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New York Insider Tips – November 2016

If you plan to pursue a mortgage for your purchase, but will close even if you don’t get it, your offer isn’t considered “All Cash.” It’s “Non-Contingent.” “All Cash” leaves lenders out completely, with the purchaser writing the only checks.

Small two or three unit multi-family townhouses in brownstone neighborhoods sell for top dollar when the owner-occupied duplex or triplex unit is renovated and not tenanted when shown. This is where an owner is likeliest to live, and owners want the landlord’s quarters to feel luxurious.

Provenance tells you who has owned something in the past. Luxury asset prices often go up with “good provenance,” or renowned prior owners. These assets include those with high artistic or social value, such as paintings, sculpture, and trophy Manhattan residences with “wow factor.”

With 5/1 ARM rates remaining extremely low, it is enticing to borrow with this product. But, be sure to check that your prospective co-op board permits more aggressive ARM financing, as some did away with them after the market downturn of 2008, and others have never allowed them.

Adding central air to a pre-war home is often a compromise, when duct-work requires dropping high ceilings. One solution is slot-registers, which are shallower, continuous, and thin, as opposed to standard, grill registers. Many new condominium conversions of pre-war buildings are employing this method well.