The Big Apple: City’s estate auction is a dud

Undercounted immigrants may explain smaller population than believed

New York City’s population reached a record high for a 10-year census of 8,175,133, according to the 2010 count released on Thursday, but it fell far short of the official forecast.

Mayor Bloomberg immediately challenged the Census Bureau’s finding, saying it shortchanged the city by as many as 225,000 people.

He said it was “inconceivable” that Queens grew by only 1,343 people since 2000 and suggested that the profusion of apartments listed as vacant in places such as Flushing and in a swath of southwest Brooklyn meant the census missed many hard-to-count immigrants.

There’s something about Inez Dickens and her taxes

City Councilwoman Inez Dickens co-owns four Harlem apartment buildings that have for months owed the city more than $100,000 in property taxes.

Dickens’ properties also have been the subject of numerous building and housing-code complaints in the last few years, a Daily News investigation found.

Accusations emerged during an estate fight about whether Dickens and her sister, Delores, misrepresented the true ownership of the four properties when their legendary assemblyman father, Lloyd Dickens, died in 1988.

Inez Dickens submitted a final accounting of her dad’s estate on Aug. 17, 1999, which says Lloyd Dickens died with “no real property” in New York, records show. Her Council financial disclosure filings from 2006 through 2009 appear to contradict this assertion, describing the four properties as “inherited.”

And she’s not the only politician who apparently received tax breaks and affordable housing unconventionally

In a city where affordable housing is as scarce as a legal parking space, some City Council members have found ways to cut certain corners.

Some got questionable tax breaks. One got city-backed affordable housing, though he and his wife were at least $40,000 over the income limit. Another got a subsidized co-op, then bought a $90,000 brownstone.

Yet another ignored city inspectors investigating if he had an illegally converted apartment.

City’s auction of inherited properties yields only one sale

The minimum bid for this one-bedroom co-op on W. 71st St. was $520,000, and it demands renovation.

Thursday’s auction by Public Administrator Ethel J. Griffin was a dud, with but a single property of the nine Manhattan co-ops advertised for sale finding a buyer.

The buyer, who asked me not to identify him, won an apartment at 500 W. 55th St. in spirited bidding with one other hopeful for $150,000.  The minimum bid was $82,000 for the co-op, which could be purchased only by someone earning less than $50,000 a year.

Two adjoining co-ops at 134 W. 71st had attracted interest prior to the auction–until an announcement was read, twice, declaring that the building’s board would not permit the units to be combined.

There were no bids for the apartments, which had upset prices totaling $700,000.

Appeals court says landlords can impose extra increases on long-term tenants paying bargain rents in stabilized apartments

The New York State Court of Appeals ruled that the New York City Rent Guidelines Board had the power to impose extra increases on long-term tenants of apartments that go for less than $1,000 a month.

The board had sought the increases to help landlords cover rising operating costs like oil and electricity, and to equalize rents between long-term and short-term tenants.

The Appeals Court ruling overturned an earlier ruling by Justice Emily Jane Goodman of State Supreme Court in Manhattan.

Seasonality may be returning to the Manhattan market

Listings growth returned this month and all apartment sizes have been selling with equal vigor.

Says appraisal executive Jonathan Miller, who analyzed the data, “I am expecting more seasonality in 2011 than we have seen in the past three years.  Perhaps after the initial surge in 2011, the edge has come off the market a bit.”

A court appeal reignites dispute about seniors gabbing in the lobby of a Staten Island condo

In her November ruling on a complaints about lobby socializing, according to Habitat magazine, Judge Judith McMahon wrote that “there should be a place where people can meet and talk and discuss what’s in the paper and talk about how your wife is feeling and who is sick and who may need a ride to the hospital.

“That is human, that’s what we do, that’s how we communicate.”

Now, her ruling may face an appeal.

Representing the condo, attorney Brett L. Carric of Cantor, Epstein & Mazzola said that he filed the notice of appeal only in the event that the board wants to proceed with the action.

Foreclosures continue to drop citywide

In February 2011 there were only 43 properties scheduled for foreclosure auction for the first time, down 82 percent from the same month in 2010.

The total number of new scheduled foreclosure auctions in New York City also registered a significant decrease of 59 percent compared with the previous month of the current year.

Scheduled auctions for single-family homes recorded the biggest change, dropping 94 percent from February 2010, from 86 to 5 properties.

The Internet isn’t the only source of information about condo developers

Before you go to contract,on a new condo how can you find out vital information about the building’s developer? asks BrickUnderground.com.

It depends on whether you want to take a DIY approach, or whether you decide to pay a professional to do a more thorough reputation check than you can do on your own.

“Checking the sponsor on Google and using word-of-mouth are not enough. You need to know from a thorough-on-site public records check whether this sponsor has ever been sued” and whether the suit is something to worry about, says investigative lawyer Philip Segal.

How to find out what your co-op board is keeping from you and other thorny questions answered about living in a co-op

Co-op shareholders frequently hit a wall when they try to monitor the co-op board’s  decision-making, especially when it comes to accessing the minutes of the board’s monthly meetings.

Robert Tierman, a longtime co-op and condo attorney and a partner at Litwin & Tierman, explains to readers of Habitat magazine shareholders’ rights when it comes to seeing the minutes.

Good heavens!  Residing next to a church can be living hell!

The shock of discovery occurred on a Sunday morning, Margot Slade confesses on BrickUnderground.com.

“My husband and I were sleeping in after a long week of late nights. The only sound was the muffled ticking of an old beside clock and the gentle snore of our ancient cat.

“The clock’s hands slowly stretch to 9 o’clock when the newly repaired church bells sound. Bong, bong, bong–they tolled the full nine times.

“That was just the start, a prelude to the carillon concert–melodious, yes, but also loud–that followed.”

Wall Street employment jumps even thought the rate of growth slumps

Wall Street employment rose 5.4 percent in February from a year ago, but the pace of job growth slowed as banks reported slightly lower monthly headcounts in areas such as securities brokerage, according to the New York State Department of Labor.

Overall, Wall Street–a key contributor to New York state and New York City’s economy–reported 169,400 professionals, up from 160,700 a year earlier, and 169,100 in January.

The financial services industry has added 8,700 jobs from a year ago, but grew by just 300 in February.

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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
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