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The latest news on Real Estate from Business Insider

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    3 Hubert St Alan Wilzig $43.5 million

    Alan Wilzig, a real-life inspiration for a character in "The Wolf of Wall Street," has dropped the price of his Tribeca condo from $38.5 million to $24.885 million.

    This is the home's second price chop — it was first listed for $44 million in 2014 before being relisted (sans broker) in May 2015. This time, the condo has all-new listing photos, and many of its more eccentric features seem to have disappeared.  

    The 6,500-square-foot townhouse at 3 Hubert Street has a 2,200-square-foot roof deck, backyard, three bedrooms, and an attached garage where Wilzig currently stores his motorcycle memorabilia. 

    In the film, Wilzig inspired the character at the pool-party scene who introduced Leonardo DiCaprio's character to his future wife.  

    Nest Seekers International's Ryan Serhant and Katherine Salyi have the listing this time around.

    Megan Willett and April Walloga contributed to an earlier version of this post. 

    SEE ALSO: No one wants to buy Richard Nixon's former 'Western White House'

    DON'T FORGET: Follow Business Insider's lifestyle page on Facebook!

    Entrepreneur and semiprofessional race car driver Alan Wilzig is selling his townhouse for just shy of $25 million.

    In total, the home has 6,500 square feet of space.

    It also has a 2,200-square-foot roof deck.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    New Jersey Mob House

    If you'd like to own a little bit of mid-century drama, now's your chance.

    This Fort Lee, New Jersey, mansion was built and owned by the allegedly mafia-connected Albert Anastasia in the late 1940s and 1950s. After he was killed in a Manhattan barber shop in 1957, the home passed to three subsequent owners, including comedian Buddy Hackett.

    It's currently owned by Arthur Imperatore, founder of the NY Waterway ferry service.

    Perfect for those who like a little macabre to go with their Hudson River views, the home is going up for auction with Guernsey's on June 8, with bids starting at $5.5 million.

    SEE ALSO: No one wants to buy Richard Nixon's former 'Western White House'

    DON'T FORGET: Follow Business Insider's lifestyle page on Facebook!

    Welcome to 75 Bluff Road, a New Jersey Gold Coast mansion sitting right on the Hudson Palisades.

    The house was built in 1947 to the highest luxury standards for Albert Anastasia, who allegedly was head of the mafia arm "Murder Inc."

    It was built in a Mediterranean style, complete with a Spanish tile roof.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Drew and Jonathan Scott, twin stars of HGTV's hit show "Property Brothers," and co-authors of "Dream Home," know a thing or two when it comes to renovating and selling homes.

    But how do the pros who knock down walls and gut kitchens fare with notoriously difficult-to-assemble IKEA furniture? Turns out not too well — at least for one of them.

    "Property Brothers" airs Wednesday at 9:00 p.m. on HGTV.

    Produced by Justin Gmoser and Arielle Berger.

    Follow BI Video: On Twitter

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    demi moore penthouse san remo

    As of today, it has been one year since Demi Moore’s six-bedroom penthouse atop the San Remo building first hit the market with an astonishing $75 million asking price. If the 7,000-square-foot unit sells for anywhere near its asking price, it will smash the current $26.4 million sales record at the building.

    Moore bought the penthouse in 1990 – the same year her movie "Ghost" grossed over $500 million at the box office – with her former beau Bruce Willis, along with a lobby-level, two-bedroom maisonette, which is included in the listing.

    "We looked at everything on the park, Fifth Avenue, Central Park South and Central Park West, and there was just nothing like it," Moore told the New York Times last year. "The location, architecture and history of the San Remo were on a completely different level."

    Moore certainly isn't the only celebrity to have graced the San Remo's oh-so-fancy terrazzo floors. Residents have included the likes of Tiger Woods, Steven Spielberg, Donna Karan, Dustin Hoffman, Diane Keaton and Rita Hayworth. Someone you definitely won’t see though is Madonna, who applied to buy an apartment in the building in 1985, but was rejected by the co-op board – despite its reputation for relatively lenient standards.

    So to mark Moore’s listing anniversary, broker Adam Modlin of the Modlin Group gave LLNYC the grand tour of PH26C.

    SEE ALSO: Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine and Victoria’s Secret model Behati Prinsloo are selling their huge New York loft for $5.5 million

    DON'T FORGET: Follow Business Insider's lifestyle page on Facebook!

    Built in 1930, the San Remo at 145-146 Central Park West, nestled between 74th and 75th Streets, is arguably one of the most iconic buildings on the entire perimeter of Central Park. Designed by Emery Roth, the twin-peaked landmark is split between two separate entrances and two lobbies, in service of the individual towers.


    But it's the south tower that holds the grandest residences, according to Modlin. That means that Moore's penthouse crowning the south tower, and stretching across the 26th, 27th and 28th floors, may just be the grandest of them all.

    Enter the lobby at 145 Central Park West, waltz into one of the San Remo's gilded Art Deco elevators and exit on the 26th floor. This is "the public level" of Moore's triplex. The spacious living room enjoys three exposures, more than 20 feet of Central Park frontage and an impressive turquoise ceramic tile fireplace. The library sits on the southeast corner of the tower overlooking both Central Park and the city, and if you take a glance up to the ceiling you'll spot some of the San Remo’s original and elaborate plaster molding.

    Off the library is the dining room with its huge and decadent crystal chandelier and an eat-in kitchen, which has views north to the George Washington Bridge.

    One of the key benefits of living in a tower is not having to share any common walls. Modlin described it as, "living amongst the park and the sky."


    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    apartment construction

    In a rental market full of rundown roommate shares and sloppily renovated fixer-uppers, a brand-new building can sound like a breath of fresh air. (Brand new appliances! The latest amenities! No wear and tear from former residents!)

    But while buyers in new developments have the time and financial resources to bring through engineers and architects to inspect a place before shelling out a down payment (though they should come to the table with lots of questions ready), what's a renter to do to make sure the new building they're considering is built to last, and not an overpriced, shoddily constructed, so-called "death trap" likes ones that have been in the news as of late?

    While there's no way to guarantee your apartment won't spring a leak—or worse—the second you move in, there are some steps you can take to sniff out a less-than-legit building, even in the lightning-fast rental process:

    Do your internet sleuthing.

    We're generally big advocates of Googling before you move, but this is doubly true if you're moving into a brand new (or still-under-construction building.) "Landlords might not want to rent to you if you insist on an inspection, but there's a lot more publicity out there about buildings than there used to be," says Sam Himmelstein, a landlord-tenant attorney with Himmelstein, McConnell, Gribben, Donoghue, & Joseph. (FYI, the firm is a Brick sponsor.) "The Department of Buildings and HPD are probably the best resources." Indeed, if you plug your address into the form on HPD's site, you can bring up information like your building's complaint history and tenant harassment report. There's a similar form on the Department of Buildings homepage that's perhaps more helpful for new development, as you can see things like the status of the Certificate of Occupancy (a building absolutely has to have one to be legitimate), and if they've received violations for performing construction work without permits.

    Here, you can also find out the name of the building's owner or developer, which will allow you to dig even deeper. "There are many people who have built a lot of buildings but sell them off as soon as the work is finished," explains Brian Weiss, a partner at Triumph Property Group. "Some owners build to own, and those buildings tend to be better quality." A developer with an established track record (and no tabloid articles in their Google results that detail crumbling buildings and poorly-treated tenants) is likely a safer bet than someone who's brand new to the New York market. 

    Keep an eye on the details.

    One upside to searching for a new development rental as opposed to a condo: apartments won't be on the market til the building is ready for residents, so you can visit in-person, and not base your decision solely on photos or renderings. And in addition to the usual details you'd pay attention to when touring a rental building (how much noise can you hear from the street? is the water pressure decent?), there are other telltale signs that can indicate quite a bit about how much care the owners are putting into the property.

    "With better buildings and developers, the details will be handled right," says Sha Dinour, the president of Triumph. "Things like if the tiles are put in evenly, if all the knobs on the cabinets line up — the better builders really care more about finishes and what the end product is going to look like. You can see the workmanship."

    ModernSpaces co-founder Eric Benaim concurs: "When you're walking into the unit, look at the little things. For instance, the way the baseboard has been installed — if they aren't level, they weren't installed right. And look up at the ceiling as well as the corners where the windows are to make sure there are no water stains"— that would indicate leaking pipes or a poorly insulated building.

    water stain ceilings

    Also keep an eye on the rest of the building. "Yes, there might be some construction debris and action still around, but is everything secured, is it clean," Benaim asks. "If the common areas are clean and the owners have paid attention to 'curb appeal,' it shows you how the building's being maintained."

    Go straight to the source.

    Even in a new development, it can sometimes be possible to get useful intel from the neighbors. "There may already be people in the building, even if it's new," says Benaim. If you run across any renters while you're touring the place, don't be afraid to ask about their experiences in the building thus far. (NB: This is a smart idea even in buildings with a more established track record.)

    Failing that, sniff around to see if the building or the landlord has a Yelp page (you'd be surprised how many do), and if you find any articles about the project on sites like StreetEasy or Curbed, dive headfirst into the comments section for intel. It's always wise to take these with a grain of salt — "Whoever went on Yelp just to say that they love their landlord?" as Benaim puts it — but if there's a critical mass of complaints floating around about the building's owners or the building itself? Renter beware.

    SEE ALSO: How to pick the best real estate agent for you

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    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: This 309-square-foot micro apartment has a home theater, full kitchen, and even a guest bedroom

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    new york city

    The real estate market in New York City is unlike the rest of the markets in the US.

    Douglas Elliman's Margolis team, a partnership between Howard Margolis, Marie Espinal, and Jeff Adler, tells Business Insider "the rental market here is brutal compared to the other cities, because in any city in the world you can walk down the street, point to a building and say, 'I want to live in that building.' In New York, it doesn’t work that way."

    According to the March 2016 Elliman Report, the median rent price in Manhattan is $3,300 — a 2.8% decrease from last year — making New York City the second most expensive US city to live in.

    In fact, only the top 17% of earners in The Big Apple can truly afford to live in a one-bedroom apartment in Manhattan.

    And for buyers, things aren't much better: Real estate website Zillow found the median price of homes listed in Manhattan to be about $1.93 million.

    But if you want to live in New York City despite the hefty price tags, you should consider looking to rent or buy between late November and early January.

    That's when you'll find the best prices for homes, the Margolis team says, because activity is low during the holidays and there could be more opportunity and rental concessions form the landlord to fill the apartments.

    "Landlords might offer one or two months of rent for free or just a lowered monthly rent to give prospective renters more of an incentive to sign their lease," they tell Business Insider.

    But, even with a "prime time" to buy in this city, rent prices are still high and out of reach for most.

    "Any apartment here is worth more than a rental anywhere else, by virtue of being in New York City," says the Margolis team. "New Yorkers are willing to stretch themselves just to be here. The location justifies the price — making it all worth it."

    SEE ALSO: You have to live in New York City more than 18 years to make buying a home worth your money

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: A psychologist reveals a trick to stop being lazy

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    donald trump new york pope

    Donald Trump portrays himself as a master negotiator, but he has failed to seal several deals over the years. Had they happened, he would have cemented his status as one of New York’s leading real estate moguls. Still, even when forced to sell, he’s largely managed to earn a profit.

    West Side Yards

    Trump acquired the stretch of abandoned rail yards running along the Hudson River from West 59th Street to West 72nd Street in 1985 for $115 million. He planned to build a $4.5 billion project called Television City, later Trump City. It would have included 5,700 apartments and a 150-story skyscraper that would have been the world’s largest, had Trump not quickly abandoned that plan. He had also hoped the complex would become NBC’s new headquarters. To make the numbers work, he needed a $700 million property tax abatement, but Mayor Edward Koch wouldn’t give it to him. Trump waged a public relations war, saying Koch had “no talent and only moderate intelligence.” Koch called Trump “piggy, piggy, piggy,” then granted NBC tax incentives to stay in Rockefeller Center, as Trump chronicler Tim O’Brien wrote at Bloomberg View. In 1994, Trump defaulted on about $1 billion in loans for the project and had to sell a majority stake to Hong Kong investors, who built the condo complex now called Riverside South, paying Trump a fee to put his name on some buildings. In 2005, the Asian owners sold the whole thing for $1.8 billion to private equity giant Carlyle Group and Extell Development Corp., run by Gary Barnett. Trump, who retained about a 30% interest, sued, arguing he could have sold it for more. But ultimately he failed to block the sale. Trump’s profit: About $425 million.

    General Motors Building

    The General Motors building

    In 1998, Trump teamed with an Indiana-based insurance company called Conseco to buy the Fifth Avenue tower for $878 million, outbidding rivals including Vornado Realty Chairman Steven Roth and billionaire investor Sam Zell. But Conseco went bankrupt in 2002 and pushed for selling the prized property to help finance its recovery. Trump resisted. After a state judge upheld an arbitrator’s ruling that would have forced him to sell his 50% stake for a minuscule $15.6 million, Trump agreed to sell the building to developer Harry Macklowe for $1.4 billion. Trump trashed a book about the affair by Vicki Ward called The Liar’s Ball, saying it was “poorly written and very boring.” He told the New York Post: “I made a tremendous amount of money in that deal. The book doesn’t capture the essence, the glamour or excitement of what happened. It wasn’t bad about me, but it should have been great about me.” Trump’s profit: About $260 million.

    The Plaza Hotel

    plaza hotel

    Trump bought the famous hotel in 1988 for $407 million and put his wife at the time, Ivana, in charge of renovating it. It was the high-water mark of Trump’s career as a buyer and seller of real estate. Soon he moved on. In 1989, he bought the Eastern Air Lines Shuttle for $365 million, renaming it Trump Airlines. The next year he opened the Trump Taj Mahal casino in Atlantic City, which cost $1 billion to build.

    But then the economy slowed and the heavily indebted Trump nearly sank into bankruptcy. Trump Airlines defaulted in 1990, and aircraft brokers said its aging fleet was worth less than $55 million. The failure was painful to Trump, who had guaranteed a $135 million personal line of credit from Citicorp to finance the acquisition, according to Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist David Cay Johnston. Trump Airlines’ routes were eventually taken over by U.S. Airways. The Trump Taj Mahal filed for bankruptcy in 1991, the first of four Atlantic City casino companies bearing the Trump name to go bankrupt. Trump gave up half his ownership stake in the Taj Majal in exchange for bankers reducing his empire’s debt burden by a third, to $2.5 billion, while his personal debt obligation was lowered to $115 million from $885 million.

    Trump yielded half his Plaza stake. Bankers sold the hotel in 1995 for $325 million to a group including Saudi Arabia’s Prince Alwaleed bin Talal. Trump’s loss: About $80 million on the Plaza. Along with airline, casino and other losses, this dropped his then-net worth to negative $1.4 billion.

    SEE ALSO: This anecdote about Donald Trump's failed steak business reveals a huge part of his personality

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Watch Trump accidentally refer to '9/11' as '7/11' at a New York rally

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    62 West 12th Street Greenwich VillageFormer fashion executive Robert Duffy has just listed his 19th-century New York City townhouse for $17 million.

    The historic brick townhouse, found just west of Union Square in Greenwich Village, is quirky but elegant, with both original prewar details and modern updates. It's a four-story, five-bedroom elevator building with 3,800 square feet and a private back garden.

    Duffy, who helped co-found the Marc Jacobs International fashion brand and served as its CEO until 2015, is listing the townhouse with agents Frank Arends and Daniela Zakarya of the Arends Team of Douglas Elliman Real Estate.

    Public records show it was purchased in 2013 for $10.25 million.

    SEE ALSO: Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine and Victoria’s Secret model Behati Prinsloo are selling their huge New York loft for $5.5 million

    DON'T FORGET: Follow Business Insider's lifestyle page on Facebook!

    The townhouse dates back to 1839 and is located just across the street from Parsons School of Design in Greenwich Village. The neighborhood has long been a home of artists and cool kids. Duffy met Marc Jacobs at a graduate dinner at Parsons in 1983.

    Source: Business of Fashion

    The owner's eclectic yet refined taste is evident in the furnishings: contemporary art and colored walls are offset with antique furniture, a traditional rug, and gilt accents.

    The dining room continues the theme of modern-traditional juxtapositions. Blues and gold tones are also used throughout.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    HGTV's "Property Brothers" and co-authors of "Dream Home,Drew and Jonathan Scott, gave us the inside scoop on tricky real estate code words. Look out for these terms on listings – they have hidden (and unpleasant) meanings. 

    Produced by Justin Gmoser and Arielle Berger

    Follow BI Video: On Twitter


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    ogden codman jr house

    Hedge funder Edmond Safra is the new owner of the Ogden Codman Jr. House on the Upper East Side, having acquired the mansion for $20 million from Manhattan Country School, according to property records filed with the city Tuesday.

    Safra — who runs Midtown-based hedge fund EMS Capital and shares the name of his late uncle, the Brazilian banker Edmond Safra – closed on the purchase of the 17,000-square-foot property at 7 East 96th Street on April 7.

    The landmarked, five-story townhouse, located between Fifth and Madison avenues, features eight bedrooms and seven bathrooms and nearly 3,200 square feet of outdoor space, according to a Sotheby’s International Realty listing.

    A spokesperson for Manhattan Country School confirmed the deal. Safra did not return requests for comment.

    Sabrina Saltiel and Jennine Gourin of Douglas Ellliman brokered the transaction, according to an Elliman spokesperson. The Sotheby’s listing for 7 East 96th Street, which named Louise Beit as the listing broker, was taken down late Tuesday afternoon. Beit declined to comment on the listing.

    Manhattan Country School put the property, which it has occupied since 1966, on the market for $23 million in 2014. Built in 1913, the mansion is named after noted architect and interior decorator Ogden Codman Jr., who designed and lived in the building.

    SEE ALSO: These copper-clad luxury apartment buildings — complete with an amenity-filled skybridge — will gradually turn green over time

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    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: 'MILLION DOLLAR LISTING’ STAR: I understand why people hate dealing with NYC real estate brokers

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    Novogratz castleCourtney and Bob Novogratz have transformed dozens of properties all over the world, but they've never felt more at home than in their latest redesign.

    The couple and their seven children — who have built their DIY empire over 25 years with books, reality shows, and a do-it-yourself aesthetic —  have officially moved away from New York City and into their California dream home … er, make that their dream castle.

    "We sold our house in New York two months ago [Ed note: for a cool $14.5 million] and finished our house here," Bob Novogratz tells Tech Insider. "It was a total gut job — it took 10 months."

    Called "The Castle," the latest Novogratz project is nestled in the Hollywood Hills near the famous Chateau Marmont. Cortney previously told Tech Insider it's her favorite property the pair has done so far. Not only were their seven kids deeply involved, but so were the design clan's fans, since they were continually updating the plans on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, and their website.

    Tech Insider spoke to Bob recently about the newly finished home, life in California, and the new Novogratz web series, "The Castle Next Door," which illustrates the painstaking redesign process.

    "It feels like home for the first time to us," Bob says.

    Keep reading to see life inside The Castle.

    Welcome to the Novogratz family's new home, The Castle in Los Angeles, California.

    The renovation took 10 months to complete. According to Bob Novogratz, it was a "total gut job." Here's the before picture of the Hollywood Hills home, which was built in the 1920s.

    "We wanted to keep the history of the house and update the outside," he tells Tech Insider. "We kind of gutted the inside and made it more modern."

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Scott McGillivray

    According to Scott McGillivray, host of the HGTV show "Income Property," the best day of the week to buy is Monday.

    He would know. McGillivray has invested in over 100 properties and even bought over 30 homes in one day, he told Farnoosh Torabi on an episode of her podcast "So Money."

    As a rule of thumb, "Go shopping on a Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday," he explains. "If you're shopping for real estate on a Saturday and Sunday, you're not getting deals.

    When's the last time you saw a real estate agent promote an open house on a Monday night? It's on a Saturday. It's on a Sunday."

    In fact, between a Saturday and a Monday — just two days— the market drops by nearly 1% every week, the HGTV star tells Torabi: "If you think about the average home price in America being around $350,000, you're going to save $3,500 on average by putting offers in on a Monday versus a Saturday."

    Why is early week the ideal time frame?

    Homeowners are "distracted with work and the kids' routines," McGillivray explains. "They're probably not getting a lot of other offers on a Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday, so chances are, they'll very quickly and efficiently entertain your offer. A seller is much more difficult to negotiate with on a weekend than they are on a weekday."

    No promises you'll save $3,500 by buying on a Monday, but it's worth a try.

    SEE ALSO: 2 inexpensive tricks that could help your home sell for more money, from HGTV stars the 'Property Brothers'

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Consumer Reports put Costco and Sam's Club head-to-head — here's the verdict

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    Bob Allen

    San Francisco is the most expensive rental market in the US. 

    To take advantage of it, Bob Allen, an entreprenurial 68-year-old, has started targeting Bay Area residents who don't want to pay for expensive apartments to rent the five vans that he outfitted with beds and kitchenettes.

    Although his original idea was to cater to vacationers who want to travel to nearby national parks, he has started offering seperate prices for people who just want to park the vehicle in one place. 

    Like a tech campus parking lot. 

    "Eat Google food, use their gym, and sleep in the van (CHEAP)," he wrote in a recent Craigslist ad.

    A van without driving privileges — where Allen drops off the car at a designated location — costs $30 per day for 2 weeks or more, versus $89 per day for driving. 

    Allen tells Business Insider that he got the idea to target to tech workers and other Bay Area residents instead of simply vacationers after talking to many of his passengers while driving for ride-hailing startups Lyft and Uber. He'd ask them whether they'd consider living in a van to save money. He got enough yesses to make him realize that "stationary users" could be a big market. 

    At this point, the inquiries for stationary vans are five times higher than those for travelers. He lists his vans on his own website, Go-Tel, as well as AirBnb, and Turo. 

    "Some of these tech kids want to save money," he says. "They feel like they're in a bubble and they feel like the bubble is going to burst and they want to be able to go back to wherever they came from with a little money in their pockets, so they're starting to look for alternative ways of living."

    Allen says that an SFGate article caused a rush of interest, which has made him cautious about calling out specific tech campuses like he did with Google in his Craigslist ad. Although Business Insider has heard several stories of Googlers living on campus, the practice seems to exist in one of those gray areas where people do it, but it's not officially sanctioned.

    "We're gonna have to change the name from Go-tel to 'Dont-tel,'" he jokes. "Not everybody wants to be outed."

    Allen says that it's a much bigger business than he expected. He makes about $1,000 in profits per month per van, but he's just starting out. If he was younger, he'd invest in more vans, but, at 68, he'd have to hire outside help to grow the business. 

    "It's not for everybody, but it's a solution for more people than I ever dreamt of," he says. "The Bay Area is out of control — the rent is so outrageous. If I had 100 vans I could rent them all." 

    Here's what the outside of the van looks like: 

    Bob Allen

    And here's a look at the kitchenette in the back. It has a cooler and a camp stove:

    Bob Allen

    SEE ALSO: All the crazy things happening because of San Francisco's ridiculous housing prices

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Uber is making customers pay for having drivers wait

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    miami florida rental

    When it comes to rent, your money will likely go a lot farther in certain metropolises than others. 

    Rental prices range widely across the country, from as low as $3,050 a month for a log cabin near Jackson Hole to as high as $300,000 a month for a Miami Beach waterfront mansion.

    RENTCafé, a national home rental database, rounded up a list of the most expensive monthly rental properties available right now in each state. We've broken down their locations, prices, and property details below.

    The takeaway: cities like Malibu, Miami, and New York have the highest-rent properties currently on the market, while less metropolitan locations offer huge multi-bedroom homes and country club living at much more reasonable monthly prices.

    But if you're willing to be flexible in location, there's a mansion available at pretty much every price point.

    Take a look at the full list below.

    SEE ALSO: The 25 most expensive ZIP codes in America

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    ALABAMA: This traditional six-bedroom, six-bathroom estate in Birmingham can be yours for just $5,500 each month.

    Location:Birmingham, Alabama

    Monthly rent: $5,500


    ALASKA: For $5,000 a month, this pristine Anchorage four-bedroom with a full three-car garage is up for rent.

    Location:Anchorage, Alaska

    Monthly rent: $5,000


    ARIZONA: For $35,000 a month, this Paradise Valley Spanish-style ranch house has five bedrooms, a movie theater, and an outdoor pool and guesthouse.

    Location:Paradise Valley, Arizona

    Monthly rent: $35,000


    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    woman drinking coffee morning thinking pensive thoughtful

    Making the leap from renting to buying is thrilling and liberating — for many, it signifies the realization of "the American Dream." 

    Buying a home is also a long-term commitment, and one that requires strong financial standing. 

    If any of these signs strike a chord, you may want to delay taking on a mortgage in the near future.

    SEE ALSO: How to figure out if you can afford to buy a home

    You have a low credit score

    Before considering home ownership, you'll want to check your credit score, which you can do through free sites like Credit Karma,, or Credit Sesame.

    "The higher your score, the better the interest rate on your mortgage will be," writes personal finance expert Ramit Sethi in "I Will Teach You To Be Rich." Good credit can mean significantly lower monthly payments, so if your score is not great, consider delaying this big purchase until you've built up your credit.

    You have to direct more than 30% of your income towards monthly payments

    Personal finance experts say a good rule of thumb is to make sure the total monthly payment doesn't consume more than 30% of your take-home pay.

    "Any more than that, and your finances are going to be tight, leaving you financially vulnerable when something inevitably goes wrong," write Harold Pollack and Helaine Olen in their book, "The Index Card.""To be fair, this isn't always possible. In some places such as New York and San Francisco, it can be all but impossible."

    While there are a few exceptions, aim to spend no more than one-third of your take-home pay on housing.

    You don't have a fully funded emergency savings account

    And no, your emergency fund is not your down payment.

    As Pollack and Olen write,

    We all receive unexpected financial setbacks. Someone gets sick. The insurance company denies a medical claim. A job is suddenly lost. However life intrudes, the bank still expects to receive our monthly mortgage payments ... Finance your emergency fund. Then think about purchasing a home. If you don't have an emergency fund and do own a house, chances are good you will someday find yourself in financial turmoil.

    Certified financial planner Jonathan Meaney recommends having the equivalent of a few years' worth of living expenses set aside in case there is a job loss or other surprise. "Unlike a rental arrangement with a one or two year contract and known termination clauses, defaulting on a mortgage can do major damage to your credit report,"he tells Business Insider. "In addition, a quick sale is not always possible or equitable for a seller."

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    834 Fifth Avenue

    If you want to live like a king, now's your chance.

    An enormous and opulent Upper East Side duplex once owned by the late "King of Wall Street" John Gutfreund (who died earlier this year), has just listed for $120 million, making it the most expensive listing in New York City, according to Curbed NY.

    Gutfreund made a name for himself as CEO of Salomon Brothers, becoming an icon of Wall Street in the 1980s.

    He took Salomon from a private partnership to a public corporation, and in 1985 Businessweek named him the "King of Wall Street"— a title he later told The New York Times that he hated.

    John Burger of Brown Harris Stevens has the listing, along with Richard Ziegelasch and Key-Ventures' A. Laurance Kaiser IV and Craig Dix. 

    The apartment's $120 million price tag beats out the previous most expensive listing in the city, a co-op apartment in the historic Sherry-Netherland Hotel asking $86 million.

    SEE ALSO: A New Jersey mansion that once belonged to a reported mafia boss is going up for auction

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    The penthouse is located at 834 Fifth Avenue, which has been called "the most pedigreed building on the snobbiest street in the country’s most real estate obsessed city" by The New York Observer.

    Source: New York Observer

    As soon as you enter, it's immediately understood why the apartment has broken price records.

    The duplex penthouse occupying the seventh and eighth floors is incredibly large, with 20 rooms covering a total 12,000 square feet.

    See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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    Scott McGillivray

    Scott McGillivray has invested in over 100 properties and even bought over 30 homes in one day, he told Farnoosh Torabi on an episode of her podcast "So Money."

    The host of the HGTV show "Income Property" does one thing before considering any real-estate venture: a cash-flow analysis.

    "I will never consider an investment property without first doing a cash-flow analysis," he tells Torabi.

    It ensures long-term profitability, he says: "I never want to get caught in the scenario where I may have to sell it at a loss. If values aren't what's going up, I need to make sure there's cash flow there so that I can profit continuously."

    This strategy fits into McGillivray's broader business philosophy of looking to the future first and working backward from there. As he tells Torabi:

    Most people worry about the present and hope it works out for the future.

    I look at the future first ... I look at a property and say, "OK. Here's a property that will bring in $20,000 a year in rent." And I'll work back from there and say, "What are all my costs going to be? What is my margin going to be?"

    I'll make my decision based on the potential of future profit.

    McGillivray isn't the only one who invests for cash flow. Kelly and Chris Edwards, twin brothers who turned a single house into nearly $8 million of property, told Business Insider, "Buy where the numbers work. You buy property for cash flow, not speculating 'This will appreciate 6% over the next 10 years.'"

    After doing a cash-flow analysis, it's simply a matter of staying within budget, McGillivray says: "If I stay on budget, I'm guaranteed a profit."

    SEE ALSO: An HGTV star who's invested in over 100 properties says one day of the week is best to buy a home

    Join the conversation about this story »

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    Twitter office

    It's not just the tech funding cycles that have slowed down.

    In an earnings call on Wednesday, Boston Properties President Doug Linde cautioned that the race for commercial real estate has also tempered in San Francisco.

    "I think the big difference between the market then i.e. in 2014 and 2015 and today is really the lack of large growth requirements, and by that I mean big tenants over 300,000 square feet," Linde said in the company's earnings call, according to a Seeking Alpha transcript. "So at the moment, there is no 300,000 square foot greater requirement that we are tracking in the market."

    Linde continued: "In 2013, 2014 and 2015, you had unprecedented large growth from Google, and Dropbox, and, and Uber, and Stripe, and Slack, and LinkedIn, and they're just not there today."

    But there's still strong demand overall. By Linde's measurement, tech users now make up 31% of all of the space leased in San Francisco, and Airbnb, Twilio, Quantcast, Lyft, Fitbit, and Uber have expanded into spaces in the last quarter, although much of it was from the sublet markets.

    Plus, his company is continuing to lease out the floors to Salesforce's new giant tower, which will open next year.

    But the huge all-at-once office-space grabs seem to be slowing down.

    "So technology is still a vibrant part of the market, it's still expanding, it's not quite in the same manner that it was in 2014 and 2015," Linde said.

    The market is still red-hot to the south in Silicon Valley, though.

    Silicon Valley "continues to be very active" thanks to public companies like Google and Apple. Plus, Facebook, Nvidia, Broadcom, VMware, and Palo Alto Networks all continue to grow, Linde adds.

    He said that these "are growing companies and what they are looking for is new modern efficient product to house their growth."

    SEE ALSO: 'Silicon Valley' stars: Some techies are wonderful; some are 'grandiose' and 'slimy'

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: REAL ESTATE WARS: Inside the class and culture fight that's tearing San Francisco apart

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    15 Central Park West

    Old money vs. older money. Lincoln Center vs. Lincoln Town Car. “Seinfeld” vs. “Gossip Girl”.

    There are many ways to compare the Central Park West and Fifth Avenue, but when it comes to real estate, the numbers say it all.

    Co-op and condominium units in elevator buildings on Fifth Avenue along Central Park are, according to the city, worth far more on average than their Central Park West counterparts.

    But because the West side has so many more units, the buildings on CPW are actually valued higher, The Real Deal‘s analysis of Department of Finance data found.

    The current “market value” of the average parkside Fifth Avenue co-op unit stood at about $609,175 according to the records, compared to about $406,838 on CPW.

    For condos, the average East side unit was valued by the city at $474,516, compared to about $250,860 for the average West side unit.

    fifth avenue penthouseWhile they provide a clear and accurate comparison, these figures must be taken with a hefty grain of salt.

    The estimated “market value” that the city assigns these units is typically much lower than a true market value, that is, the price a unit would likely sell for. Instead, the city’s numbers are based on a statistical model that measures condos and co-ops as if they were income-producing properties, such as rental units.

    Part of the difference in per-unit value can be explained by differences in unit counts and relative unit sizes across the park.


    Both co-ops and condos were also significantly larger on average on the East side, with co-ops averaging about 2,729 square feet and condos about 1,777, compared to about 2,098 square feet and 1,153 square feet on average on the West side (note: these figures don’t account for non-residential space within buildings).

    condo chart

    But much of the rest of the story is cultural and historical.

    “Fifth Avenue was always the primary avenue,” said Lee Jablin, architect and historic preservation expert, “it was the spine, or the root, of development going northward from Lower Manhattan.”

    The avenue was traditionally home to members of New York City’s social elite, who in the later decades of the 19th century ordered their help to pack their things and head north from high society’s previous center of gravity around 34th Street.

    What drew them? The park, of course.

    “Speculation started in 1853 with just the thought of a park being built there,” Jablin said. When Central Park was established, it helped usher Fifth Avenue’s famous mansion-building era.

    The roots of the Central Park West’s greatness were a bit more prosaic.

    “Broadway was just a connection to Albany at the end of the day,” Jablin said of the west side thoroughfare.

    Although the condos and co-ops on the Fifth Avenue side are today more valuable on average, there are many more of these apartments on Central Park West. Two-tower skyscrapers from the between-the-wars period, like the Emery Roth-designed San Remo and the Eldorado, find few rivals on Fifth Avenue, even though there are more individual co-op buildings there.

    central parkIn total, Central Park West is home to 6,544 co-op and condo units in 55 elevator buildings, according to the data. The East side’s 68 buildings contain 3,353 units total.

    “Construction really picks up on [Central Park West] with the 1929 zoning change, which brought in skyscraper design,” Jablin said. That change allowed a developer who could assemble lots totaling 30,000 square feet to build two towers on the same site. On Central Park West, there were many more of these sites available than on the more mansion and townhouse-thick Fifth Avenue, Jablin said.

    Of the condos and co-ops that did go up on the East side, more were built with ultra-luxury amenities, such as dining services with in-house French chefs, compared to their cousin-buildings on Central Park West, said Kathy Sloane, a broker at Brown Harris Stevens.

    Even so, the price gap could close at some point. “There’s a scarcity of available inventory on Central Park West,” she said, “so I think you’re going to so see those prices advancing.”

    SEE ALSO: Here's who lives at Central Park West, the world's most powerful address

    Join the conversation about this story »

    NOW WATCH: Here’s what you get for $10 million on New York City’s coveted Park Avenue

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