Tuesday, September 11, 2018

New Listing!

MOVE-IN READY – FLATIRON LOFT! 1 Bedroom with Home Office/Nursery in a unique & modern doorman Pre-War Loft building.

Fully renovated and in excellent condition, this apartment features 11.5' ceilings and great light through its extra large windows. At approximately 1000 square feet this generously proportioned home is open and airy with a huge living area equipped with custom lighting, and separate dining area across from an open kitchen – which features custom cabinetry, double length drawers, Italian glass tiles and Bosch and Viking appliances. The 21' long master bedroom has a massive walk-in closet along with a built-in custom wood vanity cabinet for even more storage. The large home office with a full-size closet is currently used as a spacious nursery but can easily fit a queen bed – or convert to a large office/guestroom. There is extra hidden storage located above the front and home office closets. Simply said, there is room-to-roam in this spacious and inviting home in a fantastic building & location!

Thursday, August 23, 2018

You think we're discount? Think again... Typical analysis for client

We have a progressive extremely efficient business model. There's nothing discount about it. We return money to our clients through our highly efficient systems of operation.

Here's a typical assessment of a property for a client. This one closed in January.

'First I would say that the home looks stunning from the pictures and the floorplan - well thought out and tastefully designed. I took a look at DOB, DOF, and at some other recent sales to come up with an initial overview.

DOB - This is my initial main concern as I do not see a current C of O for a single family home (have they told you they have it?). There appears to be open items that remain for sign off before the job is complete (see attached). It is of course very possible the DOB page is not current, but from what I see they still have a ways to go before the home can receive it's C of O (plus Landmarks sign-off). As it relates to a purchase you would want to have your attorney ensure that contract-wise the seller/developer were responsible for taking care of all of the open items and delivering a completed home as it pertains to the city.

DOF/taxes - The Dept of Finance page is showing the building is currently recognized as a one family and is being taxed as such - so there is some contradiction with DOB (either DOB is not up to date or the building could be sufficiently complete for tax purposes). The taxes on DOF match the listing ($58,439/yr - $4869/mo).

I did look back at a tax bill from 2009 before the house sold and any permits were filed and the annual taxes were around $31,000. The current taxes do seem like they could be a natural progression rather than a jump up based on the alteration of building type - will have to investigate further so I cannot say for sure. You would definitely want your attorney to review the tax scenario during potential due diligence as well.

Square footage - I calculated on my own based on the floorpan and outside building dimensions and the 8505 ft2 listed is fairly accurate if you include the basement. Generally we might value basement square footage as half but given the level of the finishes and the usability of the space I can see counting as full here.

Pricing - If you were to purchase this in the "mid-twelves" ($12.5M = $1469/ft2) I think you are right in the ballpark in terms of value. Wonderful location off Riverside, wide home, elevator, new building systems, and a tasteful design are all big positives. Looking at some recently sold homes this one stood out in terms of location and building type:

https://streeteasy.com/sale/1221421 - a good example of an extremely similar sized home down the block, with elevator, renovated but just not a "modern luxury" version - sold at about $1260/ft2. I think you can make the jump $200/ft2 based on the brand new modern reno and features. For example:

https://streeteasy.com/sale/1191390 - a completely modern home with the back blown out/all windows - $1868/ft2

Other data points:
https://streeteasy.com/sale/1224154 - historic home, lots of original details with modern touch - $1449/ft2
https://streeteasy.com/sale/1222923 - smaller home farther north but also a brand new reno, thinner/shallower building, no elevator - $1334/ft2

Again the CofO issue stands out the most to me and would require clarification from the agents.

Would love to hear your thoughts and then we can arrive a proper strategy for bidding.'

Open House Survey : These Numbers are No Bueno!

Fritz Frigan at Halstead has been conducting this open house survey:

Here are the numbers from last weekend. We received 147 responses, better than the weekend prior, but far from desired 10% goals. There were 3468 open houses scheduled in NYC for last Sunday, according to StreetEasy.

It seems that second half of August and the first half of July are the worst time to hold an open house. It is slow!! Here is the dataset. 2.68 on average in all of NYC, 8% slower than weekend before. 24 open houses with zero attendance, or 16.3%. When most visited open house had just 11 attendees, yes, it was slow! Straight to the highlights:

·        Manhattan slipped again, this time to 2.37 average per open house. Not once since July 1 was the Manhattan average above 3. Harlem (4.08) and Midtown East (3.41) were somewhat busy and above the average. UWS (2.71) slightly above the average and UES was VERY slow! Just 1.77 per open house.

·        Brooklyn improved a bit to 5.78, but we are still suffering from too few data points from Brooklyn. Just 9 open houses received. Park Slope and Other Areas were busy.

·        The Bronx was slow with just 2.27 per open house and solid 15 open houses submitted.

·        Queens was similar to last weekend with 3.50 per open house. We need more brokers to participate!

·       Size – most traffic at Multi-Unit buildings, Townhouses and 5BRs, but beware of low sample sizes. At “normal” apartments, the busiest were 2BR open houses with 2.89 on average. 

·        Price – Under $500K category was the only to break 3 attendees on average. Actually 3M+ category had 4 on average, but with just two open houses submitted.

·        Just 37% premium for the traffic at first open house. I do not think that second half of August is a good time to put your exclusives on the market.

I heard from a few of you commenting that many agents are away and some have placed their property in TOM status, because how slow the August was, with hope and message that after Labor Day we will see more properties coming to the market and stronger participation in this survey. Any comments?

I wanted to share with you my very unscientific attempt to quantify the number of buyers that were out looking last Sunday. Early this year, I polled Halstead agents and brokers and asked them: “To how many open houses you bring your buyers, when you show properties on Sundays?” The average came to roughly 3.5. So, assumption was made that average buyer attends between 3 and 4 open houses on each weekend they go out.
We know that last Sunday there were 3468 open houses scheduled, which implies there were 9294 open houses visits. If each buyer visited on average 3.5 open houses, it means there were roughly 2655 buyers actively looking last Sunday. Margin of error? Huge! :). Let me know your thoughts of this very crude analysis.

Best of luck this coming Sunday! Send me your data and encourage your colleagues to do the same.

To Sign Up to Receive Halstead’s Open House Index Report Click Here

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

After 10 years of helping buyers, sellers are getting their turn

"Thank you SO much for your guidance, patience, and lightning speed response rate. You guys are awesome and it’s always a pleasure working with you! A very seamless experience and your model is a no brainer for buyers and sellers alike. Have a great summer!

Melissa and Hugo"

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Happy Clients, Happy Brokers

Another absolutely wonderful client!

There are some recent streeteasy threads with a few commenters approaching the purchase of a home like they would a stock. If catastrophe strikes the marketplace for both stocks and real estate will suffer. and both will come back as sure as the sun will rise. However at least with your home, you can live there and continue to enjoy it as you wait for the market to recover.

I'm not saying to be foolish. But when I hear somebody say they wouldn't Buy a particular home because they think the tax abatement will have negative consequences once it expires, it makes me think. I've always thought of a home purchase as at least 50% emotional. It's a very personal thing and I want to fall in love with a place at some level that I'm buying.

So find a home that you can comfortably afford, customize it, enjoy it. We all work very, very hard, we should come back to a home where we can feel happy and secure. And then after 8 or 10 years let's see how things turn out financially. And if you don't agree... the rent option is plentiful.

"Dear Keith, Christian, and Norman,

Thanks so very much to you all for your help throughout the process! I feel incredibly lucky to have fallen into working with you--you made the process as easy and streamlined as it possibly could have been! I appreciate just how much you did for me, going above and beyond with your recommendations for all the various people who helped make the purchase happen, and even going and doing the walk through with the inspector for me on that snowy day in March. I'll certainly recommend you far and wide, to anyone looking for an agent!

All best,

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Summer Update

The Times They Are A Changing...

I hope everyone is starting to enjoy the summer! Let's hope for many days of sunshine and blue skies to come! 

I also want to thank all of you for your generous referrals and support of The Burkhardt Group! We turned 10 years old this year and it seems as though it was only yesterday when I started the company after being flamed on the StreetEasy.com forums! The heated response was a slap in the face seeing as though consumers were clearly not happy with the brokerage model that was current at the time. You have all improved my life immensely and I hope our business model has had a positive financial and emotional effect on your real estate (ad)ventures!

Other than the well-documented softness in the $3M+ market and new development, it has been a smooth year. The one exception has been the Brooklyn 1.5-2 bedroom market under $1.5M, which is on fire at the moment (Cobble Hill, Fort Greene, Park Slope, Prospect Heights, Carroll Gardens and to a lesser extent, Crown Heights). We are seeing 'bidding wars' on every 2 bedroom that meets that criteria... 17 offers on one recent property!

With Independence Day in the rearview mirror, summer has begun. While it's a bit early to try and forecast the summer’s seasonal effect, I think we are going to see a significant slowing of markets. While I don’t think the change will be severe, it will probably be more in-line with what one would expect on average this time of the year. If you are a buyer, keep at it: less competition is always a good thing. If you are thinking of selling, you will want to consider waiting until after labor day unless your property has extraordinary market appeal. 

New Development

On the development front, we are indeed seeing a slowdown that is translating into concessions and some discounting on asking prices. We are not seeing a fire sale market so much as adjustments from earlier aggressive pricing along with sponsor concessions. Still, we are working with plenty of clients that prefer new developments and now is a pretty good time to be shopping for this type of home. Gone are the days of full asking price that come along with paying all closing costs.

Overall Market Perspective

There is certainly no lack of political 'excitement' as I for one have continued to be surprised at how apparently resilient the US economy appears to be. Now, of course, this is strictly a lay-persons opinion but many of the financial pundits do seem to agree. Also, is it just me, or has the tweeting slowed down a bit? 

With the equity markets stable, economy humming along, rates still low and many with a psychological bias to be owners rather than renters, it's difficult to make an argument for anything more than a stable real estate market with perhaps a slight advantage building towards buyers as we head into the Fall. 

Our Listing Service

To date, our listing service has been a great success! Once you understand the process, choice of instrument is less essential; whether you list with Corcoran, Elliman or The Burkhardt Group, the property seamlessly goes into the same system for the world to see. Over the course of about 8 months we have listed and sold 7 properties, all at or near ask in under 2 weeks. It will not always be this easy, for as the market softens, sellers will need to be patient. Even in what is still a relatively strong sales market, the amount of days a house stays on market is just 97 (from last list date). 

We still are a 100% referral based business. This lets the business grow organically rather than using funds to build a 'brand' that would have no material effect in how we assist both buyers and sellers.

Please feel free to call me with any questions. Have a great summer!