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‘A Great Time to Buy,’ Real Estate Mogul Corcoran Says

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Real estate mogul Barbara Corcoran says it's 'a great time to buy.'

Real estate mogul Barbara Corcoran says it’s ‘a great time to buy.’

NEW YORK — It’s so thrilling to hear an expert back up what you’ve been saying all along. In this case, it’s real estate mogul and reality TV star Barbara Corcoran weighing it on why it’s a great time to buy.

Appreciation in property values, she said Wednesday on CNBC, would be stronger than the numbers are suggesting.

“It’s going to go much higher than people anticipate,” she said.

Sure enough, the Case-Shiller home-price index has shown consistent growth over the past several months and an increase of 3 percent from last year — and that’s in a soft economy.

The Case-Shiller index is backward-looking, data-heavy and conservative gauge of what home prices have already done, so it’s not subject prone to wild speculation.

With mortgage rates this week around 3.4 percent for a 30-year loan and 2.84 percent for a 15-year, Corcoran is the latest expert to suggest buying real estate, joining the likes of billionaire investor Warren Buffett and Billy Procida, Donald Trump’s original apprentice.

In her interview, Corcoran was asked whether prospective buyers who are able to borrow should borrow as much as they can. She agreed.

“You have 30 percent reduction in sale price. You have cheap money around,” she said, adding that in nine out of 10 real estate markets, buyers are likely to be outbid on a housing purchase at least once.

Corcoran, who built a $5 billion New York real estate business with $1,000 and now stars in ABC’s “Shark Tank,” also said that homeowners looking to upgrade should take notice.

“Right now, if you’re upgrading to a bigger house, even if you’re selling at 10 percent off, you buy your new house at a 10 percent off,” she said.

Addressing the popularity of multi-family housing, Corcoran said buyers would do well to look at another segment of the market.

“I would first go out and buy a beachfront property,” she said. “Go out and buy a second home. It’s the last piece of the real estate market that has yet to hit bottom.”

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NYC Home Prices Back to Pre-Recession Levels

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NYC Prices Rise As Inventory Falls (Photo by Bruno J. Navarro)

NYC Prices Rise As Inventory Falls (Photo by Bruno J. Navarro)

NEW YORK — If you’re looking to buy in the metropolitan New York region, don’t wait for prices to fall any longer, as the real estate market’s bottom might have already passed.

“Both Brooklyn and Queens saw the number of available apartments plummet (16.2 percent in Brooklyn and 12.2 percent in Queens), leaving buyers to scramble for what remains and driving prices upward,” wrote New York magazine’s S. Jhoanna Robledo.

(Robledo previously featured me in an affordable-housing feature for Williamsburg, Brooklyn.)

On the other side of the equation, home prices are on the rise again, even more so in Brooklyn and Queens, where they’re back to pre-recession levels.

The median price for a house or condo in Brooklyn is $510,000, a solid 4 percent higher than last year, according to NPR’s Margot Adler. Properties in Queens, the median price is nearly $400,000, up 2 percent.

Overall, sales are up 6 percent in the city (including Manhattan), according to the Real Estate Board of New York.

Buyers waiting for prices to soften might find that they’ve missed the boat.

NPR quotes Corcoran CEO Pamela Liebman likening the market to a nearly sold-out holiday sale.

“When you walk in a store on December 24th, you buy what’s ever left on the shelf,” she said.

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Written by Bruno

2012.10.23 at 16:34

It Takes Know-How to Win a Bidding War

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It Takes Know-How to Win a Bidding War

It Takes Know-How to Win a Bidding War

NEW YORK — The 2012 Olympics are in full swing in London and the frenzied pitch of the New York City market brings to mind its competitive spirit (not including badminton).

Buyers are feeling a sense of urgency as multiple bids and bidding wars are becoming increasingly common. Inventory is dwindling as the number of reported transactions soar.

Although mortgage rates remain at historic lows, home prices are beginning to rise.

In a heated market such as we currently find ourselves in, the slightest error can mean the difference between gold and going home. Using an experienced sales agent is more important than ever, and having all your paperwork in order may help catapult you to the top of the buyer’s line when putting in an offer.

There is no instant replay, do-over, or second chances when it comes to negotiating for that perfect home. Be smart and make sure you have the best representation there is.

A true Olympian never stops training for the gold and seasoned real estate professionals never stop perfecting their negotiating skills. The link below will give you a list of negotiating errors that buyers and their inexperienced brokers make.

Don’t let this happen to you.

When you are ready to buy or sell a property in the New York area, reach out to me and we can win gold together.

BrickUnderground: Top negotiating mistakes of buyers, and their brokers

Mortgage Rates Hit Historic Low 3.84 Percent

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Mortgage Rates Hit Another Historic Low (Photo by Bruno J. Navarro)

Mortgage Rates Hit Another Historic Low  (Photo by Bruno J. Navarro)

NEW YORK — Mortgage rates dropped to another all-time low this week, providing another stimulus to the strengthening housing market.

The average rate on a 30-year mortgage was 3.84 percent, according to survey results released by Freddie Mac.

That’s the lowest rate ever since long-term mortgages were introduced in the 1950s, even below the previous record low set in February.

At that rate, a $100,000 loan would mean monthly payments of about $468 per month.

Meanwhile, sales activity in the past few weeks suggest that the robustness of the condo market in Manhattan and Brooklyn recently predicted was taking hold.

Written by Bruno

2012.05.04 at 11:03

Should I Buy Or Should I Rent?

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Should I Buy Or Should I Rent? Photo by Bruno J. Navarro

Should I Buy Or Should I Rent? (Photo by Bruno J. Navarro)

NEW YORK — The question almost sounds like the title of a Clash song: Should I buy or should I rent?

The results of a new study make it clear. Buying is the better option.

A confluence of factors are the cause, from low mortgage rates to rising rents.

CNN Money writes: “In 98 of the top 100 housing markets, buying a home is more affordable than renting, according to the online real estate company Trulia. Only Honolulu and San Francisco buck the trend.”

Of course, such rankings do little to paint a complete picture.

The article also adds, “Housing markets, even within a single metro area, typically have local submarkets. Take New York City, for example. Renting in Manhattan is more affordable than buying. But in suburban Westchester County just miles to the north, buying is the more affordable option.”

If you decide to rent, there are a few steps you can take to avoid Craigslist apartment scams. Feel free to share any other helpful tips in the comments, too.

As always, if you know someone looking to buy, rent or sell a home in New York, please let me know.

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CNN Money: “Home buying much cheaper than renting

Spring Optimism for NYC Condo Sales

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Spring Optimism for NYC Condo Sales (Photo by Bruno J. Navarro)

Spring Optimism for NYC Condo Sales

All signs are pointing to a fairly healthy spring season for the sales of new condominium apartments in the city, according to a new report released Thursday that tracks the new development market. — “February condo sales fuel optimism for spring,” Crain’s New York Business, March 15, 2012.

NEW YORK — Condominium sales activity in Manhattan and Brooklyn has been strong in the typically a slow month of  February, signaling heightened activity for the busy spring season ahead.

What this means for buyers and sellers is likely that more people will be looking for apartments, which will be more plentiful, and that sales listings are going to move more quickly into contract.

With mortgage rates near all-time lows, it’s a great time to buy. The increased activity also bodes well for sellers.

As always, if you or someone you know is thinking about buying, selling or renting property in New York, please let me know.

NYC Condo Buyers’ Wish Lists Shifting

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A bird's-eye view of Manhattan. - Photo by Bruno J. Navarro

A bird's-eye view of Manhattan.

During the flush times of the mid-2000s, new condo buyers sought out brand-name, high-end appliances, along with jaw-dropping amenities and niche details. Now, they are much more intent on making sure fixtures actually work the way they’re supposed to. And because today’s buyers are more educated than ever, they can easily spot the difference between flash and substance. — “Pickier purchasers: Today’s condo amenities are less sexy, more functional,” The Real Deal, March 1, 2012.

NEW YORK — You have often heard me speak about how the real estate market, like so many other financial markets, is cyclical. Recently we have learned that the amenities apartment buyers look for while searching for a new home are also cyclical.

It wasn’t so long ago that buyers had an all-that-glitters-is-gold mentality. Brand-name appliances, everything automated and computerized, and no matter what your friends bought, you needed to have better. Wall Street was booming and it seemed as though new millionaires were being created daily.

Well, things change.

Life is cyclical, and today’s buyers are looking for more functionality and less fanciness, more simplicity and less glitz. As a result, developers have taken on a different mindset: New is good, but make it simple, functional and durable.

The article below goes into more depth about buyers’ changing desires of buyers. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. And, as always, if you or someone you know is thinking about buying, selling or renting property in New York, please let me know.

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