NYC Luxury Real Estate Blog

Renting a New York Apartment? (You know, you probably could OWN for not much more...)

Renting or Buying in New York CityHere's an article from the Wall Street Journal that we hope you didn't miss: Renters Lose Edge on Homeowners. In lots of metro markets, mortgage payments cost just about as much as apartment rent. This is a new, and heartening, development. In recent years, some housing markets have seen ownership cost 60% more than renting. Soon, average mortgage payments could be a scant 14% higher than monthly rent. Owning is already the wiser move for most, but at 14%, it's a simple call... you can either keep throwing money away by renting, or tack on a measly 14% and reap the benefits of home ownership. Not only will you wind up keeping what you put into your home, your investment will only strengthen as markets return.

New York City Landmarks and Apartments Go Dark to Go Green

Green apartments in New YorkOn Saturday, March 28, going lights out for a night meant going Green for many NYC landmarks and high-end condominium buildings. Beginning at 8:30 p.m., the Empire State Building, the Chrysler Building, many Times Square billboards, and the decorative light necklaces on the East River bridges shut off their lights for an hour.

The Going Got Tough... Smart Buyers Are Going for Green Condos

It's easy to philosophize about how good it is to go Green, both for the environment and for your investment portfolio. But let's get down to business. Let's look at some cold hard data on why Green is great, especially in a recession. (Click for an overview of owning an apartment in a Green building).

  • Have you seen the Green Building Market Barometer's survey of 754 real estate executives? 3/4 of execs--from brokers to engineers--believe in Green, recession or otherwise.

The Recession: Catastrophic... or just Condensed? (Either Way, Manhattan Co-ops Might Be a Smart Bet)

Betting on Manhattan Co-ops during the recessionA recent N.Y. Times article, Looking for Bottom in N.Y. Real Estate, caught our eyes. It dealt with the same question we touched on last week... when will New York real estate rise again? Here's a fascinating theory on the nature of the downturn:

Large drops in prices are not new in the city. The last decade-long increase in prices was followed by about seven years of falling prices starting in the early 1990s, said Ingrid Gould Ellen ... “It’s possible that rather than seeing price declines spread out over a six-year period, this time it could be concentrated in a two-year period.”

NY Real Estate News Blast: Federal Reserve Snatching Up Treasury Bonds... Stock Market Jumps

The Wall Street BullFrom Fed to buy $300 billion in long-term Treasurys by MarketWatch...

The Federal Reserve's move, one of several actions taken Wednesday aimed at making it less expensive to borrow money, signaled it will boost the size of its balance sheet to more than $4 trillion. Today's moves double the amount of money the central bank has poured into the economy to try to stimulate economic activity.

Here's the immediate market impact...

New York Real Estate's Brand-New Maxim: Buy Low, Sell High

buyWait, that's not NEW. Of course not! So why does it seem like it is? At times like these, it's easy to forget the simple rules we've always done business by. "Buy low, sell high." Nothing about this nugget has changed... but sometimes we like to confuse it with its less-classic cousin, "Try to predict the zenith of the financial slump months in advance, wait to buy at that exact moment, and sell high." Very catchy, but I don't remember getting any pearls of wisdom like that from my grandpa. Do you?

Stock Market Steady After Gain... Light on the Horizon?

stockStocks didn't fall today. This follows yesterday's largest rally in four months. Could this be because we might be nearing solutions to FASB 157 (mark-to-market) and the Uptick rule? Talks of a fix are boosting confidence in stocks. The fix is the new media buzz... and it's almost comical to finally see Congress giving attention to the mark-to-market issue. We've always argued the rule shouldn't be abolished or suspended.

New Home Loan Tier: Stimulus Package Tax Incentives Just Got Better

dollarThe $8K home-buyer tax incentive is a great opportunity... and lawmakers are making it easier and easier to attain. Home loans between $417K and $730K are in a new "sub-jumbo" category that's now eligible for the $8K incentive. Also, sub-jumbo interest rates have been nudged slightly lower than those of jumbo loans. This sub-jumbo tax incentive deal is only valid through the end of this year, so plan accordingly. Good time to buy or refinance?

How the New $8,000 Home-buyer Tax Credit Works

Home buyer tax credit in New York CityFirst-time home-buyers who buy between now and November could get either an $8K or 10%-of-home-value tax credit, whichever is lower. Remember: it's a dollar-for-dollar tax cut, not a liability reduction (which would only save you a paltry $1K).

So, let's math out the $8K part.

If you owe $8K in income taxes and qualify for the $8K tax credit, you owe nothing ($8K-$8K=0). I know what you're thinking, and the answer's yes... If you're liable for $3K in income tax, you'd instead get a check for $5K ($8K-$3K=$5K).

How Obama's Mortgage Plan May Affect New York City Real Estate

Obama's mortgage plan may affect New York CityPresident Obama is confronting the mortgage crisis head-on. His mortgage plan includes two key initiatives, focusing on refinancing and homeowner stability. Let's sum up each and look at how they may affect New York City...

The Refinancing Initiative

This initiative eases back refinancing requirements. For many homeowners, refinancing is now an option. There are credit rating and responsibility requirements, of course. But those who used to be high and dry, such as homeowners with less than 20% equity, can now play a little ball. Also, refinanced loans can't include early payment penalties... another plus.