Tribeca Getting its own Limestone-clad Robert AM Stern

Thanks to New York IMBY, we're getting a peek at the upcoming Related Project rising at 70 Vestry Street.  The latest touch of luxury on the edge of Tribeca, this 46 unit condominium building will offer 153,000 square feet of living space with 2 to 5 bedroom apartments ranging in size from 1,700 square feet to 7,000 square feet. The far west location will allow for stunning Hudson River views.

Upscale amenities proposed include a swimming pool, squash court, exercise room, storage, billiards room, and library.

The building will also feature only 9 automated parking garage spots.  If being the master of your own parking destiny is a priority, don't hesitate!

Need some assistance finding your dream home? >>

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Thinking of buying new construction? Consult the experts at The Magnani Team.

We're not afraid to throw on a hard hat and see what's really happening here at The Magnani Team.  Thinking about a new development purchase?  Let us help you steer clear of costly mistakes.  Learn more about working with us. >>

Kristen Magnani was recently contacted by Trulia to lend her expert advice on purchasing new construction.  

6 Mistakes to Avoid When Buying a New-Construction House
By Blake Miller | August 5, 2015 TRULIA'S BLOG \ Real Estate 101

Heed these 6 tips when buying a new home to avoid problems down the road.
It’s exciting to build a home from the ground up. There are fun choices to be made, from selecting the hardwood floors for the dining room to choosing between subway tiles or penny tiles for your kitchen backsplash. But don’t get so caught up in your love affair with your soon-to-be completed house that you forget about the things you really need to focus on.

“The key with new construction is really making sure you have the home inspected and follow up that the builder remedies the problems,” explains Keith Thompson, a real estate broker with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Carolinas Realty in Charlotte, NC. But there’s much more. Heed these tips when buying a new-construction home and avoid major issues down the road.

1. Hire a real estate agent
Oftentimes, buyers don’t feel a real estate agent is necessary when building a new home. After all, there’s a sales agent on-site to assist you with your questions, right? Wrong.

“Many people figure that they do not need the help of a Realtor,” says Ali Johnson, a Florida-licensed real estate agent who specializes in new construction and gated communities in Venice, FL. “They feel they can handle it themselves, and that they have a sales representative working for them in the new community that takes care of and explains everything, including the paperwork. That person works for the seller, though. They represent the developer’s interests.”

A real estate agent will work on your behalf — and because the builder pays their commission, it costs you nothing to have someone represent you during the new-construction process.

2. Do your research

The same way you may research a new car is exactly how you should look into a builder. “Make sure they have a good standing with your state’s Construction Contractor’s Board, and that there are no pending complaints or judgments against him or her,” advises Patty Brockman, a licensed real estate broker at Windermere Stellar Real Estate in Portland, OR. “Ask questions about whether they use independent subcontractors, and verify their licenses and bonds as well. Always know the amount and kind of insurance they carry, as well as the amount of their bond.”

3. Read the fine print

Many builders use purchase contracts that are much different from state-issued real estate agent documents. “Be sure to read these contracts carefully and have an attorney and your Realtor review them before signing anything,” says Brockman. “Builders’ contracts pretty much only protect the building company, not the buyer, so make sure your Realtor writes addendums that keep you protected during each phase of the purchase.” Also, make sure you review all of the warranties so you know what is covered, and what is not.

4. Ask what’s included

“A lot of buyers have a ‘what you see is what you get’ attitude when it comes to building a new home and looking at the model home,” explains Kristin Magnani, an associate broker with Rutenberg, a real estate brokerage firm in New York City.

Model homes are decked out with all the bells and whistles, explains Magnani, including high-end light fixtures, appliances, trim work, architectural detailing, and more. Avoid assumption and ask questions about every add-on or, better yet, ask the sales agent for a complete list of the extras in the model unit such as extra can lights, heights of doors, tinted windows (found mainly in high-rise apartments), and more.

“Does the house come with appliances? Window coverings? AC? Landscaping in the front and backyards? Automatic garage door openers? Sprinkler system?” says Brockman. “Always list in detail anything that you expect, if it is not expressly disclosed in the contract.”

5. Get inspected

Home inspections aren’t just for previously built homes. In fact, the majority of real estate agents will recommend that you have the home inspected not only after it’s completed but also before drywall is installed.

“As the housing market has heated up, the pace of construction has also increased,” explains Keith Thompson. “Overworked subcontractors and city or county inspectors are human and can and do make mistakes when they have too much on their plate.” Avoid things such as uneven walls or electrical or cable outlets in unfortunate locations (e.g., 4 feet to the left of where your TV is supposed to hang) by having pre-drywall inspections.

6. Do a walk-through

After an inspection, it’s critical to do a walk-through with the builder. It’s during this time that you can point out major cosmetic issues (such as nail pops or chips in cabinetry) or any other major issues, such as missing landscaping that was included in your contract.

“Never close on a new-construction house without doing a final walk-through to ensure that all of the punch-list items have been completed to your satisfaction,” recommends Brockman. “The last thing you want after you move in is a bunch of contractors doing touch-ups and finish work while you are trying to enjoy your new house.” Plus, if you don’t address it before closing, you may have a hard time getting the builder to fix anything once the home is officially yours.

 

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State of the Market: 2nd Quarter 2015

RECORD SETTING HIGHS

After a slower first quarter, one which saw prices level off, the second quarter saw a total 180, setting a historic, record high for the average sales price for Manhattan apartments, now at a whopping $1.87 million. While there are a number of different key themes from the past 90 days, the overarching one is, quite simply, the obvious lack of inventory on the market. Those sub themes, however, include: 

Stalled Inventory Growth – The consistent lack of inventory, despite last quarter’s slight uptick, is what produced these record-setting, headline-making prices this past quarter. The lack of inventory and strong demand makes it a total seller’s market, at least in the under $5mm segment, and as long as that demand remains, whether it’s coming from foreign or domestic buyers, those prices will continue to remain high. 

An Array of Factors Contributed to Record Setting Numbers – Aside from low inventory and high demand, there were a number of additional factors that contributed to those record-setting numbers we saw this quarter, such as improved employment numbers, the strong local economy, an influx of trophy apartments onto the market, and the highest average Wall Street bonuses since 2007.

Bidding Wars Still Happening – The lack of inventory is not only causing prices to go up, but it’s causing bidding wars that sometimes result in the final sale prices that would make your jaw drop, although not at the same pace we have seen in 2014. 

Inventory 20% Below the 10 Year Average - According to Jonathan Miller, by the end of June only 5,730 listings were left on the market. While that might be a 1.3 percent increase from the same time last year, it’s still 20 percent below the 10-year average.

It's Tough To Get Your Foot In The Door - One of the hardest hit segments of the market, according to another report, is the under $500,000 price point. According to the report, “as of Q2 2015, total available listings less than $500K in Manhattan have fallen to their lowest share levels ever, comprising only 11.3% of the market with 1,093 listings, representing a share level decrease of 0.7% from last quarter and 3.7% from the same period last year.”  We are seeing similar challenges at price points below $3mm as well due to lack of inventory.

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR ME?

Sellers: Are you ready to compete with 6,500 new development units?  If you want to take advantage of current slim inventory conditions, the 2nd half of 2015 might give you a chance to get ahead before we see the largest quantity of new units hitting the market in quite some time. Pricing and presentation are key. Learn more about listing with The Magnani Team. >>

Buyers Under $5mm: Looking for that perfect one bedroom pied-à-terre? Renovated 2 bedroom in perfect location?  3 Bedroom under 3 million?  So is everyone else.  This is where we are seeing the most competitive action right now and the biggest inventory crunch.  If you are looking to purchase these types of apartments, cash is king.  Thinking of financing?  You better be prepared.  Learn more about working with a buyer's broker for expert guidance.>>

Buyers Over $5mm:  This is where we are starting to see the market soften and a higher concentration of available inventory on the market.  Start your search today. >>

New Development:  Lots of new product coming onto the market, and we're keeping tabs.  Want the scoop?  Contact us today.>>

Which are NYC's fastest selling neighborhoods?

 And the winner is.....Brooklyn Heights.

And the winner is.....Brooklyn Heights.

According to StreetEasy, a recent analysis of the median number of days properties took to go from the listing date to in contract status produced the following results.

The current citywide median is 42 days.  The size of the unit and the PPSF relative to other neighborhoods play a factor when interpreting these results.  For instance, larger units in Tribeca will take longer to find a buyer than more affordable housing options in the East Village.

Thinking about listing? Ask us for a market analysis specific to your home. >>

Neighborhood Median Days on Market
Brooklyn Heights 26.5
Flatiron 27
Gramercy Park 28
Park Slope 28
Carroll Gardens 28
Greenpoint 28.5
East Village 29
Murray Hill 30
Fort Greene 30
Ditmas Park 30
Clinton Hill 30.5
Upper West Side 33
DUMBO 31
Lower East Side 32
Prospect Heights 32
Kensington 32.5
All Upper West Side 33
Lincoln Square 35
Boerum Hill 35
SoHo 35.5
West Village 36
Chelsea 36
Hudson Heights 36
Williamsburg 36
Long Island City 36
All Downtown 37
Midtown East 37
Crown Heights 37
Manhattan 38
Windsor Terrace 38
Carnegie Hill 39
Brooklyn 39
Greenwich Village 40
Washington Heights 40.5
Downtown Brooklyn 40.5
NYC 42
Upper East Side 42
All Upper Manhattan 42
Financial District 43
Beekman 43
All Upper East Side 43
Bushwick 43.5
Cobble Hill 43.5
All Midtown 44
Yorkville 44
Midtown South 45
Battery Park City 45.5
Kips Bay 46
Turtle Bay 47
Bensonhurst 47
Bayside 47
Central Harlem 50
Bay Ridge 50
Lenox Hill 53
Midtown 54.5
Midtown West 55
Northeast Flatbush 56
Forest Hills 57
Gravesend 57.5
West Chelsea 58
Carnarsie 58
East New York 59
Queens 59
Sheepshead Bay 60
Jackson Heights 60.5
Sutton Place 66
Bedford-Stuyvesant 69
Stuyvesant Heights 69
Tribeca 69.5
Staten Island 85
Fort Hamilton 88
Bronx 94
Riverdale 94
Spuyten Duyvil 103.5
North Shore 172

Photo and data courtesy of StreetEasy.com.  Please note this analysis does not include time from signed contract until closing.

What is a Mansion?

Anyone dealing with a property purchase in New York City will undoubtably end up asking themselves, "What is a mansion?".

The current New York State and City tax setup has mansions, mostly of the one bedroom variety in Manhattan, paying an additional tax once the price and consideration crosses the $1 million threshold.

Mayor de Blasio's new proposal wishes to add a further 1% tax  on the entire purchase price for $1.75 million and up, and an additional 1.5% tax on any amount over $5 million.

Read more at Crains.com.

Want to grab your mansion now?

New Development Rundown: Pierhouse, Brooklyn Bridge Park

This could be your view...

The Building: One of the trends we are noticing this year in new development is a heightened sensitivity towards neighborhood & site. Pierhouse is no exception, with each single corridor unit offering a stunning view of Manhattan.  Duplex layouts provide a modern townhouse feel. This is what today's Brooklyn Heights dreams are made of.

The Finishes: Heartwood pine flooring reclaimed from local warehouses, high-efficiency LED lighting, automatic solar shade system, Gaggenau appliances, solid American walnut cabinets. Here's a new one…undercounter, odorless composting unit by NatureMill. Bathroom fixtures by Waterworks and Duravit. 

The Neighborhood: Situated amidst picturesque Brooklyn Bridge Park, Pierhouse offers a fresh Brooklyn waterfront living experience at the intersection of Brooklyn Heights and DUMBO. Call 85 acres of parkland your front yard. You might not want to leave.

The Amenities: 24 hour concierge, refrigerated storage, fitness center, meditation studio, residents lounge, pet wash, children's playroom, access to rooftop pool, many units featuring expansive landscaped terraces.  Separately managed eco-luxe 1 Hotel on-site with restaurant, bar and additional amenity spaces.  Like we said, you might not want to leave.

The Pricing: From around $1,850 psf to $2,300+ psf depending on size and amount of outdoor space.

Our Verdict: A very interesting product from Toll Brothers.  We went, we saw, we liked.

Need an expert eye to help with your new development search?  Contact us today. >>

Magical Mystery Tour…at 190 Bowery

If you've ever walked down the Bowery, you've probably been curious about the old graffiti covered bank building on the corner of Spring.  Like most things in NYC, it's being converted into condominiums. (Keep an eye on our New Development Rundown).  If you've ever been curious to step inside, now is your chance.  Developer Aby Rosen and Vito Schnabel are hosting an art show at the grand former Germania Bank, opening May 16th.  This will be the first time the doors have been open to the public in nearly five decades.  Don't miss out on a chance to see this slice of classic New York.

Vito Schnabel is pleased to announce the opening of First Show / Last Show, a group exhibition at 190 Bowery on May 16, 2015. Featured artists include Joe Bradley, Dan Colen, Jeff Elrod, Ron Gorchov, Mark Grotjahn, Harmony Korine, and Julian Schnabel. “The artists included in First Show / Last Show are seven of my favorite painters. I have had the privilege of living with some of their works and have long wanted to show them together. There are very few artists whose work immediately conveys its significance, like each of these seven. They represent three generations of great American contemporary art, ranging in age from 35 to 85. I grew up in New York City, walking by the former Germania Bank countless times. I always wanted to go inside, thinking it might be a perfect place for an exhibition. This is the first time this 1899 landmark building will be open to the public since the bank closed in 1966 and it became a private residence. I am most grateful to Aby Rosen for letting me use this space and for his continued support. I’d also like to thank the artists, all of whom I am honored to be able to work with. Joe, Dan, Jeff, Ron, Mark, Harmony, and Julian—thank you.”

Photo Courtesy of Nathan Kensinger / Curbed.

 

Is Manhattan the new Brooklyn?

Remember when New Yorkers seeking a home would shop Manhattan first, then head to Brooklyn as their budget wore thin?  The trend seems to be reversing, as high prices everywhere and lack of inventory are driving some would be Brooklynites to find substitutes in Manhattan enclaves such as Beekman Place, Gramercy Park, the Upper East Side and Hamilton Heights rather than delve into the farthest reaches of Brooklyn.  There's something to be said about not being trapped in Brooklyn every weekend due to the MTAs never ending service interruptions and a quick commute.  At this point in time, moving to Brooklyn isn't a bargain, it's a lifestyle.

Photo courtesy of the New York Times.

Read more at NYTimes.com. >>

Big fish in a small sea or small fish in a big sea? Take your pick!

It's Friday….time to start thinking about winding down for the weekend.  If you need a break from sharing an island with a few million other people, perhaps it's time to think about buying your own island.  Here are 16 available now.  Priced from $400k to "if you have to ask it's too expensive", there's something for everyone.  Idea of living without a full time doorman, Fresh Direct and Uber have you stressed out already?  Let us help you find a little more peace and quiet on the only island that matters.

Photo courtesy of Private Islands. Inc.

Read more at BusinessInsider.com. >>

Which do you prefer...life in the fast lane, or life next to the fast lane?

Curbed NY reported that Christina Ricci just dropped $2mm on a townhouse one lot removed from the BQE.  A quick inventory check shows that townhouse listings in Brooklyn in the $2mm range are slim pickins, but there are a couple of highway free homes in Boerum Hill, Clinton Hill and North Slope with a little more charm.  Perhaps her stint on TV's Pan Am left her longing for a quick escape to JFK?

Photo courtesy of Curbed.

Read more at curbed.com. >>

NYCFC moving to Manhattan?

New Yorkers love their sports.  Can we make room for one more?  New York City F. C., owned jointly by royalty from the United Arab Emirates and the Yankees, is contemplating taking up residence at Columbia University's Baker Athletics Complex. The franchise would spend as much as $30 million to rehabilitate the surrounding fields for Columbia along with building a $400 million stadium.  Will NYCFC really bring all this buzz to Inwood and some sizzle to uptown real estate?  Only time will tell!

Photo courtesy of The New York Times.

Read more at NYTimes.com. >>

Second Avenue Subway Rundown

Remember when 2016 seemed so far away and the Second Avenue Subway was like a distant fantasy?  Fantasy is edging closer to reality as the southern section of the line is now 82% complete according to the MTA.  Unfortunately, the MTA is also broke….again…so the portion of the subway serving areas above 96th Street may not happen unless Governor Cuomo can close the MTA's $15 BILLION budget gap.  Time flies when you're busy and 2016 can become 2026 before you know it.  Will they make their December 2016 in service goal for Phase I?  Only time will tell.

Photo courtesy of Gothamist.

Read more at Gothamist.com >>

The House that Indecent Proposal Built: Now Accepting Offers

After shopping around quietly for an off market deal, Demi Moore's San Remo penthouse has been publicly listed, with a keeping up with the super-rich-Joneses asking price of $75mm.  This Emery Roth designed triplex with extensive Central Park views may have some buyers asking themselves what they're willing to do for their dream home.

Photos courtesy of The Modlin Group via StreetEasy & Wikipedia

See the listing. >>

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The Billionaire Next Door….or Up Above

Usually the value leader in PPSF amongst global capitals rich with trophy properties, analysts predict that by 2025 New York City will outpace even London as the domicile of choice for the uber wealthy.  However, it remains to be seen if the new crop of megatowers can maintain their 9 figure price points. Get your piece before you're outbid by your soon to be neighbor... the billionaire next door!

photo courtesy of one57.com

Read more at TheRealDeal.com >>

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Are they really an expert?

We worked hard to become Riverside Boulevard Experts so when The Real Deal published this story regarding the "Building Expert" designation on StreetEasy our eyebrows were raised.  Formerly a sign of building activity & experience, Zillow has brought some of the ad sales strategy from their national site to our stalwart NYC listings go-to, making the "building "Expert" designation a paid feature.  Make sure you choose your expert carefully!

Read more at therealdeal.com >>

Learn more about The Magnani Team & Riverside Boulevard >>

 

New Development Rundown: The Astor, 235 West 75th Street

The Building: Capitalizing on one of 2015s major market trends, The Astor is a well finished rental to condominium conversion that satisfies the demand for spacious floorplans with a dash of pre-war elegance.

The Neighborhood: Prime Upper West Said.  Nuf said.

The Amenities: Standard fare - Doorman, gym.

The Pricing: Pricey. Smaller units around $1,875 psf.  Larger units range from $2,350-$2,700+ psf.

Our Verdict: A nice change of pace from cookie cutter floorplans, the Astor offers grand layouts and modern interior touches while maintaining all of the elegance of a pre-war home.  Old world charm doesn't come cheap.  Worth it?  Time will tell.

Photo courtesy of theastor.com.

Need an expert eye to help with your new development search?  Contact us today. >>

New Development Rundown: 100 Barclay

The Building:  Ralph Walker's dramatic art deco crown jewel. Floorplans promise 10'2" ceilings, large windows and lofty layouts. Beautiful public and private terraces.

The Neighborhood: On the cusp of Tribeca, proximity to the MTA's new Oculus hub provides plentiful access to public transportation. Tribeca proper is a quick jaunt by foot.  West Side Highway nearby plus valet parking makes for quick airport/out of town getaways. New retail developments at Brookfield Place and the World Financial Center render a trip uptown unnecessary for those needing a quick shopping fix.  

The Neighbors:  Floors 1 through 11 will remain as Verizon facilities.  Can you hear me now?

The Amenities: Featuring 40,000 sq ft of amenities, including the usual pool, gym, playrooms etc. Unique additions include a wine tasting room with private lockers, private storage for each unit, special Verizon 1GB internet service that is 20x faster than normal Fios and a grand lobby level entertaining space.  Post your party pics faster than anyone else in the neighborhood.

The Pricing: Starting around $2,500 psf. 

ur Verdict: Somewhat skeptical of being in the same building with a bunch of Verizon workers. Traditional interior finishes are clean and tasteful - may not raise your pulse but not as heavy handed as some other developments in the area.  High floor units will offer birds eye view of 1 WTC and vistas to the north and west with a more open and lofty feel than what you will find in other Financial District buildings.  

Photo courtesy of 100barclay.com.

Need an expert eye to help with your new development search?  Contact us today. >>

Think NYC real estate is expensive?

Did you know that the diamond and emerald jewelry Beyonce rocked at the 2015 Grammys, with 150 carats of diamonds and emeralds on her fingers cost as much 7 average Manhattan apartments?  See how some of our priciest deals stack up against, well, everything.

  photo courtesy of The Real Deal

photo courtesy of The Real Deal