Monday, January 6, 2020

Home Renovation Trends for 2020

Home renovation is very cyclical and reactive, just like many other aspects of life. The home improvement projects that are in effect in 2020 will not be the same ones that are present from five years ago. Here are some of the biggest home improvement trends for 2020.

More Money for Projects

Our economy has been on a tear for several years and the economy is reaching full employment which is translating into larger home improvement projects. Further, loans with low-interest rates are more accessible than ever before and this is resulting in large scale projects, particularly in suburbs such as kitchen renovations, floor additions, and redone outdoor spaces.

Smart Homes

The internet is beginning to realize its smart home potential and more homes are being renovated with smart devices in mind. Smart devices are entering into our kitchens and appliances with smartphone-controlled timers, our heating and cooling systems with remote smart devices that let you optimize your heating and cooling, and smart security systems that allow for access away from home. More than minor tools, these smart home devices are being fully integrated and allow for remote and voice accessed tools that make the future fully accessible today.

Clean Air and Focus On the Environment

Home improvement looks to improve on the spaces in your home with advanced air and water purification kits, green recycling options, and integrated home efficiencies. Homeowners are increasingly concerned with these items and are great selling points for those who are looking to live cleaner.

Monday, December 30, 2019

Why Lowering Your Property Taxes is an Achievable New Year’s Resolution

Reduce Your Property Taxes in 2020

The new year is right around the corner, and for many, this is the time of year to set goals and intentions for the next 365 days. Many homeowners on Long Island strive to save more money — whether that’s by minimizing utility bills or making a ‘rainy day fund’. However, one major saving is easily achievable — reducing your property tax bill.

Tax appeal season in Nassau and Suffolk county is near the beginning of the year (Nassau: March 2nd, 2020 and Suffolk: May 19th, 2020), making it the perfect opportunity to check this off your 2020 resolution list.

During January, every homeowner should receive their annual assessment (determining the value of your home for the purpose of taxation).  You can use this assessment to decide if you wish to file for a property tax reduction.

Your property’s assessment is one of the factors used by your local governments and school district to determine the amount of your property taxes. A property’s assessment is based on its market value. Market value is how much a property would sell for under normal conditions.

Property Tax Grievances With PTRC

Many homeowners assume that their taxes have simply risen, and prepare to pay more in taxes. What you may not realize, however, is that you can appeal your assessment based on the actual valuation of your property.

A property tax grievance is a formal complaint against the assessed value of your property. There are two levels of formal review:


  • Administrative review (BAR or ARC) – The grievance process is conducted at the municipal level.
  • Judicial review (SCAR) – In order to pursue judicial review (SCAR) you must first go through administrative review. The state currently imposes a $30.00 filing fee for each case.


As a homeowner, you are entitled to file a property tax grievance. If you are interested in learning more about the process or are interested in starting your tax reduction, contact our experts at P.T.R.C. today. Nassau: (516) 484-0654, Suffolk: (631) 484-0654

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Ways to Save Energy This Winter


Winter is here — which means more money spent on heating and other utility costs around your home. When it comes to energy, these small changes can add up to big savings on your winter energy bills.

Kitchen and Laundry Savings

From cooking to washing, your kitchen and laundry room are two of the rooms that use the most water and energy in the home. Reduce your costs by:

  • Using pots and pans that are the same size as your stove’s burners.
  • Cook food in your microwave rather than your oven to save up to 80% energy.
  • Seal your fridge and freezer tight to prevent letting cool air escape.
  • Reserve hot water for heavily soiled loads of laundry — most detergents are formulated to work just as well in cold water.
  • Clean out the lint from your dryer’s filter.
  • Run your washer and dryer only when you have a full load.

Lighting Savings

PSEG notes that lighting accounts for about 12% of your home's electric use. By making these small changes, you can make a big impact on your electric bill.

  • Utilize LED lights instead of incandescent bulbs.
  • Turning off all lights at night — search for any glowing battery lights, too!
  • Look for the ENERGY-STAR® label when purchasing lighting products. 

Electronic Savings

According to PSEG, in the average home, 75% of the electricity used to power home electronics is consumed while the products are turned off. Devices that come on instantly after touching it draws power at all times. Cut back on your electric bill this winter by:

  • Unplug charging chords and holiday lights to avoid fires and lower your costs.
  • Switch the TV off when no one is watching.
  • Purchase an inkjet printer in place of laser printers, as they are 90% more efficient.

Heating Savings

All heating systems need electricity to function, regardless of the style. Proper settings and an efficient system are key to lowering your costs. Be sure to perform the following checks to ensure you’re not letting your warm air cause your bill to skyrocket.


  • Seal all windows and door leaks to prevent warm air from escaping.
  • Check your air filters and replace them if necessary.
  • Have your system maintained to identify any possible issues.
  • Utilize a programmable thermostat to adjust your home’s temperature to your lifestyle.


Here at P.T.R.C., Inc., we are determined to help our clients pay the lowest amount of property tax as required by law. Contact us today to see how we can help you: info@ptrc.com

Thursday, December 12, 2019

What is the Remodel NY Program?

How the Remodel NY Program Can Finance Your Home Improvements

Sometimes, a house can be your dream home. And, yes, paying for those repairs can add up rather quickly. Luckily for New York residents, the State of New York Mortgage Agency (SONYMA) Remodel NY program can offer homeowners a way to finance their home remodel without breaking the bank. That said, here’s what you need to know.

How Do I Qualify for Remodel NY?

Many households put off home repairs until an emergency strikes, and the damage must be rectified. Remodel NY is a mortgage financing option offered by the SONYMA that lets you purchase a property and pay for repairs to create the perfect living space. This allows homeowners to make repairs when needed, without delaying until they can secure a loan or save enough money.

If you are an existing one to four-family household, you can apply for this low-interest lending option. This excludes cooperatives, condominiums, and PUDs. You may also combine the benefits of Remodel NY with the Homes for Veterans enhancement program, if applicable.

Lenders are responsible for vetting a reputable contractor to do any renovations. Financing for this loan is based on the lower of the post-renovation appraised value of your home, or the purchase price plus financeable repairs and ‘soft costs.’

Below is a list of home improvements that are available to be covered under Remodel NY:
Energy conservation upgrades
Flooring
Plumbing updates
Roofing, gutters, and downspouts
Eliminating health and safety concerns
Aesthetic updates, such as siding or painting
Major landscaping improvements
Structural reconstruction, such as repairing chimneys, adding garages, and finishing basements

If you’re interested in learning more about the Remodel NY program, you can download this pdf via the SONYMA to find out if you meet the eligibility requirements.

Here at P.T.R.C., Inc., we are determined to help our clients pay the lowest amount of property tax as required by law. Contact us today to see how we can help you: info@ptrc.com.

Thursday, December 5, 2019

Holiday Activities on Long Island 2019

The holiday season is here! Celebrate the season with your loved one by attending our favorite events across Long Island:

Magic of Lights 
One of the most popular holiday events on Long Island returns for the 2019 season! Grab friends and family and drive through this electric 2 ½ mile-long light spectacular, featuring popular figures, characters, and more. Stop in the Jolly Holiday Festival Village for refreshments.

When: November 22, 2019-January 4, 2020
Where: Jones Beach

Barnaby Saves Christmas
Celebrating its 15th year, Barnaby Saves Christmas tells the epic tale of an elf and his reindeer as they try to save Christmas. Enjoy a bite to eat before the show at one of Port Jefferson’s many restaurants!

When: Weekends November 23-December 29.
Where: Theatre Three

Polar Express Trolley Ride
Inspired by the movie starring Tom Hanks, families can take an interactive trolley ride while listening to actor Liam Neeson’s reading of the book. Kids will enjoy interacting with characters, and a visit from Santa and his elves with hot cocoa and cookies.

When: Sundays, Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays through December 23
Where: All-Star Bowling Riverhead and The Omni/Hampton Jitney Southampton

Charles Dickens Festival
It’s time for a Christmas Carol! Port Jeff has held this annual tribute to the great English writer for the past 20 years. You won’t want to miss this fun festival of costumes, ice skating, musical performances, and more!

When: Saturday, December 7-Sunday, December 8, 10:00 am — 5:00 pm
Where: Port Jefferson Village

Annual Holiday Spectacular at the Holtsville Ecology Site
Enjoy a winter wonderland of lights at this indoor walk-through light show. Donations benefit the Holtsville Ecology Site.

When: Sundays, Fridays, and Saturdays through December 22, 2019
Where: Holtsville Ecology Site

Candlelight Evenings Holiday Show
Travel back in time and celebrate the holidays like you’re in the 19th century! From chestnuts roasting on an open fire, to musical entertainment and visits from Santa, there’s something for everyone. New this year is the 12 days of Christmas scavenger hunt!

When: Friday, December 20 - Saturday, December 29, 5:00 pm — 6:00 pm
Where: Old Bethpage Village Restoration

Oyster Bay 15th Annual Holiday Tree Lighting
This isn’t your typical holiday tree! Join carolers at Planting Field Arboretum’s 35-foot tall Japanese Umbrella Pine — lit by Santa himself! Enjoy refreshments, music, and decorations after.

When: Monday, December 13 at 6 pm (Gates open at 5:30 pm)
Where: Planting Fields Arboretum State Historic Park

From all of us at PTRC, we hope you have a happy holiday season!
Here at P.T.R.C., Inc., we are determined to help our clients pay the lowest amount of property tax as required by law. Contact us today to see how we can help you: info@ptrc.com

Monday, November 25, 2019

Will the 2020 Housing Market Crash?

What’s the Future of the U.S. Housing Market?


If you were a homeowner between 2006 - 2012, or simply paying attention to national news, you’re aware of the housing bubble — also referred to as the housing market crash or the Great Recession. Housing prices across the United States began to fall drastically from 2007 - 2009. By 2010, housing prices stagnated.

Recently, however, housing prices have been on somewhat of an upswing due to higher demand and a drop in supply. Simply put, more people are moving and there’s not enough space. That being said, this rise has many in the housing industry concerned that recession is on the way. Here’s what you should know.

2020 Housing Market Predictions

A recent report by Zillow polled 100 real estate experts and economists about their 2020 predictions. Here are some of the key takeaways:
More than 50% of respondents said the next recession is likely to happen in 2020.
The main reason for this impending housing recession is monetary policy.
Current home prices have exceeded pre-2009 valuations across the country.

According to Zillow, the past few years post-housing bubble has been one of the longest economic expansions in U.S history.

The Long Island Housing Market 

As housing affordability remains an issue across the United States, the number of homes sold on Long Island continues to drop. The Multiple Listing Service of Long Island (MLSLI) released a report in September that shows a continued trend of higher prices, but lower inventory. Additionally, as sale prices rise, actual sales are dropping. According to the MLSI, there were 1,501 homes sold last August compared to 1,321 this year, which is a 12% decline.

Here at P.T.R.C., Inc., we are determined to help our clients pay the lowest amount of property tax as required by law. Contact us today to see how we can help you: info@ptrc.com


Tuesday, November 19, 2019

How to Host the Best Thanksgiving


If you’re planning on hosting Thanksgiving this year, you might already be stressed about it. There’s a lot that goes into this holiday, but it’s nothing planning ahead won’t fix! Make sure you know what it takes to host the best Thanksgiving at your house.

Cook Ahead of Time 

If you have foods that you’re planning on making that can be done a few days in advance, take that opportunity! Sure, your turkey needs to be done the day of, but desserts and side dishes can be done beforehand. This will give you more time to set up and prepare for guests.

Don’t Turn Down Help

Even though you are the host, a little help never hurt anybody. If someone is offering a helping hand, don’t turn them down! This also includes letting friends and family bring food, lessening your workload. Thanksgiving is a holiday after all, and you deserve to relax and spend time with loved ones, too.

Don’t Experiment The Day Of

One of the most fun parts of Thanksgiving is cooking new food you’ve never tried before. But, don’t cook something new for the first time on the day of Thanksgiving! Practice beforehand or stick to a more traditional recipe to avoid any last-minute disasters.

Prepare Early

This applies to both food preparation and non-food preparation. It’s important to make sure you have all the ingredients you need. Also, it helps to make sure you have the proper amount of silverware and dishes for your guests!

Know It’s Okay to Buy Food

Don’t have time to bake? That’s fine! There are plenty of stores around Long Island that make great desserts. If you have extra time the week before, consider going out east to get some locally grown farm pies!

Most importantly, don’t forget to relax and have fun! Thanksgiving is a time for surrounding yourself with people you love! Celebrate it with good spirits and good food!

Here at P.T.R.C., Inc., we are determined to help our clients pay the lowest amount of property tax as required by law. Contact us today to see how we can help you: info@ptrc.com