Roundup of news about the Big Apple and beyond

NEWLY COMPILED DATA LETS YOU COMPARE MAINTENANCE FEES AND MORE IN DIFFERENT NEIGHBORHOODS

CONDOMINIUM TAKES ON SENIORS AND LEARNS A LESSON

WHAT DO STEEP PARK AVENUE DISCOUNTS MEAN FOR THE LUXURY MARKET, TROPHY HOMES?

BROOKLYN WOMAN DIES, MAN STEALS HER BUILDINGS, SO MAN HEADS UP RIVER TO NEW RESIDENCE FOR A LONG, LONG TIME

UNWANTED TENANTS COLLECT $1.3 MILLION AND MORE TO LEAVE CENTRAL PARK SOUTH BUILDING

ZECKENDORF TOWERS DEMONSTRATES HOW A GREEN A ROOF CAN BE

LATE PHILANTHROPIST’S APARTMENT SELLS AT A STEEP DISCOUNT

SELLER DRAGS IN Continue reading

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The Big Apple Sept. 10

WHILE THE U.S.  SUFFERED IN Q2, MANHATTAN HOUSING IMPROVED

After disturbing Q2 reports were released last month on the U.S. housing market (in “Weekly Roundup” below), the Wall Street Journal’s Josh Barbanel armed himself with statistics to show that the situation in Manhattan wasn’t so bad. Sales of apartments in Manhattan appear to have strengthened this summer, with median prices up, inventory down and an increase in the number of apartment closings, he reported.

“The figures suggest that the Manhattan market, buoyed by a resumption of hiring and a healthy Wall Street bonus season ahead, has so far escaped much of the distress across the country,” Barbanel wrote.  He noted that July’s median home sale price in Manhattan was $900,000 in comparison with $182,600 nationwide.

In a subsequent piece, Continue reading

10 questions to demand of your board candidates

Who will fill the seats on your board? (Flickr photo by dolphinfxt)

Annual meeting season for condos and co-ops is in full swing.

Although many residents may skip the meetings, routinely check off the names of existing board members or casually sign away their votes to proxies, they may thereby ignore the single most powerful way to protect their interests.

Please bear in mind that the state invests the boards of co-ops and condos with fiduciary responsibility.  It is their job to see that funds are collected, not wasted and obligated in a manner otherwise consistent with the law.

Since the burden of responsibility is heavy and rarely shouldered equally by board members, I have developed a list of questions that I think each incumbent candidate for a board should be required to answer–publicly.

My list grows out my membership and presidency of both a condo and a co-op board.  The latter board is one from which I resigned mainly because of time commitments that grew increasingly burdensome in all areas of my life and because of my disgust with the other members. Here are the questions Continue reading

Co-op owners, hang onto your hats and wallets

You’re in for a rough ride.

If you have already received notice of a January maintenance increase, maybe you’re thinking of moving.

Don’t bother: Thanks largely to property taxes, most residents of co-ops and condos in New York City face a punishing boost in their monthly housing costs as early as next month.

If you own an apartment, look at the column labeled "Class 2."

Do the rates depress you?  It gets worse if you go farther back in time: Continue reading