Out and About: You gotta love the neighborhood

In early May, Riverside Park is this side of paradise.

A while back, I quoted Paul Purcell, who is a founder of Charles Rutenberg Realty, as mentioning what he termed an old saw:

You’ve got to like your home, but you’ve got to love your neighborhood.

Smart and obvious, though not to me until then.

The concept came back to me last month when watching a friend of mine, Teri Karush Rogers of BrickUnderground.com, on WNBC-TV, where she was talking about mistakes that buyers make.  She confessed that she twice had made one such mistake, and you’ve guessed what it is: She loved two places to which she moved but hated the neighborhoods.

As for me, I’ve lived in seven different Manhattan neighborhoods.  In order, they have been Morningside Heights, Washington Heights (in a section that has taken on airs as “Hudson Heights”), close to the East Village (18th and First Avenue), central West Village, Gramercy/Flatiron and now the Upper West Side near the 96th Street express stop on Broadway.

I can’t say Continue reading

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I win some, lose some and don’t enjoy losing

(Flickr photo by dampeebe

An e-mail last week from a woman whom I had represented successfully in two transactions was, to say the least, kind of disappointing.

Along with Paul Purcell, a principal in the brokerage with which I’m affiliated, plus a broker with 26 years of experience on the Upper West Side, I met with the woman’s husband last spring to assess the value of the apartment that I had sold them.  Although the meeting was long scheduled, the woman was unaccountably absent.  (I suspect that she avoided the meeting deliberately to avoid hearing bad news.)

In the low 80s between Riverside Drive and West End Avenue, the unit was thronged at an open house the last time it was listed.  That was in 2007, when the market was red-hot.  In a competitive bidding situation, they won the co-op for an even $2 million.

A year or so later, Continue reading

Is it a losing battle for brand-name brokerages?

Are new business models winning a fight with older brokerages? (Flickr photo by red betty black.)

The new June issue of the Real Deal has a piece about an unsurprising development among brokers.  In the article, which correctly quotes me, writer Candace Taylor notices that many brokers are questioning the value of their affiliation with name-brand firms in New York City.

Referring not only to commission splits but also to annual fees up to $5,000 that brokers must pay their firms, plus errors and omissions insurance, Taylor notes: Continue reading

Condos slated for auction in Manhattan, Brooklyn

On Wednesday, a two-bedroom unit in this Canarsie condominium goes on the block. As for the Manhattan units, June 27.

A foreclosed 1,063-sf apartment that has two bedrooms and one bath in the 1989 Brook Club Condo, which has a pool, is to be auctioned on Wednesday.  At 1229 E. 80th St., unit 180 will go on the block with an opening bid of $50,000.

Monthly fees of $185 include  common area maintenance and insurance, exterior maintenance and insurance, lawn care, snow removal, trash and water.

An outfit called Williams & Williams is conducting the auction at 4:30 p.m. on May 26 at 127 Craig Ave., Freeport, which is a four-bedroom house that also will be for sale that day.  You can bid online, too.

Inspection of the Canarsie property is by appointment only.  Just call 718-998-1700 x200.

You won’t have to travel as far as Long Island to bid in person for the auction of five two-bedroom, two-bath units plus a three-bedroom penthouse that have remained unsold since 127 Madison Avenue was completed in 2007. Continue reading

Wall Street bonus impact leaves many guessing

Photo by epicharmus.

It is hardly surprising that there has been a flurry of stories in the last few days about the impact that heady bonuses will have on Wall Street.  Will they goose real estate sales, especially at the higher end? Continue reading