Viewpoints

Philip Weiden

LEGISLATIVE AFFAIRS: What RPAC Does for You

August 2019

So far this year, RPAC has surpassed its fundraising and participation goals as compared to recent previous years. The Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors has reached 74% of its participation goal. This means that so far 2,381 HGAR members have contributed to RPAC. Our participation goal—set by the National Association of Realtors—is 3,815 members. Due…

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Ron Garafalo

PRESIDENT'S CORNER: Opportunities to Grow Your Business

August 2019

As we enter the final weeks of summer, we can look forward to the stunningly beautiful days of fall. We so often take for granted the beauty of our region, and forget how very fortunate we are to live in an area that offers us all so much. Millions of people throughout the world travel…

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Richard Haggerty

GATEWAY PERSPECTIVES: A Mixed Bag

July 2019

The New York State legislative session came to an end in June, and it was certainly a session like no other in recent history. With the Democrats in control of both the Senate and the Assembly, bills and initiatives that had been stuck in limbo for years were acted upon with new energy. In total,…

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Ron Garafalo

PRESIDENT'S CORNER: Half Way Home

July 2019

Hello Friends, As we begin the second half of the year, I congratulate all of you on all the business you did in the first half of the year. It has been a very busy year. Yes, I know certain areas are busier than others. Some have price increases this year, while others are down…

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Jennifer Maher

PUTNAM POSTING: Promoting Tourism and the Local Economy

July 2019

As the summer heats up, I realize it is time for me to do my annual Putnam County summer article. As I say every year, Putnam County is a great place to summer! We truly have it all—water, beaches woods, swamps, hills to hike, as well as shopping and dining! “Staycations” are popular in today’s…

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Richard Haggerty

GATEWAY PERSPECTIVES: You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know

June 2019

I’m not sure how long that saying has been around, but it does resonate with me, because in order to make informed decisions, you need to know what you don’t know. For example, what services do our members value? What are they most concerned about? What keeps them up at night? What is their work/life…

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Ron Garafalo

PRESIDENT'S CORNER: Pressing Our Case in Albany and DC

June 2019

Hello friends, as we approach the beginning of summer and get close to the halfway point of 2019, I hope that all of you are having a very productive year and are taking some time to enjoy yourself as well. It has been a very busy year for me and one that has reinforced my…

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Philip Weiden

LEGISLATIVE AFFAIRS: Realtors Gather in D.C. to Push Pro-Housing Agenda

May 2019

Thousands of Realtors, including an HGAR contingent led by Legislative Committee Chair Leah Caro and President Ron Garafalo, gathered in Washington D.C. (May 13-17) to meet with their respective members of Congress in the House and Senate. Their meetings centered around the issues currently impacting the real estate industry. Among the topics discussed were mortgage…

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Richard Haggerty

GATEWAY PERSPECTIVES: Still a Long Way to Go!

May 2019

Last month was Fair Housing Month, and HGAR’s Fair Housing and Cultural Diversity Committee, chaired by Dorothy Botsoe and Eydie Lopez, coordinated a wonderful event to celebrate Fair Housing Month entitled “Play by the Rules or Pay the Consequences.” The speakers were Sally Santangello, the executive director of CNY Fair Housing from Central New York,…

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Philip Weiden

LEGISLATIVE AFFAIRS: Realtors Head to D.C. for Capitol Hill Visits

May 2019

HGAR members, along with Realtors from across the country, are headed at press time to the annual NAR Legislative meetings in Washington DC to meet with their Congressional representatives and advocate for Realtor issues. Among the topics of discussion this year include the National Flood Insurance program. Realtors are fighting to reauthorize the program for…

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Ron Garafalo

PRESIDENT'S CORNER: June is National Homeownership Month

May 2019

June is National Homeownership month, a time to celebrate and promote the American Dream of owning a home. Realtors know that homeownership is the best investment an individual can make to build their personal wealth, however, owning a home is not just in the best interest of the homeowner. Homeownership provides social stability, builds communities…

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Jennifer Maher

Putnam County Business Council Hosts First Leadership Breakfast

May 2019

The Putnam County Business Council recently welcomed representatives from the New York City Department of City Planning at the April 25th Putnam County Leadership Breakfast, held at Tilly Foster Farm in Brewster. During her presentation, Carolyn Grossman Meagher addressed several inequalities and the need for New York City to reach out to its neighboring communities…

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Philip Weiden

LEGISLATIVE AFFAIRS: Realtors to Present Priorities at Lobby Day in Albany

May 2019

Members of the Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors will be heading to Albany on Tuesday, May 7th to present HGAR’s legislative priorities to our Senators and Assembly members. Realtors achieved a victory this year when Governor Cuomo made the property tax cap part of the budget and which caps real property taxes at 2% or…

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Ron Garafalo

PRESIDENT'S CORNER: Let Our Voices Be Heard

April 2019

Hello friends. This is the time of the year to let the voice and message of all of us to be heard. I have often said that what we do is one of the most important jobs in our country. We are responsible for working with our clients in what is most likely the largest…

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Philip Weiden

LEGISLATIVE AFFAIRS: April Federal and State Legislative Update

April 2019

FHA Mitigates Risk in Portfolio The Federal Housing Administration announced that effective for mortgages with case numbers assigned on or after March 18, 2019, the Technology Open to Approved Lenders (TOTAL) Mortgage Scorecard may flag certain mortgages submitted through the automated underwriting system (AUS) and require the lender to manually underwrite those loans. FHA is…

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Richard Haggerty

GATEWAY PERSPECTIVES: Raising the Bar

April 2019

Raising the bar of professionalism. Improving the ethical standards of the industry. Expanding the competency of agents. These are discussions we have heard over the years and they continue to this day with even more urgency. HGAR President Ron Garafalo has made the mission of improving the level of professionalism in the real estate industry…

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Howard Greenberg

GUEST VIEWPOINT: Some Advice for Commercial Tenants in 2019 and Beyond

March 2019

The Westchester commercial real estate market is in the midst of a significant transition in 2019. Individual buildings and large portfolios are being sold to new owners, and the availability of certain types of spaces is extremely low. Tenants need to understand today’s market dynamics and what is happening in terms of pricing to properly…

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