The Sephardic Heritage Museum Explores THE LIFE AND ESCAPE of the JEWS OF SYRIA

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By: Karen Behfar

Return On Investment Tips 

Whether you're selling your home or a homeowner planning to stay put for a while there is value in knowing which Home Improvement projects will net you the most Return-On-Investment (ROI).

Upgraded landscaping - Add pop and color with flowering shrubs or trees, installing a nice walkway, planters, and more. Approximate cost of $5,000 to complete with an approximate $5k return-on-investment.

New roof installation -Shingles missing, curling up, or covered in moss? Notice stains on ceilings and walls? Is your energy bill sky high? Costs to complete are around $8k with an approximate $8k return-on-investment.

Hardwood floors –This is a timeless classic. Refinishing them is a no-brainer! You won't regret adding new hardwood floors to your home either. Cost to refinish $2500/ new$5500 and the ROI is approximate the same.

Patio or deck installation- Outdoor spaces add curb appeal and a place to enjoy all your new landscaping. Approximate cost is $6,500 and the ROI is about the same.

Did You Know?

 Every hour in the United States

- 649 homes sell

- 177 homes regain positive equity

Real Estate Fun Fact– In NY, it is a legal requirement for a seller to disclose if a property under inspection is believed to be haunted by ghosts.

What’s the best piece of advice you can give those looking to buy a home?

MORTGAGE BROKER - Get Pre-Approved early on!  Even before you find a home it is extremely important to have a conversation with your mortgage banker to make sure that your finances and credit are in order. Getting pre-approved early on cannot only help you get an accepted offer but can save you thousands of dollars.  To start, the chances of you getting an accepted offer in this competitive market is extremely higher if you have a pre-approval in hand. Sellers are horrified by stories on the web about mortgages that have fallen through and will feel more comfortable with your offer if you have a valid  pre-approval from a qualified broker. 

ATTORNEY-With all probability this will be one of the most expensive transactions you will ever make. Treat it like that! Don’t rush into anything don’t let others pressure you into anything. Consult people you trust every step of the way. Even if you want to  just to review the basics and need to meet your attorney a few times so that you should feel comfortable making such a huge decision. If the people you are dealing with won’t give you the time of day, find somebody who will. This is a financial transaction that you’ll be paying for the next 30 years. Let’s make sure it’s the right one!!

HOME INSPECTOR - Wouldn't it be helpful to know the potential issues that your home could have in store. Home inspections help the buyer determine the dream home is a reality by going through a detailed inspection including the foundation, plumbing, electric, roofing and general structure is of sound condition.

Did you hear the about thetwo-story home that was just bought?!?

It is one story before you buy it (and not have it inspected properly) and it’s a different story after (when you move in and find out all the issues).


Start looking and researching about 6 months before you are ready to buy. Give yourself ample time to look and determine your must-haves versus your wants. I get so many calls with unrealistic expectations. I know right away they are fresh on the market and didn’t see enough to know what they are looking for doesn’t exist….but does it? Plenty of times I help buyers “think out of the box” and consider areas and homes that they initially rejected but then realized it can work for them. Look around. Don’t rush. When the right home comes you will have seen enough to know if the home and the price works for you. Many buyers tell me “Call me when you have a great deal” and you know what I say? Of course I won’t! Obviously, I’m only kidding but there is truth in that. One of the ONLY ways you can know it’s a great deal is if you looked at enough homes.

Karen Behfar is a Licensed Real Estate Broker of The Behfar Team. She can be reached at 718 309 0439.