Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

A Teen Living & Working In The Real Estate Industry – by Sydney Marino

Senior year is the time to relax and develop senioritis, right? Wrong. Not for me anyway. Every day when I leave the teenage world of socializing, calculus, and schoolwork, I enter the real world here at the Energized Realty Group.

When I first started working here, I wasn’t really sure what it was going to be like. There were no tests or homework; there wasn’t a next class. I didn’t know everything. I felt like school didn’t fully prepare me for what the real world was like or even for a real job for that matter. I was completely lost. Luckily for me, Judy and Jenna took me under their wings. They’ve taught me so much, both in the real estate world and the real world. In these last four months I’ve learned so much and I feel as if everyone here has made me part of the team.

When I went back to school in September for the beginning of my senior year, I had a busy schedule ahead of me. I was going to school in my work clothes, going to work after school, handling various different transactions at a time, working with co-workers, talking to clients, and then at the end of the day coming home to do my homework and doing it all over again the next day. I absolutely loved it. All my friends thought that I was so professional and so lucky to be working for such a well-known real estate company. My teachers see that I have become a mature young lady. Judy and Jenna have been very helpful to me when it came time to go back to school. If I ever have to come in late or miss a day of work due to a school related situation, they are more than happy to accommodate me. I feel like I am so fortunate that at even at the young age of 16, Judy hired me to work for the Energized Realty Group.

The Energized Realty Group feels like a part of me I never want to leave behind. This experience has been life changing. Although some days may be hectic for me, I am able to work through it all. Working at the Energized Realty Group has taught me how to manage stress, organize my life, feel more confident, and work in the real world as an adult. Hey, maybe even one day you’ll see my name on a business card; Sydney Marino Real Estate Agent with the Energized Realty Group.

Now that Summer is over…

Now that the summer is over, with Fall and Winter around the corner, some of you may be thinking about the possibility of storm season, and maybe even next season’s snow. If you need any information at all, from whether to consider trimming or even removing a tree  to prevent potential damage to your property or for resale purposes, or suggestions on perhaps re-planting a tree that may have perished in Irene or Sandy, give me a call. We have a lot of experiences along with real life stories to share with you on the pros and cons of trees on and around your property. I love our neighborhoods around Flushing, Bayside, Whitestone and the surrounding areas. Our local landscape and the values in the area are my main focus, in every sense of the words! So email me your confidential questions, at judy@ energizedrealtygroup.com, or call me at 718-353-6000.  I would always welcome your call!

The Changing Market

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So it’s the dog days of summer again, and this makes it a great time to take a brief pause (that’s all the Energized Realty Group has time for in any season!) and talk about how the market is once again, doing what it does best…CHANGING!

The second quarter of 2013 turned out to be a wild ride, reminiscent of the surging market that started in 2005 and didn’t end until late 2008, when the mortgage industry crash landed in to one of the biggest recessions in US history. However the North Queens real estate market recovered and grew better, with bigger prices reflecting consumer optimism, beginning in March, 2013. From March through June, bidding wars were once again the norm, good properties became great ones with sales at or above asking price, and sellers called all the shots. Historically low and still lowering mortgage rates, the Spring Season and relatively low, well priced inventory were the heroes of the season. From January 2013, from a relatively slow start to the new year, to March 1, the market had turned on a dime.

Fast forward to NOW. Mortgage rates took a few turns for the worse in June, but kept buyer motivation high and sales were completed smoothly. Buyers love to know that they got the lowest rate out there, and even a quarter or half a point does not discourage buyers from completing their purchase. However by mid July, the Fed raised the rate with the single highest increase in over 10 years, from approximately 3.6 percent for a 30 year fixed rate in May to 4.61% in mid July. For the first time since the tragedy of 9/11 when buyers were concerned about their overall purchases, buyers were actively re-thinking their purchase decisions, banks were re-evaluating their buyer’s qualifications, and appraisers were low-balling appraisals, to the point where even a few of our lenders were inclined to re-submit these overly conservative appraisals for review.

Luckily, we have not lost a sale to this see-saw insanity, but there have been four close calls where we have had to get creative to keep buyers and sellers together moving toward the closing table. I am personally grateful to the sellers, attorneys, mortgage originators, title companies, and in many cases, the buyers who have worked through the issues with a win/win mindset, and to the best of their ability, kept their cool and treated everyone like ladies and gentlemen. THANK YOU; you know who you are.

On a favorable note, a cape I appraised accurately last November for $550,000 to 580,000 max, just closed for $645,000. Another cape was asking $629,888 and just sold in 13 days in the $650,000’s (and needed all new cosmetics!) We just sold a two family in well maintained but original condition very close to 900,000. Well priced co-ops are moving again, where for a lot of months they were not. Sweet starter homes (attached and semi-detached) in nice condition in Flushing and Bayside will sell like nobody’s business and will get in the mid to high 400’s to 540’s depending on exact condition, number of baths, finished basement, yes or no, and a patch of green. Handsome North Flushing, Bayside and Whitestone homes continue to be in demand, as are any two family home out there. But while asking price was secondary in the second quarter, price is once again key.

So you ask, what does the near future hold in store? No one knows. One thing for sure, you never know you are at the end of a market until it’s gone. Interest rates need to be watched carefully. If they creep up to 5%, it will not help prices increase unless inventory is close to non-existent. Banks are tightening again, and this is truest for any non-conventional, no income verified loans; common instruments in this community. Buyers have the cash, no doubt, but banks will be stingy with funds unless the buyer can prove income and assets. Banks also want to know that the property is worth the price. They care. That appraisal is a fact of life, and if you have sold your house for significantly more than you expected, do not buy until you have heard that the appraisal went well. It usually does; but make sure anyway, because although the buyer has to qualify, but so does the house.

We try to put everything out on the table for our sellers so they can make well informed, intelligent decisions. We also have an obligation to be honest with the buyer about the condition of a home, and any material defects we know about factually. I still know that owning real estate is the best decision a family can make. It’s not just investment in most cases here; it’s a home – places to plant roots, make memories. Rates won’t change that. Selling for a little less than your May neighbors is far from the worst decision a seller can make, especially if new memories are waiting to be made wherever the seller may be moving or new dreams are being built with the money from the sale. We will continue to help sellers and buyers, lawyers and lenders, and families work things out so that while the market is always changing, it continues to do what it does naturally, and that is MOVING.

-Judy Markowitz

Easy and Festive Fall Harvest Decorating

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Get into the Autumn spirit!  We did the searching for you and found great innovative and easy ways to decorate you home for the fall. Enjoy!

Letter Perfect Leaves

Mark your front door with a leafy monogram. Paint a papier-mache letter and let dry. Hot-glue dried or silk leaves to the front. Shape a piece of wire into a hanging loop, and hot-glue it to the back of the letter.

 

Pumpkins & Candles

Transform miniature pumpkins into beautiful candle holders, perfect for the autumn season. Drill or cut out a hole in the top of the pumpkin the same size as a candle’s tapered base. Hot-glue miniature pinecones, berries, and dried moss around the hole. Insert a candle and light it to add a little glow to your harvest nights.

 

Curb Appeal

Lush potted mums add color to this front stoop, as do paper lanterns hung from the portico. White pumpkins add contrast and a harvest wreath defines the solid wood door.

Harvest Corn

Tie a grouping of Indian corn ears together and hang from a cabinet door. Display jars filled with dried corn and seeds behind glass-front cabinet doors.

 

 

Autumn Planters

When cold weather arrives, gourds, winter squash, Indian corn, and small pumpkins can fill the planters that once overflowed with flowering annuals; tuck some colorful leaves into any gaps. There’s no better way to capture the spirit of the fall harvest season.

 

Fall Foliage Wreath

Long after the last leaves on the lawn have been raked away, this autumnal wreath will hold on to its crispness and color.

Cut from kraft paper, the faux foliage is accented with additional leaves cut from shimmering metallic paper.

The decoration can be hung year after year. When the season changes, store the wreath in a covered cardboard box until next year.

Tools and Materials
Kraft paper, from hardware or art-supply stores

Similar shimmering metallic paper in Gold (P_L32222) and Antique Gold (P_L32227), $13.50 per 50 sheets, from Paper Presentation

Wreath form, 20-inch double-rail wreath ring (DRWR20), $2.95, from mainewreathco.com

Brown satin bow

Stapler

Scissors

Paper Wreath How-To
1. Cut several long, 1 1/2-inch-wide strips of kraft paper. Wrap around a wreath form (ours was 20 inches in diameter) to cover; staple.

2. Cut several 5-by-10-inch rectangles from kraft paper; fold accordion-style. Cut out multiple leaves.

3. Cut more 2 1/2-by-4 1/2-inch rectangles from metallic papers; fold on the diagonal, at a slight curve.

4. Cut out single leaves; gently pinch to create a curved shape. Staple all leaves to wreath form, overlapping. Embellish with a brown satin bow.

Pinecone Lamp Finial

Bring a bit of the forest indoors by decorating a lamp finial with a pinecone, plain or spray-painted silver. If your lamp doesn’t already have a basic finial — the small piece that screws onto the top of a lamp’s harp — you can buy one at the hardware store.

  1. Lamp Finial How-To
    1. Sand the bottom of the pinecone to create a smooth surface.2. Dab a bit of hot glue onto the flattened area, and press the pinecone onto the top of the finial. 

Staging vs. Decorating: What’s the Difference? by Kristie Barnett

Staging vs. Decorating: What’s the Difference?

Unlike decorating, staging your home isn’t about personal style — it’s about creating ambiance and appeal for buyers

By Kristie Barnett

Selling your home means selling a lifestyle, but not necessarily your own. In home staging, you’re striving for a look that is fresh and welcoming yet not really taste specific. People with varying tastes need to feel that they can make the home their own if they purchase it.

This is the distinction between decorating your home and staging it to sell. It can be hard to understand at first, but if you don’t know the difference, you might not sell your house as quickly as you like.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

by Rachel Reider Interiors

 

Although everyone has different tastes in decor and furnishings, most people want a home that is welcoming, functional, peaceful and organized. Tailor your house so that buyers will describe it in those terms rather than by your style of decorating. Getting rid of clutter and having fewer but larger accessories is a great place to start.

Making sure your home isn’t taste specific doesn’t mean your rooms should be devoid of color. Instead, keep color schemes simple and dose them with an on-trend neutral, like a clean tan, a soft gray or a warm white.

 

 

 

 

 

by Kristie Barnett, The Decorologist

 

 

 

 

 
by Kristie Barnett, The Decorologist

If you have a distinctive decorating style — whether it’s Tuscan, shabby chic or modern — you’re going to need to scale it back a bit. If you don’t, your home will appeal to the small percentage of potential

buyers who love your chosen style. Staging is about strategic editing and depersonalizing, rather than decorating and personalizing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

by Andrea May Hunter/Gatherer

Dated is dreary. Strive to stage your space with a current and fresh feel. Use updated neutrals on the walls and furnishings that are clean-lined and simple. Punches of color are great; just use them sparingly. A room arranged symmetrically and centered on the architecture reads as peaceful — one of those important aesthetics every buyer is drawn to.

 

 

 

 

by Andrea May Hunter/Gatherer

This guest bedroom is full of great staging ideas. It has lots of on-trend design details, but it’s sparse on accessories and other distractions. The color palette is simple, easy on the eyes and would be attractive to both men and women. Most potential buyers would remember this appealing room long after leaving the house.

 

 

 
by Warline Painting Ltd.

This clever arrangement draws attention to the unique architecture in the space and illustrates a smart use for the area under the stairs: an office nook. This area is nicely decorated, not staged.

If I were staging this area, I would keep the desk, chair and lamp, remove overly personal items such as family photos, and leave a few pieces of art and an attractive notebook and pen. Simple accessories can help draw attention to a functional space.

 

 

 

 

by HomeTech Renovations, Inc.

If you are updating a kitchen or bath before putting your home on the market, keep the finishes neutral and classic. This is not the time to show off your personal style. You want to broaden your buying audience by appealing to a wide variety of tastes and preferences. This bathroom would definitely appeal to buyers with either traditional or contemporary taste, and could later be personalized with the new homeowner’s preferences for color and accessories.

 

 

by Reflections Interior Designs

Sure, this may not be what normally sits on your countertop, but doesn’t it look better than the usual bills and coupons? Remember, you are selling an idealized lifestyle, not your reality.

 

 

 

 

 

 

by Reflections Interior Designs

The bottom line is that you have to get outside your head and inside the mind of a potential home buyer. It’s very difficult to be objective about your own home, but it’s crucial if you want to sell it.

Tell us: Do you believe there’s a difference between staging and decorating? Let us know in the Comments!

Fun in the Sun – Fort Totten Park Pool in Bayside

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Need a break from the summer heat?

Why not take a visit to the hidden secret that almost everyone knows about.  Fort Totten pool in Bayside!

Fort Totten is such a lovely place to visit.  Historic buildings, stunning bridge views, cool breeze and Best of all it has a FREE NYC pool at the top of the hill.

You will get some good exercise in walking up the hill and across the soccer field but you can immediately cool off in the beautifully maintained pool.

The employees are very helpful.  The pool is large enough to accommodate many visitors for these hot days.

There is a diving board in the deep end and a kiddie pool.  Life guards on duty and paying close attention.

 

Tip:  read the pool rules online before heading out.  Since it is a NYC pool they do have restrictions on what you can bring in to the pool area.  All are understandable rules given the fact that it is a free pool.

Plus they closed everyday from 3-4pm.

If you do decide to make a day out of it, pack a lunch and grab one of the picnic tables outside of the pool area.

Remembering & Celebrating Memorial Day in Queens, NY

Memorial Day weekend is the unofficial kickoff of summer. It’s also a time when family and friends get together for those great backyard BBQs. When celebrating Memorial Day weekend 2012 don’t forget the meaning of the holiday.

What is Memorial Day?

Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who have died in our nation’s service. Waterloo N.Y. was officially declared the birthplace of Memorial Day by President Lyndon Johnson in May 1966. However, may towns all over the country, dating back to 1866, arranged large  gatherings of people to honor those who have passed defending our nation.

Memorial Day quotes

“For love of country they accepted death. — James A. Garfield

The greatest glory of a free-born people is to transmit the freedom to their children. — William Havard

The patriot’s blood is the seed of Freedom’s tree. — Thomas Campbell

We come, not to mourn our dead soldiers but to praise them. — Francis A. Walker

Although no sculptured marble should rise to their memory, nor engraved stone bear record of their deeds, yet will their remembrance be as lasting as the land they honored. — Daniel Webster

Where to go to celebrate and honor our troops?

Check out local parades in the area by clicking the link below.  And have a Happy and Safe Memorial Day Weekend!
http://www.qgazette.com/current/community_calendar

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World War II veteran Loretta Z. Weiss, from Flushing’s Veterans of Foreign Wars, sells the traditional poppys for soldiers at last years Whitestone Memorial Day Parade. 

 

8th Annual Walk for St. Mary’s Kids & Family Fun Day

Looking for something fun to do with the family, and help out a great cause…

8th Annual Walk for St. Mary’s Kids & Family Fun Day

Fort Totten Park – Bayside, NY

Sunday, May 20th, 2012

Registration: 9:00am
Family Fun Day: 9:00am
Walk: 10:00am

Join St. Mary’s  for the 8th Annual Walk for St. Mary’s Kids on Sunday, May 20, 2012 at Fort Totten Park and help support children with special needs and their families.

Help make a difference in the lives of New York’s most vulnerable children.

Sign up today – Do it for St. Mary’s Kids!

To learn more about the Walk for St. Mary’s Kids, contact Angela Sculti at 718-281-8817 or asculti@stmaryskids.org
http://events.stmaryskids.org/site/TR/WalkforStMarys/General?fr_id=1050&pg=entry


Space Shuttle Seen From Bay Terrace

It’s not everyday we see a spaceship fly by our North Queens area, however, on Friday, around 9:45AM, if you were looking up at the sky, it wasn’t a bird, or a plane, it was the Shuttle Enterprise on top of a jumbo jet flying into JFK airport.  It will eventually be transported by barge to the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum, which is located at Pier 86 in Manhattan.

The Space Shuttle Enterprise (NASA Orbiter Vehicle DesignationOV-101) was the first Space Shuttle orbiter. It was built for NASA as part of the Space Shuttle program to perform test flights in the atmosphere.[2] It was constructed without engines or a functional heat shield, and was therefore not capable of spaceflight. On September 17, 1976, the first full scale prototype was completed.[3]

Credit to Carol Kolinger and the Bayside Patch for photographing the Space Shuttle from Bay Terrace.

 

Taking the Plunge… Polar Plunge that is

It’s perfect weather for a plunge into Long Island Sound. 

If you’re a penguin, that is. The Madison Penguin Plunge took place at noon at Hammonasset Beach State Park.  My daughter, Jolie and I participated in this event, and it was for a great cause.  The water temperature was in the vicinity of 39.9 degrees and the beach was approximately 44 degrees.  We had to wear water shoes to protect our feet from the very chilly sand, and we tried hard not to think about the cold.  When it was all said and done… it was an experience I will never forget.

The Madison Penguin Plunge, which support Special Olympics, had raised $48,932.77 towards their goal of $50,000 as of Saturday morning. Here’s your chance to make a difference! Donate now. (Here is the link: http://soct.convio.net/site/TR?fr_id=2543&pg=entry).

Check out the video, The Polar Plunge