Monday, January 25, 2016

What the Heck is a Healthy Real Estate Market?

"A healthy housing market is both stable and affordable; homeowners in a healthy market should be able to easily sell their homes, with a low risk of losing money over the long run. So, in order to find the healthiest housing markets in the country, we considered the following four factors: stability, affordability, fluidity and risk of loss."

Sources: US Census Bureau 2014 American Community Survey, Zillow

home price, home ranking, real estate, corcoran group, zillow

So.. Let's see if your real estate market is healthy..

The following helpful article from Bloomberg has already answered this question for us! See below a link to the article and a brief summary. Thanks, Anne Riley! Her Twitter---> (A_Riley17)

Montana Has Fewest Homes with Negative Equity

"The number of years residents live in their houses is one way SmartAsset measures a housing market's stability. The second factor it considers is the percentage of homeowners with negative equity."

Paying Up for a Roof Over Your Head

Assuming you were successful in selling your home (sorry, New Mexico) and purchasing a new one, just how much of your monthly household income should you expect to spend?

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

The Road to a Successful Closing - No Detours!

Purchasing property in Manhattan can seem like a maze at times, but our helpful info-graphic above and our three critical "next steps" below will illuminate the proper path to a successful closing! Preparing financially is the most important aspect to purchasing an apartment and it is commonly left to the last moment by the majority of buyers. Below is designed to initially explain the three key components of every co-op purchase and what everyone will need to proceed:

Ø  Financial Statement – Full disclosure of your finances is required with every offer. Please note: When working as a buyer’s broker, I have a fiduciary responsibility to my customers through reasonable care, undivided loyalty, confidentiality, full disclosure, obedience, and duty to account. An accurate assessment of the following is required:

Liquid Assets (cash, money market and brokerage accounts)
Retirement Assets (or any other long term assets)
Income (salary, bonus, interest, dividends and any of miscellaneous income)
Liabilities (any debts)

Generally, co-op's will require supporting documentation once we have a fully executed contract of sale. Below are important ratios used by co-ops as a standard to qualify buyers. 

Debt to income ratio (typically needs to 28% or less) this is all of your monthly debt plus the new mortgage and maintenance/taxes divided by your total gross monthly income including any bonuses. 

Cash reserves – Most co-ops require 2 years of mortgage maintenance and taxes to be in “liquid” reserves after closing.  They do not consider IRAs, 401Ks Keoghs, TIA CREFFs, or Real Estate assets to be liquid, unless you are over the age of 65.

Ø  Pre-Approval Letter – It is important to know your borrowing potential, especially now with lender’s tightening credit standards. A mortgage banker will qualify you and indicate what documents are required and ask to pull your credit. This will offer you piece of mind, determine your purchasing power, define the current mortgage rates and help us determine your monthly expenses. This letter is also required with every offer.

Ø  Attorney Once we have an accepted offer, they will offer important advice throughout the process and conduct due-diligence. This is a must expense for even the most savvy investors and it is highly recommended to use a Manhattan based real estate attorney who knows the business. They will look over the co-op’s minutes, budget, tax statements/returns, contract, and prospectus/offering plan. They will review all of the closing papers, walk you through the closing and will also advise you of potential risks.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Sold! Another Successful Transaction

353 East 72nd Street, 5B

This south facing one bedroom with wall to wall windows throughout is filled with sunlight and has beautiful tree top views. In this case, the unit was only on the market for 36 days! In today’s complex real estate market, it is imperative to work with an expert who understands the unique process of selling in your specific building and neighborhood. See the link below for more details about this sunny residence.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Irish Hunger Memorial - A Daytime visit

We recently visited the Irish Hunger Memorial in Battery Park City. For those of you who haven’t visited yet, it's the perfect stopping point if you are strolling along the Battery Park waters edge. It's also a great way to connect with your Irish heritage and learn more about The Great Famine. 

The Memorial, designed collaboratively by artist Brian Tolle, landscape architect Gail Wittwer-Laird, and architecture firm 1100 Architect, is located on a 0.5-acre site at the corner of Vesey Street and North End Avenue in the Battery Park City neighborhood of Manhattan in New York City, and is dedicated to raising awareness of the Great Irish Famine.

Referred to by the Irish as, “An Gorta Mor” in Irish Gaelic or "The Great Hunger" in English, the Famine killed over a million people in Ireland between 1845 and 1852. Construction of the memorial began in March 2001, and despite the September 11 attacks on the nearby World Trade Center, which also affected surrounding areas, the memorial was completed and dedicated on July 16, 2002. 

The memorial is a uniquely landscaped plot, which utilizes stones, soil, and native vegetation brought in from the western coast of Ireland and contains stones from all of the different counties of Ireland. The memorial also incorporates an authentic rebuilt Irish cottage of the 19th century. The cottage at the memorial is from Carradoogan in the parish of Attymass in County Mayo. The cottage belonged to the Slack family but was deserted in the 1960s. The Slack family donated the cottage to the memorial in "memory of all the Slack family members of previous generations who emigrated to America and fared well there."