• No-Fee Apartment of the Week

    No-Fee Apartment of the Week: $3,750 one-bedroom in NoHo/Greenwich Village

    A $3,750 one-bedroom might be on the pricey side, but there's no broker's fee -- and check out the pool! 

    This $3,895 one-bedroom is located at 300 Mercer Street, one of the most recognizable high-rise buildings in the village. 

    Pros: Located a block from Cooper Square, the area is lively and fun. You'll never want for clothing stores or restaurants. Plus, in addition to the building's more usual amenities--e.g. concierge and gym (membership required)--there's also a two-story roofdeck with an outdoor pool and changing rooms with saunas.

    Cons: The area can feel overrun by NYU students. The building's high rise feel might not be the Greenwich Village living experience you imagined. Also, we're talking almost $4,000 for a one-bedroom.

  • 10 Minutes With...

    10 Minutes with window treatment, glass and radiator-cover guy Lou Manganiello: Only fools take their own measurements (or buy online!)

    Marjorie Cohen

    Lou Manganiello, owner of Strachman on the Upper West Side, handles window treatments, shower doors, mirrors, glass and radiator covers around the city.

    Lou Manganiello, owner of Strachman on the Upper West Side, is in the business of selling and installing window treatments, shower doors, mirrors, glass and radiator covers to New Yorkers.

    On a busy Saturday morning, he fielded phone calls, waited on walk-in customers,  joked with neighbors and showed us photos of his days as a power lifter hoisting a 470 pound barbell.

    Lou thinks there should be a sitcom made about him and his business. "So many things happen every day with the customers, the suppliers, the neighbors, the parking--it's always pretty amusing," he says. 

    What are the most in-demand items now?

    With window treatments, it's mostly blinds in neutral colors—the “ettes collections”: silhouettes, duettes, luminettes and vignettes. 

  • StreetEasy's Most Wanted

    StreetEasy’s Most Wanted: Dressed to the nines (and priced under $900k)

    Ringing in at $895k — just under the $900k mark — this two-bedroom co-op on West 89th doesn’t have a doorman, but the elevator opens directly into the unit, and the laundry facility is free to unit owners.

    Any New Yorker who’s cringed at the sight of a seven-digit price tag should be pleased to know that apartments in Manhattan can indeed be bought for well under a mil.  This week's Most Wanted — the 10 most saved sales listings on StreetEasy.com this week — features several budget-friendlier options.

    For $450k, you can buy a courtyard-facing one-bedroom postwar co-op on East 21st and Third Avenue. With a walk-in and two additional closets, there's plenty of storage for one person. There's also an HVAC system in the bedroom and living room, and a doorman and live-in super downstairs. 

    Next we head downtown to a one-bedroom co-op in Soho being offered for $500k. Located on the corner of MacDougal and West Houston Streets, this pet-friendly unit lets in western light through large windows. It also has high ceilings, hardwood floors, a windowed bathroom and an office alcove. But the "low-cost" tenement-style unit comes without a doorman.

  • Transitions

    Prospect Heights to the Upper West Side: More families, less CSI

    Last summer, my boyfriend and I moved to NYC. After the initial few months of tough-luck apartment hunting online (no one wanted students, especially those with little credit history) we were able to find a share in a railroad-style apartment. It was a great place on Ocean Avenue along Prospect Park in Brooklyn, even if we had a roommate in the living room.

    Right away, I loved the area. A huge leafy park, small Caribbean grocery stores, a large bulk store co-op, and a backyard garden area made for an excellent transition from my home in rural Ithaca, New York.

    But my boyfriend started to get restless and wanted the buzz of the city and the convenience it provided.

    Initially I fought it, but slowly, the universe seemed to hint we should move. People started making snide remarks to us on the street (sometimes race-related -- my boyfriend's Hispanic, I'm white) and there was growing neighborhood violence -- the subway station near us was once closed down for over a day as the cops combed the area, and rumors circulated that a shooting had taken place.

  • Real Estate Want

    Real Estate Want: Perfect dinner party details

    The spacious eat-in kitchen at 155 West 68th Street provides a quiet little nook for guests to come chat with the cook, while staying out of the way.

    There'd be no need to edit your holiday guest list this year if you bought this condo at 155 West 68th Street.

    The decked-out kitchen and dining room in this apartment--on the market for $2.69 million--are perfect for entertaining. We're already drooling over the thought of the dinner parties we could throw here. The six-burner Electrolux Icon range would come in handy when cooking for a big crowd and the 36” integrated Sub-Zero refrigerator is perfect for party leftovers.

    The immense nine-foot pantry across the hall from the kitchen provides ample storage and the large dining room fits a 12-person square table easily.

    The best part about this property, though, may be in the details. The oak built-ins in the dining room hide a bar complete with a 42-bottle wine cooler for after-meal refreshments. Party at our place!

    Real Estate Want is a weekly column featuring New York City apartment details we're coveting right now.

  • Bedbugged!

    Bedbugged! I finally get the moving thing right

    I’ve been going on about moving lately, but that’s because I’m still doing it. And because I keep running into examples of how not to do it. Now, finally, I have actually done it right, in terms of avoiding bed bugs. I think. 
    What I did right was hire a mover with a bonafide bed bug protocol. 
    I had this chance to redeem myself moving-wise when my cousin decided to cut her overhead and move to a share, dumping all her stuff. She happened to have what I lack, given that I came from a share: loveseat, microwave, some shelves, a nightstand or two, a coffee table--everything I needed to finish situating myself. Knowing that her apartment was bed bug–free, I had no qualms about accepting used items. 
    But once again I found myself fretting about how to move without worrying about getting bed bugs. 

  • Rent Coach

    Rent Coach: Can I get my broker's fee refunded because my landlord didn't paint my apartment?

    Rent Coach Mike Akerly

    Q. I recently rented an apartment Downtown and paid the listing broker a 15% fee when I signed the lease.  I had spoken to the agent about some work that needed to be done such as painting and various other minor repairs.  I was assured that they would be taken care of by the time I moved in. 

    On move-in day, I was surprised that none of the work had been done.  After being in the apartment for the past week, I have also realized that there are many other issues such as non-functioning electrical switches and a leaking toilet.  The broker has repeatedly told me that he has reached out to the landlord, but nothing has been fixed. 

    At this point, I just want the 15% fee I paid back for having to put up with all this trouble.  How should I go about demanding that?

  • Mayor's new bill does NOT ban smoking inside apartments

    Yesterday Mayor Bloomberg proposed a law that would require city landlords, co-ops and condos to write down their smoking policy and give it to prospective buyers and renters so they know what to expect.

    The bill does not ban smoking inside individual apartments; that's still up to each building. 

    But smokers shouldn't necessarily breathe easier.

    In a hint earlier this week that more such bans will be forthcoming, the influential Real Estate Board of New York issued guidelines to its members that explain how to go about implementing building-wide smoking bans.

    It's legal if implemented properly, but is it fair?

    Some people (presumably, the 14% New Yorkers who still smoke) believe that puffing away at home is no different from vacuuming in the nude or frying fish.  

  • StreetNoise

    StreetNoise: Rent Guidelines Board is a bunch of kangaroos, first-time buyers eat Bklyn, and more

  • For animal lovers: How to find a pet-friendly building and live happily ever after

    Like most elements of life here in New York City, having a dog isn't easy. We hope to make it a bit more manageable with this week's SurvivalList, rounding up some of our most apropos posts on the topic...

    After zeroing in on a dog-appropriate neighborhood and a putatively dog-friendly building, you may also need to persuade your landlord or the co-op board to give the nod to your pup.

    Once you're in, the day-to-day challenges begin. Lack of outdoor access translates into a lot of walks--and pricey dogwalkers, who may need as much supervision as your pet.  You'll also need to brush-up on your petiquette to get along with the neighbors, who may be, um, less than thrilled with Fido’sbarking habits.

    Cats, while a bit easier to manage, aren't natural high-rise dwellers.  And they don’t always mix well with hardwood floors and, by extension, landlords.   

    Below, you'll find these and more posts designed to help you and your pet co-habitate in NYC.