Households pay 24 percent of their total income for housing on average. The average expense: $927 a month.
Renters generally pay less in housing cost ($845 versus $1,008 for owners per month), but they usually pay a higher percentage of their household income than owners (31 percent versus 20 percent).
Twenty percent of recent movers identified convenience to their work as the most important factor in choosing a neighborhood.
So says the Census Bureau in its 2011 American Housing Survey, the latest year for results.
If you’d like more tidbits on the nation’s 115 million occupied homes, read on. For example, questions about safety, health hazards and accessibility demonstrate that 64 percent of houses have Continue reading
New York State Capitol in Albany (Flickr photo by Jimmy Emerson)
Although there was little doubt that lawmakers would act, it is nice to know that the New York State Assembly finally passed an Omnibus Housing Bill on Monday following Senate action last week.
The legislation restores for three years the expired tax abatement that was created to equalize the tax burdens between single-family homeowners and owners of co-ops and condos.
It also extends for the same period the J-51 program, which provides a tax benefit for the renovation of existing housing.
However, the legislation eliminates benefits for the conversion of commercial space to residential use and limits the eligibility for condominium and cooperative buildings with units that have an average assessed value per unit is greater than $30,000. Excepted are projects that receive “substantial” government assistance.
Certain provisions of the 421a program were amended as well so as to encourage new residential development in some high-density areas of Midtown and Downtown Manhattan. Continue reading
When she was a first-time buyer, long before she became a columnist about real estate, Tara-Nicholle Nelson learned five lessons the hard way.
Her experience can be helpful to everyone who is looking for a new home, whether for the first time or not. In a nutshell, this is what Nelson confides (if that is possible on the Internet): Continue reading
Built in 1910, this low-rise has 20 apartments on five floors — and no elevator — but represents value for a hardy soul.
They exist, those apartments for buyers on a tight budget.
It will not surprise them that low prices inevitably mean compromise, usually serious tradeoffs for homeownership in Manhattan.
Among the issues they can more or less count on are lack of light, excess of stairs, cramped quarters, dismal condition, inconvenient location, noisy streets or neighbors, grim public spaces, minimal amenities such as doorman or live-in super, or persistent visits by creatures parading on more than two legs. Continue reading
Can you see me now? (flickr photo by dunkr)
If celebrity endorsements didn’t matter, you wouldn’t see stars (many of them on the wane) shilling insurance, pills or perfume.
So it is hardly surprising that building developers like nothing more than to rub shoulders with notables of the silver and pixellated screens. Real estate brokers are just the same.
It is, indeed, true that proximity to stars sells real estate, as the news media regularly remind us — for example, the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times not so long ago. But why? Continue reading
When I wrote about proposed new advertising rules for real estate brokers, I was unable to find specific penalties.
Now Whitney A. Clark of the Department of State has enlightened me with a response to my search for answers, and the good news is that virtually all violations of New York Real Property Law can produce the same costly punishments. Continue reading
(Flickr photo by cbcd04)
Borrowing funds to finance a home purchase goes way beyond monthly payments.
The process is analogous to death by a thousand cuts.
First, you have to pay an application fee. In other words, the money that the lender makes by charging loan interest just isn’t sufficient to cover the costs of assuring that you’ll make monthly payments on time. (We know how well those procedures worked looking at the number of loan defaults in recent years.)
Then you fork over money for the lender to check your credit.
Let’s not forget Continue reading
It is not even an estate sale, but the Upper West Side co-op in the high 70s on West End Avenue apparently hasn’t been improved in the half century since the owners purchased the place.
Defining “vintage,” the apartment is typical of one that has aged in tandem with the owners.
The situation is understandable and not all that unusual, except for the number of years that have passed. More often than not, it seems, owners grow comfortable in their homes and fail to notice the need for updating.
I suppose the feeling is not unlike the pleasures of an old pair of slippers, a well-worn cardigan or a hardcover book that has been losing the test of time.
The challenge for any broker is Continue reading