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All Locations : Nationwide Real Estate Advice

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A few hours ago
Kathy Burgreen answered:
Zillow and Trulia are media companies that host real estate listings. They are not brokerages and have no control over the listings. There is no wholesale of real estate. I'm a retired realtor and are you an investor looking to buy real estate? Real estate is not sold at a discount unless the seller wants to give it away. ... more
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A few hours ago
Kathy Burgreen answered:
I just saw your listing and both Zillow and Trulia have it listed in Brooklyn. There is no mistake.
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A few hours ago
Kathy Burgreen answered:
You won't find anything in Brooklyn, Queens or Manhattan. You need to take the subway to the Bronx. Look for rentals south of Fordham Rd.. You will have better luck there.
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A few hours ago
Kathy Burgreen answered:
It varies. I'm a VP of my co-op Board in Westchester so let me explain the process. When a buyer submits their application to the property management company, the application is then delivered to the Board members -in our case by the super of the building. He picks it up from the property manager and hand delivers it to the President of the Board. Buyers applications are sealed in a manila envelope. Then each Board member reviews the buyers application and makes a decision whether to accept the buyer or reject the buyer.

Time frame - You need to know that co-op Board members are volunteers and either have full time jobs or are currently retired. Some co-op Boards (like ours) review applications as they come in and give a decision within 1 week. Other co-op Boards meet on a monthly basis or 2x/month and review applications all at once. Another issue is the availability of these Board members. You can have a situation where 1 member is out of town on vacation or business reasons or family reasons. Or 1 member may be in the hospital or something else is going on. Board members are aware that you are waiting for an answer and usually try to review buyers applications as quickly as possible.

As for getting accepted or denied, you need to understand the most important criteria that all co-op Boards look for is: Does this buyer have enough cash that if you were to lose your job or suffer a medical crisis - can you pay the monthly maintenance fee on time + your monthly mortgage? If the Board fees your don't have enough savings or your income is not enough, they worry that if you became unemployed, how will you pay the monthly maintenance fee?
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A few hours ago
Kathy Burgreen answered:
Both Zillow and Trulia have it listed as "Off Market." This means it is not for sale. I checked StreetEasy which is exclusive for New York City and there are no active listings for this building. You should use http://www.streeteasy.com for New York City listings. Much better than Zillow and Trulia. ... more
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A few hours ago
Kathy Burgreen answered:
The big question is why didn't you receive a copy of the listing contract? Without you having a copy, it seems your realtor can say anything he/she wants because you can't prove it. Nobody here can advise you because you don't have a copy of your listing contract.

At this point, you need to get a copy and if your realtor refuses, insist that you will exercise your right to post negative reviews of this agent all over the internet. Truthfully, realtors need positive reviews to stay in business. Anything negative casts doubt for future buyers and sellers to hire this agent. After you receive your copy, then go to the Office Manager or Broker in Charge and have them officially dismiss you as a client. The listing contract is with the brokerage - not the individual realtor. You will find that most brokerages will want to work things out because they don't want to lose your business to another brokerage.

Another issue - were you given at least 3 - 5 comps of similar homes to yours in the same neighborhood that have sold, are currently for sale and or under contract with buyers? Did you review these comps to see if your asking price was reasonable and in line with recently sold homes? If you disagreed with the comps, did your former realtor take you to see the competition of currently active For Sale listings? Did you look up any For Sale By Owner listings on Zillow or Trulia. For Sale By Owner listings must be in your neighborhood and comparable to your house.

Good Luck
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A few hours ago
Christianjk12 asked:
The most important aspect is the contact term NOT being a year long. Additional aspects that would gain my attention [optional]: Kitchen w/ refrigerator, Bathroom w/ shower attached to the…
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A few hours ago
Gvieiramcclure asked:
Looking for a home to rent in Vacaville, Citrus Heights CA area. Have great rental history until eviction but was only last $400 this month out of 21/2 yrs!! What we can get well take only…
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A few hours ago
Expatkari answered:
So your telling me I have to put down this BS DD and if I get an inspection and they find MOLD or some expensive repairs and he won't fix it and I decide not to buy house seller gets to keep my money if I don't buy? Cause that isnt right..... ... more
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A few hours ago
Bill Kopplin asked:
My address is 3815 Old Nenana Hwy. Fairbanks, 99709. Why can I not find it and list it?

Thank you, Bill Kopplin
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A few hours ago
JoAnn Duvall answered:
I'd hire a real estate lawyer to answer your question. Usually the contract has an escape clause so you can get out of the deal or renegotiate the price. It's worth your money to have a lawyer guide you. Depending on the State you may need one to do the title search, etc. so you can close & represent you at closing. ... more
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Yesterday at 9:46pm
Danahall04 asked:
Does each owner pay that large assessment or is it divided between all of the homeowners. Was this a rare occurrence or assessments every year. Looking at buying a unit there.
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Yesterday at 9:02pm
Wendycourville answered:
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Yesterday at 8:35pm
Findingme1965 answered:
I absolutely think you should buy rather than rent. We did not have a down payment or even money for closing cost just money for appraisal and inspection. Oh and for the I forgot the real term but it's basically a good faith down payment. I found out there are so many programs out there that help with down payment assistance that would include closing cost.. If you are able to qualify with good credit it would definitely be less than rent. And the include the tax in your monthly payment along with insurance and everything and it's still less than rent. The only thing is if you don't qualify for at least $150,000 it is so hard to find a place in Southern California well I should say California in general. I live in Northern California and we decided to leave to buy the house because we live in Monterey and there was no way we could buy a house up here. But our rent went up and are loan is not as much as we would have liked so it was a little difficult to my place that would be in our price range. Being that we are in our 50s and we are first time buyers we learned a lot read everything you can about home buying Home Inspections appraisals anything that Trulia realtor.com or Zillow gives you to read about the home buying experience read it you will learn so much. I found it very helpful and now we are getting ready to purchase a place in Hemet. So Fontana is where I children live and in Colton so we're still far from them but we're not 6 hours away anymore once we move down there. But we will miss our perfect weather. Best wishes on your home-buying journey and I hope this helps. One more thing. I found out San Bernardino County has a lot of locations that qualify for the USDA loan which is 100% financing and also pays for your closing costs. You can look up the USDA on Google and also look at Cal HFA and Cal HFA zip or I think it was Cal zip one of the two but either way they help with the down payment assistance and even closing cost. Hope this helps ... more
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Yesterday at 8:22pm
Paulmcgrew1010 asked:
Yesterday at 8:17pm
Kathy Burgreen answered:
I'm a VP of my co-op Board on Palmer Ave. in New Rochelle. Not sure if you are applying to a co-op here. To answer your question, you need to understand the following: Co-op Boards do not want to admit a buyer then at some point in the future, that buyer cannot afford to pay their monthly maintenance fee for whatever reason. It's the same principle as not paying your rent. Therefore, a co-op Board will want proof that your income is sufficient to pay your monthly mortgage + the monthly maintenance + any debts (student loans, credit cards) + ConEd + any commuting costs (MetroNorth or gas for your car) + money left for food, etc.

Example: Let's say you're buying a 2 bedroom co-op for $300,000.
Monthly income ------------------------$5,000.
Monthly mortgage - ?
Monthly maintenance - $1,500.
Monthly MetroNorth - $268./month
ConEd - $100,
Student Loans - ?
Credit Cards - ?

How much money is left after paying the above expenses? Does this buyer have any money left to buy food, cable, cell phone, clothes? Is there any money in savings if this buyer lost their job and was unemployed? If unemployed, can this buyer pay the monthly mortgage + the maintenance fee?

When you fill out the co-op Board application, you need to prove that if you were unemployed or had a medical crisis, you will have money in savings to pay the monthly maintenance fee. You need to know that if you fail to pay the maintenance fee, the Board can take legal action against you and start eviction proceedings. No co-op Board wants to do this because it costs money for attorneys and why should the other residents have to pay attorney fees to kick you out because you failed to pay the maintenance fee on time. The better solution is to prove to the Board that if you suddenly lost your job, you can afford to pay the maintenance fee until you found a new job. Remember, you cannot sell your unit until the maintenance fees are up to date. If there is a balance due, the Board will get paid at closing when you sell.

Another issue that upset me as a Board member was when we had a buyer who "claimed" to be buying the unit for herself BUT she was paying for a 2nd car and paying for her daughter's student loans. Alarm bells went off in our heads that this buyer was planning to move in with her daughter and wanted to keep it a secret. Sorry, but you cannot move in with somebody else and keep it a secret. The co-op Board will find out and we can take legal action against the buyer.

Finally, to help you out with buying a co-op - PLEASE VERIFY THE CO-OP BOARD'S FINANCIALS. Do NOT go to closing without knowing the co-op's financials. VERY IMPORTANT!!! You need to know that any resident can be on the Board. There is no requirement to have accounting experience. This means any idiot can be on the Board and not know what they are doing. As a former realtor, I have been to all the co-op buildings in New Rochelle, Yonkers, Larchmont, Mamaroneck, Mount Vernon, etc. Many co-op buildings have lousy financials and they are short on cash and have frequent maintenance increases because the Board members don't know what they are doing. The ideal method is for a co-op Board to have at least 10% cash reserves for emergency situations. As a guideline, if a co-op Board does not have good financials, the sellers of the co-ops need to sell their units cheap and/or they need cash buyers. Sellers cannot sell at higher prices because of the Board's finances. Lenders will refuse to give loans to buyers if the financials are lousy.
Bottom line - you can buy a co-op in a building with lousy financials. Just know what you're getting into and if you need to sell in the future, know that it will be a bit difficult to sell.

Also as a guideline - co-op buildings with lousy financials will go easy on buyers. They will approve buyers who don't have enough savings and are not as strict. Co-op buildings with strong financials and cash reserves will be stricter with buyers and buyers need to show proof they can pay the maintenance fees.

Good Luck!
... more
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Yesterday at 8:14pm
Nautilustears asked:
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