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Sandra McCarty

LICENSE: 10401298086

(516) 300-2427
(718) 341-9800 (Office)

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What Buyers Need To Know About Credit Score

Posted On: July 19th, 2023 12:42AM

Credit Score Guide

If you’re thinking about buying a home, you should know your credit score’s a critical piece of the puzzle when it comes to qualifying for a home loan. Lenders review your credit to assess your ability to make payments on time, to pay back debts, and more. It’s also a factor that helps determine your mortgage rate. 

 as it is one of the most important factors lenders consider when you apply for a mortgage. Not just to qualify for the loan itself, but for the conditions: Typically, the higher your score, the lower the interest rates and better terms you’ll qualify for.”

This means your credit score may feel even more important to your homebuying plans right now since mortgage rates are a key factor in affordability, especially today. According to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, the median credit score in the U.S. for those taking out a mortgage is 765. But, that doesn’t mean your credit score has to be perfect. An article from Business Insider explains generally how your FICO score range can make an impact:

“. . . you don’t need a perfect credit score to buy a house. . . . Aiming to get your credit score in the ‘Good’ range (670 to 739) would be a great start towards qualifying for a mortgage. But if you’re wanting to qualify for the lowest rates, try to get your score within the ‘Very Good’ range (740 to 799).” 

Working with a trusted lender’s the best way to get more information on how your credit score could factor into your home loan and the mortgage rate you’re able to get.


As FICO says:

“While many lenders use credit scores like FICO Scores to help them make lending decisions, each lender has its own strategy, including the level of risk it finds acceptable. There is no single “cutoff score” used by all lenders and there are many additional factors that lenders may use to determine your actual interest rates.”

If you’re looking for ways to improve your score, Experian highlights some things you may want to focus on:

  • Your Payment History: Late payments can have a negative impact by dropping your score. Focus on making payments on time and paying any existing late charges quickly.
  • Your Debt Amount (relative to your credit limits): When it comes to your available credit amount, the less you’re using, the better. Focus on keeping this number as low as possible.
  • Credit Applications: If you’re looking to buy, don’t apply for other credit. When you apply for new credit, it could result in a hard inquiry on your credit that drops your score.

When you’re ready to start the homebuying process, a lender will be able to assess which range your score falls in and tell you more about the specifics for each loan type.

Bottom Line

With affordability challenges today, prioritizing ways you can have a positive impact on your credit score could help you get a better mortgage rate. If you want to learn more, connect with a trusted lender.

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How To Grieve Your Property Taxes in Nassau and Suffolk Counties

Posted On: January 3rd, 2023 3:10AM

If you pay taxes on property you have the right to appeal the property’s annual assessment. This process is popularly called "Tax Grievance". 


There is a new assessment for each year. The time to appeal a new assessment ends before the taxes, based on that assessment, are billed. If you disagree with the most recent assessment, appeal it, even if you are awaiting determination of an appeal you filed last year.


For Nassau County

If you want The Assessment Review Commission (ARC ) to review your property’s assessment, appeal between January 2, 2023 and March 1, Dealine for grieving your taxes in Nassau cuty is March 1, 2023 and you can use this LINK to file online.

  • The application requires only basic information about your property. You can file online.
  • You are not required to use an attorney. If you hired a representative to challenge a prior assessment, you are free to change representatives or file for yourself for review of the new assessment.
  • The Assessment Review Commission may reduce your assessment as appropriate.
  • The Assessment Review Commission will never increase the assessment.
  • You should decide whether to appeal the new assessment by comparing the Department of Assessment’s adjusted market value with your own estimate of your property’s current market value.
  • The Assessment Review Commission may also correct your tax class and hear your appeal if you were denied an exemption.
  • There is no fee to file with ARC

For Suffolk County

Deadline for grieving taxes is May 16th, 2023. Use Form RP-524, Complaint on Real Property Assessment to grieve your assessment. The form can be completed by yourself or your representative or attorney. File the grievance form with the assessor or the board of assessment review (BAR) in your city or town. If your property is located in a village that assesses property, you will have two assessments, one for the village and one for the town. To grieve both assessments, you are required to file a separate Form RP-524 with both the town and village. 

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Keeping Your American Dream Alive

Posted On: August 14th, 2022 7:05PM

Are you at risk of foreclosure? Are you in the pre foreclosure stage?
Are you months behind in your mortgage payments? If you or anyone you know, answer yes to these questions, this article is for you or for them.

The last few years have been rough on homeowners, and many are at risk of losing their homes, their American dream, and the opportunity to build generational wealth. Often this can be prevented if homeowners are aware of the number of options available to them.

 So, what can homeowners do when their house is at risk of being foreclosed? The good news is that all is not lost. If the lender has not taken any legal action against you, and you can still reverse the process.

1. Pay arrears, become current on the loan - The easiest way to avoid foreclosure is to pay off any missed payments, including interests and late fees. This option may be right for you if paying your mortgage is a temporary problem. This is called reinstatement.

2. Work out a period of loan forbearance - Loan forbearance means that the lender agrees to temporarily reduce or suspend monthly payments for a time period, like six months. At the end of the forbearance period, your regular mortgage payments start again, and the missed payments are added on. This is good if you just need short-term relief.

3. Loan modification - If you are struggling to make your monthly payments but want to keep your home, you may be able to work out with your lender to renegotiate your loan terms to lower your monthly payments. This might be a lower interest rate or an extended-term. If you are going through a rough patch with an end in sight, your lender may be willing to delay some payments without a penalty fee.

4. Refinance with another lender - Another lender may agree to refinance your mortgage. There are also some federal government refinancing options at Making Home Affordable, https://www.makinghomeaffordable.gov/

If none of these options are possible for you, there are still ways to avoid foreclosure and save your credit allowing you to buy another house in the near future.

1. Negotiate a deed in lieu of foreclosure

You may want to cut your losses and walk away from the house entirely. If your mortgage allows, you may be able to avoid foreclosure by handing over the deed and any claim you have on the property to your lending establishment. In exchange, your lender releases you from your mortgage obligations. Sometimes, the lender may also offer a cash sum. It will allow you to start a new life.

2. Sell your house during the pre-foreclosure process

You are allowed to sell your house at any time while you are in the pre-foreclosure or foreclosure process.

a) Regular Sale - If there is equity in your house, you can sell your house in a regular sale. It is best to price the property slightly below market value to attract buyers, sell fast and reduce penalties.  The proceeds from the sale will be enough to pay off your debt to the bank and allow you to walk away with funds.

b) Short Sale - If you owe more than the house is worth, the bank may allow for a short sale. In this situation, the bank takes the money from the sale, but forgives the outstanding balance, allowing you to walk out debt-free and your credit intact.

If you do decide to sell your house, it is wise to hire a reputable and experienced Realtor to help you, as selling a house is one of the most complex transactions there is. Feel free to contact me if you have any real estate questions or need help with selling real estate.

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Great News for Existing and Prospective Homeowners

Posted On: May 8th, 2022 12:08AM


If you’re planning to sell your home this season, rising prices are great news for you. But it’s important to understand why prices are rising to begin with. One major factor is supply and demand.

In any industry, when there are more buyers for an item than there are of that item available, prices naturally rise. In those situations, buyers are willing to pay more to get the product or service they’re looking for when options are scarce. And that’s exactly what’s happening in the current real estate market.

Because it will take some time for housing supply to increase, experts believe prices will continue rising. The latest Home Price Expectations Survey forecasts what will happen with home prices over the next 5 years. As the graph below shows, while the rate of appreciation will moderate over the next few years, prices will continue rising through 2026:

 Home Prices will continue to riseWhat This Means When You Sell Your House

If you’re a homeowner, the projection for continued price appreciation this year opens up an opportunity to move. That’s because it may give your equity a major boost. Equity is the difference between what you owe on your house and its market value. The amount of equity you have increases as you make your monthly payments and as rising home prices drive up the market value for your home.

Growing equity is a powerful tool for homeowners. When you sell your house, the equity you’ve built comes back to you in the sale. That money could be enough to cover some (if not all) of your down payment on your next home.

Of course, if you want to know how much equity you have in your current house, it’s crucial to work with a real estate professional. They follow current market trends and can help you understand your home’s value when you’re ready to sell.

What This Means for Your Next Purchase

But today’s rising home values aren’t just good news if you’re ready to sell. Because price appreciation is forecast to continue in the years ahead, you can rest assured your next home will be an investment that should grow in value with time. That’s one of several reasons why real estate has been rated the best investment in a recent Gallup poll.

The Bottom Line

If you’re weighing whether or not you should sell your house this season, know rising home values may be opening up an opportunity to use equity to fuel your move. Let’s connect so you can find out how much your home is worth and to learn more about all the benefits you have in today’s market. Do call me at (516)300-2427

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Freeport Roosevelt NAACP Housing Seminar

Posted On: February 27th, 2022 4:32PM

 Register today at https://bit.ly/NAACP19

For more information contact: 516-300-2427 or [email protected]

 Freeport Roosevelt NAACP Housing Seminar

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