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Home Buying in Downtown Brooklyn : Real Estate Advice

  • All25
  • Local Info4
  • Home Buying9
  • Home Selling1
  • Market Conditions5

Activity 9
Sat Mar 7, 2015
Kathryn Lilly answered:
The short answer is a ground lease will restrict any developers prospects of getting financing. It will also restrict what could be developed: IE you cannot develop condos on a ground lease.
Please feel free to call me with more specifics if you wish.
All the best,
Kathryn Lilly, Broker
Realty on the Greene, LLC
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Sun Jun 1, 2014
Eric Pollock answered:
I am a tenant at 85 Livingston Street and am thinking about selling my apartment, although it is not currently on the market. Feel free to email me if you might be interested at

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Sun Jun 1, 2014
Brian Moore answered:

The above is a good article about downtown Brooklyn. In my opinion, this area will see some huge but great changes in the future. Some big developments could be around the corner! ... more
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Tue Aug 6, 2013
Jenet Levy answered:
Hi, Pat.
Both University Towers and it's neighboring complex, Kingsview Homes, though once off the beatern path, are now prime Fort Greene. When comes to how comfortable a person feels in any given neighborhood and how "safe" it is, I have two suggestions. One is to check the local precinct for crime stats and the other is to go there at different times of day and night and see how you feel. Both these complexes are extremely reasonably priced co-op developments in very close proximity to much more expensive new condos in Downtown Brooklyn and very pricey properties in Fort Greene (bargain!!).
The best suggestion I can give you, however, is to make sure you use a skilled, experienced agent. The sellers all have agents, and you should have a knowledgeable pro on your side to even the playing field. It will save you time, money and aggravation.

Jenet Levy
212 381-4268
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Tue Jun 19, 2012
Bill Eckler answered:

If you were on trial would you feel comfortable with the trial attorney defending you? Obviously, there could be a conflict of interest that may impact your well being.

This may be a drastic comparison but it does make a point. Although, dual agency is acceptable in some locations, it doesn't remove the possibility difficulties that may or may not arise.

People are always best advised to have their own personal representation.

Good luck,

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Wed May 25, 2011
michele cadogan answered:
It would be wise to review the financials on the building and see if you can get the minutes of the last board meeting from a shareholder maybe the seller of the unit that you are interested in. It may shed some light on whats going on in the building. ... more
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Wed Jun 23, 2010
Michael Dvorkin answered:
My suggestion is Brooklyn!
Neighborhoods like Carroll Gardens, Cobble Hill, Brooklyn Heights- have a great public schools and are just 5 minutes to Wall Street.
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Wed Dec 23, 2009
Alen Moshkovich answered:
Hi Kirsten.

Why don't you call me and we can discuss which apartments are of interest to you. I don't discriminate againts buyers who don't have multi-million dollar accounts. In fact, most of my buyers today are first time buyers looking for properties under $1M dollars.

To answer your question without knowing anything else other than your price range, I can tell you this. In the $500K price, you are mainly looking at Coops or perhaps Condops. I have a buyer I'm currently working with with the same price range who can probably push it up to $600,000K and the quality of apartments is very limited in the Condo market. There are a few, but on the very small side, around 500sq ft.

If on the other hand you "ARE" looking for a Co-op, than we have much more inventory to consider. Ether case, could you tell me Kirsten which neighborhoods are of interest to you, are you looking for any building amenities, etc...Would you consider Roosevelt Island or even Long Island City?
I can't say why some of these agents flaked on you, maybe because they are on an early vacation for the holidays. I'm in the city and if you would like to talk, I'll be very upfront with you and go over your possible options.


All the best
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Sat Apr 19, 2008
Aileen-Manhattan-NYC answered:

Great questions.

Answer to question 1: I believe it's in your best interest to hire a Realtor (different than a real estate sales agent) to represent you when purchasing a new development condo. They're going to get notices of buyer incentives and newly released apartments from the developer; and depending on the market, they can negotiate the closing costs and price for you, etc... Formalize the working relationship by signing a Buyer's Broker's Commission Agreement (or something similar) and make sure your Realtor is legally obligated to work for your best interest in the transaction.

Answer to question 2 & 3: You can ask the condo building's sales office for their policy in this situation. Email them, directly, and ask them for an answer in writing. Most new condo developments offer a buyer's broker commission. Generally, a buyer walking into a new condo development (without their agent), must register their agent before or upon the first viewing/showing. If this doesn't occur, I know of quite a few developments that decline to pay for the buyer's broker's commission. Personally, in this situation, I register my buyers - as I make the appointment for the viewing - confirm the appointment the morning of viewing and attend the viewing/showing with my buyers.
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