Say good-bye to real estate VPs, SVPs and EVPs?

The New York Department of State says in a stunning opinion letter distributed Monday by the Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY) that many of us real estate salespersons and associate real estate brokers, including me, are violating the law.

Associate Attorney Whitney A. Clark states in the letter that those of us who adopt or receive corporate titles such as vice president on upward are in violation of the real property law if we are not actually officers of the corporation — for example, any incorporated brokerage.

In the one-and-a-half-page missive, which amounts to a bombshell, Clark declared: Continue reading

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Draft tax abatement bill reduces past decreases

Although legislation has been drafted to extended tax abatements for apartment owners, there are changes that residents may not have been expecting.

It has been widely reported that the legislature is expected to go into special session later this year to vote on the co-op/condo abatement, the J-51 program and a technical amendment for 421a tax benefits, which are aimed at encouraging new residential development in high-density districts in Midtown as well as in downtown Manhattan.

But only when I received an e-mail from the Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY) did I notice details that affect many residents of the Big Apple.  Continue reading

The Big Apple: Developers under gun and ground

Important housekeeping announcement:  There will be reduced frequency of posts until after Labor Day, but you can look forward until then to Out and About, some typically critical posts taken on The High Road, perspectives on sellers and buyers, and other information meant to be both illuminating and, occasionally, even entertaining.  This regular Friday feature will return on September 9, when it will be combined with Weekly Roundup.

Fair Housing Law settlement points to many more in thousands of other buildings

The developer and architect of an Upper West Side luxury rental apartment complex, The Melar, have settled with the federal government on charges that their new residential building violated federal law because it is inaccessible to the disabled, according to U.S. Attorney Preet Bharark.

The settlement may have an impact on more than 100,000 residential properties across the city. Continue reading

New property-search site falls short of complete

Source: NY1Residential.com

With little fanfare, a kinda new site for searching New York city properties for sale went live last week.  On its home page, the announcement was brief:

New Yorkers who are looking for a new home now have a new way to buy, rent or sell real estate, with the launch . . . of NY1Residential.com, a comprehensive real estate listings website from NY1 News and the Real Estate Board of New York.

The problem I have is that “comprehensive” overstates the usefulness of the site, which Continue reading

The Big Apple: Will there be too FEW condos? More!

WITH NEW CONSTRUCTION AT ITS NADIR, LOOK FOR HIGHER CONDO PRICES BY 2012

As the market plods along in a slow but steady recovery, brokers and developers are saying the city will soon face a shortage of new development projects.

Last year, through November, the city issued permits for only 10 new residential buildings, for a total of 505 new units. That’s 95 percent fewer apartments, either condo or rental, than for the same period in 2008, when permits were filed for 9,448 units in 147 buildings, according to census data. (The number of units had dropped to 1,203 in 31 buildings in 2009.)

Starting in 2012, after most or all the new projects that were stalled or delayed have finally sold out, the supply of new apartments will take a decided dip, and prices for all apartments could start to rise significantly again.

“Once we work through the existing inventory and there’s nothing new coming on line,” President Kelly Mack of the Corcoran Sunshine Marketing Group told the New York Times, “there’s going to be a major shift in the market. Prices may start going up significantly in 2012 in anticipation of the shift in inventory.”

THAT OTHER INEVITABLE FACT OF LIFE IS GOING UP

Co-op and condo owners Continue reading

There’s a chance you’ll be disabled someday too

Avalon Morningside Park

When most of us think of the Fair Housing Act, what occurs first is its prohibition against discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex or familial status.

Perhaps we  overlook the additional requirement to treat fairly someone with a handicap.

Although I hope no one who reads this post is or will be disabled, chances are pretty good you at least know someone who fits the federal definition as articulated in the Americans with Disabilities Act.  According to the Department of Housing and Urban Development,  it says:

An individual with a handicap is a person who Continue reading