Many people have asked me, why did you get involved with the Long Island Journal. I feel that it is another way to help a community that has helped me grow over the year. The Real Estate Community has been an integral part of my business for many years, and I am always looking for ways to give back. There is no real voice out there for the stories that the realtors who I know so well have, and a way to highlight all the good that many of them do.
The Long Island Board of Realtors is a great community that I joined just a few years ago. I knew it was out there, but I never joined because I thought it was just for the Realtors to help them with the Multiple Listing Service and to have a voice like so many associations do for their members. A friend of mine suggested that I check it out, and I wish that I did much sooner. The Board of Realtors is a vibrant community that I have become very much a part of, even though I’m not licensed to sell real estate, so I’m not officially a member.
I jumped in headfirst, got involved with the chapters, and became an Affiliate Member. Since I mainly write home, condo, and landlord insurance, working with the association was a great fit. I got to learn how realtors work and realized how much they are involved with their communities. Realtors are some of the most giving people you can know and are very involved in charities in their communities.
Helping Realtors was my goal when I joined by providing them help in the closing process when it comes to the various forms of property insurance. There are many insurance agents looking to get referrals from the Realtors, so I make sure that I provide value to them, buy helping them in many ways that don’t involve me selling a policy. We do various things, like performing flood risk analysis, claims reports on homes they are selling or working with their buyers, and consulting with them when the insurance becomes a problem in the sale.
The number of homes for sale on Long Island has dropped and remained down over what it has been in recent years nationally. The market has nearly twice the demand and two-thirds of the supply. Inventory of homes are now at their historic lows. The rise in the number of people who can now work at home has also sparked a suburban boom and the scarcity of undeveloped land on Long Island means that builders could be unable to meet the rising demand and home prices could continue to rise this year. We know that Long Island’s housing market is booming because of outbound migration from New York City. The pandemic has caused many citi-dwellers to search for homes in a different area than the city.
Various surveys and industry chatter indicate that interest in rural areas and suburbs is up and interest in urban areas is down. Especially in NYC. Long Island is hot and is totally a sellers’ markets right now while the pandemic has increased the desire for houses with more space and a yard. Couple that with record-low interest rates, and prices are rising dramatically all over the country not just here on Long Island. The combination of demand and the low mortgage rates has pushed home prices to levels that are making it difficult to save for a down payment, particularly among first-time buyers. While we still face economic and health challenges ahead, it is no doubt that the nation will continue to recover from this pandemic and an improving economy will continue to prop up the housing market competition.
Personally, I believe the housing market will remain strong and is set to break more records in 2021. Home Buyers are eager to spend more on housing in 2021, as the economy continues to slowly recover from the pandemic. Strong growth is expected in 2021 for housing sales, rents, and home prices. A report from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York found that the median household expects to increase their spending by 3.7% in the next twelve months, the most optimistic outlook since 2016. This time the housing market is largely being driven by two factors: a shortage of available housing inventory and extremely low-interest rates.
John: I am here as the publisher for both Model Citizens Magazine and the Long Island Journal with Scott Burman. Scott, you have been nominated by Model Citizen for everything that you do for philanthropy and the Long Island community. However, before we get there, I see that you are a competitive endurance athlete for over 20 years. How do you get into competitive endurance sports, and what do you focus on?
Scott: I was a swimmer starting from a young age. I swam through high school and college although I was not a particularly great swimmer. However, I trained high-volume which means my body got accustomed to a high-level training mode. I tried my first triathlon, just as a fitness goal, when I was still in college. It was a local triathlon that runs still to this day every Father’s Day called the Gold Coast Triathlon and is held in Port Washington. I must admit that I barely finished that first race.
John: Well, that is all that counts right?
Scott: Yes, I did it! Absolutely.
John: How long how long was that one?
Scott: It was a sprint race and I’ll just add this as an anecdote, I went back to that race and finished second overall. That was many years later but was my crowning achievement to go from a guy who could barely finish, to a guy who came close to winning the whole race.
John: My father went from smoking five packs of cigarettes a day to running 100-mile races in the desert and 50-mile races in zero degrees. So, if he could pull that off, I think anyone can do just about anything.
Scott: That’s very impressive! That is really what drove me for all these years, the mental aspect more than the physical. I got more into it over about 10 years and then progressed to a half Iron Man. At that point I realized that I was spending a lot of time training, was really into it and thought it may be time to get a coach and a team to see how far I could take this. My head was really in it, so I actually met a local guy named Jose Lopez. Jose became my very good friend and mentor and trained me from an eight-minute run to a sub-six runner in six months.