Real Estate

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531 Manhattan Ave – Two Family Townhome for Sale

531 Manhattan Ave – Two Family Townhome for Sale

This Harlem Townhome is located just East of Morningside Park and a short walk to Columbia University. This highly desirable location, is home to a well maintained Two-Family.

2nd, 3rd & 4th Floor Triplex: Features – Two Bed / Three Bathrooms, Kitchen, Living Room, Den/Home Office, Three Fireplaces (One on each floor) and two Skylights on the top Floor. This space currently has the only access to the garden, via a spiral staircase off the den.

Garden Level: One Bedroom & One Bathroom features Large Living Room with Open Kitchen, Generous Bedroom with a walk-in closet. Ceiling fans located in the living room and bedroom. The bedroom in the rear of the unit has two west facing windows with garden views. This unit currently has no access to the garden.

Basement: Laundry space for the one bedroom tenant, plenty of dry storage space. This area houses all of the properties Mechanicals: Boiler, Water Tanks (2), and Separate Electric & Water Meters.

Lot Size: 15×80
Building Size: 15×55 – Approx. 4100Sf including basement
Building Can Be Delivered Vacant.
Currently Configured: Triplex (2Bed/3Bath) & One Bedroom (1Bed/1Bath)
Steps to fine restaurants, reputable jazz clubs, shopping centers, bookstores and movie theaters.
Transportation: A, C, D & B @ 125th Street MTA Stop & M60 Bus to
LaGuardia Airport – 2 Blocks Away
Low Taxes

$2,500,000 FOR SALE
4,100 ft²$609 per ft²7 rooms 3 beds3 baths

 

Loans for a Niche Market

The New York Times By LISA PREVOST

If interest-only loans were issued too freely before the foreclosure crisis, their availability now is restricted to a privileged few.

A staple of the jumbo market, interest-only loans continue to be used by affluent borrowers to help them manage irregular cash flow, reap a tax benefit, or free up cash for investment elsewhere.

In particular, people in the financial services industry who derive most of their compensation from yearly bonuses commonly rely on interest-only loans to keep their mortgage payments manageable the rest of the year. “Then they take some of that bonus and pay down their mortgage each year,” said David Adamo, the chief executive of Luxury Mortgage in Stamford, Conn. “And their monthly payment then also goes down.”

Thus, interest-only loans have evolved into a financial tool, and no longer a means to affordability.

Freddie Mac stopped backing the loans in 2010 after suffering big losses; as a result, fewer lenders offer them. Those that do have strict qualifying standards. Lenders generally require that the borrower have at least 30 percent equity in a property, and a minimum FICO score of 720. Determination of ability to pay back the loan is based on the fully amortized payment, not the interest-only payment.

Additionally, “a lot of lenders will want to see assets to cover as many as 24 months’ worth of principal, taxes and insurance payments,” said Richard Pisnoy, a principal of Silver Fin Capital, a brokerage in Great Neck, N.Y.

Interest-only loans are primarily adjustable-rate products with an initial fixed period when only interest is due. Available in 5-, 7- or 10-year terms, they “are generally done for 10 years so there’s no payment shock in the near term,” said Tom Wind, the executive vice president for residential and consumer lending at EverBank, a national lender based in Jacksonville, Fla.

Interest rates are usually an eighth- to a half-percentage point higher than on fully amortized jumbo loans. After the fixed term is up, the mortgage re-amortizes, and both principal and interest are due.

Full Article Here:

Architecture review: Tootsie Roll conversion brings welcome change to Soho

DDG’s 325 West Broadway will bring condos to former chocolate factory

March 21, 2013 03:30PM
By James Gardner

325 West Broadway project rendering

A particularly ugly part of West Broadway in Soho will soon become unimaginably better. The best thing that can be said for the existing structure at 325 West Broadway, at Grand Street, is that in the days when things were still manufactured in New York City it used to be a factory that produced Tootsie Rolls — those delicious, caramelized confections that we all remember from our younger days.

Now I yield to no one in my reverence for Tootsie Rolls, but that does not obscure the fact that the drab and unadorned building from which so much joy once issued is itself an eyesore, confected out of bare, albeit vaguely caramel-colored, brick.

All of that is about to change: the development firm of DDG has gotten the go-ahead from the Landmarks Preservation Commission to tear down the factory and put up a luxury condominium. DDG revealed new renderings for the project earlier this month. Standing nine stories plus a rooftop penthouse level, the building will have seven units ranging from 3,000 to 6,000 square feet.

The planned building, designed by DDG’s in-house architect Peter Guthrie, consists of a cubic structure clad in a pristine glass curtain wall, covered in a cast aluminum façade screen, with an elegant glass façade at street level, given over to retail and to the building’s lobby, the renderings show. (Beyhan Karahan Architects & Associates designed an earlier plan for the project.)

The results, to be completed in 2015, will look especially good when viewed beside the drab 19th century pile to its left, which could also profit from the strenuous ministrations of a developer.

New Standards for ‘Safe’ Loans

By LISA PREVOST

Mortgages

New federal regulations require mortgage lenders to do what should go without saying: verify that prospective borrowers can pay.

Yet during the housing bubble, many lenders all but abandoned traditional underwriting standards, and the resulting wave of foreclosures has taken years to recede. An “ability-to-repay” rule, adopted last month by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and effective January 2014, is intended to protect borrowers from again falling victim to risky lending.

“The rule sets standards for what’s a safe loan and what isn’t,” said Kathleen Day, a spokeswoman for the Center for Responsible Lending, “and it takes away a lot of the tricks and traps that lenders were using to talk people into refinancing.”

Required under the Dodd-Frank Act, the rule prohibits the “no-doc” loans common during the bubble. Before making a loan, lenders must document the borrower’s job status, income and assets, debt, and credit history. Lenders must also calculate a borrower’s ability to pay the principal and interest over the length of the loan. They may not base their calculation solely on the payment due when an introductory “teaser rate” is in effect.

Via The NY Times

Full Article Here:

The Most Expensive Real-Estate in the World

By Robert Frank

Associated Press Monaco

If you think real-estate in Manhattan or San Francisco is expensive, consider Monaco.

The price of real-estate in Monaco — the world’s most expensive locale — is now an average of $5,408 a square foot, according to a report from Citi Private Bank and Knight Frank, the London real-estate firm. Spending $1 million will get you a 200 square-foot closet – presumably without a water view.

The second most expensive locale is Cap Ferrat in the south of France, at more than $4,800 a square foot. That’s followed by London, at $4,534 a square foot, and then by Hong Kong, at $4,406 a square foot.

New York is a relative bargain, coming in at number 17, at more  than $2,161 a square foot (this seems to be a little  high, even for Manhattan). The only other U.S. locations on the top 50 are Aspen, at number 39, with $974 a square foot, followed by Telluride ($760 a square foot) and Miami, at about $580 a square foot.

Here is the list of the Top 10

LOCATION    AVG PRICE PSF

Monaco – $5,408

Cap Ferrat — $4,800

London — $4,534

Hong Kong (houses) — $4,406

Courcheval 1850 — $4,081

St. Moritz — $3,951

Gstaad — $3,701

St. Tropez — $3,600

Geneva  – $2,959

Hong Kong (apartments) — $2,625

Triggers for Rejection -Mortgages

The New York Times
By VICKIE ELMER
Published: October 6, 2011

“WE regret to inform you…” Nobody applying for a new mortgage or a refinancing wants to see or hear these words. But last year more than two million people were turned down for home loans, according to federal data, often because they didn’t meet certain lender requirements or because their applications were incomplete or otherwise problematic.

And that number, from the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council, doesn’t even include those who abandon the often-complicated mortgage qualification process. The Mortgage Bankers Association estimates that about half of those who try to refinance and 30 percent of buyers are either denied or drop out.

“A lot of people have credit banged up,” said Michael Fratantoni, the association’s vice president for research and economics.

Lenders’ underwriting criteria have become more rigorous in recent years; some banks have tightened up beyond federal requirements. Here are the six biggest triggers for rejection, according to industry experts.

INSUFFICIENT INCOME Lenders want to make sure you can afford to make the mortgage payments. Someone who earns, say, $40,000 a year need not bid on a $750,000 apartment, unless there’s a trust fund with quarterly payouts or other money available. Also, lenders typically look for at least a two-year track record of income, which could hurt those who may have switched jobs recently. “It’s common to get turned down if you have a gap in employment history over the last two years,” said Erin Lantz, the director of the Zillow Mortgage Marketplace, an online loan-matching service.

Full Article:

BPCA and 11 Condos Reach Tentative Deal on Ground Rents

A year of negotiations between the Battery Park City Authority and a committee of representatives from the 11 original condominiums in the south neighborhood has yielded a tentative, 30-year agreement to roll back drastic increases in ground rent for apartment owners that would have started next year and continued for decades. The accord, brokered by New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, will save condo owners some $280 million over the next three decades.

“This has been going on for more than a year,” explained Rector Place condo owner Anthony Notaro, who was a member of the negotiating committee representing the 11 buildings. “We went through two different administrations at the Authority,” he added, in a reference to the change in both the 2010 change in both the BPCA’s board chairmanship and its presidency. He noted that the Authority, “always acted in good faith. They bargained fairly, but very hard. So when we finally reached a point where we felt like we couldn’t give any more, we turned to Speaker Silver. He weighed in with the BPCA and in a matter of weeks, we had an agreement.” Mr. Notaro continued that, “the Authority will still get increases in ground rent, so this is not a windfall or a giveaway. Everybody will pay more than they did before, for every year, but the increases will be less steep than they would have been.” He also observed, “the biggest benefit comes in 2027, when we roll back what would have been a catastrophic increase for everybody.”

In a statement, Mr. Silver said, “this agreement will protect Battery Park City residents from staggering increases that would have caused crushing financial burdens during a time of economic difficulty. By restructuring this payment plan, we will be able to keep more middle-class families in their homes and maintain Battery Park City as the world-class community that it is.”

Full Article via The Broadsheet Daily

Board Backs Development of Site on Lower East Side With Housing

By CARA BUCKLEY

After sitting fallow for 43 years as the Lower East Side’s popularity soared, a desolate stretch of parking lots along Delancey Street is closer than ever to being transformed into housing and shops, marking the end of a long and bitter stalemate over the future of the sites.

On Tuesday night, Community Board 3 voted unanimously in favor of guidelines to develop the five parcels, collectively known as the Seward Park Urban Renewal Area.

Under the guidelines, the properties would become the site of about 1,000 housing units — roughly half of which would be allocated to middle- and low-income earners — along with retail shops, green space and, potentially, a school.

On Monday, after a subcommittee approved the guidelines, the State Assembly speaker, Sheldon Silver, whose district includes the land, gave the plan crucial support. “The final guidelines that were approved by the committee tonight strike an appropriate balance between the needs and concerns of all stakeholders,” Mr. Silver said in a statement, “and will result in a development that will ensure our neighborhood continues to thrive.”

Full Article Here

Curbing Closing Costs

The New York Times
By LYNNLEY BROWNING
Published: January 27, 2011

BORROWERS have some weapons for keeping closing costs down, the result of recent guidelines requiring lenders to disclose certain fees, but perhaps the most underutilized consumer tool simply involves old-fashioned haggling.

Good-faith estimate rules, part of a tougher Truth in Lending Act that emerged from the mortgage crisis, mean that lenders must provide a clear picture of the costs involved in buying or refinancing a home. Yet consumers may not realize that some of those numbers are actually negotiable, mortgage experts say.

“There’s a lot of room for negotiation in the costs of closing,” said Barry Zigas, the director of housing policy at the Consumer Federation of America, a consumer advocacy group, “and consumers should examine every charge and not hesitate to challenge them and try to bring them down.”

Closing costs can run a borrower 3 to 6 percent of the price of a property, according to the Federal Reserve. In 2010, the average cost for a $200,000 purchase rose by nearly 37 percent, to $3,741, according to Bankrate.com, a financial data publisher; the average in New York State was $5,623.

Full Article Here

Church Destroyed on 9/11 May Sue Port Authority

Greek Orthodox Church Destroyed on 9/11 May Sue for Right to Rebuild

Archbishop Demetrios, second from the left, led a service in honor of the St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church at Ground Zero in 2006. The archbishop will return to the site for another service this Sunday. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)

 

By Julie Shapiro  DNAinfo Reporter/Producer

LOWER MANHATTAN — The St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, destroyed on 9/11, may sue the Port Authority for the right to rebuild their house of worship, a church spokesman said Friday.

Negotiations over how and where to rebuild the Cedar Street church stalled nearly two years ago, and the two sides have not spoken since.

In the meantime, the Port Authority has commandeered the church’s land to build an underground parking garage and loading dock for the World Trade Center.

“The site of St. Nicholas, which is the property of the church, has been used by the Port Authority for over a year, and we never authorized them to do that,” said Mark Arey, spokesman for the church. “The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America has looked at legal [action] very seriously.”

Full Article Here:

A Final Spitzer Holdover Departs Governor’s Office, Heads to Moynihan Station

Catching up on a little news from the long weekend, minutes before the close of business Friday, the Paterson administration announced that Tim Gilchrist, a top aide to the governor on all things infrastructure and transportation, would leave his job as senior advisor to the governor.

His new job: president of the Moynihan Station Development Corporation, the state agency charged (for at least the past decade) with expanding Penn Station into the Corinthian column-lined Farley Post Office across Eighth Avenue.

Mr. Gilchrist was the highest ranking member of the Spitzer administration left in the executive chamber. He initially served as deputy secretary for economic development and transportation; as his fellow deputy secretaries each left, he took on more turf, coordinating how to spend the state’s stimulus money received from the federal government

Full Article Here – Via NY Observer

Private Mortgage Insurance Easier to Obtain

WITH private mortgage insurance considerably tougher to get last year than at any point in decades, many borrowers flocked to loans insured by the Federal Housing Administration.

They had little choice. Lenders typically will not offer mortgages to borrowers with down payments below 20 percent, unless the borrowers get insurance to indemnify the lender in the event of a default. And the federal government was the only entity willing to back many of these borrowers during the housing market slump.

Now private mortgage insurance, or P.M.I., could be making a comeback. Some mortgage insurance companies like Genworth Financial and Radian Guaranty have been easing underwriting standards — sometimes eliminating geographic restrictions, in the case of Genworth, for instance, and offering insurance to some borrowers with down payments of as little as 5 percent.

Rohit Gupta, the chief commercial officer for Genworth’s domestic mortgage insurance business, attributed the relaxed standards to a more stable housing market, along with improved financial conditions for the nation’s major mortgage insurance companies.

Full Article Here – Via NY Times

The Housing Helix Interview w/ Chris Williams of AIM Dashboard

Posted by Jonathan J. Miller

Today I speak with Chris Williams, President and Chief Technology Officer of AIMSdashboard,

“Williams is a 15-year veteran of the IT industry, having served stints with Cisco Systems and PolyServe, a software startup acquired by HP. At one time he was co-owner of Carolina Appraisers, a real estate appraisal firm based in Raleigh.”

AIMS stands for “appraisal independence management system,” and “dashboard” is a software term meaning a control panel housing two or more applications.

His venture was enabled by introduction of the May 1, 2009 agreement between Fannie Mae and NY Attorney General Andrew Cuomo known as the Home Valuation Code of Conduct.

AIMSdashboard is intended to help financial institutions take back control of the mortgage process through a software solution. Chris was very quick to point out that his company is a software company, NOT an appraisal management company, NOT an appraisal management company.

Helix Podcast Here:

Program to Combat Asthma Would Lean on Landlords

By JAVIER C. HERNANDEZ

For decades, public health experts have tried — and mostly failed — to contain an asthma epidemic that afflicts many New Yorkers living in the city’s poorest neighborhoods.

But now, the City Council hopes to significantly curtail the spread of the lung disease by forcing landlords at some of the most badly maintained buildings to clean up their premises.

Under legislation to be introduced on Wednesday, the Council would require owners of 175 apartment buildings to take steps to eliminate garbage, mold and vermin — all factors that have been linked to asthma.

If they do not comply, the city would file liens against the properties, effectively billing landlords for the work required.

The City Council speaker, Christine C. Quinn, said swift action was needed to stop the public health crisis caused by asthma, which affects more than 400,000 New Yorkers, many of them children.

Full Article  Here:

A Tough Time for Self-Employed Borrowers

By BOB TEDESCHI

MOST borrowers are facing a much tougher mortgage environment than a few years ago, but for those who are self-employed or own small businesses, maneuvering through a loan application can be even more arduous.

Before 2008 these borrowers, many of whom have difficulty documenting their income, often used what are known as stated-income loans. Lenders focused on credit histories and earnings estimates, circumventing the need for pay stubs or W-2s.

But during the mortgage crisis, stated-income loans became known as “liar’s loans,” because some borrowers falsely inflated their incomes, and qualified for more than they could afford.

Today, stated-income loans have nearly disappeared. Those still available through regional lenders like Hudson City Savings Bank come at a cost: interest rates around a quarter of a percentage point higher than conventional loans and down payments of at least 30 percent.

The self-employed borrower’s only choice, mortgage brokers say, is to submit two years’ tax returns and hope that they qualify for a conventional loan.

Full Article via NYTs

The Struggle to Preserve the Brooklyn Navy Yard

by MARC SANTORA

FOR three years, some of the most powerful forces in New York real estate — including the federal and city governments, developers, preservationists and community advocates — have fought over the fate of a cluster of historically significant turn-of-the-last-century houses known as Admiral’s Row in the Brooklyn Navy Yard.

Last month, the parties finally arrived at a compromise that seemed to strike a balance between preservation and development, in a $60 million project that would add a large supermarket to an underserved neighborhood, while also salvaging some buildings of deep architectural and cultural significance.

But it now appears that those historic buildings may be in such precarious condition that they cannot be saved.

“This is one of the worst cases I have ever seen in terms of neglect,” said Alex Herrera, the director of the technical services center at the New York Landmarks Conservancy. “It is a disgrace.”

Full Article via NY Times

New York Real Estate Recovery Compared to Competing Cities Around The Globe.

By Candace Taylor

In a city where cramped studio apartments generate six-figure bidding wars, it’s hard to imagine a place where real estate is even pricier. But there are cities out there that can make Park Avenue look like a bargain. According to data from London-based brokerage Knight Frank, $1 million would buy you only about half a studio in Monaco.

This month, The Real Deal took stock of how New York real estate compares to other major international and U.S. cities, from London to Los Angeles. We chose 25 preeminent cities, in different geographic regions, that compete with New York for real estate buyers and tourist dollars, and pored through real estate data from each one.

Complete Article Here

Seeing White Brick Buildings in a New Light

By JOANNE KAUFMAN

WHEN Lori Berger began looking for a Manhattan pied-à-terre three years ago, she came armed with a list of priorities. The West Side was preferable to the East because it would simplify the drive into the city from her family’s primary residence in Fairfield, Conn. She wanted outdoor space, which took most prewar buildings off the table. And because she and her husband had lived through kitchen and bathroom renovations at home, they wanted an apartment that they could move into right away.

It wasn’t unbridled love when Ms. Berger first saw 165 West 66th Street. But then she remembered her father’s pet saying: “You live inside the house, not outside.”

Which is how Ms. Berger came to buy a one-bedroom in a white glazed-brick building. Long seen as a consolation prize in the real estate sweepstakes, with neither the time-burnished details of prewar nor the sparkling newness of the latest glass-walled condo, boxy white-brick structures were built for the striving middle class in the ’50s and ’60s, when about 140 inserted themselves into the brick and brownstone fabric of the city. But these days, their more-for-less prices are attracting wallet-watching buyers, and their less-is-more-aesthetic is drawing fans of mid-century design.

Full Article Via NY Times

Superfund Designation: Good for Gowanus?

EPA designation might help real estate values, brokers say March 31, 2010

By C. J. Hughes

At left: The canal, a narrow 1.8-mile, tilde-shaped waterway, includes bits of neighborhoods like Park Slope and Carroll Gardens. At right: The EPA plan would curb runoff and remove the sludge in the Gowanus Canal.

Last month, Brooklyn’s Gowanus Canal became one of the most polluted places in the country, at least in the eyes of the federal Environmental Protection Agency, which named it to the infamous “Superfund” cleanup list.

While that environmental scarlet letter may not make for the most compelling marketing gimmick — New York’s Love Canal, whose toxicity led to the creation of the Superfund in 1980, is hardly prime real estate today — Gowanus probably won’t see its property values dip, according to many brokers, landlords and developers.

There are a couple of reasons for that counterintuitive assessment. For one, the neighborhood around the canal, a narrow 1.8-mile, tilde-shaped waterway, includes bits of established neighborhoods like Park Slope and Carroll Gardens.

What’s more, mopping up the mess from oil refineries, tanneries and raw sewage, which have contaminated the Gowanus since it was dug in the 1860s, will likely mean better things to come.

Continue to Full Article

‘New Domino’ Project Gets Big Thumbs Down from Councilman

After receiving a resounding rejection from the local Community Board last week, another blow was dealt last night to an ambitious $1.2-billion plan to turn the landmark Domino Sugar Refinery site in Williamsburg into a residential complex with 2,200 apartments and four acres of public park on the waterfront. At a public hearing held by Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, freshman City Council member Steve Levin came out against the project, which could spell much bigger trouble for developers than the Community Board’s vote, because Council members typically defer to the local councilmember on land-use issues. At last night’s hearing, an aide read from a statement explaining Levin’s objections:

The project is simply too big. Too big, too high, too many people. The plan would introduce over 6,000 new residents to the neighborhood, a nearly 25-percent population increase for the half-mile area surrounding the site. How does everyone get to work? [The L] train is over capacity during morning rush hour as it is.

An environmental impact study found the development would increase rush hour subway ridership in the area by 1,350 people and have a “significant adverse impact” on the transit system. Domino developers insist that increased ferry service to Manhattan would reduce that impact, as would a potential MTA plan to replace the M train with the V, theoretically giving Domino residents a direct link to midtown from Marcy Avenue and alleviating pressure on the L.

Continue Full Article Here

Dodd Weighs Changes to Overhaul of Financial Rules

By Phil Mattingly and Alison Vekshin

March 20 (Bloomberg) — Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd will begin weighing amendments to his proposed overhaul of financial rules next week after accepting a change sought by Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Chairman Sheila Bair.

Dodd plans to begin committee meetings March 22 that will consider some of the 399 amendments senators have offered to the plan he unveiled this week, his spokeswoman Kirstin Brost said yesterday. The Connecticut Democrat has already agreed to revise language that Bair said could lead to “backdoor bailouts” of firms through a Federal Reserve lending facility, Brost said.

“There are provisions that would suggest that the Federal Reserve Board could support an open institution if it’s involved in payment processing or clearing facilities,” Bair said in a speech yesterday at the Independent Community Bankers of America convention in Orlando, Florida.

Full Article

Extell Unveils New (Improved?) Riverside Center

riverside center1
Extell Development Company showed the public its new design on Wednesday for Riverside Center, the biggest development proposal in the neighborhood, and one of the biggest in the city. It’s got five towers with at least 2,500 apartments, 210,000 square feet of retail, a hotel, a movie theater, an underground automobile service center, a new K-8 school, and a fountain that you can play in with your shoes off. Words can only go so far to describe it, so we took plenty of pictures (at bottom, including a larger picture of the above drawing).

Extell modified its original design to change the heights of buildings and space them out more, and it is getting rid of its proposal to include a Costco or other big-box retailer. But more on that later.

Riverside Center would stretch from 59th to 61st Streets, and West End Avenue to the edge of the West Side Highway (in the future a new road called Riverside Boulevard will flank the development to the West).

Continue to Full Article Here

By: Avi – Westside Independent

Home-Buyer Tax Credit Countdowns Begin

By Dawn Wotapka

Time is almost up on the federal home-buyer tax credit, the government’s gift of up to $8,000, crafted to jump-start a stalled housing market. Just about six weeks remain for buyers to get those contracts inked. Home builder Lennar has a bright countdown on its Web site. “TIME IS RUNNING OUT,” warns KB Home (yes, it is in all caps), which is tracking the expiration to the millisecond.

For those just now getting into the market who want the cash, “you’re going to have to move quickly,” says Walter Molony, a spokesman with the National Association of Realtors, one of the trade associations that pushed hard for this credit and its two extensions in February and December 2009.  “You’ve got to be prepared to make quick decisions.”

In honor of the countdown, here are six things to keep in mind:

  1. This round is actually an extension, but it doesn’t just cover first-time buyers.  Move-up buyers are also eligible, though they only qualify for up to $6,500.
  2. Only the contract has to be signed on or before April 30. The home purchase must be completed by June 30. Real-estate experts advise signing the contract as soon as possible and leaving plenty of time for closing, given lenders remain extra careful these days. Don’t try to squeeze in a July 1 deal. It won’t work.
  3. The definition of a first-time buyer isn’t as limiting as the words indicate. In this case, the “buyer” hasn’t owned a principal residence in three years. For married taxpayers, both parties can’t have owned.
  4. It might seem genius to “buy” a home from your parents, but skip any such notion. You can’t purchase a home from most family members: Parents, children, grandparents and grandchildren are excluded.
  5. Consider that prices might fall after the credit expires: Buyer traffic will undoubtedly decline once this enticement goes away. As sellers adjust to this slower new reality-they’ll be more than likely to shave prices.
  6. Of course, there’s talk of another extension, given housing’s recovery remains choppy. (Mr. Molony says the NAR isn’t advocating for a third round.) Some think the time has come to end the program. Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Economy.com pushed to extend the tax credit last fall but he said last month it’s time to let it expire. “It’s worn out its benefit,” he said. “If you extend it again, it isn’t going to do much, and what you’re doing is providing a tax break to folks who bought anyway.”

Article Here

Time Coming For Commercial Mortgage Market To Stand On Its Own

NEW YORK -(Dow Jones)- The Federal Reserve on Friday will conduct the last round of purchases of existing commercial mortgages, marking the end of a government program designed to buoy markets and boost investor confidence in securities that have been battered since the financial crisis in 2008.

The end of this part of the Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility, or TALF, leaves a corner of the commercial mortgage market on its own, and investors won’t see new deals until later in the year, when regulators are expected to provide more clarity on securitization.

While the Fed’s role has been small relative to other programs–the central bank has granted only $11 billion in loan requests since last June–the impact has been much larger in a sector still in the throes of a painful correction.

“TALF provided psychological support for the market,” said Darrell Wheeler, head of commercial mortgages at Amherst Securities. “It served its purpose at the time it was needed.”

Continue Full Article Here

By Prabha Natarajan Dow Jones Newswires

Interview w/ Nancy Chemtob Esq. – Johnathan Miller Housing Helix Podcast

nancy

Johnathan Miller – The Housing Helix

25 Feb 2010 | Interviews, Law, Podcasts

I speak with Nancy Chemtob, a partner with Chemtob Moss Forman & Talbert, LLP a New York City law firm specializing in divorce, family and matrimonial law.  My firm has done a lot of work with Nancy and her partners over the years and admire her approach and candor.  Plus she’s fun to talk with.

The biggest asset in a divorce action is most often the real estate.  The housing market crunch of the past 18 months has played havoc with the divorce process.  What’s most interesting is the fact that divorce attorneys are often at the leading edge of a changing real estate market as their clients deal with the reality of market conditions within their strategy.

Note: I’ve got a new equipment set-up (again) and I am still wrangling with it so my audio track is a bit too loud.  But Nancy makes her presence heard.

Interview Can Be Heard Here