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Why You Should Re-Consider Gary Vaynerchuck's Homeownership Comments

In a recent Podcast, Gary Vaynerchuck, known for his influential role in the media and advertising space as a leading entrepreneur, made strong remarks regarding homeownership that we would urge many to think carefully about. While there are certainly use cases that make sense for favoring renting a home, most individuals benefit greatly from homeownership.

What were his remarks, and why should you reconsider? Vaynerchuck stated that he feels buying a home is not an effective use of capital. He went so far as to state that he would rent for the rest of his life and never buy a home again.  

What You Should Consider

This is obviously a very strong statement made by Vaynerchuck as many view homeownership as part of the American Dream. When thinking about both his position and homeownership here is what you should consider:

Vaynerchuck’s Industry: Gary Vaynerchuck garnered most of his success as a tech entrepreneur. Starting companies, being an investor, etc. requires upfront capital needs that someone outside of this type of profession would not need. Thus, tying up a large portion of cash in the form of a down payment may not make sense for an investor that needs to remain more liquid. Additionally, one would reasonably expect that a tech entrepreneur would require one to be quite mobile in terms of traveling, so they would be less inclined to want to be tied down than the average person.

Equity: When you purchase a home, you are building equity in the home. Your monthly mortgage payments are going towards ownership, an asset that will be yours. When you rent, you pay your monthly rent which goes in your Landlord’s pocket – you are not working towards owning anything. Over the long term, homeownership has been the most influential vehicle for driving wealth accumulation. We have seen that, over a long time horizon, home values tend to increase, thus increasing the owner’s wealth.

Homeownership Is Not Dead: Most Americans still want to buy a home, and homeownership does make sense for a lot of people. However, the Millennial generation is struggling with homeownership because this generation is burdened with exorbitantly high student debt, coupled with high rents and costs of living in most job-hub city which makes saving for a down payment challenging for this group. As a result, Millennials are buying homes at a slower rate which leads some to believe that homeownership is dead.


That is not to say that some of Gary V’s points are not valid when put into perspective. When thinking about liquidity, we would not recommend someone purchase a home that they cannot afford. If the down payment of a home will put you in a bad financial situation, you should likely reassess your budget to ensure you are buying a property that makes sense for you financially.  

Additionally, there are use cases for renting homes that also make sense for a lot of individuals. We can conduct rent vs. buy analysis that can help clients decide what makes the most sense for them. One of the biggest things to consider when thinking about renting vs. buying is time – are you planning to only be in this location for, say, 5 years? If so, taking on a 30-year mortgage to buy a home, etc. may not make sense and renting would be more suitable if you know you are going to be changing locations relatively soon.

Best Activities & Buildings for an Active Lifestyle In New York

Active Lifestyle in NYC

Fresh Start to Active Living Around New York in 2019

New year, new you? Whether you have grand ambitions for 2019 or just want to be a little more active, there’s an outdoor or active living option for you in New York City. From group fitness classes in the warmth and comfort of a studio to exercising while enjoying the city’s outdoor spaces, here’s some inspiration for making a fresh start with active living around New York in 2019. Plus, can’t get outside? Read down to find out about the buildings offering the best amenities for living an active lifestyle without having to leave home.

Join a yoga class

Whether you’re already flexible or are wanting to become more so, there’s a yoga studio on practically every street corner in NYC. Meditative yoga, hot yoga, restorative yoga, laughter yoga, and naked yoga (yes, really) are just a few of the varieties you can check out. Plus, in the summer you can join an outdoor yoga class--strike a tree pose while being surrounded by the real thing. Bryant Park, Prospect Park, Astoria Park, and Hudson River Park offer large open spaces as well as beautiful views, and rooftop yoga is also an option. The great thing about yoga is that you can practice at home without any special equipment, so fitting active living into your daily routine is super easy.

Kayak or canoe on a waterway

Kayaking or canoeing on the water is a great way to get in shape while admiring city skyline views. The New York City Water Trail links 160 square miles of waterways across New York’s boroughs, offering almost endless options for exploring. Plus, in the summer, some free kayaking and canoeing sessions are offered on the Hudson River, East River, and New York Harbor. You can hire kayaks/canoes and gear if you don’t have your own or want to see whether the sport is for you before making a larger investment. Kayaking and canoeing can be as solitary or sociable as you like, with tandem and single boats available, making it easy to combine your workout with an accountability buddy.

Cycle the city

While the dense urban environment of New York City might not seem to offer ideal cycling conditions, cycling is growing in popularity in the city. Many New Yorkers are now cycling to work, joining cycle clubs, and making use of bicycle sharing and hiring facilities. If zipping through the city traffic doesn’t appeal, Central Park and Prospect Park encourage cycling at the weekends by limiting or prohibiting motor vehicles, so you can enjoy a ride without the worry. Plus, you can always join a spinning studio for stationary cycle fun in conjunction with loud, up-tempo music. Expect to sweat.

Hike a trail

Hiking trails surrounded by nature may be closer to the central city than you think. Just an hour or two outside the city you can find woodland, rolling hills, streams, and lakes to explore. Bronx’s Pelham Bay Park, Arden Point-Hudson Highlands State Park, Staten Island’s Green Belt, and Franny Reese State Park are just a few of the easily accessible spots within a couple of hours of NYC that offer fun day hikes suitable for the whole family. To step up the activity level if you’re an experienced runner, try trail running. Some trails can be reached via public transport, while others do require your own set of wheels.  

Dance, dance, dance

New York is famous for its vibrant dance, from Broadway to Latin to hip hop to classical. Whether you dance like no one's watching or just want to try on some dancing shoes for a while, New York is the place to get active to the beat. For group dance classes in a gym setting, try Zumba. For something a little more risque but very good for your body, pole fitness will teach you some slinky moves. To combine dance moves with yoga and Pilates exercises, head to a barre studio. Plus, you can always practice what you learn in class during a night out on the town (go easy on the alcohol if you’re trying to get or stay in shape).

Cross-country skiing

If you have your own cross-country ski gear and there’s at least 6 inches of snow on the ground (which, let’s face it, is most winters now), head to Central Park to warm up. There’s flat and gentle hilly terrain that’s suitable for a range of levels of experience. The Sheep Meadow, Great Lawn, and North Meadow areas of the park are especially good for skiing. And of course, there are great cross-country skiing destinations a little further afield upstate, if you want to make a day or weekend trip of it. Rockland Lake State Park, Fahnestock State Park, and Minnewaska State Park Preserve are all fun destinations for cross-country skiing.

Buildings with Amenities to Live an Active Lifestyle

50 Riverside Boulevard

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50 Riverside Boulevard is home to 50,000 square feet of lifestyle amenities by LA PALESTRA. 40,000 square feet of the amenities is the athletic and spa club which offers every activity you could imagine - swimming, rock climbing, gym, basketball, and 2 squash courts.

One Manhattan Square

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No one does amenities quite like Extell Development. One Manhattan Square garnered attention when it was dubbed as a “City within a City” because of the very extensive amenity offering - spanning 100,000 square feet total! To stay active and healthy, One Manhattan Square will be offering residents a full size basketball court, fitness center, hammam with cold plunge, 75-ft 3 lane pool, and more.

American Copper Building

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SHoP Architects has created a unique amenity space in the American Copper Building in the floating bridge that connects the two towers. Perhaps the most unique aspect? The pool that allows residents to swim from one tower to another 300 feet in the air. In addition to a pool, residents can enjoy a double-height fitness center, rock climbing, and a yoga studio.

Interested in which Buildings will allow you to live the lifestyle that you enjoy? Contact Us! We know the best amenities around the City.

What You Need to Know: Judge Rules in Favor of Airbnb

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Airbnb came into the headlines in New York last summer when City Council voted unanimously to enact a law that would require Hosts to disclose information including address of properties and identity to the city. City officials and the Mayor argue that Airbnb has essentially created an illegal hotel industry within the city. New York is one of the largest cities for the home sharing service. Under existing New York State law, most buildings do not allow an apartment to be rented for less than 30 days unless the permanent tenant is living in the apartment at the same time. City officials hoped this law would crack down on those violating this law and remove listings from Airbnb.

The law passed last summer stated that the detailed information pertaining to the units would need to be provided to the city monthly. Airbnb and Homeaway brought a law suit against the City, claiming that the law was unconstitutional. The law was slated to go into effect next month, however, a Federal Judge has blocked the enactment of this law in Manhattan Court.

Based on the recent ruling, here’s what you need to know:

  • The law is blocked from going into effect based on the premise that the collection of the data would be in violation of the 4th Amendment and would subject hosts to involuntary search and seizure.

  • This blocking is not necessarily permanent! It will be blocked will the litigation between parties continues. The outcome of the litigation will be important

  • City officials arguing that many people are running illegal “hotels” as they are violating the short-term rental law, and having guests in units for very short terms, creating a “revolving door” which could be potentially dangerous to other building residents

It is important to remember, if you are considering listing a property with Airbnb, under New York State law, short-term rentals cannot be less than 30 days unless the permanent tenant is also occupying the unit. This was and still is a State Law!

We anticipate that many people are in violation of this, and that is what the proposed legislation was hoping to crack down on. If you are listing your property on Airbnb in New York City, ensure you are adhering to all laws.

What You Need to Consider When Investing in Manhattan Real Estate

Have you been considering investing in real estate? Headlines and news stories may have some home owners concerned about their property purchase, or investors second guessing a decision to invest in Manhattan real estate. Like any investing, it is important to take a disciplined approach to investing in real estate guided by the advice of an expert. Analysis of over a decade of Manhattan housing data exhibited the strength of the borough to remain a sound investment compared to many of the global markets out there.

So, is all of Manhattan the same? Considering the following things when approaching Manhattan Real Estate from an investment standpoint.

Manhattan is a Resilient Market

Manhattan is somewhat a world of its own when it comes to the market and its driving factors in comparison to the larger macroeconomic landscape. The Manhattan market moves at its own pace during economic downturns as a result. We, of course, observed a large anomaly to this during the Global Financial Crisis of 2008. The crisis took down the entire global economy and impacted Manhattan housing. However, recovery in Manhattan was much quicker than that of other global centers.

During this crisis time, Entry-level luxury bounced back most rapidly. UBS Wealth Management publishes a Global Real Estate Bubble Index annually, and New York City was rated “fair value,” especially in comparison to hot markets such as San Francisco, Hong Kong, and Toronto.

Entry-Level Luxury

We have talked about entry-level price points as being key in the current market throughout many issues of Victoria’s View. In the case of Manhattan, some could argue that entry-level pricing could stretch as far as $5-6M. These are the properties that have shown exceptional price resilience over recent years in a market that some argue is slow.

Sub $3M has been especially busy the last few years. Open houses are getting a lot of foot traffic at this price point, and some properties are even experiencing bidding wars, especially those priced in the $1M range.

Why has entry level luxury faired so well? Demand is strongest at this price point in Manhattan. At this price, demand is fueled by working urbanites that are looking for their first-time home purchase, or are, perhaps, upgrading from a 1 bedroom to a 2 or 3 bedroom as they start a family.

Compared to ultra-luxury, or properties priced $10M+, entry-level luxury in Manhattan has remained more stable, largely a result of this demand from working professionals who need a place to live that we just discussed. Entry-level luxury likely has a higher buyer based composed of individuals seeking their primary residences rather than a second or third home which is often the case with buyers at ultra-luxury price points.

Volatility Factors

When you invest in stocks, you assess funds/companies/ETFs that match your identified risk profile. Risk may be assessed on things such as sector – Utilities may be considered more risk averse and less prone to price swings than a sector such as Biotech.

So, when thinking about real estate, what factors should you use to assess risk and volatility when considering your investment? Bedroom count plays a big part of real estate price movement. As a result, bedroom count can be a contributing factor to price volatility of real estate assets. One and Two-bedroom apartments are more common while 4+ bedroom apartments and large townhomes are more unique and rare, thus there is an inherent pricing question when it comes to large apartments as there is simply less historical data and comparables to which to defer.

While more bedrooms may mean more risk, more risk is often associated with the possibility of more reward. Prices of large apartments have risen dramatically since the 1980s and 1990s, however, in similar fashion, they were largely impacted during the great recession with pricing on large properties still under pressure.

via     Price swings in YoY rents by bedroom count. Notice the swings in 3 bedroom rents compared to Studios and 1 Bedrooms

via Price swings in YoY rents by bedroom count. Notice the swings in 3 bedroom rents compared to Studios and 1 Bedrooms

Pricing on one-bedroom properties have recovered from recession lows, largely fueled by the consistent demand in this space.

Intrinsic Value

Just as a company or stock has intrinsic value, so, too, does real estate. When considering investing in real estate, partner with your broker so you can identify properties that have more intrinsic value than others.

Contributing Factors

  • Natural Light

  • Neighborhood Stature – are there good schools nearby? Is the area established, up-and-coming, or on a decline?

  • Quality Construction and Materials – your broker knows new development and construction better than you. Lean on them to advise which buildings are constructed from the best materials and workmanship

If your investment is for the purchase of generating income, we have you covered! Check out our article on What to Expect When Investing in Real Estate. If you are purchasing real estate as investment with the goal of renting out, discuss what rents look like in the builder with your broker, and how that estimated figure would stack up against anticipated mortgage and carrying costs. There are ways to extract additional value out of your investment:

Ways to Extract Additional Value out of Your Investment:

There are additional ways to squeeze a bit more rent out of your unit and also have an increased likelihood to win over a prospective tenant as they are shopping around. While some of them are an expense upfront, they are some of the most common requests we see from prospective renters. Thus, you will most likely recoup the cost of these investments into your property.

  • Consider building out the closets to maximize storage with systems such as California Closets

  • Install Electric Shades/Window Treatments

  • Ensure the washer/dryer are good machines. It may be worth it to upgrade the machines from the base units that came with the apartment

Hiring a broker will be crucial to maximize the rent received. They are able to position your apartment on the market to appeal to the right audience and spend the time to understand the intricacies of the board package and fees.

  • Price correctly! Rely on your broker’s expertise to price correctly so you can rent sooner rather than later.

  • Get the condo leasing application to review the fees. That way, your broker can speak to prospective tenants about all fees associated with the unit. Additionally, this is important to understand in case you need to offer concessions to remain competitive

  • Good photos matter!

  • Get a floorplan of the unit to place online with the listing



6 Condos Designed by Luxury Brands in New York & Miami

Major luxury brands from around the world are leaving their market (and branding) on the luxury real estate market. There is a growing number of projects where major designers are doing interiors of luxury buildings, especially in Miami. 

These collaborations increase the appeal and attract buyers in a competitive new development market where prospective buyers have many projects from which to choose. Both sides stand to benefit from bringing on a global luxury brand as the development gets increased publicity because of the collaboration and the luxury brand gets to reach a potentially new audience that may not have previously been immersed in the brand. 

In today's market a brand is everything. Young, wealthy buyers especially love luxury brands, and many of these collaborations are familiar in that they most like have pieces from them in their home already. These powerful brands give the building an identity immediately rather than the building trying to have to establish itself as brand on its own.

New York

Baccarat Hotel and Residences

The Baccarat Hotel in Midtown Manhattan has a boutique collection of 60 residences with interiors by AD100 designer Tony Ingrao T.he apartments are luxurious as one would expect, yet in a sophisticated way. The major appeal of these residences is the plush amenities and services available from the Baccarat Hotel. Baccarat brand is more subtle within the residences while it is very prominent in the renowned Grand Salon and Bar where guests enjoy beverages out of Baccarat crystal glasses

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QUICK FACTS:

  • 60 Residences ranging in size from 1 to 5 bedroom currently on the market
  • Homes features luxurious finishes including Siematic kitchens custome designed by Tony Ingrao and entrance doors made of Zircote Wood with Baccarat crystal handles
    • Residents enjoy exclusive perks at Baccarat Hotels around the world as well as perks such as private shopping and priority custom design and production at Baccarat

The Getty

While Peter Marino is not a luxury brand or label himself, he is worthy of being included on this list as he has worked for some of the top fashion houses and artists around the world with his designs. Marino's work include flagship stores around the world for the likes of Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Bvlgari, Dior, and Giorgio Armani. His building along the High Line in West Chelsea has attracted much attention because of its boutique nature and the recent sale of a penthouse for $59 Million. 

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QUICK FACTS:

  • 12 story building consisting of only 6 bespoke homes designed by Peter Marino
  • Base will be a museum and gallery holding the private collection of J. Tomilson Hill worth $800 million     
  • All floorplans different and decked out in 80 various kinds of stone, marble, and wood finishes
  • Penthouse will have a private, rooftop pool 

20 Pine - The Collection

Renovated in 2009 at a historic downtown building, 20 Pine was at the forefront of the downtown revolution and was truly a first for the area with its Armani/Casa designed residences. Sleek kitchens, spa like bathrooms in the residences, and lofty ceiling heights have attracted buyers and investors to this building.

20 Pine The Collection

QUICK FACTS:

  • 408 Residences with 38 floors
  • Unrivaled amenity collection including the Collection Club & Spa including pool and Hamman Steam room, 25th Floor Sun Terrace, and Library Lounge
  • Designed by Armani/Casa

Miami

Fendi Chateau

Fendi Chataeu may not rise as tall as some of the new developments in Miami, standing at just 12 stories, but its 58 residences will pack a punch with their exceptional design and amenities. Chateau Group has teamed up with Italian Fashion Label Fendi to design residences that come with top of the line finishes, unparalleled amenities, and white-glove service

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QUICK FACTS:

  • 3,400 square feet to over 7,000 square feet of living space
  • Amenities include Library, Fitness Center, Private Cinema, 2 Swimming Pools surrounded by Tropical Garends Luxury Concierce by Fendi Chateau Attaché
  • 3 to 5 bedroom flow-through residences with the best finishes including Italian kitchen cabinets by Fendi with Mother of Pearl finish

The Residences by Armani/Casa

The Residences by Armani/Casa is a new development rising 60 stories on Sunny Isles beach with interiors designed by Giorgio Armani and Armani/Casa with each unit having a touch of Giorgio Armani himself. The building is set to finish in late 2018 and has already attracted buyers from around the world. 

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QUICK FACTS:

  • 6 different floorplan options with residences ranging in size from 1500 to 3000 square feet
  • Residences will include the finest in European-design cabinetry and designer finishes
  • 35,000 square feet of amenities all designed by Armani/Casa including an Armani Prive Lounge, fine dining restaurant, cigar room, fitness center, exclusive beach amenities on 300 feet of private shore

Missoni Baia

The Italian Fashion house is bringing their first branded building to the Edgewater area of Miami. The luxury condominium will rise 57 stories above Biscayne Bay and feature interiors designed by Paris Forino Design under the direction of Missoni. Slated to be complete in 2020, the building can be expected to feature the fashion house’s signature color palette throughout.

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QUICK FACTS:

  • 249 1-5 bedroom residences ranging in size from 776 square feet to 3,788 square feet
  • New York designerParis Forino envisioned the tower’s 249 elegantly crafted one- to five-bedroom residences and curated the Missoni fabrics, furnishings, and artworks that complement Asymptote’s modern architectural design.
  • Residence finishes include custom European cabinetry, top-of-the-line appliances, and floor to ceiling marble in masterbaths
  • Amenities include an Olympic-sized pool, spa, landscaped gardens by Enzo Enea, pet spa, game room, 2 poolside resident lounges

 

Want to learn more about the influence of luxury brands on real estate? Contact us to arrange a visit to these properties and more:

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7 Mistakes First-time Homebuyers Make

Homebuyer Mistakes

Buying your first home can be one of the most stressful decisions as it is most likely the largest purchase of your life. As a first-time buyer, you feel pressured to have everything go exactly as planned, ultimately ending up in your dream palace in the sky. Throughout the purchase process, we see first-time buyers make mistakes that affect his or her ability to land the property of his or her dreams.

Below is a list of 7 mistakes frequently made by first-time buyers. Partner yourself with an educated broker, and you will soon be on the way to calling your dream house home!

1. NOT HIRING A BROKER:

First-time buyers, especially those that are unfamiliar with transacting in real estate, have a large misconception that if they hire a broker, they are going to have to pay. This is not the case. When it comes to buying, unlike renting, the seller’s agent splits the commission with the buyer’s (your) agent. With that being said, you only stand to gain with partnering with a reputable broker when conducting your home search.

2. LACK OF PRE-APPROVAL:

If you are planning to finance the purchase of your home, it is imperative that you get a pre-approval letter from your mortgage company. This will help you in two ways: 1) you know that you will even get approved and 2) what amount the bank is willing to lend to you. For the latter, some are pleasantly surprised that they are approved for more than they originally thought, while sometimes, the approval may come in lower than expected. This is important, however, so you know at what price point you can shop. Many first-time buyers feel that this is not urgent and say “I will get it later!” The sooner you have your pre-approval in hand, the sooner you will be a competitive buyer in the marketplace. Mortgage pre-approvals are generally valid for 3 months, so even if you don’t find an apartment immediately, you are better prepared for the search by getting the letter from the start.

3. BROKER ACCESS TO LISTING:

This relates to mistake #1 in that, often, first-time buyers believe that they have to go direct (without a broker) to a listing that they are interested in because it is that listing agent’s listing. All brokers have access to all listings. So no matter what broker you partner with as a buyer, they can take you to any listing throughout the city. You will not get a better deal by going alone!

4. INDECISIVENESS:

Buying your first home will probably be one of the most stressful purchases of your life. First-time buyers can suffer from indecisiveness, especially in the Manhattan market which offers so many options. If you find what feels to be the perfect home, bid on it and focus on that apartment. Too often, first-time buyers cannot commit to a property and miss out on a deal that meets their criteria. 

5. EDUCATION:

Hiring a reputable broker is 90% of the equation while the other 10% is on you as the buyer. Be sure to do your homework regarding all the components that go into purchasing a home. How much will insurance be? Utilities? The more you understand what expenses are involved and what the state of the market is, you will know what you can realistically afford and focus your search accordingly. 

6. BUYING DIRECT WITH THE SELLER’S AGENT:

This, too, related to mistake #1- notice a theme? Too often, first-time buyers buy direct (without a buyer’s broker), which can hurt them in the end. It is important to understand that while the seller’s agent is thrilled with a double commission, throughout the entire purchase process they are legally obligated to the seller, not you. the buyer. This means that the seller’s interests are prioritized before yours. Make sure you are represented by a broker that has your best interests at heart so you can feel confident that you received the best deal.

7. UNDERESTIMATE THE COMPLEXITY OF THE PROCESS:

Often when dealing with something we have never done, we have expectations or assumptions of how to approach it and handle it. We see many first-time buyers that underestimate the complexity of the real estate transaction process. The steps of going from offer submission to the closing table is like navigating a minefield. There is a myriad of things that can popup between contract signing and closing that may complicate the deal or threaten it, often things you would not anticipate as a non real estate professional. Your broker will seamlessly guide you throughout the process. 

Why Live on the Upper East Side?

Manhattan Upper East Side

The Upper East Side is known for its neighborhood feel and expensive Park Avenue apartments, steeped in rich history dating back to America’s most prominent families. The Carnegies, 

Rockefellers, and Kennedys have all called the Upper East Side Home. Today, the neighborhood attracts a variety of different demographics and has housing options that span many price ranges.

People are attracted to the Upper East Side and call it home for a myriad of reasons ranging from selection of schools to restaurants, shopping, and culture. It is a great neighborhood for first-time city dwellers as well as established families because of the diversity of properties available in the area. The neighborhood feel of the Upper East Side extends a welcoming hand to all.

Oscar De la Renta Madison Avenue

Some felt that the Upper East Side was somewhat out of reach because the 4/5/6 was the main artery in and out of the neighborhood, leaving people on the east side of the area having to walk to Lexington Avenue to get downtown. With the opening of the Second Avenue Subway, the neighborhood and all of its perks have become even more accessible, and properties on the far east side of felt a positive impact.

Whether you are looking for home close to great close, coffee shops, museums, or shopping, the Upper East Side offers it all! Download our Upper East Side neighborhood guide to learn more about the neighborhood and why we love it.

Some of our neighborhood favorites include:

Restaurants:

  • Mr Chow
  • Flex Mussels
  • Haru
  • Philippe
  • Elio's
  • Campagnola
  • Sushi by Gari
  • Jo Jo's
  • Cafe Boulud
  • Morini
  • The Mark Restaurant
  • La Goloue
  • Jade Sixty

Coffee:

  • Nespresso boutique on 74th and Madison
  • Joe's Coffee
  • Birch Coffee
  • Sant Ambroeus

Workouts:

  • Equinox
  • Soulcycle
  • Flywheel
  • Rumble
  • Hot Yoga
  • Ripped

Gourmet Grocery:

  • Citarella
  • Whole Foods
  • Fairway
  • Dean & Deluca

Salons:

  • Warren Tricomi
  • Drybar

Museums:

  • Metropolitan
  • Jewish Museum
  • Frick Collection
  • Met Breuer
  • Neue Galerie
  • Guggenheim

Schools:

  • Chapin
  • Brearley
  • Buckley
  • Spence
  • Dalton
  • Garden House School
  • Town
  • Lycee Francais

Parks:

  • Central Park
  • John Jay Park
  • Carl Schultz Park

Featured Upper East Side Listings:

 408 East 79th Street, 17AB

Convertible 5 Bed | 5 Bath | $7,395,000

Apartment 17AB is a convertible five bedroom, five bathroom home with a private elevator landing in one of the Upper East Side's best condominium buildings. Meticulously designed by Weitzman Halpern, this 3,836 square foot home with 10 foot ceilings offers soaring views in every direction. Generously proportioned living and entertainment rooms make this home ideal for gatherings and entertainment. The Arcadia was designed by famed architectural firm Costas Kondylis and includes a private gym with beautiful skylight, stretching room and massage room, children's playroom, newly developed teen game room, bike room, storage, library and 24 hour doorman and concierge. 

SEE FULL LISTING

1355 First Avenue, 6th Floor

4 Bed | 4.5 Bath | $6,995,000

The 6th Floor at The Charles Condominium is a spectacular full-floor home with four bedrooms, four and half bathrooms, and complete luxury design work from Interior Design Aman Meeks. At 3,637 square feet, this is truly a special opportunity to own a gracious and pristine condo unit on the Upper East Side.

SEE FULL LISTING

 

What to Expect When Buying a Property for Investment Purposes

investing in real estate

Recent stock market volatility have you concerned about your portfolio? Real estate is one of the largest sectors of investment, both public and private. In times of volatility and uncertainty, we are reminded about the safety of a real estate holding. While it could never be guaranteed that something will definitely appreciate in price, the long-term trend suggests that real estate does appreciate in value over the long-run while not being subjective to wild price swings that you might see in an equity.

Many financial planners would argue that real estate should be a holding in any well-balanced portfolio. Additionally, real estate has the potential to create substantial yield while you hold the asset thanks to the ability of renting the property. Thinking about investing in real estate and planning to rent it out? We assist many clients with buying, whether resale or preconstruction, as an investment vehicle to rent out. It is always recommended that you speak to your financial planner and tax advisor to understand the role of real estate in your portfolio and tax situation.

We can help you hone in on an apartment that meets your needs for an investment, and additionally, can help you successfully rent it as we understand what prospective tenants are looking for and what they value.

So, you made your investment purchase and want to rent your apartment, what are prospective tenants looking for? What can you do to extract more value out of your investment?

What Prospective Tenants are Looking For:

Value- The state of the rental market will dictate just how much value a prospective tenant may seek, but value is always something a renter will be looking for. Hire a broker to help position your apartment on the market to remain competitive with other listings in the building and within a similar price range.

  • How much are the application fees? Should you consider paying them as a concession to remain competitive?
  • Will you pay the broker’s fee?
  • What are the building amenities? Is access to them an additional fee?

Aesthetics- While this is something more personal, we do see, however, that the majority of renters are looking for a unit that offers light and some views as well as an overall clean condition. If you bought preconstruction, your unit should be in brand new condition for the first tenant. On the other hand, if you bought a resale unit, be sure to make sure the unit has a clean appearance to attract as many prospective tenants as possible.  They will be paying attention to things such as:

  • Condition of bathrooms, kitchen, and flooring – are edges of doors, counters, etc. clean? Do the appliances function properly? Is the flooring cracked?
  • Does the apartment need a fresh coat of paint?

While some of these may seem like small items, they ultimately influence a prospective renter’s decision to pick one apartment over another, especially if they are deciding between units within the same building.

Ways to Extract Additional Value out of Your Investment:

There are additional ways to squeeze a bit more rent out of your unit and also have an increased likelihood to win over a prospective tenant as they are shopping around. While some of them are an expense upfront, they are some of the most common requests we see from prospective renters. Thus, you will most likely recoup the cost of these investments into your property.

  • Consider building out the closets to maximize storage with systems such as California Closets
  • Install Electric Shades/Window Treatments
  • Ensure the washer/dryer are good machines. It may be worth it to upgrade the machines from the base units that came with the apartment

Hiring a broker will be crucial to maximize the rent received. They are able to position your apartment on the market to appeal to the right audience and spend the time to understand the intricacies of the board package and fees.

  • Price correctly! Rely on your broker’s expertise to price correctly so you can rent sooner rather than later.
  • Get the condo leasing application to review the fees. That way, your broker can speak to prospective tenants about all fees associated with the unit. Additionally, this is important to understand in case you need to offer concessions to remain competitive
  • Good photos matter!
  • Get a floorplan of the unit to place online with the listing

We currently have a wonderful selection of apartments on the market for rent:

50 Riverside Boulevard, 11L

50 Riverside Boulevard, 11L

4 Bed | 4.5 Bath | $24,995/MO - View Listing

One West End Avenue, 28C

One West End Avenue 28C

3 Bed | 3.5 Bath | $14,995/MO - View Listing

188 East 64th Street, 2603

188 East 64th Street 2603

1 Bed | 1 Bath | $3,995/MO - View Listing

Additionally, we have successfully executed leases for our clients around the city including:

  • One Beacon Court - 32C, 39D, and 34B
  • 255 East 74th Street, 5B
  • 20 Pine Street, 1007
  • One57

Questions about investment in property with the goal of renting the unit for income? Contact us to arrange an appointment to discuss your goals and we can tailor a collection of units to meet your needs.

LEED Certification: Sustainable Developments Building the Future

In a world where global warming and climate change headlines have gained more and more media presence and the top industrial nations gather to discuss climate, sustainability is a topic that is not only top of mind but one that is here to stay.

From corporations to individuals, the movement to live a more environmentally sound and sustainable is a priority for many. The movement towards sustainable living has trickled into the real estate industry in the form of “LEED.” From new developments to existing constructions, LEED certification is a mark representing a degree of sustainability.

So, what is LEED and how is New York City getting on the map with one of the highest LEED certified buildings?

What is LEED?

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You may notice when shopping for real estate in New York City, whether a new development, condo, or rental building, a mark stating that the building is LEED Certified – what exactly does this mean?

LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design and was devised by the United States Green Building Council. This rating system is the most widely used green building rating system in the world, and the LEED certification is a globally recognized sustainability achievement.

The rating system evaluates the environmental performance of a building, and through this process, encourages market transformation. The evaluation looks at things such as materials, water efficiency, and performance such as indoor quality for occupant comfort.

Sustainability has been a growing area of interest for developers to appeal to the needs of environmentally conscious consumers. The biggest development project in New York’s history thus far, Hudson Yards, is, in many way, one of the greenest projects as well.

Hudson Yards

Hudson Yards Project.jpeg

Continued progress on the far west side mega project is something to look forward to in2018. 15 Hudson Yards is expected to top out while construction will begin on the 30 Hudson Yards sky observation deck. Landscaping is expected to arrive around the much talked about Vessel.

What do we expect from buildings that are surrounded by lush, green parks? Sustainability of course! All  buildings within Hudson Yards have been strategically designed in pursuit of the highest levels of certification by LEED.

10 Hudson Yards, the fully rented office building that really put Hudson Yards on the map, is the first commercial office in New York to achieve the coveted Platinum rating from LEED. This is the highest rating available under the program. As one can imagine, the list to achieve this distinguished award is lengthy. Some examples of how 10 Hudson Yards is leading the green initiative include a system for hot and cold water that is twice as efficient as a traditional one and a storm water retention system that is used to water the building’s landscaping.

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The Platinum status of 10 Hudson Yards shows the commitment of the project to be innovative and forward thinking while establishing it as a model of what great buildings should strive to be.

Of course, the Hudson Yards project is not the only LEED certified one in New York. If sustainability is important to you and your next home, we can discuss other buildings that meet the LEED certification requirements. 

Want to live in a LEED certified building? Please contact us.

 

How the GOP Tax Proposal Could Impact Real Estate

GOP Tax Bill

The GOP Tax Reform efforts are garnering headlines across the board as the potential for a new tax plan could have impacts on personal taxes, business, and of course, housing. How will the current proposal impact real estate? At a high level, the current bills would have impact on taxes and mortgages, which in turn could impact the larger market if they skew incentives of buyers, sellers, and homeowners. In both the House and Senate versions, homeownership still looks advantageous as compared to renting, and homeowners will always build equity as a result of price appreciation.

It is important to think of the plan in the context of the entire housing market, not just the Manhattan. Median prices in Manhattan are incredibly higher than the national average, so there are always unique impacts of any legislation in a city such as New York. Both plans are more beneficial for buyers at lower price points, specifically sub $300,000. With both plans, financial benefits of homeownership decrease as home price increases.

Taxes:

Under both plans, tax liabilities for homeownership will generally go up. Some propose eliminating deductions while others do not. Remember, property taxes stay with the owner for the life of the property, they do not go away like a mortgage payment once it is paid off. Both bills propose nearly doubling the standard deduction which in turn will reduce the number of people itemizing their return.

  • Senate plan proposes eliminating state and local deductions, including property taxes. The House plan will leave the ability to make deductions, but will cap state and local deductions at $10,000.
  • House Bill will result in nearly 1/5 of homebuyers experiencing a higher tax liability
  • Senate bill will result in all buyers and current owners seeing an increased tax liability

Mortgages:

The ability to deduct mortgage interest is one of the financial benefits of owning a home that, sometimes, can help in making it more efficient to own rather than rent. Currently, a homeowner can deduct interest on mortgages up to $1 million.

  • House bill will cut this deduction to $500,000 while the Senate bill leaves the deduction unchanged
  • According to CoreLogic, fewer than 3% of mortgages are over $500,000
  • it is not certain whether this would apply to new mortgages only, or also to existing ones BUT the version of the bill that the House passed would leave the deduction where it is for existing loans. Because of this, people might want to consider closing before year's end.

So how would these changes impact the market? Given the higher costs of homeownership in both bills, buyers may not purchase as expensive of homes as pricier homes generally come with higher tax liabilities which could be even higher now. On the other hand, current owners could be more incentivized to just stay put and not trade up to larger homes or move to cities where a job is as cities are generally higher taxed areas.

Overall, the largest impacts of the bills would be in high tax states such as New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and California given the proposals to eliminate various deductions. Of course, the road to tax reform is long, and it is unsure what will be in the version of the bill that comes out in the end, if any.