A recent trend at bridal shops is a suggested limit on the bride’s entourage because having too many voices and opinions can be overwhelming. Lately, many New York City real estate agents wish that they could put a similar limit on their clients’ entourage as folks are bringing their parents, friends, decorators, and casual acquaintances before deciding on an apartment.

Last month, New York Magazine covered this trend in their article Just One More Look. They interviewed Jeffrey Schleider of Miron Properties and Adriano Hultmann of Prudential Douglas Elliman, both of whom have experienced wishy-washy buyers.

Schleider tells New York Magazine, “I had one person come back three additional times. First he came with his mother, then a girlfriend and co-worker, and then an interior design and a painter. This is all before putting together a number.” The most frustrating part was that after all this work and time, the client decided not to buy the apartment.

Why are clients feeling more comfortable taking their time? Schleider thinks that the poor economy is a major factor. Buyers want to be more cautious with their investments, so they want confirmation that they are making the right decision from lots of people who have their best interests at heart. Schleider explains, “They want to make sure that if they’re going to do it, they’re going to do it right.

To read more about this trend, check out New York Magazine’s full article at http://nymag.com/realestate/realestatecolumn/67486/.


Sometimes it is difficult for real estate agents to write a glowing ad for an apartment. Words like “tiny” and “cramped” are substituted for words like “intimate.” NY1 real estate reporter Jill Urban recently wrote about the truth behind real estate ads and how the average apartment hunter can save time  by eliminating certain apartment listings altogether. Her trick? Apartment hunters just need to know what adjectives to look for.

“Cozy,” “interesting,”and “potential” are red flags that an apartment might have problems. “Cozy” usually means undersized while “interesting” means that this apartment isn’t to everyone’s tastes. “Potential” is almost always the realtor’s way of saying that the apartment will need work. Even if the place is marked down considerably, apartment hunters should move along. A discount is not as much of a discount after sinking lots of money into fixing up an apartment with “potential.”

To read the full article, go to http://www.ny1.com/content/ny1_living/real_estate/121172/read-between-the-lines-in-real-estate-ads/, and find out the right and wrong words to look for in a real estate ad.

Check out residential buildings all over Manhattan at our informational website Neighborhood NYC at http://www.neighborhoodnyc.com.

Yesterday, the New York Times reported on an ethically sticky practice by many prominent art and history museums in New York City. Museum presidents and directors are not only getting sizable salaries but are oftentimes given tax-free apartments worth millions of dollars, making some question if this is an abuse of tax law.

The American Museum of Natural History, Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Museum of Modern Art are a few of the museums in New York City that house their presidents and directors in posh apartments. They get away with their tax-free status by claiming that the heads of museums spend a lot of time entertaining donors in their home, so their apartment is also their workplace.

What do you think? Should directors of museums get large salaries in addition to tax-free apartments worth millions of dollars, or is this an abuse of tax law? Comment below and let us know what you think!

At Benjamin James Real Estate, we are big fans of Rented Spaces’ column Apartment Guru. We think that the column offers great advice from how to deal with tenants who are smoking marijuana to getting a good night’s sleep when the neighbor’s dog won’t stop barking and handling a passive-aggressive roommate.

This week, the Apartment Guru is tackling the uncertainty of new neighbors and whether it is against the law to encourage couples with children or cats to look elsewhere for their new home. Can “Discerning, Not Discriminating” do anything to prevent the pitter-patter of little feet or conflict between their dog and a new neighbor’s cat? Click here or go to http://www.rentedspaces.com/2010/08/09/the-search-for-new-neighbors/ to read the column.

Check out residential buildings across the city at our informational site Neighborhood NYC at http://www.neighborhoodnyc.com/.

We get excited whenever Rented Spaces comes out with another edition of “Rental Roommate Nightmares,” their collection of the worst roommate-wanted ads on Craigslist. These folks would be terrors to live with, but their ads are so laughably bad that we just had to share them.

This time around, we get more crazies including a businessman looking for an illegal immigrant to be his slave, a guy who will help you with your resume after having sex, some hippies who are way too comfortable with their bodies, and “an older guy who enjoys the company of young people” but apparently hates fatties.

To read the article, click here or go to http://www.rentedspaces.com/2010/08/04/roommate-rental-nightmares-ins-freaks-non-fat-guy-and-resume/, and if you have any stories about nutty roommates, please share them in a comment below!

Check out apartments at our informational website Neighborhood NYC at http://www.neighborhoodnyc.com.

Looking for a roommate on Craigslist might not seem like such a great idea after reading some of these real-life roommate ads that were reposted on Rented Spaces yesterday. The folks at Rented Spaces had a good laugh over the nudists, a man looking for a woman to share an apartment and a bathroom with him, and a man looking for a female roommate who will share his bed and give him massages (but no sex).

To read the original article, click here or go to http://www.rentedspaces.com/2010/07/28/rental-roommate-nightmares-cheap-nudes-massages-and-hell/, and consider avoiding roommates all together and looking for your own apartment at Neighborhood NYC at http://www.neighborhoodnyc.com!

Yesterday, Fortune posted an article that looked at renting vs. home ownership and ideas attached to each including, surprisingly, patriotism. This fantastic article examines the origins of the “American Dream” and how home ownership plays into that, and it looks at today’s economic realities and whether home ownership is best for everyone.

To read the original article, click here or go to http://money.cnn.com/2010/07/28/real_estate/housing_debate_rent-vs-buy.fortune/index.htm. Also, be sure to check out our informational website Neighborhood NYC at http://www.neighborhoodnyc.com, and read about rental buildings in Manhattan

Many New Yorkers know the frustration of an under-sized kitchen, so Rented Spaces recently posted a blog with great suggestions for organizing and maximizing your kitchen! Their tips include creating a “triangle of efficiency” with the refrigerator, sink, and stove as well as picking up hanging units for pots and pans.

To read the full article, click here or go to http://www.rentedspaces.com/2010/07/23/organizing-small-kitchen-keeps-things-cooking/. Comment below and tell us how you make the most of your kitchen!

Be sure to check out our informational website Neighborhood NYC at http://www.neighborhoodnyc.com.

Over the weekend, the Wall Street Journal published an article about Turtle Bay in Midtown East. The article gives a breakdown of area restaurants, schools, and parks as well as crime stats for the area. As someone who used to live in the Turtle Bay area, I love the fact that the Wall Street Journal took the time to shine a light on this great neighborhood. While in Turtle Bay, make sure to stop by the United Nations for a tour, grab a pint at the Stag’s Head or a mixed drink at Beekman’s Bar & Books, and try a cupcake at the Buttercup Bake Shop.

To read the full article, click here or go to http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703467304575383192262535052.html?mod=WSJ_NY_RealEstate_LEFTTopStories.

Check out Benjamin James Real Estate’s informational website Neighborhood NYC at http://www.neighborhoodnyc.com to find information about apartments in Turtle Bay or other New York neighborhoods.

Some recent residential buildings in Manhattan have been slammed for being big and intrusive, not blending in with the style of the surrounding neighborhood, or just being ugly. One of the most recent buildings that have attracted criticism is 245 10th Avenue, pictured to the left here.

Do you agree with the critics? Is 245 10th Avenue an eyesore or the future of architecture? Check out the original article here or at http://therealdeal.com/newyork/articles/245-10th-avenue-may-be-ugly-but-at-least-it-s-intentional-says-james-gardner, check out pictures of 245 10th Avenue, and let us know what you think!

Check out more properties at our informational website Neighborhood NYC at http://www.neighborhoodnyc.com.