Forest Hills Condos: How a Special Assessment Impacts Your Real Estate Journey

Forest Hills Condos: How a Special Assessment Impacts Your Real Estate Journey

If Forest Hills condos are on your radar this spring, there is one “special” thing to consider. Before you snag or sell a condo, you’ll need to be well-informed about special assessments.

Maybe you’ve heard murmurs about special assessments but never really paid attention because they didn’t apply to you. Perhaps this is all new information! In any case, we are going to clear your confusion about special assessments in Forest Hills condos. Most importantly, we will explain how these charges might impact your real estate transaction.

What Is a Special Assessment?

A special assessment is an amount of money billed to HOA members for large-scale or unexpected repairs or renovations. In some cases, a special assessment is used to bulk up an underfunded reserve account.

Needless to say, special assessments elicit grumbles and groans from HOA members. While you can protest a special assessment, your objections won’t hold much weight if the assessment is intended for a project that maintains residents’ health and safety.

How Does a Special Assessment Affect a Real Estate Transaction?

If you are buying or selling a condo that has a special assessment on the horizon, there are a few things you should know. Here are the biggies:

  • If you are listing a condo in a building with an upcoming special assessment, you must disclose this to potential buyers.
  • Whether you are buying or selling a condo with an impending special assessment, you’ll need to negotiate who pays.
  • If one of the Forest Hills condos you are interested in has a special assessment, review the HOAs financial history to see if this is a common occurrence.
  • Some special assessments are tacked on to the monthly HOA fee until the cost is paid. Others are a lump-sum payment. If you are purchasing Forest Hills condos, find out how their HOAs manage special assessments.

Special assessments are worth considering, but they are not a deal-breaker in your real estate transaction! If you are thinking about buying or selling Forest Hills condos, connect with Forest Hills Realty today to learn more.

Contact us today at (718) 997-6000 or email us here for more information.

Forest Hills Co-ops: Your Cheat-Sheet for Creating a Standout Board Package

It’s no secret that pursuing Forest Hills co-ops is a little intimidating. In addition to the typical stressors that home buyers face, co-ops require potential buyers to complete a board package.

Co-op boards need to make sure that potential buyers can hack the financial commitments of living in the building. They also want their building to be a pleasant place for their residents to hang their hats. This is where the board package comes into play.

A board package is more than a few pieces of paperwork stuffed into a folder. They get pretty in-depth, asking for financial information, personal references and the like.

Don’t let the board package scare you away! Prepare your application for Forest Hills co-ops one step at a time using these four tips for success:

  • Draft an intro letter.
    Think back to the last time you submitted a résumé for a job. You probably included a cover letter, didn’t you? An intro letter is the same thing. Kick your board package off with a short note telling the board who you are and what you love about the co-op. While you’re at it, include a summary of your most significant financial information so that the board doesn’t have to dig through your package to learn the basics.
  • Be organized.
    Organizing your board package for Forest Hills co-ops is half the battle. Co-op boards appreciate applications that include a table of contents. Use tabbed dividers and color-code your application sections for easy navigation through the pile of paperwork.
  • Neatness counts!
    If the co-op board can’t read your board package, they will probably move on to the next applicant. Fortunately, this is an easy fix. Type your application to keep it in the running.
  • Don’t leave any blank spaces.
    Blank spaces indicate that you have something to hide. If you must leave a blank, include an explanation and be ready to address the issue at your board interview.

Forest Hills co-ops are worth the effort! Get in touch with Forest Hills Realty today to learn more about this real estate opportunity.

Contact us today at (718) 997-6000 or email us here for more information.

Forest Hills Homes for Sale: Tackling the Terminology

Embarking on your journey for Forest Hills homes for sale is an exciting time. Making your wish list, browsing current listings and going on in-person tours are the fun parts. Getting approved for a loan, understanding mortgages and deciphering the mountains of paperwork you will see along the way are not-so-fun.

Even the not-so-fun parts of buying a home are manageable if you understand what’s going on. Before you browse Forest Hills homes for sale, take the time to learn the lingo. If you are familiar with a handful of real estate terms, you’ll be better equipped to make a decision.

Let’s get started! Here are four mortgage-related terms that you are bound to see along the way:

Prequalification
A mortgage prequalification is a rough estimate of how much money a buyer might be able to borrow to purchase a home. Lenders don’t dig deep into your financial history to arrive at this figure. It is based on self-reported information, so it doesn’t hold much weight in the buying process.

Preapproval
A mortgage preapproval is the exact amount of money that a buyer can borrow to purchase a home. It requires a thorough review of the buyer’s financial information. If you get a mortgage preapproval before you start looking for Forest Hills homes for sale, you’ll have an advantage over unprepared buyers.

Fixed-rate mortgage
In a fixed-rate mortgage, your interest rate stays the same throughout the loan. Although you won’t need to worry about skyrocketing interest rates, you won’t be able to take advantage of rate plummets unless you refinance.

Adjustable-rate mortgage
In an adjustable-rate mortgage, the interest rate varies within a specific range throughout the loan. Although an adjustable-rate mortgage isn’t as predictable as its fixed-rate relative, borrowers might reap the rewards of low interest rates during certain periods.

We hope that this quick vocabulary lesson has given you enough know-how to get your feet wet in the real estate market. If you are interested in Forest Hills homes for sale, contact Forest Hills Realty to start your journey!

Contact us today at (718) 997-6000 or email us here for more information.

Sharing Forest Hills Apartment Rentals: Five Tips for Roommate Bliss

Living with roommates is almost a rite of passage in Forest Hills apartment rentals. Why do those old “Friends” or “How I Met Your Mother” sitcoms make it look like so much fun when the internet is full of horror stories about good roomies gone bad?

Finding and living with a roommate can be a fun, or at least tolerable, experience. If you are struggling to make ends meet in Forest Hills apartment rentals, read these top tips for finding a roommate that you can respect. Who knows? You might even get a new friend out of the arrangement.

Tip #1: Don’t underestimate the power of word of mouth.
Ask your friends, family and co-workers if they know anyone interested in Forest Hills apartment rentals. As a bonus, maybe your connection can give you some insight as to whether you and the prospective roomie would be a good fit.

Tip #2: There’s an app for that!
Multiple roommate-locator apps and websites exist. Roomi, SpareRoom and EasyRoommate are three favorites among New Yorkers looking for the right person to share their Forest Hills apartment rentals.

Tip #3: Honesty is the best policy.
Be specific about rent, utilities and maintenance costs early on. Dealbreaker topics such as smoking habits, pets and your guest policy should also be covered with a potential roommate before you both commit.

Tip #4: Get references.
Ask your candidates for approximately three references. If your potential roommate has lived in a shared rental arrangement in the past, at least two of their references should be from a former landlord and a roommate.

Tip #5: If it isn’t in writing, it didn’t happen!
Once you’ve found your perfect match, add your new roomie to your lease or create a sublease agreement to address everything you discussed. This critical step financially and legally protects both parties, so don’t skip it!

If you didn’t think that real estate agents could answer your questions about Forest Hills apartment rentals, think again! Get in touch with Forest Hills Realty today to learn more about current rental listings.

Contact us today at (718) 997-6000 or email us here for more information.

Looking To Sell in Forest Hills: Four Reasons Why Homes Stay on the Market Past Their Prime

If you’re looking to sell in Forest Hills, you might be having nightmares about your home being “stale.” When we say “stale,” we’re not talking about cookies that have been sitting on the counter for a week! In general, a stale real estate listing is a property that has been on the market for an extended time.

Why do some homes get snatched up immediately while others seem like they will never sell? Today we’re going to discuss a few factors that might be at play when we’re talking about stale real estate listings.

High Price Tag

If you’re looking to sell in Forest Hills, you’ll hear us talking about the art of pricing a property. Is it truly an art? We think so! The seller needs to strike a delicate balance between pricing their home for maximum profit and assigning a price that attracts the target buyers.

Poor Staging Efforts

A professional home stager isn’t always necessary, but you might want to consider one if you’re not confident that you can present your home in a favorable light. If you decide to forgo professional services, then focus on a clean and clutter-free home. The take-home message: Make your home look like a pleasant place to live!

The Home Needs Significant Repairs

If costly repairs are looming, buyers might feel overwhelmed and pass on your home. We tell clients looking to sell in Forest Hills to address these big jobs before listing their home to be competitive in the real estate market.

Sluggish Economy

When it comes to local or nationwide economic issues, sometimes it’s simply a bad time to sell a home. If everyone is saving their pennies and holding tight in their current home, you might want to do the same until the economy picks up again.

If you are looking to sell in Forest Hills, you’ve come to the right place. At Forest Hills Realty, our agents are local experts in savvy real estate sales. Get in touch with Forest Hills Realty today to learn how to sell your home quickly!

Contact us today at (718) 997-6000 or email us here for more information.

Forest Hills Real Estate: Round Two of Common Buyer Mistakes

Today we’re going to discuss common mistakes that buyers make when they are looking at Forest Hills real estate. If this sounds familiar to you, then you’ve been paying attention! We covered this topic a few weeks ago.

If you’re wondering why we’re going back for round two, the answer is easy: Homebuyers tend to make a lot of mistakes! Here are four more pitfalls that we want you to avoid during your search for Forest Hills real estate:

Pitfall #1: Purchasing a home you love in a neighborhood you hate.

Have you ever heard the phrase, “Location is everything?” Truer words were never spoken. You have a better chance of altering a house to feel like home than changing a neighborhood to suit your lifestyle.

Pitfall #2: Holding out for a home that checks every box on your list.

If you have a short wish list, this might not apply to you. However, if your list of must-haves is a mile long, prioritize these items so that if you are struggling to find a home that has it all, you’ll be more likely to find a piece of Forest Hills real estate that has the important things.

Pitfall #3: Failing to examine loan options that require a minimal down payment.

It’s hard to scrape together that 20% down payment required by most conventional loans. That doesn’t mean you should give up on your quest to be a homeowner! Partner with a mortgage broker specializing in FHA, VA and USDA mortgages to get your foot in the real estate door.

Pitfall #4: Buying a home for your preapproval amount.

Just because you are preapproved to purchase Forest Hills real estate for $500,000, that doesn’t necessarily mean you should spend that much. Take a hard look at your current finances and future goals to determine how much you would be comfortable contributing to a monthly mortgage payment.

Take this advice with you on your Forest Hills real estate journey. Get in touch with Forest Hills Realty today to learn more about being a smart homebuyer!

Contact us at (718) 997-6000 or email us today for any questions!

Forest Hills Condos: Luxury and Affordability Co-exist!

If you want to talk about luxury, let’s chat about Forest Hills condos. They have the same deluxe amenities found in Manhattan living with one major difference: the price!

You heard us correctly! Forest Hills condos bear a striking resemblance to some of the poshest buildings in Manhattan, but they might actually work with your budget.

Buyers, it’s time to start building your wish list! We’ve checked out the most luxurious Forest Hills condos and compiled a list of building amenities and in-unit extras that you probably never thought you could afford. The best part? All of these features are available in homes that fall well below one million dollars!

Exclusive Building Amenities

What if every time you walked into your building after a long day at work, you felt like you were stepping onto the grounds of a five-star resort? These amenities, found in Forest Hills’ most upscale condominiums, will help you feel like every day is a vacation:

  • A 24-hour doorman for peace of mind in your urban neighborhood.
  • Concierge service that is always ready to help you tie up the loose ends of your life.
  • Outdoor living areas, including green spaces and rooftop decks.
  • A parking garage with your very own assigned parking spot.
  • A state-of-the-art fitness center.
  • An indoor or outdoor children’s play area.

In-Unit Delights

The relentless pace of New York City is enough to make you want to plan a relaxing escape. When you live in luxurious Forest Hills condos, there’s no planning necessary! Your unit might include these coveted extras:

  • A gourmet kitchen, complete with stainless steel appliances and granite countertops.
  • A master suite with a spa-like private bath.
  • Stylish hardwood flooring throughout your unit.
  • An in-unit washer and dryer (we don’t need to tell you how amazing this is!).
  • A private terrace to take in your dazzling view.

Now that you’ve assembled your wish list, it’s time to start your search for Forest Hills condos! Get in touch with Forest Hills Realty today to see real-life examples of affordable luxury.

Contact us at (718) 997-6000 or email us today for any questions!

Forest Hill Co-ops for Less Than $200k: They’re Out There!

How many times have you heard that living in New York City is going to drain your bank account? I bet you’ve also heard that there’s no way you’ll make it without a roommate. People have probably even told you that you’ll have to settle for shabby digs in a sketchy neighborhood because that’s all you’ll be able to afford.

It’s time to erase these thoughts from your mind and investigate Forest Hills co-ops! If you’re willing to live in smaller quarters, you can find your next home for less than $200K.

We know what you’re thinking. Forest Hills is a relatively safe community in a convenient location. Plus, its tree-lined streets and green spaces make it aesthetically pleasing. Where are the $200K co-ops?

Reasonably-priced Forest Hills co-ops are available now! Here are a few examples of current listings that fall under the $200K mark:

  • A spacious studio within a stately brick, midrise building. This unit offers a distinct kitchen area that fits a small table and a bonus area that is perfect for a home office. Hardwood flooring, arched doorways and other prewar accents fill the co-op and building with character.
  • A one-bedroom co-op with a separate entrance. This private unit is a rare one bedroom/one bathroom find for $200K in Forest Hills. The building is a short walk from public transportation, offers a doorman and has on-site laundry.
  • A studio for a cool $135K. It’s not a typo! At one of the lowest prices available in Forest Hills co-ops, it’s hard to believe that this studio has all the basics in a convenient location. The maintenance fee includes all utilities except for air conditioning. With public transportation literally at your doorstep, this co-op is perfect for single commuters.

We hope these three examples have opened your eyes to possibilities in Forest Hills, but why stop here? Now that you’ve seen that Forest Hills co-ops are actually affordable, it’s time to get in touch with Forest Hills Realty. We’ll show you a selection of budget-friendly co-ops that will change your thoughts about the cost of urban living!

Contact us at (718) 997-6000 or email us today for any questions!

Forest Hills Apartment Rentals: Happy Homes or Home Offices?

Has your urban apartment been pulling double-duty as a home office during COVID-19? We can relate! Throughout the pandemic, many companies have realized that their employees can be productive at home.

What does this mean? It means that Forest Hills apartment rentals are stepping into a dual role as a home and a workplace.

Forest Hills apartment rentals, like most urban apartments, are “cozy.” They weren’t built for work-from-home arrangements. If you’re lacking space for a home office in your apartment, don’t despair! Here are some tips for creating a dedicated place to do your work:

  • Use your vertical space. If your apartment is short on square footage, look up! Invest in a tall shelving unit to store your supplies.
  • Remember the 90-90-90 position. Working at an ergonomically-challenged workspace can wreak havoc on your body. Avoid bone, joint and muscle pain by sitting with your ankles, knees and hips at 90-degree angles. Experiment with different chair and desk combinations until you get it right.
  • Think beyond a desk. Desks are intended for work, but they might not be the best choice for YOUR work. Consider any type of work surface that is large enough for your laptop, paperwork and a cup of coffee. Bonus if it blends in with your decor!
  • Keep things light. You’ve always wanted an office with a window, and this is your chance to have one! Forest Hills apartment rentals offer inspiring views. If you’re unable to set up shop by a window, choose a low-profile lamp to shine some light on your workspace.
  • Nix the noise. Even if your roommate is the most considerate person on the planet, you’re still bound to be distracted. Pick up a pair of noise-canceling headphones to mute your surroundings. If your roommate is working from home, pick up a pair for them too!

With a little creativity, Forest Hills apartment rentals can successfully see you through this new normal. If you need more inspiration, connect with us at Forest Hills Realty today to make the most of your square footage!

Contact us today at (718) 997-6000 or email us here for more information.

Forest Hills Homes for Sale: Traditional Floor Plans Are Back in Style

What does your dream home look like? Does it have a gourmet kitchen? What about a master suite? It also includes an open floor plan, doesn’t it? After all, it seems like an open floor plan tops everyone’s must-have list these days!

As you browse Forest Hills homes for sale, you’ll notice something: Open-concept designs don’t exactly flood the market. If these layouts are so popular, why is the selection limited in Forest Hills?

Forest Hills has been around for a long time. Open floor plans have only been popular since the early 1990s. While you’ll certainly find newly-constructed Forest Hills homes for sale, you’re more likely to find older residences.

Here’s the good news: There are some real advantages to those traditional floor plans that have fallen out of sight in recent decades. Here are a few reasons to put these homes on your list:

  • Traditional floor plans offer more privacy than open-concept designs.
    Whether you plan to live with family or share your space with roommates, you’re bound to want a little privacy. Those extra walls help create boundaries for work, rest, meals and fun.
  • It’s easier to keep a traditional floor plan neat and tidy.
    OK, maybe it’s not necessarily easier to keep traditional floor plans clean, but it’s certainly easier to make them look that way! In addition, many Forest Hills homes for sale offer more closets and cubbies for storage than their open-concept counterparts.
  • You might save utility costs in a traditional floor plan.
    It’s harder to keep open spaces warm in the winter and cool in the summer. In a traditional floor plan, your HVAC won’t need to work overtime to maintain a comfortable temperature.
  • Art-lovers have more wall space to display their treasures in a traditional floor plan.
    More walls mean more opportunities to express yourself. If you can’t decide on one theme, feel free to give each room its own style!

Forest Hills homes for sale are in demand. Get in touch with Forest Hills Realty today to learn how to make one of these beautiful homes work for you!

Contact us at (718) 997-6000 or email us today for any questions.

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