Thursday, May 19, 2016

Beware of Scam "Dumpster Rentals Inc" located in Baldwin NY

Just had the most unpleasant experience with a dumpster company that has a heavy internet marketing presence. Dumpster Rentals Inc will lie to you when asked about any hidden charges. I just found out the hard way after ordering a dumpster from them. As a professional, you would've thought that I might know better, but I too was scammed by this malicious company.

I spoke with a customer service agent at the company named Marie when I went to inquire about renting their dumpster. They had an ad that said the rental price was $299 but was told that the price for a 20 yard dumpster was really $450 and that ad was just a "come on". I was fine with that price since it is pretty standard for the industry. I asked if there were any additional hidden charges and was told only a small service charge of $18. I asked again if there were any additional hidden charges and Marie laughed and said only if the load went over 2 tons. I asked what would cause the load to exceed 2 tons and she said heavy concrete. I knew I wouldn't be putting in concrete so I didn't worry about that. I asked how long I could have the dumpster before they picked it up. Marie replied about 2 weeks and I said "fine".

2 weeks came and went and they didn't pick up the dumpster. I finally called today and was told that I needed to pay them an additional $330 for them to remove the dumpster since I had it more than 2 weeks! I said that I had never agreed to this and was never told about the extra charges. They insisted they had e-mailed me documents telling me about these charges. They never e-mailed me anything until I just called them to remove the dumpster. They are refusing to pick up the dumpster and told me that they will keep charging me more money until I sign paperwork agreeing to pay them these outrageous charges that I never knew about or agreed to.

Make sure you thoroughly investigate whatever company you plan on using since there are just so many unscrupulous businesses just waiting to rip you off! Dumpster Rentals Inc of Baldwin, NY is at the top of my list for dishonest and thieving companies.

Monday, September 02, 2013

The Lingering Impact of Super Storm Sandy

Well I know it's been quite awhile since I last wrote in this Blog. I've posted a couple of tidbits on my Facebook site (BethanyMarten) but have been pretty pre-occupied for the past year with all of the real estate fallout from Super Storm Sandy. It ain't easy rebuilding your own home plus another 4 rental properties that were flood damaged. You know what was the toughest part of it all? Dealing with the insurance companies who had no great desire to pay for the damage and dealing with the banks who held the mortgages on said properties. Once I finally started to receive money from my insurance companies, the banks mandated that they were in charge of holding the insurance payments in an escrow fund. This escrow money would not be released until they sent out inspectors to make sure that the homes were actually being fixed up. It became a Catch 22, no money to pay for the repairs but the repairs were expected to be made, in order to release the money. The past 10 months of my life have been completely and utterly absorbed by this.

I wonder how the rest of my fellow Long Islanders, who were impacted by Sandy, managed to put their lives back in order? There is no question in my mind that many of my neighbors on the South Shore of Long Island became so overwhelmed that they completely gave up and walked away from their homes. It will take some time for the worst hit areas to completely rebuild and rise again. Many homes were severely damaged and some homes saw their foundations crumble. Unlucky Long Islanders, who chose not to carry flood insurance, were devastated by the Storm. FEMA gave some people a couple thousand dollars, but not enough to talk about or to make any significant difference.

Governor Cuomo recently announced an initiative called "NY Rising" to help New Yorkers who have still not recovered from the Super Storm. Supposedly there are billions of dollars available if you fill out more applications and provide more documentation but I personally don't believe much of it. I've already experienced first hand how the system works and it's not pretty. The only people who get any money fast are the employees who work for NY State administering this new program. It's been over 2 months since the program was instituted and still not a single dollar has gone to anyone who needs it. I took the time to go to the temporary trailer housing for NY Rising and was one of the first several hundred people to fill out a form. The form was completely finished but not submitted (why not, who only knows?) by the lovely young woman who I met with. Instead I was told to come back with more documentation and when I did, the trailer was empty and no one was there! I managed to find an employee of Island Park who gave me directions to the new temporary site and upon arriving found it to be a former kickboxing studio with lots of NYS employees buzzing around attending to more poor schmucks like me who still needed help to rebuild. The woman I was assigned to went through the very same exact application that I had already filled out 8 weeks prior. I told her that I had brought in all of the documentation that had been previously requested. She told me that she didn't need it right now but I could have uploaded it to their web site directly since I had been given a passcode. I told her that I had not been given a web site address so it was near impossible to upload anything. During the course of our hour and a half meeting, the only thing that did really excite her and most of the other NYS employees, was the sound of a Mr. Softee Ice cream truck pulling up to the front of the building! Most of the employees ran out for their daily ice cream fix. So I'm thinking to myself, this is where the money is going since it is surely not going to me or any of the other people who had wasted more hours of their life filling out more forms which most likely would not put one more dollar into any of our pockets to help rebuild New York!

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

New Year, New Market?

Welcome to 2011! Most people want to know when the real estate market will finally rebound and they also want to know if the market will continue to fall. I believe we have hit bottom and that prices have begun to stabilize. Foreclosures and short sales will continue to trickle into the market throughout this year which will give buyers one last really good opportunity to buy at the "bottom". How can I reasonably predict this? Well, here's how, many of these foreclosures that come onto the market at really cheap prices are being snapped up in a matter of days by all cash investors who are paying over full price. Did you hear what I said? Bidding wars on foreclosure properties that are priced low. Non-foreclosure properties are also getting multiple bids if they are priced right which means slightly under market value. I plan on buying more homes this year than I did last year since I feel the market is about as low as it is going to go.

Happy New Year everyone!

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Housing Market Update

The spring market was pretty active with many first buyers wading into the market. The Government's tax credit helped people decide to get off the fence and actually purchase. Lots of buyers rushed to get into contract by April 3oth and to close by June 30th in order to receive $8000 (first time buyers) or $6500 (trade up buyers). The time table to close has now been extended til September but this will only help buyers who had already signed their contracts by April 30th.

The big fear now is that since the Government will no longer be offering incentives to purchase, buyers will no longer be as enticed into buying since they are still a bit shaken by the market place. Interest rates are incredibly low even lower then I ever thought I'd see in my lifetime. The fixed 30 year rate is around 4.5% and the 15 year is around 4% which is just incredible. The problem remaining is that banks are still holding onto their money and not lending that easily. We still need to see banks loosening their grip and credit getting easier to obtain before we will see any big strides in a housing rebound. Home prices have flattened out and have basically hit bottom. Many housing markets across the country are beginning to see slight rates of appreciation but our housing market is flat right now and foreclosures and short sales are still heavily flooding the market. Investors and savvy buyers are quickly snapping up good deals and they have been numerous bidding wars all over our area. It will still take some time before we have a completely stabilized market therefore there is still great opportunities out there for buyers to capitalize on.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Stalling a Solid Recovery

Well I still believe that we have hit bottom but as I said before we will not see a strong recovery til 2012. There are still too many obstacles in the way of any real significant market changes. The biggest obstacle is still the tightest credit market we have seen in years which is keeping many potential buyers from purchasing due to their inability to secure mortgage financing. Even the FHA is about to tighten their lending standards by decreasing the allowable seller's concession which is currently at 6% down to a paltry 3%. Couple this with the increased down payment requirement which went up from 3% to 3.5% about a year ago and now buyers will have to come up with much more money in order to get the FHA mortgage. Home prices are no longer free falling but there are still too many short sales and real estate owned properties coming onto the market which artificially deflates the average purchase price. This trend will continue for another year or two before all the excess non-performing loans are taken out of the market place. A strong recovery will move into place when the amount of foreclosures and short sales start to trickle instead of flood the market. My prediction is that this will happen in the fourth quarter of 2011. Other areas of the country are already experiencing bidding wars on homes and a healthy level of price appreciation. It will take our tri-state area a little longer since our appreciation rates had been driven to unsustainable levels during the years of 2000 til 2005. I am still seeing good buyers getting very good deals on homes that they would never have been able to afford several years ago. The timing continues to be right for those buyers who are able to purchase now.

Monday, August 17, 2009

The end of the bottom is upon us....

Well I've been watching and waiting for some signs to signal that the end of the bottom is approaching and I have begun to see those signs. Foreclosures and short sales are still coming out on a daily basis but now they are being snatched up pretty quickly if they are good deals. Buyers are wading back into the market at a rapid pace and are no longer scared of their own shadows. The number of contracts being signed are up and the days on the market are down. In some "hot" areas where there is a lot of pent up buyer demand, the days on the market for the average well priced home is now below 30.

Mortgage financing is now the biggest obstacle that is still hindering a complete housing recovery since consumer confidence is slowly being restored. Banks are slightly beginning to loosen their vise-like grip on credit so we are seeing a slight uptick on closings. Rates are still very low but credit is still difficult to obtain. Buyers who have good credit, verifiable income and a down payment are really scoring some terrific deals in this market. Investors with cash are snapping up low priced deals and either fixing and flipping or holding as rentals for future appreciation.

My prediction is that the Metro NY housing market will be on the road to recovery as we hit 2010. Real price appreciation probably will not occur until 2012 but by then we will be heading into a strong seller's market again with home prices on the upswing and a strong decline in available inventory.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

It's pretty tough out here

Well the good news is that many homes are selling for 50 to 60% of what they had sold for in 2005 to 2006. This really means that buyers have a lot of options available and they can now buy homes that were completely unavailable to them a mere 3 years ago. The other good news is that interest rates are insanely low, anywhere from 4.625% to 5.55% depending on the program, the down payment, the points, and your particular credit worthiness.

The bad news is that most banks are still looking for excuses as to why not lend to you. Buyers should do everything within their power to make themselves as mortgageable as possible since we have now reached what I call the "Perfect Storm" of Real Estate. We now have very low prices coupled with very low interest rates. This is an awesome time to buy if you can. Best of luck to all of you!

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