We have been hearing bits of information about this “wonderful new process” that will take the time, hassle, and frustration out of selling your home. It is called iBuyer. I want to give you a brief introduction to this concept and plan to go into detail in a future newsletter.Read More
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I just returned from one of my favorite conferences of the year - Milken Global Conference. Changemakers and innovators gave inspiring talks on topics from finance to wellness. It is invigorating to hear how we can use financial innovation to drive the kind of outcomes that inspire us.
My favorite panel is " Investing Advice from Unlikely Investors" hosted by Michael Milken.
A few takeaways pertaining to real estate:
What you buy is more important than what you pay
A good contract does not make a lousy investment successful
There is no such thing as a "Must-Do" deal
Hope is not an investment strategy but real estate investment is. Investments are commitments that compare to relationships. Some investments, like the stock market, compare to dating while real estate investment compares to marriage. With any commitment, diligence is essential.
As an advistor, I work diligently to insure my clients have successful marriages. Are you looking for your next successful courtship? Call me today.
Looking for your own place in the world? Thinking of buying a home but not sure where to start? Cindy hosted a Buyer's Seminar here at Compass HQ as part of our Women of Compass group for staff and agents. Cindy, along with trusted advisors Bonnie Jean DeSimone of Citibank and Mariam Adams of Merril Lynch, spoke about the value of investing in yourself, the benefits of owning a home, and ways in which you can become more financially independent. If you are interested in learning what your first steps towards purchasing should be, feel free to reach out to us anytime. We can share the same insights and materials with you in a one on one meeting about investing in your future.
- Cindy Scholz, Compass Agent and member of WoC Leadership
- Bonnie Jean DeSimone, Sr. Home Lending Officer at Citibank
- Mariam Adams, Private Wealth Manager at Merrill Lynch
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?
Don't want your landlord to keep your security depsoit? Want to hide all the cords on your desk or home office? Have to work with a wall of windows? Architectural Digest recently published an article on some inventive ideas for displaying art in unconventional ways. Whether you're a nervous renter or owner who just wants to refresh a space, these tips may be just what you needed!
Check out the full article on Architectural Digest Here!
Starting with the basics, a large rug and drawing out a quick floor plan, is often the best first step to take when redecorating a room. Rather than going out and immediately ordering a new, large piece of furniture, start with what you have. Beginning with the floors and walls, work your way into the space filling as you go; you may just find you don't need to purchase anything after all. For more redecorating tips, check out this article on Architectural Digest featuring tips from great designers.
New York firm Brooklyn SolarWorks is working hard to bring solar powered homes to the city's most populated borough. Brooklyn brownstones and apartment buildings typically have obstacles to solar panel installations: HVAC systems, skylights, doors, and irregular angles. But Solar Works has found a way to make the panels more accessible, creating a canopy that elevates the panels above obstacles and allows them to be fitted to allow for maximum sun exposure.
The panels needed to offset a family of four's typical energy needs in a year run about $30,000 but tax incentives bring the true cost down to $7,000 meaning the panels pay for themselves in savings after roughly six years. For more information on Brooklyn SolarWorks and going solar, check out Wired's Article here.
Buying in New York is always complicated, but when you live in another country, an extra level of difficulty applies. The Scholz Team is experienced in the added steps that are required to help international buyers navigate these challenges. We work with the experienced attorneys, appraisers, and financiers in order to make the process as smooth as possible. When you work with The Scholz Team, you can truly focus on finding a home you love, and let us handle the details.
Read more about buying in New York here
State lawmakers in Albany have revived the 421a developer tax abatement as part of the state's new budget. The tax abatement, now called Affordable New York, allows for a 35-year tax abatement on new construction projects. The program releases $2.5 Billion to create 100,000 units of affordable housing and 6,000 units of supportive housing. REBNY released a statement on Saturday saying "(Affordable New York) will result in the production of substantially more affordable rental housing that is critical for New York City's growth and future."
For more about Affordable New York, click here
Want to get out of the house and enjoy a stroll through a historic New York neighborhood? Want to learn about the local history of where you live? Well, now it's easier than ever to find and experience some of the unique places located right here in New York. The New York City Preservation Commission has made an easy to navigate webpage to help you find the historic districts and landmarks throughout all five boroughs. Looking at the map you can find districts and well as landmarks to explore in almost any area of the city. From Hamilton Heights to DUMBO to Ditmas Park, there are plenty of great places to check out now that Spring has arrived. Explore the map here:
Changes Coming to Credit Reports
Credit reports and scores are set to get an increase as tax liens and civil judgments are taken off individual's credit reports. Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion will remove tax-lien and civil judgment information starting July 1st. The negative information will be removed from credit reports if it doesn't contain a complete set of at least three items: individual's name, address, social security number, or date of birth. The change will apply to new and existing information on reports. This change is just one of the ways in which credit reporting agencies are attempting to make the reports more accurate and fair to consumers.
For more information on these changes see the article below:
Food on Fulton
Fulton Street is a long commercial and residential street in northern Brooklyn named after Robert Fulton... an American engineer and inventor at the end of the 18th century, who developed a commercially successful steamboat in NYC, and in 1800 was commissioned by Napoleon Bonaparte to design the Nautilus, which was the first practical submarine in history. This historically and culturally complex street originally began by the waterfront in Brooklyn Heights (echoes of it remain in the small strip of road now known as Old Fulton Street), but it currently begins it's east-west trajectory at Borough Hall in Downtown Brooklyn where it provides the backbone of the Fulton Mall which flourishes as one of NYC largest commercial centers... and then it acts as the dividing line which separates Fort Greene and Clinton Hill in the north from Prospect Heights in the south, separates Bedford-Styuvesant in the north from Crown Heights in the south, and then pulls up slightly after Broadway Junction and skirts along the southern border of Mt. Carmel and Mt. Hope Cemeteries and finishes in Woodhaven, Queens.
One of our agents, Robert Bell, lives along Fulton Street and has explored many of its idiosyncratic food establishments over the last 15 years. Moving from West to East, here are some spots he recommends you visit as the warmer and adventurous days of Spring start to return to us:
1. Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory - Right along the old pier, with excellent views of Manhattan and the Brooklyn Bridge, you can step inside this old fireboat house and feast on small-batch ice cream.
2. Juliana's - One of the original pizzeria's of NYC, still owned and operated by one of the original pizzaiolos, Patsy Grimaldi. Don't bother with his namesake establishment next door, Grimaldi's... it's a long story, but if you want original and delicious NYC pizza, then go here.
3. Grimaldi's - They serve pizza here.
4. Gotham Market at the Ashland - This recently opened Marketplace serves Southern bbq, crab cakes, fried chicken, and lots more in their beautifully open and spacious dining hall.
5. Brooklyn Moon Cafe - Homestyle Caribbean food in a casual and friendly atmosphere, filled with locals and friends.
6. Bati - Ethiopian cafe that has a densely flavored injera and fragrant vegetarian dishes.
7. Green Grape Annex - The hippest cafe along this street, lots of seating, small plates & pastries, and rich coffee drinks.
8. Not Ray's Pizza - There are a confusing amount of pizza joints in our city named Ray's... this is Not Ray's.
9. Prospect - Speaking of confusing names... this terrific New American restaurant is not on Prospect Place nor is it in Prospect Heights, it is in Fort Greene and on Fulton Street. But the menu is wonderful, and the Monday Night Burgers are amazing... so who cares?
10. Der Schwarze Koelner - A beer garden from a time before beer gardens were cool, with indoor and outdoor seating.
11. Yafa Deli - This is a bodega, like many other bodegas, but there is something special here. 24 hours a day, 365 days a week, small batches of stunningly good and ridiculously cheap fried chicken is made and served here.
12. Emily's Pizza - The heart of this place is the friendly and talented couple Matt and Emily, the engine is the sleek copper-plated pizza oven that was crowdfunded thru Kickstarter... how Brooklyn can you get?... and they now serve some of the best Neapolitian pies in the City, and a $25 Burger, and a clutch of delicious small plates.
13. Sister's - A former hardware store, this spacious establishment was beautifully re-designed and takes full advantage of its soaring ceilings and enormous skylight. Two full bars, great food, and DJ's in the back every night.
14. Bergen Bagels - Another confusion with names and places... this is the second iteration of the very successful Bergen Bagels, which is sensibly located on Bergen and Flatbush... and here is the second Bergen Bagels, on the corner of Washington and Fulton.
15. Otway - Last year this was called Tilda All Day, which won a local following for its diverse and thoughtful breakfast and lunch options. Newly reopened as a dinner spot, the inventive menu changes regularly. Come back often...
16. Buka - One of a small handful of authentic Nigerian restaurants in NYC. Using the starchy fufu to sop up spicy stews with your fingers is an experience not to be missed.
17. Doris - Really more of a kick-ass bar than a food establishment, with a turntable built into the long bar and an aesthetic that is reminiscent of the American Southwest by way of the Skywalker Farm on Tatooine... but they also serve grilled cheese sandwiches, so I have decided it qualifies for this food establishment list.
18. Paris Dakar - The sister outpost of the delicious French-Nigerian bakery on Nostrand Avenue, this wonderful cafe serves crepes and coffees.
19. Tastee Pattee - The "Jamaican" patty, when done correctly, is not awhat you think it is... it is not a slightly phosphorescent yellow bakery item with strange meat in it, baked and then frozen and then baked again... when done correctly, as it is done here, it is a freshly baked and flaky pastry with home-cooked meats and vegetables inside.
20. Keep exploring... for the next new thing that will open up, or the great place that has always been there but somehow escaped your notice... the restaurants keep changing, the neighborhoods keep changing... the street remains the same.
The Scholz Team was invited to attend this recent Real Estate Seminar to discuss the state of the market and how it pertains to Asian investment in New York City and the US as a whole. The discussions including REITS, EB-5 Investor Program, Commercial Investment from Abroad as well as the health of the market in general.
There were around 90 guests attending the seminar, including professionals working in various walks of the real estate industry and a small portion of students. Attendees were from AIG, Blackstone, Columbia University, Compass, Eaton & Van Winkle LLP, Financial Times, Fosun, Gemdale, Jewel Capital, JLL, Kuafu, PwC, Real Capital Analytics etc. The seminar was a great success and both speakers and audiences gave very positive feedback.
-Scott Latham, Vice Chairman at JLL Capital Market:
It was interesting to find out that downtown Manhattan, after years of struggle, has shown a potential of revitalization. It has become a transportation hub again after several significant constructions including the WTC station. With more convenience and amenities, residents are moving to downtown.
-Jim Costello, Senior Vice President at Real Capital Analytics:
The election will impact real estate market in terms of tax policies (1031 Exchange) and promoting interests.
-Henry Mo, Managing Director and the Chief Economist at AIG:
There is definitely some uncertainty on the market, especially when we consider about the Federal Reserve’s decisions upon the interest rates. But the election result effect would be moderate.
Regarding the event that RMB joining the SDR, Henry believed that it’s more symbolic than real. He joked that if it had such large impact of RMB globalization, there won’t be so many restrictions to stop RMB outflowing and exchanging to US dollars.
-Samuel Li, Founder & CEO at Jewel Capital:
The capital flooding from China has already been a trend and the impact of the election would not be structural. There are two reasons for Chinese investors to come to the United States. The first one is to preserve their wealth by investing in strong global assets. The second reason is to penetrate into this U.S. market and enjoy the appreciation.
-David Kruth, the adjunct professor at Columbia GSAPP & Managing Partner at Brooklyn//Queens Properties:
“Chinese developers own about 68 development sites across the US, with vast majority in NYC, LA and SF.”
-Leonard Steinberg, President at Compass:
“Chinese government’s ultimate purpose is to increase tax value, which, the US style REITs cannot fulfill. Besides if China wanted to learn the US style REITs, Chinese government has to make a lot of information transparent.”
-Bruce Feffer, Partner at Eaton & Van Winkle LLP:
“The Chinese never rent.” He had some very wealthy Chinese investors with their luxury apartment sitting there from months to months and doing nothing. Even though the wealthy Chinese were only staying in the US occasionally, they still buy condos.
He also raised a very interesting point of view that the restriction of RMB outflowing is not a huge barrier for investment in the States. People had exaggerated that fact. It’s actually because there's not enough appealing deals in the market.
In a city with many sparkling skyscrapers (of variable aesthetic interest) and a wealth of standard architectural forms from the past (the brownstone, the townhouse, the converted loft, the rapid-expansion tenement buildings, etc), it is a pleasure to come across a particular piece of real estate that does not fit into any typical category… a piece of architecture with an idiosyncratic personality… a building with its own distinct character… something like the Pumpkin House in Washington Heights. If you have not seen it before, then let me welcome you to come face to face with a truly strange cliff-side dwelling unlike anything else in the City.