Recent Transactions and Trends

The widely known “ugliest” apartment located at 15 Central Park West finally sold for $6.5 million (original asking price $8.5 million) as the property was passed along from broker to broker.  The 2,200 square foot apartment was given a serious makeover last year and was even listed as FSBO (for sale by owner) for a period of time.  Click here to see pictures of the “ugliest apartment” as described by Curbed.
http://ny.curbed.com/archives/2012/01/13/reign_of_ugly_at_15_central_park_west_ends_with_sale.php#central-park-west-fsbo-6

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Is Midtown East slated to grow?  Mayor Bloomberg stated last week: “In the area around Grand Central, we’ll work with the City Council on a package of regulatory changes and incentives that will attract new investment, new companies and new jobs.”  It is not clear what the Mayor’s plans are, but it is clear that there is room for growth in Midtown.  It is likely that the Mayor was alluding to a major rezoning, stretching as far north as Central Park, as the Observer reported.
 
According to a spokesperson for the Department of City Planning, “The new regulations would allow owners to erect larger, modern towers in what officials hope would be an incentive to knock down buildings that no longer draw A-list tenants.”  Chances are, however, if there were to be a rezoning of midtown to allow for more residential mid and high rises, it will likely be over the course of a long period.  Check out the full story here:
 
http://www.observer.com/2012/01/the-mayors-very-big-plans-for-midtown-east/

According to sources, the real estate mogul Donald Trump wants to build a top level golf course on a former New York City landfill. The golf course would be in the Bronx, near the Whitestone Bridge, which would be converted to an 18-hole gold course and park. What is Trump’s motivation: “For the first time in New York City history we fully intend on bringing championship tour play to the Bronx,” he said in a statement to the Chicago Tribune.

The course, however, would cost $97 million in public funds. Is it worth it to the taxpayers? What do you think?

The details of the deal can be found at: http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/sns-rt-us-golfcourse-trumptre8092df-20120110,0,1630372.story

An interesting phenomenon seems to be happening in New York and perhaps other metropolitan areas of the United States, where the rich and famous unintentionally inflate prices of units, even though they barely spend a night in their homes.  Everyone knows of the Kardashians and how their “Kourtney and Kim Take New York” lead to the sisters’ purchase of a two bedroom penthouse in the Smyth TriBeCa hotel.  At the time of the purchase in 2007, the unit sold for $4.8 million.  After briefly being taken off the market, according to the New York Observer, the unit was priced at $4.995 million.
 
Obviously the increase in price has to do with the Kardashians taking up residence in the Smyth even though the sisters, according to the Observer, have not spent a single night in this apartment.  They lived in a separate unit in the building when filming their New York-based show.
 
Do you know of any similar examples where this has happened?
 
http://www.observer.com/2012/01/kim-and-kourtney-take-new-york-real-estate/

The Wall Street Journal recently ran an interesting article on real estate in New York, and how photography plays an integral role.  The main take-away for renters and purchasers who are in the market: “Think of a property listing like a profile on dating website. The pictures should be as flattering as possible without tipping into outright deception.”  Our job is to filter out units that are not suitable for your needs through our vast knowledge of New York City properties.

NY2’s view is we do not want to disappoint our customers.  Oftentimes potential clients find a number of apartments on various websites where the photographs appear more than flattering. To their disappointment, when they arrive to view the apartment, the unit looks much more cramped, darker, or smaller than what the pictures portrayed.  Part of working with New York Squared will allow you, as a client, to avoid apartments that appear ideal in photographs, but are really “time-wasters.”  In fact, the WSJ explains that “agents are increasingly reliant on the photographers’ subtle craft as a way to attract attention.”  New York Squared has the experience and expertise on New York buildings, and will be able to convey to you the accuracy of the size and quality of an apartment depicted in a photograph.  Contact NY2 so we can share our insight and expertise on finding your next home. 

The Wall Streeet Journal article can be found at http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203513604577144752044189694.html.

It’s time for everyone’s favorite game! Here’s the deal, we give you the apartment specs and you give us your best guess on what the list price is. The closest to the listed sales price wins a gift!  Good Luck!

Description:

Tribeca Co-op w/ keyed elevator

1000 sq ft Penthouse loft w/ wrap-around terrace

Features 11 windows with 3 exposures and tremendous views

Common charges $2500 per month

Check out the description and comment on what you think the listing price is. The closest to the current listing price will receive a prize from New York Squared!

Description:

950 square foot duplex loft

Greenwich Village area in a Doorman/Elevator Building

16 ft. ceilings including a beautiful cast iron column
White marble bath
Walk in closet

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Concerned about the details you may not know when purchasing a condo?  Well, the New York Times recently did a fantastic article entitled Homework for Condo Buyers that provides potential purchasers with a primer (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/30/realestate/getting-started-homework-for-condo-buyers.html?pagewanted=print).  Take a look at a few things the New York Times discussed that you may not have thought of before purchasing a condo.

 

The Offering Plan

The Offering Plan is typically a complex legal document that is approved by the State and details the building’s and the apartment’s layout.  For example, it shows the appliances and finishes, the size of the apartment, the building’s manager, the monthly fee, and all the details a potential condo-owner would want to know.  The New York Times says that having a lawyer who is familiar with the new construction to go over the offering plan is very important.

Financing a Condo

Financing is not straightforward with a condo.  Although a purchaser may get approved for a loan, the New York Times says, that does not mean that the bank will approve the building.  Fannie Mae and the Federal Housing Administration set various criteria that must be met.  Considerations include whether the building is in a flood zone, the percentage of apartments in contract, and the percentage of investor-owned apartments.  What does all this mean?  Basically, just because a building is approved by Fannie Mae and the Federal Housing Administration does not mean that a bank will approve the building.

Certificate of Occupancy

Before closing, the City Buildings Department must grant a temporary certificate of occupancy.  This process, the New York Times says, may take months and delay the closing.  Fortunately, the Buildings Department allows potential purchasers to check the status of an occupancy certificate (http://www.nyc.gov/html/dob/html/bis/bis.shtml).

Closing Costs

On new construction buildings, closing costs are typically much higher.  In most real estate transactions, the seller pays the transfer tax and his own broker’s fee.  In a new unit, however, the New York Times says, the buyer pays the tax (New York is approximately 2% of the purchase price) and the seller’s attorneys’ fees, which can cost as much as $2,500.

We also have some a few considerations of our own.  Contact NY2 so we can share our insight and expertise on finding your next home. 

The Wall Street Journal This Morning recently did a “personal Journal update”, which discussed six ways to make an effective “low-ball” offer on a home. 

 

(1)  Know the Market: you should know of recent comparable sales in the area.

(2)  Bring up Issues with the Property: try to back up your offer with issues or flaws that may exist with the unit or the property.

(3)  Pick the Right Agent: you need to find a broker who will be on your side and will act aggressively in your interest.

(4)  Bargaining: it is best not to say that your “first offer” is your “last offer” so as to not lose credibility in the bargaining process.

(5)  Make a Clean and Easy Offer: oftentimes pre-approval from a lender tends to further the process.

(6)  Cash is No Guarantee: cash may not always be the best deal for a seller and it is more likely than not that a seller is only looking for the highest price.

 

We also have some tips of our own.  Contact New York Squared so we can share our insight and expertise on finding your next home at the most effective price. 

 

You can listen to the October 12, 2011 Wall Street Journal Podcast at http://itunes.apple.com/podcast/wall-street-journal-this-morning/id159752078 on minute 27:45.

 

Gorgeous two-bedroom in Gramercy recently recented.  This renovated apartment featured a 2.5 bath, in an owner-occuped building with an elevator, glass fireplace, gorgeous pine floors, and large windows with northern and southern exposures.  Other features included a spacious chef’s kitchen, brand new stainless steal appliances and granite countertops.  This unit will truly be a wonderful home for our clients.  Contact NY2 to help you find your next home! 

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