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Williamsburg Real Estate - Buyers Beware!!!
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I'm hearing from multiple sources that there are many architectural issues with the recent developments in Williamsburg. A lot of builders that decided to bank on the latest frenzy did not have enough experience to build appropriately.

For example, whoever saw the unit at 170 N11th Street recently in the Lucent building should know that this building has MAJOR architectural issues and will not be approved by a bank for a mortgage! The only people that will be able to buy in this building will need to be all cash because it will never get approved by a bank for structural reasons. Please see the one bedroom in the building that supposedly sold months ago and is now back on the market due to the fact that the bank will not lend for this property!

Buyers should know that this is prevalent in a lot of the new buildings in Williamsburg.

All I can say is, BUYERS BEWARE!!! You will get stuck with something that you might have difficulty getting out of, especially at these prices!!!

The brokers in the area are begging buyers for listings and willing to go out to the market at RIDICULOUS levels to test it. This sounds like a massive bubble to me.

If I was a betting man I would put my money on the Williamsburg condo market softening by the end of this year. Rentals will turn into condos and everyone will want their "big pay day!" And you will see an influx of sellers trying to get $1000/sqft when they bought for $600-$700/sqft just 2 years ago!!!

Does this sound normal to you?? It doesn't to me. Something is up. Don 't drink the kool-aid!

Good luck to all!!! I'd rather just rent in Manhattan and not get involved in this fabricated and irrational market!!

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Thanks Greeny but im hearing this from very credible brokers in the area.. like the people actually listing these condos!! They can't get the deal done either... it's frustrating for everyone! I'm sorry if you bought something that you cannot re-sell... you live and you learn.

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Thank you for the warm welcome, I didn't realize that I needed to be a streeteasy member for 5 years to know what is going on with NY real estate. You have been a member since sept of last year, you must be light years ahead of anyone who is not on streeteasy...

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When was Lucent built ?

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2007

I was looking to buy there, and still might but it is scary....saw a listing in Dec.- broker got me in before its "grand opening". Sent husband to see it with broker 2 days later...big leak and puddle in the kitchen...8 unit condo...if there are big structural problems, think of the assessments. Someone should tally how many small condos are in contract but haven't closed because the c of o wasn't obtained yet. Another small condo came on the market in early 2012, but was pulled out after architect lost his license. Went to another open house recently, people were literally lined up around the corner-my gut reaction was to run. The product may be desirable, and great for those who bought 1-2 yrs ago, but now it's like buying Apple stock for 700. What happens when interest rates go up, and all the investors turn their places into rental ? Rental income won't be so great and other investnents will offer better return.

Interest rates are not the issue, the abatement's are the issue. What happens when all of the current owner's try to get out before their abatement's expire?? The market will be flooded with offers.

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No..

greesdale, I see your point-I wish that I had bought last year. Didn't because I was swamped with other things, but had the false sense that there ws no rush because of people like Brooks. However, a lot of people who work on Wall Street were also telling me that the market was going down further. They were correctly anticipating fallout from Dodd -Frank bill, and Wall St. laying people off, bringing in less money.What people weren't anticipating was 1)gut reaction to exorbitant rent increases 2) further drop in interest rates 3) iincreases in investor purchass. Got more insight into this when I visited friend in Miami. She told me that one way to gain citizenship to the U.S. is to claim that you are coming here because yu want to "invest" in a business, Need to "invest" 600k. Buying condo and renting it out qualifies. Saved, or rather resurrected Miami market. On top of that, France just came up with exorbitant property tax on second homes, and Chavez was "reelected" . His re-election was headline news in Miami, because they all knew how it would affect the msarket. Don't know that any of this is going to stop.

Re abatements=they won't all disappear at once...some not for 20 yrs., others in next 8 yrs or so...but do think that frenetic buying is scary. Bought in the Hamptons in 2010. Remember broker talking about 2005-had made more money then than ay any other point in her life. Bidding wars, etc, Called it "crazy money"... Have the same impression now.. Only reassuring thing is that somehow or other all the Japanese investors who were allegedly buying up all of Manhsttan 2 decades ago , disappeared and hopefully in due time, some of these others will too.

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Not really- foreign investors make it scary... only thing that makes it last is natural demand, local jobs...NYC has that- don't think that Williamsburg will crash, but could certainly level off and/or go down slowly...with higher interest rates, leveling off of rents and investors looking for higher returns in the market. Where does Nada post?

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That;s the point-they're not buying second homes, and Wall St people are doing "ok", not great if still emplyed, but Williamsburg is still going up...don't t know if continued invreases are sustainable in thee long run

It's all a matter of supply/demand.... there is virtually no supply in W-burg due to the fact that the rental mkt there is so hot at the moment. I think as price/sqft starts to make sense in here, we will see a lot of these rentals flip to condo sellers as tenants move out for one reason or another...

This is good advice anywhere. Part of the due-dilligence in purchasing new construction is examining the experience of the developer, managing agent, lead construction company all related parties.

How bad is the L these days? At what hours is it packed reaching Bedford St?

Well, you certainly are not grabbing a seat during rush our at Bedford. Seats are taken at the Graham Ave. Stop...

way to foment a crisis, misha- you might have to stand at Bedford.

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crescent you make no sense. I don't understand where you are coming from? You ask a dumb question about the L train, I answer your dumb question and then you attack me?

Wish so much that people would just use this board to exchange information in a helpful, respectful manner.

Bought here in the Burg' about three years ago. I can tell you one strange development in the last year or so, an influx of tourists. You see them with their street and subway maps all over. Just this Sunday i heard Italian, Japanese and German spoken on a 3 block walk to the deli. I'm not analyzing this incident just sharing it.
I'm afraid "respectful" and "streeteasy board" rarely go together mym.

Moxieland, what do you make of all of the tourism?

Misha,

Where do you live?

misha- you come across as someone with a vested interest in Wburg, can you elaborate? are you living there? have you made an offer that was rejected? i think it is an amazing neighborhood with some quality apartments. definitely the quality of life is better than Manhattan, the restaurants, bars and crowd in north Wburg are great!. i see the price going to $1100 in the future. there is no inventory which suggests that owners like living there. it is a great place to live. better than west village!

I don't know what to make of the tourism. It's just an interesting development. Somehow the word has gotten out to foreign visitors to come check out North Williamsburg. I find it funny that American tourists stay in Times Square and international visitors actually "tour" the city.

I live in FIDI. Does it matter? I agree that Williamsburg is desirable, I don't agree with where prices have gone in such a short period. I also have seen some very unfortunate things happen to buyers that bought at new construction and are now stuck with a condo with very limited liquidity due to structural issue. ie; 170 N11th Street. People are tripping all over themselves to buy here, I just want to get a better feel for what exactly is going on. The reason that I care is because I am passionate about real estate, it does not matter what the area is, I want to try to understand it.

And Realtime, going back to your opinion of why there is no inventory, it is not necessarily because "owners like to live there." It has a lot to do with the face that developers are choosing to rent as opposed to sell condos...

fact* not face, sorry.

I asked to get a sense of your familiarity with the area. I would simply hazard you against reaching conclusions based on one example (170 N11th). Do you have other buyers or friends that have bought new construction here with similar structural issues? I think you can find these case specific "horror stories" throughout the 5 boros with new construction. I know of buildings in LIC, Park Slope and Prospect Heights that also have serious issues. I would presume there may be one(at least) in FIDI as well.
"Does one bad apple spoil the whole bunch?"

Over the last year or so I have been noticing more and more hipsters in my neighborhood of Hamilton Heights. Seems that many of them have been priced out of Brooklyn- specifically mostly Williamsburg. It's still cheap here especially since prices seem to hit a low (at least on the sales end not so much on the rental end) last year. Not sure what this means for Williamsburg.

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Greensdale please elaborate. I'm not connecting the dots on your observation...

While waiting for greensdale's elaboration perhaps you could address my last post misha? The differentiation of new construction in Williamsburg vs new construction elsewhere.

There is lots of crap buildings in bburg, especially some of the smaller one that people threw up, but also loads of beautiful conversions.

And in terms of tourism, you first need to recognize that loads of foreigners live here because I I both considered cool and because of condos. So this adds to the diversity. Otherwise, is just a fun place so tourists come.

http://newyork.grubstreet.com/2013/02/brooklyn-influence-brewery-in-sweden.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/03/nyregion/at-st-mazie-cocktails-tattoos-and-flamenco-fever.html?_r=0

And restaurants here are really, really good and interesting. Is quite the contrast to manhattan, although really gentrifying very fast.

moxie - I am sure that there are construction issues everywhere but I just have first hand information on a couple of projects in Williamsbur and therefore am able to comment. Please speak to some brokers in the area and i'm sure that they will be able to attest to some of this. Here is what is going on in Lucent.

The only loan that is currently being accepted for a condo there is a 5 year ARM with 1 point up front. Does this sound like a good situation to you? I feel bad for the owners at new construction. I'm sure that there is more of this going on in the area...

You reference knowledge on a couple of projects but continue to only cite one. In order for you to make your case perhaps you could share these other poor projects referenced by these brokers?

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Misha you do not make any sense. I recently bought in Wburg an investment apartment. rented in 2 weeks from closing and income covers all expenses. I got 100% of the price financed and the appraisal came above closing price. I looked at several options but there were no available units anywhere.(inventory is non existence). The building is less than 10 years old and there were no problems with construction, A friend who bought in FIDI has many problems with his apartment. From thin walls to leaking windows etc. I am not trying to bash FIDI and I have not started an OP "beware of FIDI". Your post and the reasons for posting are psychiatricly intriguing to me...can you elaborate on your other passionate hobbies? any compulsion other than SE?

I make perfect sense. The fact that you got 100% financing is a whole other issue... not good... Please point to what does not make sense to you realtime? I'm not saying that Williamsburg is a bad investment, I am merely warning buyers of what i've seen and heard recently. I think it's perfectly warranted. I also don't think that Williamsburg is a good long term investment because as soon as these tax abatements begin to run out you will see an influx of inventory... Lastly, the current mkt environment in which we have virtually zero inventory and very low rates makes one ugly combination... I don't think it's natural and good for that mkt... Just my opinion. I would love to hear your rebuttle besides, "they have great restaurants, and I was able to get 100% financing and FIDI sucks, and there are a lot of tourists in the area." OK GREAT!!!!!! That makes it an amazing investment. You are clearly right.

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i'm not arguing fidi vs williamsburg.. yikes you are a complete moron. I was simply answering a question in regards to where I live. I don't own in Fidi, I rent.. I couldn't care less about fidi, quite frankly, I hate the area... You are a MORON for continuing to think that i'm arguing W-burg vs Fidi. Please get your story straight before calling me dumb. I am not a female either so this svelana bs needs to stop as well. I am happy to argue with people that want to actually talk about real estate as opposed to calling people dumb and comparing stuff out of context. YIKES, you are a MORON... sorry, just wanted to end with that. :)

{http://finance.yahoo.com/blogs/daily-ticker/housing-bubble-2-0-david-stockman-133026817.html} This should help answer some questions. A lot of the developers that own buildings in Williamsburg are LARGE CORPORATIONS!

Misha, you are full of shit. You have people who have bought and invested in Bburg refuting you directly and yet you offer one unsubstantiated example of a "bad" building and put up this alarmist buyer beware posting after your beware of abatement posting. I actually agree that there are many poorly constructed condos in Bburg, but problems with new buildings are pretty common.

You say you have a general interest in RE, but all you have posted is two posts directly attacking Bburg. Seems you have an agenda and are being anything but objective.

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This post has become completely unproductive. I would like to hear from the people that don't already currently OWN in Williamsburg and are not biased. Thx.

Love,
Svetlana

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What's your argument Misha? That Bburg will die because of cheap money, abatements or poor construction? Just can't follow what you are getting at. You're just all over the place in your arguments.

If there will be a problem in Bburg it would be in four years when/if all the rentals currently being built do flip to condos at the same time. But even then, people really seem to like living here, so don't see a bubble type scenario taking place. A cooling for sure, but prices around $900 a sqft will likely stay.

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Once again I will simply and politely ask for these other examples of poor construction you reference Misha? You understand that you morphed your initial complaint? Shoddy new construction as an issue specific to Williamsburg became a tax abatement termination scare? Please stick with the OP and tell us these other locations referenced by your broker friends.

Realtime - 100% financing? Who is your lender?

misha - your post was unproductive from the moment you posted your borderline defamatory assault on a specific unit. if i were you, i'd be very concerned whether the owners of this unit (and other units in the building) have seen your public comments. without knowing the actual truth (hearing from your broker friend is not knowing the truth), you are treading defamation waters - and pursuant to the amount of $$ at stake, you are treading potentially very expensive defamation waters.

i am also curious re some of your other claims....namely, how you (or anyone for that matter) would know the 'only type of loan being issued' for a building. 'sorry borrower, on this building, we offer only 7/1 MTA ARMS.....no 30 yr's, no 15's....only ARMS' how ridiculous does that sound.

generally every building has its issues (and if they don't now, they will in the future) whether its a NC condo (including the toniest of properties e.g. the documented - true - issues in the Plaza PH's a few years back built by a very large reputable developer) or an old coop that's going to jack your maintenance 15% per year EVERY year to take care of its issues....

also consider that to answer moxieland's questions and to start naming buildings/units with issues without knowing the documented truth (e.g. the building's involved in litigation or the NYS AG is investigating on the developer on the building's behalf) will expose you to potentially costly legal liability....

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Thank you NWT!...

CondoPres - Stop trying to throw your weight around you needle dik... are you an attorney? I can say whatever I want on here. I am protected by the constitution. I am merely warning buyers to protect themselves and do their homework. I should be rewarded instead of being accused of making defamatory statements. CondoPres - you have been demoted to CondoJanitor. Please refrain from commenting further. Thank you.

I see that the comments on this post have become childish and very unproductive. Let's keep in mind that uneducated comments like these simply hurt those individuals that qualified and purchased a condo in the property in question. That's just not cool.

I've learned in my years in the business that when someone is so straight forward and defamatory about any property, it is because they wanted it and couldn't get it. Is that the story here? I know people that have been approved for mortgages in this area. I know people that love their new property and are recommending it to their friends. Before you suggest that this is because I have any vested interest in defending the developers or condos themselves, I assure you that I don't. Most of my business is in Ridgewood, Glendale, Middle Village, Maspeth, Rego Park, etc. (Queens). I do conduct business in Williamsburg, Greenpoint, Bedstuy and Bushwick and I love what's going on with the properties and the people in the area. To say that the condos in these areas cannot be approved for funding is wrong and simply untrue. I like the posts that are suggesting we simply do our homework before we buy and before we make any offer on a property. I am sure more problems will surface as more buyers come forward. What I do suggest is that we focus on helping people in their search for a home and we forget about filling the market with all the negativity from buyers that couldn't get the property they wanted.

I hate the 1931 Bugatti Royale Kellner Coupe which sold for $8.7 million in 1987. Ugly, unsafe, poorly built, only suitable for a pretentious owner. The car is actually awesome and I would love to own it, but I guess I have to put it down to make MYSELF feel better about the fact that I cannot own it...lol... YET!

Greensdale, I see you commenting on every single post on street easy today... 3 words for you. GET A LIFE.

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nwt saves misha's *ss. nice googling nwt.

also "I can say whatever I want on here. I am protected by the constitution." priceless.

I'm glad I can entertain you pres. Long live the pres!! Probably voted for obama too...

I've been reading all of this and wondering if there can be a Williamsburg bubble without there being a New York City bubble. I think what the OP is saying is to not let the crazy submarket right now in Wmsbrg make them throw caution to the winds, don't just buy because it's in Williamsburg. I always wonder about small buildings like the Lucent, and others even smaller I see in places like Meserole, Montrose..... There was a construction period when any ole lot would get a six-story condo thrown up in a jiffy. Is that the essence of this argument?

Yes, lowery. That is the essence of this argument. For people to be careful when buying especially when there are hundreds of people going to every single open house in W-Burg and obviously a bidding war ensues. It's just crazy to me.. People are irrational when rates are low and inventory is even lower.

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I don't know anyone Green Machine... sorry.

i love how the presumption on SE is that prices are artificially higher now and weren't artificially lower in '09-'10.

also, inventory issues are not exclusive to the burg sub-market. http://www.millersamuel.com/blog/three-cents-worth-ny-225-manhattans-inventory-skyfall/28536

be careful about buying at your own risk.....'12 fence sitters have already lost thousands of dollars of profits on units they were 'careful about.'

I think we are all mostly agreeing. Think the issue was that Misha was making a larger statement based on one example.

I looked at loads of buildings and many of the smaller buildings in Bburg, that lowery describes, were very shoddy. And as a non-professional if you can see shoddy work, one wonders what the guts of the building look like. I don't think that the fact that the Lucent is in a lawsuit though is any indicator that this building was particularly poorly done. The building I bought was in a lawsuit, the place I have in Ottawa is currently in three lawsuits. Seems to be sadly common in new developments. I always think that you are best to wait for a building to be five years old; by then monthlies have been sorted out and most issues are sorted. And not to single out small buildings as north piers, 20 bayard and others have all had problems and people are aware of this.

On the other hand it is hard to be cautious when there is so little inventory. In my case I was very cautious when first making offers, but increasingly you do just start to make decisions that are probably not fully informed. I bought my place after seeing it in an open house and knew I needed to put in an offer that night or it would be gone.

And condopres: the notion that what misha says is defamatory is ridiculous. Lighten up!

ottawa - go look up your defamation elements. absent nwt providing some truth to the matter, misha arguably defamed the 1 bed lucent unit. anyone for that matter should think twice about calling out a specific unit that's currently listed. you risk adversely affecting the sale to the tune of thousand's of dollars which could spur any reasonably pissed off owner to send you a summons.

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Yes your honor, the comments by one misha2306 on streeteasy's forum directly caused the corporation to suffer XX million in damages.

Strong case.

I think we've uncovered the owner!!!!

CondoSecretary, I had the same information that nwt had just in a different form. I did not defame anything. YOu LOSER!

misha. fact. you had no idea whether you were telling the truth or not....nwt did the work you only speculated was true. basically, lay off the specifics and stick to calling people losers (non-defamatory).

ottawa. not sure how dey do it in canada eh, but here in the 'ol u s of a, juries have slammed people for much weaker cases....

Pres. fact. nwt simply showed evidence to what I was already suggesting. another fact. I was right and not defaming anything by simply stating public information. another fact. you are a loser.

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Condopres, you'll have to show me instances of a corporation succeeding in a defamation case in the absence of injury.

Misha, are you six?

ottawa - the issue here was whether misha's statement was the truth...not whether the unit owner incurred/will incur damages or not. the unit owner could prove damages fairly easily....

also why are you talking about corp.'s now?

Misha,
I continue to wait. Third respectful request. The other referenced problem buildings mentioned by your broker friends?

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Bought a WB condo several years ago, and hired an inspector prior to closing. common sense. we're doing fine - still love the apartment, and plan to stay for the long run. many properties have issues, you need to simply inspect. people buy old buildings that need hundreds of thousands of dollars of work, and survive. there is no safe bet. you need to do your homework when buying, and that has nothing to do with williamsburg.

misha, it sounds like you're making a market case, not just a buyer beware of shoddy construction warning. I'm not convinced that there's a bubble specifically in Bburg that would pop independently of the rest of NYC. Your point about the shoddy construction and people getting caught up in a frenzy is well taken. It's very true. I remember looking at new construction years ago and always getting shut out because more eager buyers snapped up things before me. Friends would say, you're lucky, all new construction is garbage. I don't agree with THAT, but I do remember the feeling people got caught up in during the frenzied years, that there's no time to do due diligence or have second thoughts. I also remember coming to the conclusion that if a person had to make a competitive offer at the open house or earlier, with no time to do any thinking or investigating at all, then I should stay out of the market. It's also true, though, that older buildings have problems that have to be fixed, so a person has to wonder, is it better to get a new shiny condo and at least get its best years, before the old building problems pop up?

About the notion that there's going to be a market debacle when tax abatements expire and rentals convert back to condo, I don't think so. By that reasoning, the market should have crashed because of "shadow inventory." There's no inventory now. Dump lots of inventory on the market in Bburg and there's a line around the block waiting for it, no?

point taken, thank you lowery. I agree with most of this but take a look at the Gretch building, there are multiple units in that building that are currently for sale due to the tax abatement running out. it will be interesting to see where and how soon those clear the market.

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