Real Estate Buyer’s Time Line — Start and Focus Your Search

Buyer’s Closing Expenses:

  1. The largest component of a Buyer’s Closing Expenses are those associated with the Buyer’s Mortgage Financing. Your Lender should be able to estimate those for you.
  2. In Westchester, Buyers and Sellers use attorneys to negotiate their contracts, do title work and close the transaction. So, the attorney’s fee is another element of Buyer’s Closing Expenses. This cost typically ranges between $1000 and $2000.
  3. Taxes are the third component of closing costs.

Taxes typically paid by the Buyer are:

Paid to New York State:

The “Mansion Tax” equal to 1% of the total price for a purchase which exceeds $1,000,000.

Paid to Westchester County:

Mortgage Recording Tax of $13 per $1,000 of the mortgage amount (1.3% of the mortgage amount)

Paid to Eastchester/Bronxville/Tuckahoe

None

Paid to Yonkers:

*Mortgage Recording Tax:

$5 per $1,000 of the Mortgage Amount – in addition to the Westchester

County Tax (0.5% of the Mortgage Amount)

*Yonkers Income Tax: 10% of the New York State Income Tax Amount paid by the Yonkers Resident

Paid to Mt. Vernon:

None

Pre-Closing Utility Contact Numbers

Before closing, sellers need to transfer utilities out of their name and buyers need to transfer utilities into their name. The following list should expedite doing that:

Electric and Gas:

ConEdison – 1-800-75-ConEd

Cable TV:

Cablevision – 1-800-OK-Cable

Telephone:

Verizon – 914-890-1550

Water:

Bronxville – United Water – 914-632-6900

Yonkers – City – 914-377-6738 (meter reading)

Mt. Vernon – City – 914-665-2330 (seller must call

Buyer’s Time Line – Start and Focus Your Search

  • It is still a Buyer’s Market – Inventory is high in most area markets.
  • Mortgage Interest Rates will eventually start to go up.  For every 1% increase in the mortgage rate, buying power would erodes by 10%.
  • The first step is to get a pre-approval. First, it gives you the best idea of what price range to look in. Second, it “vets” you for the seller. Third, almost no seller will accept a Buyer’s offer without getting a copy of the buyer’s pre-approval. So, if you were to start looking and saw a house you adored and wanted to make an offer on it, you would be stuck without a pre-approval.
  • In this area, buyers typically put in 20% or more equity (10% at contract, the rest at closing).
  • Buyers are often happiest at or near the top of their price range. Everyone loves a bargain, and there are bargains in today’s market. As a general rule of thumb, however, about 85% of buyers want a home which is already renovated so that they don’t have to lay out the cash and go through the hassle of doing it themselves. The other 15% look for a home they can renovate to their taste. This isn’t about cosmetics  — everyone plans to make some cosmetic changes. This is about the big ticket items – typically, kitchen and baths, moving and removing walls and the like. The best bargains in the market today are found in homes needing that kind of renovation. Especially in a buyers’ market, sellers with homes that need renovation know that the majority of buyers aren’t willing to buy — or even look at — their home so, in order to sell, they price accordingly. Their real estate agent will have shown them recent comparable sales, and while the decision about price is ultimately the owner’s, most take what their real estate agent, backed up by data, tells them.  In addition, unless a buyer is paying all cash, their lender will order an appraisal and the appraiser sees his job as protecting the bank’s investment, not the buyer. Appraisers these days tend to be conservative. Thus, even where an owner prices high and a buyer is willing to pay near that price, the appraisal acts as a check on their exuberance. Banks will typically lend only 80% of the appraised value, so if the house doesn’t “appraise out” the buyer will have to come up with additional cash — or the price will have to be renegotiated.
  • Other Factors to Consider:
    • How long a commute are you willing to make?
    • Are you looking for a “walk to train” location or are you willing to drive and park. If the  latter, you need to know in which towns you can get station parking and which you  can’t. If you had to take a jitney bus to the station would you be happy with that? How long your commute will be once you reach Grand Central plays a role in your thoughts on this, too.
    • What taxes are you willing to pay? Westchester tends to have high taxes, but often a large percentage of those go to the local school. For example, in Bronxville Village 87 cents out of every tax dollar paid to the Village goes to the school — whose reputation reflects that which, in turn, has created steady demand for housing here ….which in turn is reflected in home prices.
    • Some buyers make lists of their “Top 10 Most Important Factors.” Some have even made a grid and rated the home on the factors most important to them as they have visited homes.
    • How much land are you looking for? Would you prefer to start small or are you looking for acreage.
    • What size house do you want.  House size is one of the top influences on taxes…and price. Average house size is probably four bedrooms, thought there are plenty of larger or smaller ones. How long you plan to stay in the house is one consideration. How often you expect to have house guests who stay with you is another. While you don’t want to feel cramped, heating and cleaning costs for space you don’t use can become annoying.

There are plenty of other factors — how much light you want, house style, etc. but most of the time you will want to have visited some houses before you have particular opinions about which factors are most important to you. Because a home is the most expensive single investment most people make, all of these are important and it takes some legwork to begin to sort this out.

Nowadays, most people start their search on the Internet. This gives you some information, but certainly not all that you will need. There is no substitute for actually visiting houses to gain a perspective on the local market and to become familiar with your own likes, dislikes and priorities. And, of course, asking your agent about whatever occurs to you in this regards is enormously helpful.

Seller’s Closing Expenses:

  1. In Westchester, Buyers and Sellers use attorneys to negotiate their contracts, do title work and close the transaction. This cost typically ranges between $1000 and $2000.
  2. Broker’s Commission.
  3. Taxes are the third component of closing costs. Those typically paid by the Seller are:


Paid to New York State:
Transfer Tax: $4 per $1,000 of the sales price (.04%)

Paid to Eastchester/Bronxville/Tuckahoe

None

Paid to Yonkers:

Yonkers City Transfer Tax: 1.5% of the total sales price

Paid to Mt. Vernon:

Mt. Vernon City Transfer Tax: 1% of the sales price above $100,000 (the first $100,000 is exempt).

Pre-Closing Utility Contact Numbers

Before closing, sellers need to transfer utilities out of their name and buyers need to transfer utilities into their name. The following list should expedite doing that:

Electric and Gas:

ConEdison – 1-800-75-ConEd

Cable TV:

Cablevision – 1-800-OK-Cable

Telephone:

Verizon – 914-890-1550

Water:

Bronxville – United Water – 914-632-6900

Yonkers – City – 914-377-6738 (meter reading)

Mt. Vernon – City – 914-665-2330 (seller must call

Seller’s Time Line – From Acceptance of Offer to Closing

General Timeline: (varies somewhat with each transaction, but

intended to give you a rough idea of what to expect):

Weeks 1-2 after accepting the offer:

 

The attorneys for both parties then negotiate any contract issues
related to closing date, what may have come up on the inspection, etc.
Once the contract is acceptable to both parties, the purchaser signs
first, and returns it with a check for 10% of the purchase price to
their attorney, who then sends the contract and check to the seller’s
attorney. The seller then signs and the seller’s attorney holds the
10% in escrow.

Weeks 3-4
The buyer’s attorney orders the title report, which will disclose
chain of title, and existing mortgages and liens, if any. The attorneys
then work to resolve any issues that need to be addressed.

This is a good time to make a preliminary appointment with a
mover.  There is a list of local movers’ names and numbers on the Bronxville Area Service Providers List — click the Resources button.

Weeks 5-6
The buyer usually has 30 days after both parties have signed the
contract in which to obtain a mortgage commitment, fulfilling the
mortgage contingency. Sometimes this deadline needs to be extended,
and the attorneys will discuss why if this turns out to be the case.
The mortgage commitment may contain conditions which must be met
before the lender will issue a “clear to close,” which is what enables
the closing to be scheduled. These conditions usually pertain to
updating information and/or documents.

Week 7
In order to transfer title at closing, all existing debts against
the property (mortgage(s), and lines of credit and liens, if any),
must be paid off, or, in the case of an open home equity line of
credit, frozen. The seller will need to identify all such loans and
lines of credit and, with the help of their lawyer, arrange for payoff
to be made at closing.  Making a list of account numbers and social
security numbers for each account and each borrower expedites this
process.

Arrange for the cancellation of service providers (water company
for a final water reading and bill, ConEdison for gas and electricity,
phone, cable, lawn, newspaper delivery, alarm company, etc. See list above)

Week 8
Make final preparations to move any remaining furniture and
furnishings from the house, make sure it is in “broom clean”
condition, as is typically required by the contract.  All electrical,
plumbing and heating systems, and all appliances, need to be in
working order. The buyers will do a “walk through” within 48 hours
before the closing to check on this, as well as that the house is in
essentially the same condition as when they entered into the contract.

Attend the closing — be sure to bring photo ID plus any other documents your attorney advises you to bring.

Service Contact Information Telephone
Air Conditioning and Heating
(see also
Air Docs, Sal Esposito 914-813-1005
HVAC and Plumbers) Absolute Comfort (Paul
Gomprecht)
914-761-0529
CVN Williams (Frank) 914-664-2900
Innovative Air Solutions 914-793-7700
Turner and
Harrison
203-348-6743
Unique Indoor
Comfort (Dave Lanz)
914-966-0800
Alarm
Companies
All Time
Detection
914-937-2600
Nancy, Alarm
Specialists
914-962-1999
Ray, Universal
Alarm
914-761-6148
Animal
Removal (Mammals)
Ray Hartley,
Intrepid Wildlife Solutions
914-293-7593
Gail Hoffman,
The Tender Trapper
914-668-8166
Westchester
WIldlife
877-205-5024
Appliance
Repair
Action Appliance
Repairs
914-961-6612
Anthony Rapillo 914-793-0712
Appliance
Sales
Albano Appliance
& Service, LLC
914-764-4051
Curto’s 914-793-5600
Leiberts Royal
Green
914-949-5999
PC Richards 914-779-8880
Prisco 914-949-6464
Appraisers Ray Breakstone,
Eastern Appraisal
914-747-8555
Diane Briganti 914-232-2200
Lane Appraisal 914-834-1400
Architects Peter Cole 914-238-6152
Dean Davis 914-793-0149
Maggie Marrone 914-771-6750
Tom O’Brien 914-244-4202
John Downs 203-554-1219
Architectural Moldings
& Hardware
Interstate Lumber 203-531-8050
Ring’s
End
203-655-2525
Klaffs 203-866-1603
Asbestos
Removal
Al Dixon,
Infinity Asbestos
914-665-7000
Nozbestos 914-946-6977
Spectrum 914-472-0843
Attorneys M. Theresa Giacomo, Esq 914-273-0822
Julia M.
Heilman, Esq
914-428-9766
Kamran Parandian, Esq. 914-793-2626
Ettinger Law Firm (Elder Law) 914-684-6100
Au Pair Services Au Pair in America www.aupairinamerica.com
Au Pair USA www.interexchange.org/aupair
Baby Proofing Baby-SAFE, Inc. 917-421-0800
Basement
Waterproofing Companies
B-Dry 800-871-2379
Basement Systems 800-671-3721
Cabinetry Terrence A.
Price Construction
914-879-5967
Carpentry Desmond Clancey 917-273-1730
Joe Corigo 914-969-5724
Jerry Tomic, Top
Drawer
914-632-4222
Carpet Cleaning Fusco Carpet Cleaning 914-576-7303
Raytone Cleaning
& Restoration
914-776-2269
Certificate
of Occupancy Help
Manny Caras 914-472-6639
Steve Costa 914-968-5422
Vinny Pici 914-476-6754
Certificate
of Occupancy Corrections
George DeMeo
(contractor)
914-779-6847
Sal Ferrara
(plumber)
914-490-8285
Nino Carozza
(electrician)
914-963-1170
Chimney
Services
Fireplace Shoppe 914-337-5301
NY Chimney 877-952-7425
Tri-State
Reliable
866-956-0103
Cleaning
Services
Ask Cindy Inc 914-513-3283
Window Cleaners East Coast
Cleaning Services
914-964-9230
Maid Brigade 914-741-0552
Maid Power 914-665-1000
Contractors George DeMeo
(light contracting)
914-779-6847
Chris Fabry
(large projects)
914-337-5301
Gutilla
Contracting LTD
914-693-2132
Artie Lange 914-337-4422
Mountain
Contracting, Peter Kielka
914-403-8860
Rick Sivulich 914-969-5445
Tom Bimonte 914-403-8537
Tom Stone (large
projects)
914-968-5903
Robert
“Butch” Sabot — RJS Construction
845-224-7349
Day
Camps
Bronxville Day
Camp
914-337-6500
Carole Berman,
Challenge Day Camp at Tuckahoe
914-779-6024
Dr. Christopher
Macaluso, Summer Institute for the
Gifted at Sarah Lawrence
College
886-303-4744
.
Decorators Amy Broderick 917-566-2559
Chandler Hudson 917-687-0566
Dunn & Tighe 914-337-4509
Ken Gemes 914-395-1497
Dumpster
Rental
Nello Carting 914-279-5612
Electricians Crest Electric 914-961-4539
Lippolis
Electric
914-738-3550
Pete Mariani,
Paramount Electric
914-725-2153
Harold Welling,
White Electric Inc
914-946-5566
Energy Audit Brad Freiss- Re-Insulate America 516-214-0138
Estate/Tag Sale
Companies
Fran and Mickey Franelli, Fran’s
Tag Sale
914-834-0968
Carol Mencher,
Treasure Hunters
914-949-1348
Exterminators/Termite
Inspectors
Garrie Pest Control 914-271-2650
J.P. McHale
Termite Services
800-479-2284
R & K Pest
Control
914-632-5374
Richard Sica 914-667-5610
Westchester Wild
Life Control
914-760-5713
Fan
Replacement/Repair
Homeowner’s
Electric/Repair
914-738-2807
Floors
and Floor Refinishing
James Franchi 914-686-0506
Hosea/Ho-Zaya’s
Floor Scrapers
914-763-9144
Kwazi Wood
Floors
914-374-8553
Savino Brothers
(Wood flooring)
914-693-0360
Stan Telega,
Colonial Wood Floorings
914-667-7676
Furniture
Refinishers
Furniture
Restoration Center of Westchester
914-664-4504
Rudy, Hastings
Refinishing
914-476-0438
Robert’s Restoration Gallery
(Robert)
914-793-4870
Maxxon
Restorations
914-235-6767
Garage
Doors
United Overhead
Door
914-964-0038
Glass
Companies
G & M Glass
& Mirror
914-423-0603
Tuckahoe Paint
& Glass
914-961-4880
Gutters BPH Gutters 914-833-0587
Higgins and
Higgins
212-299-7046
JP Mc Hale
(LeafDefier)
9140245-3100
John’s Gutters 914-949-3206
Handymen Bob, Handyman
Plus
914-699-6356
Bob Fusco 914-636-3925
Peter Menya 914-668-6584
Larry Scavone
(blacktop, masonry, and landscaping)
914-779-9010
Heating
& Air Conditioning
Air Conditioning and
Heating
HVAC
Heavy Duty Cleaning Ronny Reliable 914-674-9000
Home
Improvement Projects
Pedro Loaiza 914-654-8291
Home Inspectors Paul Combs or Dennis Friend, Mr.
Inside/Out
800-396-0191
Louis Cozzi,
Hallmark Home Inspector
914-834-9878
Bob Horvath,
Housemaster
800-603-8134
Home
Staging
I.v. McCool
Designs, Lisa Varley McCool, A.S.I.D.
917-573-1530
Set the Stage
(Terry Gasior)
917-547-0722
GardensbyChris.com
outdoor staging & landscape
845-536-1735
Homeowner’s
Insurance
Theresa
Goncalves, Schoff Darby
203-327-2424
Patricia Hodges,
Gabriel Bundschuh Associates
914-723-2220
Andrew Massello,
Prudential Insurance
914-961-7714
Ranieri
Insurance
914-376-2560
Rollins
Insurance
914-337-1833
HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning Paul Gomprecht 914-761-0329
Innovative Air
Solutions
914-793-7700
Dave Lanz,
Unique Indoor Comfort
914-966-0800
Internet
Marketing/Computer Service
Eben Thurston – Internet
Marketing/SEO
917-626-7782
Bridget Gibbons -Social Media Bridget@gibbonsdigital.com
Gerry McLoughlin – Computer
Service
914-337-7084
Tom Hein -Web & Print
Marketing Design
tomhein@heindesign.org
Junk Removal
Got Junk 800-468-5865
Junk Luggers 888-584-5865
Land
Surveyors
Aristotle
Bournazos
914-633-0100
Richard Domato 914-667-0565
Edward Mihalczo 914-969-2341
Lawn
Services
Joseph Bulfamanate 914-469-0029
Tree Services Gerry Giordoro 914-722-4777
Lead
Window Historic Preservation
John Seachircher 914-734-8004
Locksmiths Bronxville
Locksmith
914-428-4940
Fleetwood Lock
& Key
914-237-1073
Gramatan 914-664-9001
Masonry (see Stone Work)
Metal
Finishing (Door & Window Hardware
Greenwich Metal
Finishing
203-629-8479)
Mold Remediation JP McHale/EnviroCare 914-788-4454
911 Restoration – Daniel Gradus 914-274-8455
Mortgage
Resource Contacts
Julie Swartz/Mark Rokowsky
Group
973-981-1616
John
Rivera/People’s United Bank
914-725-2105
Cam
Walther/Hudson City Savings Bank
203-862-0993
ext. 15
Moving Companies Morris Moving – Jacob Morris 914-699-0049
Runge 914-963-1216
Santini Movers 800-899-0200
Smart Move 914-375-3595
Municipal
Numbers
Bronxville
Village Hall
914-337-6500
Eastchester Town
Hall
914-771-3300
Post Office 914-779-7092
Tuckahoe Town
Hall
914-961-3100
Yonkers Building
Department
914-337-6500
Nursery
Schools
Bronxville
Montessori School
914-793-2083
Chapel School 914-337-3202
Eliza Corwin
Frost Child Center
914-779-4852
Reformed Church
Nursery School
914-337-6332
Oil
Companies
Besson Oil 914-779-0008
D’Ambrosio Fuel
Co
914-476-5320
Robeson Oil 914-723-8000
Oil Tank
Removal
Absolute Tank 203-882-9391
Advanced
Environmental
914-761-8020
Northeast
Environmental
914-777-1930
Oil Tank
Testing Companies
Absolute Tank 203-882-9391
Advanced Tank
Services
800-440-TANK
TankTek 973-726-3500
U.S. Tank Tech 888-886-1958
Painters George Alvarez 914-949-5543
J & S
Painting
914-953-9300
Mateus Neto 914-965-9561
Sean O’Connell 914-273-9828
Steve Pagliarula 914-771-9848
Marcello
Prorokovic Painting LLC
914-632-9184
Mohammad Shabbir 914-886-3562
Painters — Touch Ups The Touch Up King 914-669-8481
Paving: Global Paving 914-779-1165
Pet Sitting/Day Care Paws and Play 914-337-2948
Piano
Tuning & Repair
Victor La Gamma 718-931-9122
Picture
Framing
Art Frame Shop 914-337-6015
The Fine Arts
Gallery in Bronxville
914-779-5053
Picture Hanging (Heavy
Artwork)
Expert Picture
Hanging (John Poli)
914-969-5782
Plumbers C & F Plumbing & Heating 914-725-1608
Sewer and Drain
Cleaning
Frank DiGiacomo 914-961-8282
Sal Ferrara,
Precise Plumbing
914-490-8285
Jensen Plumbing 914-337-5560
Terciero
Plumbing & Heating, Inc
914-423-8412
Jim Walsh 914-384-1846
Mike Licalzi 914-725-8203
Paul Gomprecht – Absolute
Comfort
914–779-6698
Radon
Mitigation
Radon Mitigation
Corp of America
914-345-8004
Real
Estate Tax Grievance
Jim Simons 914-591-4111
Rich O’Donnell 914-260-7756
Roofers Paul H. Crystal 914-490-1516
Honey Do Men
Gutters & Roofing
914-837-0411
Restoration
Roofing
914-337-2211
Jos. Salvatore
& Sons, Michael Salvatore
914-237-0683
Rui Franco 914-906-2512
Sam Napoli 914-667-4593
Roofers specializing in
Slate
Hastings Roofing 914-591-8111
Willy Reluzco,
Reluzco Contracting Inc
914-497-3996
Sewer/Drain Cleaning Drain King 914-235-5001
Plumbers Ray Rooter 914-237-4545
Stone
Work
Tom Arbitrio 914-632-3330
Mario Perrotta 914-843-4907
Joseph Carducci 914-698-2460
Storage Storage Shurgard 914-423-7439
Westy’s 914-793-0000
Structural
Engineer
Griggs and Davis 914-725-5095
Surveyors: Aristotle
Bournazos
914-633-0100
Richard Domato,
Fast & Cheaper
914-667-0565
Edward Mihalczo 914-969-2341
Tax Grievance Help Jim Simons 914-591-4111
Carol Vergara/Michael Fox 914-610-0951
Richard O’Donnell 914-779-4444
Temporary Housing —
Weekly
Extended Stay America 914-347-8073
Tree Services Alpine 914-337-2271
Mike Moriarty,
Woodlawn Tree Service
212-299-5831
Paulo, Green
Keepers
914-337-1300
Ramiro Lopez 914-576-6583
Utilities AT&T 914-722-2769
ConEdison 800-752-6630
CableVision 914-378-8900
Verizon 914-890-1550
Water
& Sewer Line Repair/Replacement
Mt. Vernon Water 914-665-2330
United Water 914-632-6900
Yonkers Water
Department
914-377-6738
Window Cleaners Derby Windows 914-698-9327
Marcelo’s
Cleaning Service
914-966-2477
Johnny,’s Window
Cleaning
914-773-0591
Ron Manor –
casement
914-664-1631