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Ron Gitter
Ron Gitter has been practicing law in Manhattan for thirty years and blogs about residential real estate in New York, at and on Facebook at www.facebook .com/coopandcondo.

Entries by Ron Gitter

Out to Lunch:Coping with Careless Counsel

(0) Comments | Posted November 18, 2014 | 4:15 PM

The Order of Things

From the attorney's perspective, there is a Zen-like quality to residential real estate transactions. When the vibrational activity of buying or selling an apartment advances to the point when an "accepted offer" is within reach, an attorney is usually contacted and a relationship created. Then the...

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Serenity Now: Coping with the Delayed Closing

(0) Comments | Posted February 10, 2014 | 4:23 PM

The Simple Has Become Complicated

In the old days, invariably I would get a call from a broker claiming to have a "simple" deal that would be easy to get done. Whether it was an all cash transaction between neighbors, a purchaser with superior banking connections or a sponsor deal...

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Mopping Up 2013 and Looking Ahead to 2014

(0) Comments | Posted December 31, 2013 | 3:33 PM

Back to the Future

Five years after Lehman Brothers crashed and burned, the New York residential real estate economy finally righted itself. Primarily driven by a significant lack of inventory, and until recently, mind bogglingly low-interest rates, the level of deal activity was, in a word, unprecedented. Although the manic...

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Inside Manhattan's Real Estate Bubble: A Reality Check for Buyers...

(0) Comments | Posted July 2, 2013 | 3:27 PM

The Dogs of War

As we close the books on the first six months of the year, we find ourselves in one of the most treacherous market cycles in memory. Although rising mortgage interest rates, uncertainty about the economy and chaos in the bond market may conspire against the run...

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Double Dipping, Deadlines and Discrimination: Fear and Loathing on the Way to the Closing Table

(1) Comments | Posted May 8, 2013 | 1:19 PM

The long winter of real estate's discontent may be over, but the aftermath is not pretty. As far as the eye can see, the landscape is littered with cranky sellers, irrational buyers and a gaggle of real estate professionals about to lose their collective minds.

Seller's Exact Their Revenge

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This Just In: Virtual Apartments Are Back!

(0) Comments | Posted March 15, 2013 | 10:03 AM

The Pendulum Swings...

We've heard about it happening. It's that moment when a number of factors converge, and all of a sudden, reality radically shifts in another direction. Low inventory, low interest rates, pent-up demand and an improving economy are causing an outbreak of buyer irrationality and the emergence of...

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Honey, I Shrunk the Inventory

(0) Comments | Posted January 15, 2013 | 3:19 PM

Speed Reading the Tea Leaves

Breaking News: The inventory on the Upper West Side will only last 5 ½ months! (Cue the Psycho shower scene music).

For those of us involved in the recent self-imposed insanity otherwise known as "year-end" closings, it was with interest that I read the...

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Mopping Up Sandy and Looking Ahead to 2013

(1) Comments | Posted November 30, 2012 | 3:04 PM

In a New York Minute

Ever talk with a survivalist? A recent article in the Times Magazine profiled Ron Douglas, a suburban end-of-the-worlder. Stocking up on commodities, he preaches passionately about self reliance and the coming apocalypse to anyone who will listen. His tag line to his...

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Appraise This: Hitting the Number Can Be a Challenge

(0) Comments | Posted October 23, 2012 | 5:50 PM

A History Lesson

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, getting an apartment or a house to appraise for the purchase price was in the realm of cosmic certainty. In most cases, the appraisal was merely a "check the box" drill on the way to loan approval...

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Kiss Your Clients: The Inestimable Value of an All Cash Deal

(0) Comments | Posted August 1, 2012 | 2:12 PM

Wells Runs Dry

Several weeks ago, I received a distress e-mail from one of my mortgage broker friends. Wells Fargo had decided to withdraw from the wholesale lending business. Translation: After July 13th, independent mortgage brokers would no longer be able to place loans with that bank and borrowers would...

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Risky Business: Low Inventory Rattles Reality

(1) Comments | Posted May 15, 2012 | 1:52 PM

Déjà vu All Over Again

Thanks to a shortage of inventory, Manhattan real estate may be having a George Santayana moment. Despite everything that occurred only a few years ago, buyers are beginning to revisit the bad habits that resulted in misguided real estate purchases. As sales continue the upward...

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A Big Piece of the Pie: New York City's Insatiable Appetite

(0) Comments | Posted April 6, 2012 | 7:03 PM

My Life in Minutes

Increased real estate activity in Manhattan translates into spending more time reviewing the actions of the co-op and condo boards, perusing financial statements and speaking with account executives about the physical and economic well being of the buildings they manage. Although due diligence often reveals negative...

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Let's Get Busy: March Madness of Another Kind Arrives

(1) Comments | Posted March 7, 2012 | 4:16 PM

Dispatches from the Desert

Doing my best to enjoy a vacation in Scottsdale, it did not surprise me to read Noah Rosenblatt's March 2 post on Urbandigs, in which he reported that contract signings in February were the highest since 2008. Dodging emails, scans, phones and faxes the...

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Did Co-ops Save New York?

(0) Comments | Posted February 13, 2012 | 3:01 PM

Still Crazy After All These Years

I just finished one of the worst co-op transactions in recent memory. The board's behavior was brutal. From humiliating inquiries, imposing ridiculous financial conditions on the buyer and complete indifference to the timing needs of the parties. The board operated in a parallel universe...

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Mopping Up 2011 and Looking Ahead to 2012

(0) Comments | Posted December 13, 2011 | 3:22 PM

Is Residential Real Estate Off Life Support?

I like to tell clients that there is always a worst case scenario, but that the worst case scenario rarely occurs. For those of us in New York City, real estate Armageddon never really happened. Yes, things got quiet... very, very quiet for...

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Let's Get Lost: Welcome to a Decade We May Need to Forget

(0) Comments | Posted November 15, 2011 | 3:00 PM

"Turning Japanese"

I've been thinking about the title of that 80's tune by The Vapors a lot these days in relation to where the country might be headed. Forces seem to be aligning in a way that could cause the economy to continue to drift aimlessly for many years to...

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Great Expectations: Lawyers, Legal Fees and the Due Diligence Dilemma

(0) Comments | Posted October 10, 2011 | 9:47 AM

A Real Estate Zen Koan

About a week ago, an article in the Times found a positive consensus of opinion on the following question: "whether to hire a real estate lawyer." The query struck me with equal parts amazement and amusement. At a time when the complexity of...

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Unrequited Loan: Banks Just Can't Seem to Commit...

(0) Comments | Posted September 13, 2011 | 3:01 PM

I've Got Good News and Bad News

Interest rates just hit a 60-year low, that's the good part. Getting banks to complete the underwriting process, not so easy...

A Complicated Question

Recently, a client who was a first time home buyer of a co-op, asked me when the loan commitment...

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Getting Real With the New Rules of Real Estate

(3) Comments | Posted August 16, 2011 | 6:58 PM

Here are four current marketplace misconceptions and the realities that will save time and money and reduce the stress-fest.

The Closing Takes Place on the Date Stated in the Contract

Except in special circumstances, the date stated in the contract of sale for closing is an "on or about"...

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Gone Baby Gone: Can a Dying Deal Be Saved?

(2) Comments | Posted July 26, 2011 | 5:39 PM

Unintended Consequences

As the struggling recovery inches along, many of us on the ground know residential real estate's dirty little secret: getting to the closing table has become increasingly more difficult and sometimes doesn't happen. The main cause of deal extremis is obvious: the underwriting process for many banks is...

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