Monthly Archives: August 2016

What the TRID Means for Newbies and Veteran Real Estate Buyers and Sellers

Truth in Home LendingLast October, a new set of closing disclosures came into effect. Here, we’ll discuss its purpose and how it affects you as a home buyer or a home seller.

TRID stands for TILA (Truth in Lending Act) RESPA (Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act) Integrated Disclosure. It basically means the TILA and the RESPA were joined into one form that can help home buyers like you understand all the costs and risks of mortgage.

A change in timelines

The new TRID form’s main effect on home buyers and sellers is that it can dramatically affect their timeline. If you’re a buyer purchasing a home from Person B, you can’t close the sale without having the Closing Disclosure delivered to you by the lender three days before the closing date.

Who is affected?

If you’re a buyer or a seller who borrowed from a lender not considered a creditor by the governing body, you’re exempted from the new rules. The same goes for any buyer or seller with less than 5 loans in a year, or those with HELOCs, reverse mortgages, and loans that aren’t attached to any real property.

You will be greatly affected by the new TRID form if you’re a retail buyer or you’re a real estate flipper. The additional disclosures (the Loan Estimate and the Closing Disclosure) can throw your schedule in disarray. As mentioned a few paragraphs earlier, the Closing Disclosure is given after a 3-day review period. If there are any specific changes to the loan terms, you’ll need to push back your closing date to have a new Closing Disclosure reviewed and delivered again.

Bottom line: if you don’t want to get your deal thrown under the bus, it’s best to take care of all the specifics of your loan more than 3 days before the closing date. Should there be any changes to your loan terms, there will still be enough time for another 3-day review for your new Closing Disclosure.

For more details about the new TRID, contact me at 914-946-1067. Check out our Resources page for more real estate buyer and seller information.


10 interior design apps and sites you should try

Design AppsYou don’t need to set up an appointment with a professional just to check out the latest in interior design. To help you look for inspiration, here are 10 interior design apps and sites you need to try.

1. House of Turquoise– If you’re a fan of the color turquoise, you’ll find yourself visiting this website a lot. The blog regularly posts design ideas featuring this lively color, but if you’re not a fan, you’ll still find this blog to be a treasure trove of home design ideas.

2. Color Snap– Ever spotted a color you’d like for your walls? Color Snap will help you find the paint color that matches the hue you’ve been eyeing. Through the app, snap a photo of the color you like (whether it’s a coffee mug or a tree bark) and the app will find its exact copy. All you need to do now is head to the nearest paint store!

3. Nous Décor– Nous Décor is great for budding interior designers and home owners looking for different kinds of design inspiration. The website collates content from different bloggers, giving you access to a ton of design information. The best part, however, is that you can hire one of the Nous Décor designers to work for you.

4. Floor Planner– Will this gorgeous hardwood match your walls? How about the measurements? Floor Planner is a website that helps you create floor plans – an assistant you’d love to have come renovation day.

5. Design*Sponge– Design*Sponge is well-known among interior design enthusiasts. Although they have expanded their content over the years, their interior design features are still some of the best out there. Design*Sponge mostly does pieces on eclectic design, but you’ll also find a variety of styles on the site.

6. Like That Décor and Furniture– Snap a photo of your favorite furniture and décor finds, and this app will save your photos for you so you can buy them at a later date. The app also allows you to look and purchase décor and furniture from popular stores such as Restoration Hardware, Etsy, and Serena & Lily.

7. Young House Love– Young House Love is perfect for homeowners who want to decorate their homes with the family in mind. The website contains approximately 3,000 projects that will help transform your home into a stylish, comfortable, and family-friendly abode.

8. Coco + Kelley– Coco + Kelly is a favorite among practical home owners as they categorize their design tips and ideas by room. After all, that’s how most homeowners really decorate.

9. Decor8– Decor8 is a design website most known for their topnotch DIY projects. The website also contains designer and stylists sections where you can get great tips from both established and up-and-coming interior designers.

10. Décor Happy– Curated by designer Vanessa Francis, Décor Happy regularly features room design challenges, styling tips, and input from fellow designers.

Design trends come and go. For additional reading, check out our post about home design styles you should avoid.


Biking trails in Westchester

Westchester County boasts miles of scenic biking trails perfect for enthusiasts, adrenaline junkies, or beginners looking for a new outdoor activity to enjoy.

In case you have no idea where to start, here’s a list of some of the best biking trails in Westchester:

biking trails

Graham Hills Mountain Bike Trail

5 miles, dirt and paved paths

The bike trail in Graham Hills is mostly single track, and is more suited for experienced bikers as it goes through different types of habitats, thus requiring some versatility. The trail is located in Mount Pleasant, and is open from dawn to dusk, seven days a week.

Ward Pound Ridge Reservation

30 miles, dirt and paved paths (biking is restricted only on paved paths)

The Ward Pound Ridge Reservation is Westchester County’s largest park, encompassing more than 4,300 acres. Due to its expansive space, the park features multiple loops of rugged trails excellent for bikers of any skill level. Biking trails in Ward Pound Ridge Reservation are open from 8am to dusk, seven days a week, all year round. An entrance fee of $8 is required.

North County Trailway

22 miles, paved

North County Trailway is perfect for beginners and casual bikers as it features gentle and easy-to-navigate trails. The trail is located off-road, but intersects with several public roads and driveways. The trail can be accessed using two entry points: the southern end is on Eastway park-and-ride and the northern end is on Baldwin Place, on the Westchester-Putnam County border. The trail is open from dawn to dusk, seven days a week.

Bronx River Pathway

13.2 miles, paved

The Bronx River Pathway runs along the Bronx River parkway, and features three paved sections: A 5-mile segment from Green Acres Avenue, Hartsdale to Kensico Dam Plaza, Valhalla, a 3.6-mile segment from Palmer Road to Harney Road in Scarsdale, and a short one-mile loop close to Oak Street in Mount Vernon. The trail is open from dawn to dusk, seven days a week.

For more fun activities to try in Westchester, visit this page.


11 tips to remember when going to seasonal Farmers’ Markets

farmer's marketGoing to Westchester County’s farmers’ markets has a number of benefits. Aside from getting fresh seasonal produce, you also get to meet new people and make connections with local farmers, artisans and more. To make the most out of your trip to this week’s Sunday morning market, here are a few tips to remember.

    1. Do your research. Farmers’ markets are loaded with the freshest batch of seasonal fruit, vegetable, and other produce. If you really want to be in the know of what’s in season and what isn’t, research ahead of time. This is especially important if you’re planning on whipping up a dish that requires seasonal ingredients.

    2. Stop by the information tent. Every farmer’s market has a market tent where you can ask for specific information, like the schedule of special vendors! By having this useful bit of information, you can head to the market while they are there and purchase the goods you’ve been looking for.

    3. Do a reconnaissance tour. Fresh rhubarb? Honey? Before you purchase, it’s best to explore the market first. Who knows, there might be another vendor selling the same quality honey or rhubarb for a better price, saving yourself some money.

    4. Bring cash. Farmers’ markets don’t often accept credit cards, and there is no guarantee you’ll find an ATM nearby. Come prepared and bring cash, particularly small bills.

    5. Bring your own bags.Reusable bags are popular nowadays, so why not bring one? If you’re going to be in the market for a while and if you’re planning to buy meat and dairy, it’s also wise to bring a cooler bag with you.

    6. Get to know the vendors, especially the ones you keep coming back to. These farmers, once you’ve gotten to know them, may give you special items or prices. They might also become your friends for life, giving you tips on how to make perfect eggplant Parmesan.

    7. Don’t haggle. A farmer’s market is not a flea market, and all the food and produce being sold are the product of hard labor. Besides, plenty of markets do collections to deliver to food pantries, while some sustainable farms feed the leftovers to the animals.

    8. Be adventurous.A farmer’s market is a great place to introduce yourself to an ingredient you’re not familiar with. Just ask the vendor for tips on how to prepare a certain item.

    9. Be present. Log off your social media accounts, or turn off your phone. Pay attention to the sights, sounds, and smells of a farmer’s market. It’s an experience that can be memorable even if you’re not looking for anything in particular.

    10. Converse with other shoppers. Farmers aren’t the only people you should befriend in farmers’ markets. Talk to other shoppers, as well! Exchange tips and recipes. Frequent shoppers of farmers’ markets include amateur and professional cooks, so you might get expert advice from industry people.

    11. Stay connected. Some farmers’ markets are active on social media, so do take time to follow your favorite market. It’s one way to keep up to date with their offerings and special events.

Are you a newbie to the world of farmers’ markets? Check out this blog for a list of must-visit markets in Westchester County