The Real.Est List
- Sponsored by National Cooperative Bank6/03/13 - 10:09 AM
If you’re applying for a mortgage or refinancing your existing one in the post-Lehman world, you probably already know that there’s a bit more to the process than finding the best rate and filling out some paperwork--and that it behooves you to go in with your eyes wide open.
To accelerate your learning curve, Robbie Gendels, a senior loan officer in the New York City office of National Cooperative Bank, rounds up 12 of the most frequent questions she hears from co-op and condo buyers.
1. What’s the difference between working with a bank or working with a mortgage broker?
A mortgage broker works as a middleman between you and the bank, whereas a bank or mortgage lender works directly with you.
To sell high, hire an attractive broker; foreign buyers may find it easier to get a mortgage and moreby Sara Alessi | 6/03/13 - 8:58 AM
- As more sellers try their luck in a hot market, inventory might actually increase (DNAInfo)...
- ...but even if bidding wars do become less frequent, a savvy bidding strategy will help (New York Times)
- Not all foreigners pay for their NYC apartments in cash, and with interest rates low, they don’t have to (New York Times)
- Sexy sells in real estate: Attractive brokers can get sellers a better deal (Wall Street Journal via The Real Deal)
- Midtown Manhattan availability down 51% from 2009 after foreign buyers snap up apartments (The Real Deal)
- Forget the Dollar Menu, you could live across the street from McDonalds for $5.4m -- just plug your nose (New York Post via NY Magazine)
- Looking for a sleek, modern, celebrity-owned home? Shh! Kanye West put his Houston Street apartment up for sale, quietly (for once) (New York Post via The Real Deal)
- by Lucy Cohen Blatter | 5/31/13 - 3:16 PM
This $4,700 three-bedroom (actually a flexible two-bed) at 110 Green Street in Greenpoint proves that the luxury rental market is expanding north of Williamsburg.
Pros: This building has all the amenities--pool,tennis court, sauna, garden, roof deck, 24-hour doorman and more. Fixtures are new and modern. One of the bedrooms has an en suite bathroom.
Cons: Judging by the video that's included in this listing, it looks as though a third bedroom has been carved out of the living room meaning that there's probably not much room/light in the kitchen/living area. Also, Greenpoint can be a bit tough to get to, since its main subway line is the G train.
- by BrickUnderground Staff | 5/31/13 - 12:44 PM
If you haven't installed your window a/c yet, it's probably at the top of your weekend to do list. Be sure to check out our recent post focusing on all things A/C, and these tips from Lessons from a Small Landlord columnist Craig Roche:
- Pick a window that isn’t over the entrance and is away from where people walk, if possible. Most people don’t like to get dripped on when they are fishing out their keys. Also, if you drop your A/C unit, you won’t kill someone.
- Get the right sized unit for your apartment and for your window. It's not just a question of matching BTUs to the size of the area being cooled. Small A/C units don’t fit in large windows (they’ll fall out), and even small units don’t fit in some small windows.
- Transitionsby Ronit Farber as told to Lucy Cohen Blatter | 5/31/13 - 10:31 AM
I lived on the Upper West Side for eight-and-a-half years before moving to Holliswood, Queens about nine months ago. My husband and I lived in three different rentals in the West 90s and 100s.
Our last apartment was a two-bedroom, two-bathroom on 94th and West End Avenue. We were paying $3,850.
Several factors contributed to our desire to move. We didn’t want to rent anymore and realized we couldn’t afford to stay on the Upper West Side. Our older son was about to start first grade and we didn’t want him to have to start somewhere and end somewhere else. We found a private religious school that we liked in Queens.
Also, everything was getting too expensive. It wasn’t just the rent -- things like classes and little league for the kids were cost-prohibitive.
- by Sara Alessi | 5/31/13 - 8:44 AM
Families aren't the only ones who want to live on the Upper West Side. Three UWS one-bedrooms show up in this week's Most Wanted roundup-- the 10 sales listings StreetEasy users saved more often than any others this week.
One apartment attracting attention this week is a $475k one-bedroom, one-bathroom co-op on West 72nd Street between Columbus and Amsterdam. It’s two blocks from Central Park, the 1, 2 and 3 trains; and the M10 and M72 buses. The fourth floor apartment was renovated about two year ago and features an open kitchen, high ceilings and hardwood floors. The monthly maintenance rings in at $694/month.
- by Julie Inzanti | 5/30/13 - 3:08 PM
This $27.5 million Greenwich Village Greek Revival-style townhouse, originally built in 1844, has floor-to-ceiling windows, mahogany pocket doors and herringbone floors.
There are 21 rooms…yes, TWENTY-ONE…including seven bedrooms and 10 bathrooms. Not to mention multiple outdoor spaces and a fully finished cellar with 8’ ceilings.
It's hard to narrow down what the most drool-worthy part of this place is, but we know we’re coveting the cavernous closet in the master bedroom.
How cavernous? Well, many New Yorkers can probably fit their entire apartments inside this closet with room to spare.
- by Alana Mayman | 5/30/13 - 12:56 PM
Wedding season is upon us, but before you run over to Crate & Barrel/Bloomie's/etc. to pick up a panini press or cotton candy machine, consider what New York City apartment dwellers really need.
Case in point: Engaged at the tender age of 23, I chose every crystal stem, sterling utensil, decorative charger, and small appliance with assiduous- some would say obsessive- care.
All of these beautiful things recently celebrated their Sweet 16 in boxes in my mother's suburban basement, having never seen the light of day. I barely have room for my sweaters in the co-op apartment I share with my husband and small children.
Here is our top ten registry list for NYC brides and grooms:
- Inflatable air mattress--for when the MIL comes to stay and for hubby for the week after she leaves.
- His and hers iPad minis with noise canceling headphones so they'll never fight over what show or movie to watch on the one TV again
- A year's supply of kitchen sponges--for cleaning of course AND to put between the headboard and the wall lest the pesky neighbors get perturbed by connubial bliss (though this one may be better as a bachelorette party gift).
- Lessons from a Small Landlordby Craig Roche | 5/30/13 - 10:48 AM
Have you seen the ad for my apartment?
Excellent – my strategy is working!
I will never advertise my apartments on Craigslist. And your broker will never hear of them either.
Here are a few reasons I don't work with brokers:
- Using a broker tells me that you lack confidence and independence, and may have an elevated sense of self-importance, all of which suggest that you’ll be an annoying tenant. I share a walk-up building with some of my tenants, so they have the ability to make my life a living hell.
- StreetNoiseby Lucy Cohen Blatter | 5/30/13 - 8:57 AM
- Worries linger for Airbnb users (The Real Deal)
- Trying to answer that age-old NYC real estate question: Should you buy a co-op or condo? (NY1)
- No welcome mats, lobby hangout time-limits and more wacky co-op rules (New York Times)
- Refinancing? You may not have to pay the recording tax all over again (New York Times)
- Some good news for those who need it: Areas hit by Sandy will see lower property taxes next year (DNA Info)
- Got bugs? Why those roach motels aren't working (New York Times)
- From start to finish, what the NYC rental apartment search really is like (BuzzFeed)
- by Sharon Krum | 5/29/13 - 3:07 PM
WHO: Jesse Eisenberg--nominated for an Oscar for his portrayal of Mark Zuckerberg in the “The Social Network”-- is playing a magician who masterminds a bank heist in the upcoming movie “Now You See Me." We’d love to pull off a heist using magic -- does anyone know the right spell?
WHERE: Eisenberg lives in Chelsea, where the median sales price is $1.55 million and the median rental price is $4,200, according to StreetEasy.
Your Celebrity Neighbor is a weekly heads-up on the A-listers who call your neighborhood home and (in theory) shop the same Duane Reade as you.
- by Jamie Lauren Sutton | 5/29/13 - 1:02 PM
Dear Ms. Demeanor,
I live in a high rise and am paying to have my windows cleaned. The on-site manager will not answer my simple question of how much to tip the washer ( who charges $13 per window x 12 windows). She says she hasn't any idea about the subject, although she recommended the washer.
Does one tip a window washer? If so, is it like restaurants and cabs--20-ish percent, or something else? I've always lived in walkups and cleaned my own windows.
High Brow in a High Rise
Dear High Brow in a High Rise,
Window washing at 20 stories is not a career for the faint of heart, and I am sure those who do it would appreciate your appreciation.
- Real.Est List Spotlight Galleryby Leah Hochbaum Rosner | 5/29/13 - 10:26 AM
Finding a new apartment in NYC is no easy task. Less-than-scrupulous brokers regularly post listings to sites like Zillow, Trulia, RentHop and Craigslist that seem to depict paradise on earth, but are actually more like holes that aren’t fit for human habitation.
It's tough to tell whether what you’re seeing online is what you’re going to get, and that is exactly the problem MoveMent—the focus of this week’s Real. Est. List Spotlight Series—is designed to solve.
In a nutshell, MoveMent is a new iPhone app (soon to be offered on Android as well) that aims to take the uncertainty out of apartment-hunting by using a cellphone's GPS to verify that uploaded photos were snapped at a particular address.
- Diary of a First-Time Buyer (cont'd)by Elle Bee | 5/29/13 - 8:58 AM
Like any girl with a new beau, after my “second date” with my new lender I decided to spiffy myself up. In this case, that meant ensuring that my co-op board package looked perfect.
The co-op board’s 35-page application was in read-only PDF format, so I printed out a hard copy, filled it out with a new extra-fine Sharpie and reviewed it with Sidney, my broker. He recommended we type it.
Type? Who had a working typewriter?
- by Teri Karush Rogers | 5/28/13 - 3:16 PM
Q. For the past 20 years, the board of my co-op has been controlled by one man. If you do not do as he wants, he forces you off the board. He will not let us speak at meetings, makes major expenditures without telling the shareholders, makes and changes house rules for the benefit of himself and his friends and often at the expense of other shareholders.
Due to his bullying, a doorman is going to sue the building, which will cost us all lots of money. We want him off the board but somehow he gets enough proxy votes to continue. Some suspect proxy fraud.
Can you help us?
A. He may be a bully, but your co-op is a democracy, so your best move is to get him voted off, say our experts.