You already know that the IRS is drooling over the impending income tax deadline. You’re not alone.
This is the time of year when homebuyers are digging through that shoebox with all their receipts, hoping for a refund, dreading the possibility of draining their savings and . . . postponing their search for a new place to live.
Although the weather may be fine and open houses scheduled in seasonally elevated numbers, taxes and their impact in “normal” times tend to sap the resources, energy and motivation of buyers. (Of course, this is hardly a normal year.) The nascent vigor of the housing market follows.
It’s just as well: Many sellers are, by and large, still holding back in the hope of a market they can call their own, and they are pricing properties too high, especially if they purchased them in the last four or five years and dumped a boatload of money on renovations.
Brokers with buyers who still are searching complain that the supply of desirable – emphasis on “desirable” – properties that are reasonably priced is pitiful. That’s true almost everywhere but the Financial District as sellers hold their apartments and townhouses off the market in hopes of even better times.
You could not be faulted for believing in the possibility of finding on the Upper West Side for under $1 million a modest, well-located two-bedroom apartment of at least 1,200 square feet with relatively unobstructed views, better than average condition and building amenities such as lobby personnel.
It may exist, but such apartments that you would consider buying are few and far between.
Why not dream on!
Sure, there are co-ops and condos of all sizes on the market. But their liabilities range from being on the top floor of a four-story brownstone to facing brick walls or requiring a gut-renovated kitchen or standing next to an SRO or smelling of cigar smoke or including a second bedroom no bigger than a small walk-in closet — or any combination of the foregoing issues and a host of others.
At the same time, it is possible to find value in today’s market. Examples of properties that are either reasonably or wishfully priced abound.
When Uncle Sam is done draining you and your savings, enjoy the search.
Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker
Senior Vice President
Charles Rutenberg Realty
127 E. 56th Street
New York, NY 10022