Friday, April 20, 2012

Back to the East Coast.

Greetings all... NYC RE Goddess has been on hiatus while handling some personal issues. But I'm back, and back in New York after a relaxing trip to the West Coast .... Ahhhh...

Here are a couple fast facts about real estate in some western states:

- water rights are extremely important in Nevada (duh!), and work a lot like air rights here in New York. You can buy them and sell them, and the amount in existance can be adjusted by the state legislatures.

- In San Francisco, all apartments are automatically rent stabilized.
- It's very hard to get clearance to convert an existing building into a condo. This is because the city thought too much rental housing was being lost as 2-3 unit townhouses were being converted in large numbers. So there is a condo conversion lottery, and hitting it could take a very long time.
- Tenant-in-Common shares (or TICs, as their advertised in the real estate section in SF) are the alternative. While in New York you might see 2 or 3 owners in a TIC situation, in San Francisco I saw buildings with 30-50 units offering individual apartments as TICs. It's kind of reminiscent of a co-op, but without a corporation. Just goes to show that the market will usually find a way to meet demand.

It's hard to find co-op financing outside NYC - a lot have to be all cash. TICs are technically real property, so I suppose it would be easier to finance than a co-op. And, as with co-ops in NYC, local banks have probably evolved so as to be able to fairly evaluate them, given that this phenomenon has been going on at least the 10 years I've been visiting, and possibly longer.

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