Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Questions About Selling a Property or House

Many home buyers believe the physical characteristics of a house will lead to increased property value. But in reality, a property’s physical structure tends to depreciate over time, while the land it sits on typically appreciates in value.

Quite simply, land appreciates because it’s in limited supply. The fact is that no one is producing any more earth. Consequently, as the population increases, so does the demand for land, driving its price up over time.

Land appreciates because it is limited in supply, consequently, as the population increases, so does the demand for land, driving its price up over time.

While there are some advantages of buying a new house, a strong case can also be made for purchasing an older property. For buyers who are on the fence between buying a new or existing home, multiple factors should be considered, including maintenance, cost, and customization.

Homebuyers should also consider whether a property will maintain its value. This is especially important for those who think they may move again in a few years.

One way to gauge whether a property is likely to retain value is to research historical home values in the area. While there are no guarantees for future home prices, checking trends can help you decide whether a home is a good investment.

A real estate agent is a professional in the real estate industry that serves as the facilitator of real estate transactions. Their job is to help buyers and sellers come together and make transactions. They get paid through commission, usually an agreed-upon percentage of the sale price of the property.

There is no standard real estate commission – it is negotiated between a real estate agency and clients.

Real estate agents work for real estate brokerages. In essence, the brokerage is who you are hiring, and the agent is the brokerage’s representative for your transaction.

A real estate broker is a real estate professional who has continued his or her education beyond a real estate agent’s level – successfully obtaining a state real estate broker license.

Brokers may work as independent agents or start brokerages and hire other real estate agents and Realtors to work for them.

Most people have no idea a licensed Realtor is much different than being an agent. A Realtor is a professional in the real estate industry who is a member of the National Association of Realtors (NAR). Real estate agents and brokers are just some of the professionals who can join the organization.

Property managers and real estate appraisers can also join, among other professions. All members of the NAR pledge to abide by the standards and code of ethics of NAR.

NAR attempts to hold its members accountable for their professional behavior. Because of the higher standards of NAR, Realtors believe they can offer a better experience for their clients than the everyday real estate agent.

The short answer is yes. However keep in mind that plenty of expenses come with buying a home. Three of the bigger ones? Property taxes, homeowners insurance and, for many buyers, private mortgage insurance. Paying these bills can require Nassau County homeowners to come up with more than $10,000 a year.

So the question is: Do you trust yourself to save up the money to make these payments on your own? Or would you rather have your mortgage lender collect the money to pay for your insurance and tax bills each month and then make the payments on your behalf?

PITI is an acronym that stands for principal, interest, taxes and insurance. Many mortgage lenders estimate PITI for you before they decide whether you qualify for a mortgage. Lending institutions don’t want to extend you a loan that’s too high to pay back, because this increases the chances that you’ll default on the loan or miss a payments. Know your estimated PITI so you can shop for an affordable home and make it easier for you to get a mortgage.

The entire mortgage process has several parts, including getting pre-approved, getting the home appraised, and getting the actual loan. In a normal market, this process takes about 30-days on average, says Fite. During high-volume months, it can take longer—an average of 45 to 60 days, depending on the lender.

If the lender uncovers any financial issues in your record (e.g., a low credit score, previous foreclosure, or overwhelming debt), getting a mortgage can become a slower and more complicated process.

Start the mortgage process as soon as possible. Don’t wait until you’ve found the perfect home in order to start the mortgage process. The time to start is as soon as you start thinking you might want to buy a property.

When you’re buying a home, your purchase agreement will usually include a good faith deposit, also known as earnest money. This deposit shows that you’re serious about purchasing the home. If the contract falls through due to the fault of the buyer, the seller usually gets to keep the money. If the home purchase is successful, the deposit will be applied to the buyer’s down payment.

To protect both the buyer and the seller, an escrow account will be set up to hold the deposit. The good faith deposit will sit in the escrow account until the transaction closes. The cash is then applied to the down payment.

Sometimes, funds are held in escrow past the completion of the sale of the home. This is called an escrow holdback. There are many reasons an escrow holdback may be needed. Perhaps you agreed that the seller can stay in the home an extra month. Or maybe you found something wrong with the property during the final walk-through.

If you’re building a new home, money may remain in escrow until you’ve signed off on all the work. Once the conditions are met, the money will be released to the right party.

Questions About Renting An Apartment or House.

If you’re familiar with the struggle of finding an apartment online, the idea of an agent who can help you in your real estate search might sound like a godsend. We all know agents help people buy real estate, but did you know they can also help people find and view apartments, townhomes, and rental houses?

While you can always find apartments for rent near you with a search here on, some prefer to get an agent’s help during their home search. An agent can point you in the right direction and save you the hassle of tracking down landlords and property managers from rental listings.

The apartment approval process is similar to taking out a loan—you must prove that you’re not a credit risk and can keep up with monthly payments. Even if you haven’t found the perfect rental just yet, understanding the application process in advance will make everything a lot less stressful.

Every building and landlord will have a slightly different approval process for prospective tenants, but the goal is to make sure you have the ability to pay rent on time and won’t endanger other tenants.

Before you even apply, you can prepare your own application package with financial history to judge whether you will meet landlord requirements. Gauging your qualification helps prevent you from submitting applications and paying credit check fees if you aren’t going to be considered from the onset.

You can prepare a rental application days or even weeks before you find the perfect place—and doing so is the best way to make sure you get the place you want. While specific forms may vary, nearly all landlords will want to review the same general things: your income, your credit score, your rental history, and your criminal background (if applicable).

From the day you submit your rental application to the day you move-in, there are going to be fees associated with these actions. Move-in fees can include the following:

  • Application Fee
  • Administration Fee
  • Security Deposit
  • First (and Last) Month’s Rent
  • Keycard or Remote Fee
  • Pet Deposit/Fee

Both lease and rent agreements are legal documents that state the length and terms of a rental unit between a landlord and tenant.

A lease covers the renting of property for long periods of time, usually 12 months or more. A rental agreement is not a long-term contract and usually covers a month-to-month commitment.

If you rent an apartment, house, condo, you may not think you need insurance. But in the event that fire, theft, or vandalism damages your property, it’s unlikely that your landlord will pay to replace your belongings.

Having a Renters Insurance, or Tenants Insurance, policy can pay for the cost of replacing your belongings if they are damaged due to a covered accident, or if they’re stolen.

Depending on your policy, your insurance will pay to replace items using one of two methods: Actual Cash Value (ACV) or Replacement Cost. With ACV coverage, your belongings are insured only for the amount in which they are currently worth, while Replacement Cost will pay for the expense of replacing the items with brand new ones.

Still have questions? Send us your question using our contact form and we will do our best to get you an answer.