Weekly Roundup: Hamptons, celebs, new-home sales, lower interest rates, auction spat, Baby Boomers, marble stains, housing’s headwinds

Court approves of class action lawsuits by tenants claiming rent overcharges when apartments illegally deregulated

Study: Living in New York actually relative bargain for the wealthy

Hudson Yards finally on track

Regret may define things you might do within your four walls

For politicians, finding a rental apartment differs from searches the mere mortals endure

Sandy deals lingering blow to Hamptons residential prices

Upper East Side developers scramble to convert projects as luxury market rebounds

Details of navigating schools choice provided by BrickUnderground

Council hearing on Fair Cooperative Procedure Law is set for April 30

Outdoor space on ground floor is expensive, but higher up more so for good reasons

Relationships sour between landlords and tenants of Dumbo lofts in converted factories

Q1 sales in the Hamptons 29.4 percent lower than same time last year

It’s time for spring house, garden tours

Interior designer with TV show finally Continue reading

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Not all terms for home inspections are the same

Although home inspections are less common in New York City than elsewhere, they are essential in certain cases.

Sparing the expense of several hundred dollars, a buyer is particularly unwise to be pound foolish in the purchase of new apartment or single-family house, whether old or new.  Inspections are especially useful for with respect to apartments in small buildings, on top floors and on ground floors.

(The BrickUnderground Web site recently provided a helpful home inspection checklist.)

An important question facing prospective purchasers is how to achieve the inspection with maximum protection and minimum chance to have sellers reject their offers.

Because the time between making an offer and signing a binding contract easily can last one or two weeks here in New York, one approach Continue reading

Co-ops in small buildings may face stormy seas

(Flickr photo by Steve Babb)

There are many advantages to buying a co-op in a small building, among them:

  • Being well acquainted with your neighbors;
  • Generally low maintenance fees;
  • Scale that is desirable to many of its residents;
  • Numerous opportunities to participate meaningfully as a volunteer in a diminutive community;
  • Application procedures that may be less onerous than in larger buildings.

However, some buyers see the disadvantageous side of the coin: Continue reading

Caution, ain’t nothin’ like a sponsor apartment

See you in the New Year. . . Happy holidays!

One of my favorite posts.

When co-op buyers see the words “sponsor apartment” in a converted building, their eyes invariably light up with anticipation. In fact, some buyers will specify that they want both to live in a co-op and to buy only a sponsor apartment.

For readers who are not in the know, the reason is that sponsor apartments will allow buyers to avoid having to undergo the tedious, time-consuming task of assembling inches thick of a board package, the rigors of a board interview and all the attendant anxiety.

Virtually all that sponsor wants to know is that you have the cash for a deposit and the means, including certainty of lender approval, of having the funds to close.

In other words, purchasing a sponsor apartment is a lot like buying a condo – smooth sailing. (Buyers of both condos and co-ops would be well advised to get into the weeds by reading the advice that lawyer Ron Gitter provides.)

But . . . (There’s always a “but,” isn’t there?) 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

‘Pet friendly’ and other mysteries of house rules

(Flickr photo by ashley rose)

For owners of dogs and cats seeking to move into an apartment, there’s nothing like finding a building described as pet friendly.

Friendly is one thing.  A warm embrace is quite another.

As BrickUnderground has noted, a new resident may well be dismayed to discover the distinction amounts to a gaping difference.

After a new rule was imposed for canines weighing more than 25 pounds, one tenant was relegated to riding in a slow-moving elevator with her German Shepherd.  And there was no way to challenge the measure.

Although most new rules in cooperatives and condominiums grandfather current owners, it is important for anyone contemplating a move Continue reading

Out and About: You gotta love the neighborhood

In early May, Riverside Park is this side of paradise.

A while back, I quoted Paul Purcell, who is a founder of Charles Rutenberg Realty, as mentioning what he termed an old saw:

You’ve got to like your home, but you’ve got to love your neighborhood.

Smart and obvious, though not to me until then.

The concept came back to me last month when watching a friend of mine, Teri Karush Rogers of BrickUnderground.com, on WNBC-TV, where she was talking about mistakes that buyers make.  She confessed that she twice had made one such mistake, and you’ve guessed what it is: She loved two places to which she moved but hated the neighborhoods.

As for me, I’ve lived in seven different Manhattan neighborhoods.  In order, they have been Morningside Heights, Washington Heights (in a section that has taken on airs as “Hudson Heights”), close to the East Village (18th and First Avenue), central West Village, Gramercy/Flatiron and now the Upper West Side near the 96th Street express stop on Broadway.

I can’t say Continue reading