Weekly Roundup: Broker titles, celebs on the move, growing supply, reverse mortgages, the American Dream, boarding houses, and more

Next week’s Weekly Roundup will be the last until Sept. 6

Offering plans afford glimpse into pluses, minuses of lavish lifestyle in luxe buildings

Buyers snapping up Manhattan apartments 38 percent faster than last year, with UWS tightest market

Brokers still wrestling with new state rules on titles

Prices of Williamsburg condos plummeted in spring

First-half volume of investment properties leaps 41.3 percent over same time last year

One Picasso forsaking his walls

Lord of the Rings actor drops $1.075 million for gingerbread Victorian in Texas

Former NBA player lists California home for $2.795 million

Onetime TV detective, also actor who originated role of Continue reading

Disclosure forms not always needed for buyers

disclosureIt has taken a while, but most listing brokers now have agency disclosure forms available for homebuyers at open houses.

The forms spell out who is representing whom — namely that the listing broker has only the seller’s best interests in mind.  However, rare is the listing broker who complies with a statutory requirement to explain the form in more than a few words before buyers sign the thing.

What some brokers working for sellers apparently don’t understand is Continue reading

Out and About: Walls always speak volumes

Portion of a wall that needs help

Clean windows, polished floors, organized closets and sleek kitchen all communicate positive aspects of any home being considered by buyers.

One characteristic that is not usually noticed at once also can have a decided impact on first impressions and subsequent appreciation of properties on the market.

That is the walls, especially in pre-war apartments and townhouses. The shape they are in speaks volumes.  They thereby affect prices in ways that can elevate or depress the selling price.

Consider the photo above. Perhaps you can Continue reading

Weekly Roundup: Hot sales, rising prices and rents, upward trending rates, online reno tools, conflicting recovery predictions and much more

Sales hot, hot, hot in Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, where Williamsburg prices soar 23.6 percent in year

Even with continued inventory shortage, Q2 sales leap up

Average rent in city (excluding Staten Island) breaks $3,000 for first time

And median rent in Manhattan hits $3,195 in June, with Brooklyn’s jumping 13.5 percent since 2012

Many uptown adherents now embracing downtown neighborhoods they once considered unthinkable

Landlords, boards of co-ops and condos tailoring latest amenities to Continue reading

Liking paperwork, you’ll love co-op renovations

(Flickr photo by luxomedia)

Anyone planning to undertake major renovations in a co-op apartment faces a forbidding task.  Without the building’s prior written consent to undergo structural alterations of an apartment, count on trouble ahead.

If you are a brave soul with plans to expand the kitchen you soon will acquire, add a bathroom or take down a wall, there is no guarantee that the co-operative will approve the alteration request.

Many boards won’t even consider Continue reading

Out and About: Why I write what I write

(Flickr photo by MN Photos)

I frequently am asked why I publish this weekly feature.  Well, not frequently.  Actually, not at all.

But I thought you might permit me to indulge myself with an explanation.

It happens that I (among others) believe it is essential for real estate agents to get to know their market intimately.  That means not merely reading listings online but kicking the tires, as it were.

Not to toot my own horn too loudly, let me express my sense that only a minority of us go to the trouble of checking out listings personally just because they exist.  In other words, we don’t look at properties that might interest only a particular buyer but properties that may fit the needs of the next buyer as well.

The process of thereby learning the market takes a fair amount of time and uses up an unholy amount of shoe leather.  One week, I counted Continue reading

Weekly Roundup: Foreclosure auction, DOMA effects, climbing prices and rates, millennials, home offices, housing affordability and more

Have a great holiday week! No more posts until July 8.

Foreclosure auction scheduled for co-op in posh River House at end of 18-year legal battle

Metro area’s foreclosures down in April but still above national average

6.2 percent growth in construction spending expected during the year

End of DOMA produces real estate tax benefits for New Yorkers, of course others as well

Analysis of Manhattan prices, sales suggests they’re flatter than apparent in Q2

Actress sees black, not red, in sale of Greenwich Village duplex for $7.45 million

Comedian who played TV psychologist, hotel owner lists Bel Air home again at new lower price of $15.5 million

Peripatetic former Dateline anchor Continue reading