Suburban Commercial Real Estate Market Makes a Comeback

After announcing its death when vacancy rates hovered around 20% to 30% during the most recent recession, the suburban office market has suddenly resurrected. The office market recovery has reached outside the city limits, more specifically into so-called “premier” locations where technology- and energy-related companies are driving growth.

According to CoStar, suburban markets have accounted for 87% of office demand, which is 13% more than their “fair share” based on the total market size, compared with CBD office markets. Suburban areas leading the way include Waltham-Watertown, Massachusetts; northwest Austin, Texas; Bellevue, Washington; at Katy Freeway West, Texas. Such markets make up just 19% of the office inventory but drew 29% of the demand over the last six quarters, according to CoStar data.

Suburban office absorption tends to perform well during good economic times and when the economy starts to recover, while CBD properties do better during difficult economic times. That’s because companies can take advantage of lower rental rates so they can secure space closer to the urban areas. But with the economy improving, office rental rates are starting to increase and many companies are staying away from the pricey CBD buildings and finding affordable rates outside the cities.

This is showing up in the net absorption rates. Cities with high absorption rates in their outlying areas include Sacramento and San Jose, California; Austin, Texas; Kansas City, Missouri; and Charlotte, North Carolina.

When it comes to commercial real estate, it’s not just about location. It’s also about representation. Before entering into any such transaction, please consult with an attorney who is experienced in commercial real estate law.

A Living Will vs. A Healthcare Proxy

A Living Will is often confused with a Healthcare Proxy and vice versa by many individuals. Although both provide advance directives regarding medical decisions, they both are separate documents with distinct features and purposes.

It is vital to become aware of these terms, what they mean, and the impact both documents can have on your life and the lives of your loved ones. Get informed and ensure that your legal rights are protected.

A Living Will

A Living Will is a written statement of an individual’s wishes regarding medical treatment. This document is created to define a person’s specific plan as to how their health care will be handled if they are gravely ill or incapacitated in the hospital. The primary issue to be determined in a Living Will is whether a person wishes to be put on life support, and what type of life-preserving measures should be taken.

A Living Will is vitally important not only for the ill person, but for the family. Without a Living Will, a physician may call upon the family members to make very difficult judgment calls. These types of matters have been increasingly more common with advancements in medical science, and the increased ability to extend life.

Living Wills give detailed instructions regarding medical treatment if an individual is in a persistent vegetative state, in a coma, or otherwise unable to communicate how she wants his/her medical treatment handled. Perhaps a person does not believe in being kept alive by artificial means, particularly if there is no hope of recovery. A Living Will stating this fact would give this person control over their own health care when they are unable to express their own wishes.

A Healthcare Proxy

A Healthcare Proxy varies from a Living Will in that a Health Care Proxy appoints a particular person to speak on your behalf regarding medical decisions, if you are in a situation where you can’t make them yourself. The idea behind a Health Care Proxy is that someone makes the decisions you would have made, had you been able to do so.

You must choose your proxy thoughtfully since he/she will be acting on your behalf. After appointing your proxy, it is extremely important to discuss your wishes with them about your medical care, including resuscitation, artificial nutrition and hydration and personal goals for quality of life. Knowledge of your wishes will help guide the decisions your proxy will have to make with your medical team. Knowing that any decisions made are based on your personal values and wishes will be a comfort to family and friends during a stressful time.

Contact an Attorney

If you become unable to direct your own medical care because of illness, an accident, or advanced age, the right legal documents are your lifeline. When you don’t write down your wishes about the kinds of medical treatment you do or don’t want to receive and name someone you trust to oversee your care, these important matters can be placed in the hands of estranged family members, doctors, or sometimes even judges, who may know very little about what you would prefer. In order to ensure you are protected, contact an experienced attorney today.

Guardianship 101: A Brief Intro into Guardianship

As people go through life, it is obvious that familiarizing oneself to legal terminology is not a high priority. Yet, as we get older, it is important to get ourselves informed about decisions and circumstances that one day we may find ourselves in. Below is some general information to get you acquainted with the topic of guardianship. It is vital to keep yourself informed to ensure your legal rights are protected. Read below and keep up with our Blog!

What is a guardian?

A guardian is an institution/individual appointed by the court (or voluntarily appointed by an elderly individual) to make personal needs or property management decisions for an incapacitated person. Continue reading “Guardianship 101: A Brief Intro into Guardianship”

NYS Attorney General Blasts City Councilwoman’s Eminent Domain Idea

New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said that a plan by City Councilwoman Melissa Mark-Viverito to have the city seize properties using eminent domain as a way for homeowners to avoid foreclosure is something that is not viable.

Ms. Mark-Viverito, who represents East Harlem, is proposing that the city take ownership of the homes away from banks so that troubled homeowners can keep their homes. Mr. Schneiderman says that it can be risky for the city — or any other municipal government — to acquire private property this way, adding that if the city attempts to do this and it’s not done the right way, there could be unfavorable legal consequences for the city.

Mr. Schneiderman cited a similar plan adopted by the city council in Richmond, California that is facing skepticism. On September 11, the Richmond City Council voted 4-3 to allow the city to acquire “underwater” homes from lending institutions so borrowers can stay in their houses. The bill passed, 4-3. Those who voted against the bill said it would open the city to lawsuits and face a backlash from the lending industry.

Bottom line: Don’t wait for eminent domain to save your home. If you are facing foreclosure, contact our office or another attorney experienced in handling these matters. There are a number of legal options available to you.

Top Ten Estate Reasons Real Estate Closings Get Adjourned

#10-     An executor or administrator gives a power of attorney to a third party. Fiduciaries cannot delegate their authority.

#9-       The Seller does not come to closing with certified funds for transfer taxes.  Most Title companies will not take a personal check for transfer taxes unless authorized prior to closing.

#8-       The Buyer unaware that the bank deducts closing costs from mortgage proceeds and fails to bring certified funds to make up the difference.

#7-       The Executor of a Will that was not probated arrives at closing without Letters Testamentary.

#6-       A Religious Corporation arrives at closing without a Supreme Court order authorizing the sale.

#5-       The Seller arrives at closing with a payoff letter showing legal fees due. Seller may be in default on mortgage and must be in compliance with Home Equity Theft Protection Act.

#4-       A child of the deceased owner who lives in the house arrives at closing to execute the deed without an Administrator or an Affidavit of Heirship.

#3-       A seller with a docketed judgment that was discharged in bankruptcy believes he can sell the property free of that judgment.

#2-       Only one Executor shows up to the closing when Letters Testamentary where issued to two executors.

The Number 1 Reason is: Will names a specific person to receive the property but the Executor attends the closing to execute the deed.


*Make sure your Estate Attorney and Real Estate Attorney are knowledgeable about the relationship between estate matters and the purchase and sale of property.  Contact Attorney Tanya Hobson-Williams at (718) 210-4744 for more information.

Recognizing Signs of Elder Abuse in a Loved One

Many senior citizens who are too frail and vulnerable have become victims of elder abuse at the expense of strangers, trusted caregivers and even friends and family members. When one thinks of elder abuse, they think of physical abuse, but it goes beyond that.

Elder abuse takes many forms: sexual abuse (non-consensual sex), willful neglect (failing to provide food, shelter, healthcare or protection for a vulnerable patient), exploitation (stealing, misusing or concealing the seniors’ funds, property or assets for someone else’s gain), abandonment (leaving seniors by themselves without proper care), emotional abuse (verbal threats, humiliation and intimidation) and self-neglect (the failure of a person to perform essential, self-care tasks that may result in a threat of his/her own health or safety).

Signs of elder abuse include bruises, pressure marks and abrasions on the skin; broken bones; unexplained withdrawal from normal activities; depression; sudden changes in their financial situation; bedsores; poor hygiene; unusual weight loss; use of threatening behavior by a spouse; strained or tense situations and frequent arguments between the patient and caregiver.

Elder abuse came into the national spotlight in 2011 when legendary actor Mickey Rooney was granted court protection from his stepson and stepdaughter who he claims abused him, verbally, emotionally and financially. Mr. Rooney also accused his stepchildren of denying him food and medicine.

According to the American Psychological Association, an estimated 2.1 million senior citizens suffer some form of elder abuse. The National Elder Abuse Center report that 21% of elder abuse cases are self-abuse and financial abuse. If you suspect that an elderly loved one may be a victim of elder abuse, it is recommended that you call the authorities and contact us at Tanya Hobson-Williams, P.C..