Out and About: Harlem on my mind

Please note:  This weekly feature will return on Jan. 7, by which time everyone should have recovered from the holidays, including me most of all.

It has been many months since I looked at property in Harlem. However, I showed several apartments to an international buyer there last month and came away impressed.

We concentrated on the area of South Harlem near Morningside Park, and I was swept away by the value, ambiance and even convenience of the area bordered by 110th Street, Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Blvd. (Seventh Avenue), Morningside Avenue and around 123rd Street. View Map

As my buyer and I ambled along 125th Street west from Lexington Avenue, even that thoroughfare engaged me.

I marveled again at Continue reading

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The Big Apple: Median price grew most here

My coverage of New York City news likely will be sporadic over the next couple of weeks, but please do check here to catch up with important developments or perhaps my idle musings.

BANKS STRUGGLE TO SEIZE HOMES, MORE SO IN NEW YORK THAN ANYWHERE ELSE

It takes longer to foreclose on homes in New York than in any other state—and it’s getting longer every month.

Two years ago, the state began requiring that banks and borrowers attend settlement conferences before a foreclosure takes place.

While the conferences are popular with borrowers and have succeeded in helping some families keep their homes, banks have been reluctant to participate. That, and recent revelations that some lenders have improperly submitted foreclosure documents, has prompted judges to take a harsher stance with lenders.

CUOMO IS UNRELENTING ON PLEDGE TO CAP PROPERTY TAXES

Gov.-elect Andrew M. Cuomo is making clear to legislative leaders that one of his priorities is to cap local property taxes, a notion that would have large consequences statewide for homeowners and school districts.

Take my refrigerator, please, as the eighth item below suggests. No, not YOU! (Flickr photo by Tammy Green)

Cuomo is proposing a limit on the total amount of property tax dollars that can be collected annually by a school district, municipality or special district by capping the increase in the local tax levy at 2 percent or the rate of inflation, whichever is less, according to his campaign literature.  Schools traditionally receive the largest share of property taxes.

A cap would not directly affect New York City, where property taxes are relatively low because of revenue from the city’s personal income tax and where the schools are financed through the general city budget. But outside the city, New York is among the most heavily taxed states in the country.

D’YA THINK THIS NOMAD MIGHT HAVE A BOOK OR MOVIE DEAL IN THE BACK OF HIS MIND OR HIGHEST OF HIS HOPES?

Ed Casabian’s nomadic existence Continue reading

Weekly Roundup: Clouds admit glimmers of hope

Depending on news volume, this Friday feature may not–but probably will–return before Jan. 7.  Please do check back between now and then for occasional posts.

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

MAISONETTE OWNED BY LATE UPPER-CRUST FAMILY FINALLY FINDS BUYERS SLICED FROM THE SAME LOAF

AN ACTING COUPLE SLIPS AWAY IN THE CITY AFTER THEIR OFFER IS ACCEPTED

WRITER OF MONEY SPENDS A BUNCH OF IT TO BUY A BROWNSTONE IN BROOKLYN

PRIZE-WINNING IRISH NOVELIST WHO IS LOVED BY OPRAH MOVES UP IN THE WORLD

RATHER FAMOUS BARD’S HOME ON THE RANGE IS ON THE MARKET

DECADE ENDS WITH AVERAGE 58 PERCENT GAIN IN HOME PRICES

CONTINUING TO RISE, Continue reading