Weekly Roundup: Mortgage rates hit record lows

Here’s your chance to catch up with news included to inform, enlighten and perhaps even entertain you. To read about The Big Apple, check out another of today’s three posts.

HAVING SOLD HIS SOHO APARTMENT, HE HAS DESIGNS ON THE HIGH LINE IN WEST CHELSEA

SPORTS FIGURE FAKES A $4.4 MILLION LISTING IN 2005, FINALLY SCORES AFTER A PRICE CUT TO $2.675 MILLION

REAL ESTATE MOGUL’S PENTHOUSE ON CENTRAL PARK WEST FINDS UNNAMED BUYER FOR $40 MILLION, OR $10,259/SF

MEANTIME, THE SAME MOGUL HAS HIS OFFER ACCEPTED FOR Continue reading

HUD ratchets up LGBT anti-discrimination efforts

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) says it will pump up its activities to combat housing discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender  individuals and families (LGBT).

New guidance treats gender identity discrimination most often faced by transgender persons as gender discrimination under the Fair Housing Act and instructs HUD staff to inform individuals filing complaints about state and local agencies that have LGBT-inclusive discrimination laws. Continue reading

Brokers flout Fair Housing laws with impunity

When it comes to many matters relating to real estate, the Big Apple often lags the rest of the country.

One prime example discussed on this blog concerns the continuing resistance, especially by the biggest brokerages, to a Multiple Listing Service (MLS) even while reluctantly accepting VOWs (Virtual Online Web sites).

Another example involves the strictures of the Fair Housing Act, along with other anti-discrimination legislation on the municipal, state and and federal levels.

Such measures protect certain “classes” of consumers–for instance, by the source of their income, marital status, age, race and sexual orientation.  (In D.C., sellers may not discriminate by what is called matriculation, that is, against students.)  The list of protected classes can rise into the high teens.

Well schooled about the subtleties of the law when I was affiliated with Long & Foster Real Estate in D.C., I was astonished to see how flagrantly the provisions of the law were violated with impunity by brokers here in New York City. Continue reading

NAR aims to bar discrimination against gay people

The board of directors of the National Association of Realtors (NAR), of which relatively few Manhattan brokers are members, has amended its Code of Ethics to include a bar to discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. Final approval is slated for a vote in November.

The board  approved on Saturday a rule that bans Realtors from denying equal professional services to a customer on the basis of sexual orientation.

It amended Article 10 of the Code of Ethics, which addresses “duties to the public.” That part of the Code already prohibits Realtors from discriminating against customers on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status or national origin.

Standard of Practice 10-3 also was modified to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation in any advertisements for selling or renting property.

The change, met with applause, was passed unanimously by the Professional Standards Committee earlier in the week. The measure will now go before the NAR Delegate Body for approval at NAR’s annual conference in November.

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Malcolm Carter
Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker
Senior Vice President
Charles Rutenberg Realty
127 E. 56th Street
New York, NY 10022

M: 347-886-0248
F: 347-438-3201

Malcolm@ServiceYouCanTrust.com
Web site

Rabbits in photos may not be gay, Times warns

Photo by Jeff Koons for the New York Times

In today’s Sunday magazine, the New York Times has outdone itself in a piece titled “The Love That Dare Not Squawk Its Name.”  The subtitle provides helpful amplification: “Inside the science of same-sex animal pairings.”

It’s not the article that stopped me in my tracks, but the minuscule text under the credit for the photographs.  It reads in part:

No assumptions should be made about the animals’ sexual preference based on their appearance in this portfolio.

I’m not kidding, and I doubt that the Times is.  Perhaps the magazine is engaging in ironic humor, but it is hard to believe that Old Gray Lady would do that.

The editors really seem to be worried that the rabbits and Chinese silkie chicks shown above, plus the cats, sheep, roosters and butterflies in the photos would sue them if readers think they are gay.  Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

If the editors concerns were not so offensive, they might be laughable. I, for one, am not laughing.

Subscribe by Email

Malcolm Carter
Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker
Senior Vice President
Charles Rutenberg Realty
127 E. 56th Street
New York, NY 10022

M: 347-886-0248
F: 347-438-3201

Malcolm@ServiceYouCanTrust.com
Web site

NAR ethics code now includes sexual orientation

The late George Segal created this sculpture, installed in Sheridan Square, Greenwich Village. A tea party, it is not. Wallyg photo.

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) added sexual orientation to its equal opportunity policy at its recent annual governance meeting.

The Board of Directors passed the measure unanimously, according to Realty Times.

The organization’s Code of Ethics generally has reflected the Fair Housing Act, saying that its members “shall not deny equal professional services to any person for reasons of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin.” Continue reading