July
9
2014

THERE’S NOT AN APP FOR THAT?!?!

In today’s tech world, there seems to be an app on every Smartphone that can basically make any decision, chore, errand, problem, idea or thought into an instant reality at the literal press of a button.

As a New York real estate attorney who has been practicing for nearly 20 years, I have especially been fascinated with how the real estate industry has responded to the evolution of technology in the marketplace.  Of course there is an app for home buyers who are shopping for a property or looking to secure a mortgage.  And finding the perfect rental apartment in New York City has never been easier thanks to revolutionary brokerages such as Urban Compass that makes pounding the pavement an extinct art.

June
11
2014

GRADUATION NATION

This time of year is a coming of age for thousands of college graduates across the country as inspirational commencement speeches are given, degrees are bestowed and the newly anointed embark on the exciting road of independence ahead.  However, as college graduates leave the security of campus life for the real world today, many face unemployment and skyrocketing rents.

As a New York real estate attorney who graduated law school at a time when the economy was good and the job market was robust, I admire the tenacity and

April
10
2014

Summer Lovin at the Jersey Shore

In the wake of the Hurricane Sandy aftermath last summer, the real estate market and business in general at the Jersey shore was hardly a day at the beach.  Sales, rentals and tourism was down while boardwalks, coastlines and businesses were being rebuilt.  Summer 2014, however, is showing signs of a very different landscape….literally.

As homeowners in beachside communities such as Ortley Beach and Lavalette rebuild their properties, they are planning elevated, spacious sandcastles in the sky to replace their seaside bungalows from pre-Sandy.  And lowered post-storm prices are enabling new buyers who previously couldn’t afford a second-home at the shore, to enter the market.

March
12
2014

Even Smart Homes Need Attorneys

In the award-nominated film Her, actor Joaquin Phoenix is a lonely writer who develops a relationship with his new operating system that is designed to meet his every need.  Perhaps once considered a fantasy, the reality of a relationship between humans and technology, may not be as far-fetched or Hollywood as one might think.

February
26
2014

The Time is Right When the Time is Right

A frequently asked question many clients have as they foray into the real estate market as buyer or seller; investor or home shopper, is whether or not it is the right time.  And for that, the only clear answer is whether or not it is the right time for that particular client.

The trends vary from market to market, so if you follow national headlines, you may find conflicting reports of inventory levels, mortgage rates and home prices. Real estate market predictions and forecasts are reported from many different perspectives and analyzed in various ways.  Only interpret the data that is relevant to your market and your needs.

February
12
2014

How Many Days Til Summer?

 As we in the New York tri-state area prepare for yet another winter snowstorm, it seems like the hot lazy days of summer are desperately far away.  But as we dream of sun and sand, the local real estate markets in the Hamptons and at the Jersey Shore are heating up despite the current  forecast.

In fact, the New York Times recently reported that the Hamptons luxury market (is there any other market in the Hamptons?!) is not only hot, but new construction is in demand.  And not only for buyers but renters from Westhampton to Montauk desire brand-new, amenity-rich, properties.

January
21
2014

NY/NJ Metro Foreclosure Update

With a new year upon us, industry reports are touting year-end trends that deserve some thought.  For example, a recent study by Realty Trac reports that the number of foreclosure filings in 2013 dropped 26 percent from 2012, to reach the lowest annual total since the massive foreclosure crisis that the country experienced over the past eight years since the housing price bubble burst.

December
31
2013

2013 Real Estate Wrap Up

Happy New YearAs 2013 draws to a close and Ryan Seacrest prepares to welcome the new year in Times Square with more than a million people, as a New York-metro lawyer, I like to reflect on the biggest industry trends and moments of the past year.  For me, these are the stories that defined 2013 in real estate this year:

New Development – Brand new ultra-luxury condominiums designed for the uber-rich surged 20 percent in 2013 with prices surpassing pre-recession numbers.

December
18
2013

Year-End Giving: Don’t Be a Scrooge

donation giving Geronimo Vacation Rentals for CharityAs the holiday season is upon us and the frenzied shopping has begun, it is a wonderful time of year to consider giving not only to our beloved friends and family, but to the nonprofit organizations that touch our lives.

Not only does a financial gift to charity make us feel good, but if made strategically, the donation can actually lighten your tax burden.  For tax planning purposes, a year-end gift can qualify as a deduction from the tax year the gift was made.  Realizing this tax benefit that comes around this time of year, many charitable organizations depend on December gifts as significant funding for their year-round budgets.  According to the Partnership for Philanthropic Planning, the impact private sector gifts make to mission-driven nonprofits in an era of dwindling corporate support is crucial.

December
4
2013

Bank VS Mortgage Broker

In today’s highly competitive, tightly regulated mortgage marketplace, borrowers often wonder if they should go directly to a bank or consult with a mortgage broker to secure a home loan.  In fact, as a real estate attorney in the New York-metro area, that is one of the most frequently asked questions home buyers ask me when beginning the process of securing their financing for an upcoming purchase.

The housing crash and subsequent banking crisis didn’t help the image of the mortgage industry and the over zealous broker.  However, recent legislation and improved industry practices have actually weeded out the professional, licensed expert from the not-so-professional “broker.”  As an independent broker not working for any one lender, today’s mortgage professional has access to a variety of products on the market from all different lenders.  As a result, today’s practicing, licensed mortgage broker acts as a middleman who works with a variety of lenders, shops around for the most flexible program for their client and works to find the best match.