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.
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.
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.
As 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.
As 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.
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.
In one of the oldest courtrooms in Hackensack, Samantha Perelman, the heiress of billionaire and Revlon Chairman Ronald Perelman, is battling her uncle, James Cohen, over her claims that he manipulated and influenced her late grandfather, Hudson News patriarch Robert Cohen, into changing his will before he passed away.
I was recently at a comedy tribute event for the legendary comedienne Gilda Radner in which all of her fellow Saturday Night Live alums took the stage to reminisce and tell a few jokes from back in the day. One such comedian commented about real estate in Hollywood and among celebrities. Apparently, according to this particular A-lister, the former owner of a property is just as valuable as the homes’ amenities. So it’s not just all about location, location, location after all, but rather who lived here before? Well, here’s some eye-popping properties for sale that top the list for star power:
Celine Dion’s $72.5 million estate in Jupiter, Florida boasts several pools, patios, a bridge and floating river between two waterfront homes.
As today’s low interest rates make the search for investment income more challenging, financial advisors across diverse industries are turning to alternative investments to boost returns. As this trend moves from stocks and bonds to private equity and hedge funds, where does the bricks and mortar real estate investment fit into a portfolio?
Overall, the housing market is continuing to strengthen and on a risk-adjusted basis, it has a relatively low risk and high yield in the range of investments with an immediate return. That said, markets vary in profit-margin based on the pricing, opportunity and available capital. To this end, investors should consider opportunities based on the project and it’s ability to generate yield, not just the city.
A recent article in The New York Times chronologies the life and death of Huguette Clark, a copper heiress and Manhattan socialite who died at the ripe old age of 104 in 2011 and whose $300 million estate is now being contested by distant, disgruntled relatives who feel jipped.
Although the details are intriguing and scandalous, the point is that many families face the same issues: how is wealth transferred in later generations? What does an elderly individual owe distant relatives who never kept in touch? Do family ties financially bind relatives who never met?
All families are different and relate to one another in their own way. However, whether your estate is large or small, the best way to ensure that your will is executed according to your wishes is to have it properly set up and protected. To speak with an estate planning professional or for more information on how to protect your assets, please contact Felix Nihamin & Associates, P.C. at 212-502-4868 ext. 302.