So you want to be a landlord. Think twice.

I take no responsibility for my tenant's interior design choices.

I take no responsibility for my tenant’s interior design choices.

When I lived in Washington, D.C., I was fortunate to have owned a townhouse for a virtual song.  The apartment downstairs basically covered my mortgage and other costs.

The one-bedroom unit with access to a patio that my tenants shared with me rented quickly during my ten years of ownership.

Each of my tenants but one was great, not making too many demands, too much noise or really any problems at all.  It was the last one that, had I the choice, I probably would have Continue reading

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Choosing real estate agent means asking quesions

Articles about picking the right real estate agent/broker appear regularly in newspapers, magazines and blogs, including a piece in the Washington Post that highlights the desirability of obtaining references.

Another one that I recently came across is from a publication at which I once worked, Money magazine, which headlined the piece “7 question for your next real estate agent.”  (Using a number is supposed to increase readership.)

The first question either buyers or sellers are supposed to ask is this: Continue reading

Weekly Roundup: Inventory effects, moving actors, price gain questions, dubious lenders, N.J. condos, renovation tips, divergent forecasts

Despite short supply, citywide sales rise in 2012

Median Manhattan rent reaches $3,195 as sales inventory dwindles

23 new developments hitting market this spring

Closet space can account for substantial price differences

Lottery opened for affordable rentals in new luxe UWS building near Fairway

Auction scheduled for lakefront home in Copake

As supply becomes scarce, price growth is modest in Queens

Actor’s strategy for exiting Manhattan is move to Brooklyn

Greenwich Village home of classical music icon on market for $2.8 million

Here comes the profit for Continue reading

Weekly Roundup: Turning point possibility, record rates again, pet habitats that pamper, stocks vs. housing returns, bulls in retreat. More!

By dollars per square foot, Tribeca tops all other Manhattan neighborhoods in Q1

Average monthly rent in Manhattan attains record $3,429 or $4,250 in April, depending on source

When you move here from out of state, the taxman wants to get his hooks into you

Manhattan has had 169 percent spike in new building permits this year, 35 of them in contrast to 13

Water Board approves 7 percent increase starting July 1

Citywide Q1 sales Continue reading

True confessions of an auction addict

Skier in Vail, Colo.

Aside from the fact that many readers like to keep up with auction news, I once had an experience that seems to have hooked me on the subject.

When I was a writer for Money magazine in the early 80s, real estate auctions were rare enough that I was assigned to cover one.  The auction in question was for unsold units near Vail, Colo. Continue reading

Weekly Roundup: Clouds admit glimmers of hope

Depending on news volume, this Friday feature may not–but probably will–return before Jan. 7.  Please do check back between now and then for occasional posts.

Meantime, here’s your chance to catch up with real estate developments included to inform, enlighten and perhaps even entertain you. To read about The Big Apple, check out another of today’s three posts.

MAISONETTE OWNED BY LATE UPPER-CRUST FAMILY FINALLY FINDS BUYERS SLICED FROM THE SAME LOAF

AN ACTING COUPLE SLIPS AWAY IN THE CITY AFTER THEIR OFFER IS ACCEPTED

WRITER OF MONEY SPENDS A BUNCH OF IT TO BUY A BROWNSTONE IN BROOKLYN

PRIZE-WINNING IRISH NOVELIST WHO IS LOVED BY OPRAH MOVES UP IN THE WORLD

RATHER FAMOUS BARD’S HOME ON THE RANGE IS ON THE MARKET

DECADE ENDS WITH AVERAGE 58 PERCENT GAIN IN HOME PRICES

CONTINUING TO RISE, Continue reading

It’s an old refrain: Can print survive the Internet?

While Barnes & Noble now is for sale, so are its books--online, of course, above.

Maybe I’m just an old crank when it comes to my current musings about the challenges facing magazines, newspapers and printed books.

Though I live on my computer, I come from a print background.

In college, I was editor of the newspaper and, at the same, time a professional journalist with the long-defunct Hartford Times.  I went on to become a stringer for Time magazine while getting my graduate degree in communications at Stanfrod, edited a magazine for public information officers in the Navy, became a national writer for the Associated Press and was a Money magazine writer.

So, my affection for print is hardly surprising.  Yet three recent events and one insight have brought the issue (no pun) to the top of my mind.

Continue reading