Archive for category: Real Estate Tips

Hurricane Season and Flood Insurance – What Ron Herscho Wants You to Know

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The 2013 hurricane season began on June 1 and will officially end on November 30. Ron Hershco believes now is the best time to make sure your properties are covered with you current flood insurance policy.

The Wall Street Journal recently published an article about new FEMA evaluations on how much flood insurance should be attained by multiple mortgage holders:

The Federal Emergency Management Administration is currently re-evaluating flood maps, requiring more jumbo-mortgage holders with homes in high-hazard areas to buy flood insurance. Also, changes to federal law enacted in July are expected to jack up premiums.

Even though flood coverage is only mandated for government-backed mortgages, or conforming loans, lenders generally keep the same requirements for jumbo borrowers who live in high-hazard (Zone A) areas. These are defined by FEMA as having a 26% chance of flooding during the lifespan of a 30-year mortgage.

“The pool of people required to pay flood insurance has dramatically increased,” said Peter Grabel, a senior mortgage loan originator at Stamford, Conn.-based Luxury Mortgage.

Both Bank of America and Wells Fargo require jumbo-mortgage borrowers to obtain the $250,000 maximum coverage available for residential properties under the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), which is an arm of FEMA. Homeowners can purchase a second NFIP personal-property policy that covers up to $100,000 to replace a home’s contents.

Homeowners also have the option to buy what is called “excess” flood insurance from private insurers to cover repair or replacement costs above $250,000.”

Where you or your family affected by Hurricane Sandy? Did you have flood insurance before last year’s hurricanes? Do you plan on getting it now?

 

Ron Hershco and Living Under Co-Op Rules

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Can you imagine being told what shoes to wear in your own building? What about having your umbrella and rain boots taken away when you leave them outside your door to dry for a quick moment? How about being told you can have a dog, just not the breed of dog you currently own? These are just a few examples of harsh co-op board rules that exist in NYC.

Ron Hershco recommends getting a list of the co-op board rules for living BEFORE putting in an application. There most likely won’t be a rule to make you not buy the apartment of your dreams, but if you’re early in your process, a known list of rules could help you narrow down your options.

A recent article in The New York Times gave a more detailed background on where these rules came from:

“The average co-op or condominium has two dozen house rules. “Typically, they’re quality-of-life rules meant to benefit everyone in the closed community,” said Toni Hanson, a vice president and senior managing director of Douglas Elliman.

While there’s good sense behind many of these rules — don’t hang or shake things out the window; lay off the stereo before or after a certain hour — certain strictures can charitably be described as quirky, not to say capricious or overreaching. Your home is your castle? Think again.

It’s all, of course, in the interest of helping a building full of strong-minded New Yorkers coexist in (relative) harmony. Co-op boards have long issued directives about deportment and decorum, and condo boards are increasingly following suit. For the most part, they are well within their rights. Residents can either get with the program or get behind a co-op coup to remove the big-brother board members in their midst.

Generally, thanks to what’s known as the business judgment rule, boards have broad latitude in making, amending and rescinding house rules — the good, the bad and the decidedly wiggy. If board members think a situation needs to be addressed, they can address away without input from residents.”

Have you ever experienced any of these tough co-op rules? Do you think they are fair or unjust? What rules would you make sure to enforce?

Ron Herschco on Illegal NYC Housing Laws

Global rental website Airbnb, which connects short-term renters with budget priced room rentals, has found themselves on the wrong side of the law in NYC. Residents are restricted by NYC law from renting out rooms or apartments for fewer than 30 days, unless they are also living in the home as the same time as the visitor. This is contradicts the basic business plan of Airbnb.

Earlier this month, Ron Hershco commented on the Department of Buildings cracking down on real estate agents and brokers. Now it seems they are heavily pursuing non-licensed renters and average home owners as well.

According to Time Magazine it is not the first time Airbnb has been in trouble:

No stranger to similar controversies in other cities, Airbnb released a statement saying it will continue to fight the legal battle. While its  terms of service say that users are fully liable for complying with local laws, the company maintains that New York City’s laws are not aimed at individual tenants, but instead at preventing landlords from buying residential buildings and operating them as hotels, reports CNN Money. The San Francisco-based company, which currently operates in over 33,000 cities in 192 countries, has raised the ire of authorities elsewhere — most recently in Amsterdam, where the main issue is that local laws, such as paying tourist taxes, are circumvented with Airbnb transactions.

Since New York City’s mayor’s office of special enforcement began carefully scrutinizing short-term rental issues in 2006, it has received more than 3,000 complaints, conducted nearly 2,000 inspections and issued nearly 6,000 notices of violation, according to the New York Times. In January, the travel news site Skift estimated that approximately half of Airbnb’s listings  in New York City “are likely illegal.”

Have you ever rented to or from someone that could violate this new law? Do you know anyone who has?

Trying to Cope with a Neighbors Renovation

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We’ve all be there in the past. One day you’re pulling into your driveway or walking into your building, all things are clear and then the next there’s scaffolding set up and contractors moving about. Unless you’ve put in for some new renovations it can only mean one thing, your neighbors are making a few changes to their place and you have got to grin and bear it until the changes are done.

However, there are a number of things that you can do to help you cope with the noise, debris and other ‘annoyances’ during the real estate makeover. Ron Hershco actually just read a great article in The New York Times about what others can do to help deal with the pains of a neighbors renovation. The highlights are below:

  • Adjacent homeowners ask to be added to the renovating neighbor’s insurance policy, and also have their own architect or engineer review the construction plans. That is especially important if your neighbor plans to dig a lower level deeper than yours, as it may require shoring up your foundation.
  • Take as many pictures as possible just in case any damage happens to your property.
  • People concerned about a renovation project first try to communicate with the neighbor who is doing the work, and then become involved in the permit-approval process.

The New York City Department of Buildings (nyc.gov/buildings) also offers resources for neighbors concerned about construction. On its Web site, you can enter an address and get information about jobs that have been filed for it, a record of any complaints or violations, and whether they have been resolved.

These are only a few tips from Ron Hershco. But there are lots of other things you can do. And remember, if renovations are happening at your neighbors have patience. They are you neighbors and unless you’re renting, you’re going to have to live there for a long time. There are a lot of things worse than a few weeks of renovations, right?

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Ron Hershco on Getting Your Start in NYC Real Estate

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So you’ve just landed your first job as an agent. You’re probably wondering how you can work your way up. How you can stop showing run-down rooms in Spanish Harlem and the Bronx and move onto higher-priced properties, or sitting behind a desk while someone else does the showings!

Many people have worked their way up from where you are. Real estate mogul Ron Hershco is just one example. He got his start as an agent. And now he’s developing high-rise condo buildings in the city, as well as affordable housing and charity buildings for art classes for low-income kids. Having inside knowledge of how real estate works is key to climbing up the ladder. You won’t land a job as a higher-up without some real knowledge and a sense of the market. Have you lived in NYC for a long time? If not, you should brush up on the style and character of the different boroughs.  And even all the different neighborhoods within them. Knowing not just the real estate game but also the feel of NYC is important.

Because New York is the busiest and most populous city in the country, there’s always work in real estate. People are always moving in and moving out. But even finding the right company to work for can be difficult. When you are at an interview, be sure to mention that you want to be manager material some day. Showing your ambition is a good way to get your foot in the door. It’s also a way to see if the company is really right for you and open to promoting you. If there’s no way up, you can only go down!

Ron Hershco’s own approach to real estate involves working in several types of markets. He builds luxury condo high-rises as well as affordable housing, so if one market fails, the other might stay strong. Having all your eggs in one basket can be a bad idea. Another tip: be sure to dress your best and to “match” the style and personality of your clients and your bosses. You will sell more units if the people who are interested in renting think you’re friendly, and think you’re like they are. The same goes for managers. You want to act like manager material, dress like manager material, and show that you’re interested. The sky is the limit.

Ron Hershco 5 tips that will ruin your chances of selling your home

The recession has impacted the real estate market for a number of years and it’s not getting better for the foreseeable future. The prospect of selling your home quickly seems far off, but perhaps you’re not using the right approach or strategy to get a quick sell.

Ron Hershco, a real estate developer in New York, has some tips for you to consider if you want to increase your chances of selling your home quickly.

There are no pictures of your home

This is a necessity. In todays competitive world, having no pictures screams out to a buyer “skip me,” I haven’t bothered to market myself properly. Your listing needs to include lots of pictures and they need to be taken with a high quality camera. If you’re using a camera phone, make sure it’s at least 8MP.

You got to have curb appeal

Potential buyers like to scour listings, but the one’s that stand out have a nice landscaped garden in the front. If your house looks nice on the outside, buyers will be more inclined to see what’s in the inside.

Poor description of the property

Write a great description of what you are trying to sell and use some creativity. Remember to stay away from cliché phrases such as “best home on the market.” Be sincere in your words and you can comfortably say that your neighborhood is child friendly.

You priced your property too low

This can be seen as a red flag. Do your research and find out what other homes sold in your area. Understanding your market value is essential in getting your property sold quickly and for the price you want.

You’re home when the home is shown

This is a no-no. Home buyers like to have privacy when they are considering buying a home. Plus, they can’t visualize whether that property can be their home. Give them the space they need to make an informed decision.

Getting a quick sell isn’t difficult to achieve, but with the current economic challenges, it can be if you don’t follow some of the tips above. Essentially, be smart when you list your house and think about if you were a buyer what you would want.