Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Good, but not impressive

April 17, 2016

Maria Pia
319 West 51 Street
New York, New York

(212) 765-6463

Good, but uninspired

Maria Pia is a very convenient Italian theater restaurant. The service is prompt and the food is good. You can all the old classics Saltimbocca, Osso Bocca , etc. and they are all done well. There is a good wine list and cocktails are available. What is missing is the new inventive dishes, that make a restaurant very special.

We had the shrimp on pasta with a very nice and slightly spicy tomato sauce and the Osso Bocca with a very wet polenta both were very good. Dinner for two is about $ 100

For more see http://www.ditmasestates.com

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A Good Turkish Experience

March 31, 2016

Istanbul Fish & Kabob
1725 Emmons Avenue
Brooklyn, NY

718 368-3587

 A Good Turkish Experience

There seems to be a spate of Turkish restaurants that have turned up lately, unfortunately not all are up to the task. Istanbul is an older and better standard.

While the restaurant atmosphere is not as plush or a large as some, the food is better. Warning because the of the simple small area sometimes the noise level does get loud, but still low enough to talk across the table. While you have to trip your waiter, once you have his/her attention they are very good.

Turkish food has some lovely and unexpectedly good appetizers and I recommend the Cacik, fried liver cubes without that oppressive liver smell, or Tarama, an emulsification of salmon roe in olive oil, very nice spread on pieces of Turkish bread.

Turkish food excels on lamb and so does Istanbul. Lamb Kabobs are actually cooked to order and just right. But try there fish and if you are really adventurous the octopus casserole with onions, peppers & cheese. The casserole has none of the octopus smell and actually comes out very smooth almost like lasagna.

At Ditmas Estates LLC, real estate, we believe that your neighborhood, its restaurants, stores and services is as important as the home you buy

Dinner for four with dessert but no wine is $ 170

for more info see http://www.ditmasestaes.com

 

A restaurant dying slowly

December 18, 2011

A restaurant dying slowly

 Tasty Tavern
4523 Avenue N
Brooklyn,NY11234

 (718) 692-1020

 

Tasty tavern has been around a long time, maybe too long.  Maybe when a restaurant gets too old, maybe we should consider putting it out of its misery.

 My first impression is that the décor has not changed in thirty or more years; while clean it is hardly inspiring. When I noticed that the tables were set with knives and forks with not a chopstick in sight, and I knew my initial impression was correct.

 The food is eh, nothing inspired and the portions are small. We had to flavor the food with overly sweet fake duck sauce. The service is o.k., but not professional. Of course, the restaurant refused to honor a coupon we had, but the restaurant is not pricey. Just not worth the price they charged. By the way menu prices posted on the web are very old.

 At Ditmas Estates LLC, real estate, we believe that your neighborhood, its restaurants, stores and services is as important as the home you buy. 

 

 

 

 

A Good Borek

February 20, 2010

DJERDAN BOREK
2283 65 Street
Brooklyn, NY 11204

(718) 484-3180

This Albanian dinner (Yes, I said Albanian) looks a luncheonette. It is almost as hard to find as the country, itself being on a side street and an incorrect address on the menu. There are no hamburgers here. Instead plan to have Boreks, (similar to middle eastern Borekas ), that is a pastry that is stuffed with spinach or meat or cheese. The pastry is light and close to a waffle batter.
That’s it! Boreks make up almost the entire menu except for some wonderful desserts. A typical dessert is Baklava swimming in honey and/or Karo sauce or cake or pastry that flavored in the same way.
Boreks cost about $4 each and two Boreks are more that you can eat

for more see http://www.Ditmasestates.com

Pets and your new home

September 27, 2009
Smoothly introducing your dog to your new home

Moving into your new home is very exciting, for your entire family!! But did you know that introducing your dog into a new home can be incredibly stressful for them? Fortunately, there are a lot of things that we can do to make this transition easier on them, which in the end makes it easier on us!

There are a lot of things that you can do to make the move less stressful on your pet. When moving, if possible, it would be a good idea to leave the dog with a friend they know. This will keep the dog out of your way when you are moving furniture, and decrease the chance that any accidents may happen. You can also leave the dog in the backyard while you move, as long as it is fully fenced and they cannot escape! Can’t do either?  Well then, the ‘least worst’ scenario is to crate your dog while moving the furniture into the home. Make sure the crate is large enough that they can stand up, turn around and lay down comfortably, and be sure to give them access to water and let them outside to ‘do their business’ every few hours. Doors will be left open, items will be dropped, there will be a lot of commotion, and the best way to keep your pet safe during this time is to keep them out of the way!

During the packing process, you can actually plan ahead to make this as smooth a transition as possible for your four legged friend. Instead of trying to cram the packing into one or two days, planning to pack over a longer period of time can reduce the stress on your dog (and probably yourself as well!). Make sure that you pack their water and food bowls, toys, and blankets/beds in a separate box that will be easily accessible once you are at your new home. Dogs do not like change, so the more familiar the setting, the better! One easy trick is to make sure that they have belongings that smell like you, their people! Having a familiar scent in a strange place can make the transition easier. All you would need to do is put their toys in your laundry hamper for a few days, and they will smell just like you!! And don’t feel embarrassed, this is like the sweet smell of roses for your dog. These are as important to your dog as your child’s teddy bear is to them.

For more great tips on a successful move with your pet, please visit The Humane Society of the United States.

Housetraining is always a big issue, and even well-trained dogs may not know where to ‘go’ in a new home. When you bring them to your new house, make sure that they are taken into the back right away, where they can ‘do their business’. It may sound silly, but it is always a good idea to reward them with praise, so that they know they did something good! It may seem odd to your new neighbors that you are congratulating your dog for successfully going to the bathroom (you may become the most talked about person on your street), but your dog will think that they just won a gold medal for it!! You will want to keep en eye on them to make sure that they are able to find the back door (or front door depending on the home) whenever necessary. Here is a good rule of thumb to remember: let them out after playing for a period of time (15-30 minutes depending on age), after they wake up, and after they eat!

For puppies, the rules need to be modified slightly. You still want to show them where the door is, and give them lots of praise when they go where they should (this should be a very exciting event for them, and remember that the gold medal they are winning can come in the form of a treat!). Be sure to let them outside as often as possible, especially immediately after they eat, wake up, and every 10-15 minutes during playtime! There will be accidents, no puppy is perfect (adorable yes, perfect no!), so be patient and keep it positive!

Another point to keep in mind is that a puppy can ‘hold it’ for approximately 1 hour for every month they are old. For example, a puppy that is only 2 months old, can generally ‘hold it’ for approximately 2 hours at a time! This may not apply to every puppy, as they are just as different from each other as we are from other people, but it does give you an idea of what to expect.

 

for more see www.ditmasestates.com

Next to Normal – A Theater Review

March 31, 2009

This staging is a wonderful night of theatre, especially the first rate acting of the grief stricken mother and the powerful singing of the mother and daughter. The songs were mostly to the point and poignant.

See more at http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/1605439/next_to_normal_a_theater_review.html

At the Red Bamboo Restaurant

December 19, 2008

Red Bamboo Restaurant

 

271 Adelphi Street

Brooklyn, NY

 

At one time vegetarian restaurants that served mock meat dishes were a place to recommend only to your worst enemy. I am a CARNIVOIRE and unashamedly so. So, I went to the Red Bamboo, only under duress or threat of familial rendition.

I was pleasantly surprised and in some cases even amazed. The Citrus Beef served Chinese style, no only tasted like good beef, but had beef’s texture. The half chicken, no only had the right taste and texture, but also looked like a half chicken. How did they do that? I guess the next thing will be to get a drumstick, bone and all out of Soya. Tell me if a chicken goes cluck, cluck, what sound does a Soya make? The portions were not large, I guess, Vegetarians can be concerned with their weight too.

There is a good bar and you can real alcohol there (Just because you don’t eat animals doesn’t mean that you can’t be sinful as well).

The crowd is mainly young gentrifiers and the noise is moderate, the DJ, plays ridiculous pop tunes, ballads or blues might be more appropriate. My biggest beef ( ha!ha!) is the eighteen percent service charge automatically put on your bill. What happens if you don’t like the service? Luckily, we did, but I still think that is kind of tacky.

Common Selling Mistakes

December 19, 2008

Mistake #1 – Incorrect Pricing
Every seller naturally wants to get the most money for his or her product. The most common mistake that causes sellers to get less than they hope for, however, is listing too high.  Listings reach the greatest proportion of potential buyers shortly after they reach the market.  If a property is dismissed as being overpriced early on, it can result in later price reductions.  Overpriced properties tend to take an unusually long time to sell, and they end up being sold at a lower price than they likely would have had they been priced properly in the first place.

Mistake #2 — Mistaking Re-finance Appraisals for Market Value
Re-finance appraisals can be very encouraging for homeowners, leading them to assume that the appraisal is the amount that they should expect to receive for their property. Lenders often estimate the value of your property higher than it actually is, however, in order to encourage re-financing. The market value of your home could actually be (and often is) lower. Your best bet is to ask your Realtor® for the most recent information regarding property sales in your community. This will give you an up-to-date and factually accurate estimate of your property value.

Mistake #3 — Failing to “Showcase”
In spite of how frequently this mistake is addressed and how simple it is to avoid, its prevalence is still widespread. When attempting to sell your home to prospective buyers, do not forget to make your home look as pleasant as possible. Make necessary repairs. Clean. Make sure everything functions and looks presentable, and remove as many possessions as you can prior to showing. A poorly kept home, or one with too much clutter, will make it dramatically more difficult for buyers to become emotionally interested in your property.

Mistake #4 – Trying to “Hard Sell” While Showing
Buying a house is always an emotional and difficult decision. As a result, you should try to allow prospective buyers to comfortably examine your property. Don’t try haggling or forcefully selling. Instead, be friendly and hospitable. Pointing out any unnoticed amenities and being receptive to questions is advisable, but this is not the time for negotiation and salesmanship.

Mistake #5 – Trying to Sell to Lookers
A prospective buyer who shows interest because of a For Sale sign or an open house ad may not really be interested in your property. Often, buyers who are not accompanied by a Realtor® are 6-9 months away from buying, and are more interested in seeing what is out there than in actually making a purchase. They may still have to sell their house, or may not be able to afford a house yet. They may still even be unsure as to whether or not they want to relocate.

Your Realtor® should be able to distinguish realistic potential buyers from mere lookers. Realtors® should usually find out a prospective buyer’s savings, credit rating, and purchasing power in general. If your Realtor® fails to find out this pertinent information, you should do some investigating and questioning on your own. This will help you avoid wasting valuable time marketing to the wrong people. If you have to do this work yourself, consider finding a new Realtor®.

Mistake #6 — Being Ignorant of Your Rights & Responsibilities
It is extremely important that you are well-informed of the details of your real estate contract. Real estate contracts are legally binding documents, and they can often be complex and confusing. Not being aware of the terms in your contract could cost you thousands for repairs and inspections. Know what you are responsible for before signing any contract. Can the property be sold “as is”? How will deed restrictions and local zoning laws affect your transaction? Not knowing the answers to these kinds of questions could end up costing you a considerable amount of money.

Mistake #7 – Signing a Contract with No Escape
Hopefully you will have taken the time to choose the best Realtor® for you. But sometimes, as we all know, circumstances change. Perhaps you misjudged your Realtor®, or perhaps the Realtor® has other priorities on his or her mind. In any case, you should have the right to fire your agent. Also, you should have the right to select another agent of your choosing. Many real estate companies will simply replace an agent with another one, without consulting you. Be sure to have control over your situation before signing a real estate contract.

Mistake #8 – Limited Marketing
There are two obvious marketing tools that nearly every seller uses: open houses and classified ads. Unfortunately, these two tools are rather ineffective. Less than 1% of homes are sold at open houses, and less than 3% are sold because of classified ads. In fact, Realtors® often use open houses solely to attract future prospects, not to sell that particular house.  Does your Realtor® have a website?  There are very few successful real estate professionals who don’t, and for good reason.

Your Realtor® should employ a wide variety of marketing techniques and should be committed to selling your property; he or she should be available for every phone call from a prospective buyer. Most calls are received, and open houses are scheduled, during business hours, so make sure that your Realtor® is working on selling your home during these hours (many Realtors® work part-time).

Mistake #9 – Choosing the Wrong Realtor®
Selling your home could be the most important financial transaction in your lifetime. As a result, it is extremely important that you select a Realtor® who is a good match for you. Experienced real estate agents often cost the same as brand new agents. Chances are that the experienced agent will be able to bring you a higher price in less time and with fewer hassles.

Take your time when selecting a real estate agent. Interview several; ask them key questions. If you want to make your selling experience the best it can be, it is crucial that you select the best agent for you.

The right price

December 19, 2008

When you’re selling your home, the price you set is a critical factor in the return you’ll receive. That’s why you need a professional evaluation from an experienced Realtor®. This person can provide you with an honest assessment of your home, based on several factors, including:

  • Market conditions
  • Condition of your home
  • Repairs or improvements
  • Selling timeframe

In real estate terms, market value is the price at which a particular house, in its current condition, should sell within 30 to 90 days.

If the price of your home is too high, this could cause several things:

  • Limits buyers. Potential buyers may not view your home because it appears to be out of their buying range.
  • Limits showings. Other salespeople may be more reluctant to view your home.
  • Used as leverage. Other Realtors® may use this home to drive the sale of other homes that are better-priced.
  • Extended stay on the market. When a home is on the market too long, it may be perceived as defective. Buyers may wonder, “what’s wrong,” or “why hasn’t this sold?”
  • Lower price. An overpriced home, still on the market beyond the average selling time, could lead to a lower selling price. To sell it, you will have to reduce the price – sometimes several times. In the end, you’ll probably get less than if it had been properly priced in the first place.
  • Wasted time and energy. A bank appraisal is most often required to finance a home.


Realtors® have known it for years – well-kept homes that are properly priced in the beginning always get you the fastest sale for the best price! And that’s why you need a professional to assist you in the selling of your home.

Often, in a seller’s market, homes that are priced slightly below market value initially will sell for more, simply because of the extra interest they incite.  This can be a risk, however, and when it comes to such a decision, an experienced, trusted Realtor® is your best ally.

 

Surviving the sale

December 19, 2008

Selling a home can sometimes be a long, stressful, and costly process.  Like anything, though, equipping yourself with the right tools and the right knowledge can eliminate a great number of the potential negative aspects of the process – and get you the maximum return on your investment.

Your Team

The importance of having the right allies in the selling process cannot be overstated.  Having an expert on your side, not only to assist you in making decisions and getting your home marketed, but also simply in terms of having an advocate in the process, is the single most important step you can take to reduce your stress.

The first step in selling any home should be to arrange to get Comparative Market Analyses for your home from three different Realtors®.  Many sellers take this step, but what they do with the information they receive is not always in their best interest.

Once three CMAs have been prepared, the natural tendency is for a seller to hire the Realtor® who produces the highest number.  This is often a mistake.  Competing Realtors® sometimes inflate these numbers in order to ‘buy’ your listing, intending to later drop their price.  If one CMA is significantly higher than the others, be suspicious of how that number was reached.

More important to this process is getting an idea of these Realtors®’ backgrounds, expertise, motivation, and simply their personalities – you may be working closely with this representative for many weeks, so it is important that it be someone you trust.

Your Goals

Goal #1:  Make lots of money.

Most sellers fail to move beyond goal #1, and that can cause some problems.  Another important goal that should be recognized is the attempt to minimize stress.  Will getting an extra percentage or two for your home be worth the inconvenience of having it on the market for an extra month?  Two months?

Your priorities are your own, of course, but sometimes sellers underestimate the stress that having their home on the market for an extended period can generate.  Constant showings, constant interruptions, and concerns about selling your home before buying its replacement are not minor concerns – each can have a major impact on your life.

Sit down and discuss just where you place the most importance in the selling process.  If profit is your only priority, perhaps you can afford to be firmer in your asking price, and can reject offers that are less than ideal.  Most sellers who have had their home on the market for an extended period of time, though, would agree that the few extra dollars were not worth it in the end.

Your Trust

The correlative to assembling a strong team is putting your trust in that team.

Few people would second-guess their heart surgeon and insist they could do a better job themselves, or question whether their lawyer’s knowledge of the law is more extensive than their own, but when it comes to selling a home, many homeowners find it difficult to put their faith in the knowledge of their Realtor® fully.

For example, despite the fact that studies show that less than 1% of homes are sold through open houses, many homeowners insist their Realtor® hold one.  Indeed, if a yard sign and an open house were all it took to sell a home, there wouldn’t be many Realtors® at all!

If you’ve put the right team in place, put your trust in that team.  Realtors® have access to many highly-advanced marketing strategies that you may not even realize are being utilized. 

It is your Realtor’s® job to bring qualified buyers to the table – and keep in mind that he or she likely does not get paid at all if your house doesn’t sell!  In most markets, the combination of the right representative and the right listing price will result in a sold home.  If you recognize this early on, it becomes much easier to take a step back from the process, let your professional representative market your home, and minimize your stress. 

Don’t hesitate to speak up if you think that things are not progressing as they should, but likewise, don’t hesitate to sit back and be comfortable in the knowledge that the sale of your home is being handled professionally and effectively.

 see www.ditmasestates.com