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Carolyn Sullivan and Robert Leek
Lic. Associate Brokers
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LI RE Experts
Market Facts
2.9% Fee
Long Island's Real Estate Experts

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Bringing Buyers and Sellers Together For Over 20 Years


If you are considering selling your home you should know the inventory of homes for sale in our area is very low. As a result buyers are actually paying more for homes due to competition among buyers to purchase a home. Homeowners are building more equity in their homes allowing them to finally make plans they have been putting off for years. Our 2.9% commission plan can also save you thousands!!!

We introduced our 2.9% Commission Plan to give today's home sellers an edge. We provide the same Full Service including MLS placement, strong Internet presence, open houses, brand recognition, advertising in Newsday, full color brochures, yard sign and much more.

We would like to invite you to contact us for a free knowledge-based consultation to learn how our customized marketing plan will get your home sold. Sellers need a combination of printed advertising coupled with web and mobile technologies to reach today’s buyer. We will design a web site specifically for your home so buyers can take a virtual home tour or connect to local school and community information. This unique web site will be used to promote your home on Facebook and other web media such as Trulia, Zillow and Redfin. This is only a sample of the latest promotional tools we use to get buyers to your door.

We pride ourselves on delivering consistent, predicable results - guaranteed. For this reason we have sold hundreds of homes throughout Long Island.We will pre-approve prospective buyers, negotiate terms that are favorable to you and keep you updated on all elements of the transaction. Let us guide you step-by-step through the process of receiving the best price obtainable for your home in the shortest amount of time.

Consumer confidence is back. Buyer demand has never been greater. Interest rates are fluctuating in the 4% range. Get ahead of the pack and make your move. Now is the time to sell your home. We have an extensive list of buyers who are ready to purchase a home today.

Integrity and knowledge gets the job done right.

How Much of a Down Payment do You Actually Need?

Posted: 16 Jul 2014 04:00 AM PDT

How Much of a Down Payment do You Actually Need? | Keeping Current Matters

A recent survey by Zelman & Associates revealed that 38% of those between the ages of 25-29 years old and 42% of those between the ages of 30-34 years old believe that a minimum of 15% is required as a down payment to purchase a home. A recent questionnaire administered by Freddie Mac showed that over 50% of all respondents thought 20% was required as a down payment.

In actually, a purchaser may be able to put down far less.

Freddie Mac, in a recent blog post addressing the issue, confirmed that there is misinformation regarding the amount necessary when determining the down payment for a home purchase:

“Did you know 40 percent of today's homebuyers using mortgage financing are making down payments that are less than 10 percent? And how about this: since 2010, the number of people putting down less than 10 percent for conventional loans has grown three fold.  So, not only are low down payment options real, they represent a significant portion of today's purchases.”

In a separate Executive Perspectives, Christina Boyle, Freddie Mac’s VP and Head of Single-Family Sales & Relationship Management explained further:

  • A person “can get a conforming, conventional mortgage with a down payment of as little as 5 percent (sometimes with as little as 3 percent coming out of their own pockets)”.
  • Qualified borrowers can further reduce the down payment coming out of their own pockets to 3 percent by lining up gifts from family or grants or loans from non-profits or public agencies.

Ms. Boyle goes on to explain:

“Letting more consumers know how down payments are determined could bring more qualified borrowers off the sidelines. Depending on their credit history and other factors, many borrowers can expect to make a down payment of about 5 or 10 percent.”

Bottom Line

If you are saving for either your first home or that perfect move-up dream house, make sure you know all your options. You may be pleasantly surprised.

We have an exclusive team of Mortgage Experts, Real Estate Attorneys, Home Inspectors and Home Insurance Experts to help our clients manage the sale or purchase of their homes. Our Mortgage Expert, Chris Gonzalez and Home Inspector Tony Sabatino are featured below. 


Real Estate Trends Newsletter -- A weekly news update for mortgage professionals


Chris Gonzalez
Envoy Mortgage
746 Merrick Road
Baldwin, NY 11510
(516) 781-6600
(516) 680-7629

NMLS ID: 61735


July 15, 2014

Still Work To Be Done

As the euphoria wears off in the aftermath of our stellar June employment release, we realize that there is still work to be done in order to fully recover from the financial crisis and deep recession. The recovery has been going on for five long-years, but it is still not fully mature. For example, while we have recovered all jobs lost during the recession, we have not added enough jobs to accommodate the population growth that has occurred during and since the recession. Even at today's increased pace of job growth, this void will not be filled for two years or longer.

Furthermore, while the unemployment rate has dropped to 6.1% -- which was the lowest in almost six years, the "underemployment" rate still stands at 12.1%. The underemployment rate includes those who are working part-time because they can't find full time jobs. The labor participation rate stands at 62.8% which is a 36-year low. It is true that the baby boomer generation is reaching retirement age and this contributes to the labor participation statistic. On the other hand, it is not merely how many jobs are created -- it is also what type of jobs are created. America needs more high paying full-time jobs.

So before we celebrate the end of bad times, we must understand that there is truly more work to accomplish. The fact that we have more room to grow is actually good news for right now because this gives the Federal Reserve Board latitude to keep interest rates lower for a longer period of time and not worry about the economy overheating. The markets will cause rates to rise as we witness the start of the cycle of better times. If this surge in job hiring spreads to the real estate markets, we will start making up ground in a hurry instead of the snail's pace of the past five years. If that happens, expect the Fed to act much more quickly.


The Markets. Rates were up slightly in the past week, showing little change despite the strong employment data. Freddie Mac announced that for the week ending July 10, 30-year fixed rates increased slightly to 4.15% from 4.12% the week before. The average for 15-year loans rose to 3.24%. Adjustables were also stable in the past week with the average for one-year adjustables rising slightly to 2.40% and five-year adjustables increasing marginally to 2.99%. A year ago 30-year fixed rates were at 4.51%. Attributed to Frank Nothaft, vice president and chief economist, Freddie Mac --"Rates on home loans increased for the week as the labor market appears to be improving. Based on the employment report released last week, the U.S. economy added 288,000 jobs in June, gained 224,000 in May and increased by 304,000 in April. Also, the unemployment rate in June fell to 6.1 percent from 6.3 percent in May." Rates indicated do not include fees and points and are provided for evidence of trends only. They should not be used for comparison purposes.

Current Indices For Adjustable Rate Mortgages
Updated July 11, 2014


Daily Value

Monthly Value


July 10


6-month Treasury Security



1-year Treasury Security



3-year Treasury Security



5-year Treasury Security



10-year Treasury Security



12-month LIBOR


0.542% (June)

12-month MTA


0.118% (June)

11th District Cost of Funds


0.667% (May)

Prime Rate




Many consumers are overestimating the down payment they need in order to purchase a home, according to Christina Boyle, vice president and head of single-family sales at Freddie Mac. Consumers believe they need 11 percent to 15 percent in order for lenders to approve them for a loan, according to a survey of renters and non-home-owners conducted by Zelman & Associates in New York. Thirty-nine percent say they need at least 15 percent of the purchase price in order to qualify for financing. Only 28 percent of respondents say they would even qualify for a home loan. But in reality, home buyers often can qualify for a conforming, conventional home loan with a down payment of as little as 5 percent — and sometimes even 3 percent — Boyle writes. Between 2009 and 2013, Freddie Mac’s purchases of home loans with down payments of less than 10 percent more than quadrupled. So far in 2014, more than one in five borrowers who took out conforming, conventional loans put down 10 percent or less. “Letting more consumers know how down payments are determined could bring more qualified borrowers off the sidelines,” Boyle writes. “Depending on their credit history and other factors, many borrowers can expect to make a down payment of about 5 percent or 10 percent.” However, Boyle notes that any borrower who puts down less than 20 percent will be required to buy mortgage insurance. Boyle says that buyers should also be encouraged by the abundant down-payment assistance programs that exist to help break into home ownership. Source: Freddie Mac

Access to high-speed Internet, nearby grocery stores, and hospital/medical centers were the top three community features desired by Baby Boomers in a recent survey. Philips and the Global Social Enterprise Initiative (GSEI) at Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business asked 1,000 consumers age 50-80 about the use of technology to stay independent as they age. In addition to high-speed Internet, 58 percent of respondents said they would be interested in stovetops or ovens that automatically shut off to help them live at home as they get older. Respondents also said they’re interested in a single remote control to manage everything in the home (46 percent), and driverless cars (41 percent). When it comes to home design, 58 percent said they’re want a low-maintenance exterior, 54 percent desire master bedrooms and baths on the first floor, and 54 percent also said they want effective lighting throughout the house. “The long-term, intergenerational benefits to universal design and early technology adoption extend beyond the aging population. For example, structural and technological updates can help injured individuals of all ages move with ease,” said Bill Novelli, GSEI founder and Georgetown McDonough professor. Overwhelmingly, 91 percent of survey participants said they plan to live in their own home or apartment, and 96 percent said it's important to be as independent as possible as they age. Source: Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business

Title defects have become a major cause for concern within the real estate market in recent years, “which some feel cause wrongful foreclosures and others feel contribute to stagnation of what would otherwise be a smooth transition of assets within the secondary market,” according to executives at Nationwide Title Clearing Inc. NTC says several title-related issues are jeopardizing transactions. For example, NTC notes problems such as simple issues with wording in the document that does not comply with real estate standards for the area and failure to include the signature of a party that is necessary to the transaction, such as a spouse. Other common problems surfacing are previous liens and other encumbrances that have not been removed; the title needs to be free of encumbrances to be marketable, according to NTC. “Property records hold the key to ensuring a clear title conveyance and reducing the risk of buyback or inability to foreclose,” according to NTC. To help combat potential title hang-ups, NTC says it’s added online ordering for property records to its website. The reports include tax status, current owner information, and assignment verification services. “Our property report services are based on research conducted from actual land records and are accessible for any residential property nationwide,” says NTC CEO John Hillman. Source: Nationwide Title Clearing


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42 Polo Road

Massapequa, NY 11758


March Newsletter


Moisture Ants: Structural Pests in the Northwest



The structural pests in the Northwest are all dependent on high moisture content in wood...

This moisture can come from rain, soil, water supply lines and drains. All these possible sources need to be addressed or there will certainly be a problem. Around here, keep it dry and them pests will usually keep away. This is a picture from under a toilet. We checked it before we got in the crawlspace, and noted that it was loose. This nearly always leads to leaks and if not promptly addressed, wood decay. Such leaks are sometimes not so obvious especially if there is insulation and or wall-board installed.

What we found...

This is frass, debris or excrement produced by insects. These piles were in regular intervals along the base of the homes exterior wall. After carefully looking at it, we determined that it was not sand and the regular intervals aligned perfectly with the floor joists. I removed some of the insulation that covered the rim on the outside of the building and I found moisture ants, lots of them and extensive damage to the structure. There were about 15 joists visible, and 15 neat piles of frass.



Every single joist we looked at was covered in these pesky pests at this end of the home. We took careful note of this area of the home and proceeded to explore the exterior to determine what were the contributing problems that causes this infestations.


"Most pest species are yellow; they can vary to a rather dark brown, from 3–5 mm long. These are monomorphic species having workers all the same size. Maxillary palpi are long and five-segmented. Colonies usually occur in decayed logs and stumps, but some may be found in soil"


The result of these pesky ants...

Upon further investigation we noticed that the grade next to the home on this side was sloped the wrong way, trapping water next to the home. The gutters and downspouts were in poor condition, and there was other visible damage on the siding. The exterior of this home had been neglected for years, having plants touching the structure is several places, deck framing in poor condition, and need of paint and caulk Inside the crawlspace we found more frass, and bare earth.






All soil under homes should be covered with plastic. This vapor barrier will help control the moisture that can evaporate under the home and bringing up the moisture content up to the point of being susceptible to wood destroying organisms.








Never buy a home without a complete wood destroying organism report!!!!!