The Rubin Report: Mid-Range Luxury Homes

25 September, 2014 posted by: Michael Rubin


For the past several years, New York City has seen an incredible boom in ultra-luxury properties. Today, however, I would like to focus on another segment of the market that holds a great deal of opportunity for buyers today. Priced between $2.5 and $5 million, these mid-range luxury homes are also in high demand.

Despite this great demand, there are hardly any new mid-range luxury properties on the market. Developers continue to focus on over-the-top residences, but it is within this gap that buyers today can benefit.

Through strategic renovations and repositioning, a home’s value can be increased significantly. When house-hunting though, it is important to consider what small feasible changes can be made to increase the current net-worth. With demand for luxury residences expected to rise, now is the time to be prudent so that when the property is eventually relisted, it yields the highest return.

As an example, architect Frank Bostelmann has provided a range of insights below about how to realistically increase value in real estate through cost-effective measures. An esteemed architect known for a sophisticated approach to residential design, Frank shares some great tips that I know you will like: Read the rest of this entry »


Ten: Talking Real Estate Law and The 90’s with Alyssa Soto Brody

24 September, 2014 posted by: Shaun Osher

Welcome to Ten, CORE founder and CEO Shaun Osher’s rapid-fire interview series with prominent CORE figures. Read on to find out how this week’s subject deals with being on the hot seat.

Born and raised in Miami, FL, Alyssa Soto Brody traveled to Manhattan to pursue a career in the city’s fast-paced real estate industry. With experience working in real estate law prior to joining CORE, Alyssa is no stranger to hard work. Here are Alyssa’s answers to Ten questions:

1. What did you do before you found this career? Alyssa Soto Brody TEN
I attended New York Law School, where I focused my studies in real estate transactions and litigation.

2. What has been the highlight of your career?
Selling a unit at 173 Perry Street was definitely an exciting point in my career. It was my second deal ever, and after showing the buyer 52 units in total, we finally settled on the property.

3. What is your greatest daily challenge?
My greatest daily challenge would probably be keeping my eye on the long-term goals and not sweating the small stuff. In an industry where your hard work can take months if not years to pay off, there are days where it’s easy to feel defeated. This industry is very competitive and it is a non-stop grind, so I always have to remind myself that I am fortunate to be doing what I love, even if you don’t reap the rewards right away.

Read the rest of this entry »


Here Comes The Inventory

12 September, 2014 posted by: Douglas Heddings


Here we are in the second week of September and the numbers thus far are both telling and expected. Take a look at the charts shown above and below, which show an almost 5% increase in inventory in just the 5 days after Labor Day. In addition, contract signings for that same 5 day period decreased by 2%. It is too early to tell but if history does indeed repeat, we will see a continued increase in inventory and a decrease in contract signings through September. That said, contract signings in October should pick up to a considerable pace as the summer officially ends for all, children are settled into school and the Jewish holiday of Rosh Hashanah will have passed. L’shana Tovah. Read the rest of this entry »


Ten: Rhythm of Real Estate, Potato Chips and French Realism According to Reggie Grayson

27 August, 2014 posted by: Shaun Osher

Welcome to Ten, CORE founder and CEO Shaun Osher’s rapid-fire interview series with prominent CORE figures. Read on to find out how this week’s subject deals with being on the hot seat.

Born and raised in Alabama, Reggie Grayson’s small-town beginnings have quickly translated to a bustling career in real estate right here in Manhattan. Having lived in the City for almost three decades, his nostalgic love for Manhattan remains one of the driving forces behind his pursuit of a career in the industry. Here are Reggie’s answers to Ten questions:

1. What did you do before you found this career?  Reggie_Grayson_TEN
I led many lives before beginning my career in real estate, but mostly, I worked in economic development and non-profit management. I was also the co-founder and president of a special events company.

2. What has changed about the industry since you first got into the business?
I’ve lived in New York for 26 years, and the biggest change is that neighborhoods that at one time had been considered marginal, are now very much in demand. Case in point, my partner and I bought a 1-bedroom on West 148th Street in 2010. When selling the apartment in June, we had a bidding war and went into contract within six days for 21% more than what we had paid for the apartment barely three years ago. When the financial industry collapsed five years ago, few people would have guessed that a 1-bedroom on 148th Street would sell for over $700,000 in 2013. I wish we had bought five more in 2010, because we could have sold them all!

3. What is your greatest daily challenge?
Keeping each transaction on track and moving forward. Real estate deals have a rhythm and a pace. I know exactly where each deal should be, but it takes a lot of tact and diplomacy to get all the parties involved – my client, managing agents, co-brokers, lenders, attorneys – to keep the momentum going. It’s exhausting, but that’s what a good agent does.

4. Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
I will have chosen to retire early and will be living in Barcelona.

5. Where do you find inspiration?
This may sound corny, but I still get inspired by the Manhattan skyline. One of my favorite things to do is run around the Central Park reservoir at dusk, and when I get to the northern end, I look south and see the towers on Central Park South, juxtaposed against the trees and the water. It’s magical. It’s one of those “wow-this-kid-from-Alabama-made-it-in-New York” moments. Read the rest of this entry »


5 Pointers for First-Time Manhattan Buyers

19 August, 2014 posted by: Dana Karson


Buying in Manhattan can be completely overwhelming, whether it is your first time or not. It is important to get organized and educated so that the process is as smooth as possible.

1. Put together a “checklist” of exactly what you need and understanding what you can and cannot live without

  • There are several factors that need to be considered when purchasing a home. This list usually gets revised as you start looking at properties. Like all things in life, there are usually some compromises to be made. Examples are specific neighborhoods you want to live in, budget, how many bedrooms and bathrooms, amenities, pets, etc. We always suggest spending some time in the neighborhoods that interest you. This can give you a feel for what day to day life would be like living there, and also help eliminate neighborhoods. Read the rest of this entry »


To List or Not to List…In August

14 August, 2014 posted by: Douglas Heddings

Perhaps one of the most common misnomers regarding the Manhattan real estate market is that listing in August is unwise, and a waste of time. Most sellers believe that no one is searching for their new home in August and that the market will explode with activity after Labor Day.

After 22 years of selling Manhattan real estate, I can unequivocally state that this couldn’t be further from the truth. Yes, inventory decreases in August, and yes it increases in September. In fact, from July to August of 2013, active listings decreased 6% from 4542 to 4275*. Signed contracts during the same period decreased 18%.  This year active listings have decreased by 4% and signed contracts have dropped 34%.  These numbers would seem to indicate that perhaps waiting until September is wise but take a look at this:

August Graph

Read the rest of this entry »


Ten: Ben Jacobs Talks Transitioning, Tarantino and Exploring the Unfamiliar

13 August, 2014 posted by: CORE

Welcome to Ten, CORE founder and CEO Shaun Osher’s rapid-fire interview series with prominent CORE figures. Read on to find out how this week’s subject deals with being on the hot seat.

Ben Jacobs’ affinity for real estate goes beyond the typical parameters of a Manhattan broker. However, working with one of the city’s most respected industry veterans, his path to CORE was anything but ordinary. Here are Ben’s answers to Ten questions:

Ben Jacobs TEN1.  What did you do before you found this career?
I was a student at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, NY. I always planned on getting involved in the real estate business at some point. My family has been buying and renting buildings in Vermont for the last 40 years, so real estate has always been a common topic at the dinner table throughout my life.

2.  What has been the highlight of your career?
Working with Doug Eichman has been an unbelievable experience and certainly a major focal point in my career. Joining CORE with Doug has also certainly been an exciting highlight.

3.  What is your greatest daily challenge?
Problem solving. Almost every deal has one or two hiccups. Sometimes that deal takes a turn for the worst, resembling a tragic group project. Managing that deal, and by that, I mean managing your buyer and seller’s expectations, is truly an essential component in consummating the transaction.

4.  Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Still selling real estate. I hope to own some investment property by then,  but I plan to never leave the brokerage side. I really enjoy helping people find their homes.

5.  Where do you find inspiration?
I find most of my inspiration through reading and exploring. Traveling also, when I have a chance to get away. Read the rest of this entry »


The Real Deal: Brooklyn’s Empty Shelves

04 August, 2014 posted by: CORE

036-037 Brooklyn inventory se FINAL.indd

In the August issue of The Real Deal, Doug Bowen provides insight on the market Downtown and in Greenpoint. The article looks at bidding wars, all-cash offers, foreign buyers, off market deals and other telltale signs of New York City’s housing crunch which have dominated headlines in recent years. Inventory in Brooklyn, much like in Manhattan – and perhaps even more so, is on a steep decline. Neighborhoods like Red Hook, Prospect Heights, Fort Greene, and others are eclipsing demand of mainstays like Park Slope, Carroll Gardens and Williamsburg. The median house price in the borough is up, due to fewer houses on the market, which opens the door to developers to meet growing demand to live in the area.


FiDi on the Rise

30 July, 2014 posted by: McKenzie Foster

Charging_Bull_statueMention the name Wall Street to just about anyone, and they will almost immediately conjure up the image of a banker resembling Gordan Gekko, Jordan Belfort or perhaps picture the Stock Exchange. Even to New Yorkers, the Financial District is thought of as just that. But having moved from Park Avenue South to Maiden Lane, I am rediscovering just how majestic the Financial District really is. It is not only the lifeblood of the American economy, but more locally, one of the most historically rich and culturally diverse neighborhoods on Manhattan Island.

In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, efforts to revitalize the neighborhood have resulted in a complete makeover of New York’s picturesque waterfront. With the addition of new bike and pedestrian paths, restaurants, bars and shopping, The East River waterfront is attracting a high volume of New Yorkers and tourists on a daily basis, and yes, that includes the weekend. New additions to the Financial District include trendy pop-up stores like Dossier Outpost, which not only provides great shopping, but offers free concerts, film screenings and might I add, incredible food trucks.

Read the rest of this entry »


7 Takeaways from Inman Connect San Francisco

23 July, 2014 posted by: Tony Sargent

Tony Inman

Photo by Chad Waterhouse

During last week’s Inman Connect San Francisco, I was asked to be a participant on the Luxury Power Broker and the Hear it Direct Broker Wrap-Up panels. Hosting more than 2,000 industry leaders from across the nation, I was honored to take part in this year’s conference, and discuss the latest in real estate trends and technologies. Here are my seven takeaways: Read the rest of this entry »

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