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Home Buying in New York : Real Estate Advice

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Activity 2,301
Mon May 22, 2017
Smoothk answered:
I must say that the customer service is not the best. But the caveat to that is the fact that they are under paid and over worked. They must do double the work of a regular loan officer with half the pay. However, the he program is incredible!!!! But you must change the way you view your mortgage and the home buying process. There is no monthly fee. There is no requirement to attend meetings. There is a one time membership fee is 25$ and a charge for credit reports of 25$. Funny thing is people are stuck on those stupid charges. The reason for the membership fee is it allows them to offer things to their membership that you can't offer to the public. Much like Sam's Club or CostCo. The cap is different based on your location, it's 400,000 in Vegas. I had to wait 2 years to finish my purchase, but I also had a short sale which a conventional loan company would of made me wait 4/5 years then charged me more because of my bad credit. NACA doesn't use your credit rating to prove your credit worthiness. They use it to see your debts and based upon the combination of your provable income and debts they'll see what you qualify for. Also a lot of the waiting people do is because of themselves. Have your paperwork ready!!!!! The most important thing in the entire program is your information/ paperwork. ... more
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Wed May 17, 2017
Kutas answered:
I would not recommend them, They use lowest bidders to finish work and there is no supervision.
0 votes 12 answers Share Flag
Fri May 5, 2017
Kathy Burgreen answered:
If you are buying in NY, it depends where - in order to answer your question correctly. The following applies to buyers:

Within New York City and the suburban towns along the border, buyers can sign multiple buyer agreements and you will not owe anything to your agent and most likely never be caught. Your situation that you described is perfectly fine. The reason it's OK is because the NYC area has a huge population of buyers and sellers and in NYC - multiple MLS systems. Agents are too busy to check the hundreds of real estate sale transactions on a daily basis and don't have time to verify buyers names against the hundreds of transactions just to see if their client's name came up on a sold listing with a different agent. It is very time consuming and agents need to spend their time on more important matters. For this reason, the odds of you getting caught is like 1%.

On the flip side, if you as the buyer submits an offer for the same property with 2 different buyer agents, then you will be caught because the listing agent will see your name on 2 different offers. That listing agent will call your agents and tell them you already submitted an offer with somebody else. In this situation, you need to tell the agent you don't want to work with that your agreement needs to be cancelled and their Office Manager needs to sign it.

If you are buying a home outside of the New York City metro area, then you will be caught if you sign multiple buyer agreements. The reason is the population is much smaller and agents do have time to check the MLS for sold listings and to match buyer names with sold listings.

As a former realtor, unfortunately I had to learn my lesson when one of my buyer clients signed multiple buyer agreements and lied to each agent. Sad but it seems to be a common practice in NYC for buyers to lie to agents about signing multiple buyer agreements. Apparently, word on the street is they know they can get away with it and not get caught. Unfortunately it is true.
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Thu May 4, 2017
Tonyfio answered:
what happens if I signed a sales agreement to purchase a home in New York for a certain amount of money. And then before I go to contract I decide I do not want to purchase the home for any reason. Will I be held liable because I signed the sales agreement. No money changed hands. ... more
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Wed May 3, 2017
David Lemay answered:
First of all, requesting a commission rebate in NYC as a buyer is a no brainer. This will immediately save you tens of thousands on the purchase based on the current real estate prices in NYC.

The other reason why I'd never work directly with a listing agent is because dual agency is really risky.

When it comes down asking difficult and important questions about the property, such as when the boiler was last replaced, how can you expect a listing agent who has zero loyalty to you as the buyer to answer honestly? Also, it's difficult and ineffective to negotiate through an intermediary (the broker) who is working for both the buyer and seller at the same time and has his/her own interests as the primary driver.
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0 votes 129 answers Share Flag
Thu Apr 27, 2017
Classioptions answered:

I am looking for Bulk buyers.
Whom, can buy from 50-1000 plus. A person who can buy in Volume.

Contact me anytime

I have Reo tape list daily.

Marian Campbell
0 votes 62 answers Share Flag
Sun Apr 23, 2017
Kathy Burgreen answered:
No, why? Lenders across the U.S. are required to follow U.S. laws and regulations - no matter what state you are buying in. All lenders carefully review the following:

Employment & Income
Savings and Investments
Credit score and Credit history
Debt to Income Ratio
Tax Returns

All a lender wants is proof in writing that you have the financial ability to pay the mortgage loan on time every month. If something happens (job loss, medical crisis, etc.) that prevents you earning an income, do you have cash savings to pay the mortgage loan?

If you can't afford to pay the loan on time every month, yes lenders will reject you.
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Thu Apr 20, 2017
Kathy Burgreen answered:
I'm a recently retired realtor and still in contact with lenders. I hate to start off with bad news but unfortunately your budget is low. You can scratch off condos because you can't afford them.

The good news is you CAN AFFORD to buy a co-op. You need to look in the suburbs (Nassau County, Westchester County, New Jersey). For most towns the rush hour commute is 30 minutes to either Penn Station or Grand Central. From there you take the subway if needed. The further away from Manhattan, the commute will be longer but then your monthly ticket price will be higher.

The difference between a co-op and a condo is the structure of ownership.
A condo - you own the unit outright and you pay a monthly HOA fee which covers maintenance of the building, personnel, etc. You pay property taxes separately. Therefore, when looking at condos, you need to add the monthly HOA fee + divide the annual property tax by 12 months and add the monthly portion to the HOA fee. Then add the monthly mortgage amount and this equals your total monthly housing cost.

A co-op - you are buying shares of a limited housing corporation that gives you a proprietary lease / ownership of a specific apartment unit. You do NOT own the unit outright like a condo. However, you have every legal right of ownership like a single family house and you have the legal right to sell the shares for your co-op on the open market. Owning a co-op gives you the rights to itemize your portion of property taxes paid on your annual tax return, apply for the New York State STAR rebate, allows you to build equity and sell your co-op for more money than you paid for it. As for your monthly expenses - you pay a monthly maintenance fee that includes your portion of property taxes. You do not receive a separate bill like a condo. The building pays the entire property tax bill and each apartment unit pays their fair share. Therefore, the monthly maintenance fees for co-ops will SEEM higher than a condo BUT remember it includes the property taxes. If you do the math for the condo's HOA fee + property taxes, it equals the monthly maintenance fees for co-ops (give or take $100.).

Given the above differences between condos and co-ops, the prices for condos is roughly $100,000. higher in the suburbs for the same exact size apartment and about $300,000.+ higher in NYC for the exact same size apartment.

So your bottom line - In a safe / desirable neighborhood / town, a 1 bedroom condo in the suburbs averages $400K and a 2 bedroom condo averages $600K. I know - above your budget. The good news - a 1 bedroom co-op in a safe / desirable town averages $200,000. and a 2 bedroom averages $300 - 400,000.

As for specific towns:

Nassau County - anyplace is good. Just avoid Hempstead & Freeport as there are crime issues and welfare residents.
Westchester County - anyplace is good. Avoid south Yonkers and Mount Vernon as both have crime issues and welfare residents.
New Jersey - sorry but I'm not that knowledgeable to know about specific towns.
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Wed Apr 19, 2017
Kathy Burgreen answered:
I'm a retired realtor (recently) and co-op Board Vice President in lower Westchester and I know exactly what you are talking about because I'm still in contact with lenders.

To start, please read (and learn) the following:

1. Your agent lied to you BUT it's not their fault because as a licensed realtor, unfortunately we are trained on what we can tell buyers and things that we need to keep our mouths shut on. So now that I'm not an active realtor anymore - go to #2 (spilling the beans)

2. I hate to admit it but the truth is realtors do NOT visit all the different co-op buildings and do NOT know any of the Board members. Realtors will only visit a building if they have a listing or if they have a buyer who is interested in seeing a unit, otherwise to a realtor, every co-op building is the same as the others.

3. When realtors need information on a specific apartment, they call the property management company - not the Board members. When a listing agent takes a listing from the seller, that agent calls the management company - not the Board members. As a rule, co-op Board members do NOT want to deal with realtors and they keep their distance from them.

4. As for getting approved by the co-op Board, the truth is if a co-op building is located in a lower income neighborhood (think anything below Fordham Rd., Mount Vernon, south Yonkers), the Board will be lenient and approve buyers that have poor credit, high DTI, low cash reserves, etc. The reason is co-op Boards in poor neighborhoods know they can never get better qualified buyers because of the neighborhood. On the flip side, co-op buildings in higher income / better neighborhoods are stricter and insist that buyers have higher credit scores, lower DTI, more cash reserves, etc.

5. The issue is that realtors are prohibited from steering or telling buyers which neighborhoods will have co-op Boards that have stricter requirements and which neighborhoods or co-op Boards have easy requirements. This violates Fair Housing laws and agents will lose their license. Therefore, all agents (including yours) are required to tell buyers that co-op Boards require a high DTI, high credit scores, cash reserves, etc. - no matter what neighborhood the co-op building is located in. This way, agents do not violate the Fair Housing law and cannot be caught "steering". Unfortunately, agents do know what I wrote in #4 is accurate but they are not allowed to tell you this.

6. Another issue you need to be VERY concerned with is the co-op Board's financials. When I was working as a licensed realtor, I learned that most co-op buildings in south Yonkers, Mount Vernon and the Bronx have low or no cash reserves, poor financial management and in some cases, co-op buildings would only accept cash buyers because lenders refused to give loans to buildings that are too risky. On the flip side, most (probably all?) co-op buildings in the better neighborhoods (residents with high incomes) have fantastic cash reserves, excellent cash management and lenders love these buildings. Therefore, these co-op Boards can be picky when buyers submit their applications to get approved.

Sorry to give you the above, but I feel it's better you know the truth and what you're getting into now BEFORE you submit your application. There is an application fee, so why waste money. From what I know based on what you wrote, co-op Boards are well aware of student loans and that will not be a problem. What co-op Boards are VERY concerned with is prove to them that if you lost your job (hypothetically) or had a major medical crisis and could not work, how will you pay the maintenance fee on time every month? Co-op Boards want to see that you have enough cash reserves to pay the mortgage, maintenance fee and utilities on time every month - in the event of a crisis that you lost your income and you would be on unemployment. Get it? Boards do not want to start an eviction proceeding against you if you fail to pay the maintenance fee. This brings you back to location. In the low income neighborhoods, the co-op Boards are not as strict with this, however, in the more expensive neighborhoods, the Boards are very strict with this.

And where does this leave your agent? Now you get why your agent told you what he/she did - she/he can't afford to lose their license.
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Tue Apr 18, 2017
Eric answered:
If you are looking for a stated income loan in NY or NJ, then check out Dream Home Financing for more info.

You will find a lot of good info there and then the ability to find a lender who can help. Great information about closing costs and other references.

Keep in mind that you will need a substantial down payment for a stated income loan. Possibly up to 40% down. Banks are nervous about lending money to people who cannot document their income.

Remember, you need to be self employed for a stated income loan
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Mon Apr 10, 2017
Jonathan Lahey answered:
I also agree you will have a hard time with the taxes that will charge to you.
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Wed Apr 5, 2017
Kathy Burgreen answered:
Looks like you're getting a fast reality check. Unfortunately it's true that co-op boards will charge the new buyer for past maintenance fees that were not paid. I'm a former realtor BUT I'm also on the Board of my co-op building and yes - we are doing the same thing. We have a co-op unit where the owner (shareholder) owes several months of maintenance and is currently selling. When the sale closes, the arrears (past maintenance fees due) will be deducted from the shareholder's profits. If the shareholder owes more than what the profit from the sale is, then the buyer will need to pay for it because the current owner does not have the money to pay for past maintenance fees.

Since you are buying a foreclosed co-op unit, the arrears will be paid by you. This is one of the risks of buying a foreclosure. If you were buying a regular resale co-op, you wouldn't be stuck paying maintenance fees for a previous owner who defaulted. Foreclosed co-op units may SEEM cheaper for the asking price but you failed to find out if any other amounts were due at closing.
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Tue Apr 4, 2017
Kathy Burgreen answered:
The issue with bedroom conversions in a co-op is it can be difficult to sell. My Mom's co-op building in Bayside has 1 owner (shareholder) that converted 2 apartments into 1. As a former realtor I've seen 3 different co-op units that were converted and the time on the market to sell these co-ops is longer than normal. The exception would be Manhattan as a converted co-op in Manhattan will sell faster. But in the rest of NYC it won't sell faster.

2. What you need to do is have your realtor search the MLS for converted co-ops that have sold or delisted. You want to see how long these co-ops were on the market. and how many price reductions it had. Your agent needs to give you the History page.

As for the value of the co-op you want to buy, you need to understand that bedroom sizes in NYC are tiny. Therefore, the sellers needed to convert a 3 bedroom to a 2 bedroom just to have a NORMAL size bedroom. Very few buildings will have large size rooms, so for pricing, it makes sense that the value should be priced as a 3 bedroom - not a 2 bedroom. The issue is you can buy a 2 bedroom co-op in a different building but will you be happy with less space in the bedrooms? If you need 3 bedrooms, then it makes sense to buy a 3 bedroom unit and you will have to sacrifice on bedroom space.

Bottom line - NEGOTIATE!! The asking price is not set in stone. Offer 10% below to start. And tell your agent to escalate the price until a point that you don't want to go above that price. Otherwise you walk away.
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Sun Apr 2, 2017
Kathy Burgreen answered:
All agents are approved for NACA and can assist you. However, you need to learn that agents are independent contractors and work on commissions. Therefore, agents legally can choose who they want to work with and yes - discriminate against people they do not want to help. Agents legally do NOT have to work with you if they don't want to.

The issue is agents need to make money and assisting somebody with NACA is a waste of time and does not pay well. Agents can easily make more money buying and selling homes that pay much more than NACA does. Obviously, very few agents will do NACA. You may want to find a new licensed agent who is not experienced yet. Contact some brokers and ask for new licensed agents.
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Fri Mar 31, 2017
Alan May answered:
The property taxes are not based on how you pay for the property. You could pay with cash, or a mortgage and the taxes on that property would be exactly the same.

I'm not sure why you think that the taxes would go down since you're paying in cash. ... more
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Tue Mar 28, 2017
Kathy Burgreen answered:
Yes BUT the most important document you need to analyze before closing is the co-op building's financial statements. Make sure you or your lender / attorney review this. You need to look for the following items:

1. Does the co-op have cash reserves? In case of emergencies, the co-op needs cash reserves to pay for contractors so they don't have to increase the maintenance fee.

2. Has there been frequent maintenance increases within the past few years? Why? Did the co-op pay for major projects?

3. Are there any lawsuits pending? How long do they expect before it's resolved? Will lawsuits affect maintenance increases? Yes, the shareholders can pay for this.

4. Any future projects being planned? What are they? Will the co-op increase maintenance fees to pay for it?

5. If you talk to the Super, ask how long he has been working there. Ask if there are Porters working in the building. Full time? Part time?

6. If you're in the building, go to the laundry room and start a conversation with residents. Make sure they are residents - not nurse's aides taking care of elderly / disabled people. Also make sure they are shareholders - not tenants renting an apartment. Ask the residents the following: how long have they lived there; have they attended a Board meeting and what was it like; do they have a newsletter that they can email you; how is the personnel working out - any complaints?; How is the co-op Board. Do they issue a newsletter to residents.

Even though you can talk to the Super, the issue is the Super may have orders not to talk to you and can refuse to answer your questions. The reason is the co-op Board is the employer and dictates the Super's job responsibilities. If the Super talks to you, that may be a violation of their policy and may get the Super in trouble.
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Sat Mar 25, 2017
Kathy Burgreen answered:
Income does not always mean employment income. Lenders consider income from pensions, Social Security, annuities and investments. Therefore your pension IS income. You need to contact a lender and have them pull your credit. You should be fine. ... more
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Fri Mar 24, 2017
Gregg Pomeroy answered:
Hello, I'm a mortgage professional.

There is a bank statement and asset depletion program, so it is possible to qualify for a mortgage using your assets as income.

I can explain more.

If you have any other questions or would like help with this you are welcome to get in touch with me
... more
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Mon Mar 13, 2017
Jgandbplanier answered:
In 2015 having banked with Chase for 20 years we went to them directly for a mortgage in Dallas. They kept saying everything was good and we gave them everything they requested-3 different people told us it would close. Eventually after 60 days the sellers walked away with our $2000 escrow. We found another house one street over and another lender who closed us in 30 days. I spent 2 months talking to different people at Chase trying just to get my $2000 back-nothing not even an apology-they did not understand at all what they had put us through. I closed my account with Chase and would not recommend them. ... more
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