First time buyers , here are some tips & news you can use

28 Steps to the Home Buying Process

Buying a home does not have to be complicated or stressful. Please use this helpful information to guide you through the process of purchasing your home.

1. Choose to work with a Realtor who you would be proud to refer to your friends and family. Choose to work with a knowledgeable professional.
Make sure you feel 100% comfortable when interacting with your Realtor.

2.You will discuss the different types of agency relationships with your Realtor and choose one.
You will be required to sign a disclosure.

3.Have yourself pre approved by a reputable local lender.

4.Explain to your Realtor just what your needs are. View just the homes that meet your needs.

5.Find your dream house. Your Realtor will help you fill out a written offer to purchase agreement subject to attorneys approval. You will be required to acknowledge all necessary disclosures. The Realtor will present your offer to the seller on your behalf. The seller accepts, rejects, or counters your offer.

6.You and the seller agree on the price & terms, including the closing date. The seller will sign the offer to purchase agreement subject to attorneys approval. The terms in signed binder agreement will be used by the sellers attorney along with other information to draw up a contract.

7.Your Realtor will send a copy of the written offer to purchase to both attorney’s along with a letter introducing both attorneys to each other.
This letter will include all of the contact information for both the buyer and the seller and both attorneys.

8.Have the home inspection done by a licensed engineer. If your home inspector is certified to conduct a termite inspection he can also issue you a termite certification which is usually required by your lender. If not have a licenced exterminator conduct a termite inspection. Your Realtor can set up the appointment for you.

9. A contract of sale is prepared by the sellers attorney and is sent to your attorney. Your attorney reviews the contract and calls you to make an appointment for you to sign the contract.

10. You sign your contract and leave your down
payment. Your attorney sends the signed contract along with your down payment check back to the sellers attorney. He reviews it and calls the sellers in to make an appointment to sign the contract. The seller signs the contract.

11.The sellers attorney sends the signed contract back to your attorney.

12. You pick up the fully executed contract from your attorney and take it to your lender. ( make a copy of the contract to keep for yourself.) The lender will need the fully excuted contract along with your cashed cancelled downpayment check to proceed with the loan process.

13. Your loan will be assigned a processor, who documents and verifies appiclation information.

14. Interview and get written estimates from moving companies. Ask friends and family for recomendations. They are always the best.

15. An appraisal of the home you are purchasing is done, a residential credit report is ordered. A flood certification report is done.

16.Underwriting reviews the loan and in most cases approves the loan subject to conditions. Some conditions are standard. You clear up the conditons. Your mortgage representive can help guide you to get any information required for the final commitiment.

17. The processor issues copies of the loan commitment to you and your attorney. Your attorney sends a copy of the commitment to the sellers attorney.

18. Your attorney guides you through the process of having a title search done on the home you are purchasing. With your attorneys guidance you have the title insured.

19. If needed a new survey or a survey update of
the property is done.

20. The title work and legal documents are reviewed for accuracy by the underwriter &

21. You obtain a homeowners insurance policy.

22. The loan goes to the closing dept. for final review pending the closing date.

23. When all documents are in order your attorney contacts the closing dept. to schedule a closing date. The buyers attorney the sellers attorney and the banks attorney all need to be able to comfirm the time and day and the location of the closing.

24. As soon as the date is set. Contact your Realtor to make an appointment to do a final walk through of the home you are buying.

25. Contact your moving company to comfirm your moving date.

26.Call your utility companies to open accounts in your name.

27. You will need to take two forms of photo ID to the closing along with you homowners insurance & personal check book. You attorney will advise you of the certified or bank checks you will need to bring to the closing. Your attorney will advise you how to address the checks and what ammounts they should be.

28. At the closing. Mortgage and other documents are reviewed and signed. Adjustments are made for miscellaneous items ( taxes, heating oil, etc.) The seller gets paid and gives you the deed, title and keys to your new home.

You now own your new home.

Licensed Board Certified Staten Island NY Realtor®
A.T. Real Estate Specialists LLC
718-317-0949 or 917-359-1985

Buying a home? Sign up for FREE Automatic listing Email Notifications!

Buying? Sign up for FREE Automatic listing Email Notifications!
If you tell us a little about the type of property you are searching for. Based upon your needs we can customize a search and send you automatically generated email notifications. They will contain links to listings with photos & tours. Never miss a new listing again. You will receive the listing automatically as they are placed on the market. We can also set the program up to automatically send you all listing status changes like price reductions, back on the market etc. Please feel free contact Arlene Trunzo to request this service. At any time if you need to make changes to your search criteria, contact us, we will be happy to make the changes for you.

Licensed Board Certified Staten Island NY Realtor®
A.T. Real Estate Specialists LLC
718-317-0949 or 917-359-1985

Staten Island NY is the home of many beautiful parks

snugh harbor grandchildren view 2

Visit our parks,
Staten Island has a lot of natural beauty.
Here will find a list of our cherished parks.
If you are a nature lover you’ve come to the right place.

Bloomingdale Park – 138 acres
Mostly preserved for wildlife. Includes water falls & hiking trails. Areas of the park are for public use which include baseball fields, a soccer field, playground, softball fields, basketball courts.

Blue Heron Park – 222 Acres
Beautiful nature center, streams, ponds, swamps.
The park has free programs which include nature walks and bird feeding. Address 222 Poillon Ave S.I. N.Y. 10312

Clay Pit State Park Preserve – 260 Acres
83 Nielsen Ave S.I NY 10309, 718-967-1976
Spring fed streams, ponds, wetlands. The park offers bird watching, hiking.

Clove Lakes Park
Offers four lakes, streams and lots of greenery. Offers row boating, fresh water fishing. Other features are a public ice skating rink, picnic grounds, playgrounds, baseball field, bridle paths for horse back riding, nature trails and a restaurant.

Fort Wadsworth- Part of Gateway National Recreation Area. Historic site.
Park Rangers lead walks and tours. Protected natural plant and animal communities.
718-354-4500 Open dawn to dark 7 days a week.

Fresh Kills Park
Plans are in the works to build a wonderful park here. Some plans include a boardwalk, soccer and baseball fields, public roads, bridle paths, a bird island, and a 5,000 seat stadium. This was the home of the old landfill.

Great Kills Park, Gateway National Recreation Area
Great walking and running paths. Beach, bathhouse, snack bar, bicycling, fishing, ball fields, swimming, butterfly & geology walks & beautiful water views.

Latourette Park – 455 Acres
Greenbelt location offers a golf course & woodlands. Great for sleigh riding on the hills in the winter.

Miller Field
Hosts summer concerts, has ball fields & picnic areas. Walk to New Dorp beach from here.

Silver lake Park- 107 Acres
Offers golf course, restaurant, clubhouse & tennis courts.

Staten Island Botanical Garden
Beautiful gardens, green house, plants & ponds.

Walker Park 50 Bard Ave
Tennis Courts

Willowbrook Park – 164 Acres
Boathouse, playground, ball fields, tennis courts and a pond. Home to the children’s carousel.

Wolfs Pond Park over 170 Acres 718-984-8266
Salt water fishing is permitted, walking and jogging paths, playgrounds, tennis, beach, dog park run.

Our precious Staten Island parks are just another reason people are choosing Staten Island as the ideal place to live. Staten Island still has that home town quality. You can live close to the city and enjoy all the green open space S.I has to offer. Dont miss the boat, now is the time to buy. Interest rates are at an all time low.

Licensed Board Certified Staten Island NY Realtor®
A.T. Real Estate Specialists LLC
718-317-0949 or 917-359-1985

Newsletter – October, 2010

Monthly Newsletter – October, 2010

Attaining the Good Life

By Elyse Umlauf-Garneau
Attaining the Good Life
Philosophers, writers, and musicians all have pondered the meaning of the good life.
Recently, MetLife Mature Market Institute (MMI) did too.
Though the concept of the good life is a bit vague, the company’s study, “Meaning Really Matters: The MetLife Study on How Purpose is Recession‐Proof and Age‐Proof,” tries to nail down those things that contribute to satisfaction with life. MMI did so by studying the concept and surveying people ranging in age from 25 to 74.
Having enough money, living a life with meaning (that is, time for friends and family) and possessing good physical and mental health were among the things respondents identified as contributors to a good life. And also highly important was the notion of having a sense of purpose.
The study, based on author and life coach Richard Leider’s work and book The Power of Purpose, Repacking Your Bags, is a follow-up to research MMI did in 2009 called “Discovering What Matters.”
“Meaning Really Matters: The MetLife Study on How Purpose is Recession‐Proof and Age‐Proof,” found that the older cohort, those aged 45 to 74, were more likely to report having focus, vision, and purpose, compared to those aged 25 to 44.

Members of that older group tend concentrate more on meaning-laden activities–spending time helping others and community activities, for example–than their younger counterparts, who were more focused on money issues.

An ability to rebound after crisis also seems to play a role in satisfaction, and as people age, meaning-laden activities become important. In the 2009 study, for example, Leider addressed the idea that people’s ability to connect with something bigger than themselves boosts their ability to deal with difficulties, such as job losses, health problems, and deaths of loved ones.

People can’t control those external events. Yet, the study says, “… how they choose to live and react, the professionals they consult, and the kinds of relationships they develop with spouses and partners, siblings, children, grandchildren, friends, and co-workers are of their making. If people are dissatisfied with their lives — if they feel it lacks meaning — they can do something about it. Hence discovering purpose is an ongoing quest rather than a one-time trip to an exotic land.”

In an effort to help individuals ponder their version of the good life, MMI offers a planning tips, “Meaning Really Matters: Your Keys to the Good Life.” It features a series of questions that invite introspection.
Those include picturing yourself three years from now and 20 years from now and considering work, how you’re spending time, and the strength of your connections with family and friends. It also addresses goals and what you need to do to do to ensure that you meet those near and long-term goals.

The complete study is available at .

Planning tips are available at .

Blueprint for aging in place

In another September 2010 study, “The MetLife Report on Aging in Place 2.0: Rethinking Solutions to the Home Care Challenge,” MMI takes a glimpse into the future and envisions a better way for Americans to age.
Its blueprint, called AiP2.0, looks at a broad swath of aging concerns and sets forth new ideas for modifying homes, communities and care management and incorporating technology so that they all work in concert to support aging in place.
It seems an important mission, especially in light of its estimate that the population of people aged 85 and over is ever-expanding is expected to reach 8.7 million by 2030.
It envisions a way for systems and designs to allow people to truly age in place where they wish. “If individuals are forced to move due to a health crisis, it is not aging in place,” says the report.
To attain such lofty goals, the study suggests a series of radical changes that need to be made in communities and in the public and private sectors.
The plan outlines an array of significant steps required, and they include everything from developing care management, social interaction, wellness and transportation systems and better coordinating the delivery of care to integrating monitoring technologies into daily life to make home care safer and more efficient.
Many of the above are big ideas that likely will take time, along with the collective efforts of businesses, researchers, activists, and the public and private sectors.
But the study also points to things homeowners can do to help themselves right now.
And that entails incorporating universal design in their homes. It’s something everyone can do when contemplating renovations and upgrades. “One problem is that most home were not designed and built for the needs of aging residents or caregiving,” says the report.
Moreover, most families don’t consider upgrades for aging in place until a crisis hits. Then they’re planning and building in a panic, which doesn’t always yield the best, most efficient results.
It suggests advance planning and illustrates ways to prioritize projects. It also offers price ranges of the projects that are associated with each priority.
Costs can range from under $1,000 up to $75,000, and the study notes that low-cost interventions have clear payback in terms of fewer hospitalizations and medical costs in a very short timeframe.
Here’s one way to prioritize projects.
First Priority:
Falls prevention. Cost: $1,000 or less
Steps include:
• Removing throw rugs, especially in bathrooms
• Installing grab bars and grips in the bathroom
• Assuring sturdy handrails on both sides at steps
• Providing good lighting and switching, especially at stairs, halls, and entries
• Securing or removing carpets at stairs
• Installing soft path lighting for nighttime mobility
Second Priority:
Entryway, easy movement, and use of home features. Cost: $4,500–$30,000
• Removing or reducing the number and/or height of steps and increasing the horizontal depth of steps for easy side stepping and that allow the use of both hands on one rail
• Creating a clear, no-step path to the bedroom and bathroom
• Rearranging or repositioning of furniture, entertainment systems, and spaces
Third Priority:
Substantial remodeling and equipment. Cost: $8,000–$75,000
• Installing no-step shower or bath lift mechanism, a seated sink, and assistance space at the toilet
• Providing seated/multi-level food preparation areas
• Creating sun- and rain-protected outdoor areas
• Putting in backup power sources for power outages

Beyond just making homes suitable for aging in place, AiP2.0 has larger societal benefits, according to the report. They include:
• Support and stress reduction for family caregivers
• Employment opportunities in the caregiving arena
• Fewer illnesses and injuries
• Acute-care cost reduction
• More efficient use of resources and the reduction of redundant services
Read the entire report at .
Coming up next
In the coming months, we’ll be addressing some of the emotional and logistical challenges associated with planning for retirement. Look for stories about retirement coaching, potential post-retirement career options, and strategies for facing the angst and emotional issues that emerge prior to retirement.

Real Estate Matters: News & Issues for the Mature Market

A.T. Real Estate Specialists LLC
Arlene Trunzo, CRS,e-Pro,GRI,SRES
Board Certified. 718-317-0949

Over the age of 50 and considering selling the family home?

Why Use an SRES®: A Certified Senior Specialist

Over the age of 50 and considering selling the family home?

You need a REALTOR® with senior experience, knowledge and marketing savvy.

Those qualities, along with a special knowledge of managing the sale of a home for those over the age of 50, are what SRES® designees can bring to your next real estate transaction.

SRES® designees are certified senior specialists and astute to the financial and emotional challenges senior clients face when they sell a long-held family home.

SRES® designees not only can create a customized approach to marketing and selling your property, but they also can work with you to explore your housing options to ensure that your next home best serves your current and future needs.

Such certified specialists have special knowledge about everything from reverse mortgages and the importance of universal design to the uses of pensions, 401k accounts, and IRAs in real estate transactions.

They’ll also help you steer clear of loan schemes and scams that victimize aged 50+ borrowers.

And when you need help from other professionals, SRES® designees can tap their network and put you in touch with qualified home inspectors, movers, attorneys, CPAs and other experts.

SRES® designees have all the resources and knowledge to simplify the transaction and eliminate the anxiety of selling your home.

So if you’re thinking of buying, selling, renting or relocating, find an SRES® in your area for specialized help with your real estate transaction. 

Arlene Trunzo, CRS,e-PRO,GRI,SRES / Broker Owner. Awarded NAR’s Short Sales and Foreclosure Resource certification
(BCREP) Board certified
718-317-0949 0R 917-359-1985

Please visit my site

Monthly Newsletter – July, 2010/SRES

Monthly Newsletter – July, 2010 

Happy Intergenerational Households

By Elyse Umlauf-Garneau

Gail Niermeyer recently sold a house to a three-generation family that included a grandmother, a daughter, a granddaughter, and a married son with twins. And four dogs.

It’s becoming more common to see multiple generations of people living under one roof, according to Niermeyer, a salesperson with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, Naperville, Ill.

And statistics point to a rise in such living arrangements. A January 2010 Coldwell Banker Real Estate study found that in the prior 12 months,  37 percent of sales professionals who responded to the survey had seen an increase in homebuyers seeking property to house more than one generation of their family.

Almost 70 percent of respondents believe that economic conditions may cause greater demand for such homes over the next year.

And after a significant drop in multigenerational living arrangements between 1940 and 1980, the Pew Research Center ( is seeing a trend reversal.

In 2008, an estimated 49 million Americans (16 percent of the total U.S. population) lived in a family household that contained at least two adult generations or a grandparent and at least one other generation. In 1980, this figure was just 28 million, or 12 percent of the population, according to Pew.

A tough economy, more elderly parents needing care, a larger immigrant population and a rise in the first-time marriage age all are contributing to the change. 

For some, it just comes down to family bonds. “Many want their children to know their grandparents and have a sense of family,” observes Niermeyer.

If you’re thinking of such an arrangement for your family, here are some real estate considerations:

  • One-floor ranch homes with separate entrances make it easier for elderly residents to get in and out of the house, and a separate entrance offers them some privacy. Properties later can be modified with ramps to accommodate aging in place.
  • Multilevel properties retrofitted with elevators can transform a multi-story house into an accessible option for seniors. 
  • Lower levels that can be converted to living areas with kitchenettes deliver privacy and autonomy for younger and older family members.
  • Opening walls between bedrooms can accommodate a suite with sitting and sleeping areas for seniors.
  • Coach houses are ideal both for boomerang college students or seniors. They also can house caretakers.
  • Renting a house for a senior in a child’s neighborhood has become an appealing option for some, says Niermeyer.

Observers do warn that such living arrangements can be rife with conflict.  “Practicing effective communication principles and utilizing a family meeting format, the three Rs–rules, roles and resources–need to be ironed out before the blending of generations occur,” comments Richard Horowitz, a New Jersey family and relationship coach (, who gives seminars on effective intergenerational households.

His rules of thumb include:

  • Rules–How will we handle disciplining kids, chores, and the use of computers and other media devices?
  • Roles–How are decisions made?  Who’s in charge of what? How are chores assigned and carried out?  
  • Resources–Who pays and how much?  What else non-monetarily can individuals contribute?

Niermeyer notes that it can be wonderful to have an entire family living together. “For the senior, it can be a source of pride that they’ve raised a loving caring family that wants to be together. You just have to make a pledge that it’s going to work.” 

Oil spill scams
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued  a warning ( )about scam artists who may be angling to take advantage of consumers affected by the oil spill in Louisiana.

The FTC says scammers likely will use multiple forms of contact, including e-mail, phone, websites, and in-person visits, to solicit money, pose as insurance adjusters, or offer phony services.

“Some may claim they’re raising money for environmental causes or offer fraudulent services – like remediation services – related to the oil spill. Others may claim they can expedite loss claims for a fee. Still others may knock on your door and talk about placing booms or checking for oil on your property,” says the alert.

Some FTC guidelines:

  • ESIS, BP’s authorized claims administrator, doesn’t charge fees to process claims, nor will the government and authorized adjusters ask for fees to expedite services. If you make a claim, you’re  assigned a claims number through the BP hotline (800-440-0858), and an authorized ESIS adjuster will contact you to verify and process claims.
  • Get proper legal and financial advice before signing any waivers of liability.
  • Don’t hire contractors asking for up-front payments.
  • Before donating to charities, check a charity’s legitimacy at, the Better Business Bureau’s website. For information on the warning signs of a charity scam, see
  • Avoid job or volunteer positions requiring you to pay a fee before the job begins.

For oil spill updates, search for “Gulf Oil Spill” at If you suspect that someone is committing fraud related to the oil spill, contact the National Center for Disaster Fraud at 866-720-5721.

Distracted driving dangers
Ever had a near-miss on the road? You’re not alone.
Accidents due to distracted drivers have spiked, and teens aren’t the only culprits. A study ( )by Pew Internet & American Life Project found that 47 percent of texting adults say they have sent or read a text message while driving.

If you’re tempted to text, talk on cell phones or apply makeup while driving, consider this sobering statistic.

The National High Traffic Safety Administration estimates that in 2008, 5,870 people lost their lives and another 515,000 were injured in police-reported crashes in which one form of distraction was noted on the crash report.

If you’re still tempted to text and drive or you want to convince someone to stop driving distractedly, there’s no shortage of data. 

For safety information see:

Real Estate Matters: News & Issues for the Mature Market

(A.T. Real Estate Specialists LLC)

(Staten Island NY 10312)

(Arlene Trunzo CRS,


Board certified licensed R/E Broker)


Two family Hi Ranch 7/3 for sale,New Springville Staten Island NY 10314 (via Arlene Trunzo’s Blog)

The price was just reduced to $579,900.

New Springville Two family Hi Ranch 27×47 ft house size, large 45×125. Seven room three bedroom master unit includes sunken LR, Dr, Large EIK, den & 1 ¾ baths, hardwood floors ,Garage. In addition a three room rental apartment with full bath on the first level. Convenient location, near stores, schools & buses. Bright sun filled home. $599,900 Att: Doctors R3X zone 1,500 square feet of this home can be used for a health care facility/Medi … Read More

via Arlene Trunzo's Blog

Open House 121 Mulberry Ave, Staten Island NY 10314,Sat 6/5/10 2-5PM

Open house Sat. 6/5/10 , 2-5 PM,121 Mulberry Ave. Staten Island NY 10314.

 New Springville, 

Wide Wide & spacious 3 bedroom semi attached. Full basement with Family room & office. Beautifully upgraded very Lg EIK, 3/4 bath off master bedroom, roof recently replaced, new Rubbermaid shed in yard. All light fixtures and 2 ceiling fans stay. Convenient Location, near transit, stores & Schools. Very hard to find a semi attached home this wide.

Asking $419,900

Arlene Trunzo, Licensed Board Certified Real Estate Broker

A.T Real estate Specialists LLC

718-317-0949 or 917-359-1985

Two family Hi Ranch 7/3 for sale,New Springville Staten Island NY 10314

New Springville
Two family Hi Ranch 27×47 ft house size, large 45×125. Seven room three bedroom master unit includes sunken LR, Dr, Large EIK, den & 1 ¾ baths, hardwood floors ,Garage. In addition a three room rental apartment with full bath on the first level. Convenient location, near stores, schools & buses. Bright sun filled home.
$599,900 Att: Doctors R3X zone 1,500 square feet of this home can be used for a health care facility/Medical office.
Arlene Trunzo, (BCREP) Board certified, CRS, e-PRO, GRI, SRES, Awarded NAR’s Short Sales and Foreclosure Resource certification

718-317-0949 0R 917-359-1985

American Cancer Society Relay For Life, please join us

Use the above link if you would like to join out team or make a donation to ACS.If you have questions feel free to contact me anytime. Arlene Trunzo 917-259-1985 or  Thank you so very much.