How The Rent Stole Christmas

Running low on cash this Holiday Season? Wish that you had a little more green to stuff everyone's stockings? Maybe the Rent Stole your Christmas! Every year, thousands of New Yorkers across this city fall victim to the Christmas Rent Grinch- Holiday parties, gifts, dinners, and cheer come with a price tag and so does renting.  Spending your hard earned cash on someone else's equity just isn't wise. Owning a home allows for your money to appreciate and gain value over time as well as help reduce your tax burden.  And, owning in New York can often be the same price per month as renting. 

Don't believe us? Take for example the new, luxury Brooklyn development, 550 Vanderbilt. A studio purchased there with 30% down will yield a $2,488 monthly payment with the mortgage and common charges.  The rent for a similar unit in the same exact building is $2,500.  And while the costs are the same, the person paying to own is building equity, investing in their future net worth, and reducing their tax burden. 

So plan now and next year give yourself the gift of home ownership and take back Christmas!

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Construction Permits and Growth in New York

The New York Times has examined a new New York City website listing construction permits between 2000 and 2016 and found some interesting data.  While conventional permits were largely focused on Manhattan, A1 and NB permits (Permits that allow for changes in use, occupancy, or egress) were largely centered in Queens and Brooklyn- highlighting the fast-paced changed those boroughs have seen in New Development in the last twenty years.  

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Holiday Tipping Guide

The Holidays are here which means it is also tipping season for many New Yorkers.  From building doormen to the dog walker, there are a lot of people that you may want to thank this year.  The etiquette around tipping can be as important, if not more so, than the dollar amount.  

Cozy Winter Retreats

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Need the perfect, cozy escape this winter? Architectural Digest just released a stunning list of six magical hotels—from Oregon to Massachusetts—that are tailor-made for wintertime cheer. Imagine yourself in front of a glowing fire, sipping cocoa and taking in the stars.  Authentic log cabins with Navajo rugs, A-frame lodges with earthy palettes, and old houses with claw tubs—below, a mix of cozy classics and newly renovated spots to rest your head. 

 

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Renegade Craft Fair

Love holiday craft fairs? The Renegade Craft Fair on November 18th and 19th is your dream come true. Over 200 artisans will be on site selling everything from jewelry and pottery to artwork and our favorite, home décor.

Renegade returns to Metropolitan Pavilion with a festive weekend celebration of all things handmade! Find one-of-a-kind gifts for friends and family, discover top independent maker talent from around the globe, and enjoy a memorable Holiday weekend of local food vendors, craft libations, DJ sets, DIY workshops, photo ops, and more.

Renegade is proud to partner with CERF+ during their 2017 Winter Tour to help raise funds for their Disaster Relief Fund, providing aid to affected makers and artists from the recent devastating disasters from Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria and the wildfires in Northern California. To donate or learn more about CERF+ click here or stop by their info booth at the fair. 

Metropolitan Pavilion
125 W. 18th St.
11am-6pm both days. 

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From The Desk of Cindy

Loft Living and The Downtown Market 

This month I wanted to share with you the growing trend of loft living. I recently hosted an intimate discussion at my loft listing, 6 West 20th Street, with design architect Andre Kikowski and top broker Julia Hoagland from Compass. Andre has designed some of New York's iconic buildings including Related's 1 Hudson Yards and 75 Kenmare.   

Andre works with clients around from the world who want him to bring well-thought-out design, quality aesthetic and modern trends to their homes.  Andre spoke of loft living being an emerging trend in all luxury markets throughout the world while Julia spoke of the appeal of privacy and low common charges in pre-war buildings. Many lofts do not have amenities which keeps common charges low.  My favorite aspects of lofts are the high ceilings, natural light, flexible layout and industrial details that lofts have to offer.

Traditional lofts typically offer gracious floor plans and an attractive price per sqft value. Changes in building use are bringing more residential lofts to market in downtown Manhattan and Brooklyn. We see more conversions of factory buildings to residential homes because consumers want high ceilings and oversized windows which is often not an option for ground-up new development with the price of land.  True traditional lofts are and will continue to be, a rare commodity in NYC.  As always, feel free to reach out to me anytime so that we can find your dream home, loft or otherwise. 

 

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UBS Market Report

UBS Market Report

Staying on top of the market and in the know about current trends and forecasts is vital to the success of any real estate investment, large or small.  And while Compass has a great wealth of information about markets across the nation, it is important to familiarize yourself with a variety of reliable sources.  Each source can provide a different lens and together they can give you a complete picture to allow for the best decision making.   UBS creates neutral reports on the US Real Estate market and is a great source for the big picture on the national market.  

Their take on the current US market is:

  • Occupancy rates flattening, leaving rent growth to power income gains. 
  • Transaction volume still easing off recent highs
  • Positive returns sholud continue with lower rates of appreciation.  

To see the full report, visit the UBS website here.

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Secrets of New York

How well do you think you know New York? Chances are that you have not heard of all of these Secret's Of New York, no matter how long you have lived here.  And whether you just moved into a new neighborhood or you fit in with the locals, there is always something new to find. Below are just a few of our favorite hidden gems in New York. Do you think we missed any, let us know! 


Photo Credit: Mandarin Oriental

Photo Credit: Mandarin Oriental

The Office NYC

This new speakeasy, located inside the Mandarin Oriental Hotel at Columbus Circle, is the first bar in NYC from famed Chef Grant Achatz (Alinea).  And while the prices may seem scary, they are well worth it. 

The Office NYC is an intimate speakeasy serving classically inspired food and cocktails, a collection of vintage spirits, and other eclectic delicacies. We are currently previewing The Office NYC as we prepare for The Aviary NYC grand opening. -Manderin Oriental

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Chelsea Market "Secret" Entrance

As any New Yorker can tell you, the worst part of visiting Chelsea Market is the crowd at the entrance. Recently though a "secret" entrance has been added on the north side of the building. This makes popping in for a quick bottle of wine from Chelsea Wine Vault or a fresh baked baguette from Amy's Bread a breeze. This new entrance also takes you to the newly added lower level of Chelsea Market (The Chelsea Local) that contains; Manhattan Fruit Market, Buon Italia, Dicksons Farm stand, Ronnybrook Farm stand, and Saxelby Cheesemonger’s.


Photo Credit: staycay.net

Photo Credit: staycay.net

Whispering Gallery


Grand Central Terminal has many secrets, but the Whispering Gallery is it's most romantic. This unmarked archway, located in front of the Oyster Bar & Restaurant, possesses a mystifying acoustic property: when two people stand at diagonal arches and whisper, they can hear each other's voices "telegraphed" from across the way. According to rumor, jazz legend Charles Mingus proposed to his wife, Sue, in just this manner. Today, the Whispering Gallery remains popular for such murmured sweet nothings.


(Photo Credit: the Parks Dept)

(Photo Credit: the Parks Dept)

Whispering Bench

Another whispering NYC secret is the Whisper Bench in Central Park. Out of the park's 9,000 benches, it's the only one of its kind.

The bench—named for Charles B. Stover—sits inside the 4-acres of Shakespeare Garden. It works similarly to the Grand Central wall, you can whisper into one end, and the sound travels to the other end.

According to the Parks Department, Robert Moses had a hand in making it all happen:

A group of prominent citizens, concerned with preserving the memory of Stover and his deeds, formed the Charles B. Stover Memorial Association and commissioned this monument through private donations. The bench is not of the standard wrought iron or cast-concrete variety, but a curved 20-foot exedra of Deer Isle granite. On November 5, 1936, Mayor Fiorello H. La Guardia, Parks Commissioner Robert Moses, Dr. John H. Finley, and the associate editor of the New York Times gathered in the Shakespeare Garden to dedicate the memorial. The bench is situated on a natural rock outcropping. At the time of the unveiling, it was noted that the location was apt, since during Stover’s time as Parks Commissioner, he had changed this place “from a dilapidated stone mass covered with poison ivy to a rock garden with an artificial stream of water and pools of water lilies.”

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Angel's Share

Open for over 22 years, Angel's Share is still one of the best kept secrets of the NYC speakeasy scene. Located above Village Yokocho restaurant at 8 Stuyvesant St, Angel's Share has a strict rule that parties cannot exceed four people, and you can’t stand at the bar. There’s almost always a wait (it’s very popular), but it’s quite worth it. With a creative cocktail program and a romantic room with a view of Stuyvesant Triangle, it's become known as one of the best places to drink downtown.


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Sunshine Laundromat & Pinball

Tucked into the back of a Laundromat in Greenpoint Brooklyn is a surprising find for a fun night with friends.  The fully functioning Sunshine Laundromat has a pinball arcade and full bar located in the back.  Perfect for hanging out with friends on a weekend or a little fun while your sheets dry, the retro games are fun for everyone.  Come on Friday or Saturday nights to make new friends or during a weekday to have a full arcade to yourself, just like you always wanted as a kid. 


UBS Market Report

Staying on top of the market and in the know about current trends and forecasts is vital to the success of any real estate investment, large or small.  And while Compass has a great wealth of information about markets across the nation, it is important to familiarize yourself with a variety of reliable sources.  Each source can provide a different lens and together they can give you a complete picture to allow for the best decision making.   UBS creates neutral reports on the US Real Estate market and is a great source for the big picture on the national market.  

Their take on the current US market is:

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  • Trends in US commercial real estate flatten out after six unsustainably high years. 
  • Occupancy is strong but not likely to move much higher.
  • Properties generate good, positive income growth, just not the stellar growth of the recent past.

To see the full report, visit the UBS website here.

Escape from Manhattan

"No Man is an Island" is an idea that often seems especially true in Manhattan.  With crowded sidewalks, endless lines, and the constant feeling that someone is in your space, New York can make even the most social of people seek out solitude.  Sometimes we all just need a little getaway and Architectural Digest has just the thing to help you escape with their list of The Most Remote Island Vacations in the World.  This list of stunning locations is filled with beautiful places that are all accessible- but not too accessible.  

Check out the article here

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Do You Have Lazy Money?

Is your cash lazy? Or is your money helping you get somewhere?  One of the major ways we see our clients fall victim to lazy money is via paying to rent instead of paying to own. Owning a home allows for your money to appreciate and gain value over time as well as help reduce your tax burden.  And, owning in New York can often be the same price per month as renting. 

Don't believe us? Take for example the new, luxury Brooklyn development, 550 Vanderbilt. A studio purchased there with 30% down will yield around a $2,488 monthly payment with mortgage and common charges.  The rent for a similar unit in the same exact building is $2,500.  And while the costs are the same, the person paying to own is building equity, investing in their future net worth, and reducing their tax burden. 

So the choice is yours:

Do you want lazy money, or do you want to make your money work for you? 

 

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Amazon's Other Business

Amazon, the massive online retailer that just purchased Whole Foods, has another business model you may not have heard of.  Amazon Lending, an arm of Amazon, has issued over $1 Billion in loans to merchants on its website.  The service started in 2011 when Amazon identified creditworthy merchants using the website and extended a line of credit.  Amazon then charges a commission on sales as the means of repaying the loan.  Algorithms are used to identify the merchants and loan values go as high as $750,000.   All in all, it's just another way in which Amazon is cornering their market and expanding their busienss.

Read more here

Sounds of the City

Visiting your family on the West Coast? With friends at a beach house out east? Investigating a murder in the deep south? No matter what has you far from the city, now you can sleep easy knowing that your neighborhood sounds are a click away and ready to lull you to sleep.   Sounds Of NYC now has a localized audio playlist for each neighborhood in Manhattan (sorry Brooklyn, maybe try the Lower East Side?) to help remind you of the home you're always happy to return to.  Check it out at http://soundsof.nyc/