Why should you use a real estate agency to guide you through the New York real estate market?

By Annie Newman

The New York real estate market consists of a vast sea of choice of luxury condos, apartments, homes and townhouses that can be found across New York City and its suburbs. One of the most populated and attractive cities on earth offers so much choice for buyers and real estate investors that it would be hard to imagine navigating through this real estate market without the guidance of knowledgeable experts in the field. Not only is it important to choose the right type of residence, but the location of the home can affect daily life in a profound way when living in such a big metropolitan area. The process of buying or renting a home in New York City and its surroundings can be exciting and real estate agencies can guide you to make the process much more pleasant and effective.

The New York City real estate market

New York City has 5 boroughs that expand through large territories and include all types of landscapes. Those consist of the densely populated Manhattan, as well as many areas surrounded by water, farmlands, suburbs, towns and villages. Real estate companies can be found in most of these areas and often specialize in different types of properties, including luxury homes and modern constructions. Some parts of NYC are older due to its long and rich history but the properties are charming and retain their authenticity. There are many restored buildings that offer large and modern living spaces, while other areas have brand new constructions that are valued at very high prices due to their incredible location in and around the city that never sleeps. Those who are looking for a more quiet and suburban type of lifestyle can turn to one of the many boroughs that surround Manhattan that are less densely populated and offer more of a communal or family life that is not as busy as the big city. Luxury real estate companies can be found throughout the area because even a home that is a one hour drive from Manhattan can be quite expensive when considering how easily accessible it is to reach the city that is undoubtedly one of the most important financial and cultural centers in the world. In many cities around the United States, once a buyer starts searching for a home that is located within a sizeable distance of a big city, usually the prices can be expected to be lower but when one is searching for a home within any borough of New York City, they can expect high value properties because it is incredibly desirable to be near such a special metropolis. Choosing the right borough and the right type of property is quite a big task and while investing a lot of funds into a NYC home is always worthwhile, it is crucial to have the right broker and agency to help buyers make the right choice.

Why choose a real estate agency in buying or renting a home?

Some buyers turn to the internet to search for available properties in and around New York City to rent or buy, but they might not necessarily find out a lot of important information in the online postings of properties. Sometimes, a real estate broker might have insights that buyers don’t have access to regarding the history of repairs, appropriate pricing for the area, advantages and disadvantages of certain properties, why some homes have been on the market for longer periods of time, and myriads of other details that cannot be accessible on typical search engines for the real estate market. Some people who are looking to buy or rent a home in NYC are concerned about how to choose the right agent or broker because they don’t want to be pressured into any major decisions and therefore the best way to choose the right person to represent you in your search is to have them offer a few properties that meet your criteria and discover if they are truly trying to satisfy your real estate needs or are more concerned about sales and commission. Even though real estate brokers are available to help and are looking to close sales, some agents are more understanding of your needs than others and have your best interest in mind as they want their clients to be happy with the purchase and are not simply there to gain a sold property. Here, at BARNES New York, we have a long history of offering some of the most exclusive and special properties that NYC has to offer and our team of experts are proud to give a personalized service to its customers. With offices all over the world that represent luxurious and highly desirable homes, we are proud to include this great city as one of our top locations in the real estate market. In Europe, we present homes that show a true French art de vivre style and we choose our properties very carefully to meet the highest standards. Even in a city like New York that is quite populated and can include smaller living quarters, we still offer some of the best located, modern, luxurious and prestigious homes of all sizes to meet your needs. There are many real estate companies in the area that can be efficient to guide you in the process of making the right purchase or investment, but they may not offer such high end properties like BARNES has in its coveted listings.

Whether you are currently living and working in New York City or are living abroad and are looking to invest in a home in this area, you can count on BARNES to be at your disposal thanks to a strong team of experts available at your convenience.

Why should you search for a home in Westchester County?

By Annie Newman

Westchester is actually one of the first suburban areas to be developed outside of New York City. It is located just north of New York and is quite accessible as the distance is a reasonable drive to the city. It is located in the Hudson valley and consists of cities, towns and villages. It is surrounded by beautiful nature, a peaceful environment and is a haven for New Yorkers who are looking for a more suburban type of lifestyle. It has notable residents and was once home to the former US President, Bill Clinton. Yonkers is the most populated city in that region and the entire county attracts residents from all over Manhattan who are looking for more spacious and livable homes.

Westchester as a first choice suburb of New York

The Westchester County is a central suburb in the greater New York City region and began its history as an attractive place for upper middle class families due to its proximity to the Big Apple. Its many roads and public transport services are an attractive factor for commuters especially in a city where traffic can sometimes become a significant obstacle. The southern area of Westchester is rapidly becoming densely populated and more city-like than other parts of the county. Upstate New York is also closely accessible from Westchester and is an attractive factor in choosing a home there for those who like to go to the countryside on a more regular basis. Aside from the villages and towns that are found there, the main populated cities are: Yonkers, New Rochelle, Mount Vernon, White Plains, Peekskill and Rye.

A suburb with economic influence 

Most suburbs in the United States consist of mostly residential properties but the Westchester area is so close in proximity to New York City, one of the financial capitals of the world, that it attracts many Fortune 500 companies. Buyers who purchase a home in Westchester can have close access to jobs that have high earning potential without having to necessarily commute all the way to Manhattan. Some of these major companies include MasterCard, PepsiCo, IBM and Universal American. It is a great advantage in a city like New York that is densely populated, expensive and deals with major traffic to have suburbs that also offer great business opportunities. Unlike Manhattan, one can buy a home in Westchester that is spacious, has a big garden, easy parking and more without the daily stresses of a bustling metropolis. Just like California has Silicon Valley, eastern New York State has Tech Valley. The Westchester homes for sale are worth the investment as they are located in a region that has growing business opportunities and the demand keeps growing.

A damn in Westchester county, during the fall with orange and brownish leaves starting to fall.

The Westchester county charm

Westchester has a lot of historic buildings and beautiful sceneries. It is a charming and wonderful place to own a home. The architecture of the houses is known to be beautiful, with wide spaces and plenty of greenery. The oldest building there was built in 1670. There are libraries, museums, cultural arts centers, and many parks and recreation areas. Scarsdale is one of the closest districts to New York City and offers a lot of business opportunities and cultural attractions. The area may be historic but it also includes many newly built homes and luxury apartments across Westchester.

The real estate market in Westchester

The real estate market in Westchester is growing and the median prices for homes are in the higher ranges. It offers many luxurious properties that reflect prices more accurately than in Manhattan, where an apartment can cost as much as large house in Westchester. There are many cities and towns to choose from and some homes are located in areas that are so quiet and retreated that they are not even considered part of any town. The residents there can enjoy a more private life and choose a dream home close to one of the most popular cities on earth. One particular home in Westchester had gone on the market for $100 million, which many U.S. suburbs could not offer because of location. Being in driving distance to Manhattan naturally raises the value of homes in a suburb such as Westchester. Westchester houses for sale include waterfront homes, mansions, castles, and restored historic buildings. The standard of life is considered one of the highest in the country. There are many hills and rivers that mix farm life, suburban life and city life due to its status as a New York City suburb. The county continues to move forward and attracts many people from across the East coast to its beautiful landscapes. For home buyers who like nature, they can purchase a home that is close to many nature activities such as hiking, biking, watersports, and outdoor recreation. It has much to offer for its residents during both the summer and winter seasons. It also offers a meaningful sense of community compared to the big city. Those who are looking for rural homes with a large property can find such houses in the area. Many people rarely expect to find so much farmland just north of a city with millions of people. Some New Yorkers who purchased a second home in Westchester made it their primary residence during the pandemic months when many businesses and schools were closed in New York City. For those who are looking for Westchester apartments instead of the responsibility of a big property, they can also find many choices in one of the more populated districts of the county. Westchester offers a wide array of choices for your needs.

BARNES New York & Westchester is at your disposal to help you search for your dream home in Westchester thanks to a team of experts that is available to guide you in your real estate goals.

Buying real estate in New York: expert advice

Bien Vivre aux États-Unis:
the 1st digital show for French people in the United States

BARNES New York & Westchester invites you to the conference dedicated to the New York real estate market, “Buying real estate in New York”, on the occasion of its participation in the online exhibition “Bien Vivre aux Etats-Unis”.

This digital event will take place on Monday, September 13 at 12.00 pm (EST time zone). The fair will then run throughout the week until September 17, presenting a series of conferences with expert speakers to support expats in the United States, whether you have been settled there for a long time or still dreaming of living there.

Yann Rousseau, Managing Partner of BARNES New York & Westchester, will join the discussion with Betty Benzakein of HSBC and Amélie Deschênes of OFX, addressing in particular:

  • The New York Acquisition and Leasing Process
  • Update on the state of the real estate market in New York & Westchester for Q3 2021
  • Settlement or “relocation” formalities
  • Preferred neighborhoods
  • The different real estate products available
  • The role of the real estate agent

Monday September 13 at 12.00 pm EST / 6.00 pm CEST

This event is sponsored by USAFrance Financials and organized by French Morning.

Is investing in Brooklyn real estate a good choice?

By Annie Newman

Is Brooklyn the next Manhattan? When you hear of Brooklyn, you may think it’s only one neighborhood but Brooklyn comprises of many different neighborhoods with various cultures, lifestyles and architecture for you to choose from.  Some areas have become very exclusive and expensive. Brooklyn is geographically larger than Manhattan and many areas have wonderful water views and sceneries. Even though some parts of Brooklyn include post war buildings, there are many new developments and high rises that are newly built and offer all the modern facilities that you may need. Brooklyn is a short drive from Manhattan and many people work and commute every day between those two boroughs. One can live in Brooklyn and have an apartment that faces the Manhattan Skyline without the prices of living directly in Manhattan itself. Some Brooklyn apartments for sale may actually be as expensive as some Manhattan condos and some houses for sale in Brooklyn may be even more expensive than some found in Manhattan. Brooklyn is becoming more popular and trendy amongst young people, investors and those who desire to work in Manhattan but prefer the more quiet or affordable neighborhoods of Brooklyn.

Luxury condos in Brooklyn

One Brooklyn neighborhood that is developing quite quickly and is becoming popular among investors and residents is Williamsburg. Some people may not realize that Brooklyn also offers luxury real estate but some homes and apartments are priced and sold reflecting a true luxury market. There are luxury condos in Williamsburg that face the water and have beautiful views of the city and nicely built boardwalks and parks with access to ferries at all times of the day. Some other communities also offer single family homes or semi-detached houses that are surrounded by beautiful nature, good schools, and peaceful settings. Some apartments in Brooklyn are very spacious and you can choose a brand new construction or a completely renovated historical structure. One historic Brooklyn mansion in Prospect Park went on the market for $30 million. Not many suburbs of big cities offer such exclusive properties.

The future of Brooklyn Real Estate

A view of buildings of different styles in Brooklyn, with historic style, red-brick  low-rise building in front, and modern, glass buildings in the background.

During the Covid pandemic, some investors realized that due to certain business closures, some of the Manhattan real estate had temporarily dropped in value or prices but the Brooklyn real estate market maintained a more balanced and stable demand during that challenging period. Over time, Brooklyn homes and townhouses increased in value and the last couple of years have seen an even bigger increase in the value of real estate in Brooklyn. Many millennials keep moving from the densely populated and expensive Manhattan districts to the nearby neighborhoods in Brooklyn that are up-and-coming. Brooklyn has just as much access to public transport and subway systems as Manhattan and it is therefore very easy to reach Manhattan from there. It encourages more people to live in Brooklyn and go to Manhattan for business or entertainment. Brooklyn itself though has enough public places and entertainment venues that are attractive enough to compete with the Big Apple.

How to choose a property and neighborhood in Brooklyn

Brooklyn is one of the 5 boroughs of New York City and is an area in demand when it comes to real estate and purchasing land or residences. Brooklyn is the fastest growing borough in terms of population. There are so many condos in Brooklyn as well large homes and even mansions that offer great views, exciting lifestyles and proximity to the glamor of Manhattan. There are dozens of Brooklyn neighborhoods and choosing the right place to live is an important decision. One has to decide if they prefer to be as close as possible for work purposes to the big City, or if they prefer more quiet areas. They need to decide if they prefer certain cultural aspects of the different regions or if they prefer a certain type of architecture. Brooklyn has many respected and visited museums. Some parts of Brooklyn are definitely older and have typical post war buildings but many are renovated and quite expensive. If you prefer brand new constructions, there are many new buildings that are constantly being built. Just like Manhattan, many buildings are constructed as high rises due to the large population and the desirable real estate market. It is worth taking the time to explore the different areas of this large borough as each neighborhood has a lot to offer to its population.  

Brooklyn luxury condos are now competition to homes and townhouses

The number of luxury contracts for properties is increasing steadily in Brooklyn and many buyers are choosing to purchase luxury condos over traditional houses or townhouses in the borough. The reason for this phenomenon is that these residences are more likely to be newer constructions; they offer more special views due to their high rise nature and don’t need the renovations necessary for many of the Brooklyn homes that were built quite a few decades ago. Some of these condos have more than one floor and can offer a similar or better lifestyle than a house and includes more modern amenities. Some older houses are even included in the luxury real estate market in Brooklyn because many buyers choose to renovate them to a great extent after purchasing them. The median asking price for Brooklyn luxury apartments and condos are often in the millions. Being so close to Manhattan and even having direct views of the city contributes to the value and price range of these homes. Many other big cities in the world can offer exclusive properties and have prices to reflect them, but usually the direct suburbs are significantly less expensive. Not in Brooklyn though because being close to a city such as Manhattan is truly special as it is one of the most popular places in the world.

BARNES New York is at your disposal to guide you and help you choose the right Brooklyn apartment or residence of your dreams thanks to a strong team of experts to assist you in all aspects of your real estate goals and expectations. We look forward to presenting you with the most prestigious and exclusive properties that Brooklyn has to offer.

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Should you invest in Manhattan real estate now?

By Annie Newman

Manhattan is often described as the financial and cultural center of the United States, and even considered by some as a world capital. Historically, it has been a constant attraction for tourists and immigrants from all over the globe and it is now recognized as one of the most desirable and exciting places to live and work. It is not surprising that the value of Manhattan real estate exceeds the sale prices of most metropolitan cities in the United States and around the world.

Why is it special to buy an apartment or home in Manhattan?

Those who call Manhattan their home feel a sense of tremendous pride and even though it is densely populated, people are willing to go the extra length to find their place in the city that never sleeps. The skyline of Manhattan is unmistakably recognized by people all over the world, including those who have never even visited New York. Songs, movies, television and theatre shows have been produced about Manhattan as it captivates the minds of all those who have heard of its bustling business and entertainment life.  This massive metropolitan area has a record number of skyscrapers that offer some of the most incredible views in the world.

Owning a property in Manhattan is a prestigious advantage.  Almost any apartment there can offer views that even penthouses in other cities don’t offer. Due to the large population, the buildings in the city are known to be built as high rises and skyscrapers and many apartments offer spectacular sceneries since the structures are built with such elevation. Some of the world’s tallest skyscrapers are found in Manhattan.

Manhattan real estate is in high demand

Manhattan not only has a large population, but it has an influx of workers from other boroughs or even states that commute there on a daily basis, creating a landscape that requires constant building and expansion. Every centimeter of land is precious and many in the construction industry have to win over bids to build more properties over those who want to try to maintain green spaces. This is the reason why one may find beautiful and spacious homes or townhouses for sale in Manhattan, but the main landscape can be seen from far as a city with tall buildings and limited space to build large private properties. Owning a home in Manhattan is truly glamorous.

View over Manhattan at night, with the lights from the city.

The city is known for its industrial past and some of the historical factories have been transformed into luxury and spacious lofts that can be found in many districts of Manhattan. The condos for sale reflect the prices of some of the most desired pieces of real estate in the world. Some apartments for sale in Manhattan can actually comprise of multiple floors and have as many rooms as a suburban house elsewhere in the United States. Unlike the suburban homes, these multi-floor condos offer breathtaking views at all times of a city whose lights shine and light up the sky from miles away.

Choosing a neighborhood or district to live in Manhattan is a wonderful experience as almost every corner of the city has special attractions for the local residents. Some people may prefer areas where the entertainment and theatres are world renown, others like the more quiet areas of the city. The city has mass transit subway and buses systems that create efficient and quick access to all areas of interest.

Local and International investment in Manhattan properties

Foreign investment in Manhattan real estate has been desirable for many people around the world who are looking to invest in valuable properties that are always in demand. Aside from investments, some people who reside in other cities who are looking to own a second home often choose Manhattan as their preference. Home owners in places such as Miami, Los Angeles, Paris, London and other big cities pride themselves to own a place to call their home in New York. Manhattan will always be on the top of the list of the world’s most famous and attractive cities.

Manhattan’s luxury real estate market

During the Covid pandemic, prices did fall to a certain degree but the real estate market in Manhattan is now bouncing back and is especially growing in the high end luxury property market. Some of the world’s most expensive homes and apartments have been sold right in Manhattan and it is no wonder that the buyers chose this city as their residence. Not many people would accept to invest over 100 million dollars for properties in other cities but Manhattan is able to attract such great investment due to its special character. A Manhattan penthouse was sold for $238 million in 2019, making it one of the most expensive homes ever sold in the United States. It would be challenging to sell a property of that price range in most other cities across the continent! Real estate professionals know that living in a Manhattan home can be priceless. Having a presence in New York City by purchasing real estate there is exciting, profitable and unique. Every square foot of land and real estate has tremendous value and worth.

Manhattan is not only multicultural in regards to its population, but the actual architecture and buildings that comprise this city can vary greatly in style. Some residents and buyers prefer the more historical look of the typical New York apartment buildings while others are more impressed by the shine and glamor of the new constructions that offer more modern styles of living. Both types are charming because they either represent the long history of a city of opportunities or the new shine of a constantly growing and fast paced world superpower.

The real estate market in Manhattan is booming and experts are predicting that the trend of record sales and contracts will continue in the coming years. BARNES New York has the exceptional resources to provide you with all your luxury real estate interests and can guide you in your search for your dream Manhattan home or project. Our properties are unparalleled in prestige and luxury and we are looking forward to present you with the most exclusive places.

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«New York City Neighborhoods» : Exploring Turtle Bay

Interview by Rachel Brunet, director and editor-in-chief of Le Petit Journal New York

BARNES New York invites you in its series of articles untitled “New York City Neighborhoods”, where you can regularly discover the different districts of the city, in the eyes of French speakers who have settled there. They tell us all about their neighborhood, in their words, their tastes, their habits. Today we explore Turtle Bay — a district located in Midtown East, with Lidia Del Pozo, Senior Business Development Officer, VP at Bank of the West BNP Paribas Wealth Management. She tells us about the neighborhood she has lived in for over a year with her family.

Lidia Del Pozo in her apartment in Turtle Bay, LePetitJournal.com

Lepetitjournal.com New York : You live in Turtle Bay. What attracted you to this neighborhood?

The reason I decided to live here is not for the neighborhood itself, but especially for its location in Manhattan. Before moving to New York with my husband and daughter, we took just five days to decide on the neighborhood and apartment we would live in. The Turtle Bay neighborhood stood out for us because of its central location in the city. We thought that it would be the best way to be close to all the city’s points of interest. The other reason, which confirmed our choice, was the proximity of my workplace. Indeed, I work for BNP Paribas Wealth Management which is also located in Midtown, and therefore a few blocks away from home.

Can you tell us about life in this neighborhood, the atmosphere? What makes it live, what drives it?

I would say that this neighborhood doesn’t have just one identity. I would be unable to say if this is a residential area only or an office district or an embassy district. Turtle Bay is a bit of everything at the same time: there is simultaneously a neighborhood life, with its small local shops, its small bars and restaurants, nurseries, playgrounds, but also an office district, therefore very lively Monday to Friday, with a lot of people in the streets very early in the morning and during lunch breaks. And in this mixed landscape sits the headquarters of the United Nations and a few embassies that revolve around this majestic building, the most beautiful in the city, in my opinion. Obviously, when General Assemblies take place, the district takes on a new face. The district is then under very strict protection and becomes a little locked down and paralyzed. These few days are not very pleasant but not unlivable either. The organization is quite impressive!

And it’s exciting! That’s what makes this district extremely lively and international.

A street in Turtle Bay, LePetitJournal.com

You live near the United Nations Headquarters, where French is one of the official working languages. Do we hear Molière’s language a lot in the streets of Turtle Bay?

Yes, indeed, French is a language that’s heard very regularly on the sidewalks, between two colleagues who go to their office at the United Nations, who we can easily identify in the street because they very often wear their access badge to the building around their neck; or the families I meet when I go to the playground with my daughter, for example. There are a lot of francophones in Turtle Bay. To give a fairly representative example, at the nursery my daughter attends, in her class, out of 10 students, 4 come from French-speaking families! Being able to speak French is of course very practical, especially at first, and always a good way to create new relationships very quickly, although it makes me practice my English less.

Your favorite places in Turtle Bay?

One of my favorite places in my neighborhood is probably the Grand Central Market, which is located on the grounds of Grand Central Station itself. It is a single alley where we find a succession of small stands who offer fresh and good quality products. Despite the fact that it is indoor, the atmosphere is close to that of a traditional market and the merchants are very nice. What I love most about this neighborhood is the fact that it is right on the East River. I am lucky to have a nice river view from my apartment and to be able to witness some really beautiful sunrises. Simple walks along the river are very pleasant and a bit of a change of scenery from the urban, city life.

Is this a neighborhood that you recommend for those who want to buy or rent?

I am not an expert in the real estate market, however what I can say intuitively when it comes to renting, yes it is a neighborhood that I recommend, because it is good to live and as I already have mentioned, it is ideally located in Manhattan to discover the city. Among the other reasons, the proximity to the river, the security and safety brought by the presence of the United Nations headquarters and finally, the very cosmopolitan aspect of the neighborhood. Regarding the purchase of a property, I would evoke the same motivations with the addition of the fact that it is a neighborhood quite popular with expats working at the United Nations, therefore with a certain demand on the market.

If you had to describe Turtle Bay in three words? 

If I had to describe Turtle Bay in three words, I would say that it is lively district, a very cosmopolitan district and therefore conducive to meetings and a multi-faceted district where personal and professional lives mingle.

acheter-appartement-luxe-vue-manhattan
Aerial view of Manhattan skyline at sunset, New York City

Experts Discuss – Turtle Bay

Rental market:

In March 2021, the median rent for an apartment in Turtle Bay was $ 2,200 for a studio (-40% over one year), $ 3,200 for one bedroom (flat), $ 4,000 for two bedrooms (-20%) and $ 6,200 for three bedrooms (+ 24%).

Sales market:

At the end of Q4 2020, across Turtle Bay as a whole, the median asking asking price of sellers stood at $ 950k (when the Manhattan average is $ 1M) showing a significant increase in the order of 20% over one year with $ 1,207 / square foot and around sixty transactions over the quarter.

Interview by Rachel Brunet, director and editor-in-chief of Le Petit Journal New York

Read the article in Le Petit Journal New York

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