Title insurance has wrinkles well worth knowing

(Flickr photo by mountainamoeba)

Two of the most important things you need to know about title insurance — and you need to know them — are these:

  1. The percentage of claims is in the single digits;
  2. The cost is high considering the risk, but New York State law bars discounting.

It also is worth knowing that there are two exceptions to the prohibition against discounting: Continue reading

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Not all terms for home inspections are the same

Although home inspections are less common in New York City than elsewhere, they are essential in certain cases.

Sparing the expense of several hundred dollars, a buyer is particularly unwise to be pound foolish in the purchase of new apartment or single-family house, whether old or new.  Inspections are especially useful for with respect to apartments in small buildings, on top floors and on ground floors.

(The BrickUnderground Web site recently provided a helpful home inspection checklist.)

An important question facing prospective purchasers is how to achieve the inspection with maximum protection and minimum chance to have sellers reject their offers.

Because the time between making an offer and signing a binding contract easily can last one or two weeks here in New York, one approach Continue reading

Brooklyn house easily tops auction minimum

Semi-detached brick house with driveway and two-car garage at 50 Tapscott St. (Source: Kings County Public Administrator)

At Tuesday’s estate auction by King’s County Public Administrator Bruce Stein, the last was first in terms on the amount of its winning bid — $1.45 million, 62 percent above the minimum opening bid.

The object of spirited bidding by some half dozen hopefuls, the property at 51 Havermeyer St. was the last of 10 houses on the block.  Its minimum was $890,000.

The winner was a man who Continue reading

Queens auction produces $3M in winning bids

This Long Island City house fetched the highest price among eight properties at auction.

With three of 11 properties withdrawn, the estate auction of ultimately one co-op and seven houses in Queens netted $2.944 million for the city today.

The total topped the collective minimum price of $1.991 million by nearly $1 million.  The gain amounted to 48 percent more than the sum of what Queens Public Administrator Lois Rosenblatt terms the “upset price.”

Properties on the block ranged in price between $120,000 and $600,000 in neighborhoods including Long Island City, Jamaica and Jackson Heights.

Below are the results: Continue reading

Estate auction of Brooklyn houses set for Dec. 18

2343 60th St., Brooklyn, to be auctioned for at least $590,000.  (Source: Kings County Public Administrator)

2343 60th St., Brooklyn, is on auction block. (Source: Kings County Public Administrator)

Ten Brooklyn houses are to be auctioned on Dec. 18 by King’s County Public Administrator Bruce Stein.  It is the first such estate auction by the city in that borough since last June.

The properties, which were owned by individuals who died without wills, have minimum bids ranging from $175,000 to $890,000.

At 51 Havermeyer St., a three-family attached row house is the property with the highest opening bid.  With 3,525 square feet of living area and annual taxes of $3,910, the brick house was owned John Krantz.

Also on the block Continue reading

Auction scheduled of 10 Queens residences

This house in Long Island City requires the highest minimum bid, $600,000.

The estate auction of two co-ops and eight houses in Queens is to take place on Dec. 12.

Queens Public Administrator Lois Rosenblatt scheduled the auction of properties ranging in price between $100,000 and $600,000 in neighborhoods including Long Island City, Jamaica and Jackson Heights.

Below are the residences headed for the auction block, Continue reading

Queens auction enjoys strong bidding

This property at 195 Keno Ave., Holliswood, went for 35 percent over the minimum bid.

Tuesday’s estate auction by Queens Public Administrator Lois Rosenblatt of ultimately 20 co-ops and houses Tuesday eked out 1 percent more than the total minimum bids of $$4.315 million.

The amount of winning bids reached $4.355 million.

Although I wasn’t present, the results suggest spirited bidding for the properties that went down; many of them significantly exceeded the administrator’s upset prices.

Accounting for the merely apparent weakness in the total were four properties for which nobody raised a hand.

I’d say that the auction went quite well and the results may — may — indicate that the Queens housing market is beginning to regain a modicum of health.  I don’t know to what else can be attributed the substantial sums for which many of the properties went over the minimum bids, unless they were significantly underpriced.

Below are the minimum and winning bids: Continue reading