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Brooklyn : Real Estate Advice

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Yesterday at 4:43pm
Kathy Burgreen answered:
As a former realtor in the NYC area, the answer is NO! The reply from Alan is wrong. The reason is if you did NOT sign a broker agreement, the agent will need proof in writing that you owe a commission. Since the agent has no written proof (no signature from you), how can the agent prove in court that you owe anything? Any agent can say they showed you a rental apartment, but it will be your word against theirs. In court, anything verbal is thrown out and a judge will want something in writing.

You scored big on this one - Congrats! If this were outside NYC, it would be nice to pay the agent a commission since there are fewer agents and less population. But in NYC, you can easily get away without paying. Most agents in NYC collect the brokers fee upfront BEFORE they show you any rentals. This way they already have your signature.
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Sun Mar 26, 2017
Dersine10 answered:
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Sun Mar 26, 2017
Lisa.t.mooney answered:
You have to make him/ her meet board members I believe to see if they will accept person to buy after that I believe you need a closing lawyer to help. I have a question how did you find a buyer I may have to do same as well, three years a realtor had listing and almost went to closing but it went belly up. ... more
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Fri Mar 24, 2017
Kathy Burgreen answered:
1. As for the $1850. deposit, either call your bank or go online and see if the check was deducted (cashed). If it's not deducted yet, put a stop payment on the check. You will pay a fee for this, but the broker is out the money.

2. To contact the landlord directly, does your building have a property management company? Call them and ask for the name or phone number of the owner / landlord. You can also register your complaint with the property management company. You don't need to go thru the broker.

3. New York City is very tenant friendly - the laws favor tenants - not landlords.

4. Tell the broker that you will be happy to write negative reviews all over the internet. If your rental was located outside NYC, the normal method would be to speak with the Office Manager / Broker in Charge and if necessary - contact the local / state Board of Realtors. However, in NYC, this is a waste of time and won't get you points because in NYC, brokers, their managers and REBNY all stick up for each other. The NY State Board of Realtors doesn't do anything for NYC either. Your best bet is to write negative reviews online because that puts agents on notice since future renters read reviews and it forces the agent to change their behavior + you get a solution much faster.

5. You may need to take a day off work but go to the New York City Housing Dept, and fill out a complaint form for the $1,850. deposit. Not sure what the next step will be but the Housing Dept. will act on your behalf.

6. Hope you find a new job soon. If it helps, you should expand your search to ALL of New York City and the nearby suburbs. Look at it this way, in Westchester County search White Plains, Yonkers, New Rochelle, Tarrytown, Eastchester, Scarsdale, etc. - all are places that have jobs and housing is much cheaper than anywhere in New York City. Also try Nassau County (Long Island) - plenty of places / towns with jobs and housing is much cheaper than New York City.
For transportation - the suburbs do have buses that run frequently and they go to New York City too. Also there is the commuter railroads - Long Island Railroad to Penn Station or MetroNorth to Grand Central. From most suburban towns it takes 30 minutes during rush hours (express trains).
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Thu Mar 23, 2017
Carmen answered:
Hi i have a city feps voucher 1482.20 look for a one or 2 bedroom apartment for me and my son and my husband please contact me asap my number 3472826152
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Thu Mar 23, 2017
Bibs743 answered:
Selling property in NYC, just found out their is a lien on the address due to a tenants unpaid parking. Can a lien be assessed to my property because of the renters resided at my address? ... more
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Wed Mar 22, 2017
Kathy Burgreen answered:
I'm a life long New York City area resident and former realtor, so here's some facts, myths & other tidbits you need to know (what realtors will not tell you):

1. Since realtors own the MLS system (REBNY), they limit the amount of information sent to 3rd party websites (like Trulia, Zillow, etc.). The reason is if all the information was sent to 3rd party websites, it would stop consumers like you from contacting agents. And agents need consumers like you to call them for potential leads.

2. An easy method to tell co-ops from condos on 3rd party websites (like Zillow, Trulia, etc.) is to know that condos are more expensive than co-ops for the same size unit. Example: you see a 2 bedroom unit for $400,000. and another 2 bedroom unit for $700,000. with similar square footage and in the same neighborhood. The $400K price is a co-op and the $700K price is a condo. This is a guideline - not meant to be 100% accurate but it does work.

3. The reason condos are more expensive than co-ops is because of the type of ownership. For co-ops you are buying shares of stock in a limited housing corporation that gives you "ownership" rights to own a specific unit in a multi family building. A condo means you receive the title or deed to the unit itself - similar to buying a house. Beware - in a co-op, the monthly maintenance fee is split - about 50% of the fee is for maintenance (which can increase) and 50% is for New York City property taxes. In a condo you pay property taxes separate from your maintenance fee (HOA which also can increase).

4. From my knowledge of NYC & real estate - Brooklyn is already overpriced (or according to experts - increasing in price) because since Manhattan is too expensive, buyers bought in Brooklyn. Well guess what - unfortunately you're too late in the game because Brooklyn now is as expensive as Manhattan. So...buyers are getting fed up (like you) and now they're going to Queens. My Mom and sister live in a co-op in Baysde (Queens) and they're telling me that co-ops and condos are going up all over Queens. Pretty soon Queens will end up like Brooklyn and Manhattan - overpriced / too expensive. Right now you may score some good deals.

5. The best solution - Move to the suburbs (many NYC buyers end up doing so). You can easily get a co-op, condo or even a house for a lot less than New York City's high prices. Yes, there are plenty of co-ops and a HUGE PLUS - down payment requirements are 10%!! A few are 15 - 20% but the majority are 10%. You may even be qualified to buy a condo.

6. The benefits of living in the suburbs - much better school districts, your own parking space (average monthly fee $50 - 100.), amenities (pool, gym, community room, concierge / doorman), 30 minute express (rush hours) commuter train to Grand Central or Penn Station; plenty of parks, beaches, tennis courts, golf, shopping, medical, restaurants, culture, etc.

7. The negatives - high property taxes and you need a car. The high property taxes is for the top rated school districts. School budgets are voted on yearly and residents pass the budgets because they want to maintain the high quality of public schools. High school graduation rates average 90%+ and the majority of students attend Ivy League universities and the top named public universities + they get scholarships. I graduated from one of these suburban high schools and even today, it feels like your attending an elite private school for free because it's a public school. Thanks to residents who pass school budgets.

If you plan to move to the suburbs - Do NOT buy a car until after you close on your home. You don't want to get denied for a mortgage - yes lenders will deny you if you buy a car.
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Wed Mar 22, 2017
Kimesha curry asked:
Tue Mar 21, 2017
Kathy Burgreen answered:
You pick "lovely" neighborhoods. East New York / New Lots have crime issues and have been rough neighborhoods for decades. Do yourself a favor. Pick someplace else to live. Do not move here. ... more
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Tue Mar 21, 2017
Alysse Musgrave answered:
A 640 or higher will do it. Are you buying in Houston? Contact HelpUBuy America for Exclusive Buyer Representation at no cost to you. EBAs represent homebuyers only so there is no conflict of interest to jeopardize your negotiating position. Follow the link below.

Buying a Home? Don't Let Them Make a Monkey Out of You! Follow the link below.

Alysse Musgrave
Consumer Advocate/
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Best selling author of Buying a Home: Don't Let Them Make a Monkey Out of You!
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Tue Mar 21, 2017
Kathy Burgreen answered:
You don't have to. You should explore nearby suburbs (Nassau County). Housing is cheaper and easy commute to Manhattan. Co-op and condo buildings do not allow Section 8 tenants. Or you could buy a house. ... more
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Fri Mar 17, 2017
Rob answered:

I have a room to share in prime Bushwick by Morgan L train. Email me at
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Wed Mar 15, 2017
Rob asked:
Hello, I used StreetEasy, to advertise my apartment, which auto posted my apartment on Trulia. I asked for my phone number and email to be hidden, which it is on StreetEasy, but Trulia give…
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Mon Mar 13, 2017
Naphtaliaiken answered:
I want to convert my one family home to a 2 family and I didn't know how to start. Question what are the steps?
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