Weekly Roundup: Foreclosure auction, DOMA effects, climbing prices and rates, millennials, home offices, housing affordability and more

Have a great holiday week! No more posts until July 8.

Foreclosure auction scheduled for co-op in posh River House at end of 18-year legal battle

Metro area’s foreclosures down in April but still above national average

6.2 percent growth in construction spending expected during the year

End of DOMA produces real estate tax benefits for New Yorkers, of course others as well

Analysis of Manhattan prices, sales suggests they’re flatter than apparent in Q2

Actress sees black, not red, in sale of Greenwich Village duplex for $7.45 million

Comedian who played TV psychologist, hotel owner lists Bel Air home again at new lower price of $15.5 million

Peripatetic former Dateline anchor Continue reading

Dirk Zeller: All buyers have their misconceptions

Dirk Zeller

Author, speaker and all-around expert on  real estate, Dirk Zeller maintains that buyers invariably hold misconceptions about agents and the benefits of working them.

In the first of his two blog posts on the RealtyTimes site, he says that some buyers don’t think they need an agent.  Although lots of information is now available on the Internet, says Zeller, that’s not the same as receiving interpretation, analysis, counsel and protection.

Second, the writer argues against the belief in the minds of some buyers that they don’t need Continue reading

Don’t let home suffer humiliation of bad breath

If prospective buyers entering your home end up looking like this, you’ll have to admit you’ve got a problem. (Flickr photo by db2r)

Do you know whether your home smells?

Homeowners sometimes are unaware how offensive to others can be the pungency of Fluffy’s litter box.

In co-operatives, condominiums and rental buildings, the odors of cabbage or ethnic spices assaulting hallways and insinuating themselves through vents not only may irritate neighbors but also drive away prospective buyers as surely as Fluffy’s transgressions.

The mere sautéing of garlic, which is bound to linger in a cook’s apartment, easily penetrates public spaces and the disapproving nasal passages of anyone who traverses them.  And never mind what some perceive as the stench of tobacco smoke, especially from pipes and cigars, as a powerful disincentive to making an offer.

As for marijuana, I imagine approval or disgust may vary considerably according to the individual. Continue reading

Few phrases more chilling than ‘back on market’

Who is the seller and who, the buyer? (Flickr photo by Mr. van Meelen)

Few more words sound more ominous than “back on the market.”

They could mean that broker after broker couldn’t sell the property.

Or that a buyer withdrew after learning about nerve-wracking defects.

Or that the seller couldn’t stand the many months that the home was on the market with no taker and so elected to pause its marketing.

More charitable explanations also are possible.

Perhaps Continue reading

Weekly Roundup: New NYC stats, land paradox, easing rates, Fair Housing, search tool. . . more

All-cash dream can become all-consuming nightmare

WNYC investigation: System of appointing foreclosure referees operated with little oversight, rife with irregularities, dominated by political insiders

Signed contracts for $10 million-plus residential properties in Manhattan double the same time last year

Narrowest house, where Edna St. Vincent Millay lived, finds buyer at last

Rent board approves maximum increases  roughly double last year’s for stabilized apartments

Finding Hollywood home addresses of celebrities fast and easy

Grammy-winning saxophonist tries again to sell UWS townhouse, this time for $12 million

Comedic former TV talker sells Miami hacienda way below original ask of $20 million

Couple could be sleepless Continue reading

Auction of two Harlem buildings nets $6 million

Auctioneer Chuck Schcieifer spots a biddder.

Auctioneer Chuck Scheifer swivels and spots a bidder in packed room.

In a highly successful auction Wednesday of two Manhattan buildings that the state has declared surplus, taxpayers benefited with winning bids totaling $5.97 million.

An estimated 300 individuals jammed into the auction room on the eighth floor of the Adam Clayton Powell State Office Building on 125th Street to witness or participate in the sale.  There were 107 registered bidders, according to one official.

“Our goal is to get property on the tax rolls,” said the official, James P. Sproat, director of Real Estate Planning & Development in the Office of General Services.  “We’re satisfied that we’ve done the best for the taxpayers.”

Auctioneer Chuck Scheifer was less restrained: “I’m incredibly pleased and thrilled,” he allowed. “Fantastic.”

Immediately after successfully bidding on

Immediately after bidding successfully on 364 W. 119 St., the buyer (in blue shirt) and auctioneer converse.

First on the block was Continue reading

Sellers, most buyers are just as smart as you

(Flickr photo by Luciana Christante)

If you are putting your home on the market, chances are it has been a while since you have been a buyer.

In that event, you may well benefit from being reminded of tips that buyers would give you if asked. We can thank Trulia columnist Tara-Nicholle Nelson for gathering insights from her long experience on the search side of residential real estate.

Her post on the BusinessInsider site offers five observations (quoted verbatim) worth considering: Continue reading