BARNES New York at the NYC Real Deal Showcase + Forum 2022

BARNES New York had the opportunity to be present at the Real Deal Showcase + Forum 2022 at the Metropolitan Pavilion in New York City on May 19th, 2022. The showcase attracted several thousands of professionals across several industries related to real estate, for a day of networking and panel sessions on the current and future state of the market.

Keynote speakers like Ryan Serhant, Gary Barnett and even NYC Mayor Eric Adams, shared their insights on the Post-COVID era and the latest trends and news in the industry.

The BARNES New York team had the pleasure to attend, introducing the brand and the luxury ‘Art of Living’ services to curious attendees. Representatives from the BARNES Miami and Montreal offices also made it to NYC, allowing for an international event that reinforced the deep ties between the different offices of the BARNES North America coalition and perfectly illustrated BARNES’ international position in the real estate scene.

What are the most common questions homebuyers ask?

Buying real estate is a significant step forward in resolving the housing issue. This important event brings joy to many! But there can also be anxiety due to the necessary paperwork and procedures. You need to be entirely sure that the house you’re interested in is “the one” before making an offer. But how can you choose your ideal home when there are so many possibilities and so much competition? You’ll need to conduct thorough research to find the right home. This includes asking the right questions. To help you get started, we bring you a list of the most common questions homebuyers ask. We also offer an in-depth background behind them to further assist your home buying process.

What is the first step in the homebuying process?

Real estate experts will tell you that going to the bank should be the first brick you put down in the process. First and foremost, speaking with a lender before looking at houses will help you determine how much you can pay. If you can only afford up to $400,000, there’s no use in looking at homes that go for $450,000.

A miniature home next to a set of keys and a piece of paper.
Deciding whether to buy or sell first relies on many factors.

There are also many first-time homebuyer programs for those new to this. Because these programs differ based on your location, it’s essential to determine what’s available to you.

Another significant reason to speak with a lender before browsing homes is to get a clear picture of the costs of purchasing a property. Many first-time homebuyers are unaware of the differences between a down payment, pre-paid items, and escrows, all of which may be discussed in detail with a mortgage adviser. A mortgage consultant can tell you all about the sort of financing you should seek and whether or not you should ask the seller to contribute to your closing expenses, which is defined as a seller’s concession.

Is my credit score a factor in my ability to purchase a home?

A credit score is a numerical representation of a person’s credit history that provides a lender with a glimpse of their financial situation. Mortgage lenders use the score to determine who gets loans and at what interest rate. The greater the value, the more likely you will get approved for a loan with a favorable interest rate.

If your credit score is poor, getting a loan is not impossible, but it will take more time. Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian are the three firms that maintain track of credit histories. Get reports from all three firms before applying for a mortgage. Correct any issues you discover to increase your score and make a good impression on the lenders.

Should I sell my present home before buying another?

This is a complicated matter because it primarily depends on one’s financial situation and capacity to obtain transitory lodging. If clients want additional equity to buy a new house or complete a financing plan, they should sell their present property first. They will, however, most likely require temporary accommodation from a close friend or family member or a short-term rental somewhere.

Real estate agent showing a house to a family.
An agent could answer most of the questions you have.

How much money do I need to put down as a down payment?

For first-time homeowners, saving for a down payment is perhaps the most challenging task. Lenders require a down payment of 5% to 20% of the purchase price. It varies depending on the loan provider’s conditions and the kind and term of the mortgage. For instance, FHA loans require at least 3.5% down. A VA loan, which involves no money down, is commonly available to veterans. Rural properties are frequently eligible for a USDA loan, which does not require a down payment.

What is the average time it takes to close on a home?

It may differ based on the circumstances. If you have a traditional mortgage, you should be able to close in 45 to 60 days. If you’re receiving an FHA or VA loan, the closing time would most likely be about 45 days. Expect to wait a few months if you’re buying a foreclosure. Short sales are typically sluggish, taking anywhere from two to four months to complete.

In the meantime, you can work on arranging everything related to your relocation, such as figuring out what items to take to your new home and finding residential movers. Professionals can organize everything, allowing you to focus on the other parts of the process.

Is it necessary for me to hire a real estate agent, and if so, how much would they charge me?

Yes. If you want to invest in a home, you need an expert by your side. A real estate agent has completed professional training, knows what needs to be done, and interacts daily with buyers and sellers. They will also be your personal representative, someone who is entirely focused on your best interests. There are many benefits to using a real estate agent as a homebuyer.

A calculator and a notepad next to a stack of dollar bills.
Checking your finances is the first step.

Another blessing is that you don’t have to worry about paying them, in some cases. Because the seller pays all fees, the commission is shared between the seller’s agent and the buyer’s agent in a transaction.

Is it possible to back out if I change my mind?

While homebuyers may indeed back out of a purchase, doing so without a reasonable cause could result in losing earnest money (the money put down to seal the offer, which could be anywhere between 1% and 10%). However, there are a few options for walking about with your earnest money in hand. For instance, if the house inspection is unfavorable, the buyer can try to renegotiate.

Final thoughts on the most common questions homebuyers ask

Being prepared and well-informed before purchasing a property can make a significant difference, especially in a strong real estate market. The home buying process begins before you even set foot in a house and continues until you complete the final walk-through. Following the answers to these most common questions homebuyers ask, you hopefully have a better idea of what to expect. Do not hesitate to contact BARNES New York for your real estate project, and good luck!

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The New York real estate market in 2022

Interview with Yann Rousseau, Managing Partner of BARNES New York

The New York City real estate market fascinates the world. But is it stable and strong? How profitable can an investment be? Are the new programs interesting? Yann Rousseau, Managing Partner at BARNES New York, the New York office of the prestigious French realty brand BARNES, answers French District’s questions.

Why is Westchester county attracting more and more French families?

Read the article in FrenchMorning

Do you want to buy a property in New York, but the prices of the goods you are interested in quickly become unaffordable? Want to make more room for your family? Have you considered Westchester county? This county, just north of New York, is attracting more and more French people and offers a very pleasant living environment. French Morning spoke with Yann Rousseau, director of the BARNES Westchester agency, a subsidiary of BARNES New York.

Luxury real estate in New York is still strong

Article courtesy of Challenges.fr

BARNES New York had the opportunity of giving a short market update for French-language weekly business magazine Challenges.fr

The high-end real estate market is back in New York. The supply of properties for sale could even still increase thanks to offices being turned into residential housing. While the United States has just reopened its borders to foreigners and international tourists back in November, workers are busy renovating the One Wall Street building. Located in the heart of Manhattan’s Financial District, at the corner of Broadway and Wall Street and opposite Trinity Church, this historic 56-story Art Deco building, which rises to nearly 200 meters in height, built between 1929 and 1931 for the Irving Trust Company and then occupied by the Bank of New York, is the largest office-to-residential conversion project in New York City’s history.

This 90-year-old building will yield 566 new units ranging from studios to four-bedroom apartments and a single penthouse. Residents will benefit from access to the on-site amenities, including a state-of-the-art athletic club complete with a 75-ft enclosed pool, event and entertainment space, and spa services – all with clear views of the Statue of Liberty and New York Harbor.

The project, scheduled for delivery next year, could have turned into a fiasco with the Covid-19 epidemic and the uncertainties surrounding the future of real estate market. But the demand has returned and prices are close to their pre-pandemic levels. But the client’s requirements and needs have changed. Young couple and families with children are looking at neighborhoods offering open and green spaces and a better quality of life.

In terms of price, in new buildings, prices reach 17,000 euros per m² in the Dumbo district of Brooklyn, one of the most popular, and “climb to 19,000 euros per m² in TriBeCa, 20,000 euros per m² in the Upper East Side, 22,000 euros per m² in the Upper West Side and 25,000 euros per m² in Hudson Yards, compared to 11,000 to 19,000 euros per m² in the former, depending on the sector”, indicates Yann Rousseau, Managing Partner at BARNES New York.

Rightmove’s most-viewed international property listings of 2021

Rightmove, or rightmove.co.uk, is the UK’s largest online real estate portal and property website, allowing users to discover more than 1 million property in the UK and abroad on their large property marketplace.

Rightmove has shared which international homes attracted the most interest online, and along properties in highly coveted California, France and Portugal, BARNES New York’s property made it to the fourth position, with its incredible castle in the sky at 515 Park Avenue. Located just a few steps from Central Park, this extraordinary mansion combines over 2,000 sq. ft. of spectacular terraces overlooking Park Avenue with 6,000 sq. ft. of magnificent interiors in this enormous mint-condition duplex, including 7 bedrooms, 7 bathrooms, and a separate studio, in a premier full-service condominium building.

New York is not dead – Real estate market still strong

Read the article here

The COVID-19 pandemic changed the way we behave and had a deep economical and social impact on societies all over the world. It is thus not surprising that the real estate market was impacted, especially in a megalopolis like New York City, where the housing prices can lead people to live close to each other in cramped apartments. It was also a natural reaction to want to move away from the city, to a suburb or even farther where one could rent a spacious house and enjoy fresher air and greenery.

However, New York will always be New York, and despite a decrease in rent and sales prices during year 2020, prices are now back to a pre-pandemic level, and people are ready to move back to the bustling and lively Big Apple. New York real estate market is still strong and resilient, and there are still great opportunities, especially in new developments.

BARNES accompanies you in all your real estate endeavors in New York and abroad thanks to its international and global network, and its 100 offices in the most coveted destinations and world capitals, and with three expansiosn planned: in Greenwich, Connecticut, the Hamptons and New Jersey.

Why should you invest in a New York City home?

By Annie Newman

New York is one of the most attractive cities in the world to live in and attracts global attention since the beginning of its history. It is not only an exciting place to live in but it is also a world capital in many ways. It is the location of major financial institutions, world renowned cultural districts, the seat of the United Nations and has more population per square feet than most cities across the country. The real estate in New York City is priced at a high value due to its coveted status as one of the greatest metropolitan areas in the world. New York City consists of the following 5 boroughs: Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island and the Bronx. They all offer unique homes, condos, lofts and apartments that only increase in value over time and can satisfy a wide array of lifestyle needs.

The New York City real estate market

New York apartments are quite in demand and regardless of price, often have many people eyeing the same homes for sale at the same time. One charming neighborhood in Manhattan named Chelsea, recently attracted hundreds of people to a two bedroom open house event where the line to enter had almost a 30 minute wait. Not many cities on earth can boast such a phenomenon. New York City apartments for sale are often difficult to choose from as there are so many neighborhoods and boroughs that offer exclusive living spaces. It is important to do the right research before investing in a luxury condo in New York or any type of home as each area has its own character. Many older residences offer high ceilings, large lobbies, decorative features, hardwood floors and historic charm. The newer constructions are built smaller and are usually found in high rises but do include more modern advantages than prewar constructions. Some New York homes for sale are more expensive but are built in quieter areas that have more of a suburban feel. The New York penthouses for sale offer incredible views of the Manhattan skyline that are truly breathtaking and worth the investment. One can spend days visiting the arts and cultural centers and museums around the city and the fast paced lifestyle of New York is inviting for all those who are looking for a fulfilling experience.

Neighborhoods in New York City

The Upper East Side in New York is known for its trendy and upscale homes, restaurants and shops. Part of Central Park and many museums surround the area that can be filled with tourists all year round. Purchasing or renting an Upper East Side apartment is a source of pride for many residents.

Chelsea is a Manhattan neighborhood that is quite central and has more townhouses and low-rise buildings that make the area more home-like than the skyscrapers of other districts. A lot of former factories have been transformed into art galleries, condos, and trendy upscale living spaces. It is mainly residential and doesn’t reflect the more bustling neighborhoods that are in the financial districts. It has a lot of history and restored homes. SoHo in New York is another fancy neighborhood that includes many designer stores, high end shopping and elegant homes. It has a lively nightlife and attracts all types of artists and vendors.

The SoHo apartments in New York are well located and offer both historical styles of architecture as well as top of the line modern constructions. TriBeCa is a very expensive neighborhood of Manhattan that has a suburban look with cobblestone streets and multimillion dollar residences. It has a family friendly atmosphere and the TriBeCa apartments are usually high priced due to its special character as a quiet area in the big city. There are many lofts for sale that were formerly built as industrial buildings and have spacious accommodations. In a city that has over 8 million inhabitants, every square foot is precious real estate. Some families who are looking for a peaceful neighborhood in New York without having to commute to further suburbs in other boroughs can choose TriBeCa as a primary residence.

The Upper West Side of Manhattan is famous and its name is probably more recognized that many other New York districts. The area includes Central Park, one of the only preserved green spaces in the city, as well as many museums and is a desired zip code to live in. It has many affluent residents and notable structures and is also more convenient for families or people looking for a more quiet living space.

The Upper West Side of New York offers apartments that are luxurious, beautifully restored and have cozy living spaces. The streets are quieter and one does not have to be concerned with the loud distractions of the more densely populated areas. The East Village of New York is more known for its busy nightlife, bars, music venues and restaurants. It does include mansions and prestigious homes as well as row housing. It is a center for culture and the East Village apartments are well located for those who want more of a fast paced lifestyle. It is easy to access all the cultural venues that are so close by.

The West Village of New York is quite special in the sense that the city imposed the maintenance of the historic facades of many buildings and therefore the area has kept a lot of its historic charm. There are many theaters that display modern cultural trends and movements. In general, New York City itself is a mix of old and new, modern and historic, busy yet livable and exciting as can be for all those who call it home.

BARNES New York is at your disposal to help you choose the right New York City home for your needs and aspirations. We have a team of knowledgeable experts who can guide you through the process of purchasing your dream residence in the City that never sleeps. 

Selling your home when you get a divorce: what is the process?

By Myriam Benhamou

One of the difficult consequences of a divorce is that you often have to sell the family home. Of course, homes are often sold, and for a variety of reasons – for example, the need or desire to buy bigger or smaller, or to change neighborhoods or cities – and while these events can certainly be a cause of anxiety and trepidation, it can generally be assumed that sellers will experience this event relatively well and that most will even look forward to moving to their next home. But when the motivation is a divorce, the situation is likely to be quite different, and unless the divorce is amicable, there is a good chance that the sale will prove much more difficult.

To better understand the situation, we must first talk about the importance of the family home before we can discuss the challenges inherent to its sale and how to meet these challenges and finally highlight the advantages of working with a real estate agent specializing in divorce.

The importance of the family home

To start, the home is an asset that is likely to have different meanings for the parties involved and it becomes even more complicated when there are children still living at home.

  • First there is the emotional aspect – the home holds memories and for many, memories of a happier time when the spouses had dreams and made plans together for the future. It was a witness to the baby’s first steps, birthday parties or family festive dinners. And while happy memories may gradually have turned into bad memories (sometimes even nightmares), having to leave the home may still be difficult to accept, and that is often because of what the family home traditionally represents.
  • Indeed, the family home is generally synonymous with stability, security (especially for children) and for some, even social status. 
    • It makes it possible to delineate the family perimeter and give support to family members.
    • It contributes to the sense of belonging and the notion of identity.
    • It is a sanctuary that protects our privacy and houses everything that is important to us and to which we are attached (whether people, personal belongings or souvenirs).
    • Finally, it preserves the family and social bond and is therefore the place where children are expected to flourish. 

Consequences can be catastrophic for the spouse who is forced to leave the home; consequences often amplified in the context of “gray divorce” where couples separate late, after several decades spent together. “Gray divorces” are difficult for both parties, but unfortunately, often even more so for women than men, and can seriously damage both spouses’ finances. It is indeed more difficult to rebuild financially for obvious reasons related to age and the fact that there is not as much time left to find work or continue working. Similarly, one of the spouses may not have had the same career progress or earning potential. As a result, one or both spouses’ life journey will often be completely disrupted.

So, what are the challenges?

Challenges

They are numerous and are present at every stage of the transaction.

  • Motivation.  The spouses’ motivations and expectations for the sale can be completely different. For instance, one spouse may want to sell as soon as possible (and therefore not necessarily at the highest price) in order to be able to start his or her life over with the person he or she has already met. But for the other spouse, the higher the selling price of the family home, the better that spouse’s chances to find a decent apartment
  • Exclusive sales agreement. If both spouses are on title, both spouses must sign the exclusive sales agreement with the real estate agent – which means that the agent will represent both parties, in a situation that can be very conflictual.  
  • Lack of cooperation. Representing a couple can be difficult in the best of cases, but at least the spouses have a common goal: to sell the home for the best possible price; and it is therefore reasonable to anticipate being able to find a common agreement.  Here, however, the objectives are different, the motivations are different and above all the sale will have consequences that can be radically different for each party. There is, therefore, a good chance that the parties will make decisions separately and will be contentious on just about anything and everything.
  • Selling price. Before they can sign the exclusive sales agreement with the real estate agent, the parties must agree on the sale price. Several scenarios can arise: a party is very emotionally attached to the home and thinks that it is worth much more than in reality; or a party may want to get as much money as possible because he or she needs it post-divorce as his or her financial future may depend on how much money is derived from the sale; or the parties have simply come to detest each other and do not want to cooperate. This can lead to fierce fights between spouses with very little room left for a reasonable outcome.  
  • Sales dynamics. The parties must also agree on details such as the preparation of the home for the sale (e.g., decluttering and storing, which requires some cooperation and which costs money); acceptable times for visits by potential buyers; or how much to spend on advertising or marketing.
  • Offer. Both parties must accept an offer and be willing to negotiate it.
  • Closing of the transaction. Finally, the spouses must accept and sign the necessary documents for the closing of the sale, which again, requires some cooperation.

How to meet these challenges and what are the advantages of working with a real estate agent specializing in divorce?

What is the best way to address these challenges – and why is it important to hire a real estate agent who specializes in divorces? As has been demonstrated, a sale resulting from a divorce cannot be treated as a regular transaction because it is not a regular transaction.

  1. Why a real estate agent specializing in divorce is an asset

In order to be able to receive a certification as a “Real Estate Certified Divorce Specialist”, an agent has to receive prior training that allows him or her to recognize the applicable challenges and deal with them before they become unmanageable. This specialist is better equipped than a more traditional agent to assist a couple who is divorcing because he or she has a better understanding of the ramifications of a divorce (whether financial, legal, or psychological) and its impact on the sale of the home. The agent can therefore provide a divorcing couple the necessary support throughout the process. 

2. How can these challenges be met?

It is important to work with a real estate agent who will know to:

  • Remain neutral. The agent must first remember that the agent represents both parties and that they may be very unlikely to cooperate with each other – but nevertheless, the agent must remain neutral and impartial, and must take a diplomatic approach to each decision (including knowing when it is advisable to give the parties the space they need to reach a consensus). This is not always easy because, in some cases, one of the spouses has already left the marital home which means that by necessity (for example, organizing visits) the agent tends to be more in contact with one of the spouses than the other, and sometimes that spouse gradually becomes more comfortable and can indulge in some confidences that can impact the neutrality of the representation.
  • Communicate. The agent must explain very clearly how he or she intends to communicate with both parties (keeping in mind that both must be kept always informed and in the same manner).
  • Rely on facts. Deciding on the value of the home can be difficult because the parties often have very different ideas about the value of the home in question. The agent must propose a selling price that clearly relies on the reality of the market. He or she will therefore have to prepare a detailed, fact-based valuation where the agent will indeed have to demonstrate in detail the previous comparable sales to make it clear that the proposed price is in line with the market. It is also a way to remove the emotional aspect from the equation.
  • Stay flexible. The agent must know how to remain flexible (and patient!). Some spouses, in fact, become true masters in the art of delaying the sale.

Myriam Benhamou is a Licensed Real Estate Associate Broker and a Real Estate Certified Divorce Specialist and is at your service, always looking forward to fulfilling your housing needs and protecting your best interest. Contact BARNES New York below to tell us more about your needs.

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Why you should consider cryptocurrencies for your next real estate transaction

Until recently, Blockchain technology was simply associated with bitcoin and similar cryptocurrencies, disrupting the traditional financial world and questioning the way we have always treated money transactions and payments. It has also launched a frenzy race for many other major industries, who started to realize the full potential of this new technology and how they should start applying it in their everyday business routine. Cryptocurrencies have allowed for easier payments and facilitated money exchanges, and blockchain have created a new form of digital ownership never seen before. For example, non-fungible tokens, also called NFTs, now allow a user to own and trade many different forms of digital art with a certified and verified proof of ownership. Blockchain could also be used in many other applications across society, like secure sharing of medical data, voting mechanism, and much more.

It would thus be the logical next step that the real estate industry starts utilizing this new technology to process transactions and create real estate processing platforms. But first, what is blockchain and cryptocurrencies, and how are they related?

Blockchain and cryptocurrencies: what are they?

Blockchain allows block of information and transaction data that once created, are being validated by a chain of other blocks, making it resistant to modification or data alterations. This allows the participants to verify and audit transactions independently and in a quite inexpensive manner. It is considered decentralized, using peer-to-peer network to store data, and thus eliminating the risks that come with data being held centrally in one place.

Cryptocurrencies, such as bitcoin, use this blockchain technology to record transactions. Individual coin ownership are secured in “blocks”, ensuring control over the creation of additional coins, and a full verification of the transaction records and transfer of coin ownership. Since bitcoin’s successful release, many other cryptocurrencies called “altcoins” have been created, which could theoretically be used in everyday life for daily transactions. Unlike fiat money, cryptocurrency is not regulated by central authorities or backed by any governments, making it a versatile payment solution.

How can cryptocurrency and real estate work together?

Since cryptocurrency can function just like any other form of payments, there is no reason one couldn’t pay in crypto for a real estate transaction. The process may seem complicated at first, but in the end, it simply offers an additional way to pay or receive money and brings more flexibility into the deal. Even more, by tokenizing real estate property and making it digital, assets can then be traded on an exchange and all transactions can be done online.

Cryptocurrencies introduce new platforms and marketplaces to list properties and new ways to connect buyers and sellers. It reduces the intermediaries and automates many steps traditionally fulfilled by lawyers and banks, with a huge improvement on the overall cost and speeding up the time needed for each transaction. Since information is stored in the blockchain, it is accessible to all peers on the network, making data transparent and permanent. Those advantages can be positively used by the real estate industry for a smoother, sped up process.

Recently, properties have been sold using crypto, like these two luxury properties on the island of Madeira in Portugal that were sold in Cardano, a new altcoin, totaling $4.7 million. Two luxury condos are also up for sale in one of Florida’s most exclusive oceanfront, for a total price of $31 million, with developers accepting payment in bitcoin.

BARNES New York is moving forward with cryptocurrency

BARNES has been assisting its clients in New York state for more than 10 years, and strives to bring you the best level of service to make your real estate transactions easier and less time consuming. By accepting cryptocurrency payments, BARNES is positioning itself as one of the first initiators in the industry to do so and is looking forward to adopt more innovation in the near future. Please feel free to contact us for your real estate needs.

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