Auction set for vacation place with great security

Two houses in Manhattan also are available to bidders

If security is paramount, the happiness will be hard to contain of whoever is the winning bidder at the auction of a property in Northern Adirondack Park this summer.

On 27.3 acres in the hamlet of Lyon Mountain in Dannemora, the property includes several acres of undeveloped land and 23 buildings totaling 90,676 square feet.

New York State is selling the former minimum-security correctional facility as surplus property on July 10, and the minimum bid is a mere $140,000.

(If a second prison might prove to be of interest, the former Arthur Kill Correctional Facility on the southern tip of Staten Island is for sale as well, but not at auction.) Continue reading

The High Road: I broke every smart broker’s rule

(Flickr photo by litherland)

I have no one to blame but myself after I took on a new buyer.

Cindy is an acquaintance who e-mailed me one Friday saying that she was toying with the idea of moving out of her nearly $4,000-a-month rental to purchase an apartment on the Upper West Side.  Could we chat sometime? she asked.

I spent a couple of hours with her the next day explaining the process to someone who had lived overseas for decades and, like any first-time buyer in Manhattan, knew little about co-ops and condos, let alone what she needed to do to buy one.

It was a good conversation, in the course of which I went on at some length about steps that Cindy hsf to take to obtain a mortgage, retain an attorney and make an offer before going to contract.

She indicated as we talked that there was some urgency to get moving because Continue reading

Listing brokers actually must see board package

Requirements list on typical purchase application

Requirements list on typical purchase application

To paraphrase Lloyd Bentsen, when I make a mistake, it’s a doozy.  So it was with this post.  Please see correction below, now reflected in headline.

A broker friend of mine confided in me her anger at another broker.

It seems that the broker listing an apartment wasn’t happy with the board package.  My perfectionist friend, a highly successful broker of close to 30 years, had assembled the thing for her buyer and sent it to the other woman for review.

Without a comprehensively and competently presented package, as most consumers here know, the likelihood of a board’s accepting a prospective shareholder into the building is greatly reduced.

My friend, call her Emily, had painstakingly put together the thick packet, having Continue reading

I told my buyers not to trust me unreservedly

If love is blind, trust should not be too.

It was time for my buyers to consider how much the essential renovations would run them in the event they wanted to make an offer for a two-bedroom apartment on the Upper West Side.

They asked in an e-mail what I thought the project might cost.  Herewith my response: Continue reading

Condo linked to money laundering is auctioned

Stella Tsang (left), her husband center and auctioneer Mike Lewis.

Stella Tsang (left), her husband center and auctioneer Mike Lewis going over contract.

A Long Island woman who gave her name as Stella Tsang was the winning bidder at today’s auction of a Chelsea condo that the U.S. Treasury Department seized after a former president of Taiwan pleaded guilty to money laundering.

Her final Continue reading

Money-laundering scandal puts condo on block

A property ensnared in an international money-laundering scandal to which a former president of Taiwan has pleaded guilty is to be auctioned this month by the U.S. Treasury Department.

Chelsea’s Onyx

The auction of the 1,1,78-sf luxury condo in Chelsea’s Onyx, at 261 W. 28th St., is scheduled for April 23.

According to the World Bank, which cites a U.S. Justice Department press release, the sale stems from a conviction by former Taiwan President Chen Shui-Ben and his wife for bribery, embezzlement and money laundering.

Alleging that the apartment Continue reading

The High Road: Unfunny comedy of errors

We arrive at the Upper East Side building around 3:30 p.m., 10 or 15 minutes early for our showing appointment, and the concierge calls up to the agent.

He descends soon thereafter, and the first words out of his mouth are that we were expected 15 minutes earlier.  The buyers I am representing and I introduce ourselves. The broker — call him “Sam” — does not.

I note that we changed the appointment from 3:15 to 3:45 in a series of e-mails trying to fix a mutually convenient time and apologize for any misunderstanding.

“Violet never told me,” he replies.

“Violet?” I wonder, Continue reading

Don’t sign contract without financing contingency

Weekly Roundups will resume starting April 5

Lawyers start with a boiler-plate contracts, but the terms they add provide essential protections.

Lawyers start with boiler-plate contracts, and the terms that they add are intended to provide essential protections.

In this nascent world of restrictive credit standards, anyone buying a new home needs to expect the expected.

When it comes not only to getting mortgage approval but also to getting promised funds, buyers can count on roadblocks that could delay or even prevent settlement.

That is why it is essential for their attorneys to include appropriate financing contingency clauses in the contracts.  Those clauses allow buyers to have their deposits returned in the event that lenders don’t finally provide the money to close.

Considering that the usual deposit of 10 percent of the purchase price — $40,000 on just the $400,000 purchase of a studio apartment — is a substantial sum, contingency clauses are not to be taken lightly.

Notes Forest Hills lawyer Ryan J. Walsh, whose explanation I’ll paraphrase liberally below, there are three major contingencies that can protect a buyer: Continue reading

There are sellers who can’t handle the pressure

(flickr photo by massdistraction)

The pressure on buyers making an offer or waiting for a seller’s response often can cause them to lose sleep.

What they may well forget is how intense the pressure can be on a seller as well, whether hoping for a good offer or deciding on accepting one that already has been made.

A recent experience underscored the point, which centered on Continue reading

Condo in luxe high-rise heads to city’s auction, other properties have much lower minimums

This condo at 401 E. 60th St. is one floor below unit to be auctioned and may be slightly smaller.

This unit at 401 E. 60th St. is a floor below one to be auctioned and may be slightly smaller.

A condo in the Lenox Hill neighborhood will be offered with a minimum bid of $1.2 million at the first city auction of Manhattan properties since June.

Public Administrator Ethel J. Griffin scheduled the sale of 13 properties from the Lower East Side to Inwood for March 21.  Minimum bids range from $45,000 for an income-limited studio in Harlem to the East Side condo’s $1.2 million.

The estate of one Ronald Cohen, the four-room unit 24C in Bridge Tower Place, a full-service 1999 building at 401 E. 60th St., is advertised as having 1,130 square feet with common charges of $1,400 monthly and annual taxes of $21,000.  Active listings in the building average Continue reading