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
(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
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
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
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
- (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
Housing recovery will depend on bitter medicine. (Flickr photo by aussiegall)
Experts cannot agree on how long housing’s crisis will continue or how to fix the problem.
You may have noticed my characterization of the situation as a “crisis,” and certainly everything that has happened in housing in the last three years has been tragically dislocating to millions of families and profoundly harmful to the economy. No one knows when it all will end or even how bad things will be when it’s finally over.
The effects of the bursting bubble have thrown lives into chaos and helped make a shamble of the economy, and that’s where the word “crisis” comes in. Whether ameliorating the crisis means that the nation will–or should–return to 68-69 percent home ownership is another matter on which I have written and will consider again below
Meantime, allow me to quote some of the sources in the Bloomberg piece that I mentioned in my post yesterday. For example:
Morgan Stanley housing strategist Oliver Chang:
Whether it’s the sidelined, shadow or current inventory, the issue is Continue reading
(Flickr photo by SouthernAnts)
Although the Great Recession officially ended in June 2009, there is a loose consensus that housing is about to recover or, indeed, is already recovering.
It’s hard to know where we are. None of the statistical information from a variety of sources is particularly helpful. Anecdotal information is even worse.
When it comes to Manhattan’s housing situation, nothing could be easier than to find rosy predictions–most recently in the New York Times, where various executives were quoted as celebrating a boost in business.
Yet, when I speak to brokers at their open houses, Continue reading
If you don't ask, no one needs to tell. (Flickr photo by cbsparklane)
Like physicians or lawyers at a cocktail party, real-estate brokers can be handy targets for consumers who want free advice.
I’m sure I’ve been guilty of asking impertinent questions, too. Everyone seems to handle them in different ways, and I know I don’t have a consistent response.
Sometimes, the person asking the question is considering which broker to hire to sell a property. What the owner invariably wants to know is how much it is worth and for how much it should be listed.
Frankly, I don’t like to give that information away free, not Continue reading