Category Archives: Investment

Should your building install a roof deck?

I have been in many Manhattan buildings that have roof decks and it’s a wonderful place to enjoy especially a well designed one with a view. It’s difficult to say how much a roof deck adds in value to an individual apartment but it does add some value but probably not more than 5% more or less. However, for residents, it can be an urban retreat, a place to interact with neighbors or to entertain friends.

However, there are many items to consider including cost, changing of the buildings certificate of occupancy, reinforcing of the roof and design aspects including decking materials and how to secure items to the roof. The Cooperator takes a more in depth look at the factors that will affect your decision making process.

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.

Top Manhattan buildings outperformed stock market over the last decade according to report

According to a recent report by City Realty, buildings such as 15 Central Park west out performed the stock market over the last decade. Buildings with tons of amenities, famous architects(starchitects) and celebrity residents certainly do get lots of attention but are they truly worth the investment? According to the report, the compound annual growth rate at 15 CPW was 6.84% compared to stock market which was -2% and gold which was 3.2%.

Recently, I had a client that sold their Manhattan townhouse for $15 million to an investor. Is this a good investment for the buyer? According to most experienced Manhattan real estate brokers, 2016 was more or less the peak of the ultra luxury market and since then we are in a buyer’s market. There are certainly a fair amount of coverage in the press of buyers who are liquidating investments in ultra luxury, new development buildings that are being sold for less than they paid.

One strategy to increase liquidity,  would be to split that investment up to smaller investments. The 2 bedroom/2 bathroom market continues to be a sweet spot as it’s the family sized apartment that is within reach of many buyers. Also, performing really well now is the multi-family market. Would it have made more sense to buy a 1-2 buildings with anywhere from 6-40 units? With professional management, these properties have been performing well and continue to perform well right now as there is a shortage of inventory.

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.

 

Manhattan townhouse owners-understanding your property tax bill

NYC puts out a guide of how to understand your real estate tax bill of your property. It’s amazing how many NYC property owners do not understand their real estate property tax bill. In fairness, the system is very complicated and you might see two identical Manhattan townhouses with the same number of units yet radically different tax bills.

It is always advisable to consult with a real estate tax attorney before making any changes to your tax classification, and doing renovations especially alterations.

Generally speaking, your real estate tax bills will go up when you do an alteration to your building like changing the number of units or adding gross square footage. If you do not make a change to your building, there are caps on your assessed value which is the amount that your real estate tax bill is derived. For class 1 properties which are 1-3 family homes, it is 6% per year or 20% for 5 years. For tax class 2A (4-6 units), class 2B (7-10 units) the cap is 8% per year or 30% over 5 years. For properties that are class 2 (11 units or more) no cap exists which is one of the reasons a SRO building as classified by Department of Finance with 11 rooms(units) could see taxes climb steadily per year without cap.

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.

 

Why are the taxes so high in some Manhattan buildings but not so in others?

Understanding NYC’s archaic and often inequitable system of real estate taxes might be a life long pursuit but for the purposes of this blog, let’s take a look at a couple of the items that influence your real estate taxes of a Manhattan townhouse.

One of the influencing factors is how recently the property transferred. You have some long time owners in Manhattan whose properties are now worth several million dollars yet their assessed values are artificially low due to the lack of a recent sale. However, once the property changes hands, the Department of Finance might be right there adjusting the value and raising your taxes.

Continue reading Why are the taxes so high in some Manhattan buildings but not so in others?

321 West 136th street construction update

321 West 136th street in Harlem is still sitting dormant with the windows removed from the building. It appears as if the property transferred late last year for $3.525 million 2 years after being purchased for $2.2 million. Plans were filed with DOB for a new 6 story building with 10,000 sqft of residential space. A loan was taken out at the same time so perhaps some sort of construction is imminent at the site.

 

 

Uber and Lyft are changing where people live in NYC

According to the latest reports and anecdotes from top brokers, proximity to subway access is beginning to lose it’s importance to affluent Manhattan property buyers. This is due directly to the emergence of Uber and Lyft. Riding in the car, you can continue to be productive so it’s not as important to be 3 blocks away from the subway.

Coverage

 

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 does a rent stabilized tenant affect a Manhattan townhouse’s value?

In an ideal setting,  a Manhattan townhouse will be delivered vacant and sold to a buyer who can convert it to a single family mansion, condos or a rental building. However, when a Manhattan building is conveyed with a rent stabilized tenant or a few rent stabilized tenants, then the buyer pool will narrow but it still has tremendous value. The factors that impact the value will be size of the apartment, likelihood of accepting a buyout, and what percentage of square footage, the RS tenants occupy within the building. The calculation of value is going to be based on the net operating income.(NOI). The NOI and cap rate will dictate the value, but the upside which the buyer/investor will evaluate will have to do the likelihood that the tenant might be bought out now or in the near future, the age of the tenant, and how likely they might have immediate family who will succeed them within the apartment.

For example, on a recent tour of Upper west side townhouses with an investor we looked a one building that was asking $5.4 million with 6 units 2 of which were rent stabilized. Within the same neighborhood, a 7 unit building was asking nearly $1 million more with all free market tenants. Both were both offered at an approximate 3% cap rate.

Now what happens when the majority or all of the building is occupied by rent stabilized tenants and the cap rate is extremely low or the income is not even covering the expenses, now you will see an even more narrow pool of buyers whose expectations for a discount go up as the rents paid by the tenants goes down as does the likelihood of a buyout. In this situation, a more thorough analysis based on current market conditions will need to be done by a Manhattan real estate broker experienced in the transfer of townhouses and multifamily properties.

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 to avoid taxes on the sale of your Manhattan investment property

One of the easiest way to save money on the sale of your Manhattan investment property is to do a 1031 exchange also known as a like kind exchange. The gist is you sell an investment property, and purchase a property of similar value. The property must close within 6 months of the sale of the first property and you need to identify it within 45 days of the closing of the sale.

Let’s take a look at an example.

You have an investment condo worth $2 million that you have owned for 20 years that you bought for $500,000. Instead of paying tax on the profit, you buy another property worth $2 million and roll over the gain. The purchase can be another condo, multi-family, vacant land etc… When you close the sale of the condo, you have 45 days to identify potential purchases and 6 months to close or you lose the opportunity to do the 1031 exchange. Speak to your CPA and attorney for details on how to execute this process. But once you execute the purchase, you trade one property for the other and have deferred the taxes. With the typical Manhattan condo investment property returning 2-3%, you can probably buy another property either in New York or another statement that will return two to three times the net cash flow. In addition, if you have owned an asset for a number of years, it is likely you have depreciated it possibly even to the max. By starting over, you can begin depreciating anew. Again, speak to your CPA.

Keep in mind that a 1031 exchange is not for your primary residence but rather a property that you have rented it as an investment. But with this technique in your arsenal, you have the ability to sell and defer the taxable gain!

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.

313 West 138th street 8 unit in contract

313 West 138th street, one block west of Strivers’ Row in Central Harlem,  has gone to contract. The property which has 5 studios and 3-1 bedroom apartments was asking $1.8 million. After a flurry of activity, it has gone to contract for more than the asking price.

 

313 W 138th street listing details

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.

 

Manhattan property owner tip Why renting no fee is a mistake

According to a recent real estate report, nearly half of the Manhattan apartments rented in the last year were rented with concessions. The most coming seller’s concession is the owner pays the broker fee. From a small Manhattan property owner point of view, renting no fee is a mistake. Instead, it’s better to just charge lower rent. The net is the same and you may keep the tenant longer. Let’s look at an example.

You have a studio apartment that you want to rent for $2400 and you decide to offer to pay the real estate broker fee.

$2400 monthly rent
$2400 broker fee paid by owner

On a one year lease this brings your net to $2200 per month but due to fact that the tenant is still paying $2400 in a market where they can find a rental for $2200 or less they may just decide to move in a year when they lease is up. If instead you charge the tenant, $2200 or even $2100 and let them pay the broker fee, your net is the same but the tenant is locked in a a lower rate thus decreasing the chances they will move at the end of the lease. Also, you will have more room to raise the rent in the upcoming leases.

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.