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The Amazing Shrinking Apartment

Residential Real Estate Attorney Guide Apartment Size

You would think that the topic of measuring the square footage of an apartment would be without controversy. After all, measuring tapes don’t lie, so what’s all the fuss about? Well, like almost any other aspect of NYC real estate, this one has some quirks that can cause confusion. When buildings are first built, or …

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Posted in Broker Tips, Buyer Tips, General, Seller Tips | 1 Comment

Buying New Construction Before It’s Built

Residential Real Estate Lawyer Guide Buying Real Estate

One of the realities of the post-Lehman real estate world in the New York metropolitan market is that construction financing for new development dried up, resulting in a dearth of new construction/conversion projects coming on line. And for those already in the pipeline, homebuyers were less inclined to buy off “plans and specs,” having seen …

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Posted in Broker Tips, Buyer Tips, General | 1 Comment

Why Deals Die and How to Avoid These Problems

Residential Real Estate Attorney Guide Real Estate Deal

It’s an unfortunate reality of the New York City marketplace that not all deals end up closing. But given the amount of work it takes to successfully market a property and find a willing buyer, just as much effort should go into ensuring that deal gets from the handshake to the closing table. Let’s start …

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Second Homes and the 1031 Exchange

1031 Exchange Residential Real Estate Law Guide

A 1031 exchange can be used to defer capital gain taxes on the sale of property held for business, trade or investment. The guidelines for a successful exchange must be followed carefully or the IRS may disallow the exchange. I am often asked whether a property that is used by the owner as a vacation …

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The Casual Landlord: Avoiding Tenant Problems Before They Start

Residential Real Estate Attorney Guide Landlord Tenant

Finding the perfect tenant can be challenging. Most landlord/tenant “situations” start out amicable, with each side excited about the prospect of the tenancy and with no intention of disputes. But don’t let that cloud judgement, a careful landlord will do her homework before opening the apartment to occupancy by someone who might not live up …

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Gift Taxes And The Lifetime Exemption

Residential Real Estate Attorney Guide Gift Taxes

It’s very common in real estate deals for the buyer to get financial help from family members. But what about the gift taxes? Buyers inevitably ask this question, and often have incorrect assumptions about how it works. Who Pays?: Gifts are not income, and almost all cases it is the donor or the giver of …

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Posted in Buyer Tips, General, Taxes | Leave a comment

Flip Taxes and the GFE

Residential Real Estate Attorney Guide Flip Taxes

GFE disclosure rules are unforgiving when it comes to under-disclosing. But most loan officers have become adept at accurately disclosing and GFE refunds are less frequent than before. Hopefully my efforts in this column to educate the banking community has helped, and of course don’t forget the comprehensive closing cost brochures for NYC and the …

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Posted in Co-op, Condominium, General, Loan Officer Tips, Short Sales | Leave a comment

The 1031 Adviser: Converting 1031 Replacement Property into a Principal Residence

1031 Exchange Residential Real Estate Law

It’s not uncommon for an investor to convert a property held for business, trade or investment into one’s principal residence. Change in investment potential of the property, or a desire to get out of the landlord business, might make the investor decide to change the use into one held as a primary residence. And prudent …

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Posted in 1031 Exchange, General, Landlord Tips, Seller Tips, Taxes | Leave a comment

Making the Offer: A Success Guide for Buyers

Residential Real Estate Attorney Guide Buying Real Estate

The way an offer is framed can sometimes mean the difference between making the deal and losing it. Suppose you’re trying to buy a vintage ring from a widow who recently lost her spouse. The widow wants to sell, and needs the money, but there are obvious emotions involved in letting go of this sentimental …

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Who Pays for What?

Residential Real Estate Lawyer Guide Repair Costs

There are two times during the lifecycle of a transaction that I am routinely informed about a “repair” that the seller needs to make.  The first is when a buyer uses an inspector as part of due diligence before the contract is signed.  The other time is at the walk through, or the final inspection …

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Posted in Buyer Tips, General, Renovations, Seller Tips | Leave a comment