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.
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
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
See you in the New Year. . . Happy holidays!
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
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
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
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
Luxury markets pulls up Q2 average price, though volume declines
Overall sales volume of condominiums and cooperative apartments in Manhattan has been off about 11 percent so far in the second quarter compared with same period last year, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis of the city’s data.
A year ago, the market was bouncing back strongly from the after-effects of the financial crisis.
Prices have remained flat. Data on closings show that median prices in the second quarter were 1.2 percent below prices during the year-earlier period, while average prices rose by 1.5 percent.
The average price for a Manhattan apartment was about $1.39 million in the latest period. The figures are based on closings filed with the city as of 15 days before the end of each quarter.
Russians are invading Continue reading
BrickUnderground recently asked me to list how to answer tricky questions during a co-op board interview. Examples:
The board asks you to describe the dog you adopted from a shelter years ago, a snappish Chow mix Continue reading
When the contract with 30,000 union employees of 3,200 buildings in Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island and Manhattan is due to expire, you can count on the situation unfolding as it has periodically over the years.
There always is a drumbeat of dire consequences issued by Local 32BJ of the Service Employees International Union. Then comes a strike authorization vote. Meantime, property managers and boards of directors gear up for the worst.
It’s a like a play in which everyone has a part and has all the lines memorized until the curtain rises.
In fact, the worst sometimes happens, Continue reading