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Real Estate


Hi there …

A few months ago I walked away from a condo unit I was I love with because the building had very shaky financials. I’ve been back on the market for a while and recently saw a unit that was ‘meh’, but it was in a great building, great location, rock solid financials … and found myself trying to think of all the ways I could make the unit work for me just to get a foothold into the building. Which leads me to wonder: No matter how great a unit may be, it’s advisable to avoid a building that’s in dire straits. But does it work the other way around (no matter how great a building is …. ) A unit can be upgraded and refurbished to a certain extent (this one, though, was small, had an odd layout, and was on a lower floor — not much light or air circulation.)

Could be I’m just getting worn out with the search … sigh …

I’d be grateful for your thoughts! Thx.



When it comes to assessing the value of a property how accurate/confident do you think the NYC Finance Annual Notice of Property Value ( assessments are?

I am placing another offer on a house and the assessed value is A LOT less than the asking price. Could I legitimately leverage this document?

Thanks again.


I am looking to buy a coop in Clinton Hill, and I’ve narrowed my search down to the Clinton Hill Co-Ops or the two buildings that make up Willougby Walk (195 Willougby Ave and 185 Hall Street).

I’m getting familiar with the concept of a flip-tax, and I know that the Clinton Hill Co-Ops charge sellers 5% of the gross sale. From looking around, I can see this is on the high side, but not unheard of.

However, I was just informed that the flip tax at the Willoughby Walk apartments is $125 a share – and when dealing with apartments like this one that have 155 shares, you’re talking about a $19,375 fee – which works out to about 6.5% of the gross sale.

The issue I have with this flat fee is that the property market has yet to hit bottom (by most reports I’m reading), and my concern would be when it came time to sell an apartment at Willoughby Walk (in appox. 5-8 years)that this fee would be seen as a huge negative for potential buyers (especially since the fee per share will only increase from here) as you’re immediately operating with a $20k loss.

Just looking for some feedback on whether this fee structure is as crazy as it appears to me.



Hi. My wife and I own outright a 3 family Williamsburg house we bought a little over a year ago. We’ve got some renovation issues and need extra liquidity. Given the profile of the building, what would be our best avenue to finance the work outside of the 203K route? Ideally, i’d like to take out a small mortgage, around $100K. I have excellent credit, decent income, and own the building completely. Any advice?


Hi all,

I just viewed a gorgeous, immaculately restored 19th century brick townhome in the Bergen Hill area of Jersey City. It’s the kind of house I drool over on Bstoner all the time, but will never be affordable to me and my kind in Brooklyn. Try as I might, I can’t find too much online about this area of JC, which is definitely still on the down side of “up and coming”. Not sure how much I want to be a pioneer — it’d be tough to give up all the amenities of brownstone Brooklyn, even for this gem of a place.

I know there are one or two Jersey folks on this board — anyone have any thoughts on Bergen Hill, and what it’s like to live there now, as well as predictions for the future? We already know the zoned schools are bad.

Just a note that one half of the buying equation lived for a long time in JC, so we’re not totally clueless when it comes to the area.



Community – I just made an offer on a house. The list price was 625 and we offered 530. They countered with 600. We countered again with 550. The realtor said the home owner is firm on 600. What do you guys suggest we do? We really love the house but convinced ourselves not to go above 550.

On a side note: can someone recommend a lawyer or home inspector? Its a 2 family brick house.


Hi all-
I don’t there’s a real or true multi-listing site for Brooklyn is there? I saw few website claiming to be MLS but they really weren’t.

Is there such one for Brooklyn? If not anyone can recommend a website that’s got pretty good listings of multiple agencies? Right now I’m resorting to using streeteasy and then individually googling condos to see if they have website. Thank you.


Hello everyone-

I’m a first time buyer, so bear with me if I’m asking obvious things. I’m looking at purchasing a short sale 2 family. The property was built in 2005, and does need some minor repairs (doors, windows replaced, needs new paint and a good cleaning, etc).

After speaking to the agent, she said that the seller was looking to get a substantially lower price than the listing price (list was 435K, she says the seller/negotiator would accept 380K).

Obviously, I’m going to get it inspected / appraised, but not before I make an initial offer. Comps are valued at around 465. The biggest issue I can see is the current owner, who seems a little unhinged and might present problems down the line.

Aside from structural / repair issues, what else should I be wary of in this situation?


So my wife and I went to see a couple of units in Newswalk, I was wondering if anyone had any thoughts on the property. I looked at the older posts and was curious if anyone had anything new to say. I understand that its going to be surrounded by a construction site for the next few years but other than that have the current owners addressed all the major problems the developer left them with? I know there’s a lawsuit pending but have the leaks been fixed. I know the maintenance was increased to cover the new work. Anyone have any thoughts?


I recently bought a house with a acre of property and one neighbor beside me with a fence inbetween and the rest of the surrounding land is owned by a tree farm.

When in the process of buying the property the seller conducted a survey and found the back property line ran very close to back of the house. They quickly bought an extra .25 acre from the tree farm to keep me interested in the property.

The problem is that the neighbors had been using a portion of the bought .25 acre as their backyard. They were aware of the property line, but thought the land would never be sold. The property I was buying was as big as 25 feet into thier “area”.

They were upset (they have shrubs planted, they are an elderly couple) but acknowledged that they knew it was not theirs, but should have had first shot at buying it.

I explained that even if I gave them the land I would be purchasing on their side, it would cost them more than it is worth to survey and add it to deed.

We reached a agreement and I said I would pay for their shrubs, $500 and just move the fence appropriate to the line, several inches on my side.

So I bought the property showed up and started the process of moving the fence. When going to speak to neighbors I paid the man and he seemed nice, we even offered him some banana trees we had come across through someone i know.

Come to find out his wife is furious and refuses the banana trees and would not speak to me, and acted hateful. While finishing the fence, she would come stare and make rude comments. The husband apologized later, but they both seem to have hard feelings.

I feel like I have went way above and beyond to do the right thing and try to move in as friends, yet they are mad at me, all I did was buy the property that they knew was not theirs.

Is their anything i could have done better? I have tried hard, but does not appear that they are going to like me.