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Igluu Is The New Best Way To Buy And Rent Homes

Written by igluu

Filling in where StreetEasy falls short, Igluu touts the most number of active listings in the NYC marketplace and an intuitive platform that focuses on simplicity and transparency. 

When StreetEasy’s rental listings halved after it unrolled a $3 per day per listing pricing policy, serial entrepreneur Martin Mucha saw an opportunity to create the new industry standard for a residential real estate site. pulls its listings from top feeds such as REBNY’s RLS, ListHub’s RealPlus and Nestio – and September integrations with OLR and Spherexx. On the day of launch, Igluu featured over 5,000 listings and will cover more than 95% of all active listings by the end of 2017 – approximately double the number of listings on StreetEasy.

Igluu is built around seamless search and discovery – incorporating the latest usability philosophies. Unlike other sites, Igluu only hosts exclusive listings and doesn’t support Premier Agent, where unrelated brokers can bid on listing opportunities. Martin believes that the practice of selling leads dilutes the quality of broker service which causes users to have bad experiences. Instead, Igluu can quickly find and contact the broker best suited to show the property.

At the other end of the platform, the site is also engineered with the real estate broker’s best interests in mind. The site avoids daily listing fees, and features brokers in visually-rich and engaging profile pages. “The idea is to personalize the brokers and to create a community feel,” says Martin. “Our goal is to eliminate all the obstacles which keeps brokers from doing their jobs effectively.”

The Igluu team is betting that technology will continue to shape the real estate space and have scheduled innovative features and integrations to be unveiled in the coming months. Although secretive about what exactly these updates will be, Mucha believes users will be more than pleased – “We’re experimenting with artificial intelligence, blockchain and working on powerful ways to keep people engaged.” says Martin, “We are committed to advancing the online real estate experience and it’s going to be really cool.”

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The Ultimate checklist for First-time Apartment Buyers in Manhattan

In NYC on February 19th 2019 Writen by: Shery Saeed Contact: Web:   Today’s real estate market presents a unique opportunity for first-time buyers. The prices are dropping, the interest rates are low, and the market correction is not due to a recent catastrophic event. The last four downturns in New York City were all caused by particular circumstances:   Date
Mid 1970s - New York City was on the verge of bankruptcy
  • 1989-91 - October 19, ’87 stock market crash
  • 2001 - bubble burst, 9/11 terrorist attacks
  • 2008-09 - Financial crisis
This time New York real estate is on sale and the market correction is due to years of steady price increases. This market adjustment has created extensive opportunities for buyers - ranging from people who could afford apartments that other times were not feasible to others who can negotiate an awesome deal. It is an excellent opportunity for upgrading your lifestyle and your investments. According to Real Deal the “ ... Manhattan inventory has been piling up for three years now. And there’s an avalanche of more product about to hit. In 2019, the inventory of new condos alone is expected to hit a massive 7,900 units —well above the average for the past few years,which has hovered between 3,000 and 4,000 units, according to appraisal firm Miller Samuel.”   What you need to know when you are ready to buy: Your Finances
  • Organize your finances - proof of employment -pay stub, credit report, two years of tax returns, and bank and investment statements.
  • It is important to get pre-approved with a lender, so you know what you can afford. They will provide you with a range and aim for the high-end.
  The Neighborhood Explore neighborhoods so you can choose the one you prefer. Each area has distinct characteristics, and in Manhattan, it starts with deciding if you would like to live uptown, midtown or downtown then Eastside or Westside. Plan to go to open houses and walk around different neighborhoods to get a feel for the vibe and keep in mind your commute. Condo, Co-op or Cond-op Then there is the question of condo or co-op – The significant difference is that with a condo you own the apartment and have a title but in a coop, you have shares in a building, and you don't have your name on a deed. Co-ops have more restrictions for renting and remodeling units. Cond-ops are condominium buildings that have both commercial and residential units and the residential units managed by a co-op corporation.
Another factor to keep in mind is the monthly common (maintenance) charges. Some buildings have low purchase prices but very high common charges which often signifies that the building’sfinances are in trouble.   Co-op Financing For co-ops, the down payment ranges from average 20%- 25%% to 50% or more for higher-end buildings. Co-op buyers get a share loan, and the stricter sublet rules eliminate the owner-tenant requirement. But co-op buyers have to abide by the liquid asset requirements for board approval. The amount can range from a few months of maintenance payments to 3 times the purchase price. The average co-op's financial standards are much higher than the average requirements for a mortgage.   Condo Financing For condos, the down payment is usually about 20% of the purchase price. Also, in condo transactions mortgage lenders require buildings to have healthy reserves and a low owner-tenant ratio before approving a loan. Buyers are required to have a debt-to-income ratio of around 25% - 29%.   Board Approval For co-ops takes six to eight weeks after submitting the board application. It is four to six weeks for the board to review an application and schedule an interview. Once the board interview is conducted, it usually takes about a week to receive a decision. For Condos board approvals are faster, and it usually does not require an interview.   Sponsor Unit In a condo building, these are apartments that are owned by the developer and are for sale for the first time. In the case of co-ops, these residences are owned by the original owner or the corporation that converted rental units into co-ops. Sponsor units do not need board approval and are favored by   The Non-Negotiable Amenities Determine your list of must-haves in the building - elevator or walk-up, doorman, gym, view, laundry room, washer/dryer in the unit, children's playroom, bike room, live-in super, pets allowed and balcony.   Buyer’s Agent Buyers do not pay a commission to their agents. The seller pays the 6% commission which is divided between buyer and seller agents.   Real Estate Attorney You will need a real estate attorney once your offer is accepted to review the contract. In New York state real estate deals attorneys are recommended. They are responsible for due diligence which includes evaluating board meeting minutes and financial statements (that provide clues to ongoing or potential expensive problems in the building,) offering plans (that include details on bylaws and risks.) Attorneys’ fees start roughly around $2,000 and increase depending on the complexity of the transactions.  
Closing Costs for Buyers Overall, closing costs for purchase prices below a million are roughly about 2% to 3% of the price, and for amounts over a million, it is about 3% to 4% of the cost. It Includes: • Mansion tax - is a 1% tax on sales of $1 million and more and the buyer is usually responsible for the payment.
  • Title Insurance - Owner's Policy Premium
  • Buyer's Attorney Fee
  • Move-In Deposit
  • Title Search – Endorsements, Other Charges
  • Board Application Fees
  • Move-In Deposit - varies by building
  • Deed Recording Fees
  • Credit Check
  • Mortgage-Related Costs
    • Mortgage Recording Tax - 1.8% of mortgage amount if $500,000 or less; 1.925% of mortgage amount if over $500,000
    • Managing Agent Application & Processing Fees
    • Title Insurance - Mortgage Policy Premium
    • Bank Attorney fee
    • Mortgage Application, Credit Check & Processing
    • Appraisal fee
    • Mortgage Recording Fee - so it is part of the public record.
    • Origination Fees – roughly about 1% of the mortgage amount
Overall, it is a buyer’s market - apartments prices are down, inventory is high, and sellers are struggling and open to negotiating.
If you have any questions, please contact me at Shery at
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Igluu Looking To Seize The New York Listings Crown

Another competitor has thrown a hat into New York’s crowded ring of real estate listing providers.
Igluu's new homepage Igluu, originally a platform used to find roommates in New York City, relaunched Wednesday as a residential rental and sale listing site. Its team thinks the new concept will be more successful. “I am pretty competitive and set bold goals,” Igluu founder Martin Mucha told Bisnow. “By the end of 2018, we are aiming to be the leading platform in NYC.”
The initial launch uses residential feeds, like REBNY's newly launched Residential Listing Service, RealPlus and Nestio while OLR and Spherexx will be added in September, Mucha said. While Igluu enters a crowded field dominated by competitors like, and StreetEasy, Mucha insists his platform is different. “Many of these websites are more national than they are New York-centric,” Mucha said. “Plus, there are too many restrictions on StreetEasy.” With the relaunch, Igluu’s goal is to grow a consumer-centric product with more social elements like ratings and reviews. While the present iteration is largely focused on listings, Mucha said his team is "playing with gamification theories" to give the site a better community feel and to pair users with agents based on algorithms.
“There is room for a new kid to come in and move the model from corporate monolith like StreetEasy to a more user-friendly model with brains and brawn behind it,” said New York attorney Mel Dogan, who sits on Igluu’s advisory board. “When there is disruption in the market, there is room for other players to come in and take their spot.”
StreetEasy drew criticism this year after introducing its Premier Agent platform. The service allows a broker to pay to be featured on the site as a listing’s go-to contact instead of the seller’s broker, even if that broker has an exclusive listing. The Real Estate Board of New York asked New York regulators at the time of the launch to investigate whether the program violated state law.  It garnered outright rejection from the city’s real estate community in July after it rolled out a new policy where agents had to pay $3/day for each listing. The site’s listings dropped 55% in a day, and leading agencies like Citi Habitats, The Corcoran Group and Brown Harris Stevens quit using the service and said agents would have to pay for it themselves if they continued listing.
“While I do think an advertiser should be paid, I have an issue in their gatekeeper policy of who gets access,” Compass real estate broker William Stahlke said. “The StreetEasy war has thrown off the brokerage community in many ways.” REBNY launched its RLS Aug. 1 after spending two years improving its existing feed to give members access to accurate information and monitor for stale listings. The same firms that ditched StreetEasy sped up syndication on the new REBNY platform, which was sent to 200 consumer-facing listing sites. StreetEasy did not take the RLS feed, claiming it was created to halt growth on its own site.  Mucha still faces an uphill battle. As of 10:30 a.m. Thursday, had over 41,000 rental listings and StreetEasy had over 17,000 on their respective websites. Igluu had just over 3,000. Mucha said listings are steadily increasing as the feeds syndicate to his site and expects to hit 5,000 by early Friday, gaining thousands more as brokers opt-in to Igluu through their feeds.
“ and have been online for 10 years,” he said. "Theirs is not a new product." Mucha said Igluu, like StreetEasy, will naturally have fewer listings because the company and users will monitor and flag stale listings that will get deleted. With StreetEasy stumbling after the rollout of Premier Agent and its listing fees, some in New York’s real estate community see where Igluu has a path to be the market leader. “There’s a myriad of players trying to take StreetEasy’s space,” Stahlke said. “Who that will be, I don’t know. Who is the best? I would say Igluu.”
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