Manhattan’s most popular neighborhoods and home prices in October 2013


Recently Trulia released the report on the most popular neighborhoods of Manhattan New York and the home prices in Manhattan neighborhoods. As per the reports, the overall picture looks good.


The report listed the Upper East Side as the most popular of the neighborhoods with the average listing price of $3,490,466 for the week ending October 16, 2013. However this was 0.4% less than the home price prevailing during the previous week. The other neighborhoods that made it to the popularity list were Upper West Side, Harlem, Midtown East and West Village with the average listing prices being 2,652,094, $852,846, $1,918,987 and $3,466,831 respectively. While the prices of Midtown East and West Village registered a decrease from the previous week, the other price of units in Harlem and Upper West Side saw an increase of 2.1% and 3.6% respectively.


Aside from the above mentioned areas in Manhattan New York, the other areas that were considered Movers & Shakers by Trulia included Flatiron District where the average listing price of units stood at $5,151,133, an increase of a whopping 32.6% from the previous week’s average listing price. This was followed by Midtown South Central where the price saw an increase of 23.5% from the previous week and stood at $2,912,448. The price of units at Central Park stood at $1,042,181 and $776,000 at Roosevelt Island both seeing a drop of 25.8% and 18.4% from the previous week.

NYC Buyers Agent Service Check List



Buying a home is a process that requires time, diligence, effort and dedication to get the most suitable home. While the available properties may be viewed online, one cannot finalize a home until and unless one sees it. In addition, one cannot go about carrying out all the required procedures by oneself. It is here that the need of a buyer’s agent arises. A buyers agent is a broker that mediates between the property owner and the potential buyer. Taking the services of an agent is ideal for buyers as he/she is aware of the local market, prices and can negotiate with the seller to get the best deal.

Manhattan,New York is the hub of commercial activities and therefore has been a favored destination for many people. The property market of NYC is quite impressive as the rates are quite high depending upon the locality and size of the property. There are several agents working inNew Yor kmaking it imminent for buyers to make a checklist before finalizing one. Here are some tips that can be followed to find the best broker in NYC:

Thorough Understanding: it is necessary that the buyers agent that you choose in Manhattan has a thorough understanding not only of the market but also of your requirements. He or she should be able to relate to your demands and find a suitable home. The agent should be accessible and can be contacted any time with any inhibitions.

Strong Network: as a buyer, you should search for such an agent who has a strong network to access all the major properties in NYC. This would also mean that you would not need to work with anyone else. While choosing the agent, you should also ensure that the person is knowledgeable about the market and has insider knowledge about the upcoming properties and deals.

A True Guide: when you set out to choose your agent in Manhattan NYC, ensure that the agent is reputed and would work in your best interest. He/she should be able to guide you through the entire home-buying process. He/she should be able to coordinate the mortgage process and line up attorneys for you to interview.

Mentally Strong: a mentally strong buyers agent is able to remove the emotions out of the process of home buying. Therefore, when looking for a broker, you should look for a person who is strong, mentally and can help you sail through the process.

A Good Negotiator: negotiation forms a part of the home-buying process. Therefore, when looking for an agent in NYC, you should look for a person that is a good negotiator and can finalize deals in your favor. He/she should be able to use their network of brokers and property owners to get the best deal for you. He/she should be adept at closing the deals and quicken the process of home buying.

Top 3 Essentials of Home Staging for NYC Apartments


Top 3 Essentials of Home Staging for NYC Apartments

Top 3 Essentials of Home Staging for NYC Apartments

Proper staging is one of the most important things to do in order to sell a NYC apartment for a good price, regardless of the current market trend.  The best brokers in the city know exactly how important property staging is and how to pull it off in order to attract the right type of buyers.  Listed below are the top 3 essentials of home staging for NYC apartments as well as practical tips on how to get a great deal on staging services.



Excellent Furnishings


What most buyers look for when scouting for Manhattan apartments is modern finishes that look stylish, durable, and functional.  Regardless of the size of the apartment as well as its location, it is imperative to procure high-end (or at least expensive looking) furniture and fixtures to make it look like a hot and coveted property.  Everything down to vases, decanters, and easy chairs must be chosen meticulously as the collective effect will determine the overall appeal of the apartment interiors.

The market these days is filled with prospective buyers who have the highest standards when it comes to their choice in living space, particularly in real estate havens such as Manhattan.  They simply want the best and they will settle for nothing less.


Proper Lighting

Staging an apartment is for the sole purpose of making it look even more attractive than usual.  This means having to invest in excellent lighting fixtures and/or taking advantage of natural lighting (as in the case of apartments on high floors, i.e. penthouses with floor to ceiling windows).  Showing an apartment at night always requires adequate lighting in order to properly showcase the beauty of the property during the walk-through.

During the day, it is important to have all the blinds/shades open so that the brokers and/or buyers’ representatives will be able to appreciate the natural light as well as the view from the apartment (if the property has excellent views, as in the case of apartments facing Central Park).


Welcoming Vibe

This is an intangible requirement that even excellent brokers sometimes miss.  While excellent furnishings and great lighting are certainly helpful, they are not enough to pull off a successful staging.  Seemingly minuscule details such as the smell of the apartment interiors matter greatly as they can simulate a welcoming (or off-putting) vibe.  Certain creative brokers use the oven to bake pies or pastries in order to create some of the most enticing aromas.

The point is not so much to make mouth-watering confections, but to create a homey feel so that buyers can imagine themselves living in the apartment and creating happy memories with their family.

Note: Anything that involves cooking or the use of kitchen appliances may require the permission of the owner/s so brokers must ask before proceeding.  In any case, succulent smells are always a good idea when staging a home.


How to Get  Good Deal for Staging

Home staging costs money, which is why it is necessary to find the best possible deal.   In some cases, brokers shoulder the cost of staging (depending on the specific listing agreement signed with the owner/seller), but in other instances, the owners themselves have to pay for the service.  When choosing a staging company, be sure to compare prevailing rates prior to hiring.  There are several excellent staging services in Manhattan so there is no shortage of choices even for the most meticulous property owners and /or brokers.

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– 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.



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.

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.

Interior Decorating Ideas for your New Apartment, House or Condominium

Your new place would not be pleasing and comfortable to live in without considering the interior designing. Well, it may be a bit expensive to hire an expert but worry no more for here are some interior decorating ideas for you.

1. Heap on the Pillows
One couple of pillows always looks tiny. Use two sets, in distinct designs, shades, and designs.

2. Buy a Larger Bed
Small-scale furnishings creates a little bed room look. Try a high bed and a high queen headboard. Your place will develop.

3. Keep Units Open
A open floor plan is more exciting than a close one.

4. Go Dark
Dark surfaces do the opposite of what you’d expect: They make a smaller place appear bigger.

5. Background Is Easy
The quickest way to create cleaner walls is to wallpaper them.

6. Use a Actual Rug in the Bathroom
Use a rug instead of a shower mat. It was made to hold up against a lot more use than a temporary product.

7. It’s Okay to Miss the Sofa
There’s no guideline that a living room has to have a couch so it is not a problem to eliminate the sofa as one of the interior decorating ideas for you.

8. White-colored Works
You’ll never get sick and exhausted with a bright place.

9. Mix Styles
A four-poster bed will fit with a contemporary in bedroom.

10. Part Your Lighting
Four lights are better than two. Consider this simple interior decorating ideas.

11. Conquer Your Conventional Java Desk to the Curb
The most flexible coffee table you’ll ever own is an ottoman with a plate.

12. Skirted Furniture Completes a Room
Too many seat and table legs can create a place “nervous.” This is one of the great interior decorating ideas for you. A skirted item or two will create it experience “grounded.”

13. Gold Is Gorgeous
Gold is back in a big way. A few accessories will heated up a place, like this traditional lounge.

14. Vegetation Brighten Up an Alone Corner
Nothing softens a lonely place in a big place like potted plants.

15. Set Lasts
The most unbreakable material for dinner seats and also best for interior decorating ideas is leather or vinyl, especially if you want bright.

16. Change up Your Seating
Mix up the sitting at your home. You wouldn’t have eight similar seats in your home.

17. Don’t Ignore the Closet Lighting
Love your wardrobes. Color them with light and display them.

18. Refinish Classic Finds
Don’t be reluctant to refinish existing items. Every item can’t be brownish.

These interior decorating ideas won’t give you a headache and are not costly. Consider these and beautify your new place.

All information is from sources deemed reliable but is subject to errors, omissions, changes in price, prior sale or withdrawal without notice. No representation is made as to the accuracy of any description.

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Making an Offer to Buy a Home


Making an Offer to Buy a HomeAlthough your property broker is likely hesitant to name a price for you, you can implement your property agent’s skills to determine a price to present when selecting your home. Try to consider the details below on making an offer to buy a home.

  • Obtain Essential Information before Creating a House Offer

In making an offer to buy a home, try to find out why the owner is selling; however, you might not be able to acquire that details because the list broker may do not tell you. But you can collect details without counting on the list property agent’s. Understand that none alone of the following is adequate, but each used along with the others will help customers decide on which price is best to present.

  • Determine the Market

Check the heat range of the industry when making an offer to buy a home. It is the industry hot, cold or neutral? If you make a competitive offer in any market, you will have fewer competitors for the property. Sellers will be more likely to be responsive to competitive offers because there are fewer customers. If you’re purchasing in a sellers market, sellers might not consider any offer that is less than asking price. In fact, sellers could very well obtain several offers, which mean your offer should be as eye-catching as possible to win.

  • Find Out How Much the Seller Paid

While it is true that in many cases the price the owner actually paid for the property has little to do with the current market; however, if the owner purchased a few years ago, with little growth since, the asking price should be nearer to the current market price. Although you may not be able to determine the condition of the property when the owner purchased it nor whether the property was renovated or upgraded.

  • Determine the Seller’s Home Loan Balance

Unless the owner is  willing to sign up in a short sale, the owner is unlikely to accept an offer for less than the mortgage(s), plus settlement costs.  If the mortgage is low, the owner might not be inspired to instantly sell and can hold out the market to get asking price.

  • Examine Similar Sales

When looking at comparable revenue, use only the qualities that are similar in settings, age and location to the property you want to buy. Use the information from the most current availability and don’t look beyond six weeks because appraisers won’t.

  • Analyze Record Price-to-Sales-Price-Ratios

Ask your broker for a pattern to review the last six weeks when making an offer to buy a home. Look up the sale price of the houses as they were detailed and evaluate them. Ask how much is the gap? Are houses selling over retail price or under? If under retail price then which percentage? If many houses are selling at 2% under retail price, for example, that amount could indicate the price the owner will or should take.

  • Check Square-Foot Cost Averages

First, when making an offer to buy a home, understand that smaller houses have higher cost per sq. ft. and bigger houses have lower cost per sq. ft. You cannot take the median square-foot price to determine your offer price. But you can analyze the styles to determine if the square-foot price works to your advantage.

  • Ask for the Properties History and DOM

Sometimes providers take listings off the market and resubmit them as a new list. Find out if the property was a terminated list and then re-listed. The DOM  (Days On Market)is important because if houses have been in the market longer than 30 days the sellers might be more inspired to make a deal.

In ending, try not to become psychologically connected to the property before making an offer to buy a home. Prepare yourself for a counter offer. Keep several other houses in mind in case your offers are not accepted. This is really an essential tip while considering purchasing a house.

All information is from sources deemed reliable but is subject to errors, omissions, changes in price, prior sale or withdrawal without notice. No representation is made as to the accuracy of any description.

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How to Improve Rental Property Income


Rental property income are improved by increasing leases. however, you can’t just increase the leases randomly.

How do you choose a renter? Use your instinct and have a customer survey to ask. Take notices. Where does he/she work? What is there cell phone number? What family can you call in an emergency? You have to decide what you want and what issues you may want to avoid. You may or may not want animals, using tobacco in the home or late-night disturbance. Everyone does their own likes and dislikes.

In addition, there are other considerations.

1. Consider increasing the rental property lease if you provide outdoor space. Are you leasing at below-market rates?

2. Cost lease for additional vehicle space (if applicable).

3. Cost and use of additional charges. It’s completely reasonable to have a fee for past due rent.

4. Reduce rental property leases. If your units are small, your renters may need a place to store their belongings. Don’t let them spend their cash elsewhere. Put a few storage spaces on site and charge rent for them.

5. Coin-operated systems. If you don’t have the cash to do this yourself you can hire a company that will set up them for you and can discuss the revenue sharing with them.

6. Provide a rent-to-own agreement. Generally, there’s a non-refundable payment that is greater than industry leases in these offers. When renters/buyers modify their thoughts about purchasing, as they often do, you got the down payment.  You either sell the property or get the better revenue.

7. Rent by the area. A four-bedroom home might earn more rental income than four one bedroom units. This has made a lot of sense for landlords in higher education areas., however, it does require more maintenance.

8. Provide upgrades for rental property lease improvements. For example, if it’s worth $25 more monthly lease to a tenant install a dish washer.

9. Decrease your costs. Evaluate your costs and how can you reduce them? Every cost cut goes directly to your rental property earnings.

All information is from sources deemed reliable but is subject to errors, omissions, changes in price, prior sale or withdrawal without notice. No representation is made as to the accuracy of any description.

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