Showing posts with label nyc. Show all posts
Showing posts with label nyc. Show all posts

Mar 10, 2016

NYC Neighborhood | Williamsburg Brooklyn

Williamsburg Bridge to Manhattan within Minutes

Runs from Flushing Avenue to Metropolitan Avenue and Bushwick Avenue, east from the Brooklyn Navy Yard.

Williamsburg has undergone one of the most exciting real estate transformations of any area in New York City. The warehouses and garages of the past have undergone spectacular renovations into modern industrial lofts, which rub shoulders with new high-rise condos.
The area is divided in half into North and South Williamsburg by Grand Street. The Mason Fisk building, a new brick loft condo conversion at 72 Berry is situated within North Williamsburg, offering a virtual doorman, a shared roof terrace, central air conditioning, washer-dryer hookups, and floors made of Douglas fir.

Whole Foods Opening Spring 2016

In South Williamsburg, 238 South 3rd is a condo which boasts wide-plank pine floors and stainless steel appliances in blowout loft configurations. In the nineteenth century, Williamsburgh (back then it had an “h,”) was a city in and of itself and home to businessmen like Charles Pfizer.

In more recent times, the availability of large loft spaces for sale and rent has made Williamsburg something of a draw for artists and musicians. 225 South 3rd Street has affordable coops.

Bedford Ave Hip and Chic North Williamsburg
Catch a live band at the Music Hall of Williamsburg (formerly NorthSix) or head over to an art gallery housed in a converted garage. Carnivores will enjoy the porterhouse at Peter Luger’s, referred to by many as the best steakhouse in New York City. Even better, you can sample much of the cuisine that Williamsburg has to offer at “Smorgasburg,” a weekly food fest with over 100 vendors each weekend serving up the most popular menu items.

Jan 3, 2016

Does an Increase in Interest Rates Affect a Buyer’s Mortgage Payment?

Happy New Year 2016. 

I've  been asked about the meaning of last months Federal Reserve’s decision to raise interest rates by a quarter of a point. So I thought you might appreciate a dose of reality about what this means for real estate from an expert, Mark Maimon at Sterling National Bank. I'm happy to announce that Mark will be a contributing author to this blog providing content to help buyers and sellers in NYC make informed real estate decisions.

How much does an increase in interest rates affect a buyer’s mortgage payment?

By Mark Maimon Vice President, Sterling National Bank

The real estate industry is bracing itself for an increase in mortgage rates and everyone is wondering how it may affect buyers’ desire to purchase.  What most people don’t understand is how much a change in rates affects an applicant’s mortgage payment.  

As you can see below, the difference in monthly payment is not as significant as one would typically think and that’s why we don’t anticipate that a rate increase of even 1% will have a significant impact on demand for property in general.  Here are a few scenarios to illustrate our point:

On a $500,000 loan, every half percent jump in rate costs $142 more per month
On a $1 million loan, every half percent jump in rates costs $284 more per month
On a $2.5 million loan, every half percent jump in rates costs $709 more per month

If a buyer decides not to buy because of a relatively small difference in the monthly payment as outlined above, then they are probably over-extending themselves financially in that price range anyway.  That’s why we don’t think that even a 0.5% to 1% difference in interest rates is going to have a major sustained impact on the demand for property in the long-run (although we may see some initial hesitation as buyers become used to a “new normal” with rates).  

Content was written and provided by Mark Maimon at Sterling National Bank.  Please contact Mark for all of your mortgage needs per the contact information below.  All material is protected by applicable copyright laws. 

NMLS ID #3550

Sep 10, 2015

Who Lends Here in NYC Coops and Condos

As a NYC listing agent one of my first tasks when I land a new listing is to find a lender that will loan in the building. Not all lenders will loan in a particular building. Some listing agents leave it to chance hoping the buyer will find a lender that will approve the building.

In NYC a buyer/borrower may be very well qualified for a loan but the coop or condo they're looking to buy may not qualify or be approved by their lender. There are many different reasons and variables why a particular lender may not loan in a certain building. Getting a building approved can be a long process particularly in self-managed buildings. A buyer making an offer with a pre-approval from a mortgage broker with a history of closings in the building may be considered a stronger offer by the seller.

Richard Barenblatt, a NYC mortgage broker started new website Who Lends Here  a free solution resource for buyers, sellers and agents in Manhattan and Brooklyn.  

Just type an address into the designated box on Who Lends Here’s homepage. The site then displays a list of mortgage specialists who have done business in the building.

By showcasing lenders who have experience closing deals in specific condos and co-ops, potential buyers gain streamlined access to competitive financing options, despite the underlying ownership structures that might normally impede the process. A buyer's offer with a pre approval from a lender that has already done loans in the building may have a competitive edge.

The site is notably simple and transparent and plans on expanding to the Bronx and Queens.

Jun 4, 2015

NYC Real Property Tax Levy for Fiscal Year 2016

The NYC Department of Finance released the Fiscal Year 2016 Final Assessment Roll.  The final assessment roll is the schedule of taxable values that property taxes are based on.  Using this data, REBNY Research calculated the total amount of property taxes projected to be levied (Real Property Tax Levy) in the upcoming fiscal year.

The Real Property Tax Levy for Fiscal Year 2016 will be $23.974 billion, assuming there is no change in the average tax rate.  Should the average tax rate for all property classes stay the same for FY 2016 as it has since FY 2010, NYC is due for another large increase in the Real Property Tax Levy, $1.383 billion.

The only occurrences of larger increases in the levy were in FY 2003 and 2004 and FY 2009 and 2010. In these years, the levy increase was due to a significant increase in the average tax rate.   Here are the annual tax levy increases from 2001 to 2016.

source: REBNY Research

May 9, 2015

NYC Mayor de Blasio's Proposed "Mansion Tax"

Gracie Mansion - NYC mayor Bill de Blasio's affordable mansion

This week NYC mayor Bill de Blasio proposed a new "mansion tax" imposed on home buyers for home sales over $1.75 million and 1.5 percent tax to home sales over $5 million. This new proposed tax burden is in addition to the "mansion tax" burden already imposed by New York State for all property sales over $1 million.

The mayor from Brooklyn owns a townhouse at 442 11th Street in Park Slope. October 2014 it was valued around $1.5 million, $250,000 shy of de Blasio's definition of "mansion." 

The Brooklyn mayor has moved to Gracie Mansion in Manhattan. The mayor is currently renting his Park Slope home for market rate $4975/month ($60,000 annually.)

In addition to the mayor's proposed tax burden on home buyers he also plans to reform the 421a tax abatement program. Under his plan condos will no longer be eligible for the tax incentives. Rental building developers will required to set aside 25 to 30 percent of the units as affordable.

The mayor claims the new tax will create 60,000 affordable units over the next decade. 

Affordable for whom?

Bloomberg project 432 middle income units in Hell's Kitchen

Former mayor Bloomberg's plan focused on creating more housing for moderate and middle income families, something few programs address. This category includes people living on $58,000 a year as individuals up to $145,000 a year for a family of four. 

The Bloomberg administration's housing plan originally projected that 32 percent of the 165,000 units would be set aside for middle class New Yorkers. 
Mayor de Blasio's plan reduces the percent of units set aside for middle class New Yorkers by 10%
Under his plan 78% is for extremely low, very low and low incomes. 22% of units for middle and moderate incomes.)

Only 13,200 units out of 60,000 will be for middle class New Yorkers and the elimination of tax incentives for condos will create even less home ownership opportunities for middle class New Yorkers. The firefighters, the teachers, the nurses, small business owners and many other people who might not be at the lowest income levels but are still priced out of the market.

A 2009 study by the Center for an Urban Future looked at the strain that housing costs were putting on middle class New Yorkers and argued that it was imperative for New York City to maintain a strong middle class.

Surprisingly the real estate board of New York (REBNY) supports the mayor's mansion tax and 421a proposal. The mayor's proposals will require approval by the State Legislature.

May 8, 2015

It's Prime Rental Season in Manhattan

It's prime rental season in Manhattan. This is a re-blog originally posted September 12, 2011. How to rent an apartment in Manhattan. 
Columbus Square | 808 Columbus Avenue

Renting an Apartment in Manhattan, NYC

Everyone wants their first New York City rental experience to be a positive one. As a current or future Manhattanite, you should familiarize yourself with the rules of renting in order to make your experience as hassle and worry free as possible. 

Carefully read any documentation presented to you by your future landlord before entering into any contract. Although many leases contain predominantly boilerplate language, in many instances clauses may be added to the lease contract that supersede or alter the lease agreement in some way. Such additions are called riders.

Also, the type of lease may vary. A Standard Form of Lease, for instance, may differ greatly from a Rent Stabilized Lease Agreement or a Cooperative Sublease Agreement. Take the time to read and digest the language of any documentation presented to you, and always ask questions should it contain something you don't fully understand.

Make a check list of information to bring with you in order to finalize your lease agreement. You will almost certainly need all of the following:
1.     A letter of employment and salary verification
2.     Bank account numbers (checking and savings), as well as any credit card numbers
3.     Current bank statements
4.     Contact information (names, addresses, phone numbers) of previous landlords
5.     Contact information of your personal accountant or attorney, if applicable
6.     Contact information of any personal or professional references
7.     Tax returns from the last two years
8.     Recent (current) pay stubs, typically from the last two pay periods
9.     Two forms of personal identification (driver’s license, passport, etc)
10.    40-45x the monthly rent in annual income is required.

If you are relocating from outside of New York, prepare your funds ahead of time. Landlords will not accept personal out-of-state checks. Bring traveler’s checks or certified bank checks in amounts sufficient to cover two months rent, any brokerage fees, a credit check fee, and any additional fees such as a move-in/move-out fee or building application fee.
Once your personal and financial documentation is in order, you will then be prepared to view and select prospective apartments. Remember, your agent can provide you with a wealth of information to assist you in making an informed decision. Ask plenty of questions about neighborhoods, building types, public transportation access, or anything else that might be of interest to you.

When you have selected a suitable apartment, you must then fill out a rental application, or other applicable documents. Once you or your agent has negotiated agreeable lease terms, a credit report and reference check will be done.

Upon final confirmation, you will be asked to sign a lease and settle any outstanding applicable fees.

In Manhattan, residential real estate is made up of rental buildings, condos, condops, coops and townhouses. All can make fine homes and all are available for rent.

Please contact me to rent your Manhattan Apartment. 

Feb 20, 2015

NYC Market Values Comparison

Real Estate sales prices in the City have recovered from the lows of the recession and have been on a generally upward trajectory since 2009. What have increased much quicker though is the Market Values the City places on real estate in order to calculate taxes.

Below are tables showing the Market Value increases from the previous market peak (fiscal year 2009 taxes which reflect 2007/2008 market conditions) to the current Market Values from the recently released Fiscal Year 2016 Tentative Assessment Roll. 

Data Source: NYC Department of Finance Research Department

Feb 5, 2015

Virtual Closet Space in NYC

Want to store stuff. Visit the MakeSpace website. They offer an on - demand storage solution. They will send a driver to your home, who’ll arrive with sturdy bins (each fits about ten sweaters). The driver will wait outside for a half hour while you pack or they will drop them off  and you can schedule a pickup for a later date. They will then haul everything away free of charge to a climate-regulated facility in Jersey City.

Store four bins for $25 a month and additional boxes and larger items from $6.25 per piece. As long as one person can carry it, MakeSpace says they can store it (so no large furniture like sofas and dining-room tables, but bicycles and skis are fine. When it comes time to pick up your A/C unit or summer clothes, the website allows for on-demand delivery ($29) of your goods anywhere in Brooklyn, Manhatan, Queens, Jersey City, or Hoboken.

Aug 28, 2014

NYC - Location Affordability


Mike Slattery, Senior Vice President, REBNY Research Department published very interesting numbers in the REBNY Reaserch newsletter. The Citizen’s Budget Commission has issued a series of reports comparing New York City's affordability to that of the 21 largest cities in the country.  
They also compared the competitiveness of New York City using a concept of “location affordability” developed by the U. S, Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) which includes the cost of transportation as well as housing, usually the two largest items in a household’s budget.  According to HUD’s Location Affordability Index (LAI) that measures these two costs, a household paying more than 45 percent of their income for these costs is overburdened.

New York City has the sixth highest housing costs of the 21 major cities (See Figure 2 below).  However, New York City has the lowest annual transportation costs of the cities surveyed, primarily the result of the majority of commuters using public transportation (See figure 3 below). 


As a result, based on HUD’s LAI New Yorkers devote 32 percent of their income to housing and transportation, well below the 45 percent level established by HUD to signify an affordability problem.  Of the 21 cities surveyed by the Citizens Budget Commission, New York City was the third most affordable location according to the HUD LAI (See Figure 6).

Dec 31, 2013

Banner Year for NYC RE Ends | Happy New Year 2014

2013 was a banner year in NYC real estate. It's been a great year for seller's. Lowest inventory in NYC history. While all indications point to a continuation in 2014, the end of 2013 marks the end of an era. The Bloomberg real estate era.

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg became mayor 3 months after 9/11/2001. Lower Manhattan came roaring back. Since September 11, 2001, the number of people living in Lower Manhattan has nearly doubled. In fact, Lower Manhattan has added more people over the past 12 years than Atlanta, Dallas and Philadelphia combined.

Our city’s rapid economic recovery was the result of strong leadership at all levels of government (local, state and federal) and the resilience of all New Yorkers who were determined to come back from this unthinkable event stronger than ever.

Today Lower Manhattan is full of new housing, restaurants, hotels, bars, parks, schools, open spaces and new businesses big and small. Upper Manhattan including Harlem is thriving too. Neighborhoods throughout Manhattan and Brooklyn are thriving.

West Chelsea from 10th Avenue to 11th Avenue, from 16th Street north to 30th Street, is booming with new condo developments that have transformed the neighborhood into a fashionable destination. Most of the new developments are around the High Line. New condos with park views.

MTA Railyards in the Hudson Yards district was the single largest piece of undeveloped property in Manhattan and will be the biggest development that has been realized since Rockefeller Center. Manhattan's newest neighborhood, Hudson Yards will accommodate over 13 million square feet of commercial and residential space, development at the Railyards will transform the landscape of Manhattan and dramatically alter the City’s skyline.

I bid farewell to Mike Bloomberg and I welcome the new mayor Bill de Blasio. I hope he is as successful a mayor as Bloomberg was including his vision for affordable housing.  Lets hope he delivers on his promises and will build or preserve affordable units for the middle class and will continue in the right direction.

No matter who is mayor or what year it is currently well priced properties will continue to fly off the shelf in bidding wars. Buyers are enthusiastic yet cautious. Even in a low inventory environment, over priced properties will be over looked.
Good bye 2013. Happy New Year 2014 to all.

Dec 10, 2013

Landfill to Become NYC's Largest Solar Power Facility

Fresh Kills, Staten Island the site of the world’s largest landfill is on the way to becoming the biggest new park in New York in more than 100 years. New parks, playgrounds and soccer fields have opened at the edges of the site.

“Fresh Kills Park will bring a wealth of new outdoor resources to New Yorkers. It’ll also help New York City reach new frontiers in renewable energy production.

Last week, the city announced an agreement with Sun Edison to build the City’s largest solar power facility in Fresh Kills Park.

The solar project will be able to produce up to 10 megawatts of solar energy. That’s enough to power 2,000 homes – and it will increase the City’s total solar power production by 50 percent.

The amount of solar power produced by New York City has increased twenty-fold in the past several years. PlaNYC goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions 30 percent by 2030is half way there. Our waterways are  cleaner than they’ve been in a century, and our air cleaner than it’s been in decades. 800,000 new trees have been planted around the five boroughs.

Dec 8, 2013

NYC Employment By Industry

REBNY research reports the employment recovery in NYC and the country since the financial 
crisis in 2008 has been sluggish. Although jobs have increased overall in the city, some industries 
are faring better than others.

The largest gainer in employment over the period from the October bottom of the recession to now was Educational Services with an increase of 22.5%  Important for the office market, Professional and Business Services increased 13.6% from the October low of the recession.  

Also important for the office market, Financial Activities, is only up 3.5% from October 2009. 
Construction employment is still down .8% from October 2009 despite signs of new residential 
and office development around the city.

                        NYC Employment Oct. 2009               NYC Employment Oct. 2013

All Industries 3,688.70 3,999.90
Professional and Business Services 563.3 640
Health Care and Social Services 575.4 627.7
Financial Activities 427.1 442.1
Leisure and Hospitality 314.9 379.4
Retail Trade 296.3 339.1
Education Services 171.6 210.2
Construction 120.1 119.1
Real Estate 108.3 110.3

Change in Employment % Change in Employment
All Industries 311.20 8.4%
Professional and Business Services 76.7 13.6%
Health Care and Social Services 52.3 9.1%
Financial Activities 15 3.5%
Leisure and Hospitality 64.5 20.5%
Retail Trade 42.8 14.4%
Education Services 38.6 22.5%
Construction -1 -0.8%
Real Estate                                           2 1.8%
Source: NYS Department of Labor
Numbers in thousands

REBNY Research Department

Dec 7, 2013

NYC Solar Empowerment Zones & Tax Abatements

Conservative group  the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) is specifically targeting homeowners. Conservative politicians want to TAX and Penalize homeowners who install their own solar panels – calling them as “freeriders”  Fortunately they are not in New York City, New York.

NYC Goal of Reducing Carbon Emissions by 30% by 2030

New York City and Sustainable CUNY have created three Solar Empowerment Zones, strategically selected areas where solar power systems are most beneficial and technically viable, and where development of solar power will be encouraged. Solar power is a reliable, renewable source of electricity for New York City that reduces demand on the City's electrical grid. 

 New York City has over 1.6 billion square feet of rooftops. 

The three Solar Empowerment Zones - on the East Shore of Staten Island, in Downtown Brooklyn, and in Brooklyn's Greenpoint-Gateway section-were designed to reduce peak electricity demand and the associated pollution from dirty plants that operate when demand is at its highest, while also potentially deferring or eliminating the need for costly upgrades to the electrical system. 

Solar Panel Tax Abatements & Installations
Record Number of New Yorkers Have Applied for Solar Panel Abatements in 2010. To encourage the use of sustainable technology, the City offers property tax abatements to property owners that install solar panels on their building's rooftops. 

This year, property owners will receive a property tax abatement of 35% of the eligible expenditures over four years with a maximum abatement of $62,500 per year for four years or the building's annual tax liability, whichever is less.

Under the solar panel tax abatement program, solar panels have been installed at 25 buildings across the City, five times the number of systems approved and installed last year. Savings from these installations vary on the size and type of the building.  A single-family house can save approximately $2,600 a year on energy costs.  Property owners can also receive rebates from their utility company

Building owners interested in learning more about the City's sustainable initiatives can visit for more information.


Aug 21, 2013

Manhattan Wireless Subway Service

36 Subway stations in Manhattan have wireless voice and data communication capability service.  AT&T and T-Mobile USA customers can already use their phones at the 36 stations; Verizon and Sprint are expected to join by the end of the year.

Have you ever noticed some people are on the phone on the train?  While not great, some riders are able to complete calls and exchange text messages on trains, particularly along the No. 1 train line. I usually wait until the train pulls into the station before I hit send. 

While the MTA has no plans to wire the entire tunnels riders might be able to find cellphone signals not just on platforms but on moving trains themselves because the stations nearby are wired.

While the network allows full cell phone and Wi-Fi connectivity, enabling voice and data functions such as phone calls, text messages, emails, music and video streaming and more, all underground, it also enables important services that improve safety and security like E911.

The list of stations now connected is as follows (* first six were part of the initial build):

*1 23 Street – 8 Ave. C Subway Line IconE Subway Line Icon
*2 14 Street – 8 Ave. A Subway Line IconC Subway Line IconE Subway Line Icon
*3 14 Street – 7 Ave. 1 Subway Line Icon2 Subway Line Icon3 Subway Line Icon
*4 14 Street – 6 Ave. F Subway Line IconM Subway Line Icon
*5 14 Street – 8 Ave. L Subway Line Icon
*6 14 Street – 6 Ave. L Subway Line Icon
7 96 Street B Subway Line IconC Subway Line Icon
8 86 Street B Subway Line IconC Subway Line Icon
9 28 Street 1 Subway Line Icon
10 18 Street 1 Subway Line Icon
11 81 Street-Museum of Natural History B Subway Line IconC Subway Line Icon
12 72 Street B Subway Line IconC Subway Line Icon
13 79 Street 1 Subway Line Icon
14 23 Street 1 Subway Line Icon
15 96 Street 1 Subway Line Icon2 Subway Line Icon3 Subway Line Icon
16 66 Street-Lincoln Center 1 Subway Line Icon
17 72 Street 1 Subway Line Icon2 Subway Line Icon3 Subway Line Icon
18 57 Street F Subway Line Icon
19 47-50 Streets-Rockefeller Center B Subway Line IconD Subway Line IconF Subway Line IconM Subway Line Icon
20 57 Street-7 Ave. N Subway Line IconQ Subway Line IconR Subway Line Icon
21 28 Street N Subway Line IconR Subway Line Icon
22 50 Street 1 Subway Line Icon
23 50 Street C Subway Line IconE Subway Line Icon
24 23 Street N Subway Line IconR Subway Line Icon
25 49 Street N Subway Line IconR Subway Line Icon
26 5 Ave.-53 Street E Subway Line IconM Subway Line Icon
27 59 Street-Columbus Circle 1 Subway Line Icon
28 59 St-Columbus Circle A Subway Line IconB Subway Line IconC Subway Line IconD Subway Line Icon
29 7 Ave. B Subway Line IconD Subway Line IconE Subway Line Icon
30 Times Square-42 Street 1 Subway Line Icon2 Subway Line Icon3 Subway Line Icon
31 Times Square-42 Street N Subway Line IconQ Subway Line IconR Subway Line Icon
32 Times Square-42 Street 7 Subway Line Icon
33 Times Square-42 Street A Subway Line IconC Subway Line IconE Subway Line Icon
34 Times Square-42 Street S Subway Line Icon
35 5 Ave.-59 Street N Subway Line IconR Subway Line Icon
36 86 Street 1 Subway Line Icon
Will I still be able to use my favorite excuse for not taking a call? 
Sorry I missed your call I was on the subway ,-)


This blog site is designed and published as a consumer service by local real estate broker to help Manhattan, New York City buyers, sellers and renters make informed real estate decisions. This site and its feeds are owned and operated by Mitchell J Hall, a NY State licensed real estate associate broker associated with The Corcoran Group and member of the Real Estate Board of New York.

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