Archive: Dec 2018

2018 Market Trends and What to Expect for 2019

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Real Estate Carpool: Episode 1

On December 20th, the Focus Team conducted their first ever Real Estate Carpool. Our team lead (Russell Putterman) and LI Expansion Partner (Matt Lenner) answered burning questions on the 2018 real estate market, trends to expect for 2019 and much more. Here are our biggest takeaways from the carpool:

Carpool Real Estate
  • It is a buyer’s market in both the suburbs and the city
    • Matt identified that it used to be a seller’s market in Long Island, but has shifted to a buyer’s market – especially for the luxury segment. It is important to have an up-to-date home to ensure that prices are not dictated by buyers.
    • NYC is also seeing similar trends for the luxury market and foreign investments have decreased over the years. Price points are also lower, which is giving buyers more leverage. Mortgage contingencies are actually becoming more popular on buy-side deals as well.

If you are looking to buy, download our NYC Buyer’s Guide for more info >>

  • Fed rates have raised yet again
    • The market and consumers saw this coming and we are still at a historically all-time low – even at 5%. The team is surprised to see the feds raise the rate again, but anticipates for this to level out over time.
  • What was 2018 like for the Focus Team and projections for 2019?
    • The Long Island team had 60 transactions and are expecting to see upward trends for the 2019 period.
    • The NYC team saw similar numbers to the year before even with major market shifts. The team implemented many systems for automation and growth throughout the year.

The Focus Team approach affords our clients a concierge experience through our expertise in specialized roles to provide an unparalleled level of service throughout the buying, selling and leasing process. To learn more about our team or to book an appointment with us today, contact us.

To view the full episode, you can view below and please let us know if you would like to see any other topics in future videos:


NYC Buyer’s Checklist

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Here are our top tips before you buy.

The checklist below will help you prepare for your home search and ensure you are able to find the perfect home. 

  • Evaluate your budget
    • Know what to spend for a down payment as well as monthly expenditures (i.e.; maintenance or common charges and real estate taxes, monthly mortgage payment, utilities, parking, etc)
  • Obtain mortgage pre-approval
    • You must know how much you can spend before you spend it. Condominium apartments require at least 10% down; cooperative apartments generally require at least 20% down. However, every building is different. 20% of Manhattan’s buildings are condominium buildings and the other 80% are cooperatives.
  • Select an attorney who specializes in New York City real estate
    • The buyer’s attorney does ‘due diligence’-reading minutes, financial statements of buildings etc.
  • Prioritize top needs
    • Space, light, views, building amenities, are all factors to keep in mind while making the time to view at open houses.
  • Identify the timeline for the move
    • Factors that can go into include but are not limited to: confirming the right moving team, taking time off of work, and making sure that your children are set to go to school in a new location. 
  • Explore different neighborhoods to identify your preferred needs 
    • Some of the top priorities when it comes to neighborhoods are the commute to work and the distinctive flare that each offers.
  • Research schools in the selected neighborhoods(s)
  • Evaluate access to transportation in the selected neighborhoods(s)
    • Again, each neighborhood can have an impact on daily commute, so you will want to make sure that it is manageable for you.
  • Work closely with your broker to gather supporting materials for your mortgage application and board package
    • Cooperative apartment buildings require board approval before a closing can take happen. Condominiums require an information packet to be completed before a closing can take place.
  • Once the apartment has been selected, review building financials with your broker and attorney.

To learn more about the buying process in NYC, download our full guide here. You can also contact us with questions or if you would like to speak with our buying specialists.

4 Tips for Your Upcoming Board Interview

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After months of searching and studying up on board rules, you have found your perfect co-op! It offers everything you had Handshake Imageon the checklist and the long hunt through NYC is officially over. However, there is one final hurdle to overcome – the board interview. This is the step of the buying process where you will meet the board and be asked a series of questions prior to final approval for tenancy. For many people, this can be a nerve wracking step in the process since you have come so far with bank approval, signed contracts, etc. To lighten the stress that this day can carry, we have provided a couple of key tips that we have gathered from experience of dealing with board approvals:

  • Be on time or a little bit early – punctuality is important and shows your care for the tenancy. It is always recommended to double check with your broker before attending to make sure you have everything you need as well as the correct time. You may even want to meet with your broker at a nearby location 15 minutes in advance to make sure that you are prompt.
  • Be prepped for personal questions – The board will likely want to get to know you so personal questions will likely arise. Some questions may related to previous job experiences, salary changes, frequency of recent moves and this is common in the process. However, you will want to avoid offering any personal information that is not asked for.
  • Prepare in advance if there will be more than one person with you – If you are going to be interviewed with someone else, plan out who will speak to financials, personal questions, etc. It will mitigate any confusion and show preparedness for the interview.
  • Don’t lie – This one is self-explanatory, but as quoted by Baltasar Gracian – “A single lie destroys a whole reputation of integrity”. It is important to be yourself as the board is looking to learn more about who their next neighbor may be.

To learn more tips on handling your next board interview, download our full guide here. If you are planning to search for a co-op, contact us here and  one of our buyer specialists will gladly assist in your next steps. 

Board Interview Full Guide >>