How can this market be a good thing or even a great thing?
We think this may be the best time to make a purchase in the last 5-7 years.
a) If you’re upgrading and selling a $500,000.00 home and buying a $1,000,000.00 home.
If your apartment goes down 10%, you have a $450,000.00 home.
If the $1mm home loses 10%, it’s $900,000.00.
Instead of costing $500,000.00 to upgrade, it only costs you $450,000.00 to upgrade.
There’s a chance that you won’t lose as much on the sale of your home and what you’re looking to buy.
Therefore, in dollar terms, it’s a great time to upgrade.
b) Anyone putting their apartment on the market right now is very motivated to sell it, otherwise, they will put it on for rent or simply not move.
This means that a buyer right now has the opportunity to get a great negotiated deal.
We would be happy to assist you with this.
Any price correction combined with historically low mortgage rates means that you may be able to buy a home in 2008 for the same price as 2005-2006.
mortgages & money
The message that I’m getting from the banks and bankers I speak to is:
Banks are still lending!
Mortgages are being approved everyday. The biggest change we have seen is that banks are going back to doing business the old fashioned way- You actually have to qualify for your mortgage.
In this way, most NYC properties, which are in cooperative buildings, are “self-selecting,” in that borrowers have always had to qualify to far stricter standards.
While the truly well-qualified buyer can still get 80% financing, many banks today are looking for downpayments of 25-30%.
Banks are also looking for buyers to have a comfortable cushion of post-closing assets in the bank to insure that there is money in the bank to make mortgage payments for a period of time.
This is entirely in line with commonplace requirements of cooperative apartment purchases.
However, we may see these strict standards affect purchases and purchase prices of Condominiums, which had far looser borrowing requirements.
renovations & design
In the spirit of the current economy, I want to focus on the contractor rather than the project itself.
As the economy slows down, I have heard that contractors are more available and more willing to negotiate their rates.
Keep that in mind if you’ve been planning to do some work on your apartment.
Also, you might see a slightly more streamlined
“alteration agreement” process to get work approved, as your architects, attorneys, and managing agents have more time right now to focus on your project!
We’d be delighted to help you find an architect, contractor, or any other vendor to help you complete the work you want done.
The happiest clients seem to demand a line-by-line list of what each item in a work order costs.
The more specific you are, the better communication there is between you and the vendor.
You may have heard the line “Keep it Simple, Stupid!” This month Apartment Practical attacks the often scary idea of changing your light switch (don’t laugh).
Perhaps you hate that your bathroom is too bright in the morning.
Why not install a dimmer?
I promise you it’s not as hard as you think.
Just make sure you turn off the power to the switch you’re working on, so you don’t shock yourself or anyone else.
99% of the time, you will be connecting three wires from the dimmer to the wires you find in the wall behind your current light switch.
Once you turn off power, connect white to white, black to black, and the green (the ground switch)- just follow the directions.
All you need are a Phillips screwdriver (plus sign on the tip), a flat-head screwdriver, some electrical tape, and a wire stripper.
What always surprises me is how easy these jobs are- it requires patience, mostly.
If you do it once, you will always have the confidence to try harder things!
You may find that having more lighting options will make your apartment much more fun!
DIY(do it yourself)
I thought we’d move to the living room this month.
With a slumping economy comes the increased desire to scrimp and save.
If you’re in the market to update furniture in your living room, this is a great time.
Stores like Crate and Barrel and other “big box stores” are having massive sales.
These will only continue through the holiday season.
However, if you can’t bring yourself to buy anything new, maybe now is the time to have fun with old furniture.
We’ve seen gorgeous lacquered pieces appearing in living room photo spreads.
Why not make one for yourself? This is a bit harder to do in an apartment, but it’s possible.
You’ll need the following: (1) sandpaper (not too fine a grain) (2) Primer (optional) (3) the color paint you want to use (4) lacquer (5) paintbrushes (6) something airtight to put your paintbrush in betwen coats of paint! (7)vacuum cleaner of some sort Lay down newspaper
and put the piece you’re working with on top.
You need to take the top layer off the piece of furniture, usually a light coat of lacquer.
This works for any piece of wooden furniture, even Ikea particle board stuff!
Once you’ve sanded, clean off with a paper towel.
Then, you’ll need to begin painting.
It may take 5-10 coats of paint to cover up the original color.
But you’ll have what feels like a brand new piece of furniture.
You’ll need to allow time for the paint to dry between coats.
Put your paintbrush in a little plastic bag (grocery bag is fine).
Also, don’t forget to close the paint can also- a flathead screwdriver will let you pry off the paint can each time.
You can push the paint can closed or close it well with a hammer, a knock a few times around.
Once you have a uniform coat of the color(s) you like, let it dry for a day.
You can usually get this stage of painting done on one weekend day.
Scott Harris is a Vice President at Brown Harris Stevens, and an associate with ID Marketing Group (IDMG), an elite division specializing in the planning, marketing and sales of premier new residential developments. Extraordinary client service and market knowledge is part of what our customers can expect from Scott.Scott brings to Brown Harris Stevens over six years of successful sales and marketing experience in the New York Real Estate market and ten years in the high-demand entertainment industry.
A commitment to excellence and expertise make Scott a top Real Estate Broker in New York City