Dec. 17, 2013

Why It Makes Sense For New Home Buyers to Buy a Home

We would like to help you simplify the decision making process by sharing the benefits of purchasing a new home vs. renting. A fair percentage of new home buyers aren't aware that a new home can be purchased with a 3.5% down FHA loan that includes ALL closing costs rolled into the mortgage. With this FHA loan, it's possible to ask the seller to contribute up to 6% of the sale price.

Another consideration is to explore purchasing a multifamily home using the same type of FHA mortgage to help facilitate a pay down on the mortgage and increase your equity. This type of loan is available on one to four unit properties.  FHA also offers a loan with the option of purchasing a home, fixing it up to your specifications, and including all of these costs into one loan.

Homeowners have been helped by FHA since 1934. The way it works is that The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) as is part of HUD helps homeowners by insuring the loan. This means that you get a much better rate. The other advantage your lender is able to offer you easy credit requirements, low closing costs and a low down payment.

The Value of Home Equity

Owning a home or condo helps to build equity that adds to your net worth over time as you pay down the mortgage. For most home owners, a home is usually their largest single investment. Home equity can be of great benefit if you ever decide to sell, or use it as a possible source of funds through a reverse mortgage.

These benefits don't exist in a rental, paying $2,560 in rent for 20 years nets out at $614,400 in rent receipts. That's just a rough figure for New York since rents increase with every two year renewal.

All of this may be a bit daunting, so please contact us. We're here to help clarify your questions and concerns.

Dec. 13, 2013

Moving to the Bronx doesn't get any better than this!

You will be pleasantly disarmed by the friendly people who live in the Bronx, not that the other boroughs aren't friendly, but nothing tops the Bronx. Additionally, the Bronx has affluent bedroom communities like Riverdale, Pelham Manor, Fieldston, Country Club, and City Island with its classic townhouses, historic private waterfront homes and famous seafood temptations, among others.

There are so many fascinating things to explore in the Bronx including The New York Botanical Garden, a green pristine oasis that's beyond inviting year round, the Bronx Zoo, Wave Hill, a 26 acre nonprofit cultural institution located on the former George W. Perkins estate that's home to his historic house, concerts, gardens, and art exhibitions that are designed with New Jersey's Palisades as a backdrop.

At Advantage Homes, we have a long and proud family history of over 35 combined years serving the community with full service real estate. We're sensitive to the needs of our clients and their individual objectives which is why each and every client is treated with white gloves.

We have the latest listings that we know will be of interest to our perspective Bronx home buyers looking for single and multi family properties and condos. We're are also in sync with the Bronx areas that are known for the finest private and public schools, and recreation areas of interest to families with children.  Our clients are treated the way we would expect to be treated if the circumstances were reversed.

Posted in Bronx Living
Dec. 13, 2013

Morris Park, an ideal Bronx Neighborhood

Morris Park, with a population of 37,578 can be described in every sense of the word as a close community and warm neighborhood where people have known each other for years. This sense of community and neighborhood is almost a thing of the past, but not in Morris Park. The homes, high-rise condos and townhouse condos that are up for sale sell very quickly because they are prized by buyers for their excellent market value and affordable prices.

Morris Park Lifestyle

There are many things to do and see in Morris Park including exercise/dance classes, little league, ice skating, jogging paths, and sports. Additionally, visits to the 700-acre New York Botanical Gardens brings delight to "Kids" of all ages with the annual large scale Holiday Train Show featuring indoor/outdoor G-scale trains that make their way through an artistic, outdoor handmade recreation of historic New York towns.

The train show, a major draw with New Yorkers and visitors from all over, changes a little every year, and it's always pure magic. It's even fun in a snow storm, and we can attest to that from personal experience. Imagine being the only three "Kids" running around on the snow laden ground. We really shouldn't have gone because of the weather, but it turned out fine.

Residents and visitors from all over the country are also fascinated with the grandeur of the Orchid Show housed in the Beaux-Arts crystal palace. It's easy to spend hours at this show exploring the wide array of delicate and unusual orchids. There's also the Magnificent Trees New York Botanical Garden exhibitions and the one million plus plants that thrive on the Garden's 700 acres.

Morris Park residents take great pride in this National Historic Landmark that's so close to home.  We invite you to visit Morris Park, a neighborhood you'll want to call home.

Posted in Bronx Living
Dec. 13, 2013

Sound View, Take Your Pick of Beautiful Bronx Homes

If you're looking for a new and affordable home, you'll find everything from single-family homes, attractive duplexes, two-family homes and condos to mixed use buildings in Sound View which is located in the South Central section of the Bronx. In fact, just recently an additional, large affordable housing construction project has broken ground for phase one of a three phase planned residential development.

Sound View's Open Spaces

Sound View boasts of a peaceful 205 acre marshland that sports walking and cycling paths, playgrounds, several sports playing fields along with majestic views of the Long Island Sound and the Bronx River. Residents love the peace and quiet that this green space affords as a convenient and beautiful getaway that's close to home.

Additionally, an extensive amount of development funds have been invested in the Sound View area that has resulted in enhanced pedestrian access along with carefully redesigned recreational areas that have been totally renovated.

Soundview Park Restoration — a commitment to the future

The exciting rebirth of the Bronx is clearly evident in the vibrant restoration of its Soundview Park with a $9.9 million restoration of wetlands, lagoon and upland forests. Restoring the wetlands will provide badly needed shelter for birds and marine life since they benefit from the shelter provided by the wetlands restoration which will also improve water quality and help to create a healthier ecosystem. Additionally, paths will be created for nature walking paths and educational programs.

If you're seriously looking for a new home now's the perfect time to investigate Sound View, and we're here to help.

Posted in Bronx Living
Dec. 13, 2013

Throgs Neck...The Best of Both Worlds in Bronx Real Estate

Throgs Neck, a peaceful waterfront Bronx neighborhood, is attractive to families looking for a good quality of life and a combination of suburban lifestyle with easy access to Manhattan. Nestled between two waterways, this area is located between the Throgs Neck and Whitestone bridges with easy access to Bruckner Boulevard making it a unique location that offers the best of both worlds.

Throgs Neck offers a great lifestyle combined with an economic boom

The Throgs Neck area is in the midst of an economic boom with many new businesses including an interesting array of restaurants and bars along East Tremont Avenue and other popular areas. During the warm weather, there's an increase in the boating community and water sports such as kayaking and sailing. Many of the beautiful new waterfront condos offer the added bonus of convenient boat slips.

In addition to contributing to the area's active lifestyle and tax base, this growth also means more jobs. At the same time, it's easy to find affordable single family, two family, and condo homes.  

When it comes to the important subject of education, Throgs Neck offers a total of nine primary and secondary schools with many highly rated institutions. Among many other dance and music schools, Performers Edge Dance Academy, an excellent, family oriented dance studio dedicated to the art of dance, is a very popular choice for children and parents.

Planned Future Growth

The areas growth is definitely on a major upward swing with expansive future plans that include a new shopping center that's currently under construction along with a lavish $100 million dollar plus golf course slated to be managed by The Trump Organization. The state of the art golf course is scheduled for completion in 2014.

Posted in Bronx Living
Dec. 13, 2013

Pelham Bay, Bronx ... a Place You'll Love to call Home

The headline says it all if you're looking for an outstanding new home in a fabulous location — Pelham Bay is most definitely a place you'll love to call home. It's a very desirable neighborhood filled with a current population of approximately 14,594 people. You also won't find a lot of turnover, which is a good thing.

This upper middle class, residential neighborhood with its stately brick, one- and two-family homes is one of the three top affluent neighborhoods in the Bronx earning high marks for quality of life as an ideal place to raise a family with affordable housing and public schools that consistently receive high marks for performance.

The Delights of Nature Right Here in Pelham Bay Park, with it's over 2,700 acres of scenic beauty is even larger than Manhattan's Central Park. Many people say the Park is more like a nature preserve filled with a vast array of stately trees, flowers, foliage, and of course, bird-watcher are also plentiful all year round.

If you're into jogging paths, bicycle paths, and a wide expanse of open playing fields, you'll find it all here in Pelham Bay Park. Of course we mustn't forget to mention the other highlights of this vast playground of nature that includes Thomas Pell Wildlife Sanctuary and Orchard Beach. It's cool now, but get your flip flops ready in advance for next year.

Meet up for drinks at...

If you love to eat out, Pelham Bay is home to a host of restaurants to tempt even the fussiest palate ranging from Italian, Continental, Greek, Mexican, Chinese, Japanese, Thai to German.
Come home to Pelham Bay, you'll love it here!

Posted in Bronx Living
Oct. 14, 2013

Three Things that will Make Buying a Long Island Home Easier

Long Island is a great place to live. What is more, those who purchase one or more homes in Long Island are eligible for some great tax breaks.

The following tips can help you buy the home of your dreams quickly, easily and without spending too much money.

Get Pre-approved for a Mortgage

You should get pre-approved for a mortgage even before you start looking at homes to buy. Having an approved mortgage in hand will help you know how much you can afford to spend on your new home. What is more, a pre-approved mortgage enables you to apply to buy the home you want immediately, before someone else does so.

Consider Your Priorities

Consider the essential features you feel your new home must have and make a list outlining these. These features may pertain to the size of the home and number of rooms it must have, the type of garden or yard you want to have, the kind of neighborhood you feel most comfortable in and more. Knowing what you want will save you from wasting time viewing houses that would not meet your needs.

Do Some Research Beforehand

A good real estate agent is always a valuable source of information. However, given the fact that buying a home may cost an individual hundreds of thousands of dollars, it is always wise for a buyer to do his or her own research before house hunting in earnest. If you are not familiar with Long Island, then visit various neighborhoods to see which one you would like to live in. Look at real estate listings online to see the going price for homes in any given town.

It is also a good idea to find a respectable, experienced home appraisal agent and home inspector to check the home you want to buy. Doing so enables you to have a prospective home checked as soon as possible, thus speeding up the purchase process.

Buying a home can be daunting, even if you are working with a good real estate agent. However, if you get mortgage pre-approval, do some market research beforehand and make a list outlining what you want from their new home, you will find the house hunting and home purchase process simpler, easier and faster than you may have anticipated.

Oct. 14, 2013

Bayport, NY: A Perfect Place for Family Living in Long Island

Bayport, NY is quaint, family oriented and close knit community on Long Island. Many of the residents grew up in Bayport and have chosen to stay, because of the great schools, community support and local attractions. The history of Bayport dates back to the 1800’s, with the first settlers arriving in 1869.With the railroad in place, Bayport became a popular retreat for wealthy Manhattan residents who wanted to escape the city for on summer vacations and is now an affordable, comfortable residential area. It is also thought to be the location for the famous, fictional books “The Hardy Boys”.

Living in Bayport

The town of Bayport is located in Suffolk County, on the south shore of Long Island. It is about 65 miles west of Montauk and 56 miles east of Manhattan. The area is bordered by the hamlets of Blue Point, Sayville and Holbrook. There is a wide range of housing options to choose from including tranquil, tree-lined Victorian and Salt Box homes to modern apartments and condominiums. The house styles also include ranches, colonials, contemporary and many styles of older homes near the water.


Bayport Schools k-12 have a 9 out 10 ranking for their educational achievements, including test scores, teachers and overall educational. There are several colleges and universities in or within a few miles of Bayport, including Saint Josephs College, Dowling College, Stony Brook University and Suffolk County Community College. Bayport-Blue Point High School has an average of 750 students for grades 9-12 and James Wilson Young Middle school has approximately 599 students enrolled in grades 6-8. There are three elementary schools for grades K-5, Sylvan Avenue Elementary, Academy Street Elementary and Bayport-Blue Point Union Free District School.

Activities and Attractions

The Bayport area has a wide range of activities and attractions for its residents, including boating, fishing and local festivals, such as the annual Long Island Apple Festival. Minutes away in Sayville and Patchogue, residents and visitors can catch a ferry for visits to the popular Fire Island. Bayport is home to a number of boutiques, grocery stores, mom-and-pop restaurants and one of few remaining aerodromes. The Bayport Aerodrome was formed in 1972 and offers tours of the Aerodrome and the living museum.

If you want to learn more about becoming a resident of Bayport or the other quaint communities of Long Island, contact Advantage Homes for more information about finding your dream home.

Posted in Long Island Towns
Oct. 13, 2013

Discover a Luxurious Lifestyle in Sayville, Long Island

Sayville can best be described as a beautiful hamlet with pristine sandy beaches bordering Long Island's Great South Bay, one of New York's exquisite summer  playgrounds that's a magnet for sun bathers, swimmers, boaters, and sport fishermen. And of course, we can't forget the kids who find great delight in the calm water and beaches.

Home buyers interested in Long Island real estate frequently list Sayville as one of their top choices because of its outstanding real estate values, school system, and proximity to the 26 miles long and almost three miles wide Great South Bay, one of the largest bays on Long Island’s south shore.

One Of the Best Places To Live

In 2007, Sayville was selected by CNN Money as one of the best places in the country to live. The judging criteria was based on quality of life, real estate value, school system, and a vibrant, stable community. There are some towns that have everything anyone could want from a rich sense of community, economic opportunities, excellent schools, safe neighborhoods, cultural activities, plus family centered attractions. This is a perfect description of Sayville, one of those very unique places that is an ideal place to live.

Sayville homes for sale offer buyers a wide array of choices. Imagine for a moment living in a spacious Tudor home on two acres with open spaces, elegant decks, breathtaking views of the Great South Bay and quiet tree lined streets and avenues.

Another unusual home for sale features a stately four bedroom 1749 Dutch Colonial on five acres that has been meticulously restored. There is also a one bedroom detached guest house surrounded on one side by a brook and sculpture garden. The property is nestled into an unusual private and peaceful location that backs an historic Nature Preserve.

This estate, that has been featured in Architectural Digest, also offers stunning views of the Great South Bay, the largest bay on Long Island’s south shore.

Posted in Long Island Towns
Oct. 12, 2013

Happening in Bayport New York: Fun, Family and the Sphinx

Happening in Bayport New York: Fun, Family and the Sphinx

Located on Long Island the area has been committed to community events and issues even with its middle class roots. Home ownership and continual investment in education makes it a nuturing environment to raise a family.


Bayport has second and third generation residents. Its location of an hour and an half from New York makes it a grand place to have the best of surburban America and yet have access to big city delights. With less than 10,000 residents many know each other adding to the close knit feel of the area.


Long Island is known for its one hundred mile of beaches. Bayport sits on the Great South Bay. Local hobbies involve boating and fishing. A ferry meanders over to Fire Island making a trip on some weesunny weeknd afternoon a snap. Neighborhoods south of Middle Road catch the bay breeze daily and have many homes at least a century.


Many shops reside on the Montauk Highway.Bayport Commons Strip Center. It has "Kiddie Camp West",  "La Rage Salon" and "Mondello Bakery". A favorite of the locals comes as the "Grey Horse Tavern". It turns organic ingredients from local farms into stylish dishes. Not a new tavern at all, its 140 year history means a story at every table every night.


Having family means centering around school days and ways. Bayport schools rate well on New York education standards. Two elementaries, one Junior High and a High School serve the needs of the community. Many programs have won awards.

Sphinx and Aviation

Bayport has an unusual attraction in a cement Sphinx. Egyptian styled the Sphinx moves around the town randomly. An inscription adds to the mystery that challenges a female to climb to the sphinx's head to have an opportunity to marry a millionaire. With the many mansions around the beach anything can happen.

The Bayport Aerodrome Society operates the Livng Aviation Museum. Its 24 hanger  houses experimental air craft and antique air craft. Two of the hangers are used for the museum exhibits. The area has a sizable amount of local aviation history to share.

Whether visiting or buying a home, Bayport offers a good balance of activities, a community and great schools.

Posted in Long Island Towns