SUMMER 2019 The Summer of Torah, Hesed, and Charity

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By: Karen Behfar

Technology is changing the way tasks are completed and various jobs are executed. In the real estate industry, this is no different. The impact of technology is far-reaching, and is changing both the home-buying and selling processes. Let’s look at a few ways that technology has affected the real estate industry.

Streamlined the Real Estate Process:Years ago, paperwork had to be filled out by hand. You had to physically walk into the real estate office to know which homes were available to sell. Receiving pre-approval for a mortgage was more time-consuming, and wasn’t a task that could be completed after filling out a form online. Today, both the buying and selling process are faster. Communication with your real estate agent, lender, etc. can be completed through phone calls, text messages, and email. Certain documents can be delivered within secondsusing email and so much more.

Marketing:If you are selling a home, you want potential buyers to know about it. Technology has created effective marketing methods that not only promote homes, but also impacts events such as open houses, price reductions,and much more.

Gives You a Starting Place:For homebuyers, technology gives you a starting place in your house hunt. According to a report by the National Association of Realtors, today more than 90% of buyers will look online for potential homes when looking to buy.

Improved Transaction Side of Real Estate:If you are buying a home, you often don’t have to be physically present to sign an offer and begin the real estate transaction. A buyer, for example, can write and sign an offer digitally while being located on the other side of the world.

Information is Readily Available: Various data that once helped real estate agents is now available to the public. This includes information on the current real estate market, pricing, and selling a home, and it is readily available and can be in the hands of the buyer or seller within minutes.

What You Need to Know about Property Taxes in Brooklyn

When you own a home, there are many responsibilities and expenses that you must be aware of. You will, of course, have a monthly mortgage payment to cover, but that isn’t all. You will also have property taxes to pay as well.

Property tax is a tax on your home that is based on your specific area and home value. These taxes are determined by local counties or states, and it is the responsibility of the homeowner to make payments in a timely manner. In New York, property taxes can range from as much as 2.5% of your home’s value to as little as .5%.

Residents in the Brooklyn area enjoy extremely low tax rates. Our current tax rate is only .6%, which is not only considered low for New York but for the entire nation as well. Residential units have a much lower tax rate than commercial properties, which can be taxed as much as 45% of the building’s value! While this seems like an unaffordable number, most landlords cover it by making their tenants absorb the bulk of the charge.

Hidden Gems among Brooklyn Neighborhoods – Marine Park

Over the past few years, since the first few Sephardic families bought in Marine Park, the community there has grown and flourished, with many classes for children and women offered in the Sephardic synagogue. The difference in the prices between Marine Park and Midwood houses is not as substantial as it used to be. When I first sold a Marine Park property to a Sephardic family in 2015, the house was sold for $498,000. I have recently sold a house on the same block for around $800,000. Despite the fact that the prices aren’t as low as before, more and more Sephardic families continue to move into the neighborhood and block, making it a homey community that attracts many families.

An interesting fact about Marine Park is that it includes a home that is a New York City designated landmark. This house is one of the oldest in the neighborhood, built in 1720. George Washington stayed on that very land for several days.