Early predictions in 2013 seem to point that the real estate market is on the road to recovery. Kenny Singh also
advertises this fact. He says, “In 2012, we were doing okay but this year, I can confirm we are better off. The market
is gradually improving by 6 to 7 percent. This is a strong indicator that the meltdown is soon to dissipate.”
After the terrible meltdown of 2008, some harsh truths came to the surface.Who cheated, who lied and who bent the rules to make quick money? But the biggest truth of it all was that those who remained true to the books, survived. Kenny Singh, founder and owner of New Age Properties, Inc. is a jack of many trades and master at real estate. Endowed with perhaps the most loyal and experienced staff, Kenny Singh has been able to face the meltdown without losing a lot. His knowledge in the real estate market of Long Island is perhaps unmatched and unquestioned. But before Kenny Singh learnt the nittygritty of real estate he was involved in many other trades. “I came in the United States in 1976 and that time I was working for an import and handicraft business. Soon after that, I worked with a tracking business. Then I worked in the retail industry in the garment section.
I had heavy trades from Nepal and India. But the investment that I put in this trade was a sheer waste. Because, people from Nepal cheated me and I lost a lot of my hard earned money. I finally gave up. And in early 1990s, I changed my profession to real estate. From that time till now, I have been in this business,” says Singh. He made the switch to real estate for monetary reasons. Also, there was lower risk of direct investments in this profession. He made a sizeable amount in the 1990s as he soon began climbing the ladder of competition. He bent every competition from the time he established his own company in 1995. “There were not many contenders at that time during my rise in real estate. There was Usha Chandra and another, Salma in the Long Island area.
I was number three at that time. But I learned the trade fast. I soon became a broker while my competitors were still agents.” While many mimic the work ethics and performances of other role models, Kenny does not believe in having any external inspiration. He was driven to derive the best of him and believed only in himself. “I learnt on my own from everywhere. I worked as an agent. No role model. Just me. And because I had faith in myself, by 1995, I was the unquestioned king in this sector at Long Island.” Since 1995, he has sold a couple of hundred houses. He never kept a record of the actual number in his memory. Everything was sailing perfectly.
The 1990s were considered the effervescent period for the real estate market in the US. There was an uncontainable demand for housing which was made possible to due to a more lenient loaning options made plausible by financial institutions and the Federal government. But the loom of a meltdown was predicted by many real estate developers, brokers and agents. One among them was Kenny Singh. “In 2008, we faced the downturn. But I survived. I had good savings and I made wise decisions before the meltdown. Also the threat of the meltdown was foreseen by many of us. But there was very little we could do except make moves to encourage savings.
Despite it all, even I faced a loss of over $500,000,” he says. Early predictions in 2013 seem to point that the real estate market is on the road to recovery. Kenny Singh also advertises this fact. He says, “In 2012, we were doing okay but this year, I can confirm we are better off. The market is gradually improving by 6 to 7 percent. This is a strong indicator that the meltdown is soon to dissipate.” Many theories and conspiracies have been spewed over the reasons for financial crisis of 2008. Kenny simplifies it for us. “The banks were lenient and did not conduct proper checking of the buyer. The prices kept increasing but it was very easy to lend money at that time. So if you had a good credit, you could buy a house with 0% down payment and 4 percent interest.
Naturally, we slumped. The money was never being protected. It was being offered to anyone and the hawks in the real estate business that thrived on making quick money paved easier way to this.” The federal government has taken immediate measures to dissolve the crisis and to avoid a repetition. And therefore, the market trend has changed immensely. Kenny explains, “The market trend has changed so much recently.
For example, I was showing a house recently to a few people.We got an offer of more than our asking price many of the buyers. Most buyers are paying in all cash these days. This is an upward trend. Also according to our preliminary research for this year, the houses in the market do not become available for more than 63 days. It doesn’t matter if it they are good houses or bad houses. They all are gone. At this time, last year’s research shows that not only did we sell lesser number of houses compared to this year but the houses stayed for as long as 110 days in the market.
In Hicksville during last year, only 508 houses were sold by all brokers. And this year we have sold an additional of 26 houses already with the rest of the year still to go. So there has been a 25% increase in the buyers demand.” More people in the Long Island area are opting for no-mortgage payment options by paying full amounts in cash. Besides that, many other loopholes are found by our community members while buying houses. Kenny explains why, “Mortgage is of course a very difficult financial process.
Besides, the rate of interest is low as of now. What used to 7-8 percent five years ago is now 3.75 percent. Also, mortgage is not very easily available these days either. In Long Island, we have a ‘no income-full asset’ concept. This means that the person who is applying for mortgage must be self-employed. They don’t show their full income on paper.
So while the banks offer 1% higher rate of interest for these people and ask for 35% down payment, it is not an issue for them because they have the money and they are not bound by life-long payment of mortgage. This proves beneficial to the bank also because no matter what the 35% down payment ensures easier and lower risks of payment for the buyer. But of course, it is all possible if you have good credit record.” So if you have the money and good credit history, it is plausible to buy a house without the hassle of long bound mortgages? “Yes. Of course, you have to go to the right people for this. I strongly recommend a good company which has the expertise, experience and people who understand real estate better than anyone else.” Yet, after the meltdown that hit almost every corner of the world, it is almost impossible to not ask this question.Will we face another meltdown? Kenny is quick to respond. “No. There will not be any downturn anytime now.
The changes made by the government are enough to make sure the market stays up. It now conducts proper checking of the buyer and it also has asserted a few conditions on financial institutions. Besides, the last meltdown before 2008 was in 1931. Meltdown is not a quarterly or a five year recurring factor.” The realtors at Long Island belong under the banner of Long Island Board of Realtors.
It is a multiple listing service that controls all the members of its board. There are regular training conducted every 2 years and violations of any rule and regulation is penalized for $1000 or license revokes. Kenny Singh was born in Moga in Punjab. He completed Engineering in Instrumental Technology from Chandigarh. He is married to Paramjit . He has a son Rimpoo Singh, and two daughters Jessica Singh and Monica Singh and a nephew Jeffrey Jeet Singh. Kenny and his family live with his parents in Long Island.