The Real.Est List
- by Teri Karush Rogers | 1/11/11 - 1:12 PM
Q. Should co-ops and condos limit the number of rentals to a certain percentage? Is there some “magic” number? I’ve heard 20-30% to balance encouraging investment while also maintaining quality.
A. Perhaps more important than encouraging investment is ensuring that banks will continue to finance mortgages in your building, observe some of BrickUnderground's experts.
In the current tight lending environment, banks prefer that fewer than 20 to 30 percent of the apartments are being rented out, says mortgage broker Kira Silverman. Moreover, she says, banks shy away from making loans in buildings where a single investor owns more than 10% of the units.
- Broker-bloggers aim to teach sellers a thing or two
First-time buyer seminars are pretty common; far less so are seller seminars like the one being hosted by the broker-bloggers behind The Apple,Peeled. Pitfalls, pricing strategies and buyer bait are on the menu Tuesday, January 18th, at 6:00 p.m. at The Real Estate Board of New York (580 Lexington Avenue at 51st Street). Seating is limited, so RSVP on-line or at 212 350-2258. Buyers, The Apple Peeled hasn't forgotten about you:"Buying in 2011--Beyond the Basics" seminar will unfold the following Tuesday, same time, same location. (The Apple, Peeled)
- by anonymous Williamsburg condo owner, as told to Teri Rogers | 1/11/11 - 6:45 AM
My wife and I had been renting for 10 years when, literally the day after we got back from our honeymoon a little over a year ago, we saw the one-bedroom condo we own now. It was the model apartment in a new, four-story Williamsburg building with less than a dozen units and no elevator or doorman.
The apartment had 15-foot ceilings, a mezzanine level, and a backyard patio. Priced in the mid $400,000's including the second bathroom that we asked the contractor to put in upstairs, it was a lot cheaper than other condos we saw of that size, which were in the $600k+ range, though some had more amenities. The building sold out in 6 or 8 weeks at a time when nothing was really selling.
We went into contract in October of 2009 and our closing was scheduled for the end of January 2010.
- How to tell if a co-op will let you do a "wet over dry" renovation
Even if you have the money, the time, and the willpower to gut-renovate the co-op apartment you’re thinking of buying, you may be thwarted by a renovation-hostile co-op board. But how do you tell before you buy? Over on StreetEasy.com, a prospective buyer wants to move the kitchens and bathrooms—a so-called “wet-over-dry” configuration frowned upon by many boards--and doesn’t trust the assurances of the seller’s broker, who has told “one blatant lie” already. Read on for what some commenters suggest. >>
- Bust your bed bug myths Jan. 18th
Stop the bed bug presses. Two of the world's most revered bed bug experts--New York entomologist Louis Sorkin and London-based researcher and pest management expert David Cain--will appear on the same panel next week at the Museum of the City of New York. "Plague! Bed Bugs: Myths and Realities" promises to separate hype from reality and tell you what to do to keep bed bugs out of your apartment. Other panelists include New York vs Bed Bugs blogger/bed bug activist Renea Corea as well as Yasmine Hecker, who runs a bed bug prep service. And that's not all. More>>
- Special Offer1/10/11 - 12:09 PM
It isn’t always easy going green. Habits are habit-forming, so sometimes we need a symbiotic nudge to act according to our better instincts. Which is why we think this offer will appeal to city dwellers with green in their hearts and heaps of clothing to be drycleaned.
Green Apple Cleaners--the tri-state’s first non-toxic drycleaner--is offering $30 worth of drycleaning for $15, or $125 for just $50. Pick up and delivery is included (for non-doorman buildings too) in Manhattan below 145th Street and in parts of Brooklyn, as well as in Bergen County and New Jersey. (Don't forget to tip!)
To access this offer, good until 10 am Thursday 1/13, click here.
- by A. Ready | 1/10/11 - 9:54 AM
Manhattan is a nice option if you can afford it. But sacrificing space and quality and/or paying what's necessary to score a decent apartment in the borough doesn't appeal to all. This week we feature an interesting option in Midwood, Brooklyn: A newly constructed "green" building, The Madison at 3692 Bedford Avenue, where apartments rent for less than half of comparable units in Manhattan.
- Sponsored by Braverman & Associates1/10/11 - 6:30 AM
While it’s true that a co-op board can turn down a buyer for everything from red hair to red-state political views or a desire to gut-renovate, there are also a host of reasons for which it’s illegal to reject a buyer.
These include marital status, race, color, religion, national origin, alienage, citizenship, gender, sexual orientation, military status, disability, and choice of lawful occupation, says real estate attorney Robert Braverman of Braverman & Associates.
Read on for some questions you may regret asking even if discrimination was the last thing on your mind.
- by Teri Karush Rogers | 1/10/11 - 5:34 AM
It is a fact of New York City rental life that landlords typically won’t negotiate leases beyond (sometimes) the amount of monthly rent. But don’t assume that just because your landlord insists on some crazy lease provision that he or she can hold you to it.
“There may be very significant portions of a residential lease--whether it be a proprietary lease for a coop or a rental--that are either completely unenforceable by the landlord or that with a little help from the tenant may be unenforceable,” says Manhattan real estate attorney Steven Wagner of Porzio, Bromberg & Newman.
Read on for the Big 5.
- by Teri Karush Rogers | 1/07/11 - 3:40 PM
Blizzards and holiday-themed stories may have pushed bed bugs out of the news lately, but as this picture--snapped in the locker room of an Upper West Side gym this week--attests, the epidemic continues to unfold around us.
The City of New York is still in the process of implementing its response--which in practical terms has so far resulted in a requirement that all mattresses be sealed in plastic before disposal. Next up, we understand, will be the launching of an online bed bug "portal" for public education.
- The housekeeper chronicles
Do you ever feel like your domestic help is calling the shots rather than you? Over on UrbanBaby.com, a mom is concerned about her cleaning lady's profligate use of supplies and avoidance of "green" products. The cleaning woman, in fact, requests specific non-green cleaning agents, and her employer complies despite concerns that the fumes may affect her baby. Other responders share stories of seemingly impossible levels of paper towel and cleanser consumption, but say they don't care as they are simply happy to have clean homes. And many dispute the value of "green" cleaning, asserting that environmentally-friendly products just do not get the job done. (UrbanBaby.com)
- by A. Ready | 1/07/11 - 10:15 AM
Located on Williamsburg's waterfront, 175 Kent is a 133-unit rental building originally intended as condos. The kitchens have stainless-steel LG appliances, the floors are solid oak, and each apartment comes with a soaking tub and a Bosch washer and dryer. There is a gym, 24-hour concierge, and gaming room. The building is currently offering one-month free rent, and will pay your broker's fee. Four two-bedroom apartments are available for $3,000-3,923, three one-bedrooms for $2,492-2,954 and one studio for $2,060.
Q&A with actor/comedian Amy Schumer: NYC is the only place I feel completely at home with the possibility of a stranger peeing on meby Kelly Kreth | 1/07/11 - 6:38 AM
Outspoken comedian and actor Amy Schumer has moved at least 8 times within NYC in the last eight years—experiencing many a roommate complication, and going to great (and often shady) lengths to secure a good deal on an apartment.
Known for her stints on the Jimmy Fallon Show, Last Comic Standing and 30 Rock, she will soon appear on Curb Your Enthusiasm and au naturel in the March issue of Cosmopolitan magazine. Today she takes BrickUnderground on a tragiocomic journey through her apartment dwelling past.
- by Kelly Kreth | 1/07/11 - 6:38 AM
What’s the one thing you would change about your apartment if you could? Here’s what these five New Yorkers would do…
- Bye-bye popcorn ceilings: I'd change the popcorn ceilings because they are cheap and tacky. I'd change this by finally being able to sell this unit. Or maybe I'd finally sell the unit if it didn't have popcorn ceilings... Then I wouldn't have to worry about these ugly ceilings again. -- Janice, reporter, East Harlem 3BR condo, $550K
- Temperature control: It would be the ability to control the heat! Our apartment is SO hot that even having every single window in the apartment open does not cool it down in the winter. My two roommates and I can only sleep at night by running our air conditioning. The walls and floor are even warm to the touch. -- Allison, public relations, Gramercy, 3BR/2Bath doorman rental, $3695
- by Veronica X. | 1/06/11 - 4:05 PM
You hope that your children don't really notice the difference between ten rooms on Park Ave or four flights up on Columbus, but they do. For the only honest real estate appraisal in Gotham, leave it to the kids...
- In the lobby: "Wow!!! I can hear my echo... echo... echo..." Sally is used to 'narrow and linoleum', not 'wide and marble.'
- In the hallway: "What's that funny smell?" On the plus side, Junior is clearly not yet partaking in 'Reefer Madness'.
- In the elevator: "Look, you can sit down! What is that man doing in here?" Jane is very impressed with the plush seating; not so much with the fact that she can't push the button.