• Rent Coach

    Rent Coach: Should I rent to a trust funder?

    Rent Coach Mike Akerly

    Q.  A potential renter for an investment property I own presented an application listing liquid assets that exceed $1 million, held in the name of a trust.  I'm  troubled that the assets are not in her name and that her employment income is less than $50,000. 

    The rent is $4k per month and I usually like to see at least $160,000+ in annual income.

    What are your thoughts on her trust assets? Should I ask for any other documentation?

    A. A trust is a legally created entity that protects and distributes assets.  There are three parties to a trust: The settlor, who establishes the trust and provides its assets; the trustee, who cares for the assets of the trust; and the beneficiary, for whose benefit the trust was set up. 

  • Real Estate Want: Talk about a view!

    It's hard to imagine a better view than this one, in the living room of a three-bedroom condo at 1 Central Park West.

    While we realize that the $8.9 million price tag for this three-bedroom condo at 1 Central Park West is a tad out of our price range, we cannot stop ogling that view. I mean, seriously?! 

    The living room boasts floor-to-ceiling windows with an incredible view of Central Park (see photo above). But that's not all. There are also views of Columbus Circle, and even the Hudson River (from the master bedroom).

    Better start saving now...

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


  • Hell's Bitchen

    Hell's Bitchen: Meet my super, Aquavelva

    I am waging a silent war with my super. It involves rocks.

    My super is all of five feet with glassy eyes that get glassier once 5 p.m. comes and so does the rum. I always know when it is prime drinking time because the smell of Aqua Velva mixed with cheap booze permeates my hallway. Maybe he thinks with the right amount of cologne and booze he’ll get lucky.

    He fashions himself the unofficial doorman of the building because he does little but stand in the foyer or outside the door talking to passersby.

    His “apartment” —I used quotation marks because it is more of boiler room than apartment—is at the entrance, and a crucifix and other religious paraphernalia hang on the door.

    Having peeked inside the tiny space a few times, I know that it has cement floors, other people’s tossed furniture and piles of what looks like garbage. I assume he gets paid or gets this unit in exchange for cleaning the building and dealing with the garbage, neither of which he really does.

  • StreetNoise

    StreetNoise: To broker up or not, the Supremes leave NYC rent alone, and more

  • Room for Improvement

    Room for Improvement: A working shower would be nice

    What do five New Yorkers want to change about their apartments? Leveled floors, a working shower, and some post-war charm to name a few things.

    • “We have this really quirky problem where the floors in our apartment are kind of bowed and slanted, because the place is really old. So things slide around and don’t line up properly, which is frustrating.” – David, Chelsea
    • “It’s really modern, and I wish that it was a little bit cozier.  I have hardwood floors, and I have white walls, and there’s a lot of metal and wood. I wish that there was more detailing that you find in older apartments, like archways, rugs, and built-in places in the kitchen.” – Alecia, Williamsburg
    • “My bathroom is a real pain; sometimes the shower will stop working when I really need to use it. I’ve talked to my landlord but he’s never gotten around to fixing it. I mean, the loft is really nice, and the area is great, but I’d really love a working shower.” - Gwen, Upper West Side
    • “I like to have people over, and cook and entertain, but my kitchen is really small, and it gets crowded and messy pretty quickly. So a bigger kitchen would be a huge improvement.” –Ronnie, Ditmas Park
    • “I’d love to have a dishwasher. [Doing the dishes] just becomes time consuming and a whole other task, and bugs come, and you’re competing with them for space all of a sudden. It would just save a lot of time and effort.” – Jacob, Park Slope
  • Your Celebrity Neighbor

    Your celebrity neighbor: Susan Sarandon

    WHO: Thinking man’s sex symbol Susan Sarandon shows thinking men everywhere why she still owns the title. 

    WHERE: The Oscar winning actress and activist lives in Chelsea, where the median sales price is $1.18 million and the median rental price is $3,850, according to StreetEasy. 

    Your Celebrity Neighbor is a weekly heads-up on the A-listers who call your neighborhood home and (in theory) shop the same Duane Reade as you.


  • NYC Renovation Q's

    NYC Renovation Questions: How can I keep noise, dust and odors to a minimum so my neighbors don't hate me?

    Q. How do I make sure to stay on my neighbors’ good sides when I’m renovating? I’m concerned about the smells, dust and noise annoying them.

    A: First, keep an open line of communication with your neighbors (or future neighbors).  Before beginning work, make sure your contractor slips a note about his demolition/renovation plans (complete with his and your contact information) under their doors.

    NYC contractor Jeff Streich of Prime Renovations also recommends talking to your neighbor about any current sound issues between apartments and seek to address them. This will not necessarily protect them from disturbances during the renovation, but it may help your neighbor suffer through in a better frame of mind if he knows he will never have to hear your toilet flush again because you're soundproofing the bathroom.

  • StreetEasy Hot Dozen

    The StreetEasy Hot Dozen: 12 rentals that may or may not be available by the time you read this

    This $4,995/mo 3-bedroom share at 40 Morton Street is half underground and has just one bathroom; however, the location is sweet and it comes with outdoor space-- and a washer-dryer.

    In what is perhaps a sign of the college grads about to descend upon Manhattan and in need of shelter, all but two of this week's Hot Dozen (the rental listings clicked on more than any others on StreetEasy.com during the past 7 days) are located downtown, south of 23rd Street.

    In the heart of the West Village is this three-bedroom, one-bathroom share-friendly duplex apartment at 40 Morton Street and Bedford Street listed at $4,995/month. Half of it appears to be underground, and some of the rooms have a claustrophobic, bunker-ish feeling but a washer/dryer and a private “garden”—well, concrete backyard—certainly sweeten the deal of this very sweetly located place.

  • 11 ways to bounce back when your sale falls through

    First step: Take a deep breath.

    Although it may feel like the end of the world when your sale falls through, it really, truly, is not.

    “Remember, if an apartment is good enough to sell once, it will sell again.  Maybe even for more money,” said Margaret Furniss of Stribling & Associates.

    Here are 11 things to do if the deal falls apart over a co-op board rejection, financing failure or some other reason:

    1. Talk to the board. If your buyer was rejected by the board, don’t necessarily give up.

    Instead, get ahold of your buyer's board application and review it to make sure that (1) the application was properly submitted and (2) there was nothing overlooked and there were no glaring errors, e.g. a missing zero somewhere, or failure to include all of the assets,  says lawyer Sandor Krauss.

  • Ask an Expert: How much is a dining room worth?

    Q. Percentage-wise, how much more should I expect to pay for an apartment with a separate dining room, versus a standard 2 bedroom, where you basically eat in your living room? 

    What about a true eat-in kitchen, where you can put a whole table, not just a couple of stools next to a counter?

    A. In space-deprived New York City, you will certainly pay more for the privilege of noshing in an area specifically designated for that activity, agree our experts.  

    How much more is a little harder to pin down.

    Real estate broker and asset manager Roberta Axelrod of Time Equities says you should expect to pay 5 to 10 percent more for an eat-in kitchen, 10 to 15 percent more for a non-enclosed dining "area," 15-20 percent for a separate dining room, and 20-25 percent if you can convert that dining room to a bedroom and still carve out an area to eat.