2016 Q3 Real Estate Market Report for the Byram Hills School District
The number of single family homes sold in the Byram Hills School District increased by 30% in the 3rd quarter of 2016 compared to the same period in 2015, while the Year-to-Date increase in sales volume is 5%.
The median sale price has decreased by 7% in 2016 Q3 compared to 2015 Q3; the 2016 Q3 Year-to-Date decline in median price is 6%, as compared to 2015 Q3. Report
Town of North Castle
The 2010 Census reports 4,135 housing units in North Castle, up from 3,706 units recorded in 2000.
There are a number of neighborhood associations, smaller communities within the hamlet of Armonk. These include, but are not limited to; Whippoorwill, Windmill Farm, Whippoorwill Ridge, Whippoorwill Hills, Cider Mill, Wrights Mill, Sands Mill and Yale Farms.
There are a variety of community organizations for residents to volunteer. Please visit Community Links for the listing.
Byram Hills School District includes two elementary schools, a middle school and a high school. The district maintains a fine reputation in Westchester County. See the Education section for more information about the Byram Hills School District.
Located on Old Route 22 are three residential communities of which Cider Mill is the most recently built. The complex contains 27 homes and town houses in a gated village like setting.
Built on 82 acres, Whippoorwill Hills has 150 homes with two private recreation facilities.
Located on 24 acres, Whippoorwill Ridge has 55 attached and free standing homes.
Whippoorwill area is just west of downtown Armonk. The location is the most convenient for commuting to Manhattan from the North White Plains Metro North Railroad Station. Whippoorwill Association has about 315 homeowner memberships that includes some bordering homes in Chappaqua.
WindmillFarm is a residential community of 377 homes. Windmill was first opened for development by Dr. Carlo Paterno in the early 1950's. He then sold property lots near the Route 22 entrance of Spruce Hollow Road.
Purchasers hired independent architects and builders to construct their homes. In 1954, Dr. Carlo Paterno sold the Farm to Ed Tobin and Mac Welson, developers from Long Island, who started a major expansion.
John F. Heimerdinger and his late wife Sue bought a lot on Windmill Road in 1956. The developers built their three- bedroom, 2 1/2-bath model house at the cost of $28,500.
In 1959, Olivia G. Seeler further developed the Farm's 750 acres. She completed construction of 372 homes in the 1960's.
Located off Route 22, Windmill Farm residents have the option to join The Windmill Club that is situated on a beautiful lake setting with tennis courts and an outdoor restaurant.
Curb Appeal - Making a Positive First Impression
January 15, 2015 You only get one chance at a first impression – make it a good one! That’s sound advice from Amy Singer of William Raveis Real Estate. As one of Westchester’s top-rated agents, she notes that the first look at a property - whether in person or online – may be your best chance to entice a buyer. Recent scientific research (in Nature Neuroscience) indicates that people form long-lasting judgments in the first 7 seconds of an interaction. Sellers must focus a lot of attention on those precious first seconds.
The prospective buyers’ mindsets are clearly formed long before they ever see your freestanding soaking tub or the salvaged barn wood paneling. Since (according to the National Association of Realtors) an estimated 95 percent of home buyers begin their search on the Internet, and a significant majority of them will drop by after viewing a house they like online, the images posted on the real estate websites are critical. Although the interior of the house will also be photographed, this month we will focus on exterior of your home and the grounds. Carefully consider everything that might interest or deter prospective buyers.
Not All Pictures are Worth a Thousand Words
According to Amy Singer, “When you are ready to put your house on the market, you need to find an agent who will work with you to market your property most effectively. This starts with great photos by a professional real estate photographer.” She advises selecting an agent after looking closely at the photographs on their site. “It’s a misconception that every agent and every company offers the same service. There are some great houses with terrible photos -- and they simply don’t get shown as often -- and there are some inferior houses with terrific photos. You want to be sure to use an agent who works with the most experienced, talented real estate photographers and then follow their recommendations.”
Preparing for a professional photo shoot is time consuming but well worth the effort. There are many ways to enhance the impact of the professional photo shoot.
Before the Photo Shoot
Like many agents, Amy Singer brings her own camera when she is first introduced to a home. She takes photos throughout the house, including the outside. These photos become the basis of the master plan for staging and prepping the house before putting it on the market.
But even before the agent’s visit, you can do a preliminary evaluation of the outside of your home with a digital camera and a hypercritical eye or a very nit-picky friend. You need to observe your home as others will see it. We may have lived with the crooked mailbox or ripped screen for so many years that we’re blind to the flaws. Take a fresh look by driving up to the house from all possible approaches. Study the different views. Drive up during the day and again at night to evaluate your outdoor lighting. Take pictures from every vantage point. Look closely at the images on a large screen and note your impressions. Remove the color from the pictures and evaluate your house in black and white. You may see problems you missed.
Minor Repairs and Fixes
• In our area, your freestanding mailbox may serve as the threshold of your home. If it is not fully functional, replace it. The house number should be readable from both directions. • Check the condition of the lamp post and replace all entry lights with led bulbs. • Remove all play equipment from the entryways, porches, sidewalks, and driveway. • Repair all screens and windows. • Wash all windows and garage doors. • Pay special attention to the front door including the hardware. Be sure the doorbell works. • The National Gardening Association notes that a well-maintained landscape can significantly add to a home’s resale value. Color makes a big difference. Place an attractive pot or two in the entryway and plant window boxes if available. • Trim and prune all plantings and mulch around bushes. Plant some flowers – weather permitting. Yellow annuals are considered the most appealing. • In winter, be sure your driveways and walkways are well plowed with no icy patches.
Major Repairs and Fixes
These include capital projects that involve considerable expense and time. Real estate professionals advise consulting with an expert agent when evaluating the costs and benefits of these undertakings.
• Pressure washing the house, walkways, and deck can make a vast improvement in a property’s curb appeal. • Painting the outside of the house is generally recommended, but costly. Fresh paint on the trim may offer a lower cost improvement. • Inspect the roof and shingles. Replacing the roof is a major construction project but repairing any damage and having the roof professionally cleaned might improve the look. • Make needed repairs to the driveway and have it sealed. • Landscaping – have a professional assess the property and offer estimates for different levels of improvement.
Singer counsels that, “investing money upfront will come back to you if it improves your property’s presentation to the public. But not all money spent is necessarily a worthwhile investment. Working with a trusted agent with local experience is the best way to ensure you make good decisions about improvements that will make your home as marketable as possible.”
Sponsored Feature by Staff Writer, Nomi Schwartz
According to home.com, there are 2,581 properties in the Armonk, NY 10504 area. 89.2% of those properties are privately owned, while 10.2% are rented.
The population is estimated at 4,235, according to 2012 statistics.
The unemployment rate for Armonk residents is 7.2% and the median income of households is $139,901.
The average number of people per household is 2.95, with a median age of 39.9.
The gender ratio of male/female is 47.8% to 52.2%.
7/29/16 80 Cloverdale Ave, N White Plains $489,000
5/10/16 14 Perry Ct, Armonk $975,000
Thinking You Might Want to Sell By Owner? Some Important Considerations
If listing and selling your home online is so easy, why list with a professional realtor? Why not do it without a professional realtor? Wouldn’t that save money? How hard could it be?
So Easy? Sites such as Zillow, Craig's List, and Facebook include estimates, pricing and tax histories, and comparable sales. So why not use all that information, set the price you want, list the house on a few of these sites, and wait for the offers to roll in?
Estimating prices is a skill honed by years of experience and a comprehensive knowledge of the neighborhood and the market.
Raveis agent Amy Singer described factors involved in setting a price: “Sellers know exactly what they want to get for their house. That’s great but there is no data to support that. As agents, we don’t create the market but we always know what’s happening in it -- the current inventory, price ranges and what buyers are looking for. We also want sellers to set prices with an eye on bank’s valuation. If the sale price is too high, financing may be difficult or impossible.”
If the initial price is unrealistically high, according to Singer, sellers may miss out on the critical first three weeks on the market, when a house gets the most showings. Overpriced homes often linger on the market, becoming ‘stale’ during the most active selling periods.
The Cooks, Raveis clients who recently sold their Armonk home, found the pricing advice instrumental in their successful sale. In an email message they wrote, “[The agent’s] suggested price range was not the highest, but she was clear that if we priced it “right,” we could get multiple offers. Boy was she right! We put our home on the market on the Wednesday. A broker's open house was scheduled for Thursday. On Saturday, [the agent] called and said we had 4 offers at full asking price. At her suggestion, each of the prospective buyers was told to submit their best and final offer by Tuesday at 3 PM. On Tuesday afternoon we accepted the best offer. In the end, we got more than the asking price, and exactly what we originally thought the house was worth.” Listing Listing your home on a number of websites is part of a much larger effort to market the property. Marketing is a complex process involving a number of specific skills -- writing dynamic, descriptive copy; producing brochures and handouts; hiring and supervising a professional photographer to entice prospective buyers to click on your listing and follow up with a visit; and displaying photos/videos in various places. Each of these steps requires contacts, experience, time, and money. Realtors are positioned to handle all of these aspects at a level and rate unavailable to individuals not in the field.
Realtors can access a variety of methods -classified ads, advertising inserts, real estate websites, including the MLS (Multiple Listing Service) website. The MLS is the most significant database of homes for sale offered by brokers. Sellers without brokers (known as FSBOs – For Sale By Owner) cannot submit listings directly to MLS without an intermediary - specific brokers who will list the home in the MLS for a fee.
Is Selling Your House Your Full-time Job? You may be a terrific salesperson, marketing professional, home photographer, mortgage broker, interior designer, or real estate attorney, but you probably aren't all of them. And you likely have another job where you spend a lot of time and energy. Real estate agents may not have all of these skills but if they don’t, they have experience working with experts in each of these areas and they have ongoing relationships with these professionals.
In an article for Bankrate.com, author Margaret Burnette asks "Can you rush home from work every time someone wants to see your home? Can you excuse yourself from a meeting every time your phone rings with a potential buyer? At the end of a long work day, do you have the energy to take advantage of every possible opportunity to market your home? Are you an expert in selling homes? Do you have any experience doing so? Your answer to all of these questions is probably "no." An agent's answer to all of these questions is "yes." In addition, by going through an agent, you’ll get a lockbox for your front door that allows agents to show your home even when you aren’t available."
And who are the prospective buyers you are rushing home to meet? Are they qualified clients? Have they been approved for financing? Many agents ask for a letter from a lender indicating preapproval.
Liability Issues More legwork is necessary to avoid potential legal problems including a complete understanding of the rules governing disclosure. If you fail to disclose a hazard, nuisance, or defect and the buyers confront you after they've moved in and discovered the problem, they can sue you. Licensed realtors can possibly neglect to disclose an issue as well but it’s less likely since they are aware of many potential problems through experience and are insured against certain errors and omissions. This insurance can give the buyer recourse to avoid such suits.
What’s Wrong With My Home? How does it feel to be judged? Nobody likes it, some can't stand it. Most sellers would prefer not to observe strangers opening cabinets, commenting on their taste in furniture, appliances, and closet contents.
If you are selling your home without an agent, you must accompany any prospective buyers through your home, pointing out all its features and fielding all questions. Many buyers will feel uncomfortable trailing homeowners around their houses, will be inhibited to comment or ask many questions, and may leave quickly without taking a comprehensive look. The homeowner may not be prepared to address certain issues or be able to tactfully switch the focus to one of the homes many highlights.
According to the Cooks, their Raveis agent offered many insights that paid off in the selling process -- “Our agent took great care in getting a photographer to show our home’s best features. She advised us against doing certain cosmetic updates, as she felt the new owners would want to add their own touches. A few minor upgrades she suggested were made, and prospective buyers commented on them.”
Visit Raveis.com for a free estimate of the value of your home. Sign up for a housing newsletter which will provide you with comprehensive statistics for your town and school district, in addition to a forecasting tool for future valuation of your home.