified and experienced real estate agent must have a broad know-how of the housing market. And this includes the market for the types of dream houses you are looking for and what the prices are. The real estate professional representing you must be sincerely proactive.
They must understand your needs down to a personal level and must be an excellent communicator. Do not rely on the first couple of recommendations made by your friends and family. Do some vetting on your own and select one that truly reflects your perspectives.
Make Sure Your Seller Know You Can Afford the House
This is another important factor when preparing to make an offer. You have to know how much financing you can possibly get. In a fast moving market, you have to be able to convince the seller that you have the necessary financing required to make the purchase; they will not just take your word for it.
The best thing to do to save time on this is to ask your real estate agent to print an attested and verified letter of approval on part of your lender. The letter will contain information on how much financing the lender has approved.
Keep the Lender on Call
Sure, the approval letter is ample proof that you have the financing necessary to go ahead with the purchase. However, there may be a couple of sellers who would prefer hearing it from the lender.
That is why it’s vital to keep your real estate agent in the loop. Ask them to have the loan consultant talk to the seller agent, reassuring them that there will not be a financing complication.
So, there you go – these tips will help you make a compelling offer to secure your dream home. Of course, having a great real estate professional on your side is always a good idea. Go ahead and make an offer they can’t refuse and settle in in your dream home!
Is Renting Right for Me?
If you’re currently renting on Long Island and have dreams of owning your own home, it may be a good time to think about your next move. With rent costs rising annually and many helpful down payment assistance programs available, home ownership may be closer than you realize.
According to the 2018 Bank of America Homebuyer Insights Report, 74% of renters plan on buying within the next 5 years, and 38% are planning to buy within the next 2 years.
When those same renters were asked why they disliked renting, 52% said rising rental costs were their top reason. The results of the survey can be seen here:It’s no wonder rising rental costs came in as the top answer. The median asking rent price has risen steadily over the last 30 years, as you can see below.There is a long-standing rule that a household should not spend more than 28% of its income on housing expenses. With nearly half of renters (48%) surveyed already spending more than that, and with their rents likely to rise again, it’s never a bad idea to reconsider your family’s plan and ask yourself if renting is your best angle going forward. When asked why they haven’t purchased a home yet, not having enough saved for a down payment (44%) came in as the top response. The report went on to reveal that nearly half of all respondents believe that “a 20% down payment is required to buy a home.”
The reality is, the need to produce a 20% down payment is one of the biggest misconceptions of home ownership, especially for first-time buyers. That means a large number of renters may be able to buy now, and they don’t even know it.
If you’re one of the many Long Island renters who are tired of rising rents but may be confused about what is required to buy in today’s market, let’s get together to determine your path to home ownership.
The Cost of Waiting: Interest Rates Edition [INFOGRAPHIC]
- Heading into 2020, interest rates are projected to increase steadily.
- The more money you will end up paying for your home and the higher your monthly payment will be, the higher your interest rate.
- Rates are still low right now so don’t wait until they hit 5% to start searching for your dream home!
Monster Mini Indoor Golf Course
If you’re looking for some place spooky, fun and invigorating all at the same time, then there is nothing better than the Monster Mini golf course. Located in Deer Park, Suffolk County, the Monster Mini golf course offers a creepy and thrilling indoor experience. The place is ideal for kids, especially if it is their birthday. And, it glows in the dark!
The decorations at the place gives it a sweet look. The monster theme adds a bit of a thrill to the place and the decor is quite suited to the overall context of the indoor golf course design.
The staff is friendly and accommodating. It is truly a state-of-the-art facility with climate control, decorated with luminescent black lights that glow in the dark.
The facility is an 18-hole mini golf course that provides a strong sense of adventure. However, it isn’t just a mini golf course. The place also has a video game arcade, mini bowling alleys, a laser maze, glow-in-the-dark mini laser tag, and a prize center.
There is no question it’s a one-stop avenue for having some fun. It doesn’t matter what age you are, you will definitely have the time of your life playing some glow-in-the-dark golf. And since it is indoors and air conditioned, there is not much you can ask for. Take your kids with you, or plan a school trip with your students, the Monster Mini golf course caters to all.
They also have private event rooms that have Haunted Mansion themes where management can organizes birthday parties.
Located in East Garden City, in Roosevelt Field Mall, Golf Glow is an exciting and fun mini glow in the dark golf course. You can find it at the kids play area in the mall, right next to Lens Crafter. It is a real stress reliever, especially when you have kids with you, so just get a club and start playing!
The 27-hole mini golf course is completely dark with dark light, so you will not be playing in any natural light – which adds a bit of thrill to everything. The golf course is set through a series of twisted hallways and rooms and every hole provides a different playing experience. There are mini windmills you play through, as well as motorized blocks and inclines, etc. There is even an anti-gravity loop-the-loop.
With virtually no light, you are going to have to navigate through the entire golf course via the glow-in-the dark arrows. And remember it’s like a maze! Plus, there are some surprises there too; you can win a glowing treat if you manage to put a shot through the Plinko-style hole.
Once you become better at putting holes, you can test your mettle against the three difficulties at the laser maze. Your kid is going to have to cross the laser maze without setting a laser off, which is tough! All in all, a fun and memorable experience.
One of the most famous ballparks in the US, Bethpage Ballpark, is in Suffolk county, New York. Boasting 6,002 seats, it is an avant-garde facility that the Long Island Ducks proudly call their home. Bethpage ballpark opened for business back in 2000 and saw a staggering reception of fans and games throughout. Since its opening, the ballpark has welcomed more than seven million fans and has experienced a sellout more than 670 times.
Among a slew of the ballpark’s modern amenities and features, the place offers twenty luxurious VIP suites, a huge restaurant bar with a 126-seating capacity and a batting tunnel indoors.
Before the ballpark was fully constructed, the management decided to name it Suffolk County Sports Park. However, during the same year, the EAB, short for (European American Bank) bought the naming rights. They renamed the stadium “EAB Park” when it was inaugurated in 2000. However, in 2001, the name was changed again when Citibank bought the stadium from EAB. And in 2001, it was renamed to Citibank Park.
In 2010 however, the BFCU (Bethpage Federal Credit Union) invested in the ballpark and became increasingly involved. With the agreement, the BFCU changed the name of the stadium from Citibank Park to Bethpage Ballpark. Moreover, the BFCU has the rights to the name of the stadium.
Fast forward to 2017, Steve Bellone, who was one of the Suffolk county executives, and was also the representative of the Long Island Ducks as well as the Department of Public Works, proposed an innovative plan to revamp the stadium’s lighting system. He introduced the LED field lighting integration for Bethpage ballpark.
With LED-powered lighting becoming the primary source of lighting in the playing field, the 2000-watt metal Halide bulbs which were used since the ballpark’s inauguration, were removed. This was a great idea when you talk about energy savings. Not to mention, the new LED lights offered better illumination for both fans and players.
Furthermore, enhancements like getting Kentucky Bluegrass for the playing field and revamping the luxury VIP boxes, and more enhancements to the restaurant bar were done in 2017. The Bethpage ballpark has been home to more than a thousand mainstream events since 1999. The ballpark welcomes all manner of sports events such as lacrosse, professional soccer, charitable concerts and events, corporate seminars and events, high school baseball, youth clinics and camps, Freedom Fest concerts, three Atlantic League (All-star) games in 2002, 2010 and 2018.
An independent and professional baseball team, the Long Island Ducks (a.k.a Quacker Jacks) forms a major part of the ALPB (Atlantic League of Professional Baseball). The team was named after the animal primarily because duck farming was a major industry in Long Island.
The ballpark is located at 3 Court House Dr, Central Islip, NY 11722, USA.
The Ultimate Truth about Housing Affordability
There have been many headlines decrying an “affordability crisis” in the residential real estate market. While it is true that buying a home is less affordable than it had been over the last ten years, we need to understand why and what that means.
On a monthly basis, the National Association of Realtors (NAR), produces a Housing Affordability Index. According to NAR, the index…
“…measures whether or not a typical family earns enough income to qualify for a mortgage loan on a typical home at the national and regional levels based on the most recent price and income data.”
Their methodology states:
“To interpret the indices, a value of 100 means that a family with the median income has exactly enough income to qualify for a mortgage on a median-priced home. An index above 100 signifies that family earning the median income has more than enough income to qualify for a mortgage loan on a median-priced home, assuming a 20 percent down payment.”
So, the higher the index, the more affordable it is to purchase a home. Here is a graph of the index going back to 1990:
It is true that the index is lower today than any year from 2009 to 2017. However, we must realize the main reason homes were more affordable. That period of time immediately followed a housing crash and there were large numbers of distressed properties (foreclosures and short sales). Those properties were sold at large discounts.
Today, the index is higher than any year from 1990 to 2008. Based on historic home affordability data, that means homes are more affordable right now than any other time besides the time following the housing crisis.
With mortgage rates remaining low and wages finally increasing, we can see that it is MORE AFFORDABLE to purchase a home today than it was last year!
With wages increasing, price appreciation moderating, and mortgage rates remaining near all-time lows, purchasing a home is a great move based on historic affordability numbers.
With three amazing days off from your mundane routine, Memorial Day is a primer to starting summer with some stress off your shoulders. This automatically translates into some partying, going to fun events, enjoying live music, and plenty of other outdoor activities. Considering this, mentioned below are some interesting ways you can celebrate this year’s Memorial Day weekend in Long Island.
Consider Going to Montauk
It really doesn’t matter if you are a New Yorker or not, celebrating Memorial Day in Long Island like you haven’t before should be on your to-do list for the weekend. Sure, Montauk may be a bit costly and you will find it a bit crowdy there, still there are plenty of iconic things you can do at the beautiful destination. Moreover, Montauk has a soothing, relaxing and serene vibe that you will not find in posh neighborhoods such as the Hamptons.
Irrespective of whether you want to stay up and out during the entire night, or if you are with kids or friends, or just want to relax at the beach, catching some waves, Montauk offers a slew of places you can go to. Regardless of the place you stay in the village, it is vital you take plenty of time out to visit its beaches.
Beaches in Long Island are just amazing; with sand as far as the eye can see and waves, it is a perfect destination for people who are big on privacy. If you are looking for some fun and frolic or want to mingle, Navy Beach has a great bar serving awesome cocktails.
Bethpage Village Decoration Day
This is a great and fun event you shouldn’t miss for the world on Memorial Day. On the Memorial Day weekend, you will find the village completely transformed, and you will experience a unique celebration. Did you know that back in the day, Memorial Day was known as Decoration Day? Yup, you can travel back in history and take photographs of how houses used to look back in the 18th and 19th century.
North Hempstead Beach Park Fireworks and Celebrations
If you want to see some extraordinary fireworks and listen to some great music, head to Port Washington on Memorial Day. Bring your own food and some picnic blankets for a truly refreshing experience. Just sit back and chill with your friends and family, enjoy good food and listen to the music before enjoying the amazing fireworks.
Raynham Hall Museum Memorial Day Parade
Travel back in time and into the world as it was in the 19th century, by visiting Raynham Hall Museum at this year’s Memorial Day weekend. The Raynham Hall Museum is a colonial mansion with beautiful, large rooms and big gardens reminiscent of the Victorian era. Moreover, you can also tag along for the Memorial Day parade at Oyster Bay.
American Airpower Museum For the Legends of Airpower Show
If you are a hardcore aviation fan, this is a once a year event that you would not want to miss. The show displays a slew of exciting and legendary fight planes. Moreover, you will also be given a tour of the B-17 Yankee Lady. You will also have the opportunity to see the Canadian Forces Snowbirds as well as the U.S Navy Blue Angels before they fly off for a cool air show at Jones Beach.
Which of these sounds most exciting? Feel free to learn more about these events and plan an unforgettable Memorial Day on Long