Weekly Roundup: Tax abatements, NYC’s worrisome Q2, U.S. recovery, gay neighborhoods, outdated decor, 30 richest cities and much more

Cuomo says he expects legislature to act in fall, so city retaining abated property tax levels

And appeals of property tax assessments near record number

Manhattan market verges on worried in second quarter

When seeking roommate on Craigslist, the details really matter

Landmark body approves one of three Riverside-West End Avenue historic districts, but others yet to face votes

Region’s foreclosure rate continues to grow

Neighbors rally to save historic Dutch Kills farmhouse

Condo boards Continue reading

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Weekly Roundup: Rent control, record low, rates, renovations, rosier forecasts. . . much more!

Three-year extension of rent control becomes law

Area single-family homes experience 2.9 percent drop over 12 months

South Bronx burns no more

Trulia says it’s cheaper to rent than buy in Queens

Selling condos to moms and dads often comes down to child’s play

Harlem’s renaissance enjoys revival

Following reports of rent scams by Queens man, attorney general issues Craigslist alert

NYU’s Furman Center documents plunge in Continue reading

The High Road: Real estate agent breaks law

(flickr photo by Taran Rambersad)

I somehow came across an unsigned ad on Craigslist begging for referrals:

I am a real estate agent.  I offer a referral fee to someone that is well connected and may know people looking to rent an apartment in the city.

Maintaining that “I honestly believe in collaboration as oppose [sic] to pure competition,” this agent says he’ll pay 15 percent for up to $2,690 in monthly rent and 20 percent for more expensive apartments.  The advertiser continues:

Payment will be done through Paypal.

After you contact me, I will email you the link to my personal and corpotate [sic] website and all my contact information.

We should also discuss details over the phone.

Well now, that’s what I call Continue reading

Private ‘MLS’ permits statewide property search

Everyone selling real estate and most prospective purchasers realize that there is no Multiple Listing Service (MLS) in New York City.

That void results in brokers having to resort to their shared databases through systems such as OLR (OnLine Residential), though listings by many boutique firms never appear in them.

Still, the vast majority of listings are fed into StreetEasy.com, where many buyers check to see what’s available along with services such BuyFolio.com.  Both the New York Times and Craigslist can be sources of properties being sold by their owners without brokerage assistance.

It’s not a great system.

Little did I know until meeting Dawn Pfaff at a monthly dinner meeting of the Lucky Strikers Social Media Club that there exists something she has describes as a statewide MLS.  Sort of.  Continue reading

The Big Apple: Condo prices, rents rise and more!

Condo prices rise 12 percent over May 2009, but pace seems to flag

The Radar Logic data firm reports that Manhattan condo prices went up 4.7 in January over a year earlier but that the rate of growth seems to be slowing.

Although prices have climbed 12 percent above the post-bust low in May 2009, the price recovery is “losing steam” or may simply reflect seasonal weakness in demand, according to the firm’s RPX Monthly report on Manhattan neighborhoods. The report said it was too early to know with any certainty what contributed to the increase.

Uptown neighborhoods fared better than downtown neighborhoods, with year-over-year increases caused by higher prices per unit as a result of a shortage in supply.

Apartments with a washer/dryer clean up when sold

One new value-enhancing amenity that’s catching on is allowing shareholders and unit-owners to install clothes washers and dryers in their apartments. Plumbing issues have been the usual reason for forbidding washing machines.

But one veteran real estate appraiser has estimated that a washer and dryer add approximately 5 percent to the value of any apartment, leading to the increasingly permissive attitude these days.

The rich are Continue reading

The Big Apple: Schools, smoke, slides and more

If you can’t beat them, you don’t have to let bedbugs join you

Adam Greenberg, president of USBedBugs.com, one of the country’s largest online retailers of anti-bedbug gear, tells BrickUnderground.com that, in comparison with the rest of the nation, New Yorkers are “ahead of the curve” on knowing what to do about bedbugs.  Says he:

“Therefore, New Yorkers are both more hands-on in the products they buy for monitoring and treatment of bedbugs and also more proactive at purchasing prevention items like mattress encasements and travel protectors.”

Because almost everyone knows someone who has experienced bedbugs by now, they know the value of the prevention items, Greenberg explains.

Topping his list of 10 preventative items purchased are luggage and clothing encasements–that is, containers for containers.  For the other nine, visit BrickUnderground.

New Web site points to best public schools using your maximum price to purchase or rent

SchoolFisher.com is for New Yorkers “who want Continue reading

The Big Apple: Q3 surge confirmed and more

THEIR COUNTRIES CHANGE, BUT NOT FOREIGNERS’ INTEREST IN HOMES HERE

Foreigners are once again buying in Manhattan, energizing the still-fragile market. In recent months, according to brokers and developers, the money has been just as likely to come from Continue reading