LRE® Blog

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January 27, 2015


Courtesy of Frederick Peters, President of Warburg Realty When my wife and I bought our apartment in 1977 we did not consider the apartment an investment. Investments earned compound interest in the bank; real estate was something you either bought or rented, depending on which was cheaper and which offered more options of places to live. For us, moving back to Manhattan from Brooklyn Heights and thinking ahead to having a family, there were better big places to buy than to rent, especially on Central Park West.

January 20, 2015

The Real World

Courtesy of Frederick Peters, President of Warburg Realty Last week I was called by a reporter who wanted to discuss the possibility of an overstock of Manhattan condominiums in the $30 million to $50 million dollar market. I took the call reluctantly. It’s not that I did not know what to say – quite the contrary! I have been fielding calls from the press about the ultra-luxury condo market almost once a week for the past year. Will 2015 be the year of the $100 million sale, they want to know? Who will buy all those new downtown penthouses priced at $30 million? Were you to be reading the popular press, it might well appear to you that the entry level price in New York City is $15 million. It’s not.

December 18, 2014

It’s Not As Easy As It Looks

Courtesy of Frederick Peters, President of Warburg Realty Residential real estate buyers feel enabled by the Internet. They can go online and, with a few keystrokes, find everything that is for sale in the neighborhoods in which they are interested. So they increasingly believe that they can make themselves a better deal if they work without a buyer’s agent and offer and negotiate directly with the seller’s agent. After all, gatekeeping the information WAS the primary job of the broker, right?

December 15, 2014

The Gift of High Standards

Courtesy of Frederick Peters, President of Warburg Realty It has been a year of new directions for us here at Warburg, and because of that I particularly want to express my profound belief in our guiding principles, and my fervent wish that they continue to animate the firm at every level. Many of you have heard me articulate my dislike for the phrase “It’s just business.” For me, that phrase lacks the ring of truth. Nothing is “just business.” Somehow the notion has grown up in this country that business practices hew to a different standard than those in our personal lives; somehow saying that it is “just business” exonerates us from displaying the behaviors we believe to be most important in our personal lives. I don’t believe this – in fact, I have tried to build this firm on my conviction that the opposite is true.

December 4, 2014


Courtesy of Frederick Peters, President of Warburg Realty Every year at Thanksgiving, my family goes around our table and each person speaks for a moment about why they are grateful. This year we had a modest crew of 25, and the diverse reasons for gratitude were, as always, far reaching. Four generations of our family expressed their appreciation for births, marriages, jobs: the common theme was the importance of family. For me, 2014 brought a new granddaughter, Naomi, born just a few weeks ago, and a new great nephew, Morgan, born just a few weeks before that. I feel so thankful to experience the sense of unfolding generations which seeing my children’s children gives to me.

December 1, 2014

Listing Your Home: A Primer for Sellers

Courtesy of Frederick Peters, President of Warburg Realty So you have decided to put your property on the market. Maybe you need something bigger, or smaller. Maybe you’ve been transferred for work. Maybe it belonged to your late parents. Regardless, the steps and process remain the same. Clean it up – Buyers respond to open, bright, and uncluttered. You may love your décor but unless it is up to date, well lit and bright, and tchotchke-free buyers probably won’t.

November 19, 2014

Where the Heart is

Courtesy of Frederick Peters, President of Warburg Realty As I wing my way east across the country for the third time this month, I look forward to getting home. What a powerful concept home is! For me, a fifth generation New Yorker who loves everything the city has to offer, home denotes both the specific apartment in which I live and the city itself. More broadly, it also embraces the rolling hills of Westchester County, where I spent my childhood summers and week-ends at my grandmother's house, up through the northwest corner of Connecticut where I spend my week-ends now. It's my landscape and I feel at home in it, a member of the herd on familiar ground.

November 14, 2014

Small is Beautiful

Courtesy of Frederick Peters, President of Warburg Realty To judge from reports in the press, New York is a city filled with foreign billionaires. They plunk down $30, $40, or $50 million to buy crash pads in which they will likely reside no more than 45 days each year. There is no denying that market does exist, but it represents a tiny fraction of the real life transactions which are consummated each year. While the mega-market has slowed, both for condominiums and co-ops, properties under $2 million remain both sought after and fought over. 4.5 and 5 room apartments are THE hot commodity of 2014!

November 5, 2014

First Time

Courtesy of Frederick Peters, President of Warburg Realty My son and daughter in law are contemplating the purchase of a house in Boulder, Colorado. Involving myself (slightly) in their search has reminded me of advice I gave to first time home buyers at an earlier point in my career (nowadays I don't interact much with first timers.)  These buyers are almost always nervous: worried about value and fearful of making a mistake. Here's what I used to say, which holds just as true now as it did 20 years ago:

October 27, 2014

How Technology Redefined Us

Courtesy of Frederick Peters, President of Warburg Realty Technology has revolutionized  the residential real estate business. I was an agent in the day of file cards, when each listing was represented by a hand-typed 3 X 5 card, sorted by address and lodged in trays which we flipped through when doing a search. The early computers, which came in during the mid-1980s, were actually MORE laborious to use than the cards, but we knew it was the wave of the future so we persevered, each of us with a giant monitor on our desk and a manual as thick as a phone book instructing us on how to use the system we had acquired. Gradually the programs improved, the system speed accelerated, the Internet entered the picture, and thirty years later we find ourselves micro-processed, frustrated if seconds pass before all the information we are seeking appears on the screen.
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