True Gotham: Avoiding Drama in Today’s Complex Real Estate Market

19 June, 2017 posted by: CORE

Reporting from the front lines, Douglas Heddings brings us “True Gotham” – your source for NYC real estate tips, advice, anecdotes and general market insights that aim to inform and enlighten.

If there is one word that I would use to describe the current climate of the New York City real estate market, it would be complex. It seems that most every deal is posing different challenges. From buyer, seller and even agent and attorney posturing, to financial curve balls from banks, and co-op board and managing agent interventions, all too frequently an unnecessary wrench is being thrown into the transaction process. It has been my experience over the years that there are several best practices that anyone involved in a transaction may implement to maintain peace and harmony through the closing:

1. Manage expectations: Communication is key here and it is imperative that all parties are informed of possible hurdles before having to leap them. When all else fails, think like Amazon and under promise and over deliver.

2. Remove ALL emotion: Emotion creates drama and drama has no place in a real estate transaction. Check yourself regularly to make sure that you are not being driven by your feelings.

3. Let go: No one person in a transaction controls all facets. Don’t attempt to control the deal nor the people involved in the deal.

4. Be professional: Be mindful of being of service to your customer and others involved in the transaction which leads to the final point…

5. ADD value: Ask yourself throughout the transaction if you are an asset or a liability and make every effort to add value to the transaction by practicing the 4 points above.

It is possible to have a smooth real estate transaction, but in order to do so, all parties involved must let go of any potential drama and remember that the ultimate goal is to peacefully trade real estate. This isn’t always possible but is definitely more so than many believe.


Trends & Tides: Buying or Selling a Manhattan Co-op

13 February, 2017 posted by: CORE

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Trends & Tides’ takes a look at the ever changing environment of New York City real estate – past, present and future – by offering observations, analyzing perceptions and challenging myths, while giving a dose of reality along the way.

A simple question posed on social media last night made clear that many still long for an explanation of the co-op buying process in NYC. So I am re-sharing this TrueGotham post from November 2009:

Here is a step by step guide of what to expect from the point a contract is sent to a buyer’s attorney until that glorious day at the closing table. And don’t forget to review your closing costs early on in the process so you have no surprises.

1. A contract is sent to the buyer’s attorney from the seller’s attorney from a boiler plate form with attached suggested riders

2. The buyer’s attorney does their due diligence for their client which consists of but is not limited to reading of the Co-op Board minutes, reviewing the building financial statements, offering plan, proprietary lease, and house rules.

3. The buyer’s attorney then marks up the contract with suggested changes and it goes back and forth until both attorneys agree on language.

4. Once the contract is finalized, the buyer will sign and provide a 10% deposit check to be delivered to and deposited in your attorney’s escrow account until closing.

5. The seller will then sign the contract.

6. Once the contract is fully executed (signed by all parties), it is delivered to the buyer and they have typically 30 days to submit their application to the Board with their mortgage commitment letter.

7. The seller’s real estate agent reviews the board application and almost always has to request additional documentation or changes which takes approximately 1-5 business days.

8. Multiple copies of the application are made by the real estate agent and delivered to the managing agent.

9. The managing agent then takes 1-2 weeks to “process” the application running credit reports, etc and then they disseminate to Board members.

10. Board members then review the purchase application and all supporting documentation to determine if they will interview. Members may choose to review and give their opinions via email, they may require a discussion to take place at a set monthly meeting time, or they may decide to review packages together on an as needed basis.

11. Assuming they find the application acceptable, a notice of interview date can come anywhere from 1 week to month after Board receives package from management (this is where a seller can reach out to board to kindly request them to expedite the process).

12. Board interviews buyers

13. Typically approved within 1-3 business days but some buildings take longer.

14. Closing is then scheduled to take place approximately 10-14 days after approval or as stated in the contract (most Manhattan deals NEVER close on the date specified in the contract).

Lastly, it is imperative to mention that banks are also slowing the process considerably these days with tighter lending standards.

So realistically, one should expect a closing of a Manhattan co-op to take approximately 2-4 months from the time a contract is sent out. Having said that, things like holidays, vacations of Board members and other pressing business that a Board may have to address are all factors that can lead to further delays.

Hopefully this will help to manage the expectations of all who are venturing into the sale or purchase of a Manhattan co-op.


House Call: 284 Lafayette Street, 4D

10 February, 2017 posted by: CORE


284 Lafayette Street, 4D

Todd M Lewin
Lic. Assoc. Real Estate Broker

Michael Rubin
Lic. Assoc. Real Estate Broker

Offered at $5,850,000, this 3-bedroom, 3.5-bath loft is truly one-of-a-kind! The extravagant home recently underwent top to bottom renovation. It’s meticulously designed with soaring ceilings and 65 feet of west facing views through ten large windows overlooking one of Soho‘s best streets. If you are downtown this weekend, come check out this unforgettable home. You won’t want to miss it!

Sun, Feb 12, 1:00 – 2:30


VoiceAmerica with Sid Whelan

09 February, 2017 posted by: CORE


This past Tuesday, CORE’s Sid Whelan was a guest on “Good Morning New York, Real Estate” with Vince Rocco discussing whether or not buyers should hire a lawyer during the purchasing process. While there is no legal requirement to hire a lawyer, some agents believe it’s best for their buyer to have one on hand. Sid also covered Harlem’s real estate market with CORE’s Matthew Cohen during the show. Click the link below to hear what Sid has to say regarding both topics.

Click here to listen to the full discussion: VoiceAmerica with Sid Whelan


Hot Topic: West Side Wonder

08 February, 2017 posted by: CORE

171_West_73rd_Street_2_02 (1)

Did you see Jasmin Abrol and Patrick Lilly‘s listing featured in The New York Times last week? This adorable Upper West Side home at 171 West 73rd Street, 2 was highlighted for it’s brick walls, wood floors, renovated kitchen and convenient location to Central Park. The duplex also offers an enormous outdoor garden. Check out the link below for more information on this desirable property!

Click here for the full article: On the Market in New York City


House Call: 425 West 53rd Street, PH3

03 February, 2017 posted by: CORE


425 West 53rd Street, PH3

Jeffrey A Smith
Lic. Assoc. Real Estate Broker

Offered at $3,350,000, this spectacular 3-bedroom Midtown West duplex penthouse offers a desirable layout, floor-to-ceiling windows and stunning southern views from a private roof terrace. Stop in this Sunday to get a tour of this beautiful home!

Sun, Feb 5, 12:00 – 1:30


CORE 10: Armen Meschian

02 February, 2017 posted by: CORE


Welcome to CORE 10, an off-the-cuff interview series with prominent CORE figures. Read on to learn more about this week’s guest, broker Armen Meschian!

  1. Who is the living person you most admire? I would lie if I didn’t say my father. An accomplished architect and a musician with tremendous legacy.
  2. Who is the most interesting New Yorker you know? I am truly stumped by this question. I know many and from all walks of life. 
  3. What is your earliest New York memory? Looking at the New York City skyline from the New Jersey side of the Hudson upon arriving to the United States as a 15-year-old immigrant. Fear, excitement, hope, dreams: it was a barrage of feelings at the foot of a new beginning in this country.
  4. What is the best advice you’ve ever received? Whatever job you do, have a clear definition of how you personally add value in your field. 
  5. What do you consider your greatest achievement so far? Becoming a father. It’s hard to top that one.
  6. What are your three most treasured possessions? My three main guitars. 
  7. Name a movie, book or work of art that changed your life. I was obsessed with Led Zeppelin when I was in high school, particularly Physical Graffiti, so much so that I turned down an art scholarship to pursue music instead. Every decision or move in life I have made since then, including coming to New York City and how I came into real estate, has been affected by that one crossroad.
  8. What’s your greatest extravagance? Travel.
  9. What’s your secret talent? I am a regularly performing guitarist/singer/songwriter here in New York City.
  10. Which words or phrases do you most overuse? The word “merit” is often on my tongue. I use it frequently and aspire to have as much of it as possible.


Hot Topic: Dancy Does Renwick

01 February, 2017 posted by: CORE

Hugh Dancy Photo Credit should read: Sasha Maslov for Observer; Grooming by Shay Garcia; Shot on location at 15 Renwick, PH4 listed with CORE

Did you see actor Hugh Dancy made a visit to 15 Renwick? Last week, the Observer did a special feature on the talented actor and shot photos at our gorgeous listings at 15 Renwick, PH3 and PH4. Be sure to check out the link below to read the entire story and see more photos of Dancy at two of 15 Renwick’s stunning penthouses.

Click here to read the full article: Hugh Dancy, Hollywood’s Handsome Contradiction

Photo Credit: Sasha Maslov for Observer


CORE 10: Maggie Kent

31 January, 2017 posted by: CORE


Welcome to CORE 10, an off-the-cuff interview series with prominent CORE figures. Read on to learn more about this week’s guest, broker Maggie Kent!

  1. Who is the living person you most admire? Gloria Steinem.
  2. Who is the most interesting New Yorker you know? Gloria Steinem.
  3. What is your earliest New York memory? Gustav Mahler performing at Lincoln Center.
  4. What is the best advice you’ve ever received? “Don’t take any wooden nickels.” 
  5. What do you consider your greatest achievement so far? One would certainly be immigrating to New York City, which changed my life.
  6. What are your three most treasured possessions? My dog, though I don’t think of her as a possession, my home and an heirloom from my mother.
  7. Name a movie, book or work of art that changed your life. Viva Las Vegas, the movie. Insert long story.
  8. What’s your greatest extravagance? Foreign travel. And then there’s my favorite frozen yogurt, pretty much every day.
  9. What’s your secret talent? Whistling.
  10. Which words or phrases do you most overuse? “I’ve gotta go. Can you take the dog out?”


“In Like Flynn”

30 January, 2017 posted by: CORE

What does it mean? It is a slang phrase meaning “having quickly or easily achieved a goal or gained access as desired.”

Where did it come from? A celebration of the freewheeling lifestyle and cinematic feats of 1930’s movie icon Errol Flynn. Our building embodies this spirit.

What does it look like? For CORE, it looks like this…

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