Evaluating the Coop Before You Buy – Part 1/2

Residential Real Estate Attorney Evaluation Guide Buying Coop

Updated kitchen, lots of light, close to subway. Perfect! Let’s buy it. And the maintenance is so low, what could be better? Turns out, a lot. How about a multi-million dollar litigation against the coop for which there is no insurance that could bankrupt the corporation if the plaintiff prevails? Let’s run through the basics …

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Before the Renovation Begins

Residential Real Estate Lawyer Guide Renovation Apartment

Most people who do an apartment renovation will tell you one thing when they are done: they’ll never do it again. But renovations can be successful, and the increase in market value can far outweigh the costs. So before beginning, here is a lawyer’s guide on the pitfalls that I have seen many clients make. …

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In the Aftermath Of Sandy

Storm Sandy Apartment Real Estate

As the recovery from Sandy continues, the financial impact of the storm continues to grow. Here is a brief legal guide that may help those most affected in making decisions. Flood insurance: It’s hard to learn after a storm like Sandy that typical homeowner / condo owner / coop owner insurance policies do not cover …

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Do No-Pet Policies Affect Market Value?

Pet Policie Apartment Real Estate Market Value

We get a lot of questions on the Saturday morning radio show I co-host (Eye On Real Estate, WOR710), but a recent caller posed one that got me thinking. She is considering a coop purchase in a building that does not permit pets. She is not a pet owner, so it won’t affect her directly, …

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The Amazing Shrinking Apartment

Residential Real Estate Attorney Guide Apartment Size

You would think that the topic of measuring the square footage of an apartment would be without controversy. After all, measuring tapes don’t lie, so what’s all the fuss about? Well, like almost any other aspect of NYC real estate, this one has some quirks that can cause confusion. When buildings are first built, or …

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Buying New Construction Before It’s Built

Residential Real Estate Lawyer Guide Buying Real Estate

One of the realities of the post-Lehman real estate world in the New York metropolitan market is that construction financing for new development dried up, resulting in a dearth of new construction/conversion projects coming on line. And for those already in the pipeline, homebuyers were less inclined to buy off “plans and specs,” having seen …

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Why Deals Die and How to Avoid These Problems

Residential Real Estate Attorney Guide Real Estate Deal

It’s an unfortunate reality of the New York City marketplace that not all deals end up closing. But given the amount of work it takes to successfully market a property and find a willing buyer, just as much effort should go into ensuring that deal gets from the handshake to the closing table. Let’s start …

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Second Homes and the 1031 Exchange

1031 Exchange Residential Real Estate Law Guide

A 1031 exchange can be used to defer capital gain taxes on the sale of property held for business, trade or investment. The guidelines for a successful exchange must be followed carefully or the IRS may disallow the exchange. I am often asked whether a property that is used by the owner as a vacation …

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The Casual Landlord: Avoiding Tenant Problems Before They Start

Residential Real Estate Attorney Guide Landlord Tenant

Finding the perfect tenant can be challenging. Most landlord/tenant “situations” start out amicable, with each side excited about the prospect of the tenancy and with no intention of disputes. But don’t let that cloud judgement, a careful landlord will do her homework before opening the apartment to occupancy by someone who might not live up …

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Gift Taxes And The Lifetime Exemption

Residential Real Estate Attorney Guide Gift Taxes

It’s very common in real estate deals for the buyer to get financial help from family members. But what about the gift taxes? Buyers inevitably ask this question, and often have incorrect assumptions about how it works. Who Pays?: Gifts are not income, and almost all cases it is the donor or the giver of …

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