Category Archives: real estate

“Option A is not available. so let’s just kick the s**t out of Option B.” Sheryl Sandberg

contingency photo

Imagine you’re a football coach and the game plan you drew-up is failing miserably or, at a minimum, just not getting the job done (think New York Jets and Giants)… Or maybe you’re the CEO of a business and, what you thought would be a phenomenal strategic plan, has for any number of reasons just not panned […]

Update: Treasury Department Disclosures (GTO) Required For All-Cash Real Estate Transactions Has Been Expanded!

money laundering photo

Money Laundering, All-Cash Residential Real Estate Transactions and the Department of the Treasury! In August 2016 Hallmark Abstract Service provided an overview of the Department of the Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) disclosure rules, designed to determine who the true underlying buyers were in certain all-cash real estate transactions around the country. These transactions would […]

Residential Real Estate Buyers: Beware Of Wire Fraud Scams!

Residential Real Estat photo

Phishing, spoofing, cyberfraud and spyware are all terms that relate to a third party’s desire to invade your computer and, in many instances, to compromise your non-public information! In other words these scams are designed in their most malicious form to steal a consumers personal information, whether birthdate, social security number or credit cards, and utilize them […]

Could Underfunded Public Pension Plans Pose A Risk To Real Estate Values?

retirement photo

Depending on the methodology that’s used to determine the underfunded position of state public pension plans, the number as of 2015 ranged from a staggering $1.7 trillion to an unfathomable $5.2 trillion! To put that into context, the national debt of the United States is currently about $20 trillion. But why is there such a great […]

Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Home Improvement!

home improvement questions and answers

For homeowners, embarking on a home improvement project of some kind has become increasingly common, with a 60% increase in money spent during 2016 over the 12 months prior! And that trend is not expected to end in 2017 with 63% of those surveyed planning on spending even more this year! This is according to HomeAdvisor that […]

How Can You Tell A Knockdown Home Versus A Renovation Project?

luxury living in New York

For prospective home buyers, gauging whether a potential home represents a knockdown and rebuild or a renovation project can often be an extremely personal decision! In other words, ‘one man’s trash is another man’s treasure!’ For some an existing home is ‘livable’ as-is by making some minor improvements such as new carpet and paint. For […]

Home Loans Have Never Been Bigger!

average mortgage size keeps moving higher

The average size of home loans, tracked by a Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) survey since 1990, have never been larger seeming to confirm the narrative that high demand and low inventory is pushing prices higher! __________________________________ Do you know everything that you need to know about your title insurance? Who is your underwriter? What is the […]

Like Real Estate And Mortgages Before, NYC Taxi Medallion Prices Crash!

nyc taxi medallions crash

Some old adages for investing go that ‘nothing goes up in a straight-line’, that ‘you don’t want to be the last one standing when the music stops’ and that ‘bulls and bears make money but pigs get slaughtered’! Investors in real estate and mortgages learned this lesson the hard way heading into, and then following, the […]

FinCEN Geographic Targeting Orders That Seek To Identify High-End Cash Buyers In Certain Cities Extended!

FinCEN extends the Geographic Targeting Orders

Anti-money Laundering GTO extended for 180 days The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) of the US Treasury has extended the Geographic Targeting Order (GTO), set to expire tomorrow Feb 24. The new GTO is identical to the current order and will not expand the cities or the dollar thresholds. Borough of Manhattan, N.Y.; $3 million […]

Thinking About Selling Your Home “For Sale By Owner’ Or FSBO? Before You Do…

home sellers being pennywise and dollar foolish

Sometimes when a homeowner is selling their home, they see dollar signs and consider ‘saving’ the 3%-6% commission paid to a realtor and try to sell it on their own, aka For Sale By Owner or FSBO! But in reality is this way of thinking actually pennywise and dollar foolish? In other words does the […]