Crystal Green

Crystal Green

While I'm thoroughly versed in the Manhattan real estate market; I specialize in all Brooklyn neighborhoods that are minutes to Manhattan. I’m a Brooklyn native as well as current resident. I represent property, buyers, sellers and renters in Brooklyn Heights, Boerum Hill, Cobble Hill, Carroll Gardens, Park Slope, Prospect Heights, Williamsburg, Fort Greene and Clinton Hill, where I currently reside.
I can help you find anything from a pre-war detail loaded historic townhouse on a tree-lined street to ultra-modern high end finishes in a doorman building with every amenity, as well as anything in between. I am a believer in customer service and I don’t just “show” apartments, I educate the clients as to the character, history and quirks of each particular neighborhood. I’m involved from start to finish. I follow up with each client AFTER the move to address any last minute concerns or questions. I’ve built up a list of resources over the years based upon varying requests I’ve received from my clientele over the years. If you need something as simple as a locksmith, utility set-up, or where you can get a good meal in your area, I pride myself in supplying that information or going out of my way to get it.
I truly enjoy helping people find the perfect place. It makes my work satisfying and I enjoy each day’s new challenges.

Published 10/25/2016 - By Terrified to Buy a Home? Your Top Fears Debunked

Terrified to Buy a Home? Your Top Fears Debunked

 | Oct 25, 2016

You wake up in a cold sweat. There’s something lurking in the dark, visible by flickering computer light. Something’s haunting you. It’s… the real estate listings! Deep down, you’d love to own a home, but whenever you take steps beyond idle window-shopping, a chill runs up your spine, and paralyzes you from moving ahead. We get it—you’re about to make a life-changing purchase, and you’re spooked. The main thing that home buying has in common with horror flicks: The fears are (mostly) mere figments of your imagination.

So in case you’re harboring some heebie-jeebies, here are some of home buyers’ top concerns—tackled head on so you know what you’re really dealing with.

Fear No. 1: ‘I’m afraid I can’t afford a home’

Some house hunters are possessed by worries that their entire savings account will get sucked into a black hole if they buy. Then they’ll never be able to afford vacations, or new clothes, or food beyond beans and rice or mac ‘n cheese ever again.

The reality: Depending on what and where you’re buying, you’re not likely to drain your savings account, according to Bill Golden of RE/MAX Metro Atlanta Cityside. “There are many loan programs out there that can help first-time home buyers with down payment assistance,” says Golden, “or that don’t require a severed arm and leg in order to get a mortgage.”

The best way to determine how financially ready you are to buy a home is to talk to a loan officer. Alternatively, you can also enter your income, debts, and other info in®’s home affordability calculator, to see exactly how much you can afford to spend on a home without going broke.

Fear No. 2: ‘I’m worried I won’t be able to buy a home I actually like’

The current economic climate may lead some buyers to believe that buying means they’ll end up living in a version of a “Saw” movie set—a windowless pit with exposed plumbing. (Without the severed limbs, however.) Fact is, interest rates are low, allowing homeowners to snag a great deal and pay less over the course of their loan. “Also, with the economy being in a downturn, many fantastic properties are being sold for under value,” says Tyler Ferguson, owner of Stone Reinvented.

Fear No. 3: ‘What if I buy a money pit?’

We’ve all seen that movie of the same name where Tom Hanks‘s life and bank account are shredded, thanks to a rapidly disintegrating old house. But hey, that’s just a movie—most houses aren’t money pits, and even if there are potential issues lurking in the shadows, like a leaking pipe, you can do plenty to protect yourself. Before the sale, “hire a good home inspector,” says Green. He or she should be able to see signs of water damage, or any electrical and plumbing red flags. A home inspector will also advise you on potential repair costs, which can provide leverage for you to go back to the sellers and lower the price you pay.

Fear No. 4: ‘I’m worried I’ll overspend’

The asking price for a house may seem like an unholy amount of money. But keep in mind, that’s just what the sellers are asking for—what they get could be a totally different picture. Your Realtor can help guide you to a realistic offer. “A good agent will know the price points of the areas you’re targeting and can back them up with historical data and comps,” says Crystal Green, a Manhattan real estate agent for Level Group. Since you can search the prices of homes that recently sold in any area, it’s easier to find out what the neighbors paid and gain better insight before you place an offer.

Fear No. 5: ‘I’m leery of buying during an election year’

A presidential election year makes many buyers want to hide under the covers until Nov. 8 when the political curse lifts—especially this year. “Everyone talks about uncertainty during campaign season,” says Green. But think about it: Unless you’re one of those people who really will move to Canada if so-and-so becomes president, will the election actually affect where you choose to live? “If you’re fairly confident that you’ll remain in a home for three to five years, you should net a profit at resale,” says Green.

Fear No. 6: ‘It’s just safer to rent’

Sure, renting means you aren’t trapped in one place, as you are with homeownership. Yet for Scott Forman, divisional vice president of Cross Country Mortgage,” rent money disappears without allowing you to build any equity over time. That’s truly scary.” He estimates that by paying about $100 a month more, many renters could own their own home—and receive tax deductions. If in doubt, use a rent vs. buy calculator to crunch the numbers and see whether it’s renting or buying that wins out in your area.


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Published 06/04/2016 - By Women and Minorities Lag Behind in Homebuying Rates

Women and Minorities Lag Behind in Homebuying Rates


Minorities and women are still lagging behind their counterparts on purchasing homes compared to Caucasians and men, according to a Trulia report.

The study by Trulia, a San Francisco-based real estate website, found that even when women and minorities are earning the same income as white men, their levels of homeownership have still not caught up. Compared to Caucasians, black Americans remain 56.9% less likely to own a home, especially in the Northeast and Midwest. Blacks have larger homeownership rates in California, Florida and Texas.

The Hispanic population fared slightly better: 50.9% are less likely than whites to have a mortgage. More Hispanics are likely to own with a mortgage at the same rate or better in the Southwest and West. In El Paso, Texas, Hispanics own homes at more than twice the rate of whites and make up more than 75% of all households.

Minorities are more likely to be homeowners in cities where the heads of households of that minority group comprised of a large share of the overall population. Trulia found that in the San Francisco Bay Area cities, Chinese-Americans are twice as likely to own homes as whites, but they are still 38.9% less likely to have a mortgage across the U.S.


A large contributing factor on why minorities have not made larger gains in homeownership compared to Caucasians is because their families are less likely to be able to contribute to funding part of a down payment, said Ralph McLaughlin, chief economist for Trulia.


"If your parents owned a home, you are more likely to own one," he said. "For many minorities, they tend to earn less money and are less able to save up for a down payment compared to their white counterparts."

Another roadblock that minorities face is discrimination and a disparity in loan applications being approved, along with understanding how to buy a home, said Crystal Green, a real estate broker with Level Group, a New York real estate brokerage company.

"This can be remedied by neighborhood outreach groups educating women and minorities on the buying process and demystifying it," she said. "A lot of people are not aware of FHA loans which require minimal down payments or forgoing the bank route all together and going to your local credit unions that often have less stringent rules and flexibility to help buyers qualify for financing."


Women Making Gains


While women have not caught up with men and are still 10.5% less likely to have a mortgage, in cities such as Honolulu; Winston-Salem, N.C.; Seattle; Miami; and Tacoma, Wash., they fared better. One contributing factor is that there remains a gap of 6% more single women compared to single men. Out of the single women, 37.2% were parents compared to 11.7% men who were parents.

"Single parents are losing out on homeownership because they have to spend a higher share of their income towards child care," he said.

Despite having less earning power than men, many women are choosing to buy homes before they have a partner or get married to share their expenses, said Green.

"Women are starting to earn more money than they have historically, bringing more of them into the buying pool," she said. "Most women are marrying later in life and feel if they have to pay housing costs, they may as well invest in something."

Many women and minorities are faced with earning lower salaries than Caucasian men even though they are conducting the same type of work.


"They don't have the same earning power as white males and this results in being unable to accumulate enough of a nest egg to cover a down payment, closings costs and still have a rainy day fund," Green said.


The lower levels of homeownership could be attributed to overall views on real estate. Real estate is now seen more favorably as a good investment with 35% who agree to this sentiment, compared to only 19% in 2011, according to an April poll conducted by Gallup, a Washington, D.C.-based data analytics company. Americans find that stocks and mutual funds are the next best investment option with 22% who agree while 17% favor gold, 15% chose for savings accounts or CDs and 7% prefer bonds.

Millennials Prefer Renting

While Millennials have voiced the desire the own a home in the future, they are keen to keep renting since many of them switch jobs frequently, have not amassed the down payment or do not want the financial commitment. The zeal to pursue the "American dream" of owning a home has faded.


During the period of 2005 to 2015, the number of people under the age of 30 who rent grew by 11% while 34% more Gen X-ers ages 30 to 49 rented, according to a Harvard University's Joint Center for Housing Studies.


Renting is becoming widespread among income groups since 18% of the increase in renters during this decade earned $100,000 or more and the number of renters in the top income bracket grew by 61%, the report said.

A Gallup report in 2015 showed that 41% of non-homeowners who do not have plans to buy a house "the foreseeable future" and 34% of Americans renting their home. The number of people owning homes has fallen to 61%, the lowest amount in almost 15 years.

Renting has emerged as a norm for a third of the adults in the U.S., wrote Art Swift, a managing editor at Gallup. The data mirrors the U.S. Census Bureau's estimate in the fourth quarter of 2014 that 64% of Americans are renters.

Since many Millennials are more mobile and have experienced a slower start to their careers, they are not in a rush to purchase a home, said McLaughlin. Others are frustrated at the increasing prices of homes, which hinders their ability to save for a down payment as wages and income growth have been modest.

"They are buying homes at lower rates because they move around more than other generations," he said. "For many potential homeowners, it is not a lack of desire, but rather their financial circumstance such as flat wage growth which is inhibiting their ability to save up for a down payment."

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