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Queens : Real Estate Advice

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Yesterday at 11:16am
Kathy Burgreen answered:
I'm a recently retired NYC realtor and life long area resident. I'm assuming you are buying a condo or a house because co-op Boards do not accept FHA. What I'm very confused with is if you have a closing date, how did you get this far? Were you pre approved by a lender already? If you have been pre approved, then your lender should be able to close the loan.
If you were NOT pre approved, how could you sign a contract and have a closing date? Most NYC realtors do not allow buyers to sign contracts unless they have proof of financing (pre approval letter or proof of funds). I'm shocked your realtor allowed this. Perhaps you are working with a new licensed agent who doesn't know what they are doing?
Having permission from a trustee to proceed and buy a home does NOT mean you are qualified to buy a home. It's only proof for the lender that you can proceed. Lenders need to qualify you based on several factors - not just permission from a trustee. The criteria lenders use is: employment and income; savings or investments; credit history and credit score; debt to income ratio and tax returns.

Bottom line - Even IF you find a lender, there is NO GUARANTEE that a lender will approve you to buy a home. If you are under contract, you need to brace yourself that you may need to cancel and back out. Will you lose your deposit? You will not get a refund for fees already paid. You did things backwards.
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Tue May 23, 2017
Kathy Burgreen answered:
As a former NYC area realtor and long time resident, you need to know that NYC real estate agents are ruthless, aggressive, back stabbing liars. It's the wild wild west so to speak. Even though I left because it was costing me more money than I was making, I was starting to become one of them which I did not intend to happen. So..

To answer your question, the seller's agent is representing the seller. The agent can work with the buyer in a dual agency role BUT in NYC - never let this happen to you. You need to learn that the seller's agent will do everything to get you to pay the highest price and have the best terms that are good for the seller - not you. They know every trick to undercut you.

You need a buyer's agent to represent you only. However, you want a buyers agent who has recently sold or listed homes in the neighborhood that you are buying in. Do NOT get a buyers agent who sold 5 homes in Brooklyn or Manhattan and nothing in Queens. You need to ask your agent to show you the FULL LISTING sheets that prove the homes were sold by your agent. Your agent's name should be listed as "Selling Agent" or Buyers Agent" If your agent refuses, find somebody else. It means your agent just lied to you.

Also make sure your agent will do everything to fight hard to make sure you get the best deal. You don't want your agent to be scared of the listing agent.
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Fri May 19, 2017
Kathy Burgreen answered:
Your clients need to take the subway to the Bronx. In Queens, landlords will accept vouchers in Jamaica, Hollis, Saint Albans and Queens Village. In Brooklyn, try Bed-Stuy, Brownsville, Bensonhurst and East New York. In the Bronx, anywhere in the South Bronx (south of Fordham Rd.)

None of the above neighborhoods are good BUT you need to explain that landlords can legally discriminate against vouchers based on finances. If landlords can easily rent to people who can afford high rents, then they don't have to take a loss because the vouchers pay much less than the regular rents. If your clients had extra money to pay every month in addition to the vouchers, then any landlord would be happy to accept them. However, most voucher holders don't have $500. - $1,000. extra every month to pay landlords in addition to the vouchers.
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Tue May 16, 2017
Kathy Burgreen answered:
You need to find out from the Buildings Dept. in Queens County if you can get a permit for it. If you can't get a permit, then you cannot do it. Don't try doing this without a permit because if you ever sell in the future, you will need to take the office addition down before you can sell to anybody. ... more
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Sat May 13, 2017
Kathy Burgreen answered:
Ignore Mary's reply below. Mary is with Trulia and doesn't know that New York City uses other vouchers besides Section 8. Vouchers for NYC include: FEPS, LINC, etc. As a former local realtor and life long NYC area resident, let me educate you how the system works:

I know it's difficult find a rental that takes vouchers. Landlords can discriminate against vouchers because it's a financial issue - not a Fair Housing violation. NYC landlords want tenants who can afford to pay full market rent (about $4 - 5,000. for a 2 bedroom in parts of Queens) and your voucher is $1515. or $1268. for a 2 bedroom. If you can afford to pay the difference, any landlord will be happy to give you an apartment. However, most voucher holders cannot afford to pay the difference so landlords will reject you and give the rental to somebody who can afford $4,000./month and pay on time.

Have you tried Jamaica? I know rentals are much cheaper in Jamaica and some landlords will take vouchers. I would also advise you to take the subway to the Bronx. The Bronx is much cheaper than Queens and landlords do take vouchers. You should also get your name on the wait list for NYC housing.
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Fri May 12, 2017
Melodyt32 answered:
There has to be a law against all that all those children living in one 5th Street in Los Osos 1280 there are like 8 people in a two-bedroom apartment . I need help because it's not okay ... more
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Tue May 2, 2017
Kathy Burgreen answered:
I'm a former NYC area realtor and unfortunately your situation is common in NYC. Your attorney is correct for one thing - CANCEL the contract. Here is how this plays out and you win:


Let's assume the tenant refuses to move out. The seller is stuck and since you cancelled the contract, the seller will need to start all over and look for a new buyer. That makes it tough for the seller because every buyer will know there was a previous deal (yours) and it fell thru. Also with the tenant still living there, the seller can only sell to investors who need to have a tenant who pays rent. This eliminates families who want the house empty. Obviously, the seller will be upset.

In addition, the listing agent (seller's agent) will be upset because he/she is not getting paid. With no paycheck and an upset seller, what do you think will happen? I will guarantee 100% that the agent will force the seller to get rid of the tenant or that agent will drop / cancel the listing. If the agent cancels the listing, then the seller needs to start over with a different agent and the 2nd agent will find out why the listing was cancelled. Back to the tenant who refused to move out. At this point, no agent will want to take this sellers listing until the tenant moves out.

You need to learn that real estate agents are independent contractors / self employed and in NYC they don't work for free. Agents will make sure sellers are really ready to move out and want their home sold quickly. If sellers don't pass the agent's smell test, that agent will walk out and move on to the next seller.

See how this benefits you? As the buyer, you have the power to threaten the seller with cancelling the contract and forcing both the seller and the agent to start from scratch. You win! I'm sure the seller will get rid of the tenant quickly.
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Tue May 2, 2017
Sally Grenier answered:
That's why you hire agents. The Buyer's Agent should absolutely be in touch with the Listing Agent. That's why they get paid the big bucks!
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Mon Apr 24, 2017
Cecil Bramble asked:
Fri Apr 21, 2017
Kathy Burgreen answered:
Yes foreigners can buy real estate in the U.S. However, you will need a large down payment (about 30%) and get a mortgage loan for the balance. You need to Google FIRPTA because you will need to pay taxes when you sell. Finally, buying property does not give you any residency status and if you are not legally in the U.S. you can get deported.

I'm a former realtor and still in contact with lenders so this is the latest from lenders.
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Thu Apr 20, 2017
Kathy Burgreen answered:
I'm a former NYC area realtor and life long resident. I hate to give you the bad news but what you want is impossible. There are options available but you need to compromise. Here are my suggestions:

1. There are quiet, residential neighborhoods in Queens BUT the average 2 bedroom rents for $3 - 4,000./month - not $1500. On the flip side, the cheaper 2 bedroom apartments average $2,000./month are in low income, noisy neighborhoods.

2. In nearby Nassau County, 2 bedroom rentals are cheaper than Queens and the neighborhoods are quiet BUT you will need to pay for the Long Island Railroad to get into the city or take busses into Queens which cost more than the NYC busses.

3. You should contact a local realtor to assist you.
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Sun Apr 16, 2017
Scott Godzyk answered:
You may want to at least speak to a real estate lawyer as to the eviction laws. You will want it done right and it could be worth the cost for a professional legal opinion.
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Sat Apr 15, 2017
Acist answered:
You sound like a j**k landlord with an illegal cr*p basement rental. Get a effing life.
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Mon Apr 10, 2017
Kathy Burgreen answered:
Trulia is for permanent residential listings only. You need to go to airbnb or vrbo.com for short term rentals. Beware in New York City it is illegal to rent a room or apartment for less than 30 days. If you rent for more than 30 days, you are fine. ... more
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Mon Apr 10, 2017
Kathy Burgreen answered:
No. I agree with you but unfortunately co-op boards set the down payment requirements for their building. In New York City down payment requirements for co-op buildings range from 15 - 30% (the majority are 20%). In the suburbs, down payment requirements range from 10 - 25% (the majority are 10%).

As a former realtor, I contacted the VA loan department directly for a client I had. I was told by the VA that they do NOT finance co-op units. They only finance condos. Not sure if this is still current but I remember telling VA clients they could only purchase a condo - not a co-op.

I know condos are priced much higher than co-ops. The reason is because of the title and structure between the two. You have a choice - you can wait until you save up more money or increase your income; OR you can buy a co-op with a conventional loan.

Thank you for your service!
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