There is more than one way to win ‘bidding war’

Escalators here would serve an important purpose. (Flickr photo by zoetnet)

There is more than one way to win what homebuyers insist on calling a bidding war.  (I call it “competition.”)  But at least two of them are shunned here in New York.

Of course, conventional tactics include raising the price and stripping the contract of any contingencies such as financing and home inspection or otherwise improving terms such as settlement date.

One of the out-of-the-box idea that no one here endorses, however, demonstrates a buyer’s high motivation to close the transaction.  The concept is to offer Continue reading

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Weekly Roundup: Buyer woes, singer’s many purchases, U.S. price gains, mortgage brokers’ profits, soulful kitchens, millennials’ optimism

Manhattan a tale of two markets

Real Estate Brokers Predict a Tough Time for Buyers

Buyers ask, brokers try to answer

Tight inventory leads buyers to risk their down payments

Popular keywords enable listing agents to sell fast

Booming Hamptons market pushes renters east

And Fire Island fights Sandy’s effects on housing market as summer approaches

For trophy properties, $100 million is the new $50 million

Short supply of Brooklyn brownstones, leads to whopping price tags as more Manhattanites switch boroughs

For fixer-uppers, go east

City official says two, three more micro-unit developments in the offing

Sanitation Department schedules disposal events for hazardous products in five boroughs

Social media bigwig accused of trashing apartment in Chelsea and purchases big Greenwich Village loft for $8.15 million

Noted artist lists for $3.13 million Fort Greene townhouse purchased for nearly $2 million less in 2007 and renovated

Network TV anchor Continue reading

Taxes can bite borrowers of home equity loans

Happy Thanksgiving!

(Flickr photo by The Suss-Man (Mike)

Home equity loans have regained some of their popularity in the wake of the housing crisis.

But borrowers need to be clear about the extent of their tax deductibility — at least until (and if) Washington completes wrangling over the deficit.  You’ll find the nitty-gritty in a 16-page PDF published by the IRS, from which I’ll try to furnish just the broadest of strokes.

In essence, you can deduct no more than $100,000.  Except. . . Continue reading

The High Road: Beware of pinball effect

One way to try and hoodwink buyers is for their broker representatives to provide a false reality check.

I hadn’t heard the phrase “pinballing” before reading in account of the tactic by Kenneth R. Harney in the Washington Post.  He defines it this way: Continue reading

Do apartment buildings abuse First Amendment?

Numerous condo and co-op buildings restrict the amount, place or even the contents of notices and other paper that residents want their neighbors to see.

The arguments in favor of the restriction range from preserving dignity and removing clutter to avoiding political disputes.

For years, community association leaders and lawyers were in agreement that since condos are not governments, the First Amendment did not protect condo owners from speaking freely, lawyer and columnist Benny Kass observes in the Washington Post.  But a recent court ruling suggests the possibility that courts in some states may rule on the side of building residents, rather than their boards.

He reports that an opinion handed down by Continue reading

Architects live in houses and apartments too

Roger Lewis

Architect and Washington Post columnist Roger K. Lewis recently wrote a piece that struck a chord in me, and I wanted to share it with you.

In the column he asks, “What is beauty without function?”  He continues:

Compromised functionality can include Continue reading

Be sure to nail down what’s nailed down–and isn’t

 

(Flickr photo by K. W. Sanders)

Comes the traditional walk-through inspection just prior to closing and careless buyers may be in for unpleasant surprises.

Not just a leaky pipe. Or a pile of trash, a stove that doesn’t work or water that won’t flow from a faucet.

Each of those eventualities can and does occur. Each can be remedied at closing. However, another one can make for a tempest at the table. Continue reading