Weekly Roundup: Beresford auction, Brooklyn’s Manhattanization, latest market stats, celeb moves, same old loan limits, staging errors

Question facing downtown is whether hurricane stigma short-term phenomenon

Value of views depends on what you see and from what height

Mitchell-Lama program originally aimed to help ‘blighted’ neighborhoods

It is possible to double-check suspicious prices in city’s property records

Foreclosure auction scheduled for Beresford co-op listed for $7.35 million

Residential buildings largely account for 17 percent growth of stalled construction

Price data show ‘Manhattanization’ of condos in hot Brooklyn neighborhoods

Banks hesitant to offer financing for co-ops in buildings with only five or 10 units

Stuyvesant Town tenants reach $68 million settlement with controlling company

Pop queen’s Central Park West duplex is listed for $23.5 million

Actor in search of buyer for Chelsea penthouse Continue reading

Unintentional listing errors can invite lawsuits

Mistakes in listings are no laughing matter. (Flickr photo by premasagar)

Like any typo, errors in broker descriptions of their listings can be funny.

In a good syndicated column, Lew Sichelman quotes a couple of them, namely:

“Three bedroom, one badroom”

“Open Hose with Cheese and Wine”

“First Peeview Sunday”

But some mistakes can be dangerous Continue reading

Brokers face stiff competiton. From lawyers.

(Source: Library of Congress)

Some buyers and sellers may not realize that brokers aren’t alone.

State law allows lawyers to collect commissions — without having a real estate license — though they cannot employ other salespersons to work under them unless they do obtain a license.

However, lawyers may not automatically charge a commission.  They must have a signed agreement with whomever they are representing or an agreement with the listing broker.

At the same time, lawyers may not double dip.  It is a conflict of interest for a lawyer to act as both attorney and real estate broker in the same transaction.

Interestingly, Continue reading

Auction scheduled of 10 Queens residences

This house in Long Island City requires the highest minimum bid, $600,000.

The estate auction of two co-ops and eight houses in Queens is to take place on Dec. 12.

Queens Public Administrator Lois Rosenblatt scheduled the auction of properties ranging in price between $100,000 and $600,000 in neighborhoods including Long Island City, Jamaica and Jackson Heights.

Below are the residences headed for the auction block, Continue reading

Out and About: The little things matter

Can you see yourself here?

When it comes to showing an apartment to its best advantage, the little things count.

A listing broker can’t change an awkward layout, dress up a kitchen with granite countertops or eliminate blocked exposures.

But a savvy broker knows how to alter a listing so that prospective buyers can imagine themselves in it.  The things that mar the listing in the photograph above overwhelm the eye and cloud the vision, but they are, in the scope of things, small matters easily fixed.

I saw this three-bedroom, three-bath co-op on Riverside Drive in the very low 90s not long after it had been offered for sale, at $2.795 million with maintenance of $2,867 a month.

The 1,905-sf unit has much going for it Continue reading

Taxes can bite borrowers of home equity loans

Happy Thanksgiving!

(Flickr photo by The Suss-Man (Mike)

Home equity loans have regained some of their popularity in the wake of the housing crisis.

But borrowers need to be clear about the extent of their tax deductibility — at least until (and if) Washington completes wrangling over the deficit.  You’ll find the nitty-gritty in a 16-page PDF published by the IRS, from which I’ll try to furnish just the broadest of strokes.

In essence, you can deduct no more than $100,000.  Except. . . Continue reading

Two suburban houses attract winning bids, barely

Rear view of house on Long Island that received highest bid of just over $1 million at an auction on Sunday.   (Source: Sheldon Good & Co.)

Despite strong early interest, two distinctive suburban properties in separate auctions suffered little competition among bidders on Sunday.

Only two of four registered bidders raised their hands in the auction of a 3,988-sf residence designed by architect Norman Jaffe in the Laurel Hollow village of Oyster Bay on Long Island’s North Shore

At the Mark Hotel on the Upper East Side, the house was gaveled down after receiving a mere three bids — a $1 million minimum opener, then $1.010 million and finally Continue reading