|November 11, 2015||17 Fun Facts about East Elmhurst NY||no comments|
|November 04, 2015||18 Fun Facts about Astoria Ditmars||no comments|
|October 27, 2015||Queens Real Estate Market Report: OCTOBER 2015||1 comments|
|October 15, 2015||50 Fun Facts about the Astoria Queens Neighborhood||no comments|
|October 23, 2015||19 Must Have Links for Queens Homeowners||no comments|
|October 08, 2015||Briarwood Homeowner Cashes out on Home and Heads to Florida for Retirement...||no comments|
|October 01, 2015||Queens Real Estate Market Update: SEP 2015||1 comments|
|September 24, 2015||Forest Hills Coop takes over 2 years to Sell due to Complicated Development Issues||no comments|
|September 09, 2015||A Heart Warming Home Sale in Rego Park, Queens...||no comments|
|September 03, 2015||20 Fun Facts about the Forest Hills NY Neighborhood||1 comments|
by George Herrera, Realtor & Owner of Queens Home Team at Keller Williams Realty.
East Elmhurst NY is a wonderful and unique neighborhood in Queens county NYC. We sell a lot of homes here so we get to tour the neighborhood and learn all of it’s hidden gems quite often. The neighborhood consists of two zip codes (11369 & 11370), and 11370 actually consists of two sub-neighborhoods, one of them which is north of Grand Central Pkwy, and the other which is south of Grand Central Pkwy. The northern section which borders Astoria Ditmars and Laguardia airport is commonly referred to as “Upper Ditmars” or “Astoria Heights”. If you talk to the neighbors here, you’ll quickly realize that they differentiate themselves from what is defined as East Elmhurst. The southern part of the 11370 neighborhood doesn’t have a fancy name, but it is just as charming. Lastly, 11369 is a neighborhood bordered by 86th Street to the west, 112th Pl to the east, Grand Central Pkwy to the north, and Northern Blvd to the south. These two areas make up what we as Realtors call “East Elmhurst”, and we define it as the area which runs from 70th St to 112th Pl (west to east) between Grand Central Pkwy and Northern Blvd (north to south). The neighborhood is very residential with only a few Coops and Condos. As you drive or walk around, you’ll notice that the neighborhood is comprised mainly of 1-3 family homes with very nice curb appeal. In the area between Grand Central Pkwy and Astoria Blvd, you’ll see a very suburban like neighborhood with bigger lots and more detached homes and attached. Altogether, East Elmhurst is very charming and the neighborhood offers a lot of value to residents, visitors, and potential buyers alike. So, we have compiled a list of fun facts that you may or may not know about the the East Elmhurst Queens neighborhood. ENJOY:)
1. East Elmhurst is the first neighborhood you will see out an airplane from LaGuardia Airport
2. East Elmhurst is located north and east of Jackson Heights and north of Corona.
3. East Elmhurst includes La Guardia Airport
4. The zip codes of East Elmhurst are 11369 and 11370.
5. East Elmhurst and its southern neighbor Corona are often referred to jointly as “Corona/East Elmhurst”.
6. In the East Elmhurst 11369 and 11370 ZIP code, almost 30 percent of the 36,000 residents were born abroad.
7. The Corona East Elmhurst News, first published in 1959 by Kenneth and Corien Drew, was located on Astoria Boulevard. It ultimately became the Queens Voice and was published for 1959-2002.
8. The MTA’s Q19, Q23, Q33, Q47, Q48, Q49, Q66 and Q72 buses serve East Elmhurst.
9. P.S. 127 Aerospace Science Magnet School, an elementary school for grades PK-8, and I.S. 227 Louis Armstrong Middle School for grades 5-8 are in the East Elmhurst neighborhood.
10. A small section of East Elmhurst is zoned for separate district in Whitestone, Queens causing some children to attend P.S. 21 for elementary and J.H.S 185 for middle school.
11. During the 1950s and 1960s the area was home to legendary African American musicians, civil rights leaders, professionals, and athletesincluding Malcolm X, Dizzy Gillespie, Nat Adderley, Louis Armstrong, Jimmy Heath, Frankie Lymon, Charlie Shavers, Ella Fitzgerald, and Willie Mays.
12. This once rural area is now among the fastest-changing communities in the city.
13. East Elmhurst has been home to a number of renowned jazz talents, including singer Ella Fitzgerald and bassist Ray Brown.
14. East Elmhurst is home to The Vaughn College of Aeronautics and Technology
15. While there are some high rise apartment complexes, most of the housing in East Elmhurst is in the form of single and multi-family homes.
16. The East Elmhurst population is incredibly diverse, with a good mix of Italians, Greeks, Hispanics, Asians, and African Americans.
17. East Elmhurst is a very residential area and it certainly isn’t what one might expect of New York City, but it offers a fairly cheap alternative for people who want suburban living without going too far from Manhattan.
Blog courtesy of George & Abigail Herrera w/the Queens Home Team at Keller Williams Realty.
Live in the area? Join our local Facebook group to stay in touch with what’s happening in the neighborhood: www.facebook.com/groups/astoriaditmarsliving/
Astoria is comprised of 4 different zip codes, 11102, 11103, 11105, and 11106. The most popular of the 4 is arguably 11103 and 11105. 11103 is the zip code where you will find 30th Ave, Broadway, Steinway, etc. Many consider this section “the heart of Astoria”, however, just north of Grand Central Pkwy there is the 11105 zip code, sometimes referred to as Ditmars – Steinway or the Astoria Ditmars Neighborhood. This section is more residential than the busy areas south of GCP, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t much to do. This area has a busy thoroughfare on Ditmars Blvd with plenty of shopping, restaurants, and entertainment. Most of the action is happening on Ditmars Blvd, between 31st St and Steinway, but you also have Astoria Park to the west, and what was known as “Steinway Village” to the east. Altogether, this small neighborhood of Astoria is lively and very walkable. The lower density gives the area a small town feel so you’re not overshadowed by huge buildings. As you tour the neighborhood, you quickly notice that it is crawling with a mix of young professionals and long time European residents. It’s no wonder that this is one of the hippest and fastest growing areas of Queens, so we compiled a list of some fun facts that you may or may not know about the Astoria – Ditmars Neighborhood.
1. Beginning in the early 19th century, affluent New Yorkers constructed large residences around 12th and 14th streets, an area that later became known as Astoria Village (now Old Astoria).
2. During the second half of the 19th century, economic and commercial growth brought increased immigration from German settlers, mostly furniture and cabinet makers. One such settler was Heinrich Engelhard Steinweg Steinway & Sons in 1853, which today is a worldwide piano company.
3. Later on the Steinways built a sawmill and foundry, as well as a streetcar line. The family eventually established Steinway Village for their workers, a company town that provided school instruction in German as well as English.
4. Astoria and several other surrounding villages, including Steinway, were incorporated into Long Island City in 1870.
5. Italians were the next significant immigrants after the Dutch Germans in Astoria, and numerous Italian restaurants, delis, bakeries, and pizza shops are found throughout Astoria, particularly in the Ditmars Boulevard area.
6. The 1960s saw a large number of ethnic Greeks from Greece, and immigrants from Cyprus in 1974.
7. The Greek cultural imprint can be seen in the numerous Greek restaurants, bakeries, tavernas and cafes, as well as several Greek Orthodox churches.
8. The eastern end of Astoria, with Steinway Street as its main thoroughfare, is sometimes referred to simply as “Steinway”.
9. The northern end around Ditmars Boulevard is sometimes referred to as “Ditmars”.
10. Ditmars is a middle class section of Astoria bounded by Bowery Bay to the north, 31st Street to the east (boundary with the adjacent neighborhood of Steinway, with which Ditmars is sometimes confused), 23rd Avenue to the south and the East River on the west.
11. The Steinway neighborhood was largely developed as a company town by the Steinway & Sons piano company, and included houses and public facilities that were also available to non-employees.
12. The Ditmars neighborhood was not included in the Steinway & Sons company housing and related facilities project.
13. Ditmars is considered to be a popular neighborhood among young professionals and in some real estate references the adjacent neighborhoods of Ditmars and Steinway are joined as a single “Ditmars-Steinway” reference.
14. The Ditmars neighborhood takes its name from Ditmars Boulevard which was named in honor of Raymond Lee Ditmars, (1876-1942) famed American herpetologist and curator of Reptiles of the New York Zoological Society at the Bronx Zoo.
15. Astoria Heights, or Upper Ditmars, is bounded by Hazen Street to the west, La Guardia Airport to the east, Bowery Bay to the north, and Astoria Boulevard and the Grand Central Parkway to the south. It is mostly a quiet middle class neighborhood of 1 and 2 family private homes.
16. Astoria is served by the N Q trains which run along the elevated BMT Astoria Line above 31st Street.
17. The primary streets running north-south are 21st Street, 31st Street; and Steinway Street (named for Heinrich Engelhard Steinweg (later Henry E. Steinway), founder of the piano company Steinway & Sons).
18. The block of 37th Street between Ditmars Boulevard and 23rd Avenue is sometimes referred to as “the Seinfeld Street.” In the Seinfeld television show, this street is occasionally seen in external establishing shots as the block where George Costanza’s parents live.
Blog and site courtesy of George & Abigail Herrera w/the Queens Home Team at Keller Williams Realty.
The pace of existing home sales rose in September, but remains slightly below the pace from the same month last year. Demand for existing homes appears to remain high even after rebounding to post-recession highs this summer. Prices have not begun their usual seasonal decline for the latter part of the year; instead, they continued to increase in September and they remain well above prices from the same time last year. Inventory remains tight, contributing to year-over-year price gains, but has eased slightly on a monthly basis. As interest rates remain low moving into the fall, the Queens housing market is likely to continue to post year-over-year gains in the upcoming months. Overall, we are seeing fairly high, summer-like demand for Coops, Condos, and Residential Homes. The anticipation of a rate increase by end of year seems to have buyers moving quicker to find a buy something.
30-year interest rates took a slight downward tick again in September as global growth concerns continue to impact markets. Currently, Freddie Mac reports the following figures: 30-year fixed rate, 3.91%; 15-year fixed rate, 3.11%; 5/1-year adjustable rate, 2.92%.
Queens Home Sales
Homes sold at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 761 homes in September, up 2.1% from August and down 2.6% from the same month of the previous year. Surprisingly, we aren’t seeing a falloff from the rebound effect seen this summer after weather subdued home sales in key regions this spring. Sales in September were slightly below year ago levels, but they reached a high point for the year of 2015. Specifically, Residential home sales are up 5.5%; Condo sales are down 2.6%; And Coop sales are down 14.2% compared to the same month last year.
Queens Home Prices
Home prices rose again in September to $430,000, up 1.2% from August and still up 7.5% from the same month of last year. As we move into the fall months, we should begin to see some seasonal alleviation on prices; however, year-over-year gains will likely remain strong especially considering the fact that interest rates are remaining very low. Specifically, Residential home prices are up 7.1%; Condo prices are up 2.1%; And Coop prices are down 2.4% compared to the same month last year.
Queens Housing Inventory
The actual number of homes for sale in September was down 4.5% compared to the same month of the previous year. This equaled a total of 4,495 homes for sale in Queens and led to months supply of inventory, which measures the relationship between supply and demand, to drop to 6.5 months. This number remains tight as low interest rates spur buyers to enter the market. New home construction has recently shown signs of increasing across the county; however, this recent uptick has not yet been enough to alleviate pressure on existing homes.
Blog and Queens Real Estate Market Report provided courtesy of George & Abigail Herrera w/the Queens Home Team at Keller Williams Realty Landmark II.
Original Article: http://blog.queenshomeselling.com/buying-a-home/queens-real-estate-market-report-oct-2016/
If you’re familiar with Queens, then you probably already know about the Astoria Queens Neighborhood. Arguably the most popular neighborhood in Queens and definitely one of the most in demand areas to live in NYC, Astoria has a whole lot to offer. From the plush Astoria Park, to the shopping and restaurants on 30th Ave/Steinway/Ditmars/Broadway, to the tree lined streets in Ditmars, there is so much to see and appreciate in this neighborhood. So, we have compiled a list of 50 fun facts that you may or may not know about the neighborhood. Check them out and feel free to comment if you have any additions:)
1. Astoria is bounded by the East Riverand is adjacent to three other Queens neighborhoods: Long Island City, Sunnyside(bordering at Northern Boulevard), and Woodside (bordering at 50th Street).
2. The area now known as Astoria was originally called Hallet’s Cove, after its first landowner William Hallet, who settled there in 1659 with his wife, Elizabeth Fones.
3. Beginning in the early 19th century, affluent New Yorkers constructed large residences around 12th and 14th streets, an area that later became known as Astoria Village (now Old Astoria).
4. Hallet’s Cove, founded in 1839 by fur merchant Stephen A. Halsey, was a noted recreational destination and resort for Manhattan’s wealthy.
5. The area was renamed after John Jacob Astor, then the wealthiest man in America with a net worth of over $40 million, in order to persuade him to invest just $2,000 in the neighborhood. He only invested $500, but the name stayed nonetheless, as a bitter battle over naming the village finally was won by Astor’s supporters and friends.
6. During the second half of the 19th century, economic and commercial growth brought increased immigration from German settlers, mostly furniture and cabinet makers. One such settler was Heinrich Engelhard Steinweg Steinway & Sons in 1853, which today is a worldwide piano company.
7. Later on the Steinways built a sawmill and foundry, as well as a streetcar line. The family eventually established Steinway Village for their workers, a company town that provided school instruction in German as well as English.
8. Astoria and several other surrounding villages, including Steinway, were incorporated into Long Island City in 1870.
9. Long Island City remained an independent municipality until it was incorporated into New York City in 1898.
10. Astoria figured prominently in early American filmmaking as one of its initial centers, a heritage preserved today by the Museum of the Moving Image Kaufman Astoria Studios.
11. Astoria was first settled by the Dutch Germans in the 17th century.
12. Many Irish settled in the area during the waves of Irish immigration into New York City during the 19th and early 20th centuries.
13. Italians were the next significant immigrants in Astoria, and numerous Italian restaurants, delis, bakeries, and pizza shops are found throughout Astoria, particularly in the Ditmars Boulevard area.
14. Jews are also a significant ethnic and religous group. The Astoria Center of Israel, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, was built in 1925 after outgrowing the former Congregation Mishkan Israel, which was built in 1904.
15. The 1960s saw a large number of ethnic Greeks from Greece, and immigrants from Cyprus in 1974.
16. The Greek cultural imprint can be seen in the numerous Greek restaurants, bakeries, tavernas and cafes, as well as several Greek Orthodox churches.
17. Many Maltese residents live in Astoria, around 20,000, and although this population has steadily been emigrating from the area, there are still many Maltese, supported by the Maltese Center of New York.
18. Beginning in the mid-1970s, the neighborhood’s Arab population grew from earlier immigrants from Lebanon to also include people from Egypt, Syria, Yemen, Tunisia, Morocco and Algeria.
19. In the 1990s, Steinway Street between 28th Avenue and Astoria Boulevard saw the establishment of many Arabic shops, restaurants and cafes, which is unofficially called “Little Egypt”.
20. Astoria’s South American and European population has seen significant growth since the early 1990s, including a large population of Brazilians, who reside in the 36th Avenue area. Albanians, Bulgarians, and Bosnians have also shown a rise in numbers.
21. Many Spanish Americans live in Astoria, with most of them being of Galician heritage from Northwestern Spain; this community being supported by the Casa Galicia, or Galicia House.
22. At one time, many Bangladeshi Americans settled in Astoria, but by 2001, many of the Bangladeshi American people in Astoria had moved to Metro Detroit. A survey of an Astoria-area Bengali language newspaper estimated that, in an 18-month period until March 2001, 8,000 Bangladeshi people moved to the Detroit area.
23. There is some debate as to what constitutes the geographic boundaries of Astoria. The neighborhood was part of Long Island City prior to the latter’s incorporation into the City of New York in 1898, and much of it is still classified as LIC by the USPS.
24. The area south of Astoria was called Ravenswood, and traditionally, Broadway was considered the border between the two. Today, however, many residents and businesses south of Broadway identify themselves as Astorians for convenience or status, since Long Island City has historically been considered an industrial area, and Ravenswood is now mostly a low-income neighborhood.
25. The eastern end of Astoria, with Steinway Street as its main thoroughfare, is sometimes referred to simply as “Steinway”.
26. The northern end around Ditmars Boulevard is sometimes referred to as “Ditmars”.
27. Banners displayed on lamp posts along 30th Avenue refer to it as “the Heart of Astoria”.
28. Ravenswood is the name for the strip of land bordering the East River in Long Island City, and is part of Astoria.
29. Ravenswood remained an exclusive hamlet within the Town of Newtown until its absorption with the Village of Astoria and the hamlets of Hunters Point, Blissville, Sunnyside, Dutch Kills, Steinway, Bowery Bay and Middleton in Newtown Township into Long Island City in 1870.
30. In 1870, Ravenswood, along with several other hamlets and the Village of Astoria, merged to form Long Island City.
31. Ravenswood was heavily commercial, and remains so to this day. However, the name has retained its residential character through the New York City Housing Authority project that was built in 1949 to 1951 with this name between 34th and 36th Avenues, and 12th and 24th Streets.
32. The Ravenswood name also identifies the large electric power station established along the shore of the East River, just south of the Roosevelt Island Bridge.
33. Ditmars is a middle class section of Astoria bounded by Bowery Bay to the north, 31st Street to the east (boundary with the adjacent neighborhood of Steinway, with which Ditmars is sometimes confused), 23rd Avenue to the south and the East River on the west.
34. The Steinway neighborhood was largely developed as a company town by the Steinway & Sons piano company, and included houses and public facilities that were also available to non-employees.
35. The Ditmars neighborhood was not included in the Steinway & Sons company housing and related facilities project.
36. Ditmars is considered to be a popular neighborhood among young professionals and in some real estate references the adjacent neighborhoods of Ditmars and Steinway are joined as a single “Ditmars-Steinway” reference.
37. The Ditmars neighborhood takes its name from Ditmars Boulevard which was named in honor of Raymond Lee Ditmars, (1876-1942) famed American herpetologist and curator of Reptiles of the New York Zoological Society at the Bronx Zoo.
38. Astoria Heights, or Upper Ditmars, is bounded by Hazen Street to the west, La Guardia Airport to the east, Bowery Bay to the north, and Astoria Boulevard and the Grand Central Parkway to the south. It is mostly a quiet middle class neighborhood of 1 and 2 family private homes.
39. The Riker-Lent Homestead is near the north end of Astoria Heights at 78-03 19th Road. Built around 1655 by Abraham Riker under a patent from Nieuw Nederland’s last governor, Peter Stuyvesant, it is believed to be the oldest remaining dwelling in New York City still used as a residence.
40. Before Prohibition, there were dance halls, picnic areas and amusement park rides at North Beach.
41. The Rikers Island Bridge to New York City’s main prison, Rikers Island, runs from the north end of Hazen Street. Technically, Rikers Island is in the Bronx since New York City took it over from Long Island City in 1884, after it had annexed the South Bronx but before it consolidated Queens. However, like Astoria Heights, Rikers Island gets its mail from the East Elmhurst (Zip code 11370) station of the Flushing Post Office.
42. Astoria is served by the E M R trains of the New York City Subway that stop at Steinway Street and 46th Street stations on the underground IND Queens Boulevard Line as well as the N Q trains which run along the elevated BMT Astoria Line above 31st Street.
43. The primary streets running north-south are Vernon Boulevard along the East River; 21st Street, a major traffic artery with a mix of residential, commercial and industrial areas; 31st Street; and Steinway Street (named for Heinrich Engelhard Steinweg (later Henry E. Steinway), founder of the piano company Steinway & Sons).
44. Steinway Street is a major commercial street with many retail stores, and a very prominent Middle Eastern section between Astoria Boulevard and 28th Avenue, the area is full of Middle Eastern food restaurants which present some local types of food from Lebanon, Egypt and Morocco, most food in these restaurants is Halal to suit the Muslim residents who are main customers in this neighborhood.
45. Because of its proximity to Manhattan and semi-reasonable rents, Astoria has become home to an ever-increasing number of fledgling actors lending to the nomenclature “Actoria”—a term coined by Astorian actor/writer Jason Arcaro who moved to Astoria in the 1990s before the thespian “coup de main”.
46. The Robert De Niro film GoodFellas (1990) was filmed on location in Astoria.
47. The Showtime original series Nurse Jackie is shot at Kaufman Astoria Studios as well as on location in Astoria.
48. The Netflix original series Orange Is the New Black is shot at Kaufman Astoria Studios as well as on location in Astoria.
49. The block of 37th Street between Ditmars Boulevard and 23rd Avenue is sometimes referred to as “the Seinfeld Street.” In the Seinfeld television show, this street is occasionally seen in external establishing shots as the block where George Costanza’s parents live.
50. Kaufman Astoria Studios has been longtime host to the PBS series Sesame Street and has been credited with local shoots on films like The Stepford Wives, the 2009 remake of The Taking of Pelham 123, and the Golden Globe-winning Angels in America.
Blog courtesy of George & Abigail Herrera w/the Queens Home Team at Keller Williams Realty.
75-35 31st Ave, Ste. 202 | Queens, NY 11370 | 718.869.0270
If you own a Home in Queens, then you know that there is a lot of information that you must have readily accessible for a variety of reasons. For example, maybe you need to pull your C of O, maybe you need to provide your Block and Lot number, you may need to check if you have any violations, liens, etc. The good news is that most if this information is publicly available, so we did the work for you and compiled a list of the 19 must have website links that you should bookmark as a Queens homeowner. ENJOY!
Check the Borough-Block-Lot (BBL) or parcel number for a piece of property.
Get a copy of building floor plans.
Get information about building violations or check the status of a violation.
Get information about buying high quality prints of classic images of New York City.
Get information about buying the Department of City Planning’s Zoning Handbook.
Get information about Certificate of Occupancy and Letter of No Objection.
Get information about Con Edison worksites.
Get information or make a complaint about specific City projects.
Get information on how to challenge the approval of a construction project.
Provide a tip about graffiti or vandalism for a possible cash reward.
Information about rules and regulations for owners and renters of City apartments.
Get information about appealing land use and construction laws for a specific site or project.
Get a report from the Rent Guidelines Board on housing.
14. Property Records
Information about property ownership and records, such as deeds and mortgages. Includes online lookup in ACRIS.
15. Property Tax Map
Request for a certified copy of a tax map.
Get information about grants and low-interest renovation loans for building owners.
Get information about sidewalk violations, request a sidewalk inspection, or get a violation removed or dismissed.
Learn about buying a picture of any property in New York City.
Get information about zoning for specific properties, such as the zoning designation and the type of use allowed.
Blog courtesy of George & Abigail Herrera w/the Queens Home Team at Keller Williams Realty.
We recently closed on one of our single family home listings in Briarwood, Queens. This one was listed for $750K and sold for $761K in less than 60 days. The seller of this property was actually referred to us from another agent down in Florida who was helping her find a home down there. The owner’s first language was spanish, so the agent was looking for a spanish speaking agent in queens who could assist her with the sale of her house in Briarwood. He called us and immediately felt comfortable sending us the referral since we know Briarwood very well, and more importantly, we always stress to agents that we will take care of their referrals as if they were our very own family. This is 100% true, and I think people sense that…
We called the owner, set up a meeting, and spoke to her about her selling options. When we first met her I felt like I was speaking to a person that could be one of my Aunts. This was one of those people who could easily be taken advantage of by one of those immoral and unethical agents. We love meeting sellers like this because we know that they’ll be in good hands with us. On top of that, she lived alone and recently had hip surgery. She lived in this house for close to twenty years and was finally ready to move to Florida so she could escape this cold. She was also tired of the stairs in her house because of the hip surgery. Now that we knew her goals, we were ready to go to work and help get her to Florida! We made sure she felt comfortable with the process and assured that one of our team members would be at the showings to make sure she had us on her side at all times…
Now, the biggest selling point for this house was the fact that she just renovated the entire property due to a small isolated fire in the living room. Fortunately her insurance company wanted her to renovate the whole house so they paid for a large scale renovation instead of just the living room. In other words, the condition of the home was excellent! In addition, the house was much larger than your standard one family in Briarwood, and it also had room for 8 car parking (3 in front, 3 in driveway, and 2 in backyard). The downside was that it was right on Main St close to the intersection of GCP and Main St. We knew that we would likely get some negative feedback about the busyness of the area but we felt confident that there were enough positive selling points to overcome that objection.
Pricing was a little difficult because the highest sale price in all of Briarwood at the time was in the mid $600s. However, there was a large one family within a quarter mile (in Kew Garden Hills) which was listed for $749K and recently went under contract. Considering the fact that this one was similar in lot size, livable square footage, and condition, we suggested a list price of $750K. We scheduled the photography session, staged the property, and hit the market. We have an extremely aggressive marketing plan for our Queens’ listings so as soon as we listed it, our phones and emails were blowing up. We pushed all first showings to the first open house in order to create urgency, and we ended up having a huge turnout. After the first weekend showings, we had multiple offers on the property. Most were below asking price, and one very close.
We ended up negotiating a full price offer for our client and got a deal going. This was great news, and our client was very excited since this would be the highest sale price for the entire neighborhood. After accepting the full price offer, the buyers asked if they could see it one more time, this time with their parents. Once the parents came to see it, they ended up backing out on us due to the fact that the parents didn’t like the street noise. Luckily we know to not stop showing even if we have an accepted offer so as soon as they backed out on us, we were already negotiating another offer very close to asking price. Now, being that we already had a full price offer on the previous deal, our client was not accepting anything below full price. This can happen sometimes, but frankly, we don’t mind because if one buyer was willing to pay it, then surely others will, it’s just our job to get them there.
So, we ended up negotiating another full price offer, but before we could get the deal going, something happened. One of the owner’s neighbors saw that she was selling and knocked on her door to express her family’s interest to buy the property. Now, this was great news because we offer our clients discounts on the commission if they are able to find us the buyer. That means that with this new offer, she would end up netting 2% more money from the sale! So naturally, we accepted the offer. The owner was so happy to be selling to the neighbor, and also to be netting more, that she said we don’t need to show the house anymore. We advised against it, but she felt confident that they were buying it since she knew them personally. They decided to bypass the inspection since it was recently renovated, but a few days later, the buyers said they wanted to see it again, this time with their parents (sound familiar?). As you can probably guess, these buyers ended up backing out on us as well because the parents didn’t like it. The bad news this time is that we stopped showing, so we lost out on several potential buyers while we were waiting to go into contract.
We started from square one, relaunched all marketing activities, and got to work. After a few weeks, we had some new traction. Two buyers who really wanted the place! This time we were able to negotiate the prices over asking price, and on top of that, they were all cash offers which means no bank involved. We were worried about appraisal issues so this was a huge relief…
Ultimately, the owner ended up taking the second highest offer, because there was no selling contingency. We got the deal going immediately, and this time the buyer looked very serious to go into contract immediately. They scheduled an inspection which didn’t turn up anything alarming aside from a leak in the basement that the owner quickly resolved. We finally went into contract and were on our way to getting our client to Miami where she longed to be.
Contract to close was fairly smooth, a few speed bumps here and there, but nothing we haven’t experienced before. The owner needed an extra month or so to get things ready and the buyer was happy to accomadate… Once the closing date drew closer, we scheduled the final walk through on the morning of the closing date. This was one of the most pleasant walk throughs we’ve conducted because the buyer’s whole family came with them (mom, dad, kids, etc). The owner was almost done clearing the house out and it looked great, even bigger than the buyers remembered! Baby was running around the house, apparently marking her new found territory:) The buyers looked so happy to be moving in, and they had a certain gittyness that you rarely see from working NYC professionals! They asked us to take a picture of the family in front of the house, and it felt like we were in a real estate commercial. These are the times when we really get a lot of fulfillment in what we do… Most importantly, our client was packing up everything for the drive down to Florida and she was just as happy to be nearing the beginning of her retirement. Her daughter (who lives in the Bronx) was driving her down to Florida and she looked as if she was contimplating the move as well:)
We were so happy for her, and when she got her net proceeds check at the closing (over $500K), we were excited to see that she had a nice chunk of change to retire with. As we grow, and as we continue to get more seller referrals, we are starting to realize that there is a large amount of empty nesters and baby boomers who are relocating to the south. We hope to find more of these families so that we can help them get the best return on their investment while making the process as smooth and hassle free as possible. Congratulations to our client as she begins this new exciting chapter of her life! Another fulfilling sale for the Queens Home Team…
Courtesy of George & Abigail Herrera w/the Queens Home Team at Keller Williams Realty
Queens Real Estate Market Update
Existing home sales hit a high for the year in August, however, year-over-year sales were still down. Inventory remains tight on a county level as the increased demand for homes continues to outpace the number of homes coming onto the market. The pace of year-over-year price increases slowed somewhat in August, and on a monthly basis prices remained consistent. Prices typically peak in June and slowly decline for the remainder of the year, however, prices in Queens actually peaked in August this year. Mortgage rates remain subdued at the moment as recent market turmoil has likely caused the Federal Reserve to reevaluate the timing of any interest rate increases that may occur this year. Overall, the Queens real estate market has remained the same throughout most of the year and we are seeing a steadiness in buyer activity mainly due to the anticipation of a rate increase by end of year.
*Month’s supply over 6 months is said to favor buyers, month’s supply below 6 months is said to favor sellers, and month’s supply of 5-6 months is said to be a balanced market.
Queens Home Sales
Homes sold at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 726 homes in August, up 3.0% from July and down 8.3% from the same month of the previous year. August posted an 8 month high for home sales this year. Most indications show continued strength in the housing market in the next few months to come, however, interest rates can affect buying power, which ultimately affects home sales and prices so we will need to monitor this closely through the end of year. Specifically, Residential home sales are down 4.7%; Condo home sales are down 16.2%; And Coop sales are down 12.1% compared to August of last year.
Queens Home Prices
Home prices rose slightly in August to $425,000, up 1% from July but still up 6% from the same month of last year. As we move into the fall months, we should begin to see some seasonal alleviation on prices; however, year-over-year gains will likely remain strong. Specifically, Residential home prices are up 1%; Condo prices are up 4.5%; And Coop prices are up 15.4% compared to August of last year.
Queens Housing Inventory
The actual number of homes for sale in Queens is down 18% compared to the same month of the previous year. This led to the months of supply inventory, which measures the relationship between supply and demand, to drop to 6.75 months. This number remains tight as low interest rates spur more buyers to enter the market. New home construction has recently shown signs of increasing; however, this recent uptick has not yet been enough to alleviate pressure on existing homes. Specifically, there are currently 2,796 homes for sale in Queens; 512 Condos for sale; And 1,293 Coops for Sale, equaling a total of 4,601 homes for sale in Queens.
Blog Courtesy of George & Abigail Herrera w/the Queens Home Team at Keller Williams Realty Landmark II. BUY: www.exclusivequeenshomes.com | SELL: www.queenshomeselling.com
We recently closed on a 1 BR Forest Hills Coop in Forest Hills Gardens. This particular unit was one of our very rare deals that took a considerably LONG time to sell. This one was due to specific issues with the Coop development which affected financing for buyers and led to very high maintenance as well. This coupled with a negative reputation and perception of the building made it a tough sell, but at the end of the day, we got the job done and helped free our client of this burden…
We met this client back in the Spring of 2013. He was selling on his own after being on the market for 6 months with an agent who couldn’t get it sold. I think he was listed before that as well, suffice to say, he was already trying to get rid of this property. Honestly, most agents who list complicated Coops will not even ask for the listing back after 6 months because they know it’s a tough sell that requires a lot of work. In any case, when we met with the owner he explained the whole situation to us so that we knew what we were dealing with. Luckily our approach to real estate is all about helping so our natural instinct was to find a solution. We gathered all the details and got to work…
In a nutshell, what we were dealing with was a Forest Hills Coop where more than 10% of the units were sponsor owned. Now, we have seen this before and anytime this is the case, financing will be an issue. Most banks will not lend in a development where more than 10% of the units are sponsor owned. In addition, this particular sponsor was not a very well liked individual to say the least. Ultimately, the board and shareholders ended up filing a lawsuit against the sponsor in order to make him sell off some of his units to get the amount owned under 10%. This was a long and drawn out process so the whole time we had it on the market we were just looking for cash buyers, or we would explore financing with several banks if a buyer was interested. The owner on the other hand, was coming out of pocket every month because the maintenance was extremely high for the area, and the subletting fees were also very high. The last hurdle to overcome was a very reserved tenant who did not feel comfortable showing the apt, and when we did show, she always found a way to say negative things about the apt or building…
It was a 1 BR unit right off 71st Ave and Austin St so if you know the area, you know that this is one of the most desirable areas of Forest Hills because of the transportation, shopping, entertainment, etc. Added to that, the price of the unit was $179K which was extremely attractive for the area. As you can expect, our phone and email would be blowing up constantly because the price, location, and pictures screamed value. So showing the apt was never an issue, we used to show 2-3 times a week (when possible) to prospective buyers and once a buyer was interested, we would negotiate and then come to an agreement on a price. After a while, the tenant became frustrated with the process and ended up moving out, this was a good thing because she only hurt the sale when we would show, however, now our client was coming out of pocket for the whole nut every month.
Most interested buyers were obtaining financing so this is where we would always hit a wall. All cash buyers always gave low ball offers that were not acceptable to the owner or to us. So, 6 months passed and unfortunately there just weren’t any banks that would approve the building. So, the owner decided to take it off the market and rent it again because he was losing even more money every month now that the apt was vacant. We agreed that he should hurry up and get a tenant in there so we helped him rent the apt and told him we would stay in touch. We were not giving up on this deal even though most agents would tell us to just cut our losses, especially since the sale price was low. The thing with us is that we don’t care about how much work it will take or how much we’ll make, we just see a distressed homeowner who needs help with a complicated situation, and we’re in a position to assist. So, our goal was to help him get the job done and we were committed to getting to the finish line no matter how long it took…
Almost one year passes and we’ve been keeping in touch every 2-3 months to monitor the market for him. There were only one or two sales in the development but they were all cash, and extremely low so that didn’t give us any hope. However, progress with the lawsuit was coming along and the sponsor owned units was almost down to below 10% because the sponsor was being forced to sell his units slowly. We finally heard from our client once the new tenant’s lease was coming up for expiration. I received an email from him saying he was ready to sell again and hoped that we could get all it done this time. I responded back with the assurance and excitement that I’m sure he would appreciate from his agent… “That’s great news, let’s do it. We’re excited and ready to get the job done this time!!!” So we got started with the process again, but it wasn’t smooth sailing yet because although the sponsor owned issue was close to being resolved, we found out that there was a new assessment issued to all shareholders for the next 2 years. Keep in mind that the maintenance was already high as it is ($1,100 /mo). Now we had a $200 ongoing assessment to add to it!
Due to the price, condition, and location, attracting buyers was still not a problem, but now we were facing the constant objection of the high maintenance. Fortunately the market was in our favor and prices were going up rapidly so we finally found a buyer who was interested in buying it. We ended up needing to pay for the assessment (about $5K) but we got a very good price for the owner, and finally had an accepted offer that looked promising because on top of the accepted offer, the buyer’s uncle was actually on the board of the Coop!
So, in the end, we got to the closing table and our client was ecstatic! He was so grateful that we stuck with him and he appreciated that we always worked hard for him even after years of having to deal with the issues and challenges at hand. His appreciation and excitement to finally close reminds us of why we do what we do. We love helping people and we never count dollars and cents when going to work for someone. I guess the moral of the story is that you should be very careful when buying a coop, and make sure you do your due diligence so that you don’t end up in a situation where you end up being trapped with an apt. The moral of the story for other Queens real estate agents is just to cone from contribution when you take on new clients. Don’t be driven by the dollar, we’re in the service industry and we’re in a position to help people that are in very complicated and distressed situations. The gratification is worth so much, and that client will be a raving fan which is priceless in this business!
Well, that’s all for this story. Long and complicated deal with a happy ending! Happy client, check. Raving fan, check. We won’t even count how much we were paid per hour on the deal because it would likely be comparable to what people are making in far off parts of the world:) Our job is done here, off to find the next person we can help!
Blog Courtesy of George & Abigail Herrera w/the Queens Home Team at Keller Williams Realty.
This week we closed on one of our single family home listings in Rego Park. This deal was one if those rare deals where everything went smoothly, and everyone was extremely happy! Our client was the seller and she was one of our most pleasant and friendly clients ever:) She was selling her home, which had been in the family for over 40 years. When we met her for the first time, we met with her, her son (who was raised in the home), and his wife. They were all very nice, and their biggest concern was getting the best price, and making sure that the process go smoothly. The house was a single family on 62nd Drive in Rego Park. This street is one of the widest roads in Rego Park and the curb appeal of the tudor homes are absolutely gorgeous!
The home itsef was in amazing conditition. Usually when we sell long time family homes, the age is very evident. However, this client renovated the entire house last year and we were surprised at what great taste she had with the renovations. The house had the kind of kitchen and bath that you see in tv shows, and the layout was a typical one family layout (3 bedrooms on second floor, formal dining, kitchen, and living room on first floor). The owner opened up the wall between the kitchen and dining room and it made all the difference!
When we met with them, we did a thorough consultation and needs analysis. The owner’s only son was now living in Jersey with his wife and kids, and she decided it was time to sell the house so that she could move closer to them. She was already under contract on a home in New Jersey so that part was done. Luckily it wasn’t contingent on the sale of her home in Rego Park so that made things much easier for everyone…
We went over comps to discuss the market value and suggested list price. The next door neighbor actually had just closed on their property recently. That one was a corner house with more living space but in poor condition. It ended up selling for $723K so we suggested listing at $750K because we felt that we could justify a sale price to an appraiser up to that number…
Once we hit the market, our phone immediately strted ringing and emails started coming in. Our client didn’t want to have a lot of people roaming around the house at one time, so we scheduled all showings during 2-3 hour windows, with a showing every 15 mins. This was our first time doing this, but it really made for an awesome buying experience because every family that came was able to ciew the property by themselves for 15 mins…
After the first week, offers naturally started coming in. We had a total of about 12 offers on the house and negotiated them up to at or above asking price. The winning bid was a family who lives in the area and send their daughter to day care right across the street. This family was workibg with a buyer agent from Exit Realty in Forest Hills. They vuewed the property and then submited an outstanding offer, $810K ($60K above asking price)! They were the obvious winner but we did our due diligence just to make sure we had a solid candidate. After doing our financial review, we decided that they were good candidates to proceed with. The only thing we needed to address before going into contract was the inevitable appraisal issue. We value properties for a living so we instantly knew that it would be a very big challenge to justify the sale price to any bank appraiser. So, we asked the buyers’ for a no appraisal contingency in order to protect our clients’ with the offer price. The buyers’ acceted our terms and the deal began…
Once we started the process of going into contract, we quickly realized that we were working with a true professional in the buyer’s agent. The buyers’ loan officer and bank attorney were also very cooperative and communicative. All we needed to do is reciprocate that same professionalism, which we always do:) The deal went very smoothly with very little hiccups along the way. Once the closing day arrived, we had the final walk through in the morning and then headed to the closing. At the final walk through, we could see the excitement in the buyers’ faces. It’s so gratifying to us when we get to see a happy buyer and seller at the closing table! The ownerwas there for 40 years, and now a new couple was moving in with a baby on the way…
At the end of the day, this deal is just a reminder of how important it is to build a dream team when you buy or sell a home in queens. If you have the right people working for and(or) with you, then it makes for a much smoother transaction and more pleasant experience. This was on of the rare times where the seller’s team was just as good as the buyer’s team, and the end result was a very happy buyer and seller:) One chapter ends, while another one begins. This is why we love what we do, because we get to help people with one of the largest financial transactions they will ever experience. Our client netted $60K over market value, and the buyers’ are getting their dream home! Win-win…
Courtesy of George & Abigail w/the Queens Home Team at Keller Williams Realty Landmark II.
1. Was originally referred to as “Whitepot”
2. Bounded by 62nd Drive, Thorton Place, and Selfridge St to the west, Metropolitan Ave to the south, Union Tpke to the east, and Grand Central Parkway on the north.
3. Forest Hills Gardens is bounded by Burns Street to the north, Union Tpke to the east, Greenway South and Harrow Street to the west, and Tennis Place & Continental Ave to the west.
4. Grosvenor Atterbury, a renowned architect, was given the commission to design Forest Hills Gardens. The neighborhood was planned on the model of the garden communities of England.
5. The Cord-Meyer section of Forest Hills is loosely bounded by 68th Avenue on the north; 72nd Road on the south; 108th Street on the west; and Grand Central Parkway on the east.
6. Construction of the Cord-Meyer section of Forest Hills used a prefabricated building technique; each house was built from approximately 170 standardized precast concrete panels, fabricated off-site and positioned by crane.
7. In 1913 the West Side Tennis Club moved from Manhattan to Forest Hills Gardens.
8. South of the Long Island Rail Road, the Forest Hills Gardens is a private community that features some of the most expensive residential properties in Queens county.
9. The most notable high rise apartment buildings in Forest Hills are The Continental on 108th St, Kennedy House, the Pinnacle, and the Windsor.
10. The north side of Forest Hills is the Cord Meyer community which contains detached single-family homes. Teardowns, and their replacement with larger single family residences has had a significant impact on the architectural integrity of the area.
11. Forest Hills was once the home of the US Open Tennis Tournament. The event was held at the West Side Tennis club.
12. Forest Hills is disproportionately home to the upper middle class, of whom the wealthiest often love in the Forest Hills Gardens.
13. The main thoroughfare in Forest Hills is Queens Blvd.
14. Metropolitan Ave is known for it’s antique shops.
15. The commercial heart of Forest Hills is a mile-long stretch of Austin St between Yellowstone Blvd and Ascan Avenue.
16. Forest Hills has the multiple-service Forest Hills-71st Avenue Subway Station (E, F, M, and R trains) at the intersection of Continental Avenue and Queens Boulevard. The local 75th Avenue E F trains) is also in the area, and some entrance/exits of the express Kew Gardens – Union Turnpike station (E F trains) service the southeastern portion of Forest Hills.
17. Forest Hills has two commuter train stations, the Forest Hills and Kew Gardens railway stations of the Long Island Rail Road.
18. The Q23, Q60, and Q64 local buses and QM4, QM11, QM12, and QM18, serve the Forest Hills area.
19. Forest Hills is bordered by two of the more sizable parks in Queens: the 1,255 acres Flushing Meadows–Corona Park, which is the site of two World’s Fairs (in 1939 and 1964) and the iconic Unisphere; as well as the 544 acres Forest Park.
20. Forest Hills was featured as the home setting for fictional comic book character Spider-Man.BUY: www.exclusivequeenshomes.com | SELL: www.queenshomeselling.com