Anthony Johnson-Freeman - Real Estate Agent - Specializing in Queens and Long Island
You should know
I'm highly self motivated with a strong track record in delivering high quality customer service and results.
Building long lasting relationships are very important to me and I work hard at winning the trust of confidence of my clients every single day. I embrace opportunities to work with home buyers and sellers and enjoy the satisfaction when I make perfect matches for home buyers, sellers, and rental clients.
It's important to know
When you hire me, you are getting my entire team of wonderfully committed professionals to represent you, too! With more than 25 years combined experience, we harmoniously work together to provide you with the results and service you expect and deserve! Every team member has a specific role to serve you better
deal negotiations and short sales expert
You may like to know
I have a passion for driving sports cars
that's one thing I can do with my eyes closed and my hands tied (but, I don' t! So don't worry:)) In all honestly, if I could spend a day (or two or three ...) as a NASCAR driver - I' d be a happy man!
As much as possible
I enjoy whipping up batches of cupcakes and making people smile (not necessarily related to cupcakes:))
I spend way too much time
on social media. The Buzzfeed round-ups get me every time! #Guilty
In my spare time
I work out, brush up on my handball skills and play baseball. I played for 9 years and crush just about every position imaginable, including outfield, shortstop, catcher, pitcher.
I'm not interested in
fame. I' d much rather be remembered for my work, good deeds and legacy I leave behind for my family. But, a few Benjamins in my bank account and a few suped-up sports cars in my driveway wouldn't hurt.
On my future resume you will see
Accomplished NYC Real Estate Broker, Best Selling Author, Motivational Speaker/Mentor to young kids seeking their life purpose, and big time Investor.
If I had a year off and endless amounts of cash
I' d take my entire family on a trip around the world to Dubai, Hawaii and Brazil - staying at the best hotels, eating in the best restaurants and doing the most amazing things like jet skiing, fishing, scuba diving, ATV's and of course driving luxurious sports cars.
The 'Great News' About Rising Prices
Recently there has been a lot of talk about home prices and if they are accelerating too quickly.
In some areas of the country, seller supply (homes for sale) cannot keep up with the number of buyers out looking for a home, which has caused prices to rise.
The great news about rising prices
However, is that according to CoreLogic's latest US Economic Outlook, the average American household gained over $11, 000 in equity over the course of the last year, largely due to home value increases.
For those that are worried that we are doomed to repeat 2006 all over again
It is important to note that homeowners are investing their new found equity in their homes and themselves, not in depreciating assets.
The added equity is helping families put their children through college, and even invest in starting small businesses
Allowing them to pay off their mortgage sooner or move up to the home that will better suit their needs now.
CoreLogic predicts that home prices will appreciate by another 5% by this time next year.
If you are a homeowner looking to take advantage of your home equity by moving up to your dream home, let's get together to discuss your options!
The Average Equity Gain per Homeowner
June 2015 to June 2016 (the latest data available). United States $11,152.
Greater-than or Equal to $15K
WA ( $29K)
OR ( $28K)
$8K to $14K
$4K to $7K
Less-than or Equal to $3K
Don't Underestimate the Importance of Using an Agent When Selling Your Home
When a homeowner decides to sell their house, they obviously want the best possible price with the least amount of hassles.
However, for the vast majority of sellers, the most important result is to actually get the home sold.
In order to accomplish all three goals, a seller should realize the importance of using a real estate professional.
We realize that technology has changed the purchaser's behavior during the home buying process. For the past three years, 92% of all buyers have used the internet in their home search according to the National Association of Realtors' most recent Profile of Home Buyers & Sellers.
However, the report also revealed that 95% percent of buyers
That used the internet when searching for a home purchased their home through either a real estate agent/broker or from a builder or builder's agent.Only 2% purchased their home directly from a seller whom the buyer didn't know.
Buyers search for a home online, but then depend on an agent to find the actual home they will buy (53%), to negotiate the terms of the sale & price (48%), or to help understand the process (60%).
The plethora of information now available has resulted in an increase in the percentage of buyers that reach out to real estate professionals to "connect the dots."
This is obvious, as the percentage of overall buyers who used an agent to buy their home has steadily increased from 69% in 2001.
If you are thinking of selling your home, don't underestimate the role a real estate professional can play in the process.
5 Reasons to Sell This Fall
School is back in session, the holidays are right around the corner, you might not think that now is the best time to sell your house. But with inventory below historic numbers and demand still strong, you could be missing out on a great opportunity for your family. Here are five reasons why you should consider selling your house this fall:
Demand Is Strong
The latest Realtors' Confidence Index from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) shows that buyer demand remains very strong throughout the vast majority of the country. These buyers are ready, willing and able to purchase… and are in the market right now! Take advantage of the buyer activity currently in the market.
There Is Less Competition Now
According to NAR's latest Existing Home Sales Report, the supply of homes for sale is still under the 6-month supply that is needed for a normal housing market at 4.7-months. This means, in most areas, there are not enough homes for sale to satisfy the number of buyers in that market. This is good news for home prices. However, additional inventory is about to come to market. There is a pent-up desire for many homeowners to move, as they were unable to sell over the last few years because of a negative equity situation. Homeowners are now seeing a return to positive equity as real estate values have increased over the last two years. Many of these homes will be coming to the market this fall. Also, as builders regain confidence in the market, new construction of single-family homes is projected to continue to increase over the next two years, reaching historic levels by 2017. Last month's new home sales numbers show that many buyers who have not been able to find their dream home within the existing inventory have turned to new construction to fulfill their needs. The choices buyers have will continue to increase. Don't wait until all this other inventory of homes comes to market before you sell.
The Process Will Be Quicker
Fannie Mae announced that they anticipate an acceleration in home sales that will surpass 2007's pace. As the market heats up, banks will be inundated with loan inquiries causing closing-time lines to lengthen. Selling now will make the process quicker & simpler.
There Will Never Be a Better Time to Move Up
If you are moving up to a larger, more expensive home, consider doing it now. Prices are projected to appreciate by 5.3% over the next year, according to CoreLogic. If you are moving to a higher-priced home, it will wind up costing you more in raw dollars (both in down payment and mortgage payment) if you wait. According to Freddie Mac's latest report, you can also lock-in your 30-year housing expense with an interest rate around 3.46% right now. Interest rates are projected to increase moderately over the next 12 months. Even a small increase in rate will have a big impact on your housing cost.
It's Time to Move On with Your Life
Look at the reason you decided to sell in the first place and determine whether it is worth waiting. Is money more important than being with family? Is money more important than your health? Is money more important than having the freedom to go on with your life the way you think you should? Only you know the answers to the questions above. You have the power to take control of the situation by putting your home on the market. Perhaps the time has come for you and your family to move on and start living the life you desire. That is what is truly important.
In a Seller's Market: Is it Time to Downsize?
A study by Edelman Berland reveals that 33% of homeowners who are contemplating selling their house in the near future are planning to scale down. Let's look at a few reasons why this might make sense for many homeowners, as the majority of the country is currently experiencing a seller's market. In a recent blog, Dave Ramsey, the financial guru, highlighted the advantages of selling your current house and downsizing into a smaller home that better serves your current needs. Ramsey explains three potential financial advantages to downsizing. If you are debating downsizing your home and want to evaluate the options you currently have, let's meet up so I can help guide you through the process.
A smaller home means less space, but it also means less time, stress and money spent on upkeep.
Let's assume you save $500 a month on your mortgage payment. In 30 years, you could have an additional $1–1.6 million in the bank to get you through your golden years.
Use the proceeds from selling your current home to pay cash for a smaller one.
Just imagine what you could do with no mortgage holding you down! If you can't pay cash, aim for a 15-year fixed rate mortgage and put at least 10–20% down on your new home. Apply the $500 you saved from downsizing to your new monthly payment. At 3% interest, you could pay off a $200,000 mortgage in less than 10.5 years, saving almost $16,000 in the process.
Some Questions Before Deciding if Downsizing Is Right for You and Your Family
Realtor.com also addressed downsizing in a recent article. They suggest that you ask yourself some questions before deciding if downsizing is right for you and your family. Here are two of their questions followed by their answers (in italics) and some additional information that could help.
Q: What kind of lifestyle do I want after I downsize?
A: "For some folks, it's a matter of living a simpler life focused on family. Some might want to cross off travel destinations on their bucket lists. Some might want a low-maintenance community with high-end upgrades and social events. Decide what you want to achieve from your move first, and you'll be able to better narrow down your housing options." Comments: Many homeowners are taking the profit from the sale of their current home and splitting it in order to put down payments on a smaller home in their current location, as well as a vacation/retirement home where they plan to live when they retire. This allows them to lock in the home price and mortgage interest rate at today's values. This makes sense financially as both home prices and interest rates are projected to rise.
Q: Have I built up enough equity in my current home to make a profit?
A: "For most homeowners, the answer is yes. This is if they've held on to their properties long enough to have positive equity that will be sizable enough to put a large down payment on their next home." Comments: A study by Fannie Mae revealed that only 37% of Americans believe that they have significant equity ( 20%) in their current home. In actuality, CoreLogic's latest Equity Report revealed that 72.6% have greater than 20% equity. That equity could enable you to build the life you've always dreamt about.
Sales Up In Nearly Every Price Range
The National Association of Realtors' most recent Existing Home Sales Report revealed that home sales were up rather dramatically over last year in five of the six price ranges they measure.
Only those homes priced under $100,000 showed a decline (-4.6%).
The decline in this price range points to the lower inventory of distressed properties available for sale and speaks to the strength of the market.
Every other category showed a minimum increase of at least 4.6%, with sales in the $250,000- $500,000 range up 15.2%!
What does that mean to you if you are selling?
Houses are definitely selling. If your house has been on the market for any length of time and has not yet sold, let's meet up to see if it is priced appropriately to compete in today's market.
Here is the breakdown:
% Change in Sales from last year by Price Range
A 'Buyer' in Hand Is Worth Two in the Bush
In today's highly competitive seller's market where there are more buyers than there are listings for them to purchase, some sellers may feel like the ball is in their court.
And they would be right when it comes to choosing which offer to accept, the closing date, or even which improvements the seller is willing to make to the home prior to selling.
One thing to remember though is that there is always a line that shouldn't be crossed.
Interest rates could change, financing might not go through, the appraisal might not come back at the price that you have agreed to.
These are all opportunities to work with your buyer to make sure that the sale still happens.
You may think that because buyer demand is high right now, that you could choose to make your buyer jump through hoops.
But what happens if they reach their limit and need to walk away? You're starting over… weeks, maybe months later… and other buyers may wonder what's wrong with the house that the deal fell through.
The Golden Rule
We were all taught from a young age to "treat others as you would like to be treated" . This shouldn't change once you have a buyer who seems as though they would do anything to buy your home.
4 Reasons to Move Up to Your Dream Home This Spring
Spring is in full force; the summer months are right around the corner. If you are debating moving up to your dream home, here are four great reasons to consider listing your current home and moving up to your dream home now, instead of waiting. If the right thing for you and your family is to move up to the home of your dreams this year, buying sooner rather than later could lead to substantial savings.
Buyer Demand is High & Inventory is Low
Recent numbers show that buyer demand is at the highest peak experienced in years, and inventory for sale is at a 4.5-month supply, which is still markedly lower than the 6 months needed for a historically normal market. Demand in many markets is far exceeding the supply, and more properties in March sold in less than 30 days (42%) than in any month since last July. Listing your home today can greatly increase exposure to buyers who are out in force and ready to act.
Prices Will Continue to Rise
CoreLogic recently released their latest Home Price Index in which they predict that national home values will appreciate by 5.3% by this time next year. The bottom in home prices has come and gone. Home values will continue to appreciate for years. Waiting for your current home's value to increase before selling could price you out of your new home if you aren't careful.
Mortgage Interest Rates Are Still Near Record Lows
Interest rates have remained below 4% for some time now and are substantially lower than the rate previous generations paid when getting a mortgage. The Mortgage Bankers Association, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac & the National Association of Realtors are in unison projecting that rates will rise over the next 12 months. An increase in rates will impact YOUR monthly mortgage payment. Even an increase of half a percentage point can put a dent in your family's net worth. Whether you are moving up or buying your first home, your housing expense will be more a year from now if a mortgage is necessary to purchase your home.
It's Time to Move On with Your Life
The 'cost' of a home is determined by two major components: the price of the home and the current mortgage rate. It appears that both are on the rise. But, what if they weren't? Would you wait? Look at the actual reason you are buying and decide whether it is worth waiting. Have you always wanted to live in a certain neighborhood? Would a climate change be just what the doctor ordered? Would you like to be closer to your family?
Warren Buffett: There is No Housing Bubble
With home prices expected to appreciate by over 5% this year, some are beginning to worry about a new housing bubble forming.
Warren Buffet addressed this issue last week in an article by Fortune Magazine. He simply explained: "I don't see a nationwide bubble in real estate right now at all." Later, when questioned whether real estate and/or mortgaging could present the same challenges for the economy as they did in 2008, Buffet said: I don't think we will have a repeat of that."
What factors are driving home prices up?
It is easily explained by the theory of supply and demand. There is a lack of housing inventory for sale while demand for that inventory is very strong. According to a recent survey of agentsby the National Association of Realtors (NAR), buyer traffic was seen as either "strong" or "very strong" in 44 of the 50 states (the exceptions being: Alaska, Wyoming, North Dakota, West Virginia, Connecticut and Delaware).
Also, in NAR's latest Pending Home Sales Report, it was revealed that the index was the highest it has been in a year.
What does the future bring?
As prices rise, more families will have increased equity in their homes which will enable them to put their home on the market. As more listings come to market, price increases should slow to more normal levels.
Anand Nallathambi, President & CEO of CoreLogic, recently addressed the issue:
"Home price gains have clearly been a driving force in building positive equity for homeowners. Longer term, we anticipate a better balance of supply and demand in many markets which will help sustain healthy & affordable home values into the future."
Housing Inventory Disappearing
The price of any item is determined by the supply of that item, and the market demand. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) recently released their latest Existing Home Sales Reportwhich gives insight into today's market conditions.
Inventory Levels & Demand
Sales of existing homes rose 5.1% Month-Over-Month in March and are 1.5% higher than this time last year. Sales rose in all four major regions in March.
Total unsold housing inventory is 1.5% lower than March 2015 at a 4.5-month supply and remains well below the six months that is needed for a historically normal market.
Consumer confidence is at the highest level in over a decade.
Pair that with interest rates still below 4%, programs available for down payments as low as 3%, and you have an attractive market for buyers.
Homes sold in March were on the market for an average of 47 days and 42% of properties sold in less than a month.
March marked the 49th consecutive month of year-over-year price gains as the median price of existing homes sold rose to $210, 700 (up 5.7% from 2015).
NAR's Chief Economist, Lawrence Yun gave some insight into the correlation:
"Buyer demand remains sturdy in most areas this spring and the mid-priced market is doing quite well. However, sales are softer both at the very low and very high ends of the market because of supply limitations and affordability pressures."
If you are debating putting your home on the market in 2016, now may be the time.
The number of buyers ready and willing to make a purchase is at the highest level in years. Let's meet up so we can get the process started.
The Impact of Monthly Housing Inventory on Home Prices
Less than 6 Months - Sellers Market
Home prices will appreciate
Between 6-7 Months - Natural Market
Home prices will only appreciate with inflation
Greater than 7 Months - Buyers Market
Home prices will depreciate
Investors: More Sales and Higher Prices
The National Association of Realtors recently released their 2016 Investment and Vacation Home Buyers Survey. The survey revealed many characteristics of both vacation home purchasers and investors. Two weeks ago, we posted on the vacation home market. Today, we want to concentrate on the investor real estate market.
The survey revealed that Investment-Home sales in 2015 jumped 7.0 percent to an estimated 1.09 million from 1.02 million in 2014.
Investors Home Sales
"Despite a smaller share of distressed properties coming onto the market, investment purchases reversed course in 2015 after declining for four straight years. Steadily increasing home prices and strong rental demand appear to be giving more individual investors assurance that purchasing real estate will diversify their portfolios and generate additional income if they decide to rent out the home." The price paid by investors also increased in 2015 by 15.3%.
1.09 M (2015)
Investors Home Prices
Up 15.3% in the last year
$124, 500 (2014)
$143, 500 (2015)
As your agent, I will
Assure that you see all the properties in the area that meet your criteria.
Help you avoid costly mistakes by guiding you through the entire home buying process, including getting the best financing.
Answer all of your questions about the local market area, including schools, neighborhoods, the local economy, and more.
Starting to Look for a Home? Know What You Want vs. What You Need
In this day and age of being able to shop for anything anywhere, it is really important to know what you're looking for when you start your home search.
If you've been thinking about buying a home of your own for some time now, you've probably come up with a list of things that you'd Love to have in your new home.
Many new homebuyers fantasize about the amenities that they see on television or Pinterest, and start looking at the countless homes listed for sale with rose-colored glasses.
Do you really need that farmhouse sink in the kitchen in order to be happy with your home choice?
Would a two-car garage be a convenience or a necessity? Could the man cave of your dreams be a future renovation project instead of a make or break now?
The first step in your home buying process should be to get Pre-Approved for your mortgage.
This allows you to know your budget before you fall in love with a home that is way outside of it.
Having this list flushed out before starting your search will save you time and frustration
While also letting your agent know what features are most important to you before starting to show you houses in your desired area.
The next step is to list all the features of a home that you would like, and to qualify them as follows:
'Must Haves' – If This Property Does Not Have These Items, Then it Shouldn't Even Be Considered.
ex: distance from work or family, number of bedrooms/bathrooms
'Should Haves' – If the Property Hits All of the Must Haves and Some of the Should Haves, it Stays in Contention, But Does Not Need to Have All of These Features.
'Absolute Wish List' – if we find a property in our budget that has all of the 'must haves, ' most of the 'should haves, ' and Any of these, it's the winner!
Don't Disqualify Yourself… Over Half of All Loans Approved Have a FICO Score Under 750
The results of countless studies have shown that potential home buyers, and even current homeowners, have an inflated view of what is really required to qualify for a mortgage in today's market.
One such study by the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania
Revealed that many Millennials have not yet considered purchasing a home, simply because they don't believe they can qualify for a mortgage.
The article quoted Jessica Lautz, the National Association of Realtors' Managing Director of Survey Research
As saying that there is a significant population that does not think they will be approved for a mortgage and doesn't even try. The article also quoted Fannie Mae CEO Tim Mayopoulos: "I do think that there's a sense out there in the marketplace among borrowers that credit may not be available, especially for people with lower credit scores."
Ellie Mae's Vice President, Jonas Moe recently encouraged buyers to know their options before assuming that they do not qualify for a mortgage:
Many potential home buyers are' disqualifying' themselves. You don't need a 750 FICO Score and a 20% down payment to buy
So what credit score is necessary?
If owning a home of your own has always been a dream of yours and you are ready and willing to buy
find out if you are able to! Let's get together to determine if your dreams can become a reality sooner than you thought!
FICO Score Distribution
Below is the FICO Score Distribution of all closed (approved) loans in August from Ellie Mae's latest Origination Report. Over 50% of all approved loans had a FICO Score under 750. Many potential home buyers believe that they need a score over 780 to qualify. 600-649/ 650-699/700-749:53.9%.
US Housing Market Moving Further into 'Buy Territory'
According to the latest Beracha, Hardin & Johnson Buy vs. Rent (BH&J) Index, the U.S. housing market has continued to move deeper into buy territory
supporting the belief that housing markets across the country remain a sound investment.
The BH&J Index is a quarterly report that attempts to answer the question:
In today's housing market, is it better to rent or buy a home?
The index examines the entire US housing market and then isolates 23 major cities for comparison.
The researchers "measure the relationship between purchasing property and building wealth through a buildup in equity versus renting a comparable property and investing in a portfolio of stocks and bonds."
Ken Johnson, Ph.D., Real Estate Economist & Professor at Florida Atlantic University, and one of the index's authors explains that:
"Housing prices, in general, continue to slow and when considered in light of the recent trends in the Buy vs. Rent Index signal that ownership remains an excellent investment for the majority of Americans."
While 15 of the 23 metropolitan markets examined moved further into buy territory since last quarter
Dallas, Denver, and Houston are three of the major cities that are currently deep into rent territory. In these three markets, it is estimated that renting will top homeownership 7 out of 10 times.
Eli Beracha, Ph.D., Assistant Professor in the T&S Hollo School of Real Estate at FIU
Believes that, in these three markets, the "strong odds in favor of renting to create more wealth should begin to have an impact on the demand for home ownership and from that, impact property prices in these areas."
Simply put, home prices in these areas will begin to return to more normal levels once residents realize that renting may be a better choice, therefore bringing home affordability back as well.
The majority of the country is strongly in buy territory.
Buying a home makes sense socially and financially. Rents are predicted to increase substantially in the next year. Protect yourself from rising rents by locking in your housing cost with a mortgage payment now.
Don't Get Caught in the Rental Trap!
There are many benefits to homeownership. One of the top ones is being able to protect yourself from rising rents and lock in your housing cost for the life of your mortgage.
Don't Become Trapped
Jonathan Smoke, Chief Economist at realtor.com, reported on what he calls a "Rental Affordability Crisis." He warns that, "Low rental vacancies and a lack of new rental construction are pushing up rents, and we expect that they'll outpace home price appreciation in the year ahead."
In the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University's 2015 Report on Rental Housing
They reported that 49% of rental households are cost-burdened, meaning they spend more than 30% of their income on housing. These households struggle to save for a rainy day and pay other bills, such as food and healthcare.
It's Cheaper to Buy Than Rent
In Smoke's article, he went on to say, "Housing is central to the health and well-being of our country and our local communities. In addition, this (rental affordability) crisis threatens the future value of owned housing, as the burdensome level of rents will trap more aspiring owners into a vicious financial cycle in which they cannot save and build a solid credit record to eventually buy a home." "While more than 85% of markets have burdensome rents today, it's perplexing that in more than 75% of the counties across the country, it is actually cheaper to buy than rent a home. So why aren't those unhappy renters choosing to buy?"
Know Your Options
Perhaps you have already saved enough to buy your first home. HousingWirereported that analysts at Nomura believe: "It's not that Millennials and other potential homebuyers aren't qualified in terms of their credit scores or in how much they have saved for their down payment. It's that they think they're not qualified or they thinkthat they don't have a big enough down payment." (emphasis added)
Many First-Time homebuyers who believe that they need a large down payment may be holding themselves back from their dream home.
As we have reported before, in many areas of the country, a first-time home buyer can save for a 3% down payment in less than two years. You may have already saved enough!
Don't get caught in the trap so many renters are currently in.
If you are ready and willing to buy a home, find out if you are able. Let's get together to determine if you could qualify for a mortgage now!