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5 Easy Steps to Avoid Overwhelm from Media Overload

5 Easy Steps to Avoid Overwhelm from Media Overload

When someone is thinking about buying or selling a home, they want to be well-informed. They want to make the right decision for themselves and their family. They scour the internet for any information they can find about the housing market.
Today, there is an abundance of information available. It is often conflicting news. It can easily lead to confusion and concern, perhaps even causing a potential buyer or seller to cancel their plans to move altogether. Instead, the best things to do are sit down and take a deep breath.
In a recent article, Jeff Davidson, a recognized speaker on the subject of productivity, explained:
“The pace at which new information arrives will accelerate every day…Too often, the reflex to take action only exacerbates your time-pressure problems. Do not bite off more than you can chew, and acknowledge that often, the wisest response to too much competition for your time and attention is to simply slow down to assess the best way to proceed.”
To that point, here is an easy five-step process to follow if all of this information seems overwhelming:
Calm Down – Don’t let the confusion lead to concern or panic.
Slow Down – As Davidson suggests, just “slow down to assess.”
Think – Remember the reasons you wanted to move in the first place. Are they still important?
Plan – Determine whether or not the new information should change anything. If you need further clarification on some points, reach out to a real estate professional in your area for a better understanding.
Act – After thorough consideration, feel good about your decision, whether you decide to move or not.
Bottom Line
Don’t let the plethora of seemingly conflicting information on the housing market stop you from moving forward with your life. Let’s get together to ensure you get the valuable counsel you need so you can make the right decision for you and your family.

March 2019 Housing Market Update

March 2019 Housing Market Update

Green Team Realty’s March 2019 Housing Market Update was presented live on Facebook Tuesday, March 19 at 2 p.m.  If you were unable to view the webinar live, you can watch at your convenience by clicking here.  Sign up for future updates here.


Geoff Green, President of Green Team Realty, gave a breakdown of both national and local statistics:


National Statistics



This is a 3-year comparison, 2017-2019. The later the year, the darker the color.  January shows a decline in 2018 and 2019.  In August, things started to turn in year over year increases.



The Northeast is still chugging along, though usually the northeast market lags. However, on the whole, pending home sales are down, region by region.



As far as pricing goes, this is a composite of the top 20 cities in the US. Over the last 10 months and pricing is steadily decreasing. However, it’s more of a soft landing. There is nothing indicative of a “crash.” Historical norms are around 3.6% and we’re around that mark, with 4.2%.

On the mortgage side, here is an average of four entities making projections of where rates will be in 2019. They are projecting that rates will continue to increase, below 5%. Geoff feels this is historically a very low rate.  While some in the mortgage industry are projecting a decline in refinancing, money for the resale and construction markets seem to be in good shape.

Local Statistics

Orange County, New York


In the year over year comparisons, we’re at or below the last few years, but still hanging in there. However, we’re not in an increasing market.


Last year we were in the red all year long.  While the stats show year over year increases, this was not our highest February.


The asked to sold ratio, the last asking price versus what homes are selling for, took a dip in February but it’s easy to see that year over year we continue to see an increase.

Days in market still indicate a hot market, being lower than any of the previous years shown.


Sussex County, New Jersey


Units sold are down, below 2017 levels.


Average price, however, is increasing. We may actually be seeing further increases in price in Sussex, something we didn’t see much of last year.


Numbers here are similar to those we saw in Orange County, around 96 to 97%.


The numbers indicate this is still a hot market.


Pinellas County, FL

This month we’re also taking a look at the local market in Pinellas County, Florida.


Year over year stats for January 2019 over 2018 show a wide variation. While the number of closed sales decreased by 13%, prices increased by that same percentage.



Ali Chamois of Homestead Funding Corp. shared this information with Geoff about the impact of people aging in place. Prior to the Good Times Cohort (those born between 1931 and 1941), people moved out of their houses at a much faster rate.


Exhibit 2 breaks down the number of housing units by age group and shows that 115,200 housing units would have been supplied to the market by respondents aged 68 to 75; 379,200 by respondents aged 76 to 80; and 601,500 by respondents aged 81 to 85.

A similar calculation for the War Babies and Baby Boomers estimate that an additional 550,000 homes were held off the market by these cohorts by 2018, as shown in Exhibit 3.

In total, it’s estimated that there were around 1.6 million housing units held off the market by those three cohorts as of 2018. This amounts to 2.1 percent of total owner-occupied housing units in the United States as of 2018.

Meet this month’s panelists:







Geoff Green, President of Green Team Realty, is our moderator. Laura Marie of Keller Williams, St. Petersburg, Florida joined the panel as a special guest. Keren Gonen of Green Team New Jersey Realty, Vikki Garby of Green Team New York Realty and Ali Chamois, Homestead Funding.Corp.who joined the conversation by phone, rounded up the panel.

Geoff opened the discussion by introducing Keren Gonen, who has been a panelist every month. Her feeling has been it’s going to be a strong market in 2019, but that the inventory shortage is still happening; not as many foreclosures, etc.  Geoff asked if she is still in this same mindset?  Keren replied “Absolutely!”  Properties are not being released by banks, who are flipping them themselves. Housing shortage has more to do with number of units going down than buyer demand. Sellers are still sitting on houses, waiting to see how strong the spring market will be.

Vikki Garby joined the conversation, saying much is the same in Orange County. Inventory problem is still out there. Buyers are out there. Properties in good condition, priced right, are going quickly. Investors, experienced flippers and new flippers, are trying to find properties. More REO’s are hitting the market and are going quickly, the ones not being done by the banks. Flippers are out and scooping them out.

Laura Marie saw many similarities with Pinellas County, FL. There were 11 short sales and 31 REOs total for Jan. Ones being sold are not much under market. Still hardcore investors are looking for the right deal. The margins have shrunk… To get ahead of the market you have to get off market. A huge amount of fixer uppers. Investors not wanting to purchase some of these homes because of cost of materials, etc. Pinellas County was developed between 1920 and 1960. Buyers are looking for updated, polished, shiny homes.

Geoff asked Ali if she agreed with the projections for the average 30 year fixed mortgage. Ali brought up that for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, rates are based on downpayment and credit scores. These factors impact the rate. Regarding projections, clients ask whether they should lock in rates or hold off… Ali never advises them on that because forecasts and predictions can change due to a variety of causes. Geoff said that Freddie Mac is much tougher now, which may be holding the market steady. There is not a lot of subprime lending. Because not a lot of defaults are happening, credit isn’t tightening up. Ali sees a little loosening up on credit standards.

Regarding Aging in Place, Geoff sees this happening within his own family. Ali stated that overall health is better, support systems are better. People don’t want to leave their homes. The current trend is to provide outpatient services for health care. Per Keren, people are living a lot longer.  It seems that we do need more houses. There are also people moving in with other generations.

Parents, adult children and grandchildren, living as extended families. The US is transforming.  Laura seeing the same thing in Florida.  Downsizing, 55+ communities also allow people to have independence – but less yard care. Vikki said that we have more 2 income families. Grandparents often help with childcare instead of relocating, then kids are taking care of the parents as they age.


Green Team Realty’s Housing Market Updates are sponsored by REALLY – Better, Smarter, Faster. A real estate referral network for agents. Learn more at ReallyHQ.com


Stay informed – Sign up for our Housing Market Updates at GreenTeamHQ.com/HMU





Paul Simon’s beautiful ode to the changing of the seasons seems like the appropriate theme song for this post. April has arrived, and with her come blooming trees and flowers and lush, green lawns. We’re greeted with the songs of birds in the morning, and the chirping of crickets after dark. And we are more than ready to shake off those winter blues and welcome Spring into our lives.

Clean for Spring…

For many, the arrival of spring is synonymous with deep cleaning.  Idreamofclean.net has the ultimate checklist. And, for those who may not dream of clean, check out Popsugar.com’s simpler checklist.

With a clean, fresh canvas, you’re ready to accessorize and make changes that bring the outdoors in. Decoraid.com shares spring decorating trends for 2019. And, while you’re bringing the outdoors in, Housebeautiful.com shares some house plants that can help you get a good night’s sleep.

Take it outside…

As the weather gets warmer, we spend more and more time outdoors. Now is the perfect time to create the outside living space of your dreams. So Housebeautiful.com has ideas to inspire amazing backyard escapes. Furthermore, kids need their own space to escape to. And homebnc.com has some great ideas for play areas.  Furthermore, it’s great when adults and kids can work together on projects for the home.  These DIY projects will enhance your garden while you have fun!  

Celebrate Earth Day…

The first Earth Day celebration took place on April 22, 1970, 49 years ago!  To learn more, click here.

An Earth Day Celebration will be held at the Outdoor Discovery Center at Hudson Highlands Nature Museum in Cornwall on Saturday, April 27, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Activities are designed for family fun and learning. They include nature play, storytelling and puppetry, interactive games and activities, music, hay rides, a community art project and more. And the celebration kicks off with a Hike-a-Thon at 9 a.m.!

Vernon Earthfest 2019 will take place on Sunday, April 28 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Heaven Hill Farm and Garden Center. With live music throughout the day, there will also be face painting, gem mining, and a showcase of photography by local high school students and artwork by local elementary students. In addition, presenters include the Delaware Valley Raptor Center, Honeybees and the Environment, Snakes ‘n Scales (and Scary Critters) and Eyes of the Wild (Unusual Animals).  Visit the website for details.

Earth Fest Warwick will be held on Saturday, May 4 and Sunday, May 5. There will be several events going on at Stanley Deming Park. The 3rd Annual Too Good to Toss community swap celebrates re-use, repair, and re-creating!  Treecycle, hosted by local artists and makers, welcomes you to join in hands-on re-purposing and up-cycling, a bike check-up clinic, music, dance, food, information and more!

DIY Projects for Earth Day… and everyday!

Of course everyday is Earth Day, and GoodAirGeeks.com has lots of DIY ideas for projects for adults, kids, schools, community service and more.  And if you’d like some more ideas, there is always Pinterest to provide you with lots of earth-friendly projects.

2019 Will Be a Great Year for Buyers AND Sellers

2019 Will Be a Great Year for Buyers AND Sellers

Many homeowners believe that rising interest rates and home prices have scared away buyers and therefore have not listed their houses for sale. However, the truth is that buyers who were unable to find a home last year are out in force, and there are even more coming!

NerdWallet’s 2018 Home Buyer Report revealed that:

“Approximately one-third (32%) of Americans plan to purchase a home in the next five years. Millennials are most likely to have such a purchase in their five-year plan (49%), versus 35% of Generation X and 17% of baby boomers.”

As we can see, buyers are optimistic! According to the report, here are the top reasons Americans plan to buy:

2019 Will Be a Great Year for Buyers AND Sellers | Simplifying The Market

The most common reason Americans prioritize buying is that they believe it’s a good investment!

If you’re a homeowner looking to sell, 2019 is the perfect year to put your house on the market. But why?

  1. Buyers want to buy
  2. No competition!

At least 3 of the renowned organizations that report on real estate market trends predict that homeowners are going to wait until 2020 to list their homes, leading to a nice increase in sales (as shown in the graph below).

ENG-2019 Will Be a Great Year for Buyers AND Sellers | Simplifying The Market

Don’t wait for a competitive market; be ahead of the curve and sell your house at the best possible price!

Bottom Line

There are plenty of buyers entering the market! Whether you’re a first-time homebuyer or a current homeowner looking to move-up to your next home, let’s get together to discuss your real estate needs!


Related News and Information

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February 2019 Housing Market Update

February 2019 Housing Market Update

Green Team Realty’s February 2019 Housing Market Update went live on Facebook February 12 at 2 p.m.  If you were unable to view the webinar live, you can watch it at your convenience by clicking here.  Sign up for future updates here.

Meet this month’s panelists…







Moderating the Market Update is Geoffrey Green, President of Green Team Realty. In addition, Geoff presents national statistics as well as local updates for Orange County, NY and Sussex County, NJ.  This month he is joined by Jennifer DiCostanzo of Green Team New York Realty, Michael Giannetto of Residential Home Funding, and Keren Gonen of Green Team New Jersey Realty.

The National Perspective

According to Geoff, this time last year no one was really talking about a slowdown in the housing market. The conversation was more about how fast and how far everything would go. A few months later some chinks in the armor appeared.  And now we’re looking at national numbers, comparing 2018 to 2017, Sept – Dec, all below the year over year numbers from 2017.  The year over year drop by each region, 10.3% overall, 6.8 in the northeast, 15% in the west, etc., is also of interest.

A quote by Mike Fratantoni, chief economist for the MBA, is relevant:  “The spring home buying season is almost upon us, and if rates stay lower, inventory continues to grow, and the job market maintains its strength, we do expect to see a solid spring market.”  In Geoff’s experience,  this just seems to be a very slow moving market pace; unlike the fast paced ups and downs of the stock market.  From the perspective of number of units sold, we’re clearly trending down.  It seems that every region in the U.S. is on that same path.

Over the last 12 months, housing supply was in the red, meaning there was a lack of it. In June there was a turnaround, with more supply.  Some people are saying that transactions are going to catch up again, with more supply becoming available. However, Geoff is not entirely sure that is going to happen at this time. While he does believe there will be a strong market in 2019, the real debate is what is going to happen in 2020, 2021, 2022.

There was a period of time when rates were climbing, but now they are almost 1/2 a point lower than they were in October, November. The Fed is pledging to be patient with raising short term rates, as they’re seeing indicators of a potential recession on the horizon. They’re slowing down anticipated rate hikes which had been slated at the end of last year.

The Local Perspective – Orange and Sussex Counties

Units Sold

There is a lot to glean from the local stats, even as they play out on the national stage. In January, while the same as in 2018, it’s still higher than the previous four years. This is a good indicator.

In Sussex County, we’re just above 2016, but below 2017 and 2018, for the month of January.


Days on Market

This stat is an indicator of how fast things are moving.  In Orange County, January 2019 is the lowest it’s been for this month in five years.

In Sussex County,  the number of days on the market is tied for the lowest it’s been in five years.

Average Sales Price

As Geoff has mentioned in the monthly housing market updates, price lags activity.  Price appreciation should be seen throughout the first half of 2019, but he believes in the second half of the year, prices will start to come down.


The highest peak was in 2018.  January 2019 has the highest price for that month in the last five years.  In general, higher prices should bring out more sellers, which should create more inventory and allow more units to sell.

Asking to Sold Ratio

This is the ratio of  the last asking price versus where are homes selling. This shows on average how much sellers are having to negotiate off the price of their property.  This is the highest ratio for this month since 2014.

This number is strong in Sussex County as well as in Orange. The numbers are still showing a strong market.

And thanks to our Sponsor…

The Housing Market Update is sponsored by REALLY – a better, smarter, faster real estate referral network for Agents. Learn more at ReallyHQ.com.

Panel Discussion:

Geoff introduced Jennifer DiCostanzo of Green Team New York Realty, the top producer in the company. According to Jen, supply and demand are a real challenge. On the Orange County side, sellers are afraid to list because they have nowhere to go if they’re shopping in the same market.  If sellers are relocating, it’s easier for them to let go as they don’t have the same issues and can secure housing.  She is welcoming this market because she finds buyers to be more educated and sellers more realistic. Jen is hoping to see the market open up.

Keren Gonen of Green Team New Jersey is a regular panelist on the Housing Market Update. Her thoughts on the January sales numbers were that the totals were a reflection of inventory not being available. Sales were higher last year as there was more inventory to sell. It still is a seller’s market due to lack of inventory.  And there are several sellers on the fence, waiting to see what will happen in the near future. There is hope that these sellers will soon be listing.

According to Geoff, the lack of inventory is a real problem. Nationally and locally, seeing the numbers going down, it seems like less people are buying homes. There has been a lot of frustration for some trying to buy a home, and some may have rented when they couldn’t find anything. Some may now be locked into leases.

What will the market look like over the next few years?

Geoff asked Jen what she thinks the market will look like in 2020, 2021,2022 as far as pricing, activity…  She feels that we’re at a more stable point now; that it will not be quite as erratic.  After the last downturn, when prices finally started going up in 2016, 2017, it was a very poignant time. If you bought at the height of the market, you could actually sell and recoup equity. That is the silver lining in helping sellers make that decision when they need to sell. And now is that time. If job growth is good and stable and interest rates make home buying and financing affordable, the market should stay at a steady pace. Real estate is fueled by circumstance, regardless of the market. People will always need to buy and sell. If we can give leverage to the market by educating our buyers and sellers and strategically strategizing, you put them ahead of the game.

Geoff asked if Jen had been referring to those buying homes in 2006, 2007 and 2008 when she talked about recouping equity. Jen replied that basically, it would go short. Jen purchased her own home in 2007, and almost immediately she would have been unable to sell her home for what she bought it for. Where we are now is a good time to step back and walk away with equity. Whether you’ve been in  your house for 10 years or 50 years, you’re going to recoup on your investment. Geoff recalled the downturn. There was a huge loss, almost 50% of the number of transactions from 2006 to 2008 disappeared, and it was a very difficult time.  He found Jen’s point valid; that people should finally be able to move on and move into something else should they want to.

Geoff then asked for Keren’s 2-3 year view.  She hopes that we remain in a strong market. With rates coming down, she sees more people who had been renting once again looking to buy. However, the issue remains inventory. Keren sees growth in the area, with people moving to Sussex from other counties in New Jersey and some from New York, attracted to lower taxes, etc.  Buyers are more educated, but so are the sellers.  Therefore you see homes that are priced correctly. She believes the market will remain good for at least a couple of years.

Mortgage trends

Mike Giannetto of Residential Home Funding was asked if he sees the trend of lowering interest rates continuing. Mike replied he hopes so. There has been a decrease in interest rates. There is a global slow down. The economies in China and Europe are getting weaker. We’ve had a downturn in our rates because we are the safest investment at this point. This definitely had an affect on mortgage backed securities and hopefully the stronger US market will continue.

Geoff recapped. The more risky other assets are, the more money wants to seek a haven in bonds, which drives down the rate that people need to give to attract people to buy those bonds, which ultimately lowers interest rates on mortgages. Instability and uncertainty around the globe actually can be good for mortgage rates to come down.

We know a recession will be coming; just don’t know when.  Those that went through the last downturn in the housing market are waiting “for the other shoe to drop.”  As long as there is no global meltdown economically, we should be okay.  The market is pretty healthy. Geoff has heard of some subprime lending happening; he asked Mike if he’s seen it occurring at levels similar to 2005-2007.  Mike replied that there are safeguards in place, even as some new products are being introduced. Some of the products are necessary in order for some people, such as self-employed, to purchase a home. The money behind these products is portfolio money or hedge fund money, which is why the loans are scrutinized. The banks are lending their own money, so are therefore quite careful.

To reach the panelists:

Michael Giannetto, Residential Home Funding:   845-496-0836, rhfunding.com/michaelgiannetto

Jennifer DiCostanzo, Green Team New York Realty: 917-916-9995

Keren Gonen, Green Team New Jersey Realty: 551-262-4062

The next Housing Market Update will be held  on Tuesday, March 19 at 2 pm.  Stay informed and sign up for updates at GreenTeamHQ.com/HMU.

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