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New York Real Estate Law Blog

Uneasy about an easement? A quiet title action may help

Easements are a very common type of property encumbrance. They're commonly used, for example, to give utility companies access to power lines, pipes and similar structures.

But easements can also exist for other reasons. A shared drive might give you (or your neighbor) an easement that grants unrestricted access to the road. Your convenient location next to a park system or waterfront might give your neighbors an easement that allows them to walk through your property on the way to their favorite destination.

Zoning problems? We help clients fix real estate disputes

Sometimes, when you are in the process of purchasing a piece of real estate here in New York City, you will run into a zoning problem. Often, this is a result of not doing your due diligence prior to signing the purchase agreement.

For instance, you may have thought that the property in question was zoned for commercial operations and find that it is only residential. But before chalking it up to an expensive lesson learned, it is a good idea to seek a legal opinion regarding the options you have.

Should you buy a New York City apartment from a divorcing couple?

With all the complexities involved with buying an apartment here in New York City, if you learn that the sellers are divorcing, should you give the property a hard pass? Not necessarily, as they may be doubly motivated to unload the property.

However, it's prudent to also consider how the couple's divorce could affect the sale and the apartment's availability.

What counts as a deceptive trade practice?

All companies in the United States must adhere to certain standards. The statements that they make must be honest and clear, and they cannot deceive consumers, investors or employees through poor and false statements. If you are concerned about being involved in a legal dispute because your company has been accused of deceptive trade practices, you should take this very seriously.

It is important that all business partners have a good understanding of their legal obligations. The following is an overview of deceptive trade practice law and an explanation of some of the most common types of deceptive trade practices.

Common mistakes when buying a Big Apple co-op

If you are a first-time buyer of a New York City co-op, the buying process can be quite intimidating. It's almost enough to make you settle for a lifetime of renting.

Before you give up in frustration, consider whether you are making one or more of these common mistakes.

Have you heard about Manhattan's infamous 'Spite House?'

New Yorkers have a long history of real estate disputes with their neighbors and developers. Take for instance the case of the spite house on Manhattan's Upper East Side.

In the 1880s, a wealthy and successful clothier, Hyman Sarner, had a lot he wanted to develop for an apartment building on 82nd Street and Lexington Avenue. Adjacent to it was land owned by Joseph Richardson.

4 tips for buying a condo

Condominiums are attractive options for many city dwellers, offering the ownership rights over your space while still giving you many of the conveniences associated with apartment life. But buying your first condo can be a little bit nerve-wracking.

Here are some suggestions that may make it easier:

Why people may pierce the corporate veil in a commercial lawsuit

The act of formal business formation serves multiple purposes. Business formation can offer tax benefits and protection from financial and legal liability for the individual starting the business. Corporations, in particular, are a business structure commonly used by those who don't want to incur financial liability for the failure of the business or of the products or services they provide.

When your company finds itself in a financially difficult position because of faulty components, undelivered orders of materials or another significant failure by a company on which you rely for supplies, distribution or other key components of your business, you could suffer extreme financial hardship that could even lead to the failure of your business.

Should you finance your home's buyer?

Should you offer to front the money a buyer needs to purchase your home? It may sound a little crazy, but seller-assisted financing is a viable option for a lot of owners who need to unload their property and can't find a buyer quickly on the regular market.

With seller-assisted financing, you essentially become the new owner's bank. It's often done because a would-be purchaser can't qualify for a regular bank loan due to credit issues or problems with their income (like a short work history or self-employment). They may have the money for a downpayment -- but nothing else. Other times, buyers want more for a house than the bank is willing to approve. There are also situations where the buyer simply wants to unload the house as fast as possible, but a soft sales market makes it hard to find a ready buyer. Offering owner-assisted financing opens up new possibilities and taps into a market of buyers that may be ready to pounce.

Commercial real estate is still a hot-ticket item

The business economy has been thriving and interest rates are still quite low. That combination of factors has made commercial real estate owners, investors and lenders very, very happy.

According to the newest reports, there are plenty of reasons to rejoice. Consider these statistics:

  • Delinquency rates have dropped considerably since the financial crises of the last decade or so. The rate of delinquency for packaged commercial loans was only 2.34% in the last two months of 2019. (Compare that to the 10.34% back in 2012 and you can easily see the cause for celebration.)
  • Commercial mortgage-backed securities were up to about $97.8 billion, which was a 27.08% increase over 2018. It's also the highest amount of new securities that have been issued since way back in 2007.
  • Mortgage rates on commercial properties are also down. Rates as low as 3% are being seen on some shorter-term mortgages.
  • Multifamily properties are also finding plenty of backing. Freddie Mac, for example, gave out $78 million in loans backed by such properties last year.
  • Apartment sales are up 10% from 2018, reaching an incredible $865.8 million, while cap rates for apartments are down to under 6%.
  • Construction on multifamily buildings and units are up, rising 7.8% over the previous year -- but that increase pales by comparison when you realize that there was a 74.6% difference when you compare just Decembers between 2018 and 2018.

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