Viewpoints

George Latimer

GUEST VIEWPOINT: County Executive Requests Gas Moratorium Delayed Until August

February 2019

Editor’s Note: The following is the transcript of Westchester County Executive George Latimer’s submitted testimony before the New York State Public Service Commission on Feb. 13 at the White Plains Library regarding the impending new natural gas connection moratorium to be imposed on March 15, 2019 by utility Con Edison. Good afternoon, I’m Westchester County…

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Richard Haggerty

GATEWAY PERSPECTIVES: Dark Clouds Can Lead to New Opportunities

February 2019

2018 was a solid year for real estate in the lower Hudson Valley. However, as the year progressed, we did experience slowly declining sales numbers. Whether this had to do with prospective purchasers having concerns about the SALT deduction limits is probably too early to tell, and we should have a better feel when we…

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Ron Garafalo

PRESIDENT'S CORNER: Raise the Bar, Commit to Excellence

February 2019

Happy February to all my HGAR friends. As we make our way through winter in the Hudson Valley, I know that spring will be here soon. Yes, there is always something to look forward to and there are always reasons to be positive. Spring brings us the busiest time of the year in real estate.…

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Jennifer Maher

PUTNAM POSTING: Analyzing Two Significant State Issues

February 2019

In his first state of the state since Democrats took control of both the State Assembly and Senate. Gov. Andrew Cuomo is quickly implementing his vision. Legislation that was stalled in a Republican-controlled State Senate now is likely to pass and the governor is obviously aware of that fact. Two specific proposals that stand out…

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Philip Weiden

LEGISLATIVE AFFAIRS: February Legislative Update

February 2019

The New York State budget is facing a sudden major shortfall because of changes due to the cap at $10,000 on state and local taxes (SALT), according to Gov. Andrew Cuomo. It is the biggest drop in income tax collections in many years. This could be one of the effects of the federal tax reform…

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Philip Weiden

LEGISLATIVE AFFAIRS: NAR Releases 2019 Legislative Agenda

February 2019

The National Association of Realtors’ 2019 legislative agenda has been released. The industry has big goals ahead for 2019 with a new Congress that took power amid a month-long partial government shutdown. Some of the key NAR legislative agenda items are below. I will cover more agenda items in my column for the February print…

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Richard Haggerty

GATEWAY PERSPECTIVES: Handling Curve Balls

January 2019

One of the challenges of engaging in legislative and regulatory advocacy on behalf of the real estate industry is dealing with the unexpected curve ball that seems to come out of nowhere. You try swinging at it and the ball floats right underneath your bat. John Jordan writes about such a curve ball on the…

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Philip Weiden

LEGISLATIVE AFFAIRS: NAR Helps Secure FEMA Reversal On New Flood Policies During the Shutdown

January 2019

WASHINGTON—In a critical win for home sales while the partial shutdown of the federal government is ongoing, the Federal Emergency Management Agency will issue and renew flood insurance policies, reversing an unexpected and controversial ruling the agency released late last month. "FEMA and the administration deserve credit for hearing our concerns and acting swiftly to…

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Ron Garafalo

PRESIDENT'S CORNER: Please Get Involved With HGAR!

January 2019

Happy New Year to all of my friends at HGAR. I am truly honored to serve as your 2019 HGAR President. I want to thank our immediate Past President Barry Kramer for the exceptional job he did in 2018, as well as all of the members of the Board of Directors for their hard work…

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Jennifer Maher

PUTNAM POSTING: Distillery Project Moves Forward in Carmel

January 2019

It’s official: the Gleneida Distillery NY Inc. project will be a $44-million asset to the Town of Carmel, Putnam County and the Hudson Valley region. After extensive review and a well-attended and thorough public hearings, the Carmel Planning Board approved the project to be built on the former Guideposts grounds. After construction is completed by…

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Richard Haggerty

GATEWAY PERSPECTIVES: Tenacity Can Pay Dividends

December 2018

I rarely look back at previous Articles that I have written for Real Estate In-Depth. December is one of the few times when I make an exception. As the year comes to a close, I like to revisit what was on my mind the previous year, and in reading my article from last year it…

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Barry Kramer

PRESIDENT'S CORNER: A Look Back on a Very Productive 2018

December 2018

It’s been an honor to serve as your 2018 President. These past 12 months have been very busy and productive, and I’m proud of what’s been accomplished under my tenure. I’d like to review a few of the highlights. Our Installation Gala in January was a smashing success, and I’m sure it was the first…

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Jennifer Maher

PUTNAM POSTING: Who Says You Can’t Shop Putnam County?

December 2018

We gave this tired old saying a run for our money on “Small Business Saturday.” Thanks to American Express and their promotion of the event, our local press, including radio and TV seemed to give Small Business Saturday as much or more coverage than Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Reports from our local businesses all…

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Philip Weiden

LEGISLATIVE AFFAIRS: Stop the Deed Verification Proposal

December 2018

Rockland County is proposing a $200 deed verification fee in order to better align the county tax maps to the deeds. HGAR strongly opposes imposition of this fee for several reasons. We understand the idea behind the proposal, but the remedy itself will not solve the problem. The county claims it needs the fee due…

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Philip Weiden

December Legislative Update: Proposed Increase to Residential Appraisal Threshold

December 2018

On Nov. 20, 2018, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (collectively "the agencies") released a proposed rule that would increase the current threshold for residential real estate transactions requiring an appraisal to $400,000. The current threshold is $250,000.…

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Leon Cameron, Esq.

BARRISTER'S BRIEFING: The Duties of New York’s Real Property Bureau

November 2018

The Real Property Bureau of the New York Attorney General’s Office provides legal assistance to state agencies and authorities in connection with the acquisition and disposition of real property. The office investigates titles, clears liens, prepares deeds and various closing documents and facilitates the closing of title. In addition to purchases and dispositions, the bureau…

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Richard Haggerty

GATEWAY PERSPECTIVES: Don’t Take Data Accuracy for Granted

November 2018

Data may seem like a pretty mundane, “take it for granted” type of topic, but accurate data is not something we should ever take for granted. HGAR will soon be launching two major initiatives that will rely heavily on accurate data, and we are going to need your help for these initiatives to succeed. The…

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Barry Kramer

PRESIDENT'S CORNER: Staying Ahead of the Curve

November 2018

I just returned from the NAR Convention, which was held in Boston for the first time in 60 years. Boston is a city rich in history and a great backdrop to a conference looking to frame the future of real estate. When I attend these conferences, I think of them in terms of four opportunities:…

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Robert Withers

GUEST VIEWPOINT: Why are Commercial Construction Loans Inherently Risky?

November 2018

Too often, developers can’t secure permanent financing upon a project’s completion. If it’s a condominium project will the condo project sell out? Then, there is construction gamble, as cost overruns, accidents, delays and other problems tend to occur on every job. Imagine, for example, a crane falling or dropping an expensive beam. Further, good labor…

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