Weekly Roundup: Skinny condominiums, celeb comings and goings, nation’s price and sales increases, continuing rate rise, investments

This has been year of pricing audaciously

City’s property records site gets update with more information

Developers specifically catering to families in West Chelsea and farther downtown

New graduates returning to New York City learning that life just isn’t fair

Zillow says it takes up to 11.9 years, depending on neighborhood, to match cost of buying with renting

Boom in luxury towers Continue reading

Guest post: Former co-op member on Intro 188

To writer/editor Norman Schreiber, co-op boards engage in “bloodlust psychodrama.”  He is the author of what Schreiber describes as a “fun novel,”  Out Of Order, about murders in a co-op.  It is available on Amazon.

by Norman Schreiber

Awesome and awful is a bill under consideration by the New York City Council.

The Council, that bastion of reform, hopes to transform the co-op sales process, though the effort faces a hard road.

As recently reported here, the pending bill (Intro 188) obviously views co-op boards of directors as  evil and discriminatory.  The measure would mandate transparency and accountability via 45-day time limits, explanations for turndowns, retention of documents for five years and board member certification that no discrimination occurred in rejecting a shareholder application.

Intro 188 puts the burden of proof on all co-ops to show that they don’t discriminate, instead of proving a pattern of discrimination in those that actually do so.  I’m not sure if the bill could work; more likely, it would change the way in which discrimination is covered up.

Still, Continue reading

There is more than one way to win ‘bidding war’

Escalators here would serve an important purpose. (Flickr photo by zoetnet)

There is more than one way to win what homebuyers insist on calling a bidding war.  (I call it “competition.”)  But at least two of them are shunned here in New York.

Of course, conventional tactics include raising the price and stripping the contract of any contingencies such as financing and home inspection or otherwise improving terms such as settlement date.

One of the out-of-the-box idea that no one here endorses, however, demonstrates a buyer’s high motivation to close the transaction.  The concept is to offer Continue reading

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