Barry Hers Shares the Tale of His Renovated Flatbush, Brooklyn Apartment Building
Property investor and real estate professional Barry Hers shed some light on the background of his renovated Prospect Lefferts Gardens area apartment building.
Following a multi-million dollar renovation project, real estate industry professional and property investor Barry Hers shares a closer look at his building at 60 Clarkson Avenue in the Flatbush area of Brooklyn, close to the attractive residential neighborhood of Prospect Lefferts Gardens.
“I originally purchased the building in 1995,” explains Hers of the property which sits at 60 Clarkson Avenue in the Flatbush area of the borough of Brooklyn.
The site was in a state of complete disrepair, according to Hers, having accrued over 1,500 Department of Housing Preservation and Development violations under its previous owners. “60 Clarkson Avenue was also blighted by another 100 or more building code breaches,” he points out.
Now in possession of the keys to 60 Clarkson Avenue, Hers spent several million dollars renovating the property in order to remedy its building code breaches and other violations. “My team and I transformed 60 Clarkson Avenue into an utterly appealing place to live in the bustling borough of Brooklyn,” recalls the property investor and real estate professional, whose offices are located on 52nd Street, in the southwestern part of the same New York City borough.
Barry Hers in 2019
Today, Barry Hers estimates that he’s poured more than 10 million dollars into renovations and ongoing maintenance at the address. “Having always harbored a desire to help the less fortunate, shortly after completion of the initial renovations, I entered the building into New York’s Emergency Assistance Rental Program in direct response to concerns surrounding growing homelessness in New York City,” he reveals.
The New York native ultimately dedicated the building to the emergency program, first initiated by then-mayor Rudy Giuliani and subsequently favored by Michael Bloomberg. “In doing so, 60 Clarkson Avenue became a place of shelter for less fortunate families and individuals living in the city,” explains Hers.
More recently, however, and with a subsequent administration has taken over the city and its programs, making huge cuts to funding for the homeless and disadvantaged, an end has largely been put to initiatives such as the Emergency Assistance Rental Program of which Hers and his building were apart. “The news,” he adds, “has taken a great emotional toll on me personally.”
Unable, therefore, to continue his efforts, and having selflessly housed over 350 homeless families since 2015 alone, despite receiving no financial compensation, Hers has today been forced to reevaluate the rent-stabilized nature of operations at the address. “I think it’s now time,” he adds, wrapping up “for the start of a new era at 60 Clarkson Avenue.”
Real estate professional Barry Hers reveals details of his multi-million dollar renovation project in the Prospect Lefferts Gardens area of Flatbush, Brooklyn.
With decades of real estate experience in New York City, Barry Hers reveals the story behind the building at 60 Clarkson Avenue in Prospect Lefferts Gardens, a residential neighborhood in the Flatbush area of Brooklyn, which the property expert renovated and entered into New York’s Emergency Assistance Rental Program in response to concerns surrounding growing homelessness in the city.
“In 1995 I purchased the building at 60 Clarkson Avenue in Prospect Lefferts Gardens, a residential neighborhood in the Flatbush area of the borough of Brooklyn, explains Hers, whose office is located on 52nd Street in Borough Park, in the southwestern part of the same New York City borough.
At the time, the property was run down and subject to over 1,500 Department of Housing Preservation and Development violations, plus a further 100 or more general building code breaches, according to Hers.
Under New York City’s Housing Maintenance Code, the Department of Housing Preservation and Development issues such violations when conditions in rental properties are deemed to violate the appropriate maintenance codes or multiple dwelling laws. “Violations are readily issued but only closed again once any and all problems have been rectified, as observed and verified by the Department of Housing Preservation and Development,” Hers reveals.
Accordingly, having purchased the building, Hers and his firm worked tirelessly, and at significant expense, to clear the outstanding violations, renovating the property and transforming it into what he refers to as ‘an appealing, working-class environment’ in the New York City borough of Brooklyn. “My firm and I transformed 60 Clarkson Avenue from a building full of crime and drugs into an appealing, working-class environment in Flatbush’s Prospect Lefferts Gardens,” says the real estate professional.
Barry Hers estimates that he poured in excess of 10 million dollars into renovations and maintenance at the address. “Shortly after that, New York City found itself in the throes of a shortage of shelters for the homeless,” he points out, adding that since the beginning of his decades-long career in real estate, he’s continuously maintained a desire to help the homeless and less fortunate wherever possible.
“I offered to help and dedicated the building, which I’d put my own money, blood, and sweat into renovating, to the cause, known as the Emergency Rental Assistance Program,” Hers reveals.
The program, initiated by Rudy Giuliani and favored by then-mayor Michael Bloomberg, saw properties such as Hers’ building at 60 Clarkson Avenue become so-called ‘cluster sites,’ a form of shelter for homeless and less fortunate families and individuals living in New York City.
Years later, however, when a newly-appointed subsequent administration took over the city and its programs, huge cuts were made surrounding funding for the homeless and disadvantaged. “This made it almost impossible for me to continue my efforts at 60 Clarkson Avenue,” explains Hers, “and it soon came to a point where my firm and I were being choked, having housed hundreds of families for over three years, and losing millions of dollars in the process for simply wanting to help the city. ” Despite the city initially agreeing to new, aggressively cut rates, even these vastly reduced sums remained unpaid, according to Hers, leaving him, he says, unable to continue working with the authorities.
“The city,” he adds, “was technically making everyone at 60 Clarkson Avenue homeless once again, which as a family man, I simply couldn’t bear the thought of, while simultaneously painting a picture to the media whereby which I was evicting innocent homeless people, when in reality that was not true at all.”
Instead, says Barry Hers, it was the city and its new administration which were putting countless families and individuals at risk of homelessness by refusing to pay for vital shelter ,expecting Mr. Hers and his firm to continue their efforts at a significant, multi-million dollar loss, borrowing from banks to cover heat, property taxes, maintenance and water.”
“After legal proceedings were brought against me by the legal aids, ” he explains, “the court was able to see through this and ruled in my favor by granting me the right to house new tenants. As such, and with the ruling in my favor,” he adds, wrapping up, “I’ve been forced to reevaluate the rent-stabilized nature of operations at 60 Clarkson Avenue in order to begin recouping my losses.”
As of today, the city still owes him 19 million dollars in unpaid expenses, which he is currently counter claiming, having housed over 350 homeless families at the address since 2015 despite receiving no financial compensation throughout this period, not to mention the toll this has taken on Mr. Hers emotionally.
Finding a place to live in New York can be tough. Barry Hers tells us his favorite spots in the city that never sleeps.
With 8.4 million residents throughout New York City’s boroughs, finding a place to live can be a full-time job. With decades of real estate experience, Barry Hers offers some well-needed tips on deciding where to live in the big apple. When moving to New York, it’s not just a new place to live, it’s a lifestyle with endless possibilities, so finding the right home is just as important as any other big life decision.
Since its inception, New York has been home to intersecting cultures and communities that have made it one of the most important cities on the planet.
“New York does everything bigger and better,” explained Barry Hers. “As a global destination for art and culture, it has everything you could want in a city and more.”
“The most important factor when considering which borough to call home is budget. Once you have that figured out, everything else will fall into place with the right guidance and realtor,” explained Barry Hers. “Once you start exploring the different sections of New York, a part of the city is bound to speak to you.”
If you’re looking for a quiet and underrated part of the city, look no further than the Financial District. Having undergone major changes over the last 17 years, it’s peaceful at nights and on weekends and boasts some of the best restaurants in the city.
Barry Hers also recommends checking out Prospect Park and Crown Heights, two alternatives to Park Slope. Family-friendly neighborhoods with a historically younger demographic, both are incredibly diverse and offer a lot in terms of culture and activities. Boasting a history as old as New York, Crown Heights is a rich and diverse place to call home.
Another diverse area Barry Hers recommends checking out is the Lower East Side. Historically a melting pot, this diverse part of town is the intersection for all communities that immigrated to New York. If you are looking for a historically accurate part of the city that represents the best of New York, the Lower East side is it. With places like Little Italy, and Chinatown and lot’s of robust and elective new restaurants and shops, there is something for everyone in the Lower East Side.
If you’re looking for a location close to the famed central park, the Upper East Side is definitely worth checking out. Quiet, serene and perfect for the art lover with plenty of world-class museums.
New York has something for everybody, and Barry Hers is available to help those new to the city, and locals find new areas to explore.
With a successful career in property management and real estate, Barry Hers offers his tips to those who want to invest in real estate.
“All too often, new investors begin their interest in real estate by speculating on properties without all the facts,” explained Barry Hers. “Your first investment should always be in a property that can generate a cash flow stream, like a middle-class rental property. By starting here, a new investor instantly gets a return on their investment.”
Barry Hers receives a lot of questions about how much time an investor should put into their first property. According to Barry Hers, the biggest question you need to ask is what is the long-term goal of my first investment property? Is it for rent, will you sell? Answering these questions first will give you a good understanding of just exactly what you will need to do with repairs, upgrades, or anything else that will cost money going into the property. There will be unforeseen costs and risks involved with each property, knowing what they are upfront and understanding each of your goals will help you make the best possible decision for yourself and any of your investment partners.
Barry Hers recommends always having a plan with each property you are considering, both long term and short term. This will help with making a business decision now and in the future.
Barry Hers also recommends that first-time investors always work with experts.
“You will need to know the market inside and out, so take your time to understand it, explains Barry Hers. “You need an expert that’s local and knows the area well. It also helps to find great property managers who will be bluntly honest and offer you objective advice before moving forward. Budgets will make or break your career in investment,” explains Barry Hers. “Always establish the baseline you are willing to pay for a property, and just exactly what you are willing to invest in each one to increase its value.”
It will always be easy to get off track and spend too much or too little if you aren’t planning everything. It’s important to also pick properties that are close to you so that you are able to work on them if something ever arises that needs repair.
Barry Hers helps investors and tenants across the state of New York, with over two decades in real estate.
Barry Hers has worked in New York real estate for over 2 decades. He offers his advice on deciding to move to New York City.
New York City is still one of the most important cities on the planet and deciding to move there is a big life decision. People move there from all over the world from virtually every industry, and Barry Hers understands just how valuable it is to know your way around the real estate of the city before deciding to move.
“Before making a life-altering move to New York, it’s important to understand the layout of the City first,” explained Barry Hers. “If you have never been to New York, then there is a lot of work to do before deciding where you want to live.”
There are almost 9 million people living in New York, and it can be overwhelming at first. Barry Hers recommends getting to know the city in a general way by visiting ahead of the big move. It can be helpful to grab a friend or co-worker and visit all of the areas you are considering as a potential spot to move to.
This allows you to move around neighborhoods and ask practical questions about the distance from the subway, which schools are worth attending, and which parts of the city you resonate with and will offer you the most opportunity for your career as you navigate life in New York. You can also utilize various internet services like google street view, and contacting a realtor to help you better learn the layout of the city as well.
Barry Hers encourages everyone thinking about the big move to consider the most basic questions as some of the most important. Consider where you will be able to park your car, the safety of neighborhoods, evacuation zones based on weather, and your location to grocery stores as all good markers for considering which neighborhood you want to move to.
“I always encourage movers to visit where they are thinking about living in person,” explains Barry Hers. “Many brokers will put inaccurate amenities, and do not properly describe the listing, so it’s vital you show up and do your research in person as well.”
Although moving to a big city like New York can seem overwhelming, there are plenty of great resources out there, and Barry Hers is always here to help you navigate the world of New York real estate.
Barry Hers Provides Top Real Estate Trends
2018 has proved to be a great year in real estate, with plenty of momentum for the future. Barry Hers discusses the top trends that left an impact on real estate.
“It’s always important to keep your eyes on the next up-and-coming trend,” explained Barry Hers. “Knowing what to expect next can provide you with an edge and help you understand market trends better.”
One of the biggest trends in real estate is the rise of technology. With technological innovation in the real estate industry, real estate agents around the country are adapting their techniques especially when it comes to featuring their listings. This is crucial for both selling and buying. The tech infusion in the real estate market is changing the way homes are sold and bought, and there are no signs this trend will be slowing down. Companies like Compass, Redfin, Zillow, and Trulia are redefining the process and breathing new life into the real estate world.
Another trend worth paying attention to are the rising home prices. Barry Hers has been speaking on this for years and it’s no exception in New York. The NYC market is an indication that home prices will continue to rise in the coming months as well. Over recent years, the market has grown by 15%, typically in the past, the average home price growth was only 5% per year, this is a massive boost for sellers. If the Manhattan real estate market is an indicator, home prices growth is here to stay.
“As the times change, so do the home buyers,” explained Barry Hers. “It’s no surprise that Millennials are one of the most important home buyers in the current market.”
Millennials are also dominating the workforce and the tech industry so it’s perfectly fitting that they would leave their mark on real estate as well. While millennials continue to purchase homes, they still make up a very large portion of luxury rental properties, especially in New York. This trend looks to only increase in the future.
More than ever, home buyers and sellers are turning digital, and with that trend, they are using visual marketing techniques more than ever before. Home selling has changed forever with the utilization of virtual staging, drone video, and photography, and listing photography and video.
“Using these tools can drastically increase the likelihood of selling your property explained Barry Hers. “It can also help gather repeat business and word of mouth with these trends appearing on social media platforms such as Instagram and Pinterest.
With decades of experience buying and selling homes across New York, Barry Hers is a leader in real estate. Follow along with Barry Hers and stay up to date on the latest tips and trends in real estate.
Barry Hersko is a leader in real estate but his greatest work is what he does for the homeless.
“My partnership with EARP started in 1988,” explained Barry Hersko, property developer and real estate expert. “Especially during the holidays, it’s vital to give back to those in need.”
Since childhood, Barry has always been passionate about serving those less fortunate, which is why partnering with EARP was a logical choice as Barry Hersko became a household name in real estate. The EARP or Emergency Assistance Rental Program began in the late eighties as a response to the growing homeless epidemic in New York, and Barry Hersko knew he had to do something about it.
“To know that I could make a difference by renting out more affordable apartments to those in need was an easy decision,” explained Barry Hersko. “I had to step up and help.”
The Emergency Assistance Rental Program started off small and continued to grow, eventually helping thousands in New York find shelter and begin to rebuild their lives. Rental assistance programs help New Yorkers experiencing homelessness move out of shelters and into stable housing, for many a first-time experience that will change their lives forever. Barry Hersko and many others like him have helped hundreds of thousands of people get the confidence to rebuild their lives, and often are able to find a permanent home. In the eighties, Barry Hersko was one of the first landlords to open his buildings to those in need, starting a trend that has carried on to this very day. As New York City continues to turn the tide on homelessness, it’s in large part due to partners like Barry Hersko to keep the cause going.
The ultimate goal of programs like the one Barry Hersko supports is to provide households with financial assistance in a progressive manner. This type of progressive engagement refers to a strategy of providing small amounts of assistance to help everyone entering into the homeless system. For some, even the smallest amount of assistance is enough to stabilize, but sometimes much more assistance can be offered to those who require it.
Through constant support with the EARP and other organizations like it, Barry Hers continues to give back to those in New York who need it most.
Buying a home can be a daunting task, especially during busy seasons of life. With decades of real estate experience, Barry Hersko offers solutions for first time home buyers no matter where they live.
“Buying a home is a monumental life decision,” explained Barry Hersko. “You’ll want to have the right team of people around you to ensure you get the best possible home at the best possible rate.
One of the biggest mistakes first time home buyers make is not focusing on the location. You have to create a checklist and go through each area to make sure the location you choose is a good fit. Will you raise your children in this area? How good are the school zones? Are there lots of people moving to that part of town? Are there new developers?
These are just a handful of questions Barry Hersko encourages first time home buyers to ask.
It’s also incredibly important to get the opinions of friends and family who have lived in or around the area you are considering moving to. Because of the age of technology, now, more than ever, you can have the upper hand with scouting potential home locations.
Picking the Right Agent with Barry Hersko
Find the right agent can be a challenge, but it’s not impossible. Barry Hersko encourages everyone to find a realtor that knows the area you want to move to, has experience in the surrounding areas, and has a plan to use technology to find the best home for your family that can meet all of your needs. Utilizing technology can help you when it comes to creating a comparative market analysis report, that will showcase the price of homes in the area, when pricing drops, and when it might be the best time to buy. Paying attention to these trends and having a realtor to help create the reports will make you have the upper hand when and if it comes time to negotiate rates, and when to offer a price on the home or homes you are looking for.
Find an agent with the right experience, tools to move along the process, and attitude will help you as you search for your dream home.
Therefore, focusing on this and the location you want to live in is vital to the home buying experience.
Selling your home can be a daunting task. With decades of experience, Barry Hersko offers tips for selling your home in 2018.
Putting your home on the market is a life-changing move. Before heading down the road that includes finding an agent, listing your home and waiting for a significant amount of time, Barry Hersko has some tips to selling your home and moving on to whatever life holds next.
“The first tip I recommend is to focus on an increased online presence,” explained Barry Hersko. “Almost 100% of home buyers use the internet to look for homes, more than at any other point in history.”
Chances are, that if your online listing is lacking, most people won’t even bother taking a look in real life. Consider adding professional photos, hiring a staging company, and get incredibly creative about the words or “copy” you would use to describe your home. Make people feel a deep connection to your home online, and they will be more likely to make an offer in real time.
Another tip Barry Hersko recommends is finding a real estate agent you have a connection with. It could be as simple as liking the same types of properties, but make certain that when you begin your search, you find an agent that is going to best represent you and go to bat for you and your family. Well recommended agents will help you market your home, will represent you to future buyers, and go out of their way to make sure that you are happy and satisfied with the service.
Consider asking friends, and other people who have sold their homes before who they would recommend connecting you with.
Once you find your dream agent it is crucial to set proper expectations for what you are expecting. Creating goals and timeframes with in-person meetings and contracts will help protect you, your agent, and everyone else involved. Barry Hersko recommends keeping a digital notebook of everything agreed to in the contract so that you can keep everyone on the same page and mark results and wins, and also figure out what’s not working along the way.
Establishing healthy timeframes will only ensure that nothing falls through and you can focus on what is most important, selling your home.
Although selling your home can be a challenge, finding an expert agent to walk you through each of the steps will make the process go by faster and yield better results.
Moving to a new city can be a challenge. With over 2 decades of Real Estate experience, Barry Hersko provides tips for finding a new home in a new city.
Moving can be tough, adding to the pressure is making sure you find the right home. Although renting a new home without living in the city can be a challenge, Barry Hersko has the expertise to guide you throughout the process.
With thoughtful planning, a great agent and a handful of tips to help guide you along the way, this journey can be a worthwhile and fruitful endeavor while finding your perfect home away from home in a new city.
Learn the local market before you decide to move is incredibly helpful and can give you an advantage when it comes time to look. Know the exact area you are hoping to live and expanding upon that while searching is key.
Another great tip is asking friends and colleagues who live in the city you hope to move to. Figure out exactly what people would recommend and then start to dive into what the rental process is like in that new specific area.
Some great questions to consider are when listings become available, how much is required for a deposit, the types of amenities available and the rule if any from the HOA.
“Keep in mind that these change from New York to Austin, so having a good idea of what you want before you start searching is key to finding the right home,” explained Barry Hersko. “You have to take every factor into consideration.”
Another great tool in the digital age is scoping out local real estate magazines and local blogs to help get a lay of the land. It’s also crucial to factor in your work commute when considering a move to a new city. Asking questions about the time it will take to get to work, and back home is vital when finding a new neighborhood. Google maps can be a great resource for canvassing new areas.
It’s important to remember that before you board a plane to go and visit these places that you really connect with a local agent via facetime and email to get a good feel for the person that will be showing you around. Don’t be afraid to share some personal facts about your life to help the agent better understand exactly what you are looking for.
It’s also crucial to have all of your documents in order showing your annual pay, proof of who you are, and information on your new job for when you move.
“It also never hurts to do your research on the type of building you are going to tour and the landlord or HOA as well,” explained Barry Hersko. “ You want to make sure that you feel welcomed and safe especially in a new city.”
Although moving to a new city can be intimidating, finding an expert agent to walk you through each of the steps will make the transition a seamless process.