Archive for October, 2009

Consumer Confidence Indez

All real estate is local.

As I previously discussed here, the S&P/Case-Shiller indices are virtually useless for tracking Manhattan residential sales. Case-Shiller does not include sales of co-op and condo apartments even though those property types account for 99% of what is sold in Manhattan.

The data through August 2009, released today by Standard & Poor’s for its S&P/Case-Shiller  Home Price Indices show that the annual rate of decline of the 10-City and 20-City Composites improved compared to last month’s reading. This marks approximately seven months of improved readings in these statistics, beginning in early 2009.

This perceived improvement of real estate prices, if you can call smaller declines an improvement, is as irrelevant now as when I reported the uselessness of the S&P/Case-Shiller doom-and-gloom report back in June .

What I do believe is significant is that the Consumer Confidence Index as reported today by The Conference Board today dropped to 47.7 from a revised 53.4 in September.  A measure of employment availability deteriorated to a 26-year low.

Unemployment in New York City (specifically in Manhattan) is very high. This fact, in addition to the seasonal slowdown in residential sales, will cause price reductions on properties where the sellers are motivated to move.

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Oct
27

Harry Potter Buys Townhouse In West Village

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Daniel Radcliffe buys Manhattan townhouse in West Village

Daniel Radcliffe buys Manhattan townhouse in West Village

Daniel Radcliffe, the 20-year-old Wizard in Broadway’s Harry Potter production, has purchased his third New York City property, a five-bedroom, 3,000-square-foot West Village townhouse.  The price:  $6.4 million.

Celebrity publications report Radcliffe now owns more than $16 million in Manhattan area condos and apartments, plus a luxury condo in his home United Kingdom neighborhood of Fulham in London.

As reported by Real Estate Channel

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Oct
26

Toast to Ghosts with the Midori Spider’s Kiss

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Midori Spider Kiss Coctail for Halloween

Midori Spider Kiss Coctail for Halloween

Americans spend an estimated $7 billion annually on Halloween, making it the country’s second largest commercial holiday.   And in recent years, more adults have taken to the holiday by dressing up and celebrating at parties.  This year, after all the little superheroes, pirates, witches and bumble bees have tucked into bed, make a grownup toast to ghosts with this new Midori Spider’s Kiss.

Created by award-winning Mixologist Victoria D’Amato-Moran, this festive cocktail not only stands as a refreshment, but decor as well.  “The colors and details of the Spider’s Kiss add a dramatic flair to the occasion,” says D’Amato-Moran who suggests using frosted glasses for an added ghostly feel or grenadine for a bloody spider bite effect.

Midori Spider’s Kiss

1 oz. Midori® Melon Liqueur

1 oz. SKYY® Vodka

Fresh Lemon

Garnish with an orange slice

Draw a chocolate web into a martini glass. Place in freezer and chill for a ghostly effect. Shake all ingredients and strain into glass.  For a blood effect, drizzle grenadine down the side of the glass. Garnish with a chocolate dipped orange slice.

For information on Midori and additional cocktail recipes, please visit their website.

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New York City Trick or Treat HalloweenYes, Halloween is Saturday, so it’s time to finalize your Trick-or-Treat plan if you are old enough to give out candy, under 13 or the parent of same.

Here are some tips for celebrating All Hallows Eve in the city:

  • If you welcome visits from all the little superheroes, pirates, witches and bumble bees in the building, make sure you’re apartment number is included on the list that should be posted in the lobby of your building.
  • If your building doesn’t have such a list, suggest one to the super.  It ensures that those who don’t welcome visitors won’t be disturbed.
  • If you really don’t care how cute little Sara is going to be in her princess outfit, leave a supply of candy with your doorman with “Happy Halloween from 11A” taped to the side of the bowl.  He’ll hand them out – and enjoy a few of the mini Snickers himself.  (Be sure to mention it if you want your bowl back in the morning.)
  • No doorman?  Want to participate but don’t want to spend the evening traipsing back and forth to the front door?  Leave a container of candy outside the door.  Remember to replenish the offering as needed as long as your budget allows.
  • If you live in a walkup, take pity on the frustration this causes for kids and parents – put a sign on your door to announce whether you are a treater.  You might try to post a lobby list and let everyone add themselves at the appropriate spot, but messing with the list may be irresistible for kids between 13 and 30 (possibly 40 in some cases of arrested development – you know who you are).
  • Make sure to give kids only store-bought, individually-wrapped candy, since wary parents will toss anything else.  Trick-or-Treaters’ faves include chocolate bars, Skittles, and Tootsie Roll Pops.  Kids today often are not fond of candy corn – yet another sign that times change.  No one but dentists gives sugarless gum.  It’s only once a year!
  • In the process of shedding pounds or watching your weight?  Buy only treats you dislike enough that you really, really won’t eat them, and be sure all extras get dropped off in a child household or taken to work on Monday.

Parents, here is some more information on how to Trick or Treat in New York City.

Happy Halloween!

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Oct
24

The Best Real Estate Ad Ever!

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From Future Of  Real Estate Marketing

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Oct
23

What Makes Home Owners Walk Away?

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Mortgage rates include co-ops 9-11-09

Would Americans default when the value of their mortgage exceeds the value of their house even if they can afford to pay their mortgage (strategic default)?  A Chicago Booth/Kellogg School study recently published and reported by the New York Times found that:

  • 26% of the existing defaults are strategic.
  • No household would default if the equity shortfall is less than 10% of the value of the house.
  • 17% of households would default, even if they can afford to pay their mortgage, when the equity shortfall reaches 50% of the value of their house.

Besides relocation costs, the most important variables in predicting strategic default are moral and social considerations.

  • Ceteris paribus, people who consider it immoral to default, are 77% less likely to declare their intention to do so.
  • People who know someone who defaulted are 82% more likely to declare their intention to do so.
  • The willingness to default increases nonlinearly with the proportion of foreclosures in the same ZIP code. That moral attitudes toward default do not change with the percentage of foreclosures in the area suggests that the correlation between willingness to default and percentage of foreclosures is likely to derive from a contagion

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Oct
23

Boomers and Empty Nesters Cry Foul on New York Daily News

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In an otherwise interesting article about the trendy set born between 1946 and 1964 flocking back to Manhattan in record numbers, the NY Daily News could have aroused the ire of many members of the Baby Boom generation.

The problem?  A casual opening sentence that said those Boomers bring “plenty of gray hairs and wrinkles” to the trendy and sophisticated borough.  Even the title is somewhat unfortunate: “Oldie but goodie: Retirees, empty-nesters flock to Manhattan – and thrive.”

Here’s some tongue-in cheek advice I’d give to the NY Daily News which is cluelessly unhip regarding Boomers and the empty nest crowd:

  • Don’t even try referring to Boomers as old until you’re sure most of them are at least 80 – that will occur in about 2045. Boomers are Boomers, not oldsters!  Being ahead of your time is often good, but not when describing Boomers.”
  • 80 may be the new old.  Until then, the Boomers may consent to being referred to as middle-aged.
  • Female Boomers very rarely have gray hair, and Grecian Formula hasn’t been around since 1961 because nobody uses it.
  • Be prepared for the Botox and cosmetic industries to rain scorn upon you.  Wrinkles are not the in thing, and a multi-billion dollar industry is not going to take this sitting down.  Spending on anti-aging cosmetic products has passed $75 million a year, and has been growing at about $8 million per year since 2004.
  • Be careful – plastic surgeons and other specialists involved in anti-aging services will be launching random scalpels your way.  Dermatologists and others will do heaven-knows-what – inject you with acne, perhaps? About 60,000 U.S. docs now profit from aging services, and anti-aging medical procedures are on track to surpass $15 billion per year by 2012.

Having assured my readers that I hear you, I’m off to start on an upcoming post about why Manhattan is a Mecca for the forever young. .

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Just released today are the new 3Q 2009 Residential Sales Market Reports for Long Island and Hamptons/North Fork prepared by Miller Samual Inc. for Prudential Douglas Elliman.

Hamptons and North Fork Residential Sales ReportHamptons & North Fork

Median sales price was $700,000 in the third quarter, down 4% from $729,000 in the same period last year, but up 2.9% from $680,000 in the prior quarter.

In a release of pent-up demand, there were 459 sales in the third quarter, 49.5% more than the second quarter and 29.3% more than the same period last year.

Despite the surge in sales this summer, third quarter listing inventory expanded 5.8% to 2,419 properties compared to the prior quarter as sellers attempted to take advantage of the newly active housing market.

Days on market for properties that sold during the third quarter expanded to 198 days from 173 days at this time last year. The surge in demand enticed sellers to leave their property on the market, which drove this indicator higher.

The listing discount, the distance buyers and sellers had to travel to agree on price, expanded to 16.9% in the third quarter from 10.2% in the same period last year.

Long Island Residential Market Report 3Q 2009Long Island

The number of sales in the third quarter jumped 41.6% to 5,603 properties above prior quarter levels and was 5.9% above the number of sales seen during the same period last year.

The increase in the number of sales has reduced the number of properties available for sale. There were 22,170 properties listed for sale at the end of the third quarter, a 10.1% decline from the 24,672 listing inventory total of the same period last year.

Median sales price was $375,000 in the third quarter, up 4.2% from $360,000 in the prior quarter, but remained 9.6% below the $415,000 of the same period a year ago.

Days on market, or the time it took to market a property, was 116 days, essentially unchanged from 115 days in the same period last year, but was 10 days faster than the prior quarter.

The listing discount, which is the difference between the list price at time of sale and the contract price, was 6.5%, up nominally from 6.4% in the same period a year ago.

Categories : Condo, Market Reports
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Oct
21

The Federal Reserve Beige Book Second District–New York

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Commonly known as the Beige Book, this report is published eight times per year. Each Federal Reserve Bank gathers anecdotal information on current economic conditions in its District through reports from Bank and Branch directors and interviews with key business contacts, economists, market experts, and other sources. The Beige Book summarizes this information by District and sector.

Below is a the summary for Manhattan residential a sales and rental markets as published today by the FRB.

“Manhattan’s apartment sales market remained weak in the third quarter. Sales activity rebounded moderately from the prior quarter but remained lower than a year earlier; prices continued to decline and were estimated to be down 18 percent from a year earlier on a per-square-foot basis. The inventory of listings declined modestly, but the average number of days on the market continued to climb.

Manhattan’s rental market slackened further in September, with average asking rents continuing to run about 10 percent below a year earlier; in addition, landlords are reported to be offering increasingly generous concessions–waiving fees and offering one or more months of free rent. Vacancy rates are reported to have edged down seasonally, but this is expected to reverse in the upcoming (typically slower) winter season”.

Categories : Market Reports
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Oct
21

Manhattan Homes, Apartments and Amenities – A Glossary

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Is this really a 2 bedroom apartment?

Is this really a 2 bedroom apartment?

I realized when I did the post of some of the most annoying words in real estate (and real life)   that some of the terms used to describe New York City apartments were inaccurate or misleading.

The most common errors can be found in the room count where alcoves are called rooms (a 3.5 room apartment called a 4 see floor plan left), balconies are called terraces, and the number of bedrooms is just plain wrong/inaccurate and should be called half rooms.

Perhaps more than any other U.S. city, Manhattan has its own distinctive types of housing and there are some standard terms used to describe them.  Knowing the differences can help you choose the best apartment and neighborhood for your needs and your lifestyle.  Let’s define the terms:

Alcove/Alcove Studio

An alcove is an area that’s usually less than 70 square feet adjoining the living room. May be called a half room, often used as a dining room, bedroom or home office. May have a wall added to create a separate room. To be a “legal” bedroom it must be at least 80 to 100 square feet, have a window and a closet.

An Alcove Studio is an apartment with an alcove, often in an L shape.

Balcony

Outdoor space of an apartment projecting out from the building’s façade

Brownstone

Built as luxury homes in the 1800s through the 1930s, brownstones usually have four to six floors and are row houses, sharing side walls with adjacent homes. They may be single family town homes or they may have been converted to co-ops or condos. Likely to have features especially desirable to lovers of old homes – spacious rooms, high ceilings, lots of wood floors and ornamental trim, fireplaces, and yards or gardens. The term comes from the brown sandstone used on the building exteriors. Brownstones don’t lend themselves to doormen, and rarely have them.

Classic

Larger apartments, usually pre-war. Indicates the apartment has a formal dining room. Usually used with the number of rooms, like a “Classic Six”, typically a living room, dining room, kitchen, two bedrooms and a maid’s room.

Condo

Condo, short for condominium, is an alternative choice for apartment ownership. When you buy a condo, you own your apartment outright just like you would own a single family house.  You don’t have to go through the board approval process.  You have more control over your home and  usually, you can rent it or sell it to anyone you choose. More

Co-op

Co-op means cooperative ownership. Rather than owning your apartment, you become a member of the corporation which owns the entire building and you own shares in that corporation. Your ability to buy, sell or rent the property is subject to board approval.  More

Condop

A condop is a co-op with less restrictive condo-type rules. With condops you  own shares in the co-op but the rules are often more relaxed than the standard co-op.  Condops, like most condos,  may allow you to finance a higher portion of the price, rent out the apartment and sell it to anyone you choose with no board approval. More

Convertible, Junior or Flex (also see Alcove)

An apartment with an alcove off the living room. May be listed as a Junior 4, which would mean a traditional living room, bedroom and kitchen plus a living room alcove that may be converted into a separate room or bedroom. To be a “legal” bedroom it must be at least 80 to 100 square feet, have a window and a closet.

Duplex

In New York, an apartment on two floors.

Elevator Building

Generally don’t have doormen; most provide intercom and security systems as well as elevators.

Flip Tax

A flip “tax” is something of a misnomer. Rather than a tax levied by the government, it is an income generating fee used by some co-op’s and, much less frequently, by condos. As determined by the co-op board or condo association, the fee can be on the profit of the sale, a fixed amount, a percentage of the gross or net sale or a fee per share. The co-op or condo by-laws determine if the buyer or seller has to hand over the check.  In reality however who pays the flip tax is determined by market conditions and contract negotiations.

Floor-through

Apartment that occupies an entire floor or half floor of a building. Usually found in low-rise walk-up buildings.

Full Service Building

Built from the 1980s to present modern (but could be pre war as well),, more likely to have facilities such as fitness centers, and both doormen and concierges. Many offer garages.

Half Room (see also Convertible, Junior or Flex)

Usually an alcove, sometimes a large foyer that might be used as a room.

Loft

Usually conversions of former commercial or factory buildings, though some are new construction. Feature very open floor plans, may have period details such as supporting columns. Ceilings are high, up to 20 feet and large windows are common. Utility pipes are often exposed. Doormen unlikely.

Loft Area

In buildings with very high ceilings, similar to a partial second floor accessed by stairs or a ladder. Often used as a bedroom or storage area.

Maisonette

This apartment is usually found in mid and high rise buildings. Has its own entrance to the street like a town house and usually is two stories. Could have access through the lobby of the building as well. A building may have several maisonettes.

Number of Rooms

Other than kitchens, to be counted as a room a space must have at least 100 square feet and a window. Any kitchen except a Pullman is usually considered a room. Baths are not counted as rooms. A three-room apartment is usually a living room, kitchen and bedroom. A four-room would usually have two bedrooms, or one bedroom and a separate dining room.

Penthouse

Apartment on the top floor of a building usually includes an outdoor area (see terrace) on the roof.

Pied-a-terre

Apartment the owner doesn’t use full-time. Typical example would be someone who lives in the apartment when visiting from his/her primary residence.

Post-War

Built in the late 1940s through 1980s, with more modern amenities such as larger closets, laundry facilities, and larger spaces in smaller apartments – studios as well as one and two bedrooms. Fewer architectural details, fireplaces, etc., both inside and out. Most have doormen and live-in superintendents.  May be co-ops or condos.

Pre-War

Built before the mid-1940s, or World War II, virtually always co-ops. Tend to have high ceilings, large rooms, and features like wood floors, decorative trim and fireplaces. Usually 10 to 20 stories. May have doormen.

Pullman or Petite Kitchen

The kitchen is a strip along the living room wall, rather than a separate room. Most common in hotels converted to apartments.

Studio Apartment

The living and sleeping areas are combined. One rooms have Pullman kitchens, two rooms have separate kitchens.

Terrace

Typically larger than a balcony and is open to the sky. Can be part of the building’s roof as in a penthouse or could occupy a building’s setback.

Town Houses

Self-contained homes. In Manhattan, these are likely to be brownstones, typically row houses sharing side walls. Can be single or multi family home and/or could have been converted to a co-op or a condo.

Triplex

In New York, an apartment on three floors.

Walk-Ups

Usually four to five stories with no elevator, built as pre-war apartments. Overall the least expensive kind of apartments in Manhattan. Unlikely to have doormen.

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Visiting open houses, scanning the Internet sites and dreaming of where you’ll place your sofa is all well and good, but when it’s time to get serious about buying a new home, there are some basic steps that will position you to find the right place and get the best deal.

Once you’ve decided you want to buy and that your financial basics look sound, the smartest thing you can do is put together your own dedicated search team – a buyer’s broker, a real estate attorney and a bank/mortgage broker.  Choose carefully and make sure they are well-versed in real estate in New York City.  Ask them about their experience.

Buy Into a Buyer’s Broker

A buyer’s broker will help you at every step of your purchase, from helping you figuring out what kind of apartment you want at the price you can afford, to the subtleties of the co-op interview.

Make sure you like your broker – you’re likely going to be spending a lot of time together.  Be sure that he or she listens to you and really hears what you’re saying.  Otherwise, you’ll spend a lot of time seeing spaces you’re not interested in.  Want a big kitchen?  Lots of light?  Outdoor space?  An older, pre-war building with lots of charm or a brand new, sleek and modern place, a view of the Empire State Building?  If he or she can’t get into your head, the search process won’t be as pleasant as it should be.

Be aware that most agents in New York are seller’s brokers.  If you meet an agent at an open house, for example, you need to keep in mind that you’re speaking with the seller’s representative.  Any hints you give about how much you’re prepared to spend will be reported back to the seller – in which case, you’re likely to spend top dollar.

Why?   Because you’re chatting with a seller’s agent, whose top priority is to show the property in its most favorable light and negotiate the highest price and best terms for the seller. New York law is crystal clear on the duty of listing and selling agents – they must provide “undivided loyalty” to the seller.  So if they can figure out how much you’re prepared to spend, their job is to make sure you spend every cent.

The seller’s agent may offer to have another agent at their firm to act as your representative in making an offer and negotiating for the purchase.  That’s perfectly legal, but being asked to step in and assist the buyer at the last minute may not be the ideal scenario.  First and foremost, it doesn’t give the buyer the advantage of having a dedicated advocate for his or her needs nor can he or she negotiate as effectively as a buyer’s broker who has been working with you all through the process.

Be Prepared

The other representatives you’ll need when you want to buy a property are a banker/mortgage broker and a real estate attorney.

Finding a good banker and pre-qualifying for a mortgage will not only make you an attractive buyer to all those folks hoping to sell their homes, but it will also ensure that you’re looking in the right price range.  A loan officer should request your credit score to do a pre-approval letter, stating that you qualify for a mortgage up to a stated amount (you’ll need to pay for a credit check, usually $20 or less), and be able to explain what kind of rates and mortgages her or his company could offer you today along with what information they will need if you apply for a mortgage with the company.  You’ll know exactly what you can – and can’t afford.   You won’t fall in love with something you can’t have – and when you do find that perfect place, you’ll be in a strong position to negotiate for it.

Locating a real estate savvy attorney will also smooth the way. An attorney in addition to being expert in  New York City real estate, should be well-versed in reviewing co-op and condo financial statements (your accountant could help here), should plan to read its board meeting minutes to look for items like upcoming expenses, lawsuits pending etc. and be familiar with the latest inclusions/exclusions in NYC real estate contracts.

So, first things first.

When you decide to start looking, take time to find the right folks to ensure your search is a success– your buyer’s broker, real estate attorney, and loan officer.  You can call around, ask friends – and even ask prospective members of the team to recommend others they’ve worked with in the past.

With your team lined up, you’re ready to look, and to buy.  Now, about that sofa …

Oct
18

Manhattan Co-op Board to Madonna: Be Quiet Or Get Out!

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AP photo madonna_150 from MSN articleMadonna’s Upper West Side co-op board  is threatening to evict the Material Girl.  According to a lawsuit filed by her upstairs neighbor Karen George, Madonna is using her Central Park West pied a terre ” as a rehearsal studio, forcing neighbors to endure “blaring music, stomping and shaking walls,” for up to three hours each day.

When a colleague sent me this link reporting the story, I remembered a similar problem that my wife and I  had with an upstairs neighbor (not music- but walking both human and canine). Fortunately, carpeting resolved the problem and our “quiet enjoyment” was restored. If you live in New York City you should expect noise from police cars to fire engine sirens, horns and car alarms, garbage trucks and yes from your neighbors as well.

If you are moving from a quiet suburban neighborhood or if you are particularly sensitive to noise here are some suggestions to test your decibel tolerance before you buy an apartment in Manhattan.

  • If the apartment is located near an elevator, public laundry room or trash room make sure mechanical noises can’t be  heard.
  • Check to see if the windows have been upgraded to reduce street noises  as well as  energy costs.
  • Depending on the floor of the apartment, you may want to listen carefully- especially in rear courtyard facing rooms-for fans and other mechanical noise creating devices on adjacent rooftops.
  • Ask the seller’s/showing broker to turn off or lower any music playing in the apartment.
  • Before signing the contract, visit the apartment at different times of the day. A morning visit will expose the going to work noises,  an afternoon visit will let you concentrate on street and traffic sounds and the evening visit may give you some insight into the level of noise you can expect from prospective neighbors  are reading or blaring their music or TVs?
  • As part of your due diligence, you and/or your attorney should read the  co-op or condo meeting minutes and see if there are any noise issues discussed.

Generally speaking, a co-op board will have more jurisdiction and clout over noise matters. Based on their bylaws a co-op board may be able to levy fines until the offending shareholder complies or, as with Madonna,  threaten and ultimately have the shareholder evicted. Condos generally do not have this power and,  it may be completely up to you to bring any legal pressure on your fellow condo neighbor.



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Faith New York City Leasing Activity Report - Fall 2009

The end of a quarter brings a blizzard of Residential Sales and Rental Market Reports; followed by a spurt of press coverage spinning and analyzing the reports. But here’s a report that’s different.

The Faith Report-Fall 2009 New York Retail Leasing Activity Report created by Faith Consolo Chairman of  Prudential Douglas Elliman’s Leasing and Sales Division.

The Faith Report reads like a who’s who of luxury retailers.

Faith believes that “New York City luxury retail remains resilient, with new entries and expansions paving the way for a phenomenal fall.”

From Madison Avenue to 5th Avenue and the Upper East Side,  across Central Park on the Upper West Side down to Union Square, the West Village, Soho, Nolita, Tribeca and to the Lower East Side, the Faith Report alerts you to the newest digs for your favorite designers and other trend-setting retailers.

Just released today are the new 3Q 2009 Residential Sales Market Reports for Brooklyn and Queens prepared by Miller Samual Inc. for Prudential Douglas Elliman.

QMO_3Q09Queens Residential Sales Market Excerpts/Highlights

After below trend sales activity in the first two quarters of 2009, there was a release of pent-up demand as buyers who had been “sitting on the fence” began to make purchase decisions en masse in the third quarter. This was prompted by a rapidly rising stock market that improved consumer confidence, low mortgage rates and newly found affordability as a result of falling housing prices.

There were 2,789 sales in the current quarter, down 13.9% from 3,240 units in the prior year quarter, but jumped 31% from 2,129 units in the prior quarter.

The surge in the number of sales resulted in a decline in listing inventory.

A portion of the decline from the prior year quarter was attributable to sellers pulling their listings from the market with the strategy of re-listing when market conditions improve.

Brooklyn Residential Sales Market Report Q3 2009Brooklyn Residential Sales Market Excerpts/Highlights

The number of sales for the quarter surged for the second consecutive quarter, rising 29.3% to 1,847 units from 1,428 units in the second quarter.

Despite the increase in activity, the number of sales were 19.6% below the 2,298 number of sales in the prior year quarter.

The jump in the number of sales from the prior quarter reflects a release of pent-up demand from an unusually low level of sales activity seen in the early part of the year.

Listing inventory has fallen sharply but remains above typical levels.

This inventory decline was caused by individual sellers removing their listings from the market in hopes of re-listing when conditions improve.

Categories : Market Reports
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Oct
14

The Most Annoying Words In Real Life & Real Estate

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Wordle 2br equal-greater compressed 1M

A "Wordle" of 2br/2bth co-ops & condos =>$1M in Manhattan

In a recent Marist poll, nearly half of Americans – 47% – said they find “whatever” most annoying.  The other sayings weren’t quite so loathed.  25% say they find “you know” most grating; 11% can’t stand “it is what it is”; 7% would like to ban “anyway” from all verbal exchanges; and 2% reported that they could do without hearing “at the end of the day.”

After reading thousands of Manhattan apartment descriptions, I have come up with my top  list of  real estate words and phrases that I find most annoying:

  1. Boasts
  2. Oversized (also ample or generous)
  3. Sun-drenched
  4. Residence
  5. Triple mint

Here’s a “finger-nails-on -the-black-board” apartment description:

This triple mint, sun drenched apartment boasts oversized windows and generous maintenance.  You must call me for the non-negotiable price, a private showing or whatever. Anyway, if you have to ask the price this residence may not be for you. You know, at the end of the day it is what it is.

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