New York City

Another stupid meme and some info . . . .

We are expecting the book to be finalized in the next day or so and will be sending out copies shortly. If you wish to receive a free copy and have not already done so, please go to and sign up (providing us with your email). I really appreciate everyone’s support.-Thanks, Phil


Another stupid meme . . .

Go to for a free copy of my book in exchange for an honest review on Amazaon. -Thanks


Another stupid meme . . . .

Go to to sign up for a free copy of my book, “How to buy a condo in NYC” in exchange for an honest review on Amazon.


Another stupid meme . . .

go to for a free copy of my book, “How to buy a condo in NYC” in exchange for an honest review on Amazon.

Get a free copy!! – How to buy a condo in NYC

I am now at the point where I am asking all of my friends and family for some assistance (no I have not lost my wallet in another country).

I am looking to assemble a group of people who are willing to get a free copy of my book, read it and post an honest review on Amazon prior to the official launch of the book. The reason why that is so important is that the more reviews I get on Amazon, the more visible my book will be once the launch takes place in approximately 30 days. Of course feel free to spread the word to other people.

To be part of my street team, go to and sign in on my email list. Once it is finished (finally!), everyone will get a free copy of the enhanced version of the book accompanied with the a check list which will be integrated with the book. Each Ambassador will also be entitled to take part in a group Q&A session monitored by me.

Real Life Monopoly


Growing up, my brother, cousins, nephew and I would play Monopoly all  night. We would stay up until the wee hours of the morning playing, building our pretend empires, arguing over who was cheating (Dan . . . ).

This past week, I played Monopoly for real. A year in the making, we closed on the sale of a $21,000,000 hotel. One of the more intense projects I’ve been involved with. In the days (really months) leading up to it there were countless things that had to be accounted for, prepared and crossed off huge checklists which seemingly got longer as we got closer to the day we were working towards. Even though the deal was done and we were close to the end there were last-minute side deals that had to be thought out, negotiated and documented as parties jockeyed for position. I found myself up late the night before sitting in my dining room answering emails, proofreading documents and much like the Monopoly marathons I had as a kid, making sure no one was cheating.  The morning of the closing was bright, sunny and not as hot as it could have been for an August day on Wall Street. Surely a good sign as we arrived from that far off land called Brooklyn.We came armed with accordion files, computers and cell phone chargers, The room was filled with paper. Lots of paper. Lawyers on phone arguing with other lawyers. Others leaning over laptop spreadsheets mulling over numbers; Title closers running back and forth from a huge copy machine down the hall from this glass cubicle which seemed to hold a hundred people. Everyone in my office worked incredibly hard. It started at 10:00 in the morning and broke up at 5:30 p.m. Business finally concluded 1:00 the next day.

This (The Closing by Jimmy Dyer) is what it looked like:


There is no rest for the weary as we are on to multiple replacement deals spanning from Manhattan to the Hamptons.

As to complexity and magnitude there was a  big sense of accomplishment, satisfaction and relief that we got it done.  Still not as fun as Monopoly as a kid . . . .




Selling a Cooperative Apartment- Quick Tip

An issue came up on a recent transaction and I thought it was appropriate to repost this quick tip originally published 6/24/2007.

Soon after entering into a contract for the sale of a cooperative apartment, order a payoff letter for the underlying loan being secured by the stock certificate and proprietary lease. By ordering a payoff letter, the lender holding your stock certificate and proprietary lease as collateral for the loan will start to the search; assign an attorney to receive the documents who will deliver them to the closing. Upon locating the stock certificate and proprietary lease the lender will send it to this law firm who will hold it until closing. Although the payoff letter can be ordered and updated on relatively short notice, locating the stock and lease may take some time. Ordering the payoff letter early assures the Seller that the stock certificate and proprietary lease will have them when needed. Ordering a payoff letter late in the transaction, may cause delays in closing while the bank locates these documents which will be needed in order to close. Be aware, sometimes lenders may lose your stock certificate and proprietary lease. The lender will issue an affidavit attesting to the misplacement of the stock and lease and indemnify the Seller and the managing agent from any liability resulting from the loss.

Lavenderlawblog Post -Bad News . . . Good News

  • The below article in Crain’s New York references an auction of 16 condominium units located in Greenpoint, Brooklyn at a 75% reduction from the original stated sales price. Is this another sign of a bad economy or is it the result of a developer who got into trouble (possibly due to slow or faulty construction) and is required to sell condo units quickly to avoid profits being eaten up by construction loan interest. In bidding on these units, a potential purchaser should be careful to investigate the condition of the building and the condominium units. Any warranty given for defects in construction and materials will only be as good as the developer providing them. There may be a reason why a 75% discount exists. It may be prudent to hire a good engineer to inspect the building and the unit to determine if there are potential defects that will need to be addressed after title to the condominium unit has passed. You may wish to check to see if the developer is involved in any lawsuits. The presence of litigation may be a sign of things to come.

  • Although there is a 14% decline in the citywide home prices from 2008, there is a 4% increase in prices from last quarter with the number of sales increasing 35% over the 2nd and 3rd quarters which is still 20% below the depressed levels of 2008. The data changes depending on what part of the city you are referring to. The overall prices of condominiums rose 1% over the 2nd and 3rd quarters. Manhattan dropped 5%. That is possibly the result of high priced condo units remaining unsold.

  • Home prices rose nationally for the third straight month as indicated in the Standard & Poors/Case-Shiller index (see the link below). Why are these figures important? Rising prices mean appreciation in the value of properties which assists people who owe more to the bank than their home is worth. Rising property values also make it more likely that mortgage loans will be funded because the properties will appraise higher. More equity in properties may contribute to the ability to purchase replacement properties rather than participate in a short sale. All aid in the recovery of the economy.

It is uncertain what affect a rise in foreclosures and unemployment paired with the expiration of the tax credit for first time home buyers will have on prices in the future. Talk about a roller coaster . . .

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