Carlos Garcia • Buying Property in New York Is Possible
May 24, 2018
“Right now, the sales market is hot,” says Bold agent Carlos Garcia. “There is a price point from say about $500,000 to about two million — pushing three million. And it’s a sellers’ market, so a lot of owners are selling. There are a lot of buyers, but not enough inventory.”
Carlos is right on the money about that. The total inventory of homes reached its lowest recorded level during the fourth quarter of 2017, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR). New York City approved permits for 99,124 residential units between January 2014 and August 2017, according to the New York Building Congress. The city’s residential sector development investment dropped 31 percent from 2016 ($16 billion) to 2017 ($11 billion).
Still, Carlos says that whatever condition the market is in, buying — as opposed to renting — remains the way to go.
“I’ve dealt with a lot of clients who are looking to rent,” Carlos explains. “I tell them, ‘why spend all this money in rent when you can actually buy?’ And I start breaking down the numbers — the specs of the mortgage — compared to the rent. When you explain to them and hold their hand and tell them how it is, with a step-by-step guideline, they will have a better sense of what works best for them. They just need that education to see what is the best decision to make.”
Carlos helps with rentals too; he works with a number of small landlords on the west side of Harlem, as well as the Upper West Side, Manhattan Valley and Morningside Heights.
“I was with a client the other day,” he says. “She was looking to rent a two-bedroom for $4200 in Harlem. I remember a few years ago — for $4200, you could get an amazing apartment downtown. But nowadays, people are willing to pay that in Harlem and they want to be in that area. It drives the rent and drives the prices up. They are very happy — especially in the summertime.”
Carlos is knowledgeable of all the nabes. He was raised in New York City (his family is originally from Cuba); he currently makes his home in Washington Heights. He was involved with TV production when a friend introduced him to the business of real estate. He’s been in the game for the last seven years, dealing in a mix of rentals and sales (moving distinctly toward sales).
The inventory situation looks a bit different from the rental side.
“The rental market has taken a hit in the last year or two,” he says. “A lot of investors are buying condo units which are not their primary residence. They act as secondary homes, and they hire brokers to rent them out for them. That’s just creating more competition — some apartments are sitting longer on the market, and taking a hit. So I think that the rental rates at some point will be lower because that kind of thing is just not sustainable. When I’m asked, ‘how’s the market?’ it all depends on who you are catering to.”
What it takes to win the game, according to Carlos: an educated guide to help navigate the choppy waters. Even with all the technology that’s overtaking the real estate industry, you actually still need a broker to help you make sense of it all.
“I call it the Game of Thrones!” he says of the New York real estate market. “It’s chaotic, like everything in life; it could be intimidating and overwhelming, but if you have the proper guidance, I think you’ll be fine. Agents don’t just open and close doors. We do more than that. ”
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