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Focused on Residential and Commercial Real Estate

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Bronx Real Estate Law Blog

Commercial real estate differs from residential properties

Individuals in New York usually view investing in residences as the same as investing in business properties. In reality, these two types of investing are very different. Here is a glimpse at what makes residential real estate and commercial real estate investing so different in New York and elsewhere.

One of the main differences between residential investing and commercial investing is that the latter involves operating, leasing, developing and acquiring a wide range of property types. These types may include, for example, industrial and hospitality properties, offices, retail shops and apartments -- also known as multifamily properties. Other property options for investors include student housing, senior living facilities and self-storage.

Problems with the closing could cause legal and financial issues

Buying or selling property in New York is a complex process. Real estate is expensive, and once you find the right buyer or the right property, you understand the importance of making sure you do not have any complications to delay closing. When there are issues with the process, it can lead to additional financial losses and keep you from completing the final steps.

Various problems can stand between you and your real estate goals. Many people do not understand the importance of having guidance during the transaction process, but you will find great benefit in securing help. Problems closing on a house are expensive and stressful, but they are often avoidable. 

Research shows that most people have not created wills

People in New York generally do not feel comfortable talking about death. For this reason, many people -- both old and young -- still have not created wills. However, producing wills and other estate planning documents is critical for ensuring that one's assets will end up with those whom the benefactor intends.

According to research, a little over 40 percent of people throughout the United States have developed estate planning documents explaining what should happen to their belongings once they die. However, this percentage was as high as 51 percent in 2005, so the number of people planning their estates appears to be declining. A couple of reasons that most people may not be quick to create estate plans is that the process seems complicated or costly.

Add-on residences are a current residential real estate trend

Purchasing a home in New York can certainly be intimidating from a financial standpoint. However, many homeowners have found a way to ease the burden of paying off a hefty mortgage: buy two homes instead of one. This may sound counterintuitive, but it is possible for those who take advantage of add-on residential real estate residences, also known as ADUs.

This is how ADUs work: Rather than purchasing a single home, an individual could purchase land and then build a small unit on the property while having a larger home built on the same property. Then, once the larger home has been erected, he or she can rent out the smaller home while still living in the larger home. The income from  the rental of the smaller home would essentially help the homeowner to pay off his or her mortgage.

Wills determine where people's assets go after they have died

Creating an estate plan may understandably not be high on a person's to-do list in New York. After all, people naturally prefer not to talk about the possibility of death. Nonetheless, putting together wills is absolutely critical for ensuring that one's property remains protected down the road. Here is a glimpse at the problems that the lack of a will can cause.

Wills are significant estate planning documents since they basically determine how a person's assets will be distributed after he or she dies. If somebody dies with no will in place, the probate court will end up making decisions concerning who will receive his or her assets. A judge will make this determination based on a number of factors. For instance, was the person married, or did he or she have children? Also, did the deceased party have any siblings, nieces or nephews?

Is an easement affecting the way you can use your property?

It can come as a surprise for many New York property owners to learn that an easement could affect the use of their property. Whether you already own the property or you are considering purchasing property with an easement, it is helpful to learn what this means and what you can do about it. You have the right to take steps to protect your property interests.

An easement means that a person could have a legal right to access your property, but only for a specific purpose. The parties benefiting from the easement do not have any ownership in your property. There are different types of easements and they can mean different things for you as the owner of the land.

Reviewing wills regularly is wise for asset owners

A specific rule does not exist regarding how often an asset owner in New York should take a look at his or her estate plan. However, some basic guidelines exist for reviewing wills and other estate planning documents. Here is a glimpse at them.

Asset owners generally would be wise to pore over their estate planning documents every three or four years. Reading through these documents is essential for them to make sure that they still support the documents' basic provisions. For instance, they can ascertain that the individuals they chose years ago to be their powers of attorney, personal representatives or trustees are the same individuals they would select today. Likewise, asset owners during their estate plan reviews can see if they still desire the same individuals to inherit their assets.

Commercial real estate affected by multiple factors

The property industry across the country, including in New York, is going through constant change as a result of various factors. Some of the changes taking place are presenting challenges to today's commercial real estate investors, whereas others are presenting opportunities. Here is a peek at what some of these changes are and how they might affect investors in the Empire State.

A major change impacting commercial real estate is the rising interest rate. With interest rates going up, the number of people showing interest in making property purchases is going down. However, the decreased demand for commercial properties is not necessarily a bad thing for investors who have been having a hard time breaking into the real estate market. Decreased demand translates to lower prices, which may help them to finally get their feet wet in commercial real estate.

Drafting wills can help with protecting assets long term

Discussing the possibility of death typically is not something people feel comfortable doing in New York and elsewhere. However, death is unavoidable, so it only makes sense to prepare for it by engaging in estate planning, which includes drafting wills. Here is a look at what creating wills involves.

Wills/testaments are legal declarations of people's intentions regarding how they want their property to be handled when they die. Therefore, wills operate only after the people who created them have passed away. Every person who is mentally sound and has free consent can create a will. In other words, bad health and age do not have to be the deciding factors for creating wills.

Residential real estate renovations can be a lot of work

Renovating a house is not something that everyone can handle. Instead, renovating a piece of residential real estate takes patience, money and hard work. Here are a few tips for choosing the right house to renovate in New York.

First, it is best to choose a home in which the structure is solid. If a house's foundation is crumbling, or if the home has serious roof issues, a person interested in renovating the home must decide if he or she is willing to cover the cost of repairing such damage. Besides the roof and foundation, the structural elements that are wise to pay attention to include the home's electrical, plumbing and HVAC system.