We at Apartment Practical work with buyers and sellers in every profession.
However, as Twitter and Text messaging have become commonplace for even your most ardent luddite, so, too, have we become aware of the new realities of communication.
We are pleased to report that ‘short’ is in.
This does not mean that supermodels are dating the Gary Colemans of the world, nor are we referring to short selling.
Rather, it seems that to be most effective (by email, anyway), we should sum things up in Three Bullet Points.**
That is, the practicalities of email communication trump the lengthy diatribe.
Who are we at the Practical Home to argue with that?
So, without further intro, here is this month’s Apartment Practical (ok, a little more than three bullet points).
the nutshell: How’s the Market– The planets have lined up with continuing historically low rates (think History, not just the last 5 years), well-priced properties and realistic sellers.
Get your engines started.
Pricing where deals are happening seem to have priced in RE Tax increases for mid-2009, rentals are down, too Mortgages and Money- A short discussion about lending standards and rates. Renovations and Design– Old is new.
A quick discussion of restoring St. Charles Cabinets
Home Technology– Twitter, information about the iPhone and its many functions with home systems (using as a remote control, for one), and StreetEasy.
DIY (do-it-yourself)– A few easy ways to add kid-friendly areas to your apartment without taking away property value!
New York City continues to be the best urban locale in the United States to put investment money.
Demand is returning, rates continue to be low for the time being, and the residential market has not cratered as it has in places like Las Vegas, Miami, California, but has certainly come back to Earth.
Whether you fully agree, in five years I think we will all be wishing we had bought more real estate this year and next.
If you are looking for property anywhere other than New York City, please let me refer you to a Christie’s Great Estates partner.
These are the best brokers in the world, bar none.
mortgages & money
Mortgage rates are creeping up, but I have been assured we have not seen the end of low rates.
One has to think that we are at the end of “easy money,” at least as it pertains to mortgages.
Lending on a primary home requires at least 20% down now.
Many loan products of 2002-2007 no longer exist, certainly creating a smaller market of viable buyers.
Refinancing or getting a new mortgage is going to take at least a month-six weeks longer than is used to, but if you are mentally prepared for this, the process is really no more painful than a coop purchase.
A few thoughts on Congress, mortgage regulations, as we talk about New York City real estate.
I will quote an amazing statistic to you:
96.9% of purchasers of homes/apartments over $750,000 use a mortgage.
That number goes UP as the purchase price goes down.
Second, the contribution to the economy generated by the average home sale over $750,000 is almost $68,000.00.
Isn’t that incredible?
It would seem that nearly every purchase in Manhattan, then, would require a mortgage, and goes a long way to putting a stimulus into our economy.
So, I hope that Congress can put together legislation that helps lenders lend more easily through Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
Helping qualified people buy homes with 20% downpayments will put our economy on the right track.
These are stunning, glass fronted metal kitchen cabinets with bullet hinges.
We have seen them restored in other apartments along Central Park West such as the stunning Beresford, and hope to see more.
The words “Chef’s kitchen” don’t mean anything anymore, just as “Luxury” has lost most of its luster.
However, if you think of the kitchen in Pixar’s Ratatouille, based on Thomas Keller’s French Laundry kitchen, perhaps you’ll think of an industrial, functional metal, warm black white and grey kitchen.
Think design/function oriented, maybe I’ll put a picture here for you!
The end result is a space where you feel that you haven’t given away the character, especially where an old design has so much to offer.
You get a new kitchen connected to the past.
What’s fun is to bring these cabinets (yes, you have to remove them from the kitchen) to an auto body shop and have them “dipped and stripped.”
Sounds fun, right?
The end result is wonderful.
Apartment Practical wants to share our thoughts on Twitter, the iPhone, and more.
City Dwellers are kvelling about their new toy, with new iPhone applications appearing every day.
Apartment Practical must admit our jealousy that Sprint does not have the iPhone as we sadly use Google on our Blackberry to find directions to restaurants and read our blogs.
It gets even more interesting at home, as great home automation companies like Crestron** allow you to control your apartment from your iPhone.
Instead of pretending to pop bubble wrap, why not turn on your air condition 30 minutes before you get home this summer?
Why not change channels?
Rather than upgrade to a universal remote, try out the amazing options through your phone.
New home control system Savant is apparently a really amazing find using iPhone and Macintoshes as their brains.
We are seeing the home of the future today.
DIY (do it yourself)
Our daughter just turned one.
Our personal focus on childproofing has helped us discover home improvements and ideas to share with you.
We recognize the concern some parents have of converting their beloved and decorated apartment into a full-on playground.
Here are three great items we’ve come across that will make it easier to keep the parent/child balance of your home:Chalkboard Stickers- have you felt the temptation to paint a wall of your home into a chalkboard for your child?
Scott Harris brings to Brown Harris Stevens many years of successfully selling and marketing cooperative apartments, townhouses, and condominiums.
The high demand
nature of the entertainment industry, where Mr. Harris was an artist manager and exclusive booking agent for ten years, uniquely prepared him to be a top Real Estate Broker in New York City.
He performs with outstanding professionalism in each transaction, representing both buyers and sellers in top buildings across Manhattan and Brooklyn.
His in-depth knowledge of current real estate market conditions and ability to solve problems quickly has made him an asset to his clients.
Employing the necessary creativity, communication skills and proactive initiative to make even the most challenging deals happen smoothly, Mr. Harris makes every facet of his Real Estate business about his clients and their satisfaction.
Scott Harris was raised in New Orleans, received a BA from the University of Pennsylvania and resides with his family on the Upper West Side.
He is a dedicated marathon runner and also an associate with ID Marketing Group (IDMG), an elite division at Brown Harris Stevens specializing in the planning, marketing and sales of premier new residential developments. IDMG closely collaborates with top developers to create brand identities for extraordinary properties featuring world-class architecture and design.