Archive for March, 2012
My ancient microwave oven died not long ago, so I went online to buy a new one.
Probably like you, I spent a fair amount of time — hours, I am embarrassed to confess — checking out various brands and features. When I found a promising candidate, I read the reviews.
Not one of the possibilities emerged as worthy of purchase. Most of the reviews were negative of the one that most tempted me: (more…)
The graphs above are several weeks old, but I held onto the image because it presents a compelling indictment of mortgage lenders.
I just wish there were a third graph that charts mortgage rates over the years.
With interest rates at low and then historically low levels starting in 2009, it stands to reason that the line representing purchase loans would turn up along with an increase in home buying activity. Only because lenders imposed onerous standards on borrowers did that fail to happen.
To be sure, one explanation for the all-cash trend has been the choice that certain buyers could make.
They would include (more…)
Buyers who are short of enough cash for a downpayment, closing costs, moving expenses and property improvements may find themselves gravitating toward a rent-to-own option. It also is a route that consumers in the process of repairing their credit my want to try.
But such a concept — which I have found to be employed infrequently — must be pursued with great care. (more…)
Note: With my break drawing to a close, alas, normal frequency of posts resumes Monday.
Let’s say you bought a new home five years ago, a year before Manhattan’s residential market nosedived.
And let’s assume you coughed up $1 million for the privilege of living in your modest 870-sf apartment with two small bedrooms plus one and a half baths on the Upper West Side.
The third set of assumptions might be monthly mortgage payments of $3,500, maintenance of $1,400 and other ownership expenses such as insurance and maintenance of $100 a month.
Do you wish that you had waited until now to have made the purchase?
If you are like many other former homebuyers, (more…)
Note: After my short break, normal frequency of posts resumes next week.
The agent grimaced when I asked at an open house how long her listing had been on the market.
“Forever,” was her one-word reply.
Checking out the two-bedroom, one-and-a-half-bath condo in Morningside Heights, I was underwhelmed by the $1,616-sf duplex. My chief objection: The lower floor is in the building’s basement down an exceedingly narrow flight of stairs.
To her credit, the listing broker in describing that subterranean space did not glorify it as anything more than a playroom, media room or perhaps gym.
The half bath is down there, and the light from window wells is negligible. It is a cave.
As for the rest of the apartment, (more…)
Note: I’ll be taking a little time off, so there will be fewer posts next week.
The city’s estate auction of 15 Queens properties by owners who died without leaving a will garnered $4.854 million in winning bids for an even dozen apartments and single-family homes on Wednesday.
Three of the properties were withdrawn before the sale, and none of the remaining ones failed to find a buyer.
According to results from Queens Public Administrator Lois Rosenblatt, the highest amount went for a Bayside house with a minimum bid of $536,000; the winning number was $735,000. The lowest was for a Corona apartment that sold for the minimum of $79,000.
A house, on 135th Pl. in So. Ozone Park, fetched $485,000, an impressive 73 percent more than the upset price of $281,000.
Withdrawn from the auction were (more…)
When listing brokers won’t return telephone calls or e-mails to schedule an appointment, the buyers and their representatives understandably become frustrated.
I, for one, entertain fantasies of turning those brokers into the Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY) for violation of the Code of Ethics, contacting their managers or firing off nasty e-mails. I also imagine ways to let the listing broker’s seller know.
Of course, doing so would be counter-productive, wouldn’t it?