Sunday, August 24, 2014

I Added a New Button for Our Testimonials!

We are really proud of the work we do and what we have accomplished since starting The Burkhardt Group over 7 years ago. I just read through some of our testimonials from previous clients and it was very touching. I am looking forward to many more!



Monday, August 18, 2014

Yes...I'm Tooting Our Own Horn, So Kill Me!

From a top broker at Sotheby's: 

"Christian and Keith,

I just reviewed the package. Thank you that was a extremely well done application (and I have seen some really crazy ones of late that required numerous revisions). THANK YOU. The only remark is perhaps think about putting the proposed closing date on page 1 of the application as "on or about 9/22/14" lest the board feel pressured by that date.

Thank you again for being so wonderful to work with, I foresee this being no issue. Xxxxx'x letter too was well written as was his letter explaining his two forms of income and employment.

Have a good Sunday."

On another note I had a terrible experience with a listing agent last week, actually quite deceptive, enough so that I was very close to calling my contact at the AG's office as well as filing a formal complaint against the agent with the NYDOS. It is amazing how someone will justify away their actions to try and clear their conscience. I will spare you all the details, however the email chain and other docs have been filed away. In my personal life and my business life I practice the Noble Eightfold Path, I'll let it go for now.

Hope everyone is having an amazing summer!!

Friday, August 15, 2014

Buying a Town House/Brownstone in an Up and Coming Neighborhood....

We have represented a few buyers in the purchase of a home in some "up and coming" neighborhoods, primarily in Brooklyn. I refer to them as up and coming in the context of buyers whom may have overlooked such areas in the past are now exploring them, certainly they were intact neighborhoods before this phenomenon occurred. The social and economic circumstances that lead to the decline of such areas is much to complex to tackle here, however let's hope the changes taking place help the entire community become more dynamic, with better services etc for all the residents.

This strong sales market has brought new players to the development business, some trying to exploit this very active sellers market. Neighborhoods such as Bedford Stuyvesant have many once beautiful homes that are now in need of complete restoration. Some of these new developers are doing less than a stellar job and completing renovations and bringing the properties back on market for resale. We have seen shoddy work, non-compliant renovations and basically just covering up the old mess with sheet rock, paint, carpet etc.

Before you spend money on a home inspection, do your own thorough look around and something we have found to be of the utmost importance; ask the listing broker for a list of previous work completed by the current developer (flipper?) Find out the name of the developer and do a thorough GOOGLE search, pour through Brownstoner for information on the builder. Many times a building will look pretty decent, we do our best to scour through the property, building records, DOB etc to garner as much info as we can, however you need a licensed building inspector/engineer to really get a proper understanding of what is going on. But the best place to start after viewing a property you are interested in, ask about the developers previous projects, we have found this to be a great leading indicator of what kind of work was done. Whenever we cannot get a clear answer to this question, it's never been a good outcome.

At least if you are buying a property that needs a gut renovation you know what you are getting into and can plan/budget accordingly to create your dream home. Buying a property that you think has undergone a renovation only later to discover the electrical work was not done to code, plumbing has been hobbled together, a structural wall has been removed and the added beam is not sufficient to support the load will break your heart and then your bank account! No one wants to feel like they have been taken and suddenly the dream of buying your brownstone has become a nightmare.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Vote for Your Favorite Real Estate Photograph!

          Terrible Real Estate Agent Photos!

I have seen some pretty bad photos, especially in the burbs, but there are some real pieces of work in this collection! Enjoy!