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"They told us to set up a guest log similar to what was required in office buildings after 9/11. Guests had to show a photo id, sign in (signature verified), and specify the time in and time out. To avoid discrimination charges, the guest log had to be used 24 hours per day, and described as needed for security/insurance reasons due to 9/11."
Jelj, I'm glad you were able to handle your difficult tenant, but if I had been on your board, I would have been 100% against this discriminatory policy. Signing in is fine, but you're basically denying entry to anyone who isn't carrying photo identification -- something that is not required in the USA, still nominally a free country.
Did you actually deny entry to guests who weren't carrying "their papers", or did you have the tenant come down to sign them in, as office buildings do?
As everyone knows, all the 9-11 villains had photo IDs. Using this disaster as a backdoor way to oust an uncooperative tenant is despicable.
I was on a condo board for 10 years. We had the managing agent do a background check for the buyer and verify that the references were from "real" people. The board looked over their finances also, especially verifying the sources of income. What we were really trying to do is identify people that might compromise the security and safety of the other residents. Fortunately, 99% of the people submitting condo applications were fine and were okayed immediately. The other 1% took up a great deal of a board's time.
It is very difficult for a condo to reject a buyer. The Board only has 30 days to process the application also.
However, if you suspect that the buyer is engaged in illegal activities or doing something unsavory, the Board can keep asking them for documentation piecemeal to discourage them from trying to complete the purchase. You can also stress the enforcement of particular house rules and bylaws that you suspect buyer will violate (eg pets that are not permitted, no musical practice/singing during certain hours, carpeting regulations, after midnight noise regulations, etc.). If they have something to hide, they usually go away.
We had someone who bought through the sponsor, thereby bypassing board review. He had a non-stop stream of "guests" arriving between midnight and 5 AM, none staying longer than 30 min. Obviously something shady was going on so we spoke to the local police precinct. They told us to set up a guest log similar to what was required in office buildings after 9/11. Guests had to show a photo id, sign in (signature verified), and specify the time in and time out. To avoid discrimination charges, the guest log had to be used 24 hours per day, and described as needed for security/insurance reasons due to 9/11. All of a sudden, the "guests" between midnight and 5 AM dropped off to a trickle. The owner sold the apartment.
I'm in the process of putting together my condo board application. Can someone who serves on a condo board please tell me the full process of review? What information is most important? And how are they verified? Also, for your particular board, do you get in touch w/ the references? I want to know what to expect from someone on the other side.
Any info/details would be greatly appreciated!
Enlarge the bathroom could be an issue with the board but not always. I have couple reliable contractors who will be happy to look at your place. Email me firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to meet them.
hey there- if your still looking lets touch base - I'm an arch and can take care of the plans /building etc- i also have ties to an excellent GC/interior GC -
let me know and we can touch base on this.
I am looking to combine my 1 bedroom with the studio next door on the Upper East Side, however I am not quite sure where to start. We have already received a verbal OK from the board and management that this can be done and I do find comfort in knowing that there is 1 combination in the exact same apartment lines being done at the moment as well as one having been done about 2 years ago. We do like the layout of the apartment that was done 2 years ago and would like to do something similar. I’ve spoken to building management and from the 2 other tenants that have combined in the 2 apartment lines, it was a simple addition of their 2 maintenances, so I think I’m ok from that perspective. I understand that written approval is needed and that is something we will be seeking soon, but my question is.. how does one find a good reliable contractor? Do I need an architect or an engineer or both? Also, how much should I expect to pay for an architect/engineer? What is an expediter?
Also my bank is telling me to get a bare minimum contractors quote to combine the 2 places and hold 1.5 times that in escrow until the renovation is completed. Is this normal?
Also, I’m kind of curious as to what people might think this renovation costs:
- Combining 1 bedroom (750 sq feet) with a studio that’s (550 sq ft). Turn the studio into the master bedroom and create master bath.
- The kitchens are right next to each other so I would want to combine these to create a 13’ by 9’ ft kitchen. No new appliances as the ones I have now in my current apartment are very new, but obviously new cabinets, tiling, countertops.
- I’d probably want to move a wall to extend my living room, and make the bedroom a little smaller.
- Take the bathroom in the studio, make it bigger by knocking down a little dressing area. Re-tile the bathroom, new toilet, double sinks, tub
- Given that the floors in the studio are in bad shape, I’d probably have to do all the floors through the apartment. (1200 sq ft)
- Also would want to create pocket doors to use the bedroom in the 1 bedroom as a baby’s room/office/den. Also by having pocket doors, it could potentially extend the living area. Not sure if this is a cost effective solution as far as re-sale, so any input on this particular ask would be much appreciated.
Can anyone recommend a good reliable contractor and architect? It is very important to me that I do this the right way b/c I don’t want to deal with any headaches later so any input from you guys would be much appreciated.
That sounds doable. One bedroom will be narrow though since there is one window in the middle. Long and narrow room is not ideal layout but I do believe it will increase value for the apartment. Just one more thing, windows to be considered as source of light and air need to be 30 feet away from the lot line or facing the street.
the office has three large widows (47"wide) equally spaced
You do need an architect. Will each future bedroom have windows?
hey there- check your buildings regulations and alt agreement- I'm an arch in the city and have a great interior GC that does amazing work-
let me know and we can touch base
I bought a traditional top floor Loft (1800 sq ft), where the layout is currently set up as a 1 bedroom, 2 bathroom, with a large kitchen/living room and at the on one end of the loft (22x22), and and a large (22x22) office at the other end. I want to convert the 22x 22 end room office into 2 seperate bedrooms.
1) Would this add value to the apartment
2) Can anyone provide an approx cost
- i would also like to add some built in cupboards in the floor layout?
- do i need an architect?
Dude, why are you answering a question from two years ago?
My two cents:
Streeteasy’s pressing questions answered via video at http://youtube.com/cbotensten
Charles Todd Botensten
Licensed Real Estate Broker
Botensten Properties International
It has been over 3 weeks now since my interview and I have not heard the decision. The decision was sent to the management company and then the storm hit. The management company was closed all week and now they are all backed up with work. The board will not tell the seller what the decision was. The situation is making me think I do not want to live in this building. What can I do?
Should I worry if the coop asked for another financial document at the interview and I have now not heard from them in two weeks even though they said it would be less than one week? I was under the assumption that my financial status was basically approved if I made it to the interview.
Want to drag this out? Fine. Let's see if she can live intermittently without heat, water, or electricity.
Yes, landlords can play dirty too.
Have your colleague tell the lawyer both of them know colleague can drag this into summer 2015 if she wants to at no cost to her through the Housing Court. If lawyer's client continues to be so confrontational, that is the way it will go. Of course, if he decides to talk, then maybe they can come to an agreement on a 3-4 month extension.
It's your colleague's choice whether to follow through on threat and potentially ruin her credit but it's not illegal or even unethical to represent a tough line.
Ditto. The battle is already lost. Every day wasted on trying to find "recourse" is a day wasted on finding a new home and getting her moving organized.
No choice but to hire a moving company
Well hello good people of SE. My close friend and colleague has just been delivered what appears like an eviction letter and I am trying to help her figure out if it is legit and if she has any recourse. She has a 4 year old daughter and is up to her neck in legal fees from one nasty divorce trial so this is inopportune to say the least. What she has is a one year “standard form of condominium apartment lease” (the real estate board of new york, inc) which goes through june 15, 2014 (the date she has been asked the vacate). Under the lease section for renewals it says “you option to renew (delete if inapplicable): You shall have the right to extend the term of this lease for ______ year(s) commencing __________ and ending ____ (the extension term) provided: you give the owner the extension notice in the manner required under this lease of your election to extend the term of this lease, the election notice must be given to owner at least _______ days prior to the ending date of this lease stated in article 2, and you may not be in default of any provisions of the lease when the extension notice is given and on the commencement date of the extension term,if you fail to send the extension notice to owner by the date specified therein, this article shall be of no further force and effect. The monthly rent payable for the extension term shall be ______ and all provisions of this lease shall remain in full force during the extension term.” This section was not deleted or redlined or blacked out, but none of the fields were filled in either. She has not violated any terms of the lease. The eviction letter was delivered in writing by the landlord’s lawyer. Background: the landlord said to my friend, to her face when she dropped of her last rent check, “I want to raise your rent” and she asked “by how much?” and she said “by 9%” and my colleague, who wants to move after she gets pre-k sorted, said “I was actually going to ask you if I could go month–to-month after june when the lease expires so let’s talk about it. I prefer to pay month to month at the current rent, please think about it and let me know,” the landlord then said well actually I’m thinking about selling the apartment. My friend said she would not be interested in buying the unit and the next day she got the eviction letter. I have never seen a “condominium lease,” it seems like the type you can buy in a drugstore like for subletting or other person-to-person agreements. I know there are laws governing lease renewals and options to go month to month for market rate/rent stabilized and rent-controlled apartments, but I’m not sure what this would fall under. Please, your thoughts! Gracias,
email me the type of work you need, scope budget etc- I'm an arch- and i have a few good contacts.
Hi - Can anyone recommend a contractor that does work in Westchester?
I will give you someone. Email me at email@example.com
i could get this done for you if your still interested-
let me know.
We are purchasing an apartment that needs renovation requiring architectural plans.
We have a contractor we like and trust.
Any recommendations for an architect who will draw up plans and expedite permits? We are not looking for an architect/designer who will serve as a project manager. We are not looking to spend 15-20% of construction costs for project manager, but rather would like to pay a fee for plans and permits.
I think he's off his meds . . . . . but that's not so unusual around here.
Psychiatric Help 5c
I think he's hot as hell. Smoking hot. Don't care what he says. Too bad he's not nude.
>doing some blow
Is he from Toronto?
Boxer, had not realized he had dug up posts from several years ago, so agree that it is over line. I just previously pictured him reading a thread, doing some blow and then spouting off without having any clear points.
Hmm, 17 million down to 11. Wonder if it's just too far north for big time buyers. Isn't the southeast corner of 97th street the very beginning of Harlem?
The 2 cents is too late for goodgracious.
How large is the building? Would combining the two apartments bring your total share allotment out of proportion with other tenants' shares? I've heard of this happening but it seems odd that it would be the case with a combo of two relatively small apartments unless it's already a very small building...
Bnash: when was the last combo approved? Look through the DOB records, pretty straightforward to figure out. Is there anyone on the board with whom you have at least a smiley-elevator relationship? Leave them a note with your phone number and ask them to call or ask the staff who the most approachable member is, and maybe make a house call. Be very, very obsequious - it can't hurt.
Maybe ask a broker who has sold multiple listings in the building under the current regime. Also re-list with said broker. Sometimes, it's better to go with the flow if you want to be out of there. Don't waste your energy being the neighbor from hell.
bnash - become the neighbor from hell, when you leave the house play the music as loud as you can, borrow a dog that thinks the carpet is street, invite horrible relatives to hang out in your common space. Trust me your next buyer will be approved. Sounds sneaky but the board members probably don't like you already and look forward to making life hard for you.
I was speaking in general, not to this specific building/situation. As for 31 years, I don't know what will happen or what the tenant pool will look like at this building.
1. in 31 years there are not likely to be any rent-stabilized tenants in the Coop
2. and even then they might be forced to leave if the land lease had already been
recorded at the time that they rented
1. land leases have been around for over 1000 years
2. when their terms end the LL becomes owner of all buildings on the land
3. unlsss a lease confers rights on a tenant to either extend ite duration
or buy it, the tenant has no rights or interest in the lease after it ends
The Owner/LL can't just evict everyone. If there is a RCT, they can stay. The Owner/LL can evict the regulars if they holdover after their lease expires.
Theoretically YES. At the end of their current prop. lease, they lose the right to occupy the apartment.
I've spoken with several real estate experts and this instance has never actually happened where a landlord took back the space and kicked out the tenants. In the next 20-30 years will be the first time these cases will come up. Even in similar situations where there was no plan beyond the lease term, both parties eventually agreed to some compromise and it was worked out. Either the coop bought the property or the landlord extended the lease. However, nothing compels the landlord to do anything until the very last minute. He/she gains more power as time goes on and the shareholders lose power as time goes on.
Stay away from Harlem Lofts....they are lazy, stupid, and unethical.
I don't have any experience on the conversion aspect, but I am the President of a newer condo in the Hamilton Heights section of West Harlem. We interviewed a number of managing agents that came recommended to us from a variety of sources. Many just didn't seem to connect with the issues that we needed to deal with- and that was extremely important in our selection. In the end, we narrowed the list down to two choices- and I suspect we would have done just fine with our second choice. Upon reflection- we chose a great managing agent, but didn't have all the right people on the board, so many things did not get done that should have been. It's really important to have both the right board in place and the right managing agent for your building. Now that we have a proper board- things are moving in the right direction.
halstead is the best.
Also, we are in Manhattan in West Harlem.
Our building would like to find a new condo management company to replace our existing management company. Wondering if anyone knows where to find reputable and any tips for going about finding decent condo management companies in the NYC area?
Also, our building is a conversion and the sponsor still owns the majority of the apartments. Not sure if there are management companies out there that specifically cater to these types of building. If there are, would love to hear any recommendations!
I'm able to provide financing to Foreign Nationals & close in an LLC. Please let me know what I can do to help.
I took an excellent continuing ed course on working with foreign buyers from a real estate lawyer named Jordan Barness. He has been working with foreign purchasers for over 25 years and seemed extremely knowledgeable, as well as multi-lingual and culturally sensitive. I would absolutely start with him.
My husband and I are looking to buy a property in NYC with his parents. We currently live in NYC ourselves and I am a citizen while my husband is a US permanent resident. His parents are citizens of Colombia and reside there. We are looking to purchase the apartment in cash with the majority of the money coming from his parents. Their accounts are held in the US.
We are looking to purchase a condo using an LLC. Has anyone dealt with a similar situation and has any advice? Or has recommendations for lawyers or accountants that are familiar with this type of transaction?
Rent-stabilized tenants really have no clue how expensive it really is to "carry" an apartment in NYC. Even if this scenario were possible and the landlord agreed to sell your apartment to you, once the dust settled, you'd have the rude awakening of realizing that your common charges alone would most likely be significantly more than you're currently paying in rent. And we haven't even factored in your mortgage payment.
Haha - love this post. I wanted to but my rent stabilized apartment which was cheap for a studio but expensive because it was ~200 square feet. It never happened but it would be nice to know it was possible.
Why would the owner/LL make change this rental building into a condo? Would be a lot of expense to sell one unit.
The landlord cannot sell off one unit. He would have to convert the entire building to a condominium, including filing an offering plan with the attorney general. The condo plan would only go into effect if 15% or more of the tenants purchase, so it would be a HUGE headache for him and likely unsuccessful if the other tenants are paying seriously below market rents since they would be unlikely to buy their units.
If you want to buy so you can renovate your unit, why don't you seek approval from the landlord to do that and ask for a longer term lease to compensate?
I'm also curious to hear how you think on the economic side of things that buying is superior to renting at half-market value in a RR unit.
PhDxUK, yes. Most people with 100k in income would only qualify for 200 to 300k in mortgage, so if the seller wants 400 to 500k, they would have to have 100 to 200k in downpayment to buy the unit. Without an inheritance or parental help, most people in that income bracket can't come up with a sufficient downpayment to qualify for the mortgage and keep their debt ratio reasonable. Hence, a very limited buyer pool and competition.
Thanks, REMom, that sounds like good advice! A limited buyer pool seems almost too good to be true for the NYC market - do I understand you correctly that there are simply not that many people with sufficient savings to buy a place (let's say 100k and more) who also fall below the income restrictions?
You would be in a position to buy an income restricted property. Income limits vary and could be 120% of median income but increase based on number of people in the household. Even the nicest income restricted properties will sell for a fraction of market value since the buyer pool is very limited. The big problem is having enough savings to make a downpayment sufficient to make the monthly carry acceptable from a debt to income ratio. I sometimes see these on Streeteasy. Search for 2 or 3 BRs under $600k and they may turn up.
Hi Triple_Zero, thanks for the info! Good to know about UHAB. It seems like they only need proof of the last three months of income, not several years - so that shouldn't be a problem, considering we will be renting for at least the first months anyway. We're in a good position re savings - not that it makes a difference in NYC where our life savings are probably the same as one month's income for the average Manhattanite...
Best of luck with finishing the PhD! Are you thinking about going into academia? I am not, but getting somehow affiliated with an NYC college or university would be nice. And good luck with your plans re moving to the city!
this is what i do- if your still interested now or in the future let me know. agreed on the upgrades, i do lay out the cost for arch/expediting/permit fees /eng/gc etc
alteration agreement is the key and make sure if any summer rules.
Out of curiosity, how much would cost if I were to renovate the following apartment?
The price seems alarmingly low for a Park Ave. Coop, and I'm thinking the wiring, plumbing, etc, will need to be completely replaced, it says it hasn't been on the market for 50 years! In light of that, and assuming I were to get a top-rate architect like Peter Pennoyer to do the design, how much would it cost?
hey there- I'm an arch and PM for a GC if your interested let me know and i can get you an estimate for the work etc...
I don't hold on to the cost break down list. I am not a contractor nor home owner. I recommended those contractors because they worked with me for several jobs, I know they will work with owner's budget, you might need to compromise at some area though. The best way is to have them go down to the site and ask them for an estimate. They will be more than happy to give you a break down list. I am an architect by the way.
Usually co-ops will not allow wet over dry areas, so depending on where your closet is, the building may not allow it. I would check with the building before checking with contractors. Contractors will go by
building policy. Our building required self venting dryer and did not allow wet over dry, so its in the kitchen area.
Flarf, crescent22 and karhu - could you break down your estimates by project? I know that everything is more in NYC than you think it's going to be, but over 100K still seems high to me. Washer/dryers have been done before in the building and in the apartment line we are purchasing, so most likely feasible (though perhaps cost-prohibitive).
212 685 6358
Now that I know you're a judge's daughter I'm so glad I said them.
boxer, I'm not insulted: you are quite civil!
I'm a little surprised at the love for attorneys though (and I say this coming from a family of attorneys; I'm a judge's kid). In my experience real estate attorneys don't charge enough to take a great deal of time to work with deals, so most of the details are handled by paralegals, with varying degrees of success. It's generally the brokers who end up moving the deal along, fussing with the bank, etc.
on that point, let me just will give you one counter-anecdote to support my "I think banks are currently crazy" argument -- last month I was at a co-op closing where the lending bank (one of the big ones) released the money, and then decided one of their internal guidelines had been violated ... so they pulled the funding -- delaying the close by hours.
Eventually they released it again -- but that does go into the "never seen that happen before" file.
p.s. RB, thanks for the kind words. Let me make it clear I've got nothing against DIYers or discounters; the tent is plenty big enough for both them and me.
1. I have a lot of respect for your knowledge,, judgment and integrity
2. I am in a situation similar to boxer1
3. all of the local brokers i have spoken to have tried to get me to list
for way below market, either because they dont know their own
market that well, and too conservative in pricing, or are just lazy
4. some of them have also tried to manipulate me, e.g., with false comps
or incorrect information about recent sales and on-market properties
5. your point about banks and appraisers is well taken, but if a bank will
lend 80% LTV, as most do today, and the buyer puts down 30% or
more, its willingness to lend 80% of appraisal will often salvage the deal
6. one final point for boxer1: I have been going to open houses in my
target sub-market for the last month and found it extremey informative
and extremely helping to PLACP (pricing like a complete pig)
7. among other things I learned that best and finals the day after a first
open house are now common in my sub-market, a sure sign that cur-
rent sellers are leaving money on the table
8. I havent yet posted or elaborated upon the thought but because of
structural changes in the US and world economies and the transforma-
tion of NYC's most desired neighborhoods into playgrounds, prime
NYC real estate could - and might - rise 5 or 10 fold in price in a relative-
ly short timeframe, e.g., 10-20 years, even without hyperinflation
rb345 - perfect way to describe the gist of my inquiry!
Ali, I did not mean to insult the brokers of their expertise in any way (although I probably managed to, story of my life..) I was just pointing out the disparity between the effort (still useful) and the price of it. RE attorneys do as much of work, if not more, and get paid a fraction of the compensation.
Speaking of the banks' conservatism, you will be shocked how much the lenders are loosening up. Initially I was planning on going with a cash offer, even if it was lower, but if the buyer is well qualified I may not care. Two of my friends bought recently, and both had banks fight for their business. There is a recent article in NYT highlighting just that (may have been out this Saturday. I'll post a link if I find it.)
rb, if it's a short-squeeze submarket than obviously the choice of strategy is going to affect hiring a broker ... if the seller is trying to run the price up by managing a multi-bidder auction, he might want a pro to do that.
If he's just going to pick a price near the moon and stick with it, then DIY seems like a more reasonable route.
one big challenge to work around in either case will be looking for the cash buyer; banks are conservative, and even if buyer/sellers/agent/attys all think prices are jumping by double digits in a matter of days, there's a significant risk that lender's appraiser doesn't think so, and the property doesn't appraise out.
im an arch in the city and also work with a very good interior GC- let me know if your interested- i can go thru all with you.
Hi roseslg, could you please share your contractor's information? Thanks
i've been looking for a contractor also.
used a guy who was pretty good and fast but he charged me alot of money.
i spok to a friend yesterday and he told me you are supposed to negotiate on the price.
Is it common practice to bargain with a contractor on price?
Thank you everyone.
Will line up dates and contractor.. hope I get lucky.
"One who is touted did the walk through and what's not, but I am still waiting for the bid...don't believe the hype."
Funny... same thing happened to me.
i have lots of experience here - touch base i work in the city and can work something out with you even as a design build.
Reach out to Think Design Architecture, they are extremely hands-on, knowledgable and affordable when it comes to plans and file permits with DOB. Ask for Frank Martarella - his info is below.
Frank Martarella III, AIA, NCARB
101 Victory Boulevard
Staten Island, N.Y. 10301
Best of Luck,
I've heard many people here saying that removing non-load bearing walls does not require a permit which is not true. Of course if your coop board doesn't care, I guess you will just go ahead and do it. The fine is on the building not directly to share holder, if you get caught. If you want to hire an architect I would say it costs around 5k to 10k including expediting and asbestos report. And hiring a general contractor for permit costs more than doing it by yourself.
Everything depends on the building management. Some will allow you to remove non load bearing walls, others will require a permit for anything. I advise you to have the scope and proposed work to be ready to submit as soon as you close. If you determine that you need architect drawings (with or without permit), then try to get those done to submit as soon as you close. it does not have to be on the day of closing (hopefully you treat yourself for that), but the sooner you submit, the sooner you will begin the back-and-forth process to getting your work approved.
Each building is different. Some buildings want permits taking down any walls. Chen is right you need to check with your management co. They might not tell you anything until after you close.