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Brooklyn : Real Estate Advice

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A few hours ago
Kathy Burgreen answered:
I assume you don't have a lease. If you had a lease, New York City law requires that you stay until your lease expires. Even with a new owner, they are required to honor all leases until the expiration date.

If you are on a month to month basis (no lease), then you need to move out quickly. Your biggest issue is rental buildings don't have 4 bedrooms. If you find one, it's rare. For 4 bedrooms, you need a single family house. There are rental buildings with 3 bedrooms BUT the number of 3 bedroom apartments is small. There are far more 1 and 2 bedroom apartments than 3 bedrooms. A house with 3 bedrooms is much easier.

There is a website (which is now owned by Zillow Group) - www.streeteasy.com This website is exclusive for New York City housing only. It has far more search criteria than Zillow or Trulia does. I did a quick search for New York City and I found plenty of rentals in Queens. Search the neighborhoods of Forest Hills, Kew Gardens, Astoria, etc. It's not Brooklyn but these rentals did have 3 - 4 bedrooms and it's a private house.

What is your budget? On the StreetEasy website, I was looking at homes in Queens with 3 - 4 bedrooms for $4,000. and up. You should also look in the Bronx and Staten Island too. There are house rentals with 3 - 4 bedrooms.

From what you stated, have you thought about buying a house? If your credit score is above 620, you should meet with a lender and see if you qualify. You should look in the suburbs because single family houses in NYC is very expensive. The suburbs are cheaper.
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Yesterday at 8:49pm
Samantha Anguiano asked:
Yesterday at 2:36pm
Kathy Burgreen answered:
A one shot deal IS A PROGRAM! No programs means you pay the first month rent + security out of your paycheck - no one shot deals.
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Yesterday at 12:32pm
Naa Mills answered:
I do have something on Troutman, it is a studio for $1120. With a shared kitchen, but the kitchen locks on your end it is very private. the landlord is only looking for a 700 credit score. Interested??? ... more
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Sat Jul 22, 2017
Niyasha Mcalmon asked:
I'm looking for 3 br apts in NYC, preferably Brooklyn but my section 8 voucher expires soon.
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Sat Jul 22, 2017
Kathy Burgreen answered:
You need to use Street Easy - www.streeteasy.com which is a real estate website exclusively for New York City. This website has far more search filters than Zillow and Trulia does and you can use the Advanced Option to select more criteria.

Having been a NYC area realtor and life long resident, I was questioning your budget of $2,400. because my opinion was that it might be too low. I searched StreetEasy and came up with the following:

2946 Brighton 4th Street #2B - $2,400./month
2848 Brighton 7th Street #3R - $2,099./month

I saw more 2 bedroom rentals but the prices are more than $2,400./month. This leads me to think that your issue of race is not a factor. It has to do with your budget. It seems the average 2 bedroom rental is closer to $3,000. If you can't afford $3,000./month, then you need to look elsewhere or get a 1 bedroom rental instead. You need to know that housing in NYC is very expensive and everybody needs to sacrifice - including you. Also most rentals do NOT come with a washer and dryer inside. Most residents who rent need to use the laundromat outside. Get used to it - it's part of living in NYC.

Since you are restricted with your budget, try looking in the Bronx. Rentals are much cheaper in the Bronx than Brooklyn and Queens. I would also search in nearby Nassau County. Again, rentals are cheaper in Nassau than Brooklyn.
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Sat Jul 22, 2017
Kathy Burgreen answered:
You need to use StreetEasy - www.streeteasy.com which is a real estate website exclusively for New York City. It has far more search filters than Trulia and Zillow does and you can specify more criteria for your search. Best news of all - the pictures are FULL SIZE!

On the negative side - StreetEasy gets its listings from the Real Estate Board of NY (REBNY) which is the "MLS" system for New York City. Therefore, StreetEasy won't have For Sale By Owner listings as much as Zillow and Trulia does.
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Sat Jul 22, 2017
Kathy Burgreen answered:
Who did you request a viewing with? Did you speak to somebody on the phone or did you just fill out a Contact form on this website and click "Submit"? If you contacted somebody on the phone - was that person a real estate agent? A landlord? Did they give you an exact date and time to see this rental?

If you filled out a Contact form on this website or a different website and clicked "Submit" - then you need to wait for somebody to contact you - email, phone, etc. At that point, the person who contacts you will set up a specific date and time for you to see the rental.

In NYC, rentals can be gone in 5 minutes or it may be available for a week. It depends on location and condition. Your best method is to find a real estate agent who can schedule appointments and show you rentals.
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Fri Jul 21, 2017
Kathy Burgreen answered:
Ignore Scott's reply because NYC agents need to work in a totally different environment than realtors elsewhere in the U.S. His link to Active Rain will not help you. I've been in your shoes and worked in this area. I know from experience. ... more
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Wed Jul 19, 2017
Harry answered:
Hi My name is Harry, I'm a Real Estate Agent At Gotham Properties Real Estate. Office #: (929)210-0222, Cell #: (917) 576-9652. We have many apartments for rent in the
Brooklyn Area. If you are eager to move in a apartment August 1st, give us a call and we'll be able to help you. But to be Frank, $1400 in Buswick doesn't exist. Anyway give us a call. ... more
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Wed Jul 19, 2017
Kathy Burgreen answered:
I'm a life long NYC area resident and recently retired realtor. First of all, NEVER rely on websites telling you where the "nearest subway" stop is. Real estate websites like Zillow, Trulia, etc. have only 1 goal - to get consumers like you to use their websites and available information. This does NOT mean the information on their websites is useful to you or how accurate it is. Real estate agents pay $$$ to these websites to advertise themselves hoping that people like you will call them to assist you in finding your next home.

As for the subway system map on Trulia, all Trulia is interested in is giving you POSSIBLE subway stops nearby - NOT every single subway stop. That is your job to locate the actual subway stop near where you are looking to live. I've noticed that Trulia will indicate the "express" stops - more than the local stops. There is also space limitations so Trulia does not have the space to fit in all the local stops.

What you need to do is print out the subway map system from www.mta.info and compare the listings to the subway map. You can also use Google Maps to help you.

You did not indicate if you are renting or buying. I do want to help you save money. Have you looked in the nearby suburbs? You need to. Both rentals and buying homes is MUCH cheaper in Nassau County (Long Island) or Westchester County (above the Bronx). Examples of savings: a typical 2 bedroom 2 bath rental = $3 -4,000. depending on location. A typical 2 bedroom 2 bath co-op sells for $350,000 - 400,000. These prices is for a move in ready unit in a good neighborhood. Also the rooms are normal size - not teeny tiny like Brooklyn. Commuters to Manhattan will take the Long Island Railroad to Penn Station or MetroNorth to Grand Central. From there, they take the subway to work. If you work in Brooklyn, it will be much easier to live in Nassau County and drive. Finally, owning a car and parking is much less restricted compared to NYC + parking tickets are much cheaper.

Hope this information helps.
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Tue Jul 18, 2017
Kathy Burgreen answered:
I know there are some real estate brokerages in NYC that don't want to pay the expensive fees to be a member of REBNY. The issue for you is why did you sign with this brokerage? Your job was to ask yourself if you can succeed as a real estate agent without using REBNY. Obviously you didn't do your homework. You were supposed to have a well thought out plan on how you were going to list home's for sale, get leads and view comps without the use of REBNY.

In NYC you do have StreetEasy which is now owned by Zillow. Once Zillow gets the listing from StreetEasy, it will sync to Trulia.

If I were you, I would switch brokerages. The issue for you is there are about 50 - 70,000 real estate agents in NYC most of whom have access to REBNY and they will steal from you and get more deals than you will.
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Mon Jul 17, 2017
Kathy Burgreen answered:
I'm the VP of my co-op Board in Westchester + a recently retired realtor. You should be fine with your DTI. To calm your nerves, I will tell you what our Board looks at when we review buyer applications:

Start with NET income (after tax deductions - take home pay)
Subtract: monthly mortgage amount (if any)
monthly maintenance fee
monthly parking fee (if buyer is paying for this)
monthly student loan payments (if any)
monthly credit card bill (we average this if past amounts vary a lot)
monthly commuter costs (MetroNorth, PATH, LIRR + subway if needed)
utilities (we use typical ConEd bill for that size co-op unit)
TOTAL = amount left from paycheck after the above items are deducted.

You need to know that co-op Boards do NOT want to accept buyers that appear to be living paycheck to paycheck. That is cutting it too close. Even with our Board, we accept buyers who have some money left to pay for food and other daily expenses.
We also verify that buyers have some emergency savings for unexpected costs (car repairs, medical bills, etc.)

What our Board has been struggling with is age diversity. Unfortunately, our building is 60% elderly (55+ years) because not many young people are able to save enough money for emergencies + have enough left from their net income for daily expenses. We want to approve more younger buyers and we have been but there have been some buyers who appear to be cutting it too close (very little savings and not enough left over paycheck money) and we have to reject them.

As you can see, we don't use DTI or credit scores to approve buyers to our building. That said, we do require buyers to have at least a 620 credit score. We also never contact any personal or business references.

You also need to know what concerns every co-op Board is whether this buyer is able to pay the monthly maintenance fee on time every month. Co-op Boards do have the legal authority to foreclose and evict you if you default on the maintenance fee. Co-op Boards don't want to spend legal fees going after a shareholder. It's much cheaper to review the finances BEFORE the interview. As a Board, we do remind buyers during the interview that we expect them to pay the maintenance fee on time every month.

I know co-op buildings in Brooklyn have additional amenities (pool, gym, etc.). Here in Westchester, condos have those amenities; most co-op buildings don't. Finally, I get the attraction of Brooklyn Heights but I hate to tell you - I feel you're wasting money buying in Brooklyn. Co-ops and condos are a fraction of the price in NYC AND you get twice the living space to boot. Example: our building is in a wealthy neighborhood and a 2 bedroom, 2 bath co-op with 1200 sq. ft. was just sold for $350,000. Eat your heart out. ;-) Oh and just to add to your jaw dropping with envy - we offer 1 parking space for $75./month + we're 2 blocks from the Metro North station which gets you to Grand Central in 27 minutes. And how much are you paying for that teeny size co-op in Brooklyn Heights??? I thought so. By the way, we're located in Larchmont / Mamaroneck.
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Sun Jul 16, 2017
Kathy Burgreen answered:
If you're working off the books, you must be an illegal immigrant. If you are, you need to be deported because you are taking a job from somebody who is a legal resident.
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Sat Jul 15, 2017
Michelle Marshall asked:
Looking for 2bd rental w/laundry. One person, no pets, no carpeting, up to $2,400. Quiet professional with solid education/work/rental history. If qualifications and character matter to…
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Sat Jul 15, 2017
Kpathe3rd answered:
hi my name is Iris I have a FEPS voucher for two people and i need a place fast it only going to be me and my son he is only five month right now. you can give me a call at (929)225-5089 or (347)239-4110 both of them is my cell phone thank you. ... more
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Sat Jul 15, 2017
Kathy Burgreen answered:
I'm a recently retired NYC area realtor and life long resident. Are you working with a real estate agent? Nobody online can answer your question because you need to know what similar co-op apartments have sold for in the same building. If no 2 bedroom units have recently sold in this building, then agents will look at nearby co-op buildings to see what similar 2 bedrooms have sold for. The sold apartments must be in similar condition (similar upgrades or lack of). Agents will also see what is pending / under contract.

When viewing NYC listings on Zillow or Trulia, these websites are not 100% accurate because I have seen listings that say "condo" when I know the building is a co-op and listings that say "co-op" when I know the building is a condo.

The only thing I can tell you is the neighborhood is good and always has been. The Ocean Parkway /Kings Higway area doesn't have the crime issues that Brownsville, Crown Heights & East New York has/had. One thing I feel sorry for you is how much you're getting ripped off buying in Brooklyn. A 2 bedroom, 2 bath co-op in the suburbs (Nassau or Westchester Counties) in new condition and a prime location sells for $400,000. For $600,000. you can buy a 2 bedroom, 2 bath condo in the suburbs.

I'm on the co-op Board in my building in Mamaroneck and we just approved buyers who bought a 2 bedroom, 2 bath unit for $359,000. and it's in excellent condition! Co-op and condo buildings in the suburbs also have more square footage than buildings in NYC. You need to think - for the approximate $125,000. price difference, you can buy a nice car, have cash to pay for monthly railroad tickets to commute to work, go on vacation, etc.

Hope this helps!
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Sat Jul 15, 2017
Heidi Savage answered:
I too have had a similar experience. My deal might not even go through after the nightmare the HUD consultant has caused, and for me, since I am living in the home I am trying to purchase, it would mean finding somewhere new to live with 2 dogs and a cat. Regardless of what happens in the end -- if the sale goes through or not -- I will be seeking a lawyer's advice re: either getting my money back, or having my moving expenses covered. Because of this consultant, our purchase agreement has now had to be revised 3 times. The seller has lost money, I have paid for services I am not getting. I can't tell you how many tears and stress this has caused for me and my family. I have even lost work time over this. Anyone who experiences this, I highly suggest speaking to a lawyer about it. PS: if they try to charge you for 5 draws, ask if you can have less. FHA does not REQUIRE 5 draws, and the more draws, the more money it costs you, the buyer. ... more
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