Authors Posts by Michael Ardolino

Michael Ardolino


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By Michael Ardolino

Michael Ardolino

One trend remains from the “unicorn years” — people continue to move away from dense areas and are attracted to Suffolk County’s North Shore. The allure of suburban living continues to grow as potential buyers reinvent their lives with less traffic and fewer crowds than in the city.

Inventory low, appreciation high

Buyers attracted to our towns and villages need houses to buy, and yours could be one of them.

Suffolk County experienced a slight increase of .6% in the number of homes on the market from September to October. While the norm during colder months is a decrease in inventory, after a few years of a sellers market, the recent increase isn’t enough to satisfy demand. 

Last month, Suffolk County homes sold for 3.6% more than they did last year at the same time. In October, nearly 60% of homes sold for over the asking price, providing a golden opportunity for potential sellers to sell now.

Listing before 2023 ends or early in the new year while competition is still low can result in higher demand for your home and, possibly, a more lucrative offer.

Potential sellers who have paid a good percentage of their mortgage — especially if they are downsizing or retiring to a less expensive area — can pay off a new home or most of it, avoiding high mortgage rates. Rates can be refinanced in the future, and if they continue to increase, with a fixed mortgage rate, you’re locked in. 

Before you list

Selling a home requires careful consideration and planning. Here are some key steps:

◆ Meet with a real estate professional and get all the facts to make an educated and confident decision about selling.

◆ Before you choose a broker, ask how many homes an agent has sold in the past year.

◆ Visit your dream town to see if it meets your expectations and how the market is doing there.

◆ Just flirting with the idea of selling? Start making repairs on your home.

◆ Remodeling? Consider who today’s average buyer is and what they would look for in a home. 


Make an informed decision. Selling or buying a home is a financial investment and a lifestyle choice. Sit down with a trusted real estate professional to make the best of today’s market and the wisest decision for you and your family.

So … let’s talk.

Michael Ardolino is the Founder/Owner Broker of Realty Connect USA

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By Michael Ardolino

Michael Ardolino

‘Unicorn’ Years

There’s no room for fairy tales in real estate. Many headlines have occurred because many articles compare today’s real estate market with the last few years, which experts have dubbed the “unicorn” years where home prices reached unsustainable record highs.

A few years ago, a frenzy in the market began. We saw record high sale prices and incredible opportunities for both buyers and sellers. Sellers sold above top dollar and buyers had the lowest mortgage rate at their fingertips. The market seemed too good to be true but it all really happened. As we return to a more normal market you may ask yourself “Did I miss out on selling my home for a great price? The answer is “No! You haven’t missed out on selling your home for top dollar!” Inventory is still so low that there is not much competition for sellers.

Inventory has been low for a long time, and plenty of potential buyers remain on the market. The lack of inventory has maintained a market that favors sellers and buyers.

Homeowners thinking of selling would be wise to get their houses on the market. With a lack of inventory and a great amount of buyers, there is still competition for homes on the market.

“When supply is so low, your house is going to be in the spotlight. That’s why sellers are seeing their homes sell a little faster and get more offers right now. If you’ve thought about selling, now’s the time to make a move.” – Keeping Current Matters


Overall inventory is very low. Sellers are still selling for top dollar and buyers are still lining up to buy homes on Long Island. If you’re thinking of selling in the near future,  Autumn is the ideal time to take care of minor maintenance around your home. You’ll want to have your furnace inspected, change the air filters, inspect chimneys, trim trees and clean the gutters. For sellers, the time is right.  So … let’s talk.

Michael Ardolino is the Founder/Owner Broker of Realty Connect USA

Graph from Michael Ardolino

By Michael Ardolino

Michael Ardolino

Many real estate experts will tell you when selling a house, no matter what the market is like, the seller can get a great return on their investment if they understand market trends. This particular piece of advice is always worth repeating.

Right now 

Many buyers were starting to acclimate to raising mortgage rates, which doubled within months in 2022. Lately, things have been improving. As of April 6, Freddie Mac reported an average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage of 6.28%, which was down from 6.32% the week before, making it the fourth seven-day period in a row where rates decreased.

A dip in mortgage rates leads to more buyers returning to the market.  

For countless potential homeowners, the obstacle will not be the mortgage rates; it will be the low inventory.

“Mortgage rates continue to trend down entering the traditional spring homebuying season,” said Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s chief economist, in a press release. “Unfortunately, those in the market to buy are facing a number of challenges, not the least of which is the low inventory of homes for sale, especially for aspiring first-time homebuyers.”

Low inventory combined with higher rates than last year means prices are remaining steady across Long Island.

In a recent article on the Keeping Current Matters website, Lawrence Yun, chief economist at the National Association of Realtors, projected home prices will remain steady. “We simply don’t have enough inventory,” Yun said. “Will some markets see a price decline? Yes. [But] with the supply not being there, the repeat of a 30% price decline is highly, highly unlikely.”

In other words, most real estate experts are not predicting another housing crash.

Be a savvy seller

While home prices remain steady, buyers are not offering more than the asking price for houses that need work. How do you get your house to sell quickly? Make any necessary repairs. As I have mentioned in past columns, this doesn’t mean elaborate renovations. It means you must fix that leaky faucet, running toilet or damaged flooring.

Sellers also need to be flexible with showings. Keep your home clean and organized so that when an agent calls to say a buyer wants to look at your home, it can be viewed at a moment’s notice.

Most important of all, now more than ever, you want to work with a real estate agent who prices your home realistically. Look at what similar homes sold for in the past couple of weeks, not the last few years.

Take away

Sellers who are practical regarding pricing — looking at today’s prices and not yesterday’s — and choose to work with a real estate professional can garner a great return on their investment. 

So … let’s talk.

Michael Ardolino is the Founder/Owner-Broker of Realty Connect USA

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By Michael Ardolino

Michael Ardolino

Real estate professionals are seeing more foot traffic at open houses, and here’s why.

Spring is in the air

The early part of the year can be slow for the housing market. As the weather warms up and the days are longer, more people search for their next home. Spring is a perfect time for potential buyers with children to look for a house before a new school year begins.

The trend means real estate agents are seeing more predictable seasonal patterns than in the last few years.

Inventory remains low  

One of the main reasons open houses have been busy is that the Suffolk County housing market is still experiencing a supply shortage. Low inventory is key in how the real estate market is favoring homeowners.

Buyers may not find what they are searching for when they attend open houses. Your home could be the exact one someone dreams of and would love to move into in the upcoming months — if the price is right.

As I have mentioned in past columns, to do well in today’s market, sellers need to ensure that their homes are priced correctly. An expert real estate professional studies national and local trends and is able to translate that information to help you make a decision based on trustworthy information. One that will have your house on the market at a price that is attractive in today’s market.

For homeowners who aren’t ready to sell just yet, now is the time to start prepping your home and sitting with an agent. Financial experts believe 2023 will be a positive turning point in the housing market, despite national news headlines threatening a crash.

Those experts include Nadia Evangelou, senior economist and director of research at the National Association of Realtors, who told the website Markets Insider, “We don’t expect any housing crash.” Backing that forecast is NAR’s pending home sales index sales showing slightly higher sales in the last two months.

Buyers are out there

While mortgage rates have been going up, savvy buyers know that they can renegotiate a better rate at a later time. Mortgage applications have increased by 7.4% as of March 3 from the week before, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. 

Here’s another thing knowledgeable buyers know — the rates can be even higher. When looking at historical data on Freddie Mac’s website, people will find that every decade, starting with the 1970s, has experienced highs and lows regarding mortgage rates.

The increase has been due to the Federal Reserve’s taking an aggressive stance to curb inflation. While mortgage rates have deterred some potential buyers, it hasn’t hindered others.

“Higher mortgage rates will be a hurdle but ultimately will not keep  [buyers] from getting back into the market after sitting on the sidelines for months,” said Lisa Sturtevant, Chief Economist at Bright MLS.


In the long run, sellers and buyers can do well as long as they know to gather all the information they need. Whether it’s a buyer looking for the best mortgage rates and knowing they can renegotiate a better one in a few years, or a seller pricing their home at a competitive price, real estate professionals can provide valuable information to help make crucial decisions. 

So … let’s talk.

Michael Ardolino is the Founder/Owner-Broker of Realty Connect USA

By Michael Ardolino

Michael Ardolino

There is optimism and opportunity in the current real estate market.

What’s trending

Mortgage rates hovered in the 6% range over the last two months after peaking at 7.08% last fall, according to FreddieMac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey. As of Thursday, Feb. 9, FreddieMac reports a 6.12% rate. We’re now seeing more buyers infiltrate the market again who pulled out during the recent rate hikes. Renewed opportunity for a larger buyer pool means you may see more action for your house, and possibly more offers that will come in. As for buyers, it’s still very early, and you can get into the home you’re looking for before other buyers continue joining the market again.

“Mortgage rates are the dominant factor driving home sales, and recent declines in rates are clearly helping to stabilize the market,” said Lawrence Yun, National Association of Realtors chief economist.

Lisa Sturtevant, Bright MLS chief economist, also stated, “Mortgage rates fell throughout January, prompting more buyers to view properties and make offers. Inflation has begun to ease, boosting consumer confidence. Many agents and brokers are expecting a robust [housing] market, and the overall mood in the market feels much more optimistic.”

Why now?

Unemployment at 3.4%, easing inflation, and low rates improve affordability significantly. This gives your buyers more room to bid higher on your house, and as a buyer yourself, you can submit a much stronger offer than you would when rates are higher.

It’s important to understand that 6%, and even 7%, rates are still low when compared to how high they’ve gone several times in the past, and you’re still getting a great rate. Although rates dropped throughout January, there are mixed predictions about what the rest of the year will bring. Local home prices are stabilizing, while inventory remains low and is inching toward a more balanced market (see graph). Knowing the theory of supply versus demand, wise sellers can jump to put their house on the market before inventory continues to increase.

Timing, how you price your house, and guidance from a real estate professional who does research and stays up to date on the market is essential to your bottom line and how quickly your house will sell.


Take advantage of your built-up equity and the current market: historically low rates, easing inflation, low unemployment and low housing inventory. An experienced real estate agent who does their due diligence of research and homework, as well as stays up to date on current market trends, will make a significant impact on the success of selling your home. 

So … let’s talk.

Michael Ardolino is the Founder/Owner-Broker of Realty Connect USA

By Michael Ardolino

Michael Ardolino

So far, there is much less inventory on the market for the first quarter of the new year than originally predicted. What this means for sellers is less competition than previously anticipated and a higher chance of selling your home for top dollar. Inventory is not easily predicted accurately, so sellers should continuously watch inventory levels and make decisions based on current facts and statistics. 

As for buyers, it’s also savvy to focus on mortgage rates. The year 2022 showed a clear positive correlation — meaning variables or values that travel in the same direction — between inventory and mortgage rates. When mortgage rates changed, so did inventory. Rates are nearly double what they were this time last year, and it’s clear that has affected inventory. (See graph above). The great news is these rates are still very low (especially compared to rates in the 7% range last October), competition is softer among buyers versus January 2022, and there are still options to buy. 

According to Mike Simonsen at Altos Research, “the data doesn’t say ‘wait for an influx of homes.” He goes on to explain there is more inventory than this time last year, so buyers now have more options. There is no concrete evidence that supports the idea that a sudden wave of inventory is hitting the market. With fluctuating mortgage rates, taking advantage of the current market is strongly recommended.

Job market affects housing market 

According to The New York Times’ December Job Report, several fields, such as medical, retail, construction, etc., generated job growth. “Employers added 223,000 jobs in December, the Labor Department reported.” Unemployment stands at 3.5%, proving stability and a healthy workforce.

Lydia DePillis at The New York Times states, “layoffs and initial claims for unemployment insurance have remained extremely low, while the gap between the number of available workers and listed jobs is far larger than its historical average,” meaning less available, or unemployed workers in a time of high employee demand. Jobs added to the market and current decrease in unemployment will lead to more potential homebuyers, especially with many looking to buy instead of rent. 

I’ve mentioned in previous articles the “shining star” of real estate is equity. Property ownership is one of the greatest hedges against inflation and can be tapped into in cases of emergencies. Since data of our local real estate market does not show price depreciation in the near future, purchasing a home now will build your equity and will provide a sizable return on investment (ROI) when you resell. 


Right now is still an excellent opportunity to put your home on the market, and things are looking up for buyers as well. Sellers should take advantage of the current low inventory levels, and both sellers and buyers should take advantage of historically low mortgage rates and a strong job market. Equity in real estate is an excellent financial hedge, and locally appreciating homes will increase your ROI in a future resale. So … let’s talk. 

Michael Ardolino is the Founder/Owner-Broker of Realty Connect USA

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By Michael Ardolino

Michael Ardolino

The market is shifting; sellers and buyers will still see home price appreciation and gains in their equity.

How does the shift affect home prices?

Demand remains higher than supply, so home prices are appreciating, and sellers will still get a good amount of offers even if it takes a bit longer. In Suffolk County, houses appreciated nearly 10% and higher since last year and more than 50% got over the asking price. Sellers are still making a significant profit.

The steep incline of market values and buyer rush is now pacing itself and most experts predict the appreciation will continue. David Ramsey, a personal finance personality, says, “The root issue of what drives house prices almost always is supply and demand…” and we couldn’t agree more. When priced correctly, houses are still selling at record-high prices and low days on the market.

Certainty of equity

One certainty in a time of uncertainty, mixed news, and mixed predictions, is the value of equity in real estate. According to CoreLogic’s 2022 Q2 Home Equity Report, “the total average equity per borrower has now reached almost $300,000, the highest in the data series.” 

The year-over-year equity percentage for U.S. homeowners with a mortgage has increased 27.8%; this is a $60.2K average equity gain.

Selma Hepp, interim lead of the Office of the Chief Economist, CoreLogic, stated “For many households, home equity is the only source of wealth creation. As a result, recent record gains in equity and record declines in loan-to-value ratios will provide many owners with a financial buffer in case economic conditions worsen. In addition, record equity continues to provide fuel for housing demand, particularly if households are relocating to more affordable areas.”

Equity builds long-term wealth gain for homeowners, and should you want access to additional funds, you can always rely on the equity you’ve grown. In times of financial uncertainty, follow the certain.

The shining star

Sellers, as your home value has appreciated considerably, tap into the profit from your equity and take advantage of the current market conditions. Timing is everything and ask your local real estate professional to help you research the area you’re looking to move. Your real estate agent can also help you connect with a professional in that location with expertise in their market conditions.

Homebuyers are future sellers, and they can feel confident to invest in a home now and build their own equity knowing price appreciation is forecasted. When a homebuyer becomes a seller, they’ve already paid off some of their mortgage and can take advantage of the real estate market at the time and come out with a significant profit themselves.


So, the shining star of the market is demand still predominates supply. Home price appreciation is still forecasted, and equity gains are at record-highs. A market shift can be easily navigable with the help of a real estate professional.  So … let’s talk.

Michael Ardolino is the Founder/Owner-Broker of Realty Connect USA.

By Michael Ardolino

Michael Ardolino

It’s a great time to sell/buy.

While there are more options, your home is still in high demand. Graph 1 in our advertisement on page B9 shows inventory still is not keeping up with demand, maintaining a seller’s market. The National Association of Realtors’ (NAR) data shows sellers are still receiving many offers.

Mortgage rates are still historically low, and rates have increased approximately 3% in the last nine months. Buyers are becoming less likely to get into bidding wars and are more cautious. The rush of over-bidding and waiving inspections or appraisals is decreasing.

Let’s go

Put your home on the market while inventory is low, and buyers compete for the best offer. Buyers are understanding the adjusting market and know they can still secure a low mortgage rate.

Since April we’ve seen an incline of month’s supply of homes for sale. In August, the month’s supply went from 2.9 to 2.0 months, dipping further back into a seller’s market. We’re still experiencing the effects of low inventory and high demand.

CoreLogic states “Annual home price growth slowed for the third consecutive month in July and remained historically elevated at 15.8%.” Home price appreciation is slowing— a deceleration not depreciation.

CoreLogic expects to see a more balanced housing market with year-over-year appreciation slowing to 3.8% by July 2023. The home price appreciation we’ve experienced are unsustainable and are expected to return to normal in the next year.

Take advantage of the timing and get a great price for your home now.

Your next move

A recent article from CNET explains: “Homeownership is still considered one of the most reliable ways to build wealth… You’re building equity in your home…”. Home values have appreciated so much over the last few years, you can now cash in on all the built-up equity. Once your home is sold, you’ll have access to funds to use for a sizable down payment or an all-cash purchase. Sellers are becoming more flexible and willing to negotiate, especially if your offer has a higher down payment or no mortgage contingency. You’ll know your budget and can secure the home and location you’re moving to, especially with more homes on the market. 


Timing is everything. It’s a great time to sell/buy, and as always in real estate, consult with a professional and make the best decision for you and your family.

So … let’s talk.

Michael Ardolino is the Founder/Owner-Broker of Realty Connect USA.

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By Michael Ardolino

Michael Ardolino

Strong seller’s market? Yes, historically it’s still a strong seller’s market. So, let’s get moving. 

Ready or not

Grab the opportunity now. While it still takes time to prepare your home to go on the market, homes are still selling quickly once the For Sale sign goes up. Once an offer is accepted, there are negotiations, inspections, and contracts to be signed.

The one tip that I believe is always worth repeating is price your house according to current real estate market conditions. This piece of advice can help you sell your home quicker and at a higher price. You want to find a price that doesn’t deter potential buyers which may lead to a price drop. 

Some buyers may see such a move as a red flag leaving them to wonder if there is something wrong with the house, when it could have been as simple as it was priced too high for the current market.

For those planning to upsize, downsize, retire, or simply start fresh, why wait? Now is the time to get your house ready to sell.

Seller’s choice

The supply of houses is still behind demand, which means homes continue to appreciate. The market is experiencing an extended period where supply cannot keep up with demand, leaving behind practically nothing to choose from, and it’s still rebounding. The appreciation is still rising. Those selling their house will still make a nice profit on a sale and did not miss the boat. The median price of Suffolk County homes in July 2022 was up nearly 10% since the same time last year. Within the last month or so, more than 65% of homes were sold over the asking price. 

What’s going on with buyers

Buyers are adjusting to the current market. Homebuyers understand that mortgage rates are still excellent and don’t want to miss a smart financial move, even though they are acting more cautiously. 

The recent intense market and rising and falling mortgage rates this year have kept things interesting. In the near future, experts are expecting a strong continued growth market. Get ahead of it by selling now.


There is no such thing as perfect; timing is everything. When your future includes a move, start discussions with a local real estate professional sooner rather than later. They will help you prepare your home and list it at the right price. So … let’s talk.

Michael Ardolino is the Founder/Owner-Broker of Realty Connect USA.

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Michael Ardolino

By Michael Ardolino

In last month’s column, I wrote about how the real estate market experiences its ups and downs. A few current trends are an example of how true that is.

Mortgage rates

While mortgage rates dropped half a percent the week ending July 7, they shifted slightly back up the following week to 5.51% for a 30-year fixed mortgage.

Keep in mind that the rates we have been seeing are still historically low, even with experts forecasting that the Federal Reserve will boost rates by ¾ of a percentage point at its next meeting.

Some financial experts believe we are headed toward a recession, and you may wonder what happens to interest rates in that scenario. Due to fewer people taking out loans, banks may offer interest rate programs to incentivize people. Currently, interest rates are still very low and can be locked in.

Inventory trend

After an extended seller’s market, there still isn’t enough inventory to keep up with the demand. Keep an eye on mortgage rates, though. Some may decide not to buy or sell, thinking they’ll get a better deal by waiting. This may not be the best decision for buyers or sellers and may also lead to an inventory increase. 

Experts are now forecasting that the increase will be more than 9% by the end of 2022, which means more competition. This increase will not occur instantaneously; it will take some time. Get that For Sale sign up before your neighbor does.

Foreclosures may play a factor in inventory increases, too. The COVID-19 Eviction and Foreclosures Act of 2020 enacted a moratorium until Jan.15, 2022. 

While experts are seeing a steady climb in foreclosures throughout the country, the ATTOM U.S. Foreclosure Market Report shows New York’s foreclosures are 13.3% less than the same period in 2020. It’s a trend to keep an eye on as the more houses foreclosed on, the more properties are available to buyers.

Another factor is the federal act helped slow down foreclosures during a time when homes were appreciating. For some who were about to default on their mortgages before the moratorium, they can now sell their homes for more money and pay off what they owed.

To touch on appreciation, according to a One Key MLS report, median sales prices in Suffolk County showed a nearly 11% increase from June 2021 to June 2022.

Here’s more good news for Suffolk County. In the last few months, the majority of homes were still selling in less than a month and about 23% quicker than they did last year during the same period. 


It’s all about pricing. When talking to a real estate professional, they should discuss current market factors, as well as details of your home, and help you price it accordingly. Also, proper pricing will enable you to sell your home to your timing and pricing expectations.


There are many moving pieces regarding how well a person will do when selling or buying a home. Considering buying your first home, downsizing, moving into a bigger place or to another state before the end of the year, now is the time to discuss your plans with a real estate professional. So … let’s talk.

Michael Ardolino is the Founder/Owner-Broker of Realty Connect USA.