Thursday, November 4, 2010

Credit When Credit Is Due?

Every now and then I will receive a kind thank you for the hard work I do for my clients. I was pleasantly surprised when I stumbled upon this today! 

Please take a read:


Thank you Deb for being such a wonderful client, allowing me the opportunity to work for you and your husband, and to hear that you LOVE your new home!

photo courtesy of Deborah Orgel-Gordon

If you are thinking of moving during the upcoming winter season, contact me! I was one of a few who mastered the great storms of NYC last winter and learned an awful lot. Let me share my experience with you and show you how you can make your move painless (and warm!)


Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Fair Housing Laws and Your Rights as a Renter

I came across a situation this week where a landlord casually mentioned his criteria for his next tenant. I immediately reminded him of the legal consequences when making rules that discriminate against any particular ethnic group or orientation.

In light of this, it made me question how many renters/buyers have encountered a situation where a landlord has made comments to you about the types of people who live in their buildings and who they want living their in the future. Although I do not have specific statistics on this issue, casually asking some renters in the New York City area, I was stunned!

I invite you to please take a moment and read about the Fair Housing Act and what it means to you:

*Courtesy of HUD (U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development)

As always, if you have questions or you feel like you have been treated unfairly or have seen advertisements for rental or sale units that appear discriminating, contact me.


Monday, September 20, 2010

When a Good Building Turns Frat House

I was fortunate to be one of those brokers who “got in” on a good building and was able to close probably the most deals of any broker within a short period of time.

Although I pride myself on this accomplishment, I am saddened by the recent news taking place at this building.

Over the past three weeks I have been contacted by three clients at this building about the “frat house atmosphere” taking place there and how upsetting it is for these people.  Before you assume anything, these clients range from 27 to 40 years old.

What I didn’t realize about New York City is when new developments open they tend to bend the rules a little more than usual to fill the place up. This apparently took place here. I choose not to name the building because I still have a good relationship here and an in the process of closing a major deal here this month. 

I advised my clients that although I am a strong and trusted resource for them, unfortunately I have no power on the management company once a lease is signed.  And, I hate to even say this, but as a broker, we are just the middle man. (of course I am much more than that, but at the end of the day when it comes to specific building issues, it’s out of my control).

Fortunately because of my relationship with this building I was able to talk to the management about some of the issues brought up. And I am happy to report that several measures are being put in place at the end of this month to hopefully minimize the complaints from other tenants.

I am no superman. I am only one person. But, the moral of this topic today is I am not that broker who cares about getting that check. I care about making sure my clients are happy. I will jump through hurdles and deal with the powers that be in order to get something done. As I’ve said before, don’t just take my word for it or the testimonials of my clients, see for yourself! Give me a call at 323-697-0799 and let’s have a conversation.

**Editors note: Since writing this post I've made calls to the management of this building and some personal contacts of mine and I am happy to report that many of the "issues" are now under control. It's still a fantastic place to live!


Friday, September 17, 2010

Why Do I Have To Pay A FEE???

What’s in a fee?

Since the uptick in the Real Estate market over the past several months the one thing people ask me daily is “where are the no fee apartments?

Simple: they are there, but you won’t want to live there! Just kidding! (sort of) - Allow me to clarify why some apartments have fees and others don’t. First off, a broker has no control over fees. Unless it’s an exclusive. More on this later…

Most brokers in the city (meaning any reputable broker) works with all of the management companies and landlords. So if management company “A” sends out their daily update on their buildings, it could include a building in Murray Hill, West Village and/or the Upper West Side. There is no rhyme or reason to this. It just is what it is.

At the same time, management company “B” sends out their updates an hour later and although they manage seven buildings quite possibly in the same areas as company “A”, they only have four vacancies across all of their offerings.  Meanwhile, company “A” has the same amount of buildings but have 13 vacancies.

Depending on the market and inventory, management companies will offer to pay the broker fee in order to rent the apartments faster.  In this case, for example, company “A” will offer to pay the broker fee or “OP” which stands for “Owner Pays” to brokers, which in turn makes the open listing “No fee.” 
Company “B” since they only have a couple of vacancies, they can either decide to pay the broker fee or not. If not, then it becomes a fee apartment. Meaning, the client is charged a fee.

**NOTE: The same management company can decide to offer NO FEE on one building and a fee on their other buildings. In some cases, some units in the same building will have fee AND no fee units! Insanity!**

So why do some people have to pay a 15% fee on the annual rent to the broker?

Back to this… In certain instances when there is an apartment that is by a smaller landlord or an “exclusive” meaning a particular brokerage owns the listing, any broker has the right to rent the apartment, but, such as in buying or selling a home, it becomes a “co-broke” which means you typically charge a 15% fee on the annual rent and it’s split 50/50 to each broker, the listing agent and the broker who took you to the apartment.

Back in late 2008 and all of 2009, we saw NO FEE everywhere! We even saw landlords giving free rent and no fee just to rent apartments. Those days have passed and if you were able to “cash in” on the good times then congratulations! If not, don’t worry. The market changes monthly. Although we may not see what we saw last year in regards to inventory and prices, it’s still a good time to rent in NYC.  It’s an even better time to buy!  If you are looking to rent OR own, please contact me. I can help you get pre-qualified to buy, or give you the tools you need to rent in these tough times.  

Either way, I’ve got you covered!

**Personal note: Keep in mind brokers are trained with extensive knowledge on the market, trends, prices and inventory. There is no substitution for the valuable service we provide for clients. You can't find this sort of value on Craigslist (read an older post of mine for my view on Craigslist and you'll see why). So in cases when you may have to pay a fee to your broker, it's never money thrown away. You can't put a price on the time and money you as a client save by having a broker do the work for you. 


Thursday, September 16, 2010

When Is It Time To Sever Your Relationship?

The first thing you were probably thinking was that I was referring to a client firing their broker. WRONG!

This one is for all of the brokers out there and all you clients pay attention!
: )

When is it okay to say enough is enough? When do you tell your client that someone you’ve invested a lot of time working for and spent money on that it’s time for them to find another broker to help them?

One of the things I’ve noticed in this recession is as Real Estate Professionals we’ve had to work harder, longer and for less money. Yet we still do it.

Why? Because we love it! We are passionate about what we do and we love helping people. At least I can say I do!

I can’t speak for the 120,000 brokers in NYC, but what I say is what I mean.  Don’t just take my many happy clients’ words for it, experience it for yourself. If you are thinking about moving or just want to know what the market is like, give me a call. There is no risk and I am not looking to talk you into anything. I am here to listen.  And, if you find a good broker who will actually listen to you, isn’t that a good thing?

Back on topic…

I asked when it’s a good time to severe your relationship with your client because almost every day I hear from colleagues the horror stories they encounter with their clients. Now, there are two sides to every story and I’ve been on both sides. But, how much time is appropriate to spend on a client who says they want to move? Am I scaring you? It's not my intention. Sometimes it's important for a client to see what brokers go through in order to help you. Consider this just "useful information!"

Did you catch that phrase up above? “They want to move?” I didn’t hear anyone say “Need to move” which makes a huge difference.  It’s not a clients fault because they weren't qualified properly. Most brokers are hungry for that deal that needed to take place yesterday. And I understand that. 

In my opinion if I don’t make the deal today but two months from now, it’s a deal. And I’ve hopefully helped someone and fulfilled my fiduciary responsibility.

But what I’ve learned is after XX days/weeks and XX number of apartments I’ve shown, if you can’t get a consensus from your client, maybe it’s best to let them go. The hardest clients to work for are the ones who have small budgets but want a laundry list of demands for their new home. Sure in a perfect world that is fine, but this is New York City! As a client you have to be able to compromise. 

If your broker is as good as they say they are, they will know to ask you about  the four major criteria:

1) Location 
2) Price
3) Size
4) Amenities

Followed by what is most important of all of those. 

If you want stainless steel appliances, central A/C and a walk in closet in the West Village, then you need to let go of wanting to only pay $2200 for a one bedroom and be prepared to pay $4000.

This is just the reality. For people looking to move it’s important to know what you are getting into. Even those who “have lived in NYC for 10 years” may not know how the market is today. It’s a fact the market changes monthly (if not weekly these days) and the market will determine what you will pay for rent, what the inventory is and also whether or not you will have to pay a fee of not.  

Of course, the FEE / NO FEE market issue is another beast and I look forward to writing about that next. So stay tuned!

**Editors note: Please don’t take what is said in this post the wrong way. This blog is designed to educate people who are searching for a new home, doing some research, and for brokers who want to keep up with what others are doing. It’s an open forum and I welcome and encourage comments and contributors. Please contact me directly at 323-697-0799 to discuss your needs.

My services are sought after specifically because I tell people what they need to know, not what they always want to hear. There is a huge difference. Many of my clients come to me after they have had an unfortunate experience with another broker. If you feel you are not getting the attention or service you deserve from your current broker, it’s okay to say goodbye. Give me a call.


Welcome back???

Hello everyone! Can you believe my last post was at the end of July? SO much has taken place since I last wrote.

For starters. I took some much needed time off to visit my family in Santa Cruz, CA. Then I went to Los Angeles which is my second home. It was great to see so many wonderful people. Then I went to Boston and stayed at the new W hotel. GORGEOUS! Followed by a beautiful wedding of a friend in Atlanta. After that was a four day weekend in Montreal (where else but the W Montreal of course) which was absolutely stunning!  I had such a great time and really got to experience the life people live in all of these places.

Next week I turn 33. Scary isn't it? Who the hell puts their real age in writing and then broadcasts it on the internet of all places??? I do. Because I don't care. I am proud to be 33 and proud to have accomplished all of the things I have in my life. The best is yet to come...

I am available now and ready to serve! Late September and the month of October are busy months in the New York City Real Estate market.


Back to school,  to South Beach for my birthday and will return on Sept. 28. The reason I mention the dates is because I want my clients and potential clients to know that although I am not physically in the city, I am absolutely avacollege graduates begin their new careers and my favorite: leases expire! Which means it's time to move!

Now that I am back and in all-business mode, the next few posts will be very important. They will focus on the dramatic shift in the market from a year ago, the prices, inventory, and what happened to NO FEE?  I will also talk about some changes taking place next year, what people are looking for in 2011 and the best way to find your next home with less stress.

So stick with me and I hope you look forward to what's to come. If you haven't become a subscriber to my blog, please do so to the right. Enter your email address and every time I write something new you will receive an email so you don't have to remember to come here. Can I make it any easier?

As always, I welcome comments and suggestions including BLOG topics on issues facing the market, your living experience in NY and what I can do to make your life better. After all, we spend a great deal of time in our home. It should matter where we live and what we live in, right?

Here is to an exciting fall season!


Monday, July 26, 2010

The POWER of Google and the INTERNET!

It's been some time since I've been blogging and making a presence on the web. I've been working behind the scenes lately re-building my business.

A month ago I moved to a new firm and have never been happier. No longer do I have the stress of "volume! volume! volume!" - something that is great if you are selling lemonade or pizza at a stand.

However, it is my firm belief that in order to provide a service and value to your clients, you need to be able to give them 110% of your attention when they need it.  My new firm,
Real Estate Investors Group (REIG) is a boutique firm specializing in NY rentals, sales and commercial. This move enables me to create an overall portfolio for my clients and their referrals. I now have greater access to management companies, commercial listings, and easier access to sales availabilities than ever before!

Since this transition, I haven't been able to advertise listings, aggressively meet new clients, and build up my "pipeline" to make sure I have enough business in my book.  That's alright! The month of July was one of my best months ever in this business. (Best month meaning a closing rate of six out of seven deals as oppose to four out of 24!) It has allowed me to plan ahead in the event a rough patch hits.  The month of August brings me some much needed time off and a trip back to where I grew up for my High School reunion, as well as to see my friends and family in

Coming back to the title of this blog post... I tend to get nervous when I am not regularly advertising, blogging, tweeting and facebooking what is going on in the industry and more specifically, my business. And just when I start to worry, last weekend I received a call from a new client who was researching a building online and came across my blog on google. It led him to my
website where he decided to give me a call to talk. Within 15 minutes, I set an appointment with him, and two hours later showed him four buildings in the area which he loved one in particular, put in an application and we did a lease signing on Monday.  the FASTEST deal ever! I am talking just over a 24 hour turnaround!

My preferred browser is Google Chrome!

This just goes to show the power of the internet and what it can do for entrepreneurs and your business. That being said, I invite you to keep up on what I am doing by subscribing to my blog.  Every time I write a new post, you'll receive an email about it so you don't have to keep checking for updates.  It can't get any better than that right?

And towards the end of August, I will be back with all new updates, listings and information that you will need in order to make a well-informed decision when it comes to buying or renting your next home here in NY.

You can always reach me at 323-697-0799 to talk about your needs and to just say hello. You'll see right away that I am not like other brokers. That in itself is value!


* Exciting News for Loft Renters! NY Passes First Legislation in 20 Years *

Under a sweeping law passed by the State Legislature, hundreds of former factory buildings and warehouses across New York City can become legal residential lofts. It is the first expansion of the loft laws in more than two decades and extends the classic Cinderella renter’s story far beyond Lower Manhattan, where most of the city’s legal lofts had been concentrated, into latter-day SoHos like Williamsburg, Brooklyn; Bushwick; and Long Island City, Queens...

Read the rest of the story on the website HERE.

As always, I am here as a resource to help you make one of the most important decisions you will probably have to face this year. Contact me at 323-697-0799 to discuss your needs whether it's to change your scenery by renting a new apartment or to know your options if you are considering purchasing a home.


- BGD 

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

NEWSFLASH! NY Department of State Issues Consumer Protection Alert!

Last month the Secretary of State announced that since the start of 2010 the Department of State has taken dozens of actions against dishonest licensed real estate professionals, leading to numerous revocations, suspensions and fines.

At the same time, given the improving real estate market, the Department is increasing outreach efforts, through a new Real Estate Education Campaign, aimed at helping prospective buyers, sellers and renters learn their rights when engaging in real estate transactions.

Read the rest of the



Craigslist: FRIEND or FOE?

I was asked to contribute to a BLOG by Val Schultz, CEO of Anchor Associates Group last week about a topic I felt needed to be discussed. It took me a while to decide what to write about but the same topic I kept coming back to was "Craigslist Advertising!"

: Friend or For?
was born.

The thing I love about BLOGGING is the fact that I can write anything I want. It's not an editorial; an opinion piece if you will. That being said, I feel that I can speak freely on my "opinion" of this site so many people use every day.

Back in the Summer of 2000, q friend of mine who shall remain nameless knew Craig himself and shared with me this site that had just expanded into Los Angeles (where I was residing at the time). Within days I was spending hours on the site searching the sale section for vintage furniture, looking for cars, community groups and even...wait for it... an apartment.

When I relocated to New York City early last year and decided to pursue my dream of Real Estate, it never occurred to me how often this tool is used here.  I am going to talk about the good and the bad (or the "friend or foe") of Craigslist in hopes to educate those who may not know what to look out for.

Here are a couple of the Pros and Cons of Craigslist:


- Easy to access
- It's FREE!
- Has a lot of information
- Everyone uses it*

- Old (often outdated) information
- Not regulated by any Government Authority
- Misleading and Deceptive Practices (anyone can post ads on Craigslist)
- Everyone uses it*

*I noted "everyone uses it" as a Pro and Con because while it's a PRO to know you can find something there, it's just as much a CON because of over-saturation.

When you decide to start looking for an apartment and want to conduct research online, do you know 
what is real and what isn't? Who is posting the ads you see and like? How can so many brokers have so many great ads?

Remember anyone can post an ad on Craigslist, so proceed with caution. The site does have a list of scams they continue to update, so be sure to read it over. Recently FOX5 NEWS did a story on a Landlord Scam using Craigslist. You can read that story HERE. Another interesting story on tonight's broadcast about an Astoria Brokerage is available HERE. If dealing with a Broker or Landlord scares you, check out the NYC Online Register Information System to see if the person you are working with has a record.

Now, the truth: Most Brokerages as a rule have access to all of the same open listings that most management companies have available in the city. According to the
NY Department of State website, as of May 2010 there are 120,000 Real Estate Salespersons and Brokers in NYC. Is it possible that there could be 120,000 listings available to rent? NO! Brokers advertise the same listings however use their own photos and verbiage. 

"Isn't that misleading?" Yes and no. Yes because someone looking for a place to rent on Craigslist thinks all ads are original and an exclusive to that brokerage; No because they are or WERE at one time actual listings. Also as a rule Brokers use listings that may or may not be available now but were at one time but there are similar places like it available to show you.

So what does that mean? It means it's all about the CALL! The internet and information gathered from there is a
means to an end, not the end to all means! Take what you see online with a grain of salt, and contact a Broker you feel comfortable speaking with to ask the right questions.

Rental agents and Brokers should be looked upon the same way as if you were buying a home. The access an agent has for rental listings and ability to negotiate terms on your behalf is similar to that of buying or selling a property. Finding the right Broker and allowing them to help you is key. If you find they are not doing what you want, then you move on. It can be a huge waste of time and end up creating unnecessary frustration meeting with more than one Broker at a time. The reason is the chances of seeing the same apartment more than once is highly likely.

In conclusion, if you are internet savvy and are familiar with the power of the information you can reveal, sites, such as Craigslist, can be a great tool to help you gather information, but try not to believe from the start everything you see online.

As I said before there 120,000 Brokers in NYC. It's impossible to update every listing every single day. If you remember this information, you will be able to formulate an action plan and be prepared and comfortable working with a Broker. It's not just about showing you units you see online, it goes far beyond that. It's about the value of a service that only we can provide.

What are you waiting for? Whether you are looking to move tomorrow or in the fall, contact me to discuss your needs and let's have a conversation. You can learn more about me by checking out my website at!



Friday, June 11, 2010

walk score - give it a try

One of the many perks of my profession is the ability to stumble upon some great tools to help my clients enjoy the process of looking for a new home.

This NEW website is no exception!

Check out By entering in a desired address or area of the city you would like to live in, it will give you an idea in real time what is located within walking distance. For example, when I typed in my address, my "walk score" was 98 out of 100. My location is deemed "A Walker's Paradise!"


This is a great tool to help those who are new to New York City narrow down their criteria before they spend countless hours (and sometimes days) searching for a place to live.  Of course, the best way to find a place is to enlist the help of a trusted agent, such as myself!

As always, feel free to contact me if you have any questions or are toying with the idea of buying, selling or renting your next home in this great city!

Happy Friday!


Thursday, June 10, 2010

there's no place like Ohm??? Really?

Back in January I had the pleasure of attending a broker preview of this new building conveniently located in my neighborhood. Branded as "The Ohm" - this tranquil luxury destination is an escape from the madness of Manhattan.

If you haven't been to this building, allow me to save you time and tell you that unless you love noisy construction zones, bustling train storage yards and late night crack-wh*res running the streets from the nearby club scene, then this probably isn't a destination you'd like to call Ohm, or, uh, HOME.

Sure the building is beautiful. The interior has condo-like finishes and the apartment homes are lovely. The kitchens are open with dark wood features and stainless steel. However many of the currently available units have magnificent views of... a BRICK WALL! Or, better yet, A TRAIN STORAGE YARD!  After all, this is the city's newest up and coming re-zoned neighborhood called "Hudson Yards." What is Hudson Yards? If you know the west side, then you just need to look from 28th Street to 43nd Street and you can probably count about 12 luxury high rises that been completed or under construction.

There is NO secret that Midtown West, (I know you are cringing right now when I say that), is the best place to live in the city right now. It has the most space, the newest buildings, best prices and convenience to all major transportation.  The problem I have with this building is that the prices just don't merit what you get for your money. You have to trek out to 11th Avenue where there is NOTHING! Yes, the High Line Park is under construction which will extend to 34th Street and 11th Ave sometime next year.  You will also have the 7 train extension right outside the Jacob Javits Convention Center.  But for now, it's just peace and quiet. Ohm... Ohm... Ohm...

Curbed today posted an entry on Darryl Strawberry signing a lease for a year at the Ohm. This is surprising. Maybe it's because he doesn't want anyone to know he's there. Which makes the Ohm the perfect place to live.  You won't find the paparazzi stalking anyone out there!  You can read about his deal

I've been lucky enough to see everything the west side has to offer and if you are looking to move then you need to contact me and let me take you on a tour. If you didn't like any of the buildings I have to show you, then you should move to Jersey City.

Till next time West Siders, stay classy!  xoxo


Thursday, May 27, 2010

Rentals: Take It, Or Lose It!

The Wall Street Journal last week released an article on the state of the rental market in NYC. I urge anyone looking to move to read this article!

The days of "well I am seeing a lot of stuff on the internet..." are over. And the crap you see on the internet most of the time isn't even real. Think about it: 1000 listings on Craigslist of the same type of apartment, size, location and price? Really?

Read this, take it for what it's worth and take action! You can view the story here.


Monday, May 24, 2010

further reason why i do not like the fake, outdated, garbage that is on CRAIGSLIST!

Thanks to our friends at Curbed who posted an ad from Craigslist. Now, in the coming days I will be posting a story on the pros and cons of using the internet to search for an apartment in NYC. But until then, please enjoy this laugh. I say laugh because it's funny, however it's something I deal with daily.

Take EVERYTHING you see online for what it's worth! Don't believe everything you see. Put your trust in a Broker. Yes, many can be annoying and unfortunately some aren't 100% ethical, but that's not who I am.  My clients reward me by sending me referrals. I don't rely on blind advertising such as Craigslist for business. Again, that post will be coming soon.

Here is the link to the article.  Enjoy!


Thursday, May 6, 2010


On May 5, 2010, the NYC Rent Guidelines Board adopted a proposed range of renewal lease guidelines for rent stabilized apartments, lofts and hotels. A summary of the proposed guidelines is available here (in pdf format)...

Confusing? Not really. Every year the department sets guidelines for landlords. This is good news for renters! If you have questions about this annual increase or want to talk about how this affects you, contact me! Call me at 212-452-6108. I will walk you though the report and will let you know how it applies to you!

Happy Thursday everyone! | | Facebook


Tuesday, April 27, 2010

My Thoughts on the TIMEOUT NY Apartment Guide Released Last Week

By now many New Yorkers have either heard or seen the Timeout NY issue of the "100 Apartments Under $2000".

I wanted to share with you all the important thing to remember when searching for a new apartment. EXAMPLE: take what you see on the internet with a grain of salt. Don't get too excited when you see something because you have to assume it's either going to be gone by the time you see it, or is used as a teaser to get your attention.  After all, most broker's use internet advertising to lure you to them.

[How many brokerages have you called and the agent actually talked to you about the listing you are calling on? Granted, I do the same thing. But the reason why we ask you the questions we do is to not waste you time, and ours.  Did I just say that??? YES! It's important for our clients to realize that we are humans too and we should be treated with a level of respect that we deliver everyday. I will elaborate on the questions you should be prepared to answer when looking to move later.] Back to my thoughts...

I am choosing not to include a link to the guide because I feel it has no merit. When I looked up the first 10 listings in the master database that we all have access to, the units listed were already rented. So why put out an article getting your hopes up?

Everyday I hear someone (not in the biz) say "the market still sucks and there are plenty of deals out there!" This may by true if you are on a budget. Meaning, if you only want to spend $1900 for a one bedroom, plan on living on 9th Ave near the Port Authority on a fourth floor walk-up with nothing but a trash can!

It's my fiduciary responsibility to make sure my clients are well informed when it comes to New York Real Estate.  If I don't have an answer on the spot, I will get it for you.

Above all, the most important thing to remember is watch the amount of time spent online looking at things that may not exist. When I moved to New York I recall looking on Craigslist for an apartment. I was looking three months before I had to move.  I would have brokers hang up on me! Or, tell me that I'd have to pay a 15% fee to get a place I liked.  WHAT?  So much to learn, so little time.  Had I been armed with a fraction of the information that I know now, I probably would have made a more sound decision. Don't let that happen to you!

I'm always available for a FREE consultation and to see what I can do for you.  But in order to do that, you need to call me! You can reach me at 212-452-6108 or you can email me at



Would You Pay $60,000/month to Live in the Apartment Owned by GUCCI?

This 7BR apartment in Midtown's Olympic Tower has belonged to high-end fashion family the Guccis since the 1970s. But the current owners, Maurizio Gucci's daughters, don't actually live there, and now they're trying to rent the place out, theWall Street Journal reports. For $60,000 a month...

Read the entire article on


Monday, April 26, 2010

New York Resources - Cool Websites to Bookmark

Whether you currently live in Manhattan, or are about to make the jump, there is more to do, see, and realize than you could ever, well, realize.  Here are some choice links to head you in the right direction:

If you have some great links you'd like to share with me, send them my way! I'd be happy to promote your site on my blog.


Sunday, April 18, 2010

Featured Neighborhood Of The Week: CHELSEA!

Neighborhood Overview

Chelsea has a reputation for peace and tranquility, but, extending from 14th Street to approx 34th Street, west of Sixth Avenue (Avenue of the Americas) to the Hudson River, it’s way too big a neighborhood to paint in such broad strokes. While it does boast some of the prettiest, most peaceful stretches of brownstones to be found anywhere in Manhattan, Chelsea has its bustling shopping zones, its grungy zones and its party zones, too. Like the East Village, Chelsea has a notorious, dangerous past (look up the history of the Chelsea Hotel sometime), but it’s converted all that to bohemian charm.


Lofts, prewars, tenements, high rises: you name it, it’s here. It’s not the cheapest neighborhood in Manhattan, but if you’re looking for a share between some friends, it’s hard to find a better value for multi-bedroom places than in Chelsea.


Eighth Avenue is the heart of Chelsea’s dining district, lined as it is by chic eateries with plenty of sidewalk seating, but there are gems scattered throughout the neighborhood. From steakhouses to delicate cuisine, this big neighborhood has something for everyone.


With its west side warehouse space and bohemian pedigree, Chelsea has quietly become one of the city’s art gallery epicenters. Sixth Avenue, meanwhile, remains a commercial wonderland, from big, national chain stores in the teens to bargain basement clothing in the twenties. Maybe best of all, you’re never too far from a supermarket in Chelsea, including the gigantic, mall-like Chelsea Market.


1, 2, 3, A, C, E, N, R, L, W, B, D, F, V

Great Outdoors

Wandering the brown stoned streets between Eighth and Tenth Avenues is a relaxing way to spend an afternoon, but if it’s a park vibe you’re after, try the General Theological Seminary on Ninth Avenue. For exercise, the cavernous Chelsea Piers gym is practically like being outside: it even has a driving range!

The Future

With so much new construction in Chelsea, supply should keep up with, and maybe even outpace, demand in the coming years. That’s a formula for a great deal.

If you remember the old days when 23rd St was nothing but a dirty, run down bar and homeless haven, you'll know how special this community is today. Even better, I will attest that there are still some great deals worth checking out in Chelsea. However, there are even better deals right outside the borders of this area.

If you are thinking about moving and ready to take the plunge, contact me at 212-452-6108 to set up a viewing. I don't show dirty, slummy apartments (unless by request), so make the right move and have me help you! Don't just take my word for it, read below and see what some recent clients have to say. I tell it like it is, not always what you want to hear, but you'll never feel cheated or lied to. With over 150,000 Real Estate Brokers in this city and maybe about 1900 active listings, it doesn't take a genious to figure out that you can end up wasting your time if you don't choose someone who knows what they are doing and is honest. If that's what you are looking for, contact me!

Check out for some of my Chelsea listings and follow me on Twitter @

(with contribution from Anchor Associates)

Monday, April 12, 2010


Nothing is more frustrating than trying to search for an apartment and hear that "it's already been rented", or "just tell me what you are looking for", avoiding the reason why you called a broker. My goal is to show my clients what is really available and in an efficient manner. This is a letter I received this morning from a wonderful client who is now a new friend!

"Working with Brandon has been a fantastic experience. When I started my apartment search, I contacted several realtors and Brandon's enthusiasm, determination and delightful personality made him immediately stand out from the rest.

Moving to New York City from Syracuse could have been overwhelming, but Brandon's extensive knowledge of the city and current real estate market, along with his willingness to quickly answer my millions of questions made it easy. I am extremely excited to live in the amazing apartment he found me, which exceeded my expectations.

Brandon is someone you can trust, rely on, who will work hard for you and someone I now consider a friend. I would recommend him to anyone looking for a home.


Stop getting frustrated! This is NYC! You are supposed to love everything about it, including finding a new home. If you or someone you know is looking for a new home, STOP what you are doing and contact me.  I will make the process simple, fast and FUN! There are 150,000 brokers in NYC and about 1900-2000 ACTIVE listings.  Don't drive yourself crazy searching.  Call me at 323-697-0799 to discuss your needs! Visit for some great deals today!


Thursday, April 8, 2010


As if you need a reason to hire me to find you your next home, this just came in today from a great client who I helped get a SWEET DEAL on a studio...

"Thanks for getting me this great place. The building and apartment are awesome, I am really enjoying it.  
All my friends love the place. Probably the best building and apartment I've ever lived in.

Will soon be throwing a small party on the roof and will send you the invitation.

I'm taking my time settling down, not in a hurry. Was hanging out on the roof yesterday with some friends. The view from up there is awesome.

Thank You for all your help throughout the whole process, right from understanding my needs and budget, to showing me the awesome building & apt, all the way to signing the lease. Also thank you for being available all the time, on the phone as well as for personal meetings. That really helped move things fast.

Thanks again!!

What are YOU waiting for? If you are looking to move, THIS is the time!  I have some amazing deals that you must see! Till then... Peace out. Check out for the latest deals or give me a call at 212-452-6108 to discuss your needs. "It's what i do!"


Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Is Living on the Upper East Side Worth Risking Your Life???

Two Upper East Side corners are among the top five locations for bus accidents in the city, according to data obtained by The Post.
Read more:

This is a great neighborhood that can get REALLY congested. Contact me if you are thinking about living over here and want to know how to NEVER get caught up in "the bus lane!"

You can reach me at 212-452-6108
, check out and follow my updates on Twitter @


Featured Neighborhood Of The Week: CLINTON

Clinton, which stretches from 42nd to 59th Street between Eighth Avenue and the Hudson River, has come a long way since it was known as Hell’s Kitchen. Once known for seediness and gang violence (as depicted in West Side Story), the neighborhood began gentrifying in the 80s, and now is home to a lively mix of actors, young professionals and families. Despite its newfound gentility, though, Clinton still retains a lot of its old school charm; in other words, if you’re looking for Pottery Barns and Starbucks stores, you may want to move elsewhere.


With lots of 4-6 story walk-ups, as well as some luxury doormen buildings and brownstones, Clinton has a diverse mix of housing. The walk-ups are small and cheap, still one of the best bargains for those on a budget.


Ninth Avenue is lined with restaurants, and not just the kind whose steaming, stinking entrances earned this area its former moniker. Once Hell’s Kitchen became Clinton, chic places like Mario Batali’s Esca and Daniel Boulud’s DB Bistro Moderne came flocking.


Nestled between the theaters of Broadway to the east and Lincoln Center to the north, you’re never more than a few minutes away from plays, symphonies and Andrew Lloyd Webber extravaganzas. For nightlife, the bars of Clinton are a connoisseur’s dream. But those who prefer sleek dance clubs with long lines and $12 drinks won’t be disappointed here, either.


A, C, E, 1, 2, 3, 7, 9, N, Q, R, S

Great Outdoors

Aside from being a cool place just to walk around in, Clinton is bordered on its western edge by Hudson River Park, a narrow greenway that attracts joggers, walkers and work-dodgers year-round. And if you live in the northern reaches of Clinton, you’re steps from Central Park.

The Future

Increased commercial activity (including a proposed sports stadium on the west side) should increase property values and further gentrify the character of the neighborhood. You can't walk down a street without seeing a new development popping up.

I don't care what you say.  This neighborhood
IS New York! There is so much activity going on here.  You can walk anywhere in the city in a matter of minutes. Just yesterday I walked from 53rd/Lex to 37th/9th ave. I stopped at the Amish Market on 9th ave, then the Big Apple Meat Market on 9th and 42nd st to have my meat cut before my eyes! Urban living at its best!

If you'd like a tour of some great apartments currently available in this bustling neighborhood,
give me a call at 212-452-6108.  Check out for some of my Clinton listings and follow me on Twitter @


Have you heard of INSURENT???

There is a great service out there for many people looking to rent an apartment in New York City. INSURENT is an insurance company that will guarantee your rent in the event you can't get approved on an application.


  • If you have bad or no credit
  • You don't want or have a guarantor
  • Want to have the lease in your name
Who uses INSURENT?
  • Diplomats
  • Students (just out of school with a JOB!)
  • Visitors to the U.S. wanting to live in the city
  • Your income doesn't meet the 40x amount (45x the rent for some)
How do you get approved?

Check out and fill out the online application. Once you have been approved, contact me and I will search for listings that take Insurent. You will still be required to submit an application with all of the required documents (see previous post). 

What are the fees for this service?

It varies.  The common cost is about 60% of one month's rent. NOT BAD considering how easy the process is and they will guarantee your rent in the event you lose your job, break your lease or end up in a position where you can't pay your rent.

Check out for your next home.  Call me at 212-452-6108 to talk about your needs and when/where/why/how you are going to move!  I am here to help you and would love to find you your next home!


Are you PREPARED to rent an apartment in NYC?

Given the high demand, relatively low supply, and high cost of rental apartments in the NYC market, landlords and owners usually require significant amounts of paperwork and proof of financial stability prior to offering a lease for rental. Gathering the following documents as early in the search process as possible will always give you the upper hand!

Below are the typical items that 90% of management companies in NYC ask for when you have decided you want an apartment. THIS IS IMPORTANT! You are already in the search process, so you should have your paperwork ready and with you when you are viewing.

Commonly required items for submitting an application to rent in NYC:
  • Letter verifying your employment:
This should be a letter from your employer, on company letterhead, indicating your start date, length of employment, position, salary, and any other pertinent information. (Note: Offer letters are usually not acceptable)
Copies of recent pay stubs. (two is sufficient)
  • Tax returns and W-2 forms from the most recent year filed
  • Two recent bank statements or a letter from the bank indicating how long you have held an account there and confirming the status, balance, and history of your accounts. (Choose an account with at least a couple of months rent as a buffer)
Letter from current landlord: 
  • This letter, preferably on letterhead, should speak to your history as a tenant. How long have you lived at your current address? What was the rent you have been paying? Do you have a history of paying on time and in full? (*Not always required but something you should have)
Verification of your credit:
  • Most landlords or their agents will perform a routine credit check. You may want to review your credit report in advance to determine whether there are any outstanding balances that would negatively affect your prospects or to prepare yourself to explain outstanding debts. An average or poor score may not necessarily screen you out as a potential tenant; some landlords are willing to accept tenants who can provide a guarantor, or a person who will serve as a co-signer and will accept responsibility if you default on rent payments. Typically, the guarantor is required to provide all the same financial information that you yourself provide. If you believe you may need a guarantor, it is critical to speak with this person first and advise them as to the level of their responsibility.
  • Copies of identification (Driver’s license or passport)
Having this package prepared and organized will impress a prospective landlord and will speak to your organization and commitment as a prospective tenant.

Contact me for more information and for help on how to gather this information. I am available to assist in putting together your "packet" for submittal.

Be sure to check out my recent listings on, follow my updates on Twitter @ and become a FAN on my facebook page here Of course you can always give me a call at 212-452-6108 to talk about your current needs!


Tuesday, March 23, 2010


Hello! Thanks for visiting! The purpose of this BLOG is to share daily the crazy, exciting, tragic, happy and sad things that happen in the world of Real Estate.

My focus is more for the average person who isn't "in the know" about Real Estate, mainly in New York City. Only in NYC can the process of finding a new home so challenging.  I hear from people everyday looking for a new home.  I hear what they want, what they need, and what they think they know about the market.

I am here to spell it out for you.  In plain English. No Bullsh*t, no jargon, no hip "industry terms" that people hear so often and have no idea what they are saying.

And most importantly, create a network where you can go for trusted, TRUTHFUL advice about this fine city we live in.

I welcome your comments, suggestions and feedback about this BLOG.  I also invite you to visit my other website to see all of the great listings currently for rent in the city. If you don't find something there, you can always ask me.  I have access to 1000's of listings across the land.  You can also follow my "tweets" on Twitter at

All of my posts will close with my initials "BGD" - so in case you were wondering what that was, now you know!  Spend a few minutes on this site and get to know it.  And don't forget to bookmark so you will always be connected!

That is all for now. Stay tuned for some great stuff to come.  Oh, and Happy Spring!

Contact me anytime at or give me a call at 212-452-6108 if you have an immediate need in regards to a new home.