Apr 26 2015

The Next NYC Tax Lien Sale is on May 15th, 2015 – What does that mean for you?

New York City will hold its Annual Tax Lien Sale on May 15, 2015.

There are many New Yorker’s who, for what ever reason, don’t pay their real estate taxes and water and sewer bills.  In order for the city of New York to continue to provide the services that we all need, like the fire department, sanitation and the delivery of clean drinking water to our homes, each homeowner needs to pay their fair share of the bills those services generate. After all, sanitation workers, firemen and the like don’t work for free.tax_form

But life happens sometimes, and a tax payer simply does not have the money to pay the bill (bringing to mind the proverbial getting blood from a stone), so the city needs to find an alternate way to get the money it needs to continue functioning.  That’s where the tax lien sale comes in.

So What Exactly is a Tax Lien?

A tax lien is a claim against a piece of real estate in order to satisfy a debt.  So if a you owe the City of New York $10,000 in taxes, interest and fees, it will place a tax lien on your property for that amount, and then sell that lien to a third-party.

In most municipalities in the US individual investors can purchase tax liens, but New York City does not sell its tax liens to individuals, but to large corporate investors only.  Once purchased, these corporate investment firms have the right to collect the money owed.

What Happens If a Lien on Your Property is Sold?

Once a lien on a property is sold, the debt does not disappear.  The corporate investment firm’s servicing company will make every effort to collect the debt.  Fees and interest will pile up at an unbelievable rate, increasing the debt even more.  No doubt it will show up on your credit report and your credit score will drop drastically.  If you decide to sell your property, the debt, including all of the interest and fees, will have to be paid or you cannot sell.  Eventually the property can be foreclosed on to collect the debt.

For more information about the tax lien sale, go to the New York City Department of Finance’s website.

If you need more information about the best way to sell your property when there are tax liens in place, give me a call or email me by clicking here.

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Apr 22 2015

Happy Earth Day!

This is the only Earth we have.  Let’s protect it.


Apr 15 2015

Willoughby Walk Co-op – 2015 Review

The Willougby Walk Co-op consists of two tall and majestic buildings in the Clinton Hill section of Brooklyn right across the street from Pratt Institute’s Campus.  One of the things I love about the co-op is that many apartments have terraces that allow you enjoy the great out of doors without leaving your apartment (technically), and there are apartments with breathtaking Manhattan views that rival any postcard.

Willoughby Walk is a well run, well-maintained co-op that has studios, 1, 2 and 3 bedroom apartments available for purchase.  Here’s a range of prices for each apartment size based on the apartments sold in the last year (3/2014 to 3/2015).  Keep in mind that updated and newly renovated apartments sell at the higher end of the scale:

Studio Apartments sold between $225,000 and $255,000.
One Bedroom Apartments sold for between $340,000 $450,000.
Two Bedroom Apartments sold in the $550,000 to $600,000 range.
Only 1 Three Bedroom Apartment sold for $865,000.

Here is a list of the other great features that makes Willoughby Walk an ideal place to call home:willoughby-w

  1. 100% owner occupied.
  2. Large windows bring a lot of light into the apartments.
  3. This is a gated community with 24-Hour Security.
  4. The Co-op is Pet Friendly.  Dogs and Cats are welcome.
  5. Some apartments have terraces.
  6. Some apartments have picture postcard Manhattan views.
  7. The Co-op has great financials and cash reserves.
  8. Well maintained laundry facilities on campus.
  9. Storage is available.
  10. Parking is available (there’s a waiting list)

Willoughby Walk’s location is ideal.  Its steps away from The Pratt Institute’s Brooklyn Campus and St Josephs College.

Fort Greene Park, Myrtle and Dekalb Avenues, which are both lined with marvelous shops, restaurants and so much more are all a short walk away.

There’s a quick commute into Manhattan from Willoughby Walk.  The  G train is a 10 min walk away and the C train is not much farther than that.  Several buses take you to downtown Brooklyn in no time.

As you can see from the list above, there are many things to like, but, like most things in life, there are cons.  If you are looking for a large kitchen and want to seat a large number of people for dinner, then this co-op may not be for you.  The kitchens tend to be on the smaller side and most apartments have no designated dining area to speak of.  However, if you rarely cook and don’t usually have a lot of sit down banquet style dinner parties, these cons are not deal breakers, or you can simply renovate the apartment expanding the kitchen and creating a dining space.

Willoughby Walk is a smart investment, as the Clinton Hill area continues to grow in popularity and amenities, so will apartment prices.  If you are interested in viewing some apartments there, feel free to give me a call at the number below or email me by clicking here.

Happy Apartment Hunting

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Apr 05 2015

The Clinton Hill Co-op Apartments – 2015 Review

The Clinton Hill Co-op Apartments are one of the best coops for the money in Brooklyn! There are many features about the co-op that recommend it as a great place to buy in Brooklyn.

The Clinton Hill Co-ops consists of 12 buildings split up into two campuses. The North Campus on Clinton Avenue between Myrtle and Willoughby Avenues consists of buildings 185, 165, 193, 201, 205, 209 and 210 Clinton Avenue. The Southchaoc_exterior_view Campus Between Lafayette and Greene Avenues consists of buildings 325, 345, 355, 361 and 365 Clinton Avenue.

The apartments are large by New York City standards, with large windows that provide plenty of light and ample closet space. At time of this writing, prices at the coop have totally recovered from the recent bubble burst and are continuing to increase.

The price range for an apartment can vary widely depending on the upgrades and number of bedrooms. You can purchase a one bedroom apartment from $375,00 to as much $500,000 for a fully renovated apartment converted to a junior 2 bedroom.

A true two bedroom can go from $500,000 to as much as $689,000. Since it seems that the popularity of the Clinton Hill/Fort Greene, and the coop itself, show no sign of letting up, it’s a great idea to purchase an apartment now before the prices really take off.

There are so many reasons that purchasing at the Clinton Hill Apartments is a wise investment, but here is a list of just a few of the positives:

  1. The co-op is financially sound and the Board of Directors insists that capital improvements and necessary maintenance is performed on all buildings.
  2. The apartments are large, with good-sized closets. One bedroom apartments are approximately 750 Sq ft and two bedrooms are over 1,000 Sq ft!
  3. All of the apartments have large windows that let in a massive amount of light. Many of the apartments have fantastic Manhattan views.
  4. There is 24 hour security and live-in maintenance staff on call 24/7.
  5. There are several laundry rooms on site. Storage, bike rooms and Parking are also available.
  6. The co-op has a dedicated board that meets all requirements for shareholder meetings and handles it fiduciary responsibility of making sure all of the co-ops bills are paid.
  7. The co-op is located is just minutes from Manhattan. You can go from the coop to 34th street Manhattan in 30 minutes.
  8. The Clinton Hill/Fort Greene area has many upscale restaurants and shops along Myrtle and Dekalb Avenues, with more and more opening every month.
  9. Clinton Hill Co-ops is on Clinton Avenue, which has been called “Mansions Row” because of all the historic mansions that line the street.
  10. The tree-lined streets of Clinton Hill make you feel like you live in a park. If you want more trees, Fort Greene Park is just three blocks away!
  11. The Clinton Hill Co-op is pet friendly. Dogs and cats are welcome.
  12. Subletting is available for a fee and its only allowed for a limited amount of time.

185-ca-8h-entranceThere are a few things you might find to be a negative about the Clinton Hill Co-ops. The exterior of the buildings are somewhat drab and institutional looking, but the interior space, cleanliness and first-rate upkeep of the interiors and landscaping more than make up for it. The buildings were built in the 1940s, so the heating system is not modern, and there is no central air conditioning, so window air conditioners (which aren’t that attractive in my opinion) are necessary for summer time comfort.

Overall, the Clinton Hill Co-ops are a fantastic place to live in a terrific neighborhood just minuets from Manhattan.  What more can you ask for?

Are you interested in purchasing an apartment at the Clinton Hill Co-ops, or any of the other wonderful coops and condos in the area, give me a call for a showing or for more information today at the number below or email me by clicking here.

Happy Co-op Shopping!

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Apr 05 2015

Help the Brooklyn Public Library by Biking the Branches on 5-9-2015

Mark your calendar!  Saturday, May 9th is the date of this year’s Bike The Branches event held by the Brooklyn Public Library.

If you love to bike ride, read and tour the borough we all love, then this event is for you.city_bike_riders_brooklyn

Get your Branch Passport and visit as many of Brooklyn’s 60 libraries as you can between 10:00 am and 5:00 pm.  At each stop there will be entertainment and enjoyable activities.  At the end of the event, prizes will be awarded to children and adults who visit the most branches.

Do you want to help raise money for the Brooklyn Public Library, an important institution in our city where you can borrow a book, rent a movie, surf the internet or enjoy one of the special programs our libraries host each year?  Then take the Fundraising Challenge and win a Brooklyn Pubic Library Tote Bag once you raise $250 or more.

The event ends with the spectacular Bike the Branches Block Party at Central Library from 5 – 7 pm were there will be food vendors, live music, awards and activities for participants of all ages!

For more information about the event visit Brooklyn Public Libraries Bike The Branches.

I hope to see you there!

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Mar 29 2015

Tennis Anyone? – April 1, 2015 Starts Tennis Season in NYC

Tennis Season Starts April 1st in Brooklyn, NY

The warm weather is right around the corner, and there’s no better way to get fit than by playing a good game of tennis.

The New Play Tennis in Brooklyn, New YorkYork City Parks Department maintains several tennis courts in all five boroughs, with my favorite being the courts in Fort Greene Park.

To play in a city owned tennis court, all you need is a permit, and in most cases, a little cash.  You can purchase a permit that will allow you play at any Parks Department court throughout the season, or you can purchase single-play tickets.

If you want to take some lessons, you can find information about lessons posted at the various tennis courts, or you can go to the City Parks Foundation’s website.  City Parks Foundation is a non-profit organization that sponsors free lessons each year for children from ages 6 to 16 in more than 36 city parks.

So “get your fit on”, and play tennis at one of the city’s beautiful parks.

Mar 25 2015

Vote For Fillmore Real Estate – Best in Brooklyn

Fillmore Real Estate is in the running for Best of Brooklyn as voted by the readers of the Brooklyn Spectator and Home Reporter.

Please take a moment to click on the check box below and vote for Fillmore.
Fillmore Best Real Estate broker in Brooklyn

Thank you!!!

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Mar 23 2015

Fillmore Real Estate – The Best Real Estate Broker In Brooklyn

Why I’ve chosen Fillmore Real Estate…and you should too.

As a real estate salesperson, I am required by the laws of the State of New York to be affiliated with a real estate company.  The company I’m affiliated with has oversight over the legal aspects of any real estate transaction I perform, which protects you as a consumer.  The arrangement also gives me access to valuable services, marketing materials and training that help me better serve you.Fillmore Real Estate Sell Your Brooklyn Property

With that being the case, I took a lot of time and care when it came to choosing a place to hang my license, and after careful consideration I choose Fillmore.

Here are a few reasons why I think Fillmore Real Estate is the Best Broker in Brooklyn:

Fillmore Has Been Selling Real Estate in Brooklyn Since 1966 – Fillmore Real Estate is not a fly-by-night operation or a company that has moved from Manhattan to jump on the “Brooklyn Band Wagon”.  Fillmore Real Estate has been selling real estate here in Brooklyn since 1966, that means we know Brooklyn.

Fillmore Sells All Over Brooklyn – The Manhattan newcomers like to sell in the “hot” neighborhoods in Brooklyn.  We sell wherever there are properties to be bought or sold. We have 16 offices with over 300 real estate professionals scattered throughout Brooklyn, meaning that I can sell in any Brooklyn neighborhood and I have access to inventory that fits any buyer’s budget.

Fillmore’s Website Get 800,000 visitors per month – Our state of the art website attracts visitors from around the world, and all of them will see any listing that I post there, which is how I can get properties sold so quickly.

Fillmore is a Member of the Leading Real Estate Companies of the World –  Once you’ve sold your home, are looking to relocate outside of New York City?  As a member of the Leading Real Estate Companies of the World, I can refer you to a top real estate professional any where in the world, from Albania to Zambia!

Fillmore Is a member of The Brooklyn MLS – By being a member of the Brooklyn Multiple Listing Service, Fillmore ensures that every member of the Brooklyn Board of Realtors, over 1300 of them, knows about your property is for sale and potentially bring the perfect buyer.

Fillmore Is A Member of RESell Fast in BrooklynBNY – The Real Estate Board of New York’s (REBNY) mission is to “unites more than 16,000 talented, influential real estate professionals as it works to protect, improve and advance the business of real estate in New York City.”  Pertinent information about any property that I list is made available to all 16,000 of those real estate professionals, most of whom are in Manhattan, so they can bring potential buyers to view the property.

Fillmore is a Member of the LIBOR – For those of you who didn’t know it, the boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens are part of Long Island.  There are brokers and agents who are part of the Long Island Board of Realtors (LIBOR) who have buyers looking to purchase property in Brooklyn.  Due to that fact, Fillmore Real Estate is also a member of LIBOR.

Training – The real estate industry is ever changing.  Fillmore works hard to keep all the real estate professionals affiliated with the company well training.  There are several training classes for me to take throughout the year, so I can keep my sales skills sharp and my real estate knowledge up-to-date.

In Conclusion

These are only some of the reasons that I chose Fillmore Real Estate Brooklyn as the firm that I wanted to be affiliated with.  Do you want to learn more about Fillmore and how through the various services it provides, I can get your property sold quickly and for the best possible price?  Give me a call at the number below or click here to email me.
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Mar 20 2015

Its the First Day of Spring!

I know, I know…snow is in the forecast for today, but here’s a reminder that better weather is just ahead!


Flowers Celebrating the First Day of Spring
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Mar 17 2015

The NYS Disclosure Form – Why Should I Sign This?

If you’ve bought or sold real estate in Brooklyn, New York (or anywhere in New York State for that matter) you’ve seen this Question Markform.  Its the New York State Disclosure Form, and as the form states, its purpose is to “help you to make informed choices about your relationship with the real estate broker and its sales associates.”

What exactly does that mean?  First off, by signing the form it does not obligate you to do anything what so ever.  It does not mean you have to pay the real estate broker or salesperson who presents it to you any money, or work exclusively with that agent or broker.  As it states on the first line of the form, it is not a contract.
New York State Disclosure Form
The Disclosure Form is for informational purposes.  What it does is inform you who the real estate broker or agent that hands it to you for signature actually works for, and with whom her fiduciary responsibility lies.  When you’re buying or selling a piece of real estate, whether its a house, condo, co-op or a piece of vacant land, the real estate broker or agent represents whoever hires her and pays her commission.  When an broker or agent is trying to find a renter for an apartment, the agent represents the landlord, even if the renter pays the commission.

Real Estate Brokers and Salespersons are obligated by law to have you sign the disclosure form before they can represent you in a real estate transaction.

For more information regarding this form, ask the real estate professional who hands it to you to explain it in more detail.  By signing the form, you confirm that you fully understand who she primarily represents, whether its you or the other party in the deal, and you’re OK with that.

Happy House Hunting!
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