59 episodes

Where true New York City living -- the places, buildings, and culture -- collide. It's the Brick Underground Podcast, from BrickUnderground.com. As New York City's most popular and trusted source of real estate advice, BrickUnderground speaks directly to New Yorkers seeking solutions to their real-estate and apartment-dwelling needs.

The Brick Underground Podcast BrickUnderground.com helps readers navigate NYC real estate and thrive in t

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.9 • 34 Ratings

Where true New York City living -- the places, buildings, and culture -- collide. It's the Brick Underground Podcast, from BrickUnderground.com. As New York City's most popular and trusted source of real estate advice, BrickUnderground speaks directly to New Yorkers seeking solutions to their real-estate and apartment-dwelling needs.

    Brick Underground Office Hours

    Brick Underground Office Hours

    Renting in New York City usually comes with some kind of headache—a broken elevator, a rent increase, leaks, mold, the list goes on. In this episode, tenant attorney Sam Himmelstein, a partner at Himmelstein McConnell Gribben & Joseph and a longtime sponsor of Brick Underground, sits down for our first live Office Hours.

    Some of the questions addressed during the event include: Can I be charged fees for late rent payments if it isn't in the lease? What are landlords' obligations for cleaning common areas? Can a landlord increase my rent in retaliation if I complain about conditions? How do I handle mold? Another important issue: How to check if your apartment is rent-stabilized. You can see the video on YouTube.

    Tenant attorney Sam Himmelstein writes Brick Underground's popular Ask a Renter's Rights Lawyer column. 
     

    • 47 min
    Racism and the lack of diversity in the appraisal business

    Racism and the lack of diversity in the appraisal business

    Claims about racial bias in appraisals are not new but there are now reports the pandemic has made the situation worse. Recently, researchers digging through millions of appraisals from the Federal Housing Finance Agency found, yet again, evidence of systematic racial bias from appraisers. In a conversation with Jonathan Miller, president and CEO of appraisal firm Miller Samuel, he says this type of discrimination is likely to be as prevalent in New York City as it is in rest of the country and blames the lack of diversity in the appraisal business is a key driver of this bias.
     
    Related links:
    Employed persons by occupation, sex, race, and gender (U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics)
    The persistent evaluation of white neighborhoods as more valuable than communities of color (Eruka)



     
     

    • 15 min
    Making sense of the NYC real estate market with Jonathan Miller

    Making sense of the NYC real estate market with Jonathan Miller

    Appraiser Jonathan Miller, president and CEO of Miller Samuel, joins host Emily Myers to discuss what buyers, sellers, and renters in New York City can take away from the real estate data as we head into 2023. Rents are 15 percent higher than they were before the pandemic but concessions (like free rent given by a landlord to entice someone to sign a lease) are actually starting to rise. Meanwhile, apartment sales have slowed because of rising mortgage rates and uncertainty about the economy. 
    One tip: If you want to follow sales price trends in NYC you need to look at inventory and months of supply—the metrics that tell us how many apartments are available and how quickly they are selling. When months of supply go above eight and a half, buyers get some leverage.
    Related links:
    The Elliman Report (Douglas Elliman)
    Demand for doorman buildings keeps NYC rents stubbornly high (Brick Underground)
    Can NYC apartment hunters finally push back on asking rents now that winter is coming? (Brick Underground)
    Nearly a third of sales in Brooklyn went to bidding wars in the third quarter (Brick Underground)


     
     
     

    • 27 min
    Predators in the NYC rental market, with Hannah Levintova from Mother Jones

    Predators in the NYC rental market, with Hannah Levintova from Mother Jones

    In this episode, we take a look at the biggest New York City landlords you’ve probably never heard of—private equity-backed owners. The number of these investor landlords has increased during the pandemic and when private equity is involved in the purchase of a rental building the outcome is rarely, if ever, positive for the tenants living there. Investigative reporter Hannah Levintova talks with host Emily Myers about what she uncovered reporting on this topic for the national publication Mother Jones.
     
    Hannah Levintova’s work on this topic includes these articles: 
    Real Estate Predators Tried to Cash In on the Pandemic. Then Tenants Fought Back
    Everything Everywhere All at Once: How Private Equity Rules Your World
    Public data on who owns what in NYC: Who owns what in nyc?
    For help getting your rent history, contact New York State Division of Housing and Community Renewal's rent administration office at 718-739-6400 or by submitting a question online.
     

    • 33 min
    Protecting against fire and floods in your NYC apartment

    Protecting against fire and floods in your NYC apartment

    Fires and flooded apartments pose risks for New Yorkers, prompting many to ask: How do I stay safe in my apartment? In this episode, Robert O’Brien, co-owner of New York Fire Consultants and a former F.D.N.Y. firefighter talks with host Emily Myers, offering tips on how to minimize fire hazards, find out if our building is up to code, determine if a basement apartment is legal, and where to look for your building's fire safety plan. The episode touches on personal safety issues and gives some reminders about a landlord's responsibility for looking after residents. 

    • 21 min
    Finding a deal in NYC as landlords pull concessions and raise rents

    Finding a deal in NYC as landlords pull concessions and raise rents

    If you want to rent in NYC right now, what should you expect? Apartments are no longer sitting empty and the balance of power is tipping in favor of landlords. So how do you get the edge? In this episode of the podcast, Adrian Savino, director of leasing and business development at Living New York, joins host Emily Myers to shed light on where the deals are as landlords pull concessions and raise rents.

     
     

    • 28 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
34 Ratings

34 Ratings

The_HusbandMike ,

Great Topics

Great topics and great content! This is always on my list…

Tina Larsson ,

Great show

This is a fantastic podcast, great topics and energy!

kxp 16 ,

NYC real estate questions answered

What an informative show! I’d love to hear more like this.

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