Real Estate

Hdr-connectlogo-greenI have always loved real estate.  Not only the buy and sell aspect but the building aspect, the investing aspect, the big picture aspect and obviously the technology part too.  I am sitting on a panel at the Inman News event conference on January 16th at 10am.  Brad has made a serious mark in the real estate arena and I was fortunate enough to sit on the Curbed board with him for several years. 

When Fred and I first graduated from college we honestly knew nothing about real estate.  Most of our learning experiences on real estate startedwhen we first began to work.  Renting our first apartment, what it cost, the location and all the other factors that come into play.  We took in NYC with gusto.  We'd walk from one end of the town to another when ever we could exploring different neighborhoods. To this day I can still go into random neighborhoods and see the changes because we touched every corner.  We'd dream of owning a large plot of land in NYC and building a huge parking lot.  At that point we certainly understood that value. 

Years later before we bought our own first apartment our friend was telling us about a commercial property that was owned by his grandfather out in the midwest.  It has been given as a gift to both him and his sister.  Every ten years they would take out a new mortgage on the property, split the amount of cash they took from it because they had the proper tenants in place that would cover the monthly mortgage.  We thought that was utterly brilliant.  Once you owned a property with value you could continue to pull value from it eternally.   Of course everything has to fit into place. 

Needless to say our first major purchase was an apartment.  We definitely overpaid into a building that was converting into a co-op and boy did we learn a lot.  Fred stepped up to the plate and got on the board.  Renegotiating the lease for the grocery store and parking lot in the building and I believe the mortgage on the property too.  The lawyer who worked on this ended up becoming one of our friends for life.  He is still our real estate lawyer today. 

Fast forward, we have purchased more than our share of personal property and we have moved many times, upgrading as we went along.  I believe that I have invested in companies that are changing the way the real estate world works.  Sweeten, a community that connects people renovating their homes with the right contractor that has been fully vetted.  Nestio, an online and mobile app that allows landlords, owners and brokers to get real time data in regards to rentals.  Architizer, changing the way that architects source and collect all their materials and a place where the consumers can discover architects.  Curbed, a place to get content on anything happening in the real estate market nationally and locally.  We are also investors in a company that builds commercial and residential properties.  A nice umbrella overseeing what is happening in the real estate world.  Each are unique, Curbed has recently sold to Vox (thrilled for them!) and each give me a birds eye view into the real estate marketplace.

I am actually looking to expand our real estate world looking at buildings to buy in areas that are up and coming.  That alone is a full time job but it is something I am interested in and enjoy.  Truth is I'd love to buy a place and build a hotel but I might have to hold off on that until at least Josh goes to college. 

Comments (Archived):

  1. William Mougayar

    You seem to have a passion for real estate. I can see you owning a boutique hotel with a stellar restaurant in it.

    1. Gotham Gal

      thinking about it.

      1. Lock

        I am 100% IN for the GothamGal Hotel.

        1. kenberger

          If the hotel floats, or if we’re referring to the kitchen, either could be named….GOTHAM GALLEY

          1. Gotham Gal


  2. falicon

    +1 for sharing the hotel dream. I’m 100% certain you will make it happen (and I’m already anxious, and ready to pay, to be a guest there).

  3. JLM

    .Having had a passing acquaintance with institutional quality commercial real estate, I can tell you with certainty that real estate is a great place to park and grow wealth when it is created in the risk arena.Tech comes and goes but real estate can be rock solid when done correctly and it will absorb inflation while you sleep.The best real estate is always the scarcest real estate. The Kennedys had it right with the old man’s wisdom in buying huge plots of such real estate.They owned the Merchandise Mart in Chicago for half a century.The place to own real estate is where the growth is coming and where the center of the donut is still available — Austin, Texas.Of course, I am a bit jaded on the ATX. This Forbes article speaks for itself.…A huge opportunity for private investors is to buy, renovate and own noteworthy semi-historical properties — they were the 100% locations 80 years ago, no?I have attached some little jewels I did in the 1980s. I love each and every one of them like a child (mistress?). When I walk past them, I touch them and can feel them breathing. We speak to each other like old friends and laugh with the history of how we loved and continue to love each other.Be careful on hotels — apartment buildings which renegotiate their leases every night. It is an operating business not a real estate business.JLM.

  4. Stuart Willson

    Love this. I’ve always loved real estate, and not just architecture and the aesthetics of a particular property (though I appreciate those as well), but how neighborhoods – like organic systems – grow and change, and how – like organic systems – they need maintenance and sustenance and crumble under neglect. Have you ever read Jane Jacobs?

  5. williamsnicols

    Yes, i agree with you. Real estate is one of the smart and lucrative investment as ROI is high and one will never regret after investing in it. Nice and interesting information is shared by you in this blog. For more information about real estate one can also visit