What’s it costing you to stay in your home?

There are homeowners as well as condo and co-op unit owners that have resided in their residences for over 20 or more years and have hopefully enjoyed their stay with all the upkeep, renovations, leaks from frozen pipes, clogged gutters, leaders, and oh yeah, toilets and paying the gardeners too, as well as all the happy memories, photos and celebrations that were experienced.

The one important fact I have learned that I have conveyed to my purchasers as well as sellers, that if you are going away for the winter (snowbirds) or for a short stay two-four weeks (snowflakes) you must always be careful and cognizant to keep your thermostats on 55 degrees (or a bit higher in the north section of your home, which is the coldest part) so one or more of your pipes don’t burst, during a prolonged frigid cold snap.

One never knows how this next winter will be. Homeowners associations, condos and co-ops usually will not have any issues if they are attached to one another, unless you are a corner unit, whereby, freezing could occur if you are on the north side, where it is always colder (sun rises in the east, then south and sets in the west).

Usually high rises don’t have any issues, since all units are sandwiched in together and they stay above freezing. I also advise my homeowner clients that there are 24-volt insulated pipe warmers that you can buy at the big box stores or online, that will provide a low current to keep outside or inside pipes safe during the winter.

I have used them for years and eliminated and avoided all the catastrophes of my pipes bursting and causing much, much greater damage. The next item on my list is what will the cost be this winter to heat your home?

If you are heating with oil, as many still have not converted to gas or maybe cannot due to not having a main line to tap into; prices are up this year compared to last year, as demand in the northeast will increase and if we have a severe winter, then your cost will also escalate!

Have your real estate taxes increased, as they will in the next year or two, since Nassau County has a shortfall and is always trying to play the “game of balancing” their budget.

So much money has been or will be used on defending those politicians, as some now have been convicted or are awaiting their sentences, that have been caught doing what they shouldn’t have been doing; so unfortunately, we all will be paying more down the line. Mandated costs from Albany for all of pensions, that are guaranteed by the state’s Constitution will for now always be passed down to all the towns and cities, increasing our real estate taxes.

The following is a quote from a paper from the office of Tom DiNapoli, Our State Comptroller back on Oct 3, 2017, that shows another reason that adds to our cost of living in our homes today, (due to the shortfall of available monies for New York State):
“New York State received 84 cents for every dollar it sent in taxes to the federal government in 2016, a wider gap than three years before, according to a report released today by State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli.
“New York sent an estimated $40.9 billion more in tax payments to Washington in 2016 than it received back in federal spending,” DiNapoli said. “While the Empire State fares well in some areas, in total it receives significantly less per tax dollar than the vast majority of states. Federal decision-makers should consider this imbalance as they debate proposed budget and policy changes that could significantly impact New York and other states.”
Today’s report, a follow-up to one DiNapoli released in 2015, shows federal spending in New York during federal fiscal year 2016 included $55 billion in Social Security payments, $47 billion for Medicare and more than $46 billion for Medicaid and other safety net grants. Billions of federal dollars also supported transportation, education and veterans benefit programs.

Meanwhile, New Yorkers paid almost $255 billion in taxes to the federal government. While New York received 16 cents less per dollar contributed, most states received more than they paid.

The average return for all states was $1.18 cents per tax dollar sent to Washington.”
You all know or some will avoid thinking about what the additional costs to run your home on a monthly basis as well as the decreased amount of allowable deductions ($10,000 maximum, state and local taxes called “salt”); but it is coming to a head and more people are leaving New York State than are coming in as other states with high costs of living and their accompanying real estate taxes.

More and more baby boomers and the “silent generation born 1945 and before have not saved enough and many husbands and wives are working two jobs just to pay their taxes and whatever other expenses might come down the road.
So one must think, is it still prudent and financially wise or feasible to stay in your home or would it be more advantageous to cash out (think of how much equity you have in your home) and move to enjoy one’s life in a more financially stable environment and in a warmer climate without heating bills, cracked pipes and of course, no more snow; and if possible not have to work?

Something to ponder and think seriously about over the next few months before winter finally arrives!

Philip A. Raices is the owner/Broker of Turn Key Real Estate 3 Grace Ave Suite 180, Great Neck. He has earned designations as a Graduate Realtor Institute and Certified International Property Specialist. Receive regular “FREE” updates of sold homes in your area and what your home would sell for in today’s market. He can be reached by email, at [email protected], or by cell (516) 647-4289

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