new york times: 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)

new york times: Don’t believe everything you read, even my posts - 07/01/10 05:58 AM
The headline words “jump,” “rebound,” “normal” and “healing” have just surfaced about second-quarter reports for Manhattan released in the last 24 hours.
While it is true that the statistics don’t lie, they do represent a snapshot of history and they don’t reveal month-to-month changes in the housing market.
I have observed the growing somnolence of the June market compared with April, but you wouldn’t know it from reading the articles.  Nor would you know it from the blather uttered by the heads of the biggest brokerages.
You can read the Times’ account here and the Wall Street Journal’s here. You may … (0 comments)

new york times: 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)

new york times: 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)

new york times: Maybe tax benefits of homeownership should end - 06/16/10 01:44 AM
Abolishing the mortgage-interest deduction would replenish the nation's coffers. (Flickr photo by hto2008)
If anything I have posted so far hasn’t made me a pariah among my professional peers, this piece may well do that.
A column I read in the New York Times on Saturday got me thinking, again, about the question of U.S. government policy of supporting home ownership (which has fallen a couple of points to around 67 percent since the housing bust) by allow a tax deduction for mortgage interest.
In his provocative article, Joe Nocera quotes several economists and questions the policy.  Why does the policy … (1 comments)

new york times: What to make of a Times story on stalling sales? - 06/11/10 10:52 AM
An article in the New York Times today does little to inspire confidence in the Big Apple’s housing market.  In case you missed it, the long piece by Vivian Toy begins this way:
This year, the burst of real estate action that marks the spring season came early in New York. Manhattan saw a big sales spike in March, well before the market’s usual busy season in May and June. But now, instead of going into the expected overdrive, some brokers say, sales have started to stall.
That could simply mean that spring arrived and ended early, as buyers gained confidence … (0 comments)

new york times: ‘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)

new york times: 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)

new york times: Which is more important, broker or brokerage? - 05/20/10 04:21 AM
There is no shortage of bad brokers–those who are some combination of lazy, incompetent, unprofessional, unethical or nothing more than avaricious.
Of course, there are lots of good brokers in New York City and elsewhere as well.
The question at hand: Is there a clear connection between the quality of the broker and the reputation or size of her/his firm?  The answer: An unqualified yes and no.
If you assume that there is a connection between good brokers and those with a long track record, bear in mind that at least the three biggest Manhattan firms try to hang onto … (1 comments)

 
Malcolm Carter (Charles Rutenberg Realty LLC)

Malcolm Carter

Manhattan, NY

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Charles Rutenberg Realty LLC

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

Office: 212(688) 100-0355

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