This Month in Queens Real Estate: August 2016
by queenshometeamkw
 QHT Blog
Aug 26, 2016 | 571 views | 0 0 comments | 18 18 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink
by George Herrera, Realtor & Listing Specialist with the Queens Home Team at Keller Williams Realty.

August 2016 Market Update


Home sales in July dropped again for the fifth consecutive month. Despite the drop in transactions, home price increases have 2016 on track to be the best year for home prices since the recession. Near rock-bottom mortgage rates continue to lure more and more buyers into the market despite steadily rising prices and low inventory levels, however, the consistent decrease in year over year sales could be a sign. We may be seeing more people escape Queens as a result of the high prices, or we may be seeing a sign of consumer uncertainty as a result of the political elections. Either way, it will be interesting to see what happens through the third and fourth quarters of this year.

Absorption Rate: 647 sales/per mo.

Current Available Inventory: 3,763 (Last month: 3,812)

Month’s Supply: 5.8 Months

Last Month: 5.7 Months

Last year: 6.9 Months

*Month’s supply over 6 months is said to favor buyers, month’s supply below 6 months is said to favor sellers, and month’s supply of 5-6 months is said to be a balanced market. Keep in mind that month’s supply can vary by neighborhood and property type.

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Interest Rates


Interest rates decreased slightly from the month prior and remain near all-time lows. Mortgage rates have declined recently due to the drop in U.S. Treasury rates created by the uncertainty surrounding the U.K.’s vote to leave the European Union.

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Queens Home Sales


The Long island Board of REALTORS® reported Queens home sales at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 607 homes during the month of July. This was a decrease of 12.8 percent from June, and a decrease of 18.3 percent from July of last year.

Specifically, Residential 1-3 family Queens home sales were down 16.8%, Queens Condo sales were down 15%, and Queens Coop sales were down 19.2% compared to this time last year. Over the last 12 months, Queens home sales are down .2%.

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Queens Home Prices


The median home price reached a record $478,000 in July, which was up 2.7 percent from June and up 13.3 percent from July of last year.

Specifically, Residential 1-3 family Queens home prices were up 11.9%, Queens Condo prices were up 4.3%, and Queens Coop prices were up 16.7% compared to this time last year. Over the last 12 months, Queens home prices are up 7.3%.

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Queens Housing Inventory

There was a 5.8-month supply of housing inventory in July, which increased slightly from June. The total number of homes for sale decreased by 16 percent compared to August of last year. Strong demand spurred by dropping interest rates will likely keep inventory levels suppressed, particularly in the Queens starter home market.

Specifically, there are currently 2,395 residential 1-3 family homes for sale, 385 Condos for sale, and 982 Coops for sale in Queens county.

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Blog Courtesy of George & Abigail Herrera w/the Queens Home Team at Keller Williams Realty Landmark II. 

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What to do When Your Designated Driver Plan Fails
by cjleclaire
 Palermo Tuohy Bruno
Aug 25, 2016 | 782 views | 0 0 comments | 23 23 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink

There’s no question that designating a driver reduces drunken driving accidents and saves lives.

Designated Driver Statistics

As time goes along, more and more people have gotten on board with the idea of designating drivers. A Mothers Against Drunk Drivers (MADD) survey done in 2014 showed:

  • That 75% of people designate a driver so they can return home safely
  • That 75% of the people who volunteer to be the designated driver do so to make sure they arrive home safely
  • That 85% who ride with a designated driver do so for safety reasons
  • Another reason for designating a driver was to avoid a DUI charge

Who Is Most at Risk for Drunk Driving Fatalities?

Drunk driving takes the lives of young drivers more than any other age group:

  • Drivers between the ages of 21 to 24 – 30%
  • Drivers between the ages of 25 to 34 – 29%
  • Drivers between the ages of 35 to 44 – 24%

Always preparing ahead for a designated driver shows more than good character; you’re looking out for yourself, your friends, and others on the road. Being the designated driver shows just as much good character. But what happens when your designated driver plans fail? There are other options, and you should know about these options should this ever occur.

Designated Driving

Other Options When Designated Driving Plans Fail

If everyone in your group wants to party and drink, and no one wants to be a designated driver, there are other ways to designate a driver, such as:

  • Calling a parent or other sober adult
  • Calling a taxi
  • Using public transportation
  • Chartering a limo or party bus
  • Arranging a ride through Uber or Lyft – their apps are free, and they’re great alternatives to a cab – they can get to you quicker, and you don’t need to call up a company for a taxi, just open your app, and with the tap of a finger and a debit/credit card on hand, you have a safe ride home
  • Staying overnight if at a friends house and waiting until the morning when you’re sober and are able to be your own designated driver
  • If you need your car in the morning, to go to work, run errands etc., don’t justify it – there are services on the rise that will come to you with two sober drivers, 1 to drive you and your car home and the other to drive the second vehicle – SafeRideAmerica, IDriveYourCar, and BeMyDD are just a few options you can check out – but always make sure to plan this ahead of time

Designate Your Driver Ahead of Time

Don’t wait until you’ve already started drinking to designate a driver. By then, your thinking is impaired, and you probably won’t realize you need one.

Designated drivers are on the rise. However, according to MADD, a person is injured in a drunk driving crash every two minutes. Also, on the average, 2 in 3 people will be involved in a drunk driving accident during their lifetime. To repeat, 2 in 3 people will be injured in a drunk driving accident – whether they’re the at-fault driver or not. This prediction is staggering. We all must make very precaution we can and learn not to be so complacent about our driving habits. Even one drink could impair your driving – especially if you’re on medication that enhances alcohol’s effect on the brain. Buzzed driving is drunk driving.

Be safe. Always designate a driver ahead of time. Your safety isn’t always in your hands, but in this case, it is. Never drink and drive, and never get in the car with someone you even suspect has had a drink or taken drugs. And know that there are ALWAYS available options for you (and your friends) to get home safe and sound.

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If I Return to Work Making Less Money, Am I Still Entitled to Workers’ Compensation Benefits?
by cjleclaire
 Pyrros Serres
Aug 25, 2016 | 539 views | 0 0 comments | 23 23 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink

New York City | Queens | Brooklyn | Bronx Workers’ Compensation Lawyers

So you’ve been hurt at work and you can’t perform your old job. What happens if you go back to work at a different position, making less money than you were before your injury? Are you still entitled to seek workers’ compensation benefits for what you have lost? The answer is yes!

Under the New York workers’ compensation laws, an injured worker can make what is known as a “reduced earnings award.” In fact, you can be compensated up to 2/3 of the difference between the statutory maximum and what you are making after your injury.

The key factor in being able to successfully file a reduced earnings award? You must be under the treatment of a doctor. You must see a doctor on a regular (monthly) basis, and the doctor must document that you have a medical condition and that condition is causing you to earn less than before the accident.

If I Go Back to Work Making Less, Can I Still Collect Workers’ Compensation Benefits

Experienced NYC | Brooklyn | Bronx | Queens Workers’ Compensation Attorneys

At Pyrros & Serres LLP, we handle all matters related to workers’ compensation and Social Security disability claims for people in Queens, Brooklyn, the Bronx and across the greater New York City metropolitan area. Because of our reputation for effective advocacy, many of our new clients come to us as referrals from clients and other lawyers.

To learn more about the full scope of our practice, see our practice area overview page.

Pyrros & Serres LLP

Queens | NYC | Brooklyn | Bronx Workers’ Compensation Attorneys

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The Difference that Jurisdiction Could Make in a High Profile Divorce Case
by cjleclaire
 Chris Palermo
Aug 25, 2016 | 513 views | 0 0 comments | 25 25 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink

Different states and different countries have laws that can significantly affect the outcome of a divorce.

A prime example is a high profile case reported in the New York Post .Tracey Hejalian-Amon is the wife of a wealthy estranged husband, Swiss businessman Maurice Alin Amon. The couple has been married for eight years, and Hejailan-Amon has filed for her divorce with a Manhattan judge because she wants to have the case heard in New York.

Legal Residence

The couple has multiple residences, which are in Monaco, France, Switzerland and New York. Hejailan-Amon’s lawyer argues that she spends enough time in the New York apartment that it should be considered her legal residence.

Monetary Advantages of a NY Divorce over a Monaco Divorce

The main reason for filing in New York is the legal advantage of trying the case under New York divorce laws over trying based on Monaco divorce laws. Under Monaco divorce laws, spouses can take back the gifts that they gave to the other spouse during marriage. The gifts that Hejailan-Amon received included a $15 million Fifth Avenue apartment, jewelry, cars, art and furnishings, totaling in value around $70 million. Under NY divorce law, the $25 million art collection the couple acquired during marriage would likely be considered community property and be subject to property division.

In addition to keeping the gifts, Hejailan-Amon is seeking $235,000 a month in alimony.

In a case involving considerable assets, establishing the jurisdiction where the case is heard may be one of the most important legal strategies involved in the case. The Manhattan judge said she would rule within 60 days on whether the divorce could proceed in New York.

If you face issues regarding divorce or have questions about various legal strategies, Attorney Chris Palermo will be glad provide you with reliable legal guidance and help you make informed decisions.

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Equal Pay for Women Issues
by cjleclaire
 Stephen Hans Blog
Aug 25, 2016 | 580 views | 0 0 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink
Author: Stephen Hans

Long Island City, Queens & NYC Employment Defense Attorney

From an employer’s standpoint, if you are following similar pay practices to other businesses, it may seem like safety exists in numbers. You may believe that perhaps doing what other companies do is a safe standard as far as equal pay for women issues are concerned.

Facts about Unequal Pay

However, equal pay is not the norm, according to statistics reported by the American Association of University Women (AAUW):

  • In 1974, women across the United States made 59% of what men doing comparable jobs made.
  • By 2014, women made 79% of what men made.
  • Women with higher degrees have a higher gender pay gap than women with less education.
  • Women of color (Hispanic, African American, American Indian and Native Hawaiian women) have a greater gender pay gap than Asian and white American women.
  • Women typically earn 90% of what men earn until hitting age 35, at which point they begin earning 76-81% of what men are paid.

When company employees file claims, a company is singled out and at risk for damages. The fact that other companies are also violating the Equal Pay Act is not an excuse in the eyes of the law.

Sealed Air Sued By EEOC for Sex-Based Pay and National Origin Discrimination

Recently, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) brought a case against Sealed Air Attempts were unsuccessful during a pre-litigation conciliation process to reach a settlement.

Here were the facts alleged in the case:

  • A paid female production supervisor was paid lower wages than her male counterpart doing substantially the same work.
  • The company imposed a restrictive language policy on the employee by prohibiting her to use Spanish in the workplace.

The lawsuit seeks damages for lost wages, liquidated damages, compensatory damages and punitive damages for Title VII of the Civil Rights Act and Equal Pay Act violations.

Do You Have Concerns about Equal Pay Issues?

Consult with an experienced employment litigation lawyer and put policies in place to protect your business. Stephen Hans & Associates provides seasoned legal advice and representation based on more than two decades of legal experience in employment law.

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