New York

The farmhouse and adjacent barn that inspired one of the most beloved books of the 20th century is now listed for sale
The farmhouse and adjacent barn that inspired one of the most beloved books of the 20th century is now listed for sale.
 
Realtor.com is reporting that the former Brooklin, Maine, residence of E.B. White, the author of the children’s book “Charlotte’s Web,” is now listed for $3.7 million. Built in the 1790s, the property covers 44 acres and includes 2,000 feet of shore frontage, and the residence has five bedrooms, three bathrooms, two offices and six working fireplaces.
 
White purchased the property in 1933 and lived there until his death in 1985; he cited the property’s barn and its animal occupants as the inspiration for what became his award-winning book. Besides the barn where Charlotte the spider and Wilbur the pig maintained their friendship, the property also includes the rope swing that White incorporated into the book.
 
“The barn is beautiful—it’s original [and] it has the swing,” said Martha Dischinger, real estate broker with Downeast Properties in Blue Hill, Maine.
 
However, none of the spiders currently on the residence are believed to be writing messages in their webs.

 
Is Manhattan real estate seeing price spikes due to presence of celebrity residents
Is Manhattan real estate seeing price spikes due to presence of celebrity residents? A New York Post report cited an analysis by the real estate firm Leslie J. Garfield and the property research group DataLoft in concluding the stars are driving up Big Apple prices.
 
“It’s a herd mentality,” claimed broker Dolly Lenz. “Everybody wants to be where they are. It’s like, ‘I’ll have what she’s having.’”
 
Lenz cited a $34.5 million listing she is representing at 271 W. 11th St. and insisted its expensive price tag is due, in large part, to having the likes of Liv Tyler, Julianne Moore, and the married celebrities Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick in the neighborhood. The Post’s coverage included a study determined the presence of A-list stars helped boost prices by approximately 127 percent in recent years, while less stellar B-listers contributed a 67 percent spike and the famous but not particularly respected C-listers contributed a 43 percent price bump.
 
And the star power is not restricted to Hollywood homeowners in Manhattan’s trendy neighborhoods. Taylor Swift, who maintains a residence in the West Village, is a renter rather than an owner. Nonetheless, the neighborhood’s average sales price is now $14.3 million, up 127 percent from $6.3 million about a decade ago. Of course, whether having Taylor Swift as an occasional neighbor is really worth $14.3 million is still up for debate.

 
ESMBA's 2017 Holiday Party will be held Wednesday, Nov. 29 at the Milleridge Cottage in Jericho, N.Y. from 6:00 p.m.-10:00 p.m.
 
For more information, visit ESMBA.org.

 
NY State Home Sales Hit New High in Q2
New York State’s housing market hit a new peak in its second quarter home sales, with 32,444 residential properties sold, according to the New York State Association of Realtors (NYSAR).
 
For the first six months of the year, there were 58,490 closed sales, up 2.9-percent increase from the same period in 2016. However, closed sales during June decreased to 12,610, a 2.7-percent reduction compared to June 2016.
The second quarter statewide median sales price of $245,000 was 6.5 percent higher on a year-over-year measurement, while median sales price for the first half of the year was $244,000, a 6.1-percent increase from the same period in 2016. In June, the statewide median sales price of $264,000 represented an increase of 9.3 percent compared to the June 2016 median of $241,500.
 
Second quarter pending sales increased two percent year-over-year to reach 41,478, while June’s pending sales (14,388) were up 4.5 percent compared to June 2016. However, the months’ supply of inventory dropped 17.1 percent at the end of the second quarter to 6.3 months’ supply.
 
“Homebuyers, buoyed by a healthy economy and still low mortgage rates, have set sales records for two consecutive quarters in 2017,” said Duncan R. MacKenzie, CEO of NYSAR. “Exceptionally strong buyer demand throughout the first half of 2017 has driven a nearly three percent growth in home sales compared to the first six months of 2016. As we look ahead to the second half of the year, we continue to closely monitor the ongoing decline in the number of homes listed for sale. If the trend continues, we expect an impact on home sales and selling prices.”

 
A real estate brokerage’s effort to rebrand an area of the Harlem section of New York City is facing charges of disrespect to the celebrated neighborhood
A real estate brokerage’s effort to rebrand an area of the Harlem section of New York City is facing charges of disrespect to the celebrated neighborhood.
 
According to a NY1 News report, the local Keller Willams brokerage has used the term “SoHa” to describe between 110th and 125th Streets; the term is clearly inspired by “SoHo,” which has been used for years to define the neighborhood south of Houston Street in the city.
 
However, State Sen. Brian Benjamin took umbrage with “SoHa.” "The real issue comes when you want to abbreviate the name Harlem,” he said. “Because once you take the name Harlem out of the definition you are now coming up with a whole new classification of this location. And Harlem is an historic name, representing an historic village. And we want to make sure that anytime anyone represents Harlem, Harlem is in the word, Harlem is in the vocabulary,"
 
However, the brokerage did not respond to Benjamin’s statement and is still using the “SoHa” label to mark out the neighborhood.

 
New York State
 
The Empire State enjoyed a healthy housing market in May, with the level of closed sales setting a new record for the month, according to data from the New York State Association of Realtors (NYSAR).
 
The 10,704 closed sales last month surpassed the 10,235 record set in May 2016 by 4.6 percent. The statewide median sales price last month was $239,000, up 7.1 percent from the May 2016 median of $223,200. And the level of pending sales increased by 8.2 percent from a year ago to reach 14,710.
 
“Spring buyer activity remained strong as New Yorkers closed on a record number of homes in May,” said Duncan R. MacKenzie, CEO of the NYSAR. “This is a welcome reversal after the slight dip in April sales as some buyers struggled to find their next home.”
 
Parkside Lending has announced its expansion into New York with the addition of Rich Bloom as North Eastern regional manager, and Katie Plezia and Elizabeth Squillante Nichols as senior account executives
Parkside Lending has announced its expansion into New York with the addition of Rich Bloom as North Eastern regional manager, and Katie Plezia and Elizabeth Squillante Nichols as senior account executives.
Parkside Lending has announced its expansion into New York with the addition of Rich Bloom as North Eastern regional manager, and Katie Plezia and Elizabeth Squillante Nichols as senior account executives
 
Bloom has been in the mortgage business for 31 years, 24 years as a sales manager, and will be covering the East Coast from Virginia to Maine. His extensive network positions him well to help grow Parkside’s presence in the area.
 
“I am pleased to join a company that gives me the opportunity to grow a region,” said Bloom. “And Parkside’s excellent service and commitment to their customers is worth expanding.”
 
Plezia has 30-plus years of mortgage experience in the New York market, receiving Top Performer and Chairman’s Club Winner awards during her tenure. Nichols has more than 20 years of industry experience as a wholesale and correspondent account executive in downstate New York, specializing in jumbo, conventional, FHA and VA loans. The two will be covering the New York Metro area.
 
“With such seasoned talent joining the team, Parkside is excited to bring our expertise and strong commitment to customer service to the New York market,” said James Lamparter, EVP of Sales at Parkside Lending.

 
New York Mortgage Expo
Mortgage professionals from across the Tri-State area turned out in full force for the recent New York Mortgage Expo 2017. Featuring business-enhancing classes, education and a Trade Expo, the event brought to the Huntington Hilton two days’ worth of activity geared toward mortgage professionals.
 
Day One began with Coach Erik Janeczko of Maximum Acceleration and Ben Derouchie of Avantus with their presentation “Sky-Rocket Your Purchase Business: Three Simple Steps to Power Up Your Referral Partnerships.” Attendees learned how new technology helps bring value to potential borrowers and establish partnerships that can yield a consistent flow of purchase business.
 
Immediately following, United Wholesale Mortgage’s Executive Vice President of Sales Allen Beydoun delivered his session ,”Taking More Market Share in 2017.” Allen’s discussion detailed how a combination of technology and client service access can get borrowers to the closing table faster than other lenders.
 
Keynote Presenter Dr. Kerry Johnson then followed with his discussion, “How to Increase Your Originations 80 Percent in Eight Weeks.” Dr. Johnson, a best-selling author, equipped attendees with a greater understanding of what clients want and how results can be delivered in a way that they will buy.
 
Following lunch, it was back to the sessions as Rey Maninang, senior vice president and national director of Wholesale at Carrington Mortgage Services, presented “Economic Trends in the Industry.” Rey noted that you are never on top of the industry, it is a constant evolution that mortgage professionals must keep ahead of in order to survive in today’s marketplace.
 
Simon Webster, president of CRE Credit Services, was up next with his discussion on credit data. Simon stressed trended credit data and the many new avenues of business that may open up for today’s borrowers via trended credit data.
Closing out the day's education was Michael Griffiths and his presentation, "Five Easy Steps to Start Generating More Referrals in the Next 30 Days.” Michael detailed his five steps to turn 'wanting' referrals into a true referral system to create referral partners and leverage other people's networks.
 
And while the education portion was being held, the industry’s top lenders, vendors and service providers were available in the Exhibit Hall for attendees to meet, greet and network with throughout the day.
 
Those seeking to enhance their education stuck around for Day Two of the New York Mortgage Expo, where a Complete Eight-Hour NMLS Class was offered. Provided by Mortgage Educators & Compliance, this one-day class served as a great opportunity for attendees to fulfill their continuing education requirements for NMLS license renewal. The eight hour course consisted of three hours of federal law and regulations; two hours of ethics, including instruction on fraud, consumer protection, and fair lending issues; two hours of non-traditional mortgage product market training; and one hour of undefined mortgage origination instruction.
New York Mortgage Expo
 
New York Mortgage Expo
 
New York Mortgage Expo
 
New York Mortgage Expo

 
WFG National Title Insurance Company, a Williston Financial Group company, has successfully completed an integration of multiple WFG e-services with the Settlement Management Solutions (SMS) TitleExpress platform
WFG National Title Insurance Company has announced that Michael Kelly, vice president and state underwriting counsel for the company’s New York agents, is retiring. Kelly began his career in the title industry as a title searcher in 1972, after earning his undergraduate degree from St. Lawrence University in upstate New York.
 
Kelly had previously served his country as a military policeman during the Vietnam conflict. Attending law school at night, he received his JD from St. John’s University and was admitted to the New York Bar in 1978. After a short stint in private practice, Kelly took a job with Security Title and Guarantee Company. He has worked in the title insurance industry ever since, as underwriting counsel for both direct and agency operations, working at various times for three of the nation’s largest title insurance companies. He has been New York State Counsel for WFG National Title since 2012. Mike is a member of the NYS Bar Association Title and Transfer Section, and has been on the Executive Committee of the New York Land Title Association for many years.
 
“It’s virtually impossible to replace a man like Mike Kelly,” said Gene Rebadow, WFG National Title EVP, Agency, Eastern Division. “His outstanding service on behalf of WFG’s agents as well as the New York Land Title Association will not soon be forgotten. He has been an outstanding resource and ally for our agents, and we wish him nothing but the very best in the future.”

 
New York’s state government is seeking to expand homeownership opportunities in its upstate metro areas with a new $5 million Graduate to Homeownership Program to help recent college graduates become first-time homeowners
New York’s state government is seeking to expand homeownership opportunities in its upstate metro areas with a new $5 million Graduate to Homeownership Program to help recent college graduates become first-time homeowners.
 
The pilot program, which will be available in eight upstate cities participating in Governor Andrew Cuomo's Downtown Revitalization Initiative, offers low-interest rate mortgages, a down payment assistance loan with no additional fees, and a homebuyer education course. Qualified first-time homebuyers must have graduated from an accredited college or university with an associate's, bachelor's, master's or doctorate degree within the last 48 months in order to receive the program’s down payment assistance loan of the greater of $3,000 or three percent of the home purchase price up to a maximum of $15,000, with no additional fees.
 
"We continue to invest in the development of downtown areas across Upstate New York, and with the launch of this innovative program, we will take our efforts a step further by enticing young graduates to make an investment in these communities and in their future," said Cuomo. "By removing barriers for talented graduates and allowing them to afford a new home in the Empire State, we are laying the foundation for stronger, more viable communities across New York for generations to come."