Category Archives: BuyingtipsforManhattanproperty

33 townhouse Open houses today in Harlem

In the Hamilton Heights, Central Harlem, market there are 33 open houses set for today. As listings linger on the market and sellers start to come to grips with the idea that the market is in favor of the buyers, some listings sit on the market. As a result, the amount of open houses is at a staggering number. However, the market under $2.5 million is still low on inventory as only 4 of the 33 open houses are for that price point and only 1 open house for a listing under $2 million. The inventory under $2 million has not budged at all in the last several months and the choices are limited.

Harlem townhouse Open house list for Sunday

Harlem townhouse September market report

The Author-  Brian Silvestry , a licensed real estate broker, has been selling residential and commercial real estate since 1999. He has sold in every neighborhood from Battery Park City to Washington Heights.

Harlem townhouse market price adjustments

Just two months ago, the Harlem townhouse market report showed 17 listings at $4 million and above. Now as of September 30th, that number has halved to 8. Those listings did not sell as only 4 listings over $4 million have sold this year in the Harlem,Hamilton Heights townhouse market. Either they reduced the price and joined the under $4 million club or they gave up.

In the last 2 months, the number of listings available from $3 million to $3.99 million, has increased from 26 to 31. The number of listings from $2 million to $2.99 million has increased in the same time period from 33 to 40. These numbers tend to support the trend that price reductions are forcing sellers to readjust their expectations.

However, the market segment least affected is the below $2 million which currently has 5 available listings while the May Harlem townhouse report showed 7. This suggests that inventory is still very tight in the <$2 million/starter townhouse range.

The Author-  Brian Silvestry , a licensed real estate broker, has been selling residential and commercial real estate since 1999. He has sold in every neighborhood from Battery Park City to Washington Heights.

How CEMAs help Manhattan buyers and sellers save money

Please note always consult with an attorney on legal matters as this blog is not meant to be substituted for competent legal advice. 

CEMAs aka Consolidation extension modification agreement, allow buyers who are purchasing real property (not coops) in New York City save $ on their mortgage recording tax and help sellers to save on their NYS transfer tax. This can work if the below conditions are met and strangely is used only in about 1/4 transactions that are eligible.

1- Seller has a mortgage

2-Seller’s mortgage lender allows assignments of mortgages

3- Buyer is working with a lender that allows purchase CEMAs.

Example

Sale Price $3,000,000
Seller Mortgage balance $2,000,000
Buyer Mortgage amount $2,200,000
Mortgage tax 1.925%

Buyer will save approximately $39,500 in mortgage recording tax minus transaction costs and seller will only pay NYS transfer tax on not the total sale price of $3mm which would be $12,000 but rather on the difference of $3mm-$2mm which would be $1 million or $4,000.  Buyer and seller both win.

You will need to consult with an attorney that understands this process and also it’s an easier process with a lender that can also aid in the process as well.

The Author-  Brian Silvestry , a licensed real estate broker, has been selling residential and commercial real estate since 1999. He has sold in every neighborhood from Battery Park City to Washington Heights.

 

Harlem townhouse August market report

In the month of August the Central Harlem,Hamilton Heights market was quiet with only 4 new listings coming to the market.

Among the 4 new listings, there is an SRO sold without the certificate of no harassment for $2.1 million looking for cash buyers according to the listing which is the least expensive listing. Also listed this month is a home at 210 W 122nd street which appears to be renovated though the DOB records indicate SRO as well asking $3.995 million. Rounding out the new listings are an 8 unit for sale near Fifth avenue and a 3 family with side yard at 517 W 152nd street which was listed previously.

On the sale side(see table below), there were 5 sales and some properties went to contract or were removed from the market which resulted in a decrease of inventory from 82 available listings in July to 70 in August. This led to a corresponding decrease in inventory levels to only 14 months from 21 months in July.

Sold properties for August
Sale Price # Units
160 W 130 ST $2,400,000 8
37 W 126 ST $2,544,000 4
127 W 120 ST $3,451,000 3
106 W 120 ST $3,375,000 3
17 W 120 ST $3,750,000 6
# Active listings Inventory (months)
70 14
<$2mm 5
$2mm-$2.99mm 33
$3mm-$3.99 mm 25
$4mm + 8

July Harlem townhouse report

June Harlem townhouse report

The Author-  Brian Silvestry , a licensed real estate broker, has been selling residential and commercial real estate since 1999. He has sold in every neighborhood from Battery Park City to Washington Heights.

Thinking of buying a Manhattan apartment for investment?

This is the 1st in a series of articles for buyers who are considering buying a Manhattan apartment as an investment. 

I  once read an article where someone commented that NYC property is like a Swiss bank account for investors because it’s considered so low risk and certainly will go up in the future. But where do you buy and for how much? Should you get a loan or pay CASH? Here’s some advice that may help you to decide.

So let’s say you have $1 million just as an example and you want to invest. What are your options assuming you will not live there? Click through for guidelines.

Continue reading Thinking of buying a Manhattan apartment for investment?

How to pick a real estate attorney

Let’s assume you are doing a residential purchase or sale and need a Manhattan real estate attorney to represent you. How do you find one and what should your criteria be? Let’s take a simplified look at what they do first to assist the process.

On a purchase, your attorney will review the proposed contract and examine the financial information of the co-op or condo building which might entail going to the building to read the minutes of the Board meetings. If there is some project coming up or a noisy neighbor that is wrecking havoc,  it might show up in these minutes.  Your attorney will meet you to sign the contract and fedex/messenger the contract and deposit check to the seller side. After that, assuming it’s not a complicated transaction that will be about it until you go to closing and then he will reconcile the numbers at the closing table and provide you with a closing statement.

On a sale of a Manhattan co-op/condo, the attorney or assistant will prepare the NYS contracts, then will negotiate any changes proposed by the buyer side. You will meet your attorney once the buyer signs and counter sign the contract. If there are issues with the mortgage or closing, the attorney will intercede and if not your attorney will attend the closing and reconcile the numbers with the other side.

Attorneys charge generally as low as $2000 for this transaction and generally an average fee is closer to $3000 or more.

The easiest way to find a good real estate attorney is to ask a friend, family member or your real estate broker for the name of someone that they have used and had a good experience.

You want to make sure that any attorney you use specializes in real estate so that you have a true expert on your side. Sometimes your family attorney also “does” real estate transactions but if there is an issue along the way, experience in doing many transactions may be an asset that you are happy that they have or may hurt you if they do not. So choose someone with experience.

Find out if there is an assistant or someone that you can speak to in case you need a quick question answered. If your attorney spends all day in court and is unreachable by phone/email, it may add stress unnecessarily to the process. Most attorneys will have staff and in some cases they will be able to answer your questions.

Lastly, while you might be recommended to a big name law firm, ask who will be the one handling your transaction. A big name firm that delegates you to a junior attorney or paralegal may not be the wisest choice. Much in the same way, a big name real estate brokerage that passes you off to the 3rd assistant may also leave you feeling that you are not receiving the service you expect.

So while the description I have given of what an attorney is very simple, it is not easy and you never what bumps you will hit on the way so it’s always best to have an expert on your side. To find the right person may take a little bit of research.

The Author-  Brian Silvestry , a licensed real estate broker, has been selling residential and commercial real estate since 1999. He has sold in every Manhattan market from Battery Park City to Washington Heights.

How long does it take to go from contract to closing for a Manhattan property

Once you have an accepted offer, the contract review process begins. In an ideal world, this will take about a week but can often take longer, as the lawyers haggle over details of the contract like as is versus working condition or closing dates or what happens if there is a title issue…Once the contract is signed by the buyer and the deposit (normally 10% of the purchase price) is sent to the seller’s attorney, the seller can sign the contract.

At that point, the buyer will give their documents to their lender for their loan application. Within about a month, the buyer will have a loan commitment and from there the bank can be ready in about another month or so to close the transaction.

If this is a condo or co-op in Manhattan, there will be Board application to be submitted and reviewed first by management and then the Board. In the case of a condo, they grant a waiver of the right of first refusal which is the Building’s right to buy an apartment if they so choose. If it’s a co-op then they will review the application and first decide to interview or not, then interview and give an approval or rejection. This can add another 1-2 months total to the process.

Lastly, the lawyers will set the scheduled date for closing when all parties are available. From contract to closing, can average about 3 months, less if a cash transaction and more in the case of co-op.

The Author-  Brian Silvestry , a licensed real estate broker, has been selling residential and commercial real estate since 1999. He has sold in every neighborhood from Battery Park City to Washington Heights.

Harlem townhouse shortage below $2 millon

According to the July Harlem townhouse report, not one townhouse below $2 million was listed for sale. In July,  2 of the 4 sales recorded in the Central Harlem,Hamilton Heights townhouse market, were below $2 million. That brings the number of available properties below $2mm to only 6 out of over 80 listings. I am seeing a little bit of a tug of war as sellers priced at around $2.3-2.6 now begin to see the market may not sustain these prices for their Harlem properties  and probably not for 4 family homes above 125th street.

The Author-  Brian Silvestry , a licensed real estate broker, has been selling residential and commercial real estate since 1999. He has sold in every neighborhood from Battery Park City to Washington Heights.

9 New Harlem townhouse listings so far in July

So far in the first half of July, we have seen 9 new townhouse listings come to the market in Harlem. That is fairly in line with the number of new listings that we saw come to market in April and May. June seemed to bring a pause in the rising inventory. The least expensive Harlem townhouse brought to the market was listed at $2.3 million but a recent 4 family lowered it’s ask to $2 million.

June Harlem townhouse report

The Author-  Brian Silvestry , a licensed real estate broker, has been selling residential and commercial real estate since 1999. He has sold in every Manhattan market from Battery Park City to Washington Heights.

Thinking of moving to Hamilton Heights?

CurbedNY takes a look at the Hamilton Heights neighborhood and gives you the lowdown on it.

Edgecombe avenue

I agree that it is a wonderful place to live with some of Manhattan’s most beautiful tree lined blocks. If you are looking to purchase very little is available below $2 million right now. For a property that needs work but you can live in, the starting point is just north of $2 million. Recently, I had a chance to show property  to a buyer client that had many historic details in place and was a 2 family home that could have been purchased for $2.1 million.

Continue reading Thinking of moving to Hamilton Heights?