Strong Place Townhouses

bUILDING iMAGEDonald Brennan and Brennan Real Estate LLC have developed 3 historically contextual single-family townhomes on the corner of Strong Place and Kane Street in the Cobble Hill Historic District, Brooklyn, NY. The 5 bedroom / 3.5 bath homes measure approximately 3,800 sq ft each.

I plan on getting a tour to see what they look like. From the looks of the floor plans below, I believe these will go fast. If you want to look too, contact:

Betsy Hoffman
Brennan Realty Services LLC

Floor Plans


List of Manhattan Condo Projects

The Real Deal has put together a guide to more than Manhattan 70 new condo projects with units for sale. http://therealdeal.com/new-development-show-case-2014/

Scan a plan and save the world !!!!

Scan a plan and save the world !!!!

If anyone has copies of offering plans for any of these projects, please forward them so that they can be posted on Offering Planet (www.offeringplanet.com)  and made available to everyone. Thanks.

Commercial Purchase Quick Tip

A Fixer Upper

A Fixer Upper

A lot of sales of commercial buildings require as a condition that the Purchaser take subject to violations that have been levied on the property. While some of the searches can be undertaken on line (i.e. NYC Department of Buildings), there are other searches that cannot. The $500.00 spent on a title search will give a Purchaser a head’s up on any “unknown evils” that may be lurking in the shadows. You would think this would be obvious but some Purchasers would rather be penny wise but pound foolish by seeking to avoid paying the money for a title search prior to obligating themselves under a multi-million dollar purchase of a commercial building.

NYC’s top billing barristers

An article in The Real Deal (http://shar.es/Pai2B) listing some of the highest billing real estate attorneys in N.Y.C. charging clients $1,000 to $1,250 an hour.

Dear clients,

I’m not so bad, huh?

If anyone comes across any articles of interest, please sendmoney bag so they can be shared with others.


Property Registration with NYC HPD

I found the following on the NYC HPD website (http://www.nyc.gov/html/hpd/html/owners/property-reg-unit.shtml#property_registration)

The New York City Department of Buildings Preservation and Development (“HPD”) require buildings with three or more dwelling units must be registered annually.

One- and two-family dwellings where neither the owner nor any family member occupies the dwelling are also required to register annually with HPD.Building registrations for these properties must also be filed whenever ownership changes or whenever the information on a valid registration changes (example, new managing agent or site management). The fee for Property Registration is $13 annually. A Property Registration does not become valid until both the form is completed properly and payment is received.



All properties required to register must do so annually between the end of May and August 31st. Owners or their agents will receive the re-registration form from HPD at the end of May or beginning of June each year. Instructions will be provided on the form. An owner is required to provide contact information about the owner or owning entity, the managing agent, the site management, the lessee (if there is one) and information about who can be contacted in the event that there is an emergency at the building. The business address for the managing agent is the address to which HPD sends all official correspondence, including re-registration forms and Notices of Violation so please make sure that this address is where you can retrieve your mail. HPD is also requesting e-mail addresses for the managing agent and owners because e-mail notices – for example, when complaints are filed or Notices of Violation are issued or registrations are required – can be sent to these individuals. You must submit the form with a copy of the Deed or a copy of a document that reflects your ownership interest in or responsibility for the property if this is the first time you are registering a particular property.

DO NOT SEND PAYMENT FOR PROPERTY REGISTRATION TO HPD. The fee for Property Registration is billed to the property by the Department of Finance (DOF) with the Statement of Account and is due on July 1st of each year. The Statement of Account is generally sent out in June (with a July 1 due date) to the person/organization that pays the property taxes. The $13 fee will be clearly marked as Property Registration. If you wish to apply your payment to only the Property Registration fee, you may pay online at nyc.gov/payonline or visit a DOF Business Center. You must pay DOF in addition to sending in a properly completed form to HPD in order to have a valid Property Registration. Changes to the form during the course of the year will not require any additional fee.

If your property is not currently validly registered or you have changes to the information and you need to file a Property Registration between September and May, you may do so by e-mailing HPD at register@hpd.nyc.gov or calling our Registration Assistance Unit at (212) 863-7000.

If a building does not have a valid Property Registration, a violation may be issued to the owner and the owner may be liable for civil penalties between $250-$500. Further, the owner will not be able to certify violations, request a Code Violation Dismissal or initiate a court action to recover possession of the premises for nonpayment of rent.

Douglas Elliman officially drops “Prudential” from brokerage name

Was a little  surprised to hear that Douglas Elliman severed its affiliation with Prudential Real Estate but I do not think it will greatly affect business in the New York City market. The established relationships of Douglas Elliman’s agents  are the key to making the transition and I suspect that business will continue as usual.

Douglas Elliman officially drops “Prudential” from brokerage name.


I recently drove through a nearby neighborhood and observed people trying to dry out furniture and remove boats from their front lawns. The damage that I received to my home and the inconvenience of losing electric for a week is nothing compared to what these people are going through. My heart and prayers go out to them. The one bright spot to all this is watching people come together and reach out to others with good will and deeds. There are various ways you can help. I have read where people from other states are collecting food and clothing and driving them personally to people that need them. It does not have to be a super huge gesture or inconvenience. Little things mean a lot and are greatly appreciated.  Some things that are obvious are:

  • Offer to help a neighbor to clean their yard.
  • Wait on a gas line during the day for someone who is at work.
  • Lend or share a generator to someone who is still without power.
  • Offer to let people use your electric to charge their phones or computers.
  • Watch/entertain children so their parents can get a break or work to clear the storm damage without distraction.
  • Bring someone a casserole.
  • If you have the ability, freeze water in containers, to provide others with ice (thanks Bruce and Elizabeth!).
  • Lend someone a cooler (again, thanks Bruce and Elizabeth).

Below is some information posted on the CNNU.S. website: (http://www.cnn.com/2012/10/30/us/iyw-how-to-help-after-sandy/index.html)

Donate blood — The Red Cross had to cancel about 300 blood drives because of the storm and supplies are running low. Visit RedCrossBlood.org or call 1-800-RED-CROSS to schedule a donation appointment in your area. The New York Blood Center is also collecting blood donations in the New York/New Jersey area.

Give food and shelter — The Red Cross and the Salvation Army are providing emergency shelter and meals for evacuees.

Help children in need Save the Children and World Vision are paying special attention to the needs of children affected by the storm.

Care for animals — The Humane Society of the United States and the American Humane Association have teams working to save the lives of animals caught in the storm.

Provide emergency supplies AmeriCares, Catholic Charities USA, Direct Relief International, Feeding America and Operation Blessing International are providing food, medical supplies, emergency kits and support for people in need.

Join in the cleanup Team Rubicon has dispatched veteran field teams to start working right away, and Samaritan’s Purse is looking for volunteers to help rebuild after the storm passes.

Help outside the U.S. — Hurricane Sandy took a deadly toll on the Caribbean before it hit the United States. Operation USA and the International Medical Corps are helping people affected by Sandy in Haiti and Cuba. Operation USA is also providing aid to the East Coast.

Say informed – For more ways to help, visit Impact Your World. If you are in the Northeast and know of a need where you live, tweet @CNNImpact.

If you are planning to give to a nonprofit in the wake of any disaster, verify that it is legitimate. Charity evaluators like Guidestar and Charity Navigator are good ways to check that the organization you’re donating to is established and your funds will go where you intend.


A Seller stepping into the shoes of an institutional lender is a creative way to ensure that a Purchaser will be able to buy a home. For Seller it can be a very attractive option. Sellers taking back a mortgage (referred to as a “purchase money mortgage”) are able to obtain a secure investment collateralized by the home being sold and earn an interest rate higher that a lot of other investments that are currently available. Additionally, a Seller can defer a portion of the gain from the sale of a property to the extent that loan principal is paid back to the Seller over the term of the loan. This is also a very attractive alternative for a purchaser in that they would be assured of obtaining financing and would save on the cost of fees typically charged by an institutional lender. Customarily the Purchaser will pay the cost of the legal fees associated with drafting the mortgage and note prepared by the Seller’s attorney. The cost of such preparation should really be agreed upon under the terms of the contract if contemplated at the time the agreement was executed by the parties.  The downside for the Seller is that sale proceeds incorporated into the loan principal cannot be received until the expiration of the loan term.  If a Seller does not wish to tie up the sales proceeds for an unusually long time, the purchase money loan term may only be a year or two. This means the Purchaser who enters into a purchase money loan will need to refinance the mortgage at the end of this period. The attorney who represents Purchasers entering into a purchase money loan should review the proposed loan terms and ensure that the Seller will agree to assign the mortgage to a subsequent institutional lender to save mortgage recording tax utilizing a CEMA (consolidation, extension and modification agreement). Please be advised that some institutional lenders will not accept an assignment from a private lender or an individual.

What the heck is a CEMA??

What is a CEMA mortgage?     Under New York State law, a borrower of mortgage loan secured by real estate can be exempt from the payment of mortgage recording tax by utilizing mortgage recording tax previously paid on account of a mortgage previously recorded against the property.

What does CEMA stand for?      CEMA stands for Consolidation Extension and Modification Agreement. It is a document that modifies the terms of a mortgage recorded against a property and under certain circumstances merges it with another mortgage recorded against the same property to form a single consolidated mortgage to secure a loan. This can be utilized when refinancing a mortgage or under certain circumstances when purchasing a house, townhouse, commercial building or condominium unit.

How does a CEMA work?     A CEMA most commonly works by combining the unpaid principal balance of a mortgage loan recorded against a property (commonly called “old money”) by assignment with a new money mortgage and note representing any additional loan proceeds advanced by a lender (commonly called “New Money”) to form a consolidated mortgage and note equaling the total combined amount being loaned by a lender.

Example:     As for an example for a total loan amount of $200,000, the unpaid principal balance of an existing recorded mortgage held by Lender “X” in the amount of $125,000 (Old Money) is assigned (with its note) to Lender “Y”. The borrower will execute a mortgage and note to Lender “Y” representing the additional money advanced in the amount of $75,000 (New Money). Both sets of notes and mortgages ($125,000 and $75,000) are consolidated under the CEMA to form a consolidated mortgage and note to Lender “Y” totaling $200,000. The borrower will pay the mortgage recording tax on the New Money but will be exempt from paying the mortgage recording tax previously paid as a result of the recording of the Old Money Mortgage.

Why doesn’t everyone utilize a CEMA?     When considering whether or not to use a CEMA, a borrower needs to weigh the cost of processing a CEMA mortgage with the savings resulting from its use. Many lenders will charge an assignment fee in exchange for signing an assignment of a mortgage as part of a purchase or refinance transaction. Banks will also charge document preparation, processing and legal fees when attempting a CEMA loan transaction. Lenders are not required to assign their mortgage and may refuse to issue such an assignment. Lenders are not required to participate in a CEMA mortgage or accept an assignment when lending money to its borrowers. This is particularly true when the Old Money Lender is a private corporation or individual.

You should consult with your mortgage professional and/or attorney when deciding to use a CEMA mortgage. If the savings on mortgage recording tax exceed the costs of processing a CEMA mortgage, the decision to use one is easy.