Archives for June 2013

Top 3 Amenities You Should Look for in a Luxury Apartment Building

Living in a luxury apartment is one of the many things that people want as part of their ultimate American Dream.  When it comes to buying a luxury apartment, building amenities are highly relevant factors to consider before making a final decision.  Listed below are three of the most important amenities and features that buyers should look for when scouting for a luxury apartment.

 

Modern Fitness Gym

Modern Fitness Gym

Modern Fitness Gym– In a busy city such as New York, people have barely any time to devote to exercise, unless you count walking to and from the subway daily.  For people who can afford a luxury apartment, a fitness gym is one of the most important amenities to look for in a building.  It is not enough that the building has this particular facility, as it has to be of impeccable quality and furnished with modern equipment.  Among the most common machines to expect include (but not limited to) Treadmills, recumbent bikes, cross trainers, rowing machines, free weights, and many others.  Each piece of equipment has to be top-of-the-line since you are paying a premium to live in that particular building.

 

Doormen and Concierge– People who are not New York natives will find it hard to understand the real value and importance of having a door man as well as a concierge service in a residential building.  While this feature might come across as excessive or simply impractical, there are in fact benefits to living in a building where there is a door man and concierge on duty 24/7.  This signifies the level of security afforded to residents of the building since these professionals are trained and instructed to only let in unit owners/renters as well as their approved guests.  No one will be able to enter the building, let alone go up the elevators to one of the units without the consent of the resident/s.  This minimizes, if not eliminates the threat of burglary, home invasion, and other crimes perpetrated by random strangers from the streets.  In fact, even delivery personnel (food, merchandise, etc) need to be buzzed in and approved by the resident/s in order for them to get in the building or come up to the unit.

 

parking

parking

Parking– Those who lived in Manhattan for the better part of their adult life, parking space is just about as important as a roof over their heads.  The city is so congested that people sometimes have to pay up to a million dollars for a single slot just so they can park their vehicle.  When purchasing a luxury apartment, you should pay close attention to whether parking comes with the unit or if you have to purchase one separately.  This is extremely important if you have a vehicle or if you are planning to buy one in lieu of taking public transport.

 

 

These amenities might seem like run-of-the-mill features, but they can spell the difference between living comfortably and truly enjoying the luxuries that big city living affords to those who made it big.

 

 

Investing in a New York City Apartment- Important Things You Need to Know

Investing in a New York City Apartment- Important Things You Need to Know

Investing in a New York City Apartment- Important Things You Need to Know

Real estate property makes for an excellent investment, whether it is an office space or a residential unit.  In a city like New York where space comes at a price of gold (quite literally in some cases), real estate investments are very common.  If you are looking into the prospect of investing in a New York City Apartment, there are a number of things you should know, including the factors to consider when purchasing a unit.

Below are important guidelines on investing in a New York City apartment, which should allow you to make wise and profitable decisions.

 

Finding the Right Apartment

The key to a profitable investment is finding just the right type of property.  Some of the most popular types of real estate property in New York are single bedroom apartments, single detached family homes (townhouses), and Lofts in certain areas such as West Village and Tribeca.  You have to be very particular in terms of the type of unit you purchase in relation to what the current market demands.

At any given time, there are thousands of yuppies all over Manhattan looking for a place to live.  This means one bedroom apartments are mostly likely to be rented out fast since there is an overflowing need for singles residency.  In addition, burgeoning families (young married couples with young children) are also very common in New York so a townhouse will certainly be a good investment prospect as well.

 

Pricing and Location

Once you have an idea of what the market demands, you can start looking for actual properties with the help of your trusted broker.  Keep in mind that in order for this endeavor to be profitable, the purchase price of the apartment has to be on the low end of the spectrum (i.e. if the comps are sold at $1800 in a particular area or building, you should go for as low as $1500 assuming your broker is a talented negotiator).

In addition, you should also consider the location of the property since Manhattan has a number of up and coming neighborhoods.  Battery Park City, for instance, is excellent for families since it is close to schools and is surrounded by public parks where children can play.  On the other hand, SoHo and West Village is very popular among artists because of the sheer number of lofts and open-layout type apartments.

Pricing

Pricing

Brainstorming with your broker extensively regarding excellent locations is highly recommended before you even start viewing prospective properties.  This would save you a lot of time since you will not have to view apartments that do not suit your requirements as per your investment goals.

Note:  Since Hurricane Sandy, real estate investors have become quite picking in terms of purchasing properties that are located below Canal (TRIBECA) and similar areas due to severe flooding.  This is something you would want to keep in mind.  However, this does not necessarily mean that properties around this area are not as good because there are excellent buildings that provide the best amenities anywhere in the city.

 

When investing in a New York City property, you have to ensure that the returns will be worth all the time and money you are about to put into the venture.  This can be accomplished by working with an excellent broker who has extensive experience in finding just the right investment property for buyers.

 

 

Renting Vs Buying, Which is Best for You?

At a certain point, people start to ask themselves whether it is better for them to rent a home or own one. This is certainly a point of inflection for young couples as well as burgeoning families, especially those who are seriously considering making a change in their finances as well as their future as a whole. Renting Vs Buying is the ultimate choice, and before making the final decision, it is necessary to understand the pros and cons of both options.

Renting Vs Buying, Which is Best for You?

Renting Vs Buying

Pros of Renting
No Long Term Obligations– Most home and/or apartment leases only last up to 2 or 3 years (maximum of 5 in rare cases), which indicates the lack of long term financial obligation on your part. You always have the option of moving to another place when your lease is up, which also allows for flexibility in your living arrangement.
Property Maintenance is Covered by the Owner not the Tenants– Such concerns as toilet clogs, leakages, rotting wood, blown fuse, creaking stairs, and many others remain to be the responsibility of the property owner/landlord as opposed to the tenants. You need not worry about proper maintenance or repairs because everything is taken care of by the building/property manager or the owner, at their cost.
Easier to Get Approval for a Lease than a Mortgage– Regardless of the state of the country’s economy, or one’s credit score, it is always easier to get approval for a lease than obtain a mortgage. If you are in need of housing fast, renting a property is certainly a more favorable aspect.

Cons of Renting

No Future Financial Rewards– Renting is all about spending money, instead of investing it. In some cases, the monthly rental fee is almost as much, if not more than what will pay in mortgage. This means you are basically throwing away money when you can actually save some of it for future gain.
Property Limits– Most landlords establish certain prohibitions when leasing out their property. Some of the common restrictions include no additions or home improvements (including painting), no pets, no gardening, etc. People who rent homes or apartments will have to abide by these restrictions and are therefore limited as far as their use of the property.

Pros of Buying
Property Control– Owning a home means you get to decide how you want to utilize it and what you wish to do to improve its current state. In addition, you get to make a choice whether you wish to bring in pets or not, or how to landscape the outdoor area. Being a property owner certainly afford certain liberties that are just not possible when renting.
Future Financial Gain– Assuming your credit rating is well maintained and you do not have any significant debt other than the mortgage, it is very possible that owning a home will allow you to save money in the future. Once you own your home free and clear, it can be a valuable asset that you can use as collateral for a business loan or whatever financial venture you wish to explore.

Cons of Buying a Home

Extreme Financial Stress– Some people just barely qualify for a mortgage, which is never a good place to start. Those who are not quite prepared for the financial burden that comes with taking on a home loan might find themselves in deep trouble; especially if/when, they cannot make the monthly mortgage payments.
Limited Choices– While owning your home affords certain freedoms; it can also be a reason for you to be tied down. Paying a monthly mortgage means not having much choice as to your living situation (at least until you pay off the loan). Moving to another location can be a problem especially if the real estate market is down and you cannot sell your home right away.

Renting vs. Buying- The Verdict

Both choices have its own benefits and drawbacks. When deciding whether to continue renting or purchase a home, it always boils down to the question of your financial readiness. Be sure to crunch the numbers before you make the final decision since it can determine your financial future and that of your entire family.

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Top Guidelines for Buying Luxury Properties

Purchasing luxury properties is serious business, as it not only entails enormous expenditure, but it can also open a lot of

Top Guidelines for Buying Luxury Properties

opportunities for monetary gain the in the future. Due to the nature of this particular transaction, it is necessary to know and understand the process of buying a luxury property, specifically in terms of finding the right product and getting the best possible deal.

  • Know Where to Hunt the Best Properties

High-end homes and other types of luxury properties often go unlisted, at least not in the conventional way. Most brokers tend to keep these types of properties under Pocket Listing, which means they are not entered into the MLS or Multiple Listing System. This technique is used in order to maintain the exclusivity of the property, thus making it more appealing to prospective buyers. After all, people tend to want things that appear unattainable.

  • Work with an Expert Broker

Locating the best and most lucrative properties in any locale requires the help of an expert broker, preferably someone who has deep and long-standing connections with other high-end brokers. For the most part, real estate agents make it a point to only let very few people know about certain listings, as in the case of luxury homes.
Brokers who have the best contacts in the business would be able to help you find just the right kind of property to purchase, as per your requirements.

  • See Beyond Photos

While most people tend to judge properties initially based on photos they find online, it is important to consider seeing the property up close. Some beautiful homes just do not photograph well, so it becomes necessary to visit the property and decide for yourself whether it fits your needs. Since exclusive (non-MLS) listings are rare, a walk-through has to be scheduled ahead of time (probably a week or more in advance) since the properties are only shown to one prospective buyer at a time. You will almost never hear of an open house for a luxury property, since owners tend to be very guarded and private.
A private showing is always preferable since it allows prospective buyers to really explore the property and envision the life they can have in it if they ultimately decide to purchase. While you can always send your broker to see the property, nothing beats your personal opinion, especially if you have a very distinct taste in a home.

  • Consult with a Financial Adviser and a Real Estate Expert

Luxury properties cost a lot of money, hence the need for the expert opinion of a financial adviser. Whether you are buying the property for personal use, or as an investment, it is crucial to know what you can expect from such venture. There are certain economic conditions that might deter buyers from taking the plunge simply because they stand to lose money on the property in the near future. Conversely, certain market trends might prove to be favorable for luxury home buyers. Either way, you will need all the help you can get from a financial as well as real estate expert.
If the property is intended to be an investment (i.e. for resale post renovation, lease property, etc), an adviser can give you a clear picture as to what you can expect within the immediate future, including how much money you can possibly earn from it.

  • Take Your Time

Perhaps the most important thing to remember when buying high-end properties is to take time to consider your options. This is especially useful if the market is filled with promising inventory (there are times when there are simply very few luxury homes for sale due to the prevailing real estate climate), since you have a wide range of choices. Do not rush into a purchase, especially when it involves a great deal of money.

When it comes to expensive properties, facts and figures should always be factored in, as well as the expert opinions of people who know exactly how the market works.

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