The "new" new $100 note.
Although you may think I’m boasting, allow me a bit of nostalgia prompted by the Treasury Department’s unveiling of a new generation of $100 currency.
Sitting on my desk is what is becoming an old “new” $100 note in an inexpensive frame. That piece of paper is covered with the personal signatures of former Secretary of the Treasury Robert Rubin, Former Deputy Secretary Lawrence Summers, former U.S. Treasurer Mary Ellen Withrow (who hated me) and former Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan, among others. Wrote Rubin above his name: Continue reading
First American CoreLogic says it expects a softer housing recovery than in its previous forecasts. The mortgage data firm, which issues a monthly LoanPerformance Home Price Index (HPI), declared:
Our forecasts for the inventory of homes for sale have risen as interest rates are expected to rise, tax credits expire, and slower than expected sales over the winter due to the weather are all adding to the inventory. Collectively these effects act to contract demand (put downward pressure on prices).
After a modest increase this spring and summer, CoreLogic projects a decline in the national single-family combined index of Continue reading
Aiming to “minimize board liability” and “define the appropriate roles of the co-op board and the agent,” the Real Estate Board of New York has issued guidelines for co-op boards that specify application requirements and an explanation of how to reject and accept hopeful buyers.
The organization recommends designating one or two individuals to receive and review the full application package, with the rest of the board or committee getting just the summary tax return pages without the supporting schedules to reduce waste. It further suggests having the packages submitted on a password-protected flash drive or CD to be read on board members’ computers or setting up a secure website for applications.
Among other of its recommendations: Continue reading
Get to know a bit about your prospective neighbors before it's too late. (Photo by alistairas on Flickr.)
Seduced by sunlight, gripped by granite, deluded by décor?
It’s not enough to fall in love at first sight: Homebuyers need to date the co-op or condo of their dreams and dig deeper before they make one of the biggest purchases of their lives.
BrickUnderground’s Teri Karush Rogers asked me to suggest areas that buyers need to explore before they commit to a property that thrills them. You may want to check out the entire list, so here, to whet your appetite, is just one of the questions that buyers need to ask themselves:
Q. If the building is going condo, what is your impression of the renters who are staying on? Continue reading
Co-operative building at 160 Columbia Heights, Brooklyn.
The King’s County public administrator is auctioning off 17 properties with minimum bids ranging from $50,000 for vacant land to as much as $1.8 million for a townhouse.
The auction will take place on May 4 at 2 p.m. in State Supreme Court, 360 Adams Street. But you have to be there by 12:45.
Inspection of the properties will be May 1 10 a.m.-4 p.m. and May 2 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
If you’ve read this far, you doubtless would like to know the properties and opening bids. Here goes: Continue reading
The inimitable Jonathan Miller prepared the above charts on the absorption rates of co-ops and condos in three areas of Manhattan.
The appraiser’s data, prepared by Miller Samuel for Prudential Douglas Elliman, tell an interesting story about the number of months it would take to sell the units at the rate they found buyers during March. Click on the chart to expand.
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Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker
Senior Vice President
Charles Rutenberg Realty
127 E. 56th Street
New York, NY 10022
Living room, dining room, bedroom and kitchen of the priciest co-op of its size in New York.
First, you trudge up three full flights of stairs in one of two conjoined townhouses in the mid 60s off Fifth Avenue on Manhattan tony Upper East Side. (Your neighbors in the other cooperatively linked townhouse are spared the hike since they alone have access to an elevator.)
Then you arrive, breathless, at an unusual apartment that might measure 450 square feet, each of them exquisitely renovated. The unit is so small that the bed has to be suspended close to the ceiling Continue reading
Not only do many brokers characterize buyers as “liars” (generally in less of a malicious and more of a frustrated way), but they also think of sellers as greedy.
Buyers don't swear to tell the truth. Flickr photo by Office of Gov. Patrick.
What happens with buyers is that they begin to refine and more often than not expand their requirements as they engage in the search process. It is a learning experience about what is of increasing and what is of diminishing importance to them.
For example, once they actually get around to open houses and see what various features cost, they might compromise on outside space if they are near park. They might decide that a doorman is, after all, very important. They might be willing to trade a geographic preference for greater value elsewhere.
A longtime client of mine whose loft I listed Continue reading
In an interview with the Motley Fool, Robert Shiller of Case-Shiller fame, weighs in on the state of the housing recovery. It is, says the Yale economist, “hard to quote probability because people who do that rely on statistical analysis and past data.” Here’s what else he disclosed: Continue reading
Flickr photo by dlancquaert
A client of mine is putting the finishing touches on his board application for a co-op in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood. The package is more involved than most in that it asks not only for his loan application and loan commitment letter but also the appraisal ordered by his banker.
Moreover, since the father of my client (who is just out of graduate school and about to start his first permanent job) is co-signing the mortgage loan, the application also requires yet another set of financial information and supporting documents.
That makes one big package, but I am not tearing our my hair at this point, Continue reading