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|March 5, 2014||Tweet|
Everyone is always looking for quality advice when it comes to buying and selling real estate in the Hamptons and on the North Fork. The market out East is unique, with its own set of rules and protocols, so we asked our roundtable of local real estate experts…
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given regarding dealing with the East End real estate market?
“Know where you are and play their game. This is particularly true because the East End is comprised of so many different municipalities (villages and towns) and they each have their own local rules for the game of land use and transactions. So, a strategy or practice that may work in NYC often is not permitted here and while NYC is one place in terms of laws affecting real estate transactions, the East End has many different little places with their own sense of sovereignty that each set their own rules for the game.
To illustrate a trap for the weary, the tiny Village of Quogue requires transacting parties to have a new Certificate of Occupancy issued within three months either before or after a change of ownership. How does one know this stuff? It’s simple, beyond using local professionals, local rules can be found at: generalcode.com/codification/ecode/library. Get familiar with the rules before getting involved in the East End Transaction Game so that when you’re finally ready to deal in East End Real Estate you already know how to win.”—Andrew M. Lieb, Esq., MPH, Lieb at Law, P.C.
“The best advice I received regarding East End real estate was given to me by a broker, Joe Gaites, 30 years ago, when he told me ‘it will be the best investment you ever made.’ What more can I say?”—Alan Schnurman, Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker, Saunders & Associates.
“The best real estate advice I’ve received is ‘A deal is not a deal till it’s done.’ So many real estate agents think that once contracts are signed, they’re done. There are many variables that come into play before a closing. One, for example, is updated certificates of occupancy. A good listing agent will make sure there are no “open” building permits or worse yet, construction done to a home without a building permit. The old adage of “do and then ask for forgiveness” works to the disadvantage of the seller and can, in some cases, delay a closing by at least six months. Not good for some people looking to buy in the spring and wanting to be in the home by the summer.”—John Christopher, Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker, Brown Harris Stevens of The Hamptons. LLC.
“To answer your question, what does everyone want: to buy low and sell high. Did I make you smile? The reality is finding the right broker who understands you, your needs plus wish list, and who isn’t going to give you a song and dance or wears too many hats. They build, sell and design etc.—too many motivations.
I’ve had customers who have taken three years to find the right property or project and others who have purchased within a few weeks. I never would have said this years ago, but if you’re buying, find the right broker and let them represent you as a buyer’s broker. The money is the same money, it’s just who cuts the check—it doesn’t cost you more. It should be someone you believe in, who will tell you their sincere opinion. My philosophy is treat people the way you would want to be treated.
If you’re selling, don’t go for the broker or agent because they tell you what you want to hear. I’ve pitched many listings, which I have lost, and two or three years later the home is priced where I recommended initially. They may not want to hear it, but in the end you only hurt yourselves.”—Lynn November, Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker, Douglas Elliman Real Estate.
“The best real estate advice I’ve received is ‘Don’t take it personally!’” —Maz Crotty, Licensed Real Estate Salesperson, Nest Seekers International.
Licensed Real Estate Salesperson
|March 5, 2014||Tweet|
When it comes to budgeting for a remodeling project for your home, it's difficult to know if the expense will be worth it.
Yes, you'll enjoy the home office or bathroom once the remodeling work is done, or a new sunroom may be worth the money as far as your family's enjoyment goes. But if you resell the house, will you recoup most of that expense? (See also: Home Renovations That Almost Pay for Themselves)
According to a recent comparison of the average costs in 2014 for 35 remodeling projects in 101 U.S. cities conducted by the website Remodeling, the national average value they retain at resale is 66%. In other words, 66% of a project's cost is recouped if a home is sold this year, on average.
That may make you think twice before spending $28,000 for a home office remodel — the national average cost for such a project, and the worst return at 48.9% of the job cost at resale. The best return? A stunning 96.6% for a $1,162 steel entry door replacement.
Here are eight home improvement projects that beat the 66% national average for return on investment:
1. Kitchen Remodel
The amount of costs recouped depends on the type of remodel — midrange or upscale. For the average midrange major kitchen remodel of $54,909, the average return is 74.2%. But for a luxury remodel of $109,935, the return drops to 63.6%. (See also: Get Help Renovating With an FHA 203(k) Mortgage)
Doing the luxury upgrades with top-of-the-line appliances and countertops, for example, doesn't help increase a home's resale value.
The Zillow Digs Home Design Trend Report for 2014 lists kitchens as the top space homeowners plan to remodel this year. The kitchen is one of the best areas to renovate because it's a common area that can give a strong first impression, says Cannon Christian, president of Renovation Realty in San Diego.
"Your kitchen is the most utilized room in your home, a place where families and friends gather for daily meals and holiday celebrations," Christian says. "The kitchen space, now more than ever, serves as a central gathering point and an extension of living and family rooms, the so-called great rooms."
2. Bathroom Remodel
Like the kitchen, the costs recouped at sale decrease with a luxury remodel. A midrange bathroom remodel of $16,128 will give a national average return of 72.5%, while an upscale remodel at $51,374 will give a 63.6% return.
"By completing the upgrades prior to selling, you allow the buyer to finance those improvements, and the buyer will pay a premium with the current interest rates," Christian says.
Kitchens and bathrooms are the best rooms to "splurge" on and put the most attention to detail on, says Nick Jabbour, a real estate agent with Nest Seekers International in New York City. The breadth of fixtures and finishes "tend to appeal to the more emotional side of the buyer in addition to the functional and practical matters," Jabbour says.
3. Wood Deck Addition
Among midrange projects, adding a wood deck is second only to a new steel entry door for getting the most money out at resale. A new wood deck costs an average of $9,593 and recoups 87.4%.
4. Siding Replacement
Among the upscale projects that Remodeling looked at, a fiber-cement siding replacement costs $13,378 and had the highest return at 87%. A foam-backed vinyl siding replacement was almost as good, with a 78.1% return.
5. Garage Door Replacement
Whether you go with a midrange or upscale model, a new garage door is an inexpensive item that almost pays for itself in resale value. The average midrange model costs $1,534 and has a return of 83.7%. If you want to go upscale and spend an average of $2,791, the return is almost as good at 82.9%. (See also: How to Organize Your Garage)
6. New Windows
These also have high returns, at 78.7% for midrange vinyl windows for $9,978 per home; or 76.6% return for upscale vinyl windows costing $13,385.
7. Attic Bedroom
At an average cost of $49,438, adding an attic bedroom is an expensive job, but with a high return — 84.3%.
8. Two-Story Addition
If you've really got money to spend, then adding a second story to the house can be a good investment. At $155,365, this is the most expensive item on the list, and it returns 71.8%.
The value of certain home improvements is subjective. A remodeled bathroom may be worthwhile to a home seller, but the buyer may not care as much. Improving a bathroom mainly because you think it will add value to your house isn't a good enough reason in the long run, says Dean Bennett, president of Dean Bennett Design and Construction in Castle Rock, Colo. (See also: How to Sell Your House in 24 Hours)
"Homeowners need to determine if a house is worth more to a potential buyer because the bathroom is more convenient and nicer, because the aesthetics are better, versus just the raw return on investment for a given project," Bennett says.
Whether you do a home improvement project to make your home more livable for yourself or to entice buyers, you want to make sure it's done right, especially if you're doing the work yourself, says Bob Gordon, a real estate agent with Re/Max Alliance in Boulder, Colo. When showing properties, the MLS data he has will show if recent improvements have been made. (See also: Is DIY Home Renovating for You?)
"You get inside the house and discover it was likely improved by the owner," Gordon says. "Owners may love their work — their accomplishment — but when it isn't done right, or to code, or permitted, it is not really helping. Code, permits, and quality are incredibly important on any improvement, big or small."
Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker
|March 5, 2014||Tweet|
Real estate agent Ryan Serhant's penthouse unit in New York City's Milan Condominium is like many of the power broker's listings: It comes with a seven-figure price tag, has striking city views and private terraces, and will appear on Million Dollar Listing New York, the Bravo show that Serhant has starred on since its inception. What sets this Midtown penthouse apart from the rest is that the 2,500-square-foot unit starred in this year's Oscar-nominated film The Wolf of Wall Street.
Well, practically starred in: The 32nd-floor condo with floor-to-ceiling windows was rented out byMartin Scorsese's production crew while Leonardo DiCaprio filmed in an identical spread one floor above. But that little detail didn't matter in terms of the explosion of interest that followed the film's release.
"The movie was like a commercial for the building," says Serhant, a Nest Seekers International agent and actor who recently finished filming for director Noah Baumbach's upcoming While We're Young (2015) with Amanda Seyfriend and Ben Stiller. "If I'd known this would happen, I'd try to get all my listings into a movie. Advertising can't buy this kind of exposure and the way people see the movie and connect it to real estate and New York City."
The bottom-line effect? Serhant upped the list price from $6.3 million to $6.5 million. "We raised the price after the movie was released," he says. "This apartment has been discussed everywhere now, including in print stories in China. I'm confident we can get that price."
On the other side of the country, Lydia Sarkissian felt a similar set-location ripple effect in Marin County, Calif., where she sells luxury properties for clients such as Andre Agassi and Facebook's first president, Sean Parker. The agent had a seven-figure listing that had gone on and off the market for more than a year in the upscale town of Tiburon -- this despite the fact that it boasted dead-on bay views and Robin Williams as a neighbor two doors down. Then Blue Jasmine was released and the house, where Peter Sarsgaard woos his faux-interior decorator love interestCate Blanchett, suddenly came with big-screen cachet.
"The owner wanted to capture the exposure right after the film came out," says Sarkissian. "We even said that the house was featured in the movie on our MLS [Multiple Listing Service] ad."
Requests to view the home tripled, and the Woody Allen story of a socialite's fall from grace became part of the property's pitch: "I would take people out onto the terrace and show them where they'd filmed," she says. "I even got a couple of guys in here saying, 'This is Dwight's [Sarsgaard's character] house!' " The home sold for its asking price of $3.8 million in February.
STORY: Fiji Retreat Where Bill Gates, Jim Carrey and Celine Dion Stayed Hits the Market
It's not just realtors benefiting from screen time: Patrick Ediger, co-founder of L.A.-based French American Wallpaper, wasn't sure why he had a sudden uptick in orders for his geometric white-and-silver Boudoir Mirror wallpaper last December. "We had an upshoot in requests. And it wasn't until recently that I put it together that it's the paper we put in the model unit where they filmed Her," says Ediger of one of the movie's locations, downtown L.A.'s WaterMarke Tower, where units rent for $3,000 to $15,000 a month.
Even when locations are far from inspiring, there's no such thing as bad publicity. In 12 Years a Slave, production designer Adam Stockhausen turned a former mule barn at Destrehan Plantation in Louisiana into a cotton sorting barn with fibers strewn on the floor, ladders and ceiling. The slave-era scenes didn't put a dent in the Destrehan's booming wedding business: "Last year was our best ever for weddings," says the site's executive director, Nancy Robert. "We have 38 weddings booked for 2014 and 20 lined up for 2015. What they did for the barn in 12 Years a Slave, you would not recognize it at all for weddings. It's got a rustic look that brides love. We've got quite a business."
This story first appeared in the March 7 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.
|Penthouse 3 bed/3.5 Bath with Private Terrace at the Milan Condominium|
Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker
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