Authors Posts by Michael Ardolino

Michael Ardolino


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By Michael Ardolino

Michael Ardolino

In last month’s column, we talked about the importance of keeping an eye on the news regarding real estate trends. I mentioned Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen appeared before a Senate panel on Sept. 28 to testify in a hearing about economic recovery.

Fortunately, the Senate passed a temporary extension of the debt ceiling, which allows the government enough funding until December.


Decisions like this affect the housing market. When the debt ceiling isn’t raised, interest rates and mortgage rates rise, which influences mortgage rates and in turn new homebuyers and sellers.

There has been a slight increase in mortgage rates. According to Freddie Mac, early in October rates passed 3%. What experts do is watch the U.S Treasury yield when they predict mortgage rates because there is a strong correlation between the yield and the 30-year mortgage rate.

Sam Khater, chief economist at Freddie Mac, said, “We expect mortgage rates to continue to rise modestly which will likely have an impact on home prices, causing them to moderate slightly after increasing over the last year.”


Homeowners for months have enjoyed an attractive year-to-year home price appreciation due to not enough homes on the market. Findings from sources such as FHFA, CoreLogic and S&P/Case Shiller back this up.

Bill McBride, who writes the blog Calculated Risk, said recently that his “sense is the Case Shiller National Annual Growth Rate of 19.7 percent is probably close to a peak. And year-over-year price increases will slow later this year.”

When mortgage rates rise, we usually see changes such as house prices and the length of time it takes a home to sell. Trends are showing the market will slow down slightly in the final quarter of the year.

Analyst expert Ivy Zelman has said that “closings are set to decline roughly 10 percent year over year in the second half of 2021 and home price appreciation is on the cusp of flipping to a decelerating trend.”

What we as real estate experts are talking about is not depreciation. Decelerating at this time means increased home price appreciation at a slower or more moderate rate. This moderate rate, experts believe, will continue into the next year. 


We’re seeing this trend around the country. If you’re planning on moving or downsizing to an area that was once considered in demand, make sure to talk to a real estate agent in the town you’re planning to move to, and they can tell you what the current trends are in their market.

The time is now while the housing market is still up. While things are trending slightly to higher interest rates, prices are really good, and the housing market is changing at a moderate pace. Now is the time to get the most for your investment or lock in a fantastic mortgage rate. So … let’s talk.

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

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By Michael Ardolino

Michael Ardolino

In past columns, I’ve mentioned how it’s important to keep an eye on real estate trends when deciding whether to sell your home. There are some slight changes, but once homeowners know all the information, they’ll find fall is looking good. 

It’s still a sellers’ market

The housing market may be cooling slightly as temperatures dip, but it’s still the time to sell. 

Odeta Kushi, First American Financial Corporation’s deputy chief economist, recently commented on the current housing market. “We are seeing some signs of softening in the housing market, but context is important here … We’re still very much in a sellers’ market, but we are seeing some early signs of softening.” 

Earlier in the year, the real estate market saw record-low inventory which meant homes were selling for more than they would have been just a couple of years ago. Over the last few months, inventory has grown slowly, and there are fewer buyers out there. 

Data from the real estate technology firm OJO Labs confirms that the housing market continues to be competitive. The firm’s data shows that 49.6% of homes sold for more than the initial list price in July. In July 2020, it was 26.8%.

One of the most important things to know in the housing market is the definition of “months supply.” The term means the number of months it would take for the current inventory in the housing market to sell. The current sales pace is the main factor. The rule of thumb is six months of supply equals moderate price appreciation. When listings are low, prices go up.

Looking to the future

Many experts have said sales were slowing down because of a lack of supply. The strong demand is still there, and lately there has been an increase in listings. However, more homes on the market are still needed.

Danielle Hale, chief economist for, has said, “If these changing inventory dynamics continue, we could see a wave of real estate activity heading into the latter part of the year.”

For the fall, experts are expecting a busy season. More sellers are putting their homes on the market which is something we normally see in the spring.

Tune in to the news

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen appeared before a Senate panel Tuesday, Sept. 28. They testified in a hearing about economic recovery. The overall economy, which has shown signs of slowing, affects the real estate market, and we’ll talk more about this in next month’s column.


When deciding on selling or buying a home, timing is everything, and trends and staying on top of financial news can help you make the right decision for you and your family. I’ll be keeping on top of the trends and financial news for you. So … let’s talk.

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

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By Michael Ardolino

Michael Ardolino

With autumn weather around the corner, real estate trends and values are still looking good. This news is fantastic for those who want to move before it gets cooler.

Ready to move

For those planning to move at the beginning of next year, now may be the time to put your house up for sale. The market is still moving quickly, and you want to be ready. Being here for the holidays is one thing; however, you may not want to be on Long Island for the entire winter. 

Keep in mind, as mentioned in previous columns, the trend from western Long Island is that houses are taking a little longer to sell.

One step at a time

Sometimes people who are moving, especially those who are downsizing or want to simplify their new living space, look around their house and say, “What am I going to do with all this stuff?”

Packing up doesn’t have to be a horrible chore. If you’re lucky to have your new home — say a winter place that you’re now making your permanent residence — you already have an idea of how much space you will have.

Go around your future home and measure the rooms, cabinets and any other storage space. Having these measurements will make it easier to decide what goes with you and what gets sold or donated.

If you don’t know where you’re moving to yet, think about how big you want your new home to be. Then you’ll have an educated guess about what to pack up and what to donate.

Remember to take it room by room when deciding what you’re taking with you and plan to do a bit each day. Decide what furniture is going with you first since some pieces also provide storage. If you’re going to use the bookshelf in your new house, then there’s a place for some of your books.

Some easy things to get rid of are multiple items or clothes you haven’t worn in a decade. Do your children no longer live at home, but their stuff still lives with you? Ask them to come over to help you go through the things they left behind.

The key is still pricing

One of the most important conversations you can have with your real estate agent is about pricing. It’s important to be knowledgeable and reasonable about your home’s worth. A lot of people see a house sold in their neighborhood, one that may look the same from the outside, and think they can get the same amount.

Remember … you can’t judge a book by its cover. The house down the street may be the same style house, with the same square footage and rooms, but there can be differences inside that can play a part in pricing — good or bad.

Be proactive

It’s important to meet with a real estate professional whether you plan to sell now or in the future. The agent will go over your options for when you decide to sell and your home’s current market value.

They will look through your home and give you valuable advice. For example, has the kitchen not been renovated in a few decades? They may suggest some creative, less expensive upgrades that will make a difference financially once you do sell the home.


It’s never too early to talk about an important decision such as selling your home. Real estate professionals can help you with these important conversations. So, let’s talk. 

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

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Michael Ardolino

By Michael Ardolino

It has been a busy summer. The warmer months can be somewhat slow in real estate. This year the season has been on the robust side.

Looking good

If the market keeps going in the same direction, the odds are 2021 will end strong.

To answer the popular questions people have been asking, “Are we in a housing bubble? Is the market going to crash and burn?” What experts in the field will tell you is “no” to both.

These are valid questions. Many remember the mid-2000s when borrowers were defaulting on their subprime mortgages, which typically were given to those with low credit ratings. This set off a domino effect because what happens in the real estate market affects the economy overall.

Experts say what increases the chances of remaining more stable than where we were in the mid-2000s is that people can’t get a mortgage as easily now. Banks are looking for buyers with credit scores on the high side who can afford a solid down payment.

It also makes a difference in the market overall when homeowners are refinancing their home, they need to maintain 20% equity. We weren’t seeing that 15 years ago and houses were “underwater,” which means the property value had fallen to the point where the owner had a higher principal than what the home was worth.

Trends from the west

In last month’s column, I advised everyone to keep an eye on the market in Queens. The borough was starting to see a slight shift where more homes were coming to that market and taking a little longer to go to contract.

We are seeing the number of listings increasing in Nassau as well. Queens is still in the lead though showing in the last few months around a 125% increase in listings over last year. Nassau has a more than 50% increase. Here in Suffolk, the listing increase has been in the 30s percentile.

Suffolk County is experiencing the highest percentage of growth in sales on record.

Timing is everything

Experts are still saying this is the time to buy. The Federal Reserve announced on July 28 that interest rates would remain low. This will continue to help buyers and sellers secure a low mortgage rate for the home they have been dreaming about.

Nobody wants to enter into a bidding war for their dream home. There is a benefit to this right now. If you come out the top bidder, while interest rates are still historically low, you will be locked into a payment that is still within your budget despite it being a seller’s market.

In its Primary Mortgage Market Survey released July 29, mortgage professionals Freddie Mac showed that the 30-year fixed-rate mortgages are averaging under 3%.

“As the economy works to get back to its pre-pandemic self, and the fight against COVID-19 variants unfolds, owners and buyers continue to benefit from some of the lowest mortgage rates of all-time,” said Sam Khater, chief economist at Freddie Mac, in a press release.


The real estate market is a dynamic one where potential sellers and buyers need to be aware of trends. We’re watching the trends for you. So, let’s talk.

Michael Ardolino is the Founder/Owner-Broker of Realty Connect USA. Click here for website.

By Michael Ardolino

Michael Ardolino

Last month’s column ended with some advice, “When thinking about selling your home, stay tuned to the news.”

News and trends

Currently, the market is still good for sellers and buyers with high inventory and decent mortgage rates. There are some things to keep an eye on as the year continues.

We have been paying attention to the news as well as what’s trending west in Queens. There’s been a slight shift where more homes are coming to that market and taking a little longer to go to contract. This is important to pay attention to in the coming months.

Buyers and sellers need to keep in mind that we’ve been experiencing slight inflation. We are spending more on gas, food and other necessities, which in turn, means less in buyers’ budgets to spend on a new home. 

Stay abreast of the current mortgage rates as experts such as Freddie Mac are predicting slight increases by year-end. The good news is that the predicted increase is one the experts believe will be a modest one and historically low.

Where to go

With now being a good time to sell, some homeowners may be asking, “Where do I go?” Moving off of Long Island is a big decision even for potential sellers looking to downsize and retire to a warmer state or one with lower taxes. If you’re not ready just yet, take a look at a condo. This option can satisfy the goal of less upkeep of your property as you won’t be shoveling snow or weeding your garden.

Some homeowners are surprised to see how much units cost, yet there are other things to consider. In the long run, you may save on taxes and upkeep. Looking to stay in the condo for a few years? Your equity can grow. One piece of advice, make sure to look at homeowners association fees before deciding to buy one.

A look at home price appreciation 

In more good news for homeowners, the most recent Home Price Expectations Survey — a survey of a national panel of over 100 economists, real estate experts and investment and market strategists — forecasts home prices will continue appreciating over the next five years, adding to the record amount of equity homeowners have already gained over the past year. 

What does this mean? 

The amount of household wealth a homeowner stands to earn going forward is substantial. As the graph on the right illustrates, a homeowner could increase their net worth by a significant amount — over $93,000 by 2026. 


Home prices are expected to continue appreciating over the next five years, and the associated equity gains are the quickest way homeowners can build household wealth, if you’re a current homeowner who’s ready to take advantage of your built-up equity.

So, let’s talk. 

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


By Michael Ardolino

Michael Ardolino

Today’s buyers are looking for a home they can move right into. I wrote briefly about preparing your house in our May column. This month let’s take a closer look at what you need to do to get your house ready to sell.

Be proactive

Considering selling your home in the fall or winter months? Early summer is the perfect time to get your house ready.

In the long run, doing repairs now can save you money. You can compare prices when hiring someone to do the job or looking for material to do the work yourself.

Ready to go

With demanding careers and long commutes, some buyers don’t have the time for a fixer-upper. Also, take a fresh look at your space. Understand people are looking for rooms or dedicated space for a home office and for their children to take virtual classes and study.

First impressions

First impressions are everything. A well-manicured lawn will capture a potential buyer’s eye immediately. Mow the grass, trim the bushes and trees and weed the garden regularly. Carefully inspect pools, fences, doors, gutters and roofs for damage. And if you can’t pull a car into the garage, it’s time to sift through the junk. Rent a dumpster, or better yet, check out social media groups where you post your items for neighbors to pick up, such as the freecycle pages on Facebook.

You may not need to paint the exterior of your house, but power washing it and a fresh coat of paint on the front door can make a difference.

Just think, if you start working on the outside now, you can enjoy it yourself while you’re relaxing by the pool or out on the deck or porch.

Working on the inside

Once you’re done with the outside, take a good look at the inside of your house. Buyers tend to love a minimalist style.

Take a look at websites such as Pottery Barn for fresh, simple decorating ideas. Search through apps such as Pinterest for trending home colors for 2021. These colors tend to be on the lighter side. There are some beautiful neutral shades and blue tones out there. When compared to darker shades, the new colors can give your home a more modern look.


When thinking about selling your home, stay tuned to the news. Last Saturday, U.S. Secretary of Treasury Janet Yellen said inflation could climb as high as 3% this year. This is a trend we may see as the economy recovers from the adverse effects of COVID-19. However, she has also been quoted in The Washington Post as saying nothing is set in stone.

“We’ll watch this very carefully, keep an eye on it and try to address issues that arise if it turns out to be necessary,” she said.

I’ll be keeping an eye on this, too, and delve into more real estate news, trends and tips in future columns.

So, let’s talk. 

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

Michael Ardolino

By Michael Ardolino

It’s been a while since we’ve been able to share our thoughts, and it’s fantastic to be back. I look forward to sharing what’s happening in the real estate market in upcoming columns.

For homeowners looking to sell, this is the time to do it. As more people are moving away from densely populated areas, residents in our communities have seen an increase in demand for their homes.

Why is timing important?

If you’ve been thinking of selling your home, there’s no time like the present, because houses in our area are currently in high demand. 

In a future column, we’ll be watching the trends and sharing more details about supply and demand and what’s best for your situation.

For now, it’s important to know that you have the opportunity to get an excellent return on your investment, and the more money you get for your current house, the more options you’ll have when buying your new home.

Get ready

If you haven’t been part of a real estate transaction in decades, you may not realize how quickly a sale can occur in the age of technology. Many buyers research homes online, and most of them already have their mortgage pre-approval letters in hand. Sellers need to be prepared for their house to sell soon after they list it.

What does it mean to get ready?

Now is the time to sit down and have important conversations with those who understand the market to discuss your options. 

If you’re a seller looking to buy a new home, you not only want to receive the best price for your current house but also get the best mortgage rate for your new home.

When your house goes up on the market, there’s a lot of preparation. Take a good look at your home and ask yourself what repairs do you need to work on in the next few weeks. Does the roof need to be fixed? How about that basement? Does it need to be emptied out? When it comes time to list your home, you want to present it in the best possible condition. So, for example, if you’re looking to sell your house in late summer, now is the time to get moving on repairs and upgrades.

The future looks bright

With COVID-19 restrictions lifting, and as we’re moving away from the pandemic, clients can stop by the office and houses can be shown in-person to clients.

Even if you’re thinking of moving in the fall or early next year, it’s time to consider your wants and needs when it comes to selling your home.

So, let’s talk.

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