Thursday, December 27, 2018

Home security tips for the holidays

(BPT) - For many, the holiday season means travel! In fact, millions of U.S. residents travel more than 50 miles away from home during the holiday season. Unfortunately, burglars are also aware of these holiday season travel statistics. While many families look forward to the holidays, it is easy to get carried away with excitement and forget to prepare your home for your time away. There's nothing worse than coming back from a relaxing vacation to a stressful situation at home, so it is best to be prepared and protect your home before you travel.

Home security matters

It may sound simple, but it is important for people to remember to set their home security systems to the appropriate settings before leaving for travel. Investing in a high-quality, easy-to-use security system grants the ultimate peace of mind for travelers. If you forget to arm your system before you leave, don't panic! Some home security systems let you arm, or disarm, your system by remotely accessing it via any smartphone, tablet or computer. You can also set up alerts to remind you if your system hasn't been armed.

You could also invest in a smart doorbell that automatically sends a text or email to you each time the bell is triggered. Take a look at your security cameras to make sure everything is OK, or have a trusted neighbor stop by. Smart doorbells can also trigger entryway lighting to give the illusion that someone is home.

Remote locks are also useful if you are planning on going away for the holidays, but still need to allow certain visitors into your home while you're gone. You'll be able to lock and unlock your doors remotely and be alerted every time the door is unlocked. This means if you happen to forget your house keys you'll be able to let yourself in when you return from vacation. If you're leaving your teens or young adult children behind this holiday season, you can get alerts for when they leave or come home. You can even set up an emergency automation that unlocks your doors if a fire is detected.

If you're still likely to worry with a home security system, smart doorbell and remote lock, then consider video surveillance. You'll be able see live video of your home from your smartphone, tablet or computer and sync your cameras to motion detectors so you can receive video clips of movement as soon as the sensors are triggered.

Don't let your home look abandoned

If your home looks like it has been abandoned, that is often a green light for a passing burglar.

It's one thing to arm your home security systems before you leave, but it's another step entirely to make sure your home looks lived in when you're gone. However, there are a few ways you can create this illusion:

* Ask a neighbor, friend or family member to help collect mail and packages, shovel snow and move cars. Trick burglars into thinking you are there.

* Use a smart lighting system that lets you program lights to come on at specific times each day. This is an easy way to make it look like you're home.

For more information and tips, visit:

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Mark Schreier of Century 21 American Homes Real Estate discusses the new Nassau County Assessment and its possible effect on home sales in the area.
Plus links on helping you understand the tax impact notice and where to find it on line.

Tax impact notice can be found at:
enter your property info than click tax impact notice link at the top

Detailed description of the notice:

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Has The Increased Mortgage Rates And Talk Of Property Tax Increases Affected The Local Market?

Mark Schreier of Century 21 American Homes Real Estate reviews sale price data   for the last three months.  Find out if the increased mortgage rates and talk of property tax increases affected the local market.

Monday, December 10, 2018

Winter weatherproofing: Preparing your home to stay safe and save energy

(BPT)The heat will certainly be on this winter. With winter storms hitting many parts of the country early in the winter season, furnaces are plugging away, causing heating bills across the country to increase. According to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), the typical U.S. family spends at least $2,200 per year on energy bills - with nearly half of that going toward heating and cooling.
To help homeowners combat the cost of heating a home during the winter months, Valerie Mastalka, a home heating and energy efficiency expert at Lennox, suggests looking at areas around the house to keep the warm air in and the cool air out.
"There are many simple, inexpensive ways consumers can save money on utility bills this winter, and still stay warm and cozy as temperatures begin to drop," said Mastalka. "By taking the initiative to weatherproof their homes before the start of the cold weather season, homeowners will be able to enjoy a warmer and more energy-efficient house. The little time it takes to make a few quick checks and adjustments can yield dividends in savings and comfort in the long run."
Repair the roof. It's important to inspect the roof to make sure shingles are in place to prevent water from seeping inside the house. Mastalka emphasizes that it can be dangerous to be on the roof once cold weather ensues, so check it out before the onset of winter. If large gaps are found, hire a professional roofing company to repair the problem areas. In addition, avoid covering roof vents or turbines for the winter as this will prevent air from circulating properly through the attic and will reduce the overall energy efficiency of the home.
Dodge the drafts. Air leaks caused by cracks or holes around windows and doors can enable warm indoor air to escape and cold outside air to seep in, preventing you from maintaining a consistent indoor temperature. To identify air leaks in outside-facing walls or doors, try holding a candle near suspect areas to reveal drafts and then seal leaks with caulk or weather stripping.
Mind the (chimney) gaps. To prevent warm indoor air from escaping the home, Mastalka reminds homeowners to keep fireplace dampers closed when not in use; however, always make sure the damper is fully opened before starting a fire. Look for any gaps in the mortar between bricks, as they can allow moisture to build up and compromise the roof's integrity. Also check for soot accumulation in the chimney, and if needed, hire a professional chimney sweep to perform a thorough cleaning before the start of winter.
Don't forget the furnace. Mastalka recommends having your furnace thoroughly inspected by a certified technician. In addition, changing furnace air filters at least once a month and vacuuming the heater vents in the living areas of the home will help keep your heating system clean and running efficiently. If your furnace is more than 15 years old, Lennox recommends upgrading to a high efficiency system, such as one of its variable-speed furnaces, which can save hundreds of dollars on utility costs.
Attend to the attic. The attic is one of the biggest culprits when it comes to heat loss. If you are experiencing high heating bills and having difficulty keeping your home warm, it could be time to add additional insulation to the attic. Mastalka says that attic insulation should be approximately five inches deep. Homeowners can hire a professional or add insulation themselves with portable blowing units available for rental at home improvement stores.
By making a few minor adjustments around the home, homeowners can help lessen safety concerns and reduce the amount of wasted energy - all while staying comfortable during the chilly season. To learn more about home energy efficiency and how you can save money on utility bills during the winter months, visit or

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Why Do You Have A Title Search When Purchasing A House?

What is a title search and why do we need title insurance when purchasing a house? Mark Schreier gives you the reason for this important process.

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Thursday, November 29, 2018

'Tis the season to get the home ready for holiday entertaining

Smart tips to prepare the kitchen and dining room for holiday entertaining

(BPT) - As the year winds down, social calendars fill up with merriment-filled gatherings among friends and family. When hosting a seasonal gathering at home, being proactive can help streamline tasks and reduce stress. From whipping up a feast to toasting in the New Year, here are five ideas for getting the heart of the home - the kitchen and dining spaces - ready for holiday entertaining.
Simplify measurements
Chopped veggies and pre-measured ingredients can streamline any cooking adventure and save precious time. Fill the fridge and pantry with ready-to-go items as much as possible and consider smart kitchen enhancements that make measuring a breeze. For example, the Beale MeasureFill touch kitchen faucet from American Standard provides an adjustable set amount of water on demand, giving holiday cooks the precise measurement faster than using conventional measuring cups. Plus, the easy touch on/off feature is ideal when hands are full or dirty; to operate, just touch it with the wrist or the back of the hand.
Prepare meal necessities
To create a holiday table worthy of a magazine spread, prepare all the plates, platters and servingware needed beforehand. This is a good time to take stock of place settings, too. (Important tip: Have an extra setting or two available for last-minute RSVPs or unexpected guests.) Whether it's a buffet-style meal or multi-course sit-down dinner, make sure to have enough serving utensils for everything on the menu, from appetizers to desserts.
Stock all washing spaces
Baking, cooking and entertaining tasks generate dirty dishes for days, so get wash spaces ready with fresh sponges, plenty of soap, drying racks and towels. Rotate between washing and cooking to eliminate a big mess at the end of entertaining. To ease the task of hand-washing large dishes, consider installing a sizable sink that also updates the kitchen's style. The handcrafted Pekoe apron-front kitchen sink from American Standard has a generously-sized single basin to accommodate large pots and pans; plus, the 18-gauge stainless steel material is stain-, heat- and chip-resistant.
Create clean, comfortable spaces
Clear clutter from common spaces where guests will be congregating for refreshments, meals and more. Focus on the dining room where guests will toast to a merry holiday, but don't forget the kitchen for visitors who might want to pitch in or provide good cheer and holiday conversation during last-minute meal preparations. Add extra chairs and seating as well as leaves to extend tables so there's plenty of room for everyone and all the delicious foods that will be served. The goal is for people to feel comfortably cozy without being overcrowded.
Manage multitasking
Multitasking is a must for big entertaining events. While appetizers are in the oven, wash a few dishes. When the main course is simmering, mingle with guests. To maximize time in the kitchen, think about enhancements that allow multitasking with ease, such as the K7 semi-professional faucet with foot control technology from GROHE. Busy or dirty hands? No problem. Turn the water flow on and off with a tap of the foot on an activation plate installed discreetly in the toe space of the kitchen cabinet. This allows more to get done easily, while helping prevent the spread of germs.
Holiday entertaining is simplified with a few modern home updates and smart cooking tricks. By focusing on the heart of the home, everyone will have a joyous season - especially the host or hostess.

Monday, November 26, 2018

How Using The Results Of Your Home Inspection Can Cause You To Lose Your Dream Home

Mark Schreier of Century 21 American Homes Real Estate discusses how using the results of a home inspection as leverage to lowering the agreed upon price can result in losing the deal.

Sunday, November 18, 2018

How To Save Money On Your Property Taxes...

Mark Schreier Realtor with Century 21 American Homes Real Estate discusses the different tax exemptions available through NYS and Nassau County.

For more info click the link below

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Monday, November 12, 2018

Plainview, NY Real Estate Market Report For October 2018

Mark Schreier realtor of Century 21 American Homes Real Estate discusses the Plainview, NY market activity for October 2018

Monday, November 5, 2018

How Will The New Nassau County Tax Assessment Affect Your List Price When Selling Your House?

How will the new Nassau County Property Assessment affect the listing price of your house. Mark Schreier of Century 21 American Homes Real Estate discusses this issue.

Monday, October 29, 2018

Tips for Doing the Final Walk-Through Before Closing a Home

What is the purpose of the final walk-through when closing on a home? Mark Schreier Licensed Realtor with Century 21 American Homes Real Estate discusses the importance of the process. He explains why you do a final walk-through and how to use it to protect your best interest during the sales process.
Please click the link below for a checklist to help you in the process.

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Get there intact: 5 tips toward a safe DIY moving day

 Changing residences can call for the coordination of a lot of details, and that’s especially true if you’re a do-it-yourselfer who’s renting a truck rather than hiring a moving company.
Though the U.S. Census Bureau estimates the average American changes homes 11.4 times in his lifetime, many of us never take time to think about the potential safety hazards involved. Usually we’re way more focused on the challenges of figuring out all the logistics, packing up our possessions in logical fashion and starting the psychological adjustment of having a new place of residence.
Still, it’s important to take a moment to think about best practices for the safety of you and your family as you plan your move. Consider taking the following steps toward a safe and organized moving process.
1. Assign roles. Organize your packing and loading crew so everyone knows his role. Your work will be much more efficient — and you won’t get in each other’s way — if your friends and family members are each assigned a task according to their physical capabilities. As a side note, you may wish to keep small children completely off-site so the adults can focus on the often-physical work at hand.
2. Choose a reputable rental company. Secure your moving truck from a reputable dealer, then follow its specific instructions for safely packing and driving the vehicle. Trusted longtime vendor Penske Truck Rental offers a clean, reliable, well-maintained vehicle every time, with a range of available packing and moving tools and the peace of mind that comes with 24-hour roadside assistance.
3. Optimize tools. Use dollies, hand trucks, harnesses and/or multiple people to lift boxes that weigh more than 50 pounds. If you’re a do-it-yourselfer you may take pride in being able to handle any chore yourself, but you need to remember you'll be self-sufficient no longer if you sustain an injury from trying to be superhuman.
4. Lift correctly. When picking up anything even moderately heavy, avoid back injuries by keeping your back vertical and your chest forward. Draw the item as close to your body as possible while bending at the knees and lifting with your legs, avoiding bending horizontally as you straighten.
5. Be aware of obstacles. When moving items out of your house and into your vehicle, watch for items that could trip you or get in your way, such as low-hanging obstacles, ground protrusions or surfaces that are wet, slick or uneven. Wear close-fitting clothing that can’t be snagged and choose durable footwear that offers both support and traction.
The DIY moving process need not be difficult or risky as long as you plan ahead and take a few precautions.

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Considering School District When Buying A Home

Considering School District When Buying A Home

Mark Schreier of Century 21 American Homes discusses the importance of considering school districts when buying a home.     School districts are important for those  with and without school aged children.  School district ratings have a direct affect on housing prices.  Learn ways to see if a specific school district meets your needs. 
Helpful links for school ratings:

Questions? Contact me today

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Can I Sell MY House On My Own? For Sale By Owner

Can I sell my house on my own? Mark Schreier NYS Licensed Real Estate Sales Person with Century 21 American Homes discusses the realities behind selling your house for sale by owner.

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Plainview, NY Real Estate Market Alert

Mark Schreier of Century 21 American Homes  Real Estate discusses how the Plainview, NY September 2018 absorption is starting to trend towards a buyer's market.

Friday, September 28, 2018

Are Web Based Home Values Accurate?

The true market value of a house is what a person is willing to spend and what the seller is willing to accept governed by the mortgage industry if it is not a cash deal. Zillow, Redfin, Trulia and others offer instant home values that only offer an estimated value. They use algorithms and data from public records that doesn’t take into consideration the uniqueness of the house and neighborhood. Your local realtor knows the market. He or she conducts physical inspections and considers important values such as market demand and prices of similar properties in the neighborhood that are currently listed under contract and recently closed. Most people rely on internet home values because of its’ convenience and speed. If you are considering selling, refinancing or just want a more accurate and reliable market value of your house, contact a local, knowledgeable, real estate professional. Contact me today for a Free Market Analysis.

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Would you pay someone to work against you in a real estate transaction? Not me...

Would you pay someone to work against you in a real estate transaction? Not me. This video is a must watch for anyone considering buying or selling a house. Learn what goes on behind the scenes in a real estate deal.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Should You Buy A House In A Flood Zone?
Should You Buy A House In A Flood Zone?

Mark Schreier of Century 21 American Homes Real Estate discusses the pros and cons of buying a house in a flood zone, tips on saving money on your flood insurance premium and gives links to FEMA websites to help you research if a house in a flood zone is for you.

Flood zone property search

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Chef Ian Russo gives away his dirty secret behind his burgers?

Chef Ian Russo gives away his dirty secret behind his burgers. Mark Schreier of Century 21 American Homes Real Estate Interviews Chef/Owner of Dirty Burger Plainview, NY Special thanks to Nick the General Manager for setting up this interview. If you would like your restaurant to be featured in my next spotlight Plainview, Old-Bethpage and the surrounding town resturant series leave a comment below.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Retired NYC Teacher Becomes Full Time Realtor. "Me"

Hello Family and  Friends,
       It’s official.   After 26 years of working for the New York City Dept. of
Education as a Health and Physical Education Teacher, I have officially retired!  It has been a great ride helping mold the minds of our youth.   For those of you who have worked in education, you know how challenging and stressful teaching can be.  Eighty five percent of teachers resign in their first five years because of stress on the job.  Early on I learned how to develop systems and strategies to overcome whatever obstacles came my way which was key to my tenure and success.   Some of you might also know that I have worked in residential real estate for the past ten years on a part-time basis.  The same problem-solving, organization and planning strategies have helped me succeed in the operation of my real estate business as well.   I am happy to say that I can now focus all of my attention to helping my clients achieve their real estate goals as a full-time realtor.  I am affiliated with Century 21 American Homes Real Estate, the #1 Century 21 Franchise in NYS and #14 in the country.  Moving out of state?  We have a national referral service to help you get to wherever you need to go.   If you, your family or friends are in need of real estate services you know you have someone you can count on and trust.  Let me show you how enlisting our services will save you a lot of stress, time and money.  I look forward to hearing from you!


        Mark Schreier LSA, CBR
        Century 21 American Homes
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