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New York City First time Condo Buyer and Investor Part 1- What is the Condo Market?

New York City First time Condo Buyer and Investor Part 1- What is the Condo Market? April 2017 Edition

In this updated series of buying condo in Manhattan New York, we prepared five different article post and each address different aspect of NYC condo buying. Below are the topics we will talk about.

  1. What is the Condo Market
  2. Getting a Mortgage Is Not All About You
  3. New Construction Condos – What don’t I know
  4. Buying as an Investment
  5. How do I figure out if this is a good deal or not in 2017?

What is the Condo Market in NYC

It’s been almost Nine Years since we wrote our first New York City First Time Condo Buyer and Investor MUST READ series, and we decided it was time to update it for 2017. First published in November of 2008, much has changed since then, but certain fundamentals still remain.

This guide may be titled New York City First Time Condo Buyer, at the same time, we want to add value for the seasoned buyer of New York City Real Estate as well.  Even if you have bought multiple properties over the years, we will add a new perspective or fresh ideas that will help you with your next buying or selling experience.

First things first, this guide is going to focus on the Condominium market, which makes up something around 30% of the total sales inventory in New York, the co-op market could be its own discussion. In this 5 part series upcoming articles, we will be discussing condo market only.

Why buy a Condominium versus a Co-Op Apartment?

To put it relatively easily, almost everything about buying, owning, renting, and selling will be easier to accomplish with a condominium versus a co-op.  

So you Want to Buy a New York City Condominium, where should I start?

Let’s Start off with the Basics:

Re-Sale Condominiums: These will make up the majority of the inventory for condominiums.  You will be purchasing directly from an individual owner.  The building age can vary dramatically with a re-sale condominium, you could be buying from an owner who just closed on a new condominium building that is just a few months old, or you could be buying in a pre-war condominium that was built in the 1920s.  If you want an apartment with certain features that will direct you towards the type of building that possess those features.  If you tell us you want to live in apartment with a ceiling height of 10 feet or taller with exposed brick walls or a working wood burning fireplace, then you will likely be looking at pre-war condominiums which are a very specific segment of the condo market. If you tell us you want a building with high end amenities, dramatic views and brand new renovations, well then you will be looking at new construction or very recently built condominiums. Resale condominiums will provide a wide degree of variety of price ranges and style of apartments.

New Construction Condominiums : Brand New, Be the First to Live in, New Construction Condominiums are a very popular segment of the condominium market.  So popular that we will talk about new construction in our part 3 article to explain it takes to buy a New Construction Condo. In New York City, new construction condos get a lot of the headlines because they are often the most expensive apartments on the market.  If you are interested in a new construction condo, we encourage you to read our post and talk to us about what new and exciting projects are available.

the CONDOP, a very small slice of the condominium market is a hybrid of the condo and co-op. As there are a few technical ways to define a ‘condop’, although for the purpose of this post, when we are referring to a condop we are referring to a co-op that has condo by-laws.  A condop building like that will operate much more like a condo than a co-op, allowing investor type purchases, allowing parents to buy for children, easier purchase requirements.  These buildings are worth mentioning because these buildings though not common, do exist and will come come up on some searches.  

So Where do you start?

Have you been renting and are tired of paying New York City’s infamous high rents and want to purchase now?

Are you looking to buy a condo because your son or daughter will be going to school here?

Wanting to buy an investment property in world famous New York City?

Relocating to New York or looking for a second home when you travel for business or with family?

Naturally, most people start with their budget and the size of apartment they are looking for. Neighborhood and type of building are close behind, but what we have found is even more important is figuring out what’s most important about owning a condo to you?

Do you want to be walking distance to work? Do you want to buy this as an investment to expand your portfolio and want a totally hands off approach to property management? Do you want a doorman building for your son or daughter who will be going to NYU or some of other in city universities?

Do you have a 1031 exchange and need to time your purchase carefully?
A lot of great reasons to buy and we’d like to help you. You can read through all of our blog posts and call us so we can talk and so we can have a better understanding of your overall goals and then we make our recommendations.

Or, if you want to skip all the reading, that is fine too. You can contact us and we can catch you up to speed over the phone or email!

This is a five part series blog posts. You can read about by clicking on the links below:

  1. What is the Condo Market
  2. Getting a Mortgage Is Not All About You
  3. New Construction Condos – What don’t I know
  4. Buying as an Investment
  5. How do I figure out if this is a good deal or not in 2017?


New York City First time Condo Buyer and Investor Part 3 New Construction Condos – What I don’t Know

New York City First time Condo Buyer and Investor Part 3 New Construction Condos – What I don’t Know

  1. What is the Condo Market
  2. Getting a Mortgage Is Not All About You
  3. New Construction Condos – What don’t I know
  4. Buying as an Investment
  5. How do I figure out if this is a good deal or not in 2017?

New Construction Condominiums are definitely some of the most popular projects in all of New York City Real Estate, whether it’s the record breaking height of a new skyscraper, the innovative architecture from world renowned architects, or one of the new mega projects transforming a neighborhood, new construction condominiums are at the forefront of most Real Estate conversations.  

Did you know that as of Mid-May 2017, that approximately 25% of condo sales are made up of New Development, so despite the headline generating buzz it creates, new construction condos are just a fraction of the overall condo market.

What’s important to understand is that the New Construction Condo market shares a very important similarity to all other condominiums in New York City, which is that it is is made up of specific segments with their own unique characteristics.  

You have the top end of the luxury segment of new construction market, that gets all of the headlines, so people think that all new construction is mirroring those headlines.

What’s important to understand with new construction is that new construction buildings whether they are in Park Slope Brooklyn, along Billionaire’s Row across 57th Street, the Financial District or any other neighborhood, has their own market dynamics at play and you need to understand what they are before purchasing.  

When you are buying New Construction Condominiums there are a couple of definite Must knows and especially if you are an investor

  1. Closing Costs for New Construction Condos – Often the sponsor will try to have the buyer pay the Transfer Taxes which are approximately 1.825% of the Purchase Price
  2. Paying for Sponsor Attorney Fees
  3. Paying for a portion of the Resident Manager (Superintendent) Apartment, varies but can be significant
  4. Capital Contribution – Paying Upfront Common Charge to Build Reserves for the Building
  5. Mortgages- Will Often be Non-Mortgage Contingent

Please note, the above bullet points are not hard rules, but common practices and are definitely market dependent.  Whether you are reading this now in May of 2017, or some time in the future, the new construction marketplace will have changed.  


So What are some things that you probably don’t know about New Construction Condominiums: If you are closing in the first wave or batch of apartments, that they may not be  finished with the amenity spaces or all the floors when your apartment closes, so you could be living through construction or not have full access to the amenities .

Something that we saw and continue to see in the current phase of New Construction Buildings that should be especially important to an investor:

1-Some buildings are heavily marketed to overseas buyers or have large percentages of the building become investment rentals.

2-We have seen some buildings where 50-60% of the apartments instantly turn into rentals.  So you have large numbers of apartments hitting the market for rental all at the same time, all targeting the same tenants.  You have to put yourself in the tenants point of view, they are going to set up appointments to see all of the available inventory which is going to look the same because the building is brand new and they will decide on who will give them the best price.  

Pro Tip: If you are buying as an investment, ask about the mix of apartments, are their more 1 beds or 2 beds or 3 beds, so you can get an idea of the potential competition you may have when you close.  If you are buying in a building that is a majority of a certain type of apartment, you know that its likely that type of apartment will have the most competition.  

As an investor, if you are in the first wave of closings and the building construction and amenities isn’t finished yet, that will hurt your marketability to find a tenant.  Tenants want to have access to everything and often will ask for a better price to compensate the disruption.  

New Construction Contracts are routinely very straightforward – often there is limited room to negotiate, whether you accept the terms or not having an experienced attorney that is familiar with new construction condominium contracts is very important to understand what is the common practice what is not.  

Usually the initial contract deposit at signing is 10% and often a second deposit is required, often another 5-10%.  The timing of the 2nd deposit varies from project to project.

When you close on the apartment, you will often get about a 30 day lead time, so you will want to have the rest of your funds in place, whether its a cash purchase or a mortgage.

If you are obtaining financing, most new condominium projects will require a non-contingent mortgage, so you will have to be confident that you can obtain that mortgage before you sign the contracts.  


So you have your closing date scheduled, you are close to the finish line, it’s time for the walk-through of your new apartment.  So what exactly is a walk through? The walk through usually happens the day of or day before of the actual closing.  You will get to go through the apartment with the developers representatives and they will show you how everything works in the apartment and if any touch up or fix up needed, then there will be a “punch-list” which will be completed by the developer’s team in a reasonable time frame.

We’ve been selling new construction condominiums for over 15 years now, since they become really popular in the mid-2000s.  Each experience and building is different but we wanted to lay out for you some of the pitfalls, questions, and scenarios that many of our buyers have faced.  

We believe an educated buyer makes a more confident owner, which is what we are always aiming for.  We’ve found that people assume that because they are buying new construction there is nothing to worry about, which we understand, although that is not always the case. We are in the market place everyday and see the different changes in each new construction, when we work with buyers, we ensure the buyer is well aware of everything we wrote about and any new addition of changes or must know that take place in the current market place.

Call us (917)837-8869 or email us and we can help you to buy the new construction you want with confidence. 

This is a five part series blog posts. You can read about by clicking on the links below:

  1. What is the Condo Market
  2. Getting a Mortgage Is Not All About You
  3. New Construction Condos – What don’t I know
  4. Buying as an Investment
  5. How do I figure out if this is a good deal or not in 2017?

Or see our testimonials from Happy and Confidant buyers and sellers click here: http://manhattannycondosforsale.com/testimonial-past-clients/


New York City First time Condo Buyer and Investor Part 2- Getting a Mortgage Is Not All About You

New York City First time Condo Buyer and Investor Part 2 -Getting a Mortgage Is Not All About You

  1. What is the Condo Market
  2. Getting a Mortgage Is Not All About You
  3. New Construction Condos – What don’t I know
  4. Buying as an Investment
  5. How do I figure out if this is a good deal or not in 2017?

So what are we talking about when we say Getting a Mortgage is Not All About You? We often hear the buyers say, “Oh don’t worry about it, I can easily get a mortgage.  I have a good credit score and we are pre-approved already, I did it online!”

So, what are we talking about when we say that its not that simple.   What’s not simple about it is there is a 2nd step, an often overlooked step that can be problematic.  That 2nd step is that the bank will also want to approve the condominium building you are purchasing in.

STEP 1, the Easy Step:  You the buyer gets qualified.  This is the straight forward step, you will speak to the mortgage banker, provide them with all of your personal documentation and they will tell you if you are qualified and for how much.  

This is straightforward because based on your down payment, income, debts and credit history, you will get a close idea of where you stand with the bank.

ProTip: Use a Mortgage Banker that is Experienced with the New York City Condominium Market.  Using a mortgage banker or internet lender that is not familiar with New York City market and the idiosyncrasies involved here is going to likely cause you trouble.  There are a lot of pitfalls and challenging scenarios that an experienced mortgage banker will know exactly how to navigate for you.

Now that you have gotten yourself pre-approved you are ready to buy that condo! Here is where most people make a frustrating mistake because you are missing a crucial step in the process.

STEP 2, the step that can cause you lots of frustration,  the bank will also be looking to qualify the condominium itself. First they qualified you, now they will be looking to approve the building.

Carriage House Condominiums for SaleSo what is so hard about approving the building? Each building is unique and different, no two buildings are the same. What is important to understand is that not all banks are as easy to work with.  The big conventional lenders often have the most strict guidelines and often have a conservative approach to approving buildings The process of getting the building approved involves asking for documentation from management companies, giving it to the bank underwriters, then waiting to see what they have to say.  Often you will submit the documents the underwriters originally asked for, and then they ask for more documents on top of that, now you are going back to the management again, Rinse and Repeat.  

Some Common Issues that Many Condo Buildings Run Into:  Too many Non-Owner Occupied Apartments, One Person Owns too Many Condos in the Building, Too Much Commercial Space in the Building, An Assessment or Lawsuit the Building is Involved In.

So What Should you do? This is where your real estate agent, and mortgage lender you are working with are worth their weight in gold to make sure this deal happens for you.

Pro Tip: Before you make an offer, run the address of the building by your mortgage banker and see at the very least if the bank has that building on their “pre-approved” list.  Even if the answer is Yes, it’s approved, the bank could still ask for more documentation or updated documentation.

If you went in alone in the purchase, already have a contract signed, they are sending out an appraiser already, which you are paying for, and you get a call or email that you may not get the mortgage because there is something wrong with the building, and your mortgage contingency is coming up really soon, this will become very stressful for you.

You assumed that you would have no problems because you had your pre-approval letter, which is a common mistake, but its likely this could have been avoided.  

A huge part of the value of working with an experienced condominium agent is that we take you, we are guiding you on the journey of buying a condominium.  We know where the typical pitfalls are along this journey, one of them being the common issues with getting a mortgage.  We fill in the missing pieces for you that you didn’t even know about.

There are many aspects of the mortgage process that can delay or affect on your purchase, let’s discuss this now and be prepared! Let us help you and make this process as easy as possible.  

This is a five part series blog posts. You can read about by clicking on the links below:

  1. What is the Condo Market
  2. Getting a Mortgage Is Not All About You
  3. New Construction Condos – What don’t I know
  4. Buying as an Investment
  5. How do I figure out if this is a good deal or not in 2017?

Call us at (917)837-8869 or email us by using the form below.


2017 New Construction Condo New York city

There are many selections when it comes to New York city new construction condo. We are always on the market place examining different condos and provide accurate assessments of each condo. Here are some of our most recent thoughts on various new construction project that is currently selling and upcoming in the market place.

There are multiple levels of the new construction marketplace:

The headliners:

The buildings with the penthouses that are being sold for over $100 Million dollars, the buildings fighting for the designation of tallest residential building in the Western Hemisphere.  Buildings that fall into this category such as 432 Park Avenue, 220 Central Park South, 520 Park Avenue, 111 West 57th Street, the Woolworth Building.

Many of these headline buildings price point starts at $15,000,000+, price per square feet of $5,000+, they offer something unique, whether its the best views of Manhattan, a high level of privacy, access to the best amenities and quality of design and construction.  Naturally the pool of buyers who are looking and buying at these buildings are all looking at the same group of buildings coming up and deciding which one best suits their distinct needs.

Ground up new construction in prime neighborhood locations:

These are the types of buildings that are being built in the most well established neighborhoods, typically comprised of larger apartments, Two and Three Bedroom units would be the smallest in the building and typically offer a real unique feature.  That feature may be some of the units have unobstructed views of the Manhattan skyline, of Madison Square Park, of the High-line Park. You can see price per square foot for these units in the $3,000+ range, with the best units in the building selling in the $4000+ sq/ft range.

The entry level new construction buildings:

First things first, these buildings are still selling at a premium compared to almost all resale condominiums, its just that within this segment of the new construction market, they are the entry level price points. These buildings we see apartments priced in the $2,000 sq/ft range.  So a very compact one bedroom might start in the $1,300,000 range, Two Bedrooms will be in the $2,500,000 range. Some takeaways in this category: The lowest priced apartments in these buildings will sell immediately once they come available. All you need to do is look at these buildings and see all of the apartment that are in-contract or no longer available. There will be some drawbacks, but this is reflected in the pricing. There will not be any landmark views but more like the ‘city view’ of other neighborhood buildings. We find this segment of the market is being directly marketed to right now.  There are a number of rental to new condo conversions that are being priced for this segment of the market.  Most of them are selling extremely well.  We have seen first hand with some of our buyers just how quickly these apartments will get purchased if decisions are not made.

If new construction condo is what you are looking for, we can recommend which new construction building best suit your needs.

We also wrote another post about How to Buy New construction Condo in NYC that you can read about it here: http://manhattannycondosforsale.com/how-to-buy-a-new-construction-condominium-in-manhattan-new-york/

There are many of options out there and each condo has its pros & cons, if you are ready to purchase a new condo, give us a call today at (917)837-8869 so we can recommend which new condo best suits your needs.


How to Buy a New Construction Condominium in Manhattan New York

How to Buy a New Construction Condominium in Manhattan New York

New Construction or New Development Condominiums in Manhattan get the most headlines of all property types for Manhattan Real Estate.  The reason is quite simply that some of the new condominiums being built will be the most expensive real residential Real Estate Manhattan has ever seen.

The 1,000+ ft tall towers with their sky high price tags are certainly impressive, however there is a whole world of new construction being sold quite steadily and this segment of the market we would like to tell you about.

We receive a steady stream of requests from buyers looking to purchase in a new development and we find ourselves educating our buyers on a lot of aspects of the purchase process that you will be very hard pressed to find anywhere on-line.

Our goal is that an educated buyer is well informed and will be better able to make the best decision for themselves when they see a condominium that suits their needs.

When it comes to buy a New Construction Condo NYC, First thing we talk about:

1. What is the pricing like for new construction condominiums in 2017?

Pricing will start around $1,600 per square foot, but most of the inventory will be above $2,000 per square foot and looking in the more luxurious buildings and larger units you will instantly be looking at $3,000 per square foot and higher.

Like anything else, there are tiers to the new construction marketplace.  We have worked with buyers looking at the entry level pricing for new construction all the way up to apartments in the $5,000 and plus per square foot.

Putting pricing into perspective, the last major New Construction Phase was in the 2005-2007 time range, from our recollection, buyer spending $1,200 sq/ft was at the upper end for the nicer buildings, people certainly liked to stay around $1,000 sq/ft.  These were buyers looking at buildings such as the Chelsea Stratus at 101 West 24th Street, the Link at 310 West 52nd Street, The Milan at 300 East 55th Street, or the Orion at 350 West 42nd Street, buildings that have done well since then with strong price appreciation.

This is just an example of obviously if you were looking to buy at the Time Warner Center or 15 Central Park West then it is a whole different range.

2. What is your time line to purchase a New Construction Condo New York city?

The majority of new construction condominiums are being sold at least a year before they will be completed, if it is a ground up new construction building, you could expect in some cases 2-3 years away.  The buildings with the quickest turnaround time are the condo-conversions, what was once a rental building or office building has now been converted into residential condominiums. These will give you the highest likelihood to move in as soon as possible.

The developer will give an anticipated closing date, but this is not a set in stone date.  If there are construction delays and the anticipated closing date is pushed outward, you simply have to wait. The buyers must have a flexible time-frame as with new construction, many things can cost delay and during your time of the visit at sales office or time of contract due diligence, your attorney can certainly inquire more on this.

3. What are the costs involved to purchase a new construction condominium in 2017?

There are additional closing costs involved to purchase a new construction condominium versus a re-sale condominium.  They can include the following:

    • Transfer Taxes-Approximately 1.825%
    • Sponsor’s Attorney Fee’s-Varies(starting $3,000-$5,000)
    • Capital Contribution Fee-Varies
    • Contribution to the Building Resident Manager’s Apartment-Varies

Please note that above list is just a sample new construction closing cost, the specific cost varies depending on the project, but what is important is to understand that you will be responsible for them.

The fees stated above are just related to new construction condominium, you will still be responsible for mortgage recording taxes if you are obtaining a mortgage to purchase, your own attorney fee, a mansion tax if the purchase price is over $1,000,000, other various title insurance and closing cost fees.

A lot of buyers ask us if the developer will pay for any of these closing costs and the typical answer we see right now in today’s market is NO.  The developers are selling their apartments very quickly and do not need to make any concessions.

The other very costs associated with new development purchase are the contract deposits and installment deposit you will make to purchase.  Your standard resale condominium you will make a 10% deposit at the time of contract signing.  For a new development condominium, the initial deposit will be 10-15% of the overall purchase price.  And typically there will be another deposit made of another 10-15%, usually 3-6 months after your initial deposit or when the offering plan is declare effective.  The amount and schedule for deposits will be outlined for you but you will have to allocate your funds accordingly.  Not every single building will require multiple deposits, although this is a common practice, especially for the more expensive properties.

4. Getting into a New Development as Soon as Possible

The situation is typically a new building is just announced, the initial renderings and explanation of the building look very exciting.  The building is maybe just a hole in the ground right now, the construction has just begun and anticipated closing in 18-24 months out but you want to see the availability now and be first to purchase.

You go on-line to see if they have a website and nothing is to be found, or if you are lucky they have a landing page where you can input your information and maybe the sales office will call you back.  It all becomes a bit stressful if you want to get in early. Many times the developers will work with experienced and reputable agents like ourselves to allow the buyers have VIP access before the general public have a chance to look at the project. 

Why do you want to get in early at a new development?

Good question and it tends to be for two reasons, first is pricing and second is selection.

Without getting into too much Real Estate jargon including terms such as “Schedule A Pricing” and “amendments with the attorney general” basically the developer releases certain apartments for sale and typically increases the pricing as they sell out more of the building.  The first wave of apartments being available for sale are the baseline from where pricing will go once sales begin.  Typically, there will be a slice of each type of apartment the building offers for sale.  So if the building has 100 apartments for sale, the initial offering will only have maybe 10 units for sale and it will be a mix of the different sized apartments in the building.  So there will be a couple of 1 beds, 2 beds, 3 beds and so forth available to be sold.  Even if the building has 30 Two Bedrooms in the entire building they will not flood the market with all of them at once.

So what happens is that the first wave of units released are typically purchased very quickly because they are being sold at the lowest price that will be available in the building.  Now the developer will release more units, but increase the price depending on how much demand they are receiving.

Often the price change is substantial, definitely creating a motivation for buyer’s to make a quick decision.  

The other area of importance for looking at a new development early is selection.  Most buildings will have 2-3 different variations of each type of apartment size they are selling.  So there might be two different, 1 bedroom layouts, a couple different 2 bedroom layouts, so on and so forth. Some buildings will offer more variety of layouts than others, but what we typically see is that certain layouts will come with different exposures and different views.  If one side of a building has a very unique desirable view such as an open view, a view of a New York City landmark, park or river facing, you better believe that those apartments will probably sell first.  They will also be selling at a premium, but you can imagine that if you could secure one of those apartments at the best price possible early on in the sales process you would do it.

5. Getting into the Sales Office and Buying a Condominium

Every developer handles the sale of their building differently, some sales office will not open up to any appointment until they have built multi-million dollar sales office and others will start the soft sales process more informally with appointments being made to look at floor plans and renderings.  

This is because most of the new construction condominiums being sold are still very early in the construction process, there is no finished project to actually look at.  But there is a next best option, a lot of developers will build out close to an entire apartment in their sales offices.  So you will see a full size model of the kitchen, bathrooms, the finishes, some will have the ability to show you the view from the apartment as they have sent up video drones to take pictures of the view from each floor and each exposure.  It really is impressive when you can see the view from what could be your apartment on the 50th or 60th floor of the building.  

Majority of the buyers enjoy the sales office experience as getting an idea of the apartment dimensions, ceiling heights, the quality of the finishes always makes it easier to make an educated decision.

Often by the time one of these sales offices is up and running the developer already has in-contract a good portion of the building.  So before the sales office launch its opening, some sales teams will meet with prospective buyers showing whatever marketing materials they may have available,  floor plans and renderings of the apartment finishes and building amenities.

Most people want the opportunity to see the availability as soon as possible, to have the most layout options and potential entry level prices available to them.

6. What can I expect buying a new construction condominium in 2017?

Some differences we see from this marketplace and from what we would consider the last new construction wave back in in the 2005-2008 time range:

The size of apartments has increased. You are going to see more spacious apartments and less units in each building now.  It is very rare to have studio size apartments available, and even one bedroom units are becoming a smaller portion of the building.  The main reason for this is that larger apartments sell at a higher price per square foot than the smaller units (three bedroom unit price per square foot will be more than one bedroom unit price per square foot).  Real Estate developers are purchasing land at a much higher cost today than they were back in the mid-2000s, so for a project to make economical sense for them, they need to build the larger, more square footage apartments that will basically give them a better return on their investment.

There will be more boutique sized new developments, that just have full floor 3 or 4 bedroom apartments, or the mix of the apartment size in the building will be between 2-3 bedrooms.  So when a building becomes available that has the studio or 1 bedroom inventory, those apartments typically sell out very quickly as they are not so readily available and they fall into a price range typically where there are way more buyers than there available apartments.

7. What should you be looking for in new construction today?

The pedigree of the architect, the track record of the developer, the quality and the details of the finishes, the style of the building and how it fits into the neighborhood landscape, these are some of the characteristics we focus on when looking at new projects.

The number one fundamental still remains in making a good investment is still going to be neighborhood and location.  Whether that is a new construction condominium, a re-sale condominium in an established building, purchasing in a location with strong fundamentals will be one of the best decisions you can make.

The most prime locations in Manhattan, not surprisingly are going to have premium pricing when it comes to Real Estate.  

New development is increasingly difficult to build in many neighborhoods because of zoning restrictions, so new developments in certain neighborhoods that have “historic district” classification are going to see very few new condominium projects.  

When we speak of the pedigree of the architect or interior designer of the building’s finishes and common spaces, the reason that this is important because the most notable architects and designers bring with them first a high quality product that you will be able to enjoy, the second reason is that they bring with them a name reputation that will help on re-sale value.  There is a name cache and recognition for certain architects that when you hear it, you associate their past buildings they have built, a reputation for high quality and thoughtful product.  When somebody is purchasing in the higher end of the price point, this becomes more important in our evaluation of the building.

The quality of the craftsmanship and level of finish feels like a race nowadays with a lot of the luxury developments that are competing for the same type of buyer.  How do they separate themselves when gone are the days that all you had to do was have a Viking Stove and Italian Cabinetry to be considered a luxury development?  The attention to detail and level of finish has certainly increased in many projects.  Crafting floor plans with the lifestyle of the owner in mind and anticipating the lifestyle of the owner when developing the amenity spaces in the building is something that we see more and more of.  

Each building has it’s own pros and cons, what makes it unique, giving you a reason to purchase there.  We see and take buyers to many of the new buildings and see firsthand the finished project and the sales presentation.  Now is a good time to be a buyer for a new construction condominium.

Do you to have a Real Estate agent in buying my Manhattan New Construction Condo?

You are not required by law to have a Real Estate agent in buying a New construction condo. In Manhattan New York, both the seller’s agent and the buyer’s agents’ fees are paid by the seller.

There are many benefits in working with us, New York state Licensed, experienced and knowledgeable Real Estate agents to guide you through the process.

In this technology savvy market, finding the new and up & coming construction project may be easy since there are many search websites, but working with the right agents you may be able to have earlier access to see the building BEFORE general public. Typically the developers and their sales team invite industry top performing agents to preview the project before any other agents. In addition, the top agents’ buyers have priority access to those new condos. When you work with us, you will be able to have the priority access.

As experience agents, we can often oversee and expedite the process, ensure there is no issue or oversight that may cause buyers extra money and anxiety. Keep in mind that the Real Estate developers have their own sellers’ and developers’ agents, those agents fiduciary responsibility is to represent the interests of developers/seller, therefore it is beneficial for you the buyers to have agents represent you on your side so you know what is the common practice and what is not.

We have GOOD WORKING RELATIONSHIPS with many developer on site office as this is beneficial to you because we often have “insider insight” to a development as oppose to you going directly. More over, we are here for you on the long run, not just one sale transaction. We provide you with upfront information, good or bad, and let you make that educated purchase.

We have helped many buyers to find the right new construction for them and guide them through the purchase process without stress or mistakes. Many new construction is providing incentives and price discounts depending on the building and unit, this is for limited time only as Spring market is here. So give us a call today and find out if any of these incentive will be available to you.

If you would like to buy a new construction condo in Manhattan New York, give us a call today at (917)837-8869.


155 West 68th Street Dorchester Towers Condo 2016 Summer End Market Report

155 West 68th Street Dorchester Towers Condo 2016 Summer End Market Report | End of Summer Dorchester Towers Specific Market Report

In the current unique and ever-changing market place, as active and experienced Real Estate agents, we know that information and knowledge is essential when it comes to making informed decisions.  It can be confusing to try to understand what is actually happening when you are reading different headlines, conversations and reports.

 

2016 Manhattan New York Real Estate market has not been easy to narrow down. If we had to characterize the market we would say that if the apartment is in a fair neighborhood with no serious defects, and priced based on the last three months of comparable sales, there will be a strong demand and the apartment will sell within a reasonable amount of time.  

Is the market up, down, sideways? The top end of the luxury market is in a period of adjustment, with pricing and buy side demand levels finding its way into headlines.  Now where are the majority of the transactions on the condominium re-sale side of the business taking place? This is an alternate discussion, we still see relatively low amounts of inventory, with consistent demand for entry level pricing. centralpark

As Dorchester Towers condo specialists, we always want to provide you with a specific and relevant market report about Dorchester Towers.  So let’s discuss all things Real Estate related at the Dorchester Towers.  

DORCHESTER TOWERS CONDO in today’s market:

We are Dorchester Towers condo owner ourselves, we have an inherent confidence in what this wonderful building has to offer.  What we like about the Dorchester Towers is we have a wide variety of buyer demand.  We see a combination of owner occupied buyers coming to the building, investors due to the established location, and often we have parents buying for their children because of its proximity to multiple universities.  

We don’t see this same amount of buyer demand in other neighborhoods, this is why location is always so important.

SELLING ACTIVITY IN DORCHESTER TOWERS CONDO:

We keep a record and track all of the Dorchester Towers (155 West 68th Street) condo sales that come onto the open market and stay aware of all of the off market sales that are happening without being listed by a broker or Real Estate company.  As of end of Summer 2016, there have been a several of studio, one bedroom and Junior four (Convertible Two Bedroom) sales.  

Dorchester Towers Studios ranging in price from $745,000-$940,000. A One Bedroom selling for  $965,000 and the Convertible Two Bedrooms selling between $1,150,000-$1,200,000.  

There are so many different layouts in the building, each apartment sale can be looked at differently based on the particular size, view and apartment condition.

In the last few months, we represented both buyers and sellers in several of the transactions that have taken place this year.  From what we have seen, the apartments that have sold for the highest prices have been renovated.  As residents of the building, it seems that more and more people are renovating, which definitely impacts resale value and the amount of time to sell, when they are put on the market.  

A great example, We recently sold 155 West 68th Street Dorchester #1509; this is a true one bedroom on the smaller end of the square feet spectrum at 600 sq ft that underwent a full modern renovation a few years ago.  We listed it for $975,000. We had conversations with other brokers and interested buyers where we came up with that price.  We received a lot of interest and had a couple of offers within the first 30 days and we finally sold for $965,000, which is one of the highest prices achieved in the building for a regular one bedroom apartment.

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Our brokerage company Douglas Elliman Real Estate keeps track of the price ranges that each apartment size is selling for in different neighborhoods. For example, in the West Side (boundary of 60th to 110th Street), Median Price for a one bedroom Condominium in 2016 was approximately $955,000.  In our opinion, Dorchester #1509 falls right in line with what other one bedrooms have sold for on the West Side. This was a higher floor apartment with meticulous renovations, so what it may lacked in overall size it more than made up for in other areas.
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We currently see the NYC Real Estate market is doing well in both entry level and mid-entry price points with the most buyer side activity.  The essential key is priced effectively with the right exposure and marketing, you will have the best opportunity to maximize your sale.  As Dorchester owners ourselves, we’d love the opportunity to speak to you if you want any specific information about your apartment and what it could sell for or rent for in today’s market. We can be reached at (917)837-8869.

 

Are we in a Buyer’s or Seller’s Market?

Are we in a Buyer’s or Seller’s Market?

If you read the attention grabbing headlines about the slowdown of the luxury Real Estate market, it can make you feel not so optimistic.  But if you are a buyer looking for competitively priced apartments in any of the core Manhattan neighborhoods you are going to have a far different experience of any type of slowdown.  We have a good balance of working with both buyers and sellers in today’s market, so we are seeing what is happening on the ground for Manhattan real estate.

The Real Estate market is always cyclical, and it’s important to step back and take a look at where we are in the current cycle.  Everybody is going to have their own ideas but its fairly agreed upon that the market stabilized in or around 2010 after the 2008 crash, so we are in about the 6th year of recovery.  The last few years saw a pretty aggressive run up in prices, eclipsing the previous peak pricing in most neighborhoods.  It feels like starting in 2015, the frenzy of buyer demand started to wear off and now we have entered a more stable marketplace.

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What we are seeing is that sellers who insisted on trying to push the price up even higher, finally saw the buyer pool push back and not bid.  We have seen more price adjustments for apartments that have been on the market for 60 or 90 days, sellers may be allowing more leeway and being more open minded regarding accepting offers that are mortgage contingent, something sellers previously would not want to discuss as they were holding out for an all cash buyer.

A very big takeaway here is that well priced apartments located in core neighborhoods in Manhattan see a lot of demand.  This is not a buyer’s market if you are looking in the entry level (Yes, relative to Manhattan) pricing in any of the prime Manhattan neighborhoods.

IMG_4203For example, we recently had a listing for a well renovated one bedroom condominium in a full time doorman condominium in the Lincoln Square neighborhood for just under $1,000,000, we were asking $975,000.  This is a segment of the market where there are very few one bedroom condominiums for less than a million dollars, we had immediate demand from different types of buyers, including owner occupants, investors, and parents buying for their children. That is a neighborhood where a lot of people want to be.  We received a handful of offers, some people coming in bidding $100,000 less than the asking price telling us that they will wait it out and see if we are on the market in a month or two, but we also received bids and offers near the asking price, finally selling for $965,000.  This was a price the owner and we felt was extremely fair, a record for the building actually on a price per square foot basis for that layout.

We do see buyers having more choose to from in the luxury sector of the market, both from new construction condominiums that are still being built and from resale units of recently closed luxury condos that were bought by investors.  That rush to make a decision has tapered off, as buyers are looking at more and more properties before making a decision.

Overall we would say the market is very healthy, with the right expectations a seller is going to get a very good price for their apartment.  Buyers are purchasing in a marketplace where they might have some more choices than they previously had with the ability to close on what they want.

Buying Manhattan Condo as Investment – Getting the Application Approved

Buying a Manhattan Condo as Investment – Getting the Application Approved- What nobody tells you

An often overlooked aspect of buying a New York City condominium as an investment is understanding what the rental application looks like for your prospective tenant.  

Why is this Important, Why should you Care?

It’s very important you understand both of these criteria because it affects the marketability of the apartment and your potential vacancy rate as an investor.

The vast majority of condominium buildings will require the tenant to be approved by the condominium board prior to being able to move into your apartment.  What this entails is submitting an application along with a variety of checks and supporting documentation proving their ability to pay the rent and this is where it gets interesting.

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Every Manhattan condo building has their own package and every building works with different management companies that have their own standard package and set of fees. We are here to provide a sample items of what most of the condo will required.  There are a handful of major management companies in New York City that work with a lot of the condominium buildings as their property managers.  These big management companies tend to have a similar package of requirements and fees with the different buildings they work for.

So the perspective tenant sees your rental condo unit likes it and wants to move forward and present an application.  They ask for the rental application and we give it to them and then they see all of the fees involved just for the condominium board and management and all of the documentation they will need to provide to submit the package.

The perspective tenant see the following for example:

  • $600 Processing Fee made payable to management
  • $500 Administrative Fee made payable to the Condo Board
  • $125.00 Credit Check Fee
  • $125.00 Criminal Background Fee
  • $50.00 Submission Fee to management
  • $500.00 Move in Fee
  • $1000.00 Move in Deposit
  • $500 Move out Fee
  • $1000 Move Out Deposit

Anything with Fee next to it will be non-refundable and all of these fees are on top of the minimum first months rent, one month security and likely broker fee the perspective tenant will be responsible for.  

And the condo rental application documents include:

  • Last Two Year Tax Returns
  • Employment Letter
  • Financial Statement including every piece of supporting documentation
  • Landlord Reference Letter
  • Notarized Documents could be included
  • Proof of Identification

Please understand, it’s important to fully understand the financial capability and any past tenancy issues your prospective tenant may have been involved in.  

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Here is what nobody will tell you….

If the fees for your condo building are prohibitively higher than those in similar buildings around you.  The same buildings a perspective tenant is probably also looking at, they will be turned off by the costs involved to rent your apartment.  If they see they have to pay an additional $1500-$2000 in non-refundable fees to rent your apartment vs a similarly priced apartment across the street or in the neighborhood, a lot of tenants will pass on your apartment.

Or when they receive the application and see that all of the documentation required is way more than the other building’s they have looked at, it’s just another hurdle to overcome to convince them to take your apartment.

We find that tenants are typically driven by price in the rental market, if they can go directly to a building where there are not a lot of additional fees and the rental application process is streamlined, they will do it.

Some condo buildings will also charge an additional fee to the owner to rent their OWN apartment.  They will increase the common charge, 5-10% or they have a fee within the rental package that is designated for the owner to pay.

What we recommend and something we always ask for is to see the rental package prior to purchase.  So before you sign your contracts you can see what the current rental package looks like so you know what you are getting yourself into.  

We work with many buyers looking to find the right Manhattan condo investment, there are many aspect of buying the suitable condo that is important for buyers to know. By working with us, seasoned and exprienced Real Estate professionals, buyers can avoid many mistakes and stress in buying the right investment condo. Call us today at (917)837-8869.

 

 

Read on other helpful articles by click on the links below to learn more about Manhattan Condo market:

HOW TO BUY A NEW CONSTRUCTION CONDO IN NYC:

http://manhattannycondosforsale.com/how-to-buy-a-new-construction-condominium-in-manhattan-new-york/

MANHATTAN CONDO INVESTMENT TIPS FROM LANDLORD PERSPECTIVE:

http://manhattannycondosforsale.com/manhattan-condo-investment-tips-from-landlord-perspective/

BUYING MANHATTAN NY CONDO INVESTMENT TIPS

http://manhattannycondosforsale.com/buying-condos/

Manhattan Condo Investment Tips: From Landlord perspective

Manhattan Condo Investment Tips: From Landlord perspective

The Time of Year Plays a Big Role in Your Rental

Over the years we have had the opportunity to work with a lot of condominium owners who have decided to rent out their investment condos and here are some of tips that we can share to maximize your investment.

The time of year the rental condo comes on the market for rent impacts two significant market factors to you as an owner (landlord): The Rent you will Receive and Potentially how long the apartment will be on the market.

The Manhattan rental market in our experience is very seasonally driven.  The peak season with the most demand always to be a late Spring to early Summer time period, let’s say April-July.

On the other hand, the time of year with the lowest amount of demand is November-February, with a very noticeable drop from late November-the beginning of January.

For example, we have had rentals be available in December with almost nobody coming to see them, which is somewhat understandable given the time of year.  And then come mid-January, all of a sudden, multiple requests to come take a look at the apartment.

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So the Question Becomes: What do I do as a landlord to prevent this from happening?

Sometimes there isn’t a whole lot you can do at first, if your previous lease is expiring this time of year and the tenant does not want to renew or if you are closing on a new condominium that you will be renting out afterwards, you will at least have the proper expectation of what is to come.

Our Tip and Strategy: If your building’s condominium by-laws permit and most often do, once we do find a tenant, have the lease be for 18 months, resetting the cycle.  Now the lease will expire in a much favorable time of year.

Most tenants will agree to this because the first 18 months of their lease is locked in at the same price, when it was usually 12 months.  And maybe they do not like moving this time of year either.

This is a simple solution, but one that is often overlooked by inexperienced real estate agents.

So let’s say your tenants give you notice that they are leaving and their lease October 31st, right when you will start to see the demand for rentals start to slow down.

You have a short window of opportunity to find a replacement tenant before the seasonality of the market takes hold.   Now is not the time to overprice your rental listing.  Renters are extremely price sensitive, they will shop around looking for the best deal possible, and this is especially true if there are other similar apartments available in your building or surrounding neighborhood.

If the market price let’s say for your one bedroom is $4000/month and your initial instinct is to push the price up a bit to $4200/month, thinking the apartment has unique features, which it could have, this strategy could back fire.

Our tip this time of year is make your apartment just a bit less expensive than the competition, you have to give a reason for a tenant to not want to lose out on your apartment and make a quick decision.  If they feel it is a bit overpriced, they will know they can circle around later and negotiate with you.

Because one month of vacancy plays a big part of your bottom line.  Let’s say the apartment goes vacant for 1 month, that is a loss of potentially $4000/month in rent, dividing that by 12 months, thats a monthly loss of $333/month.  Also, accounting for the common charge, real estate tax and if you a mortgage that is now out of pocket versus being paid for by the tenant’s rent.

Now let’s say you reduced the asking price to $3900/month, a bit under market, but not drastic.  You secure the tenant quickly,  You might feel that you are losing $100/month now, but compare that to the $333/month loss you would have been receiving if it went vacant for one month.  235East40thSt Vanderbilt Midtown Condos

Our Tip and Strategy: Market the Apartment just a bit under your competition, securing the tenant as quickly as possible, negotiate a longer lease and now when the lease comes up you will be in a much better position.  It will be Spring/Summer time, rental values are at their peak, so now when you negotiate your rental renewal you will be in a much better position in case you have to go back on the market to find a new tenant.

As a landlord, you need to work with seasoned agents like ourselves to maximize your condo investment. We work many investors that owned several condo units in different neighborhoods of Manhattan, we experienced first hand at how to handle each condo with different strategies. If you are a landlord and looking to rent out your condo unit, give us a call at (917)837-8869 and we can speak to you directly.

254 Park Ave South Condo for Rent

254 Park Ave South Condo for Rent

254 Park Avenue South located in the Flatiron district, a chic loft (one bedroom) is now available for rent at $4,300 per month.

Mint level renovation with over 13 feet ceiling height in the open living room makes this loft very special and perfect for Downtown lovers.

254 ParkAveSouth

The loft apartment is Southern facing with beautiful sun-drenched windows, brings in plenty of sunlight.

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254 Park Avenue South, the sleeping loft conveniently fits a queen size bedroom with a comfortable ceiling height.

254ParkAveSouthView

Perfect location near Union Square, multiple of New York City’s top universities, restaurants, shopping, and transportation options. 

Call us (917)837-8869 see this apartment today.

Available October 1st for move-in.

Greenwich Village Condos for Sale – What Can You Buy for Under $1,000,000?

Greenwich Village Condos for Sale – What Can You Buy for Under $1,000,000?

Have you been looking to buy a Condominium in or near the Greenwich Village Neighborhood in Manhattan? Have you had a hard time finding anything to purchase? I’d be surprised if your answer wasn’t a resounding Yes!!

Greenwich Village Condominiums for Sale under $1,000,000 has very limited amounts of inventory. The reason for this :

1. There aren’t that many condominium buildings in the Greenwich Village neighborhood, so the supply is always restricted.
2. When a condominium does become available for under $1,000,000 you will expect a lot of buyers demand, selling quickly.

As of September 9, 2015, we ran a search and see just Five (5) Condominiums available for under $1,000,000. The starting price range is $765,000. These are studio sized condominiums, average size about 500 sq ft.

If you were to increase your budget up to $1,500,000, there is still only the same Five (5) Condos available with no increase in inventory.

At $2,000,000 that you have an additional Four(4) Condominiums now on the market, and these are still just studio and one bedroom condos.
To buy a Two Bedroom Condominium, that is typically going to start around $3,000,000.

SO WHAT TO DO?

1. You should be open minded to expanding your search, start to include the West Village, the Flat Iron Neighborhood, the East Village, Gramercy Park and Chelsea. You will start to see more options as you go a few blocks outside of Greenwich Village. Those are still excellent neighborhoods, so looking in them makes a lot of sense.

2. Condominium inventory is seasonal. We see more inventory come on the market in the early fall and the spring. Those are the times of year with the most condominiums being put up for sale. So if you can time your search around then, you might have more to look at.

3. Become an Informed Buyer. The more you know about the sales prices, the types of buildings that you will be looking at, how quickly a condo will sell and the best way to position yourself to secure your very own condo here in Manhattan, the better off you will become.

This is where we step in to help you. We are experienced Real Estate agents who know the Condominium market here in Manhattan. We have helped many buyers purchase in Greenwich Village and surrounding neighborhoods.

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If you are ready to start looking next week, or just started the planning stage and thinking of buying next year, we are here to help.

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about this blog post. Below are some similar market report about Greenwich Village. Or if you would like to have more in-depth conversation, call us (917)837-8869.

Greenwich Village Two Bedroom Condo Market Report:

http://manhattannycondosforsale.com/greenwich-village-condos-for-sale-two-bedroom-condominiums/

Greenwich Village Condo for sale – Studio and One Bedrooms

http://manhattannycondosforsale.com/greenwich-village-condos-for-sale-part-1-studio-and-1-bedroom-condos-2015-edition/

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Greenwich Village Condos for Sale – Two Bedroom Condominiums

Greenwich Village Condos for Sale – Two Bedroom Condominiums

If you have been looking for a Two Bedroom Condominium recently in the Greenwich Village neighborhood I’m sure you have been increasingly frustrated waiting for new inventory to come on the market and then when something does happen to come available in your price range it becomes a fierce bidding war for the best properties.
As of late August 2015, within the neighborhood of Greenwich Village, we are tracking just Six (6) Different Two Bedroom Condominiums on the market for sale.  And of those Six, three of them are in new construction condominiums and the other apartments are what we would describe as being in the Noho neighborhood, not within the traditional Greenwich Village border.
For a Two Bedroom Condo buyer looking to be in or around the Greenwich Village neighborhood, you have two routes the resale inventory or the new construction condominiums.

If you are interested in a new construction condominium, there are a few different buildings that have two bedroom inventory including the Greenwich Lane Condominiums and 37 East 12th Street, however the price point begins at approximately $5,500,000 and can go up to close to $10,000 for the larger apartments.

So if you see yourself looking at the resale condominiums, this is the segment where most buyers are looking because of the price range and typically more options to choose from.
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Here is a breakdown of the activity since the beginning of 2015:
We tracked 16 Closed Sales.  A price range of $1,325,000 up to $4,995,000.  With a price per square foot around $2,000 depending on the type of building.  The median price point is essentially $3,000,000.
16 Closed Sales is simply a very low total volume of transactions.  This isn’t because of a lack of demand it’s simply a lack of inventory being put on the market.
Why such a big difference in price range? There are a handful of sales between $1,325,000 and $1,750,000 that are really Convertible Two Bedrooms.  Essentially a one bedroom with a dining alcove was converted to a 2nd bedroom.  There is a lot of demand for this entry level style of two bedroom because for a true two bedroom, most of the sales are occurring at $3,000,000.

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So if you are looking for a two bedroom condominium in Greenwich Village, you can expect the price point to start around $2,500,000. 

What should you do if you are interested in a Two Bedroom Condominium in Greenwich Village?
Our advice is that because of the lack of quality inventory, you are going to see very strong interest once it comes on the market.  There could be multiple offers, there could be lots of people at the first open house.
1.Educate Yourself on what the market prices are going to be for what you are looking for?
Too often people come in looking in the rear view mirror of what sold last year or what is selling in a different neighborhood trying to get an apartment for a price that is just not reasonable. When you have so little inventory in such a high demand neighborhood as Greenwich Village you can expect premium pricing.
The Petersfield Condominium at 115 Fourth Avenue
2. Get Your Financing in Place and Attorney Ready
If you want to secure an apartment quickly, the owner will want to know you are capable of going through with the transaction.  Whether you are paying ALL CASH or you need a mortgage, you need to come prepared.  Also having your attorney picked out before you make the offer will help speed along the process giving you the ability to sign the contract as quickly as possible.
3. Once an Apartment comes on the Market, Act Quickly! Try to see it as soon as possible, make yourself available to the time the seller agent says works best to see the apartment.

If you are ready to start your search for a Two Bedroom Condominium for Sale in Greenwich Village, contact us (917)837-8869, we can discuss any questions you may have, and current availability on the market so you can find the perfect one for you without much of stress.

Other related Greenwich Village New York blog posts:

Greenwich village pre-war condos:
Where is Greenwich Village New York:
Greenwich Village Studio and One bedroom Market Report Aug 2015