Weekly Roundup: Sales and prices rise in Manhattan, surfeit of celebs on the move, U.S. stats up and down, yet another historic low rate

Manhattan sales jump 9.3 percent over year earlier in third quarter, median prices climb 2.7 percent

Residents praise lifestyle of small spaces, and developers show big interest in them

Much desired sponsor apartments in co-ops bear scrutiny

11 groups lodge lawsuit seeking to block NYU expansion

Prices of single-family homes in broad region off 2.6 percent from prior year, bucking national trend

10th annual Open House New York weekend to celebrate city’s architecture, design

Land-use committee approves massive Lower East Side development

To developer’s dismay, those billionaires strive to leave individualistic impressions on One57 tower

Oscar winner sells Upper West Side penthouse for more than $1.7 million

Actress’ puts Ojai retreat legally on the market for $10 million

Nick and Meagan seek Continue reading

It’s not easy for anyone to accept rejection

When a Web site rejects you because it doesn’t recognize your password, that’s one thing.

When a book publisher snubs your manuscript, that’s pretty bad.

And when a lover dumps you, that’s much worse, almost as depressing as a lender’s disapproval or your mortgage application.

Arguably, however, little else compares with a co-op board’s rejection of an application to become a resident of the building, and rejection has been said to be happening with rising frequency.

Not only can such a rejection be demoralizing. It also can be a devastating setback that costs time, energy and money.

For the buyer, Continue reading

The High Road: Beware of pinball effect

One way to try and hoodwink buyers is for their broker representatives to provide a false reality check.

I hadn’t heard the phrase “pinballing” before reading in account of the tactic by Kenneth R. Harney in the Washington Post.  He defines it this way: Continue reading

In tight market, buyers may promise the world

The world is a big place, and buyers who promise it could doom the sale of real estate.

That’s why sellers need to scrutinize the details of any offer that they may be tempted to accept if it is devoid of contingencies.

What can happen?  Answer: Plenty.

So sellers, their brokers and their attorneys should ascertain the following: Continue reading

Out and About: Two too awkward for words

Apartments that have been truncated or expanded almost always suffer from contorted flow. (Flickr photo by hpb_pix)

From virtually the moment you enter some apartments, the sense may emerge that something is very wrong.

Although a bad smell, a rundown appearance or a suffocating gloom can be the source of the sense, a bastardized layout also can account for a more subtle — if no less offputting — reaction

Such is the case for a co-op or condo that has been chopped from a larger one and, frequently, an apartment that has been combined from one or two adjacent units.

Two apartments in the low 100s suffer from such a disconcerting burden.  Continue reading

Weekly Roundup: Shortage of condos, rates down again, strong signs of U.S. recovery, ugliest house

Lottery opens for 682 affordable housing rentals in Clinton

Number of condos projected to enter market in next few years likely to fall short of demand

With supply of condos dropping steeply, prices rise strongly

Basic steps can smooth apartment sale even before listing or searching

Biggest moving decision for parents centers on schools

Fierce competition in Manhattan pushes investors to outlying areas such as Nassau County

High rents causing drain of the middle class, comptroller reports

But billionaires buying many rooms they can afford with unforgettable views

New site grades each city block based on reviews of everything from crime to school, amenities (register free)

Rents for Boerum Hill studios swell 10 percent since July, topping gains elsewhere in Brooklyn

Accepting cash offer, an Ives grandson stymies plan to turn late composer’s home into museum

Actress is stoked to sell her Village duplex for $7 million

Music mogul lists 66th-floor condo for $8.5 million

After moving to California and renting out her downtown condo, Ryan’s daughter asks $1.645 for the unit (3rd item)

Curbed rounds up the buy and sell of Law and Order cast

Real divorce has couple putting Beverly Hills estate on the market for $26 million

Resales climb, prices go up and inventory Continue reading

The High Road: Welcome mat is not for everyone

“Hey, Sophie, it’s Sunday.  Let’s check out some open houses.”

A proposal to warm a listing broker’s heart, but that’s not where the dialog ends among members of a family:

“But what shall we do with Kimberly, Jessica and Adam?  Mom and Dad have matinée tickets to see Newsies today.”

“Well, we’ll bring them along.  And, wait, doesn’t puppy need her meds at 1 again.  It would be bad to miss a dose, I think.”

“I’ll get her leash, and we’ll take care of that on the run.” Continue reading

Rare is the first-time buyer who avoids surprise

Karen S. Sonn

The New York City housing market is so unlike any other that first-time buyers are bound to be taken aback by the process. Even experienced ones often end up dealing with surprise.

At the top of list of surprises is the board application that buyers must complete to purchase a co-op and, frequently, a condo.

As I have previously written, that package is peerless for its depth, intrusiveness and length. (It is way longer than the forms I had to complete in my former careers to obtain top secret clearance.)

In a post on BrickUnderground, lawyer Karen S. Sonn details most of the surprises that face buyers, among them: Continue reading

Using same agent for selling, buying can work


A columnist I follow sometimes provokes me to comment.

Tara-Nicholle Nelson’s column in answer to a consumer’s question is one that motivates me to respond here.

She considered whether someone should ask a broker to be her/his representative for both the sale of a current home and purchase of a new one.  With caveats, she said, doing so can be a good approach.

For one thing, it’s demonstrably efficient when it comes to Continue reading

Out and About: You call that a dining room?

Call me a Luddite, but I think of a room with four walls when “dining room” shows up in a listing or on a floor plan.

With just two walls that mark the ends of an alcove, I’d call it a dining “space.”  Technically, however, I’m wrong, according to the New York City Administrative Code.

The Code specifies that a dining space may be no bigger than 55 square feet; that limitation suggests that anything else may be called a dining room.  (No dining “space” is permitted in an apartment with fewer than three rooms, the Code states.)

As is evident in the floorplan above, Continue reading