Manhattan Real Estate

4 Replies | New York City, New York

So I am writing this post because I wanted to share my initial experiences learning about the Manhattan real estate investing market so far and advise with the BP community on Manhattan real estate investing. By the way I did work as a real estate agent in Manhattan 4 years ago. I am seeking a way to find deals and gain equity by managing the deal from beginning to end. I started with Property Shark (I believe you MUST have a tool to find deals in NYC and Zillow, Streeteasy is not enough.) Here are the tools I recommend using in NYC if you don't have the budget for Co Star ( the Monopoly of commercial real estate data platforms:) 1) Property Shark ($79.99/month or double this if you need owners information.) PS claims that they have a team of 20 persons whose sole job is to check owners info and verify it by phone. 2) Acris, here you will get the mortgage and deed information and all you need is the block and lot. If you want tax lien information or any other liens or judgements you need to go to the county clerks office in Borough Hall and search on their computers. 3) Streeteasy is a free source for sales data and pics of properties. Feel free to chime in if you have any other recommendations for data resources. Btw if you want mortgage or foreclosure information you can walk about 6 minutes from the courthouse on John Street at the city Registrar for that info. But if you own a laptop computer you will probably use acris. I began searching for foreclosures on PS. There were 3 scheduled auctions and 2 got cancelled since the lien was paid off and the other filed bankruptcy and the creditor (Chase Bank) has extended the lien for another 2 years. The only auction that happened was a tax lien for a rooftop storage unit on the LES which the plaintiff's representative bid up for $1,000. The upset price was only $23k. Now they are going to list as an REO. My initial thoughts are to look at foreclosure auctions (either mortgage, tax lien or estate) but many get cancelled. Buying Tax liens is out. I probably will have to search the data on PS and figure something out. Pre-foreclosures can be possible if I contact the owner who is delinquent. I also thought that I will have to develop a relationship with an agent who will send me deals (I know that the best deals go by fast as the top agent sharks feed the best deals first to their top clients who have bought Manhattan property and probably have portfolios) The question I have now is what is the right strategy to approach the Manhattan market scene. I know some investors who do Manhattan but I am looking for deals. What would you add or take away from these thoughts?

Side question about Tax Liens: I get that when someone is delinquent on tax liens that the city will eventually sell the tax lien certificate to one of the 3 big corporations (third party tax lien purchasers) who will buy it, receive a surcharge on the lien amount plus 18% interest compounded daily. After a certain period, usually 3 years, if the owner is still delinquent the property will go into tax lien foreclosure and auctioned off as in this case. However, my question is what happens to the big corp who purchased this tax lien which was one of many that were bought in bulk in the annual May tax lien sale if it will be listed and sold as an REO on the open Market once they clear the title. As I understand the bank just acts as a collateral agent or a custodian the guy bidding at the auction is bidding on behalf of the plaintiff.

So let me understand, you are specializing in the Manhattan market? What type of property are you looking for? My experience is that foreclosures in Manhattan are almost never. I dont know about tax liens. 

Looking for value add properties. Could be something that has low occupancy and has been neglected. Some buildings that are rent stabilized have the potential to be bought and you offer the tenants cash for keys and then rehabilitate and drive up market rent. Open to different scenarios. I am interested in hearing more from the community about their experiences investing in Manhattan. How did you find the deal? What type of deal was it?

Tax liens can not be bought by individual investors. You can buy a tax lien foreclosure @Dirk S.

What I've come to realize in investing in NYC that it's all about who you know. It's a MUST to start building relationships with real estate agents that work in the areas that you are thinking about doing business in. Investing in NYC is a team game and you have to be good at getting on Realtor's good sides.