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Wednesday, October 30, 2013

The Timeless Appeal of the Black and White Bathroom

There is something classic, classy and timelessly appealing about a black and white bathroom. 

I have a few decisions to make. Help me, if you will, by sharing your opinion in comments.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Linden Court Fixer Upper

I received a Zillow alert this week on a 2-BR fixer upper in Jackson Heights for an unbelievable $219k.

 3759 84th St APT 32, Jackson Heights NY 11372
Photo: Zillow
Unbelievable, because when I track the address in Streeteasy, it turns out this apartment is located in the lovely Linden Court. Linden Court is one of my favorite prewar co-ops in all of Jackson Heights for it's gorgeous oversize windows. It's credited with being the first co-op built in the neighborhood in 1921, when both light and air flow were considered essential to good health and architects paid attention to such things.

Photo: Zillow

The unit does need a substantial amount of work, judging by the photos (the tile laid over the hard wood floors is in my opinion, criminal). But at $219 per sq ft and with that amazing wall of windows in the livingroom, this apartment has big Renov8or appeal.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

1940s Bathroom: In Praise of Subway Tile

We are closing in on our purchase of our new home in Jackson Heights! On Friday I received the mortgage commitment, so the next step will be our interview with the co-op board.

Today I am sitting at the computer assembling all the financial information that the co-op board has requested. Well, that's what I'm supposed to be doing. What I am really doing is flipping through bathroom photos on Pinterest and Houzz.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

What Can Go Wrong at a Real Estate Closing on a Co-op

We're closed!

But we almost weren't. New York real estate closings are highly charged events. Just getting all the lawyers in one room is a challenge. You've got the lawyer for the seller (me) and the lawyer for the buyer and the lawyer for the buyer's lender and a closer for the seller's lender as well as the co-op board's managing agent.

Each person sitting at the table has a checklist. So, there's always a chance that something will turn up missing from someone's checklist. Guess what was missing from mine?

Last Friday I had to race out of work at 4:00pm and rush from Manhattan to Brooklyn to pick up the stock certificate for my apartment.  Over the weekend I had to make the rounds and collect the signatures of two of my co-op board members - the board president and the board secretary.  Luckily I have served on my board and I am friendly with these two people, so I was able to catch them over the weekend and complete my mission.

Is this the job of the seller? No.

Is this the responsibility of the seller? No.

But is there anyone who cares more than the seller that the closing happen forthwith? No.

So I stepped up. Sometimes you just have to break through to get things moving.

At today's closing, the stock certificate was all in order. However, the show stopper became the Aztec Agreement, also referred to as the Recognition Agreement. It is the document that the bank draws up to give its lien the first priority over the co-op's lien in case the shareholder defaults and it must be signed by the buyer, the buyer's lender, and members of the co-op board. It's a document that the mortgage bank sends to the buyer very early in the process, and it is subsequently one that often gets lost.

Note to self: Hang on to the recognition agreements for your purchase. When you have to turn them over to the board, know who has them, and track them.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Mad for Midcentury

Our new home was built in the 1940s, so I am getting inspired by this midcentury decor. I want the walls to be a warm oaky yellow. With red and coral accents. 

I fall asleep at night not reading books for my book club but searching Pinterest for mid-century inspiration.