June 2015: Real Estate Roundup

Realtors lobby for industry in D.C.

Columnist Lance Evans

Columnist Lance Evans

From May 11 to 16, the National Association of Realtors held its Realtor Legislative Meetings and Trade Expo in Washington, D.C. The annual conference continues a tradition that goes back in the national association’s 100-plus-year history. [Read more…]

May 2015: Real Estate Roundup

FAA proposes rules for drone flights

Columnist Lance Evans

Columnist Lance Evans

Real estate agents across the country have been waiting for the Federal Aviation Administration to release guidelines permitting the use of drones for commercial purposes, such as marketing real estate. Last month, the FAA released its proposed rules, which would allow realty professionals to use drones to aid their clients in marketing and selling properties. [Read more…]

April 2015: Real Estate Roundup

Federal Fair Housing Act turns 47

Columnist Lance Evans

Columnist Lance Evans

The sale and purchase of a home is one of the most significant events a person will experience in his or her lifetime. It is more that the simple purchase of housing, for it includes the hopes, dreams, aspirations and economic destiny of those involved. Recognizing this, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed into law the Fair Housing Act in April of 1968. This landmark legislation is the reason that April is known as Fair Housing Month. During this 47th anniversary of the Fair Housing Act, the Jefferson-Lewis and St. Lawrence County Boards of Realtors have reached out to numerous legislative bodies and asked them to declare April as Fair Housing Month. [Read more…]

March 2015: Real Estate Roundup

Drum, NNY a winning combination

Columnist, Lance Evans

Columnist Lance Evans

Planned. Positioned. Proven. With the approach of the March 20 Army listening session and public rally, that is a slogan we have been seeing and hearing often. The rally and session that follows will take place at Jefferson Community College at 5 p.m. and it’s your chance to tell the Army how you feel about the potential loss of 16,000 soldiers and civilians at Fort Drum. [Read more…]

February 2015: Real Estate Roundup

Let consumers decide on sprinklers

Columnist, Lance Evans

Columnist, Lance Evans

Recently, there has been publicity surrounding a push by the Firemen’s Association of the State of New York to have the New York State Fire Prevention and Building Code Council update the state Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code to mandate that builders install low-flow automatic sprinklers in all new one- to two-family homes and any home that undergoes substantial reconstruction of 50 percent or more. [Read more…]

Flood insurance a longtime concern

Real Estate Roundup column || by Lance Evans

Real Estate Roundup column || by Lance Evans

With the number of waterways in Northern New York, flood insurance has become increasingly important. Over the past century, floods have claimed more lives and property than any other natural disaster with flood disasters declared in every state as the result of melting snow, severe rain storms and hurricanes, and rising water along lakes, rivers, levees and dams. [Read more…]

Real Estate Roundup: SLC Realtors recognized for service

The St. Lawrence County Board of Realtors held a mixer at Phoenix on the Bay in Ogdensburg Aug. 6. It had a dual purpose, allowing affiliates to showcase their products and services and to recognize Realtor members for their years of service. Each Realtor member received a Realtor pin based on the number of years of continuous Realtor membership (rounded down to the nearest five-year period). In future years, we will honor members only when they reach five-year milestones. [Read more…]

Consider needs, options in search

Lance Evans

Lance Evans

Recently, I had the chance to participate in an unusual activity for me — house hunting. Even more unusual, the house is one that neither I, nor any family member, will probably ever live in. How did this come about? [Read more…]

Sell with a Realtor for better outcome

Lance Evans

Lance Evans

Recent media reports have touted selling your home yourself, more commonly called for sale by owner or FSBO. It seems like a nice idea: sell your home yourself and save the price of a commission. After all, how hard can it be to sell a property that you know so well?

It turns out that it is not as easy a task as you would think. There is more to the process than simply putting a sign in front and sitting back and waiting for offers to roll in.

Before a property is put on the market, sellers are required by law to fill out numerous forms, whether the property is listed with a real estate broker or if the owner is selling it by him or herself. Some of these carry penalties if not filled out and available to a buyer at the time the buyer submits a purchase offer. Realtors are well versed in which forms are needed for each type of transaction.

Sellers also often underestimate the amount of time required to market and show their property, overestimate the value of their property and then have to deal with security concerns as a result of strangers having access to their home. [Read more…]

Re-register for STAR by year’s end

Lance Evans

Lance Evans

Homeowners who receive the Basic STAR exemption need to re-register with the New York State Tax Department in order to receive the exemption in 2014 and subsequent years. There is no need to register to receive the 2013 STAR exemption or to re-register every year. Based on the information provided, the Tax Department will monitor homeowners’ eligibility in future years. Registration ends Dec. 31 and can be completed by clicking on “Register for STAR” at www.tax.ny.gov or by phone at (518) 457-2036.

Senior citizens who receive the Enhanced STAR exemption are not affected by the new registration requirement. They must, however, continue to apply annually or participate in the Income Verification Program. [Read more…]