a monthly report on getting new york city real estate done
A welcome to you from your summer vacations and adventures.
Today, more than ever, my clients and customers want advice and information about the “market.”
There is just so much to process affecting our Manhattan Real Estate market, especially as the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac takeovers are in process!
And while I am passionate about design and architecture and am absolutely current on the trends in the marketplace, my expertise and strengths lie in the practical applications of these passions- That is, I genuinely desire to keep you informed and help you accomplish your Real Estate dreams in the most practical way possible, be it renovating, financing, the all-important search for your home.
And so, in that spirit, I present to you my revamped newsletter as “Apartment Practical.”Dictionary.com defines practical as “adapted or designed for actual use.”
A second definition, a synonym, judicious, “implies the possession and use of discreet judgment, discrimination, and balance.”
Without further ado, I present here some bite-size chunks of information as September’s Apartment Practical.
how’s the market?
The Manhattan and Brooklyn markets are definitely in flux, there’s no question about it.
We see a bit more detail looking within mini-markets:
One- and two- bedroom apartments under $1MM are taking longer to sell (approx 135 days), whereas the super luxury ($1600/square foot and up, though that definition is a little fuzzy) is still very strong.
As the dollar strengthens, we are seeing some fluctuation in foreign buyers, though we expect to see more of them buying in Manhattan while the dollar’s weakness remains.
Proper pricing is more important than ever, as buyers seem to need the tiniest excuse to move on from one property and continue looking.
We are too soon into the Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac takeover to see how it will affect the market.
However, we have seen the following:
The Average Price Per square foot for 2nd Quarter 2008 in Manhattan was $1322/sf, which is a 16% increase from 2007.
Miller Samuel is an excellent resource to see via charts and information the strength of Manhattan Real Estate.
While prices are up, volume of transactions is slightly down from a year ago.
We are in a challenging lending landscape for first time buyers, but this is an amazing opportunity as well.
Buyers don’t have to bring checkbooks to open houses anymore, nor are they paying 10% over asking price.
They can be selective, and financially qualified buyers can take a little extra time to find that perfect apartment.
We may see some additional job cuts in the financial sector as we move towards the end of the year, but in order to be prepared for market upswings, this won’t be as drastic as many fear.
In the end, what seems to be bruised is buyer confidence.
Most Manhattan owners have at least 20% equity in their homes.
Fears of New York City foreclosure (1 in 50,000 homes in foreclosure) are not a reality, despite some attention-grabbing articles as of late. We expect that once rates for Jumbo mortgages (over $417,000) begin to come back down and some settling in the stock market, we’ll see more confidence in the market and a pickup in sales volume.
mortgages & money
The consensus is that this bailout of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae will lower interest rates.
Gaggenau (modular kitchen columns, featured above)
Liebherr (very tall models, perfect for apartments)
I want to keep this simple for folks out there, lest your eyes glaze over upon the mention of technology.
Don’t be afraid!
There is a growing problem out in consumer world, where many homeowners are making the switch to flatpanel TV’s.
As the TV goes on the wall, where does the CABLE BOX go?
Where do the WIRES go?
What if I want to hide all this ugliness?
One of the easiest things you can get (for less than $50), if you can put your cable box in a cabinet or closet, is an INFRARED REPEATER (IR REPEATER).
A tiny eye attaches to the front of your TV, travels by small wire to another attachment in front of the cable box (now hidden), et voila!
You never have to look at the cable box again.
Now hiding the wires from the back of the TV is a little more complicated, and requires either a little hole in the wall or a wire enclosure.
More exciting technology installments to come.
practical DIY(simple jobs that don’t require Board Approval)
Since we’re hanging out in the kitchen, let’s stay there!
Perhaps you’ve thought of sprucing up your home to sell, or want to do something on a small budget that will make an impact.
Redoing kitchens and baths are by far the easiest ways to get a higher price for an apartment, as most buyers in this market do NOT want to renovate.
However, getting co-op approvals on renovations can be a lengthy process at times.
Here are a couple of practical suggestions to get your creative juices flowing:
Paint- it’s SO easy to do, and makes a HUGE difference.
A new coat of paint is a great idea and if you want.
Perhaps your Super can do it for you if you don’t want to do it yourself!
Refacing cabinets- You can have this done by a contractor, and it will cost you between $5000-10,000.00.
Might I suggest doing a search under “cabinet refacing” on Google?
If you are looking for something simple and attractive, you can order cabinet doors and faces and either install them yourself or have your super do it!
The effects are dramatic.
Obviously, going for a major kitchen renovation will give you drastic and superlative results!
But we’ve seen interior designers send their clients to (GASP!) IKEA to look at their modern (and inexpensive) kitchens!!
We’ll move onto the living room next month.
See you in October,
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