The ongoing battle against the Federal Emergency Management Agency continues, and this time, scales have been tipped in the favor of homeowners.
Following Hurricane Sandy, FEMA changed their flood insurance maps to include many more homes within “high-risk” zones. As a result, sky-high flood insurance rates have been proposed for homes in this area. The Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Act is a controversial bill which could force homeowners to pay flood insurance rates between $8,000 and $30,000 per year if their homes are not elevated to code.
On March 5th, Congress decided to put the bill on hold for a few years. Now, the fight will be pushed back until 2017, when the bill is brought back on the table. In the meantime, flood insurance rates should not see a significant increase.
The “Stop FEMA Now” organization was founded by a group of individuals affected by Hurricane Sandy. The movement has grown and gained momentum since the rates hikes were proposed, proving that citizen activism can make an impact on lawmakers. Members display lawn signs, bumper stickers, and apparel bearing their message (pictured above).Read more
The abrasions that litter the streets vary in size, and many of the patches are equally as grating to drive over. Patches are often made from cold asphalt when hot asphalt is not available.
RealEstateSINY.com ran a Facebook poll asking users to comment of their experience with potholes; we received an overwhelming response.
“I’m down to one car because I don’t want to pay for the damage that happened to my other car due to potholes, so it’s just sitting there,” said Facebook user Arimentha Wynn-Smith. “While I waste insurance money, it’s out of my budget and I can’t afford it.”
But claims against hazardous potholes and the damage caused by driving over them are not always rewarded. In order for a pothole to qualify as “actionable”, it must be at least one foot in diameter and at least three inches deep. According to NBC New York, all pothole claims from November 2012 though May 2013 were exempt from vehicle damage payouts.
Winter happens to be pothole season, with much of the damage occurring during colder months. When roads thaw after freezing, small cracks in the asphalt may turn into larger holes. Driving over a pothole can cause a tire blowout, alignment problems, bent tire rims, and even engine problems.
Neighborhoods roads all over Staten Island, from St. George to Rossville, are riddled with pits. Street damage from Hurricane Sandy is still prevalent in some areas as well.
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Trees felled by the storm back in 2012 have remained a nuisance for many people, but the New York City Parks Department has pledged to remove much of the forest debris still causing problems within city parks. Surveyors have examined flood zones and determined that up to 1,073 damaged trees throughout park land in the five boroughs are problematic.
Several companies have submitted bids to the City in order to remove damaged trees. Throughout New York City, nearly 2,500 trees did not leaf out last year, which means they did not produce any foliage. Bids will be accepted until March 25th.
Not only have fallen trees damaged cars, homes, and power lines, but the damage to plant life still serves as a painful reminder of the impact caused by Hurricane Sandy. Over 6,500 trees surveyed throughout flood zones in the metro area exhibit signs of stress.
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The alarm goes off, another day of work. After the struggle of getting yourself out of bed, brushing your teeth, getting your life together in the bathroom, you are faced with the ever present struggle of opening your closet and finding something to wear. Nothing messes up a morning like opening those doors and instantly becoming frustrated with the world. An unorganized, messy, overcrowded closet, is generally ignored and left to wreak havoc and chaos in your morning. At RealEstateSINY.com we’ve dedicated today’s do’s and don’ts to organizing your closet.
DO. General rule of thumb, put thingsback! Simple as it may seem, rushing around in the morning may have you vetoing the opportunity to put your cloths back after you’ve tried them out! There’s nothing like coming home to a bed, floor, chair, bookcase (choose your poison) full of tossed aside outfit options.
DON’T. Use the wrong hangers! We’re all guilty of throwing clothes on a hanger just to be able to see the comforter on your bed before crashing into it. The type of hanger you use weighs heavily on maintaining the integrity of your clothes. Wooden and padded hangers are best for keeping the shape of your more expensive and delicate garments.
DO. Ever have the slippery shirt problem? You know, the one where your shirt and hanger seem to have the magnet affect and neither one of them want to coexist? Avoid your shirt hanging off by wrapping pipe cleaners or rubber bands around the edges of your hangers, creating friction and therefore allowing for your run away shirt to stay put!
DON’T. Waste space! While your ugly Christmas sweater and turtlenecks dutifully serve their purposes, wasting space with out of season clothing is just plain old silly. Utilize luggage, boxes, or even space bags to keep these clothes out of the way when they’re not being used.
DO. Store smart! Ladies, have a surplus of handbags? Store the smaller ones inside the larger to optimize your storage space! Simple, and efficient!
DON’T. Be a hoarder! A great tip is to turn all of your hangers in your closer backwards. As you wear your clothes, place them back facing the right way. At the end of the season, take note of the hangers that have remained backwards. You’ve easily, and efficiently compiled your new donate and toss piles of clothes!
Be sure to keep an eye out for out upcoming Top Ten blog revealing the top ways to get ready for spring!
This week we have six reports to review including the National Employment Report for the month of February, the Gross Domestic Product 4th Quarter and Annual 2013 Estimate, Pending Home Sales for January 2014, and the Mortgage Bankers Association Weekly Applications Survey.
For starters, the stock markets fluctuated this week with little to no much needed improvement. The Dow Jones closed on February 27th at 16,272.65 dipped largely mid-week to 16,168.03 on the 3rd of March and rose back up, ending the week at 16360.18 on March 5th. The S&P 500, was on a bit of a roller coaster ride as well this week. On the 27th of February, the market closed out at 1,854.29. Following the Dow Jones, on the 3rd of March the market dipped to 1,845.73 and rose back up closing out at 1,873.81 on the 5th that same week.
Mortgage rates haven’t made much of an improvement in a while as well, with the 30-year fixed rate decreasing to 4.33, the 15-year fixed rate decreasing as well to 3.34, and the 5 year ARM climbing slightly to 3.43 this week. Unfortunately, we won’t be seeing much of an increase in home sales until these rates see a significant drop.
American’s confidence has remained the same from the month of January, staying stagnant at -16 as an average for the month of February. According to Gallup.com, a total of 40% of Americans feel as if the economy is getting better while an increase to 55% of Americans feel as if the economy is getting worse. These numbers are an unfortunate result of both the lack-luster stock market, and employment rates, posing the question, will Americans ever restore themselves to their former glory days?
The National Employment Report for the month of February 2014 was released this week. The report details an addition of 139,000 new jobs added for the month of February. With that 139,000 jobs added, they are divided as follows: 59,000 jobs were added to small businesses, 35,000 jobs were added to medium sized businesses, and 44,000 jobs were added to large businesses. Of those new jobs added, the leading industries to have received those jobs are professional businesses with 33,000 jobs and trade, transportation, and utilities receiving 31,000 jobs. While seemingly impressive, these new additions have not made much of an impact on the unemployment rate in the country.
The Mortgage Bankers Association released their weekly application survey detailing an increase of 9.4% of applications from last week on a seasonally adjusted basis. On an unadjusted basis, there was an increase of 11%. The Refinance Index increased 10% this week. On a seasonally adjusted basis, the Purchase Index increased 9% while it increased 12% on an unadjusted basis. The report reveals a decrease of the Refinance share of mortgage activity 57.7% from 58%. Additionally, the ARM share of activity remained unchanged at 8% of total applications this week.
The GDP 4th Quarter and Annual 2013 Estimate was released this week. This report details an increase of the Real GDP of 3.2% in the fourth quarter of 2013 compared to an increase of 4.1% in the third quarter. The Price Index for the GDP increased 1.2% in the fourth quarter compared to an increase of 1.8% increase in the third quarter. Additionally, the Price Index for GDP Purchases increased 1.7% in the fourth quarter in comparison to the 1.5% increase in the third quarter.
The Pending Home Sales Index was released this week for the month of January. According to the National Association of Relators home sales for January remained relatively unchanged. A multitude of reasons contributed to the weak pending home sales numbers. Contributing factors include: poor weather conditions, affordability problems (prices are rising significantly faster than incomes), mortgage rates are climbing, lack of inventory, and the stock markets remain stagnant. The demand for homes is there, but the lack of inventory makes it difficult for those on the hunt. Additionally, first time home buyers are at an all-time low, making up 26-28% of total home sales where they should be hitting the 40’s. This could be due to the lack of jobs in combination with student loan debt. In order to see a positive change, builders need to add more homes to the market. Contract signings edged up 0.1% bringing it to 95% in January.
With all of these reports, that positive change seems to be getting further and further from our grasp. Without a positive change in the stock market along with a significant amount of jobs added, confidence in the economy will continue to dwindle.Read more
With spring on the horizon, what better time to shine a light on some do’s and don’ts of spring cleaning! While littered with good intentions, more often than not, you can be hindering the health of your family members with common cleaning products and methods in your home. Keeping such things in mind, RealEstateSINY.com has compiled a list of spring cleaning do’s and don’ts to keep you on track for a happy, healthy, and clean spring home!
- Start High! Start at the highest point in the room and move down so any and all stirred up dust can be vacuumed at the end. Eliminating the creation of more work for yourself!
- About half the fallen dust is left behind by your vacuum, be sure to do hot-water extractions regularly in order to ensure the optimal amount of cleanliness.
- Door mats! Clean them thoroughly! The door mat is generally the first impression of your home, so be sure to make it a good one. Additionally, your door mat will not work properly if it is corroded with dirt and mud.
- Be sure to vacuum your bathrooms and kitchen first! These are two rooms that accumulate moisture. Moisture and dust are a bad combination when trying to clean a room. By eliminating the majority of the dust, you’ll avoid more work for yourself when cleaning these rooms.
- Don’t forget about the vertical surfaces! Walls, cabinets, and baseboards collect just as much dust as the rest of the room. When cleaning, wrap a cloth or microfiber around a broom or mop and rubber band it, to ensure it stays. Starting from the top, make sure you clean the walls thoroughly with soap and warm water. This small step should also significantly improve anyone with a condition against airborne allergies.
- Don’t just move the dust around in you home. Be sure you’re using clean tools when cleaning, whether that means cleaning the cloth between each use or simply whenever soiled. Additionally, paper towels are known to spread dust out and may in fact hinder your cleaning process.
- Don’t use conventional cleaners! Many ingredients found in conventional cleaners have been linked to cancers, endocrine disorders, and neurological problems.
- Don’t waste money on pricy organic cleaning supplies. Conversely, invest in a large jug of white vinegar. While it isn’t the best smell in the world, it is an all-natural alternative to cleaning supplies and it kills a majority of the bacteria’s while not harming any of your homes inhabitants.
3 Kenmore Street is on the market and could be your new “home sweet home.” Spacious, bright, and unique, this one family semi-attached home is ideal with its Great Kills and corner property location. Close in proximity to shopping centers and bus stops, this home is ideal for all your daily needs.
Through the front door is a large open hallway featuring a large coat closet, door to the garage and stairs to the homes second level to your right. This large open space has plenty of potential as a grand entry way for your guests. Moving further into the home, is a half bathroom to the right, just under the stairs. Further back, is the homes large and open family room featuring sliders to the fenced in, paved backyard.
Upstairs, highlights three bedrooms, living room, dining room, and kitchen. Once up the stairs, to the left is the open living room, dining room area with stunning oak hardwood floors and two large windows offering plenty of natural sunlight. Just off of the dining room is the homes large eat in kitchen with plenty of counter space and a ton of natural sunlight. Further into the home, are two spacious bedrooms and a large master bedroom. In addition, the full bathroom features custom tiling and vanity.
Additionally, this home features a large attic for storage, new heating and central air systems, new roof, and new hardwood throughout the home. This home, being centrally located, is close to the Great Kills shopping center, Great Kills train station, and high ranking schools including P.S. 8, I.S. 24, and St. Clares. Public transportation in the area is in surplus as well, with the S55 bringing you to the Rossville area and the Staten Island Mall. The S56 travels to the Huguenot area, the S74 travels to the St. George Ferry, and the X17 directly into midtown Manhattan.
Please contact Geralyn Liverani and Susan Frazier, neighborhood a licensed real estate salesperson with RealEstateSINY.com, at (718) 966-9669, for more information on this home and other real estate listings in Great Kills.Read more
The demands of house hunting is over with! It is now time for the hassle of packing and moving in. Do not worry though, we came up with 10 tips that should make this process easy and more efficient.
- Boxes. Resort to buying cardboard boxes as your last option; there are places you can get them for free! Try heading to offices and community schools to see if they have boxes that they’re planning on recycling. Craigslist is another place to check; other movers post to let people know they have boxes. (It is also a great idea for when you’re ready to get rid of your boxes!) And for the boxes without handles, use a box cutter to create your own on the side.
- Packing Material.Use what you already own: pillows, bed sheets, dish/bath/beach towels, place mats, blankets, coats, sweaters, etc. They all need to packed anyways; just use them to wrap up breakables, or to divide things from banging into each other. Newspapers is another great use of packing material.
- Where to start packing? The kitchen is the best place to start since it tends to be the most complicated to pack with all the appliances, utensils, etc. When packing plates, place disposable plates between each plate for extra padding.
- Hanging Clothes: instead of removing the hangers, just bunch your clothes together in a trash bag. This will keep the clothes and hangers clean and organized. And for clothes that are not hung, tightly fold them (the how-to is in this tutorial) AND LADIES! Here is a perfect way to pack your necklaces without getting them tangled!
- Rent a moving truck and van. Use the van to load smaller, more priceless items; better to do this the night before moving day just to avoid confusion and, even worse, breaking something. For easy moving truck loading and unloading, follow this digram.
- Get By With a Little Help From Your Friends. Getting a handful of friends to help you. Treat them with pizza and beer; it gives them an incentive to come back again if you need more help.
- Where to start unpacking? Begin with the bedroom since sleeping will be a priority. Next would be the kitchen to eliminate majority of the boxes and clutter.
- Donate. Unless you are 110% sure you have time to do a garage sale, while unpacking, just create a “donation” pile. Put all the items you plan on getting rid of into that pile. It is an easy and fast way to get that stuff out of the way and it is also a good deed to be apart of.
- Taxes. Your move is a tax deduction! Save all receipts because some expenses do qualify.
- Greetings. Send a letter or post card to your old address saying hello to the new family and politely asking for them to forward any mail mistakenly delivered there to your new address.
There is no way to candy coat it; it is going be stressful, but we hope these tips will make the process a lot more simple on your move. Don’t forget to check out the #DoOrDont: Moving the Easy Way for more tips and advice!
We want to hear about your moving experiences and tips? Share them in the comments below!
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Heartland Village has a lovely two bedroom condo on the market at 75 Essex Drive #1A! Complete with 24/7 building security, heated underground parking garage, in ground pool and storage, this condo meets all of your luxury needs.
Upon entry, you’re met with the large, open, living room, dining room area. This space has a multitude of natural sunlight along with a door to the homes private terrace. To the left of the entryway, is the homes intimate, state of the art kitchen. This kitchen comes complete with stainless steel stove, dishwasher, and refrigerator. Additionally, this kitchen is adorned with custom ceramic tiles and granite counter tops.
Down the hallway and to the left is the first of two full bathrooms in this home. Straight ahead is the second bedroom which is spacious, and has a ton of closet space. To the right of that is the homes master bedroom en suite. This bedroom while spacious and filled with a plethora of natural sunlight. Attached, is another full bathroom which is also accessible through the hallway.
With its many amenities, and central location this condo is a wonderful start for you and your family. Neighboring schools include P.S. 69, I.S. 72, and CSI School for International Studies. Public transportation in the area is easy as well, with the S61 traveling to the St. George Ferry, the X17 bringing you directly to midtown Manhattan, and the S56 traveling to Huguenot and Bay Ridge Brooklyn.
Please contact Jimmy Samaha neighborhood a licensed real estate salesperson with RealEstateSINY.com, at (718) 966-9669, for more information on this home and other real estate listings in Heartland Village.Read more
– March 9th: Pretty Princess Tea Party
– March 9th: Reelabilities Disabilities Film Festival Presentation
– March 13th and 14th: “Cabaret” at Snug Harbor Music Hall
– March 15th: Volunteer at Conference House Park to Install Deer Browsing Guards
– March 15th: The Night Sky Lesson