coops: Get those certified checks to bid at city auction - 07/06/10 03:25 AM
 
3 Hanover Square
Bidders will have the opportunity on July 29 to win an apartment at the city’s estate auction of five co-ops and a condo ranging from the Financial District all the way up to Washington Heights.
Manhattan Public Administrator Ethel J. Griffin will seek to dispose of the properties, which can be inspected July 13, 15, 19 and 22 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. each day.
Two of the properties failed to sell at the last auction, and had the amount of their minimum bids cut, so this is your second chance.  (Should they go unsold this … (0 comments)

coops: How does your garden grow? - 07/02/10 03:20 AM
Humboldt Spotted Lily (Photo by Jon Siess)
Nearly as rare as a Humboldt Spotted Lily is the city dweller who doesn’t yearn for outside space.
More often than not, it is garden space that buyers crave, a chance to dig into friable earth, raise a crop of juicy tomatoes and impress neighbors with a postage stamp lush with fragrant iris, iridescent roses or plumes of ornamental grass.
Ah, but the price such buyers pay!  Not only do such places command a premium – there is only so much vacant land in Manhattan – but the tradeoff for a garden may be … (2 comments)

coops: It’s either a perfect storm or a Bermuda high - 06/29/10 03:10 AM
If you think the weather's fine, just dive in. (Flickr photo by SuperFantastic)
There is a pretty strong likelihood that soon-to-be released second-quarter reports will show pretty strong sales in Manhattan along with prices that have more than held their own.
Indeed, the Wall Street Journal said yesterday that sales of Manhattan apartments were 80 percent higher than one year earlier during the second quarter. The pace was the fastest since the summer of 2008, an illustration that the market has been recovering during the spring selling season, according to writer Josh Barbanel.
He also quoted unnamed “analysts” as saying they … (0 comments)

coops: Most property managers really tick me off - 06/23/10 01:56 AM
For some folks, arrogance knows no bounds. (Image from the New Yorker.)
Possibly the biggest bane facing buyers, sellers and their brokers is property managers in New York City. You’d be hard-pressed to find one of us who praises any of them.
In a purchase of a Chelsea co-op that finally is scheduled to close on Thursday, the behavior of the  property manager of the building in which my buyer will live strains credulity.
It took this dame one and a half weeks to get back to the listing broker and me – only by e-mail – regarding the hefty board … (2 comments)

coops: Price is important, but it shouldn’t be everything - 06/22/10 02:54 AM
Living room of $660,000 one-bedroom co-op on Manhattan's Upper West Side.
This is one of four apartments that I took the opportunity of broker open houses to visit last week on the Upper West Side of Manhattan.
The price of $660,000 for perhaps an 800-sf co-op may or may not seem too steep in the eyes of a prospective buyer.  However, less important than the value of the place is the way that the savvy listing broker talked about  price by putting it into intelligent perspective.
His is a lesson often lost on other brokers and, even more frequently, on consumers … (1 comments)

coops: If apartment doesn’t feel right, go with the flow - 06/18/10 01:46 AM

When buyers can’t put their finger on what troubles them about an apartment, often the root cause will be layout.  Rooms don’t seem to flow naturally into each other, are awkwardly situated, present decorating difficulties or suffer from some combination of such attributes in those units.
Nowhere are these issues more likely than in combined apartments –for example, one in the high 80s on a corner of Amsterdam Avenue.
The co-op in question is in a very good pet-friendly building designed by Emery Roth.  The 1925 building has a 24-hour doorman, live-in super, gym, playroom, beautifully landscaped roof deck, party … (0 comments)

coops: Arleen hasn't killed her husband--yet - 06/17/10 03:00 AM
 
My clients as photographed by the New York Times in front of their Moorestown, N.J. home.
I had the pleasure of connecting a New York Times writer with buyers of mine, Arleen and Norman Shabel, a couple of weeks back.
The Shabels, who have been looking for pied-a-terre in Manhattan, were quoted in a long piece about homeowners having second thoughts about selling their properties at the 11th hour.  Chronicled, as well, were the ziz-zags of buyers whose remorse had them pulling back from offers that they had made or were about to make.  And today’s Times had a similar … (2 comments)

coops: New York City is to auction off apartments and houses in Queens, Brooklyn - 06/14/10 12:23 AM
The minimum bid for this Bayside property is $338,000.
The public administrator in Queens is auctioning off 10 co-ops, one condo and 18 single-family houses, each of them left by owners who died without a will.
The estate auction takes place June 29 at 11 a.m. at 88-11 Sutphin Blvd., Room 62, Jamaica.  Inspection will be June 26-27 between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.
Regarding the co-ops below, the contracts will be nullified and deposit returned in the event that a board rejects a successful bidder.
Apartments (upset prices provided):
87-15 204th St., Apt. B57, Hollis, $64,000 86-15 Dongan Ave., Apt. … (0 comments)

coops: Why not be a part-time real estate broker? - 06/09/10 10:44 AM
Being a real estate broker is a glamorous and leisurely pursuit. Right! (Photo by loungerie on Flickr.)
Someone told me a few days ago that she was thinking of becoming a real estate broker part-time.
“Don’t,” I said unhesitatingly.
Even if she has a wide social network, there is no way she can succeed.  That’s because becoming a broker means working not just full time but all the time.  Although many people think of brokers working on weekends, what they don’t know is that brokers also work most other days as well.
In the case of the aspiring part-timer, either she … (4 comments)

coops: ‘For all sad words of tongue or pen . . .’ - 06/08/10 03:19 AM
” . . . The saddest are these: It might have been.”
The San Remo
So wrote the 19th Century poet John Greenleaf Whittier.
The building pictured above and the one below represent some of the most memorable moments in which my life as an apartment owner might have been quite different.
The time was probably 1974-75, when New York City was facing possible bankruptcy.
My then-wife and I had saved enough money for a modest down payment–laughable now for its small size–and had decided it was time to buy an apartment.
We looked and looked, even made a false start … (1 comments)

coops: There is only one right time to buy - 06/07/10 10:50 AM
 
The Frank/Pattersons' new penthouse apartment with huge skylights.
In an uncertain market, the question on every buyer’s mind is whether it is the right time to get off the fence.
One buyer recently answered that question in an e-mail quoted by the New York Observer.  His response is worth noting in part because of the credentials that he and his wife possess.
Robert Frank is the wealth reporter for the Wall Street Journal and author of the best-selling book, Richistan: A Journey Through the American Wealth Boom and the Lives of the New Rich.  His wife is Rebecca Patterson,  global … (0 comments)

coops: A buyer’s deposit can make or break an offer - 06/06/10 03:40 AM
 
Flickr photo by unjanedoan.
The convention in New York City and many other housing markets is for buyers to offer to put into escrow a 10 percent deposit when they go to contract to purchase a property.
That deposit, which is called a binder or earnest money in some areas, are funds that buyers put at risk. It is meant to ensure that the buyer ultimately conforms to the terms of the sale contract and then closes on the transaction.
If buyers default, they don’t get the deposit back. That is obviously a significant penalty. It doesn’t matter whether a … (1 comments)

coops: Nothing sells like charm, especially if priced well - 06/04/10 02:02 AM
Not only do buyers glom onto glam in an apartment and long for light, but the charm of original details as varied as dentil molding and pocket doors may well appeal to many of them.
Pomander Walk
Although such characteristics often can’t hold a candle to the allure of a particularly lovely Manhattan block, the aura of an enclave such as ones that come to mind near Washington Square Park, on Murray Hill or on the Upper West Side can trump an ordinary block’s charm in the opinion of many buyers.
The attached homes in those areas generally have rooms of … (1 comments)

coops: Maybe, just maybe, Shakespeare had a point - 06/02/10 10:25 AM
 
The Supremes.
Okay, killing all the lawyers would a mistake, especially those in the photo.  But there are times when I’d like to savage some whose involvement in a transaction made my life difficult.
Such are the lawyers with little experience in real estate, no respect for real estate brokers, no commitment to hard work or some combination of those characteristics.
A lawyer, often a relative or a relative of a friend, who isn’t accustomed to real estate contracts invariably is a problem.  She or he usually doesn’t appreciate how routine are the negotiations and terms of a sales … (0 comments)

coops: Price can cause stumble in running board gauntlet - 06/02/10 02:56 AM
 
"Running the Gauntlet" by amber in norfolk on Flickr.
One of the most pernicious aspects of purchase approvals by the boards of co-operative apartment buildings in Manhattan has to do with price.
Boards have an obvious interest in analyzing whether prospective shareholders have the financial resources to keep their monthly maintenance charges from falling into arrears.
They also want to ascertain, so far as possible, whether the buyers will be involved and pleasant members of their small community.  Are they nice?  Do they give big parties?  Are they noisy?  Does their application appear to be truthful?
Some boards also like … (0 comments)

coops: For renovations, sellers likely pay a heavy price - 06/01/10 08:24 AM

West End Avenue (Flickr photo by claudiadaggett)
There is one axiom in real estate that sellers rarely get: In a slow market, it normally is all but impossible to recoup the cost of a major renovation.
A one-bedroom apartment that is handsome, stylish and uncommonly appealing  exemplifies that truth.
At the height of the housing market, the current owners purchased the 850-sf co-op in a distinguished pre-war doorman building for $575,000 in 2007 and then undertook a year-long renovation that set them back significantly in excess of $200,000.  They made not a single discernible mistake in doing so – except … (1 comments)

coops: The price is right, isn’t it? - 05/28/10 01:37 AM
Do sellers understand that. . .
. . . prices have. . .
 
. . .fallen?
I’ve written in the abstract about sellers who don’t grasp the true value of their properties.
Welcome now to the real world.
A former client of mine–twice!–has been telling me she wants to trade for another place on one level the duplex co-op that I sold her almost three years ago.  She and her husband paid $2 million for the two-bedroom, two-bath unit on Manhattan’s Upper West side, and they have invested another $100,000 in improvements to what already was a lovely apartment.
If … (2 comments)

coops: It costs $1,000, but for you, dahlink, no tax! - 05/27/10 02:10 AM

A friend of mine who asked to go nameless decided not long ago that he wanted a new bathroom sink.  After searching for a bargain online and in person, he reluctantly picked a model by Toto.  With new fixtures, the Toto total (say that five times) came to $1,000, including sales tax.
By the time the job was finished, however, his outlay had climbed to $3,700 as one thing led to another, about which more below. But the only tax he paid was for the sink, even though his plumbers and glazier were legitimate businesses that presented him with official … (6 comments)

coops: Buyers in Manhattan greet city concerns about balcony safety with big yawn - 05/25/10 02:19 AM
Nice balconies and views, but the city demands, "Keep off."
A woman I know called me in great distress last week to ask whether there was some way she could back out of her contract to buy a $560,000 one-bedroom co-op in a building that the city has cited for having potentially unsafe balconies.
Of course, I told the woman, who is not my client, to consult her attorney since the contract would provide the last word and it is not my habit to jeopardize my license by practicing law.
At the same time, I expressed doubt that there was any … (0 comments)

coops: Brokers have a mantra: 'Buyers are liars' - 05/23/10 04:42 AM
Not only do many brokers characterize buyers as “liars” (generally in less of a malicious and more of a frustrated way), but they also think of sellers as greedy.
I disagree.
Buyers don't swear to tell the truth.(Flickr photo by Office of Gov. Patrick.)
What happens with buyers is that they begin to refine and more often than not expand their requirements as they engage in the search process.  It is a learning experience about what is of increasing and what is of diminishing importance to them.
For example, once they actually get around to open houses and see what various … (2 comments)

 
Malcolm Carter (Charles Rutenberg Realty LLC)

Malcolm Carter

Manhattan, NY

More about me…

Charles Rutenberg Realty LLC

Address: 127 E. 56th St., New York, NY, 10025

Office: 212(688) 100-0355

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