Weekly Roundup: Renters, new market stats, dropping loan rates, foreclosure purchase risks, credit misconceptions, kitchen trends, and more

Renters don’t stay put for long in the financial district

New York magazine explores world of platonic urban cohabitation i.e. roommates

Housing signals mixed in metro region

Four things to bear in mind when buying an apartment for your kids

19 percent more building permits issued in 2012 than in prior year

Committee ranks Upper East Side tops for kids, Bay Ridge beats all other Brooklyn neighborhoods

Request for proposals to redevelop Lower East Side sites signals end of bitter renewal squabbling

Foreclosures in region higher in December than a year earlier

Estate in the Hollywood Hills finds friendly buyer but at greatly reduced price

Legendary rocker Continue reading

Professional inspections routine. . . elsewhere

No, this inspector is not checking out avocados. (Flickr photo by nikkigomez)

I don’t often waste my breath advocating a professional home inspection here in Manhattan.

That’s the opposite of what I did with each one of my clients in Washington, D.C., Virginia and Maryland.

Yet the benefits of an inspection are no smaller here than elsewhere, even though the vast majority of properties is sold “as is.”  Not once in the D.C. area did the professionals fail to discover defects, suggest things to monitor and provide maintenance advice.

Nor, I should say, are inspectors infallible. Continue reading

Buyers shouldn’t accept a big fat pig in a poke

(Flickr photo by jere-me)

I’m guessing that none of my readers has purchased a pig — unless it was to be properly roasted and sauced — let alone a pig in a poke.

As we all know, buying something unseen or poorly investigated is asking for trouble.

When it comes to real estate, consumers are ill-advised to leave all the inquiries to others, no matter how professional and how trustworthy they are.

No lawyer is going to Continue reading

Be sure to nail down what’s nailed down–and isn’t


(Flickr photo by K. W. Sanders)

Comes the traditional walk-through inspection just prior to closing and careless buyers may be in for unpleasant surprises.

Not just a leaky pipe. Or a pile of trash, a stove that doesn’t work or water that won’t flow from a faucet.

Each of those eventualities can and does occur. Each can be remedied at closing. However, another one can make for a tempest at the table. Continue reading