April 17, 2018
Desiderio, Kaufman & Metz, PC (DKM) continues to find the right digs for high-end clients in New York. Andrew Jorges of the firm’s transactional department recently represented the purchaser of a $10 million townhouse on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. The Upper East Side property contains 11 rooms and about 6,300 square feet of above-grade gross living area. It was previously owned by a well-known graphic artist.
But this was not a standard upscale residential real estate transaction, said a DKM attorney, who maintained that his firm’s attorneys faced significant headwinds throughout the transaction but were ultimately able to carefully navigate the deal to a successful conclusion.
“The seller required the waiver of the mortgage contingency and our client required financing and at these numbers, we are certainly on alert and working very hard to ensure financing is secured and reliable,” DKM attorneys told Leaders In The Law.
Despite the hurdles, DKM was also able to find significant savings in closing costs on behalf of the purchaser by taking advantage of a purchase Consolidation, Extension, and Modification (CEMA), which is a well-known process among experienced real estate professionals that allows purchasers of real property to reduce their mortgage recording tax. Here, DKM negotiated a CEMA as part of the final contract of sale which resulted in additional savings of approximately $160,000 in New York State Mortgage Recording Tax. DKM also reduced the total amount of a Mansion Tax due by the purchaser by approximately $20,000 by allocating a portion of the purchase price to non-residential office space at the premises.
An attorney at Desiderio, Kaufman & Metz, PC said he believes New York’s luxury market is actually worse than what is being reported in other media outlets. “Two years ago the market for homes above $8 million seemed to be immune, but not any more,” he said. “The biggest problem I am seeing in the residential sales market stems from the inability of the sellers to face reality as to the proper price the home will sell for in today’s market.”
The firm was highlighted in January for securing a $1.2 million judgment on behalf of a real estate brokerage firm that was defrauded of its commission by commercial property buyers in a scheme dating back nearly a decade.