The Real.Est List
- by Julie Inzanti | 4/11/13 - 2:52 PM
This is not hyperbole: Our mouths were actually agape as we pored over the photos of this 4-bed, 3.5-bath $8.5 million Bond Street penthouse.
Not only are there seven skylights (all electronically controlled and shaded) 14-foot ceilings, a floating glass staircase, bespoke Italian Murano glass light fixtures...but there are TWO home offices.
There's no doorman, but how we can complain, really, when there's a 1,200-square-foot private roof oasis with trees, mood lighting, a Wolf BBQ, a dumb waiter, and a temperature controlled sunroom with retractable glass doors for year-round enjoyment.
Real Estate Want is a weekly column featuring New York City apartment details we're coveting right now.
- by Mike Akerly | 4/11/13 - 12:51 PM
Q. I own a condo in the city that I intend to rent out when I move out of it next month. I really don’t want the tenant to smoke in the unit but I also want to make sure I comply with fair housing laws.
Can I advertise it for rent specifically to non-smokers only?
A. Yes. Fair Housing Laws (local, state, and federal) are indeed intended to protect prospective tenants from discrimination by landlords. Landlords may not refuse to rent to or negotiate with a person based on that person’s inclusion in a protected class.
The Federal Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination in housing based on someone’s race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability or familial status. The NYC Human Rights Law expands the scope of prohibited discrimination to include gender identity, creed, disability, sexual orientation, marital status, partnership status, citizenship status, lawful occupation, and whether or not children will be residing in the property.Smokers, however, are not a protected class under any of these laws, and, thus, you can express a preference for a non-smoker.
- Hell's Bitchenby Kelly Kreth | 4/11/13 - 10:31 AM
In 2000, I moved from New Jersey to Hell's Kitchen (for the first time). Everyone raised their eyebrows when I told them that I lived there, on Ninth Avenue, because Hell's Kitchen conjured images of old Irish, drug deals and prostitution.
The truth was somewhat different. While I did live over an OTB (remember those?) and there was still a sort of sketchy element, there were also small art galleries popping up, some gay bars and some tony eateries -- all signs of the g-word: gentrification.
Within a few years, my favorite supermarket across the street from my building disappeared to make way for a high-rise luxury building. On my corner, the Alvin Ailey dance building appeared.
In those days, I would try to avoid Tenth Avenue, especially at night because it seemed sketchy and wasn't highly trafficked because there were no popular eateries or places of business there. The few nights I did take the bus up Tenth and exit on 53rd and Tenth, the block and a half walk seemed to take forever.
- StreetNoiseby Lucy Cohen Blatter | 4/11/13 - 9:02 AM
- Have $100k, $1m or $1b to spare? Here are the smartest investment bets in NYC real estate right now (The Real Deal; previously)
- (The secret to getting rid of bed bugs may lie in a folk remedy involving bean leaves (NY Times)
- Where to buy a vacation home when money's no object but time is (UrbanBaby)
- Cookie-cutter rebellion: Converted firehouses, clock towers and the like (NY Mag)
- Frustrated parents call Williamsburg a no-nap zone (DNA Info)
- This season, watch the spotlight-loving brokers of "Million Dolllar Listing New York" try to sell apartments during Sandy (Access Hollywood)
- Want a broker who'll also help do your taxes? Head to the outerboroughs (NY Times)
- To avoid being duped, ask to see your broker's real estate license (NY1)
- NYC vacancy rate at a two-year low; rents up for all apartment sizes (The Elliman Report)
- by Sharon Krum | 4/10/13 - 2:11 PM
WHO: Bjork has been called Iceland’s most famous export. We prefer to think of her as New York’s most creatively unconventional import.
WHERE: The singer-songwriter, who just announced concert dates for the summer, lives in Brooklyn Heights, where the median sales price is $949,250 and the median rental price is $3,355 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.
- by Mayra David | 4/10/13 - 12:48 PM
From character and soundproofing to an emergency generator, five New Yorkers share the items on the top of their apartment-improvement wish list:
- Living outside the box I’m in ‘cookie cutter’ building and it’s a rental so I can’t do much. If it was my place I’d jazz up the walls with some molding and nice baseboards or something. And I’d paint the place with something other than decorator’s white. But I don’t want to put in the effort for a rental - Joey, Upper West Side
- A larger room/library I'd like to push back a wall to enlarge the third bedroom, install floor-to-ceiling bookcases and have a guest room/ library. -Dominique, Flatiron District
- New cabinets, fixtures and floor tiles I’d gut the kitchen and the bathroom. Start fresh with new cabinets and fixtures, and floor tiles. But I can’t even stomach the thought of prepping for a paint job, even if I don’t have to do it myself. I just don’t have a renovation in me. - Ann Marie, West Village
- Real.Est. List Spotlight Galleryby Leah Hochbaum Rosner | 4/10/13 - 10:44 AM
Realizing that you lost your keys somewhere between the downtown bar and your uptown apartment sucks. Realizing that a locksmith is going to charge you more than a roundtrip flight to Florida to get you back into your apartment sucks harder.
That’s why Jay Sofer decided to launch Lockbusters—the focus of this week’s Real. Est. List Spotlight Series. The East Village biz charges flat rates for busting open your locks, removing opportunities for price-gouging. Prices are guaranteed, publicly displayed and include all parts and labor that might be required.
“The flat rate concept was just so obvious,” says Sofer, a second-generation locksmith who grew up in his dad’s shop hearing horror stories about people being ripped off when they were desperate to get back into their homes. “You pick your lock off a menu on our website,” he says. “There’s a comfort in knowing what you’re going to get.”
- Dep't of Must Havesby Tracy Kaler | 4/10/13 - 8:51 AM
Q. I want to install a washer/dryer in my co-op apartment. What should I know?
A. If you’re tired of traipsing up and down from your basement--or worse, back and forth to the Laundromat--you may be considering the addition of a washer/dryer in your apartment.
First you'll need to get your board's permission to do it, and then find a practical spot to install your new machines.
Here's a checklist of questions and answers to help you confirm that you're ready, willing and able to install that washer and dryer in your city apartment.
- by Teri Karush Rogers | 4/09/13 - 1:55 PM
Q. I live in a co-op where the sponsor still owns and rents out 30% of the units. The house rules and proprietary lease both require that all apartments be 80% carpeted, but the renter who lives above me in a sponsor-owned unit hasn't carpeted the floors, and the noise is loud and disruptive.
Do our house rules and proprietary lease apply to the sponsor's apartments?
A. A co-op's house rules and proprietary lease apply to sponsors, say our experts, but they frequently contain special exceptions for sponsors, who draft these documents to begin with.
Often "the governing documents afford the sponsor greater rights than other shareholders," says co-op and condo attorney Scott Greenspun of Braverman Greenspun, such as allowing the sponsor "to sell or sublet its apartments without board approval."
- by Alex Hughes | 4/09/13 - 11:09 AM
Spring weather has finally hit NYC (80 degrees today, whaaat?!) and three apartments in this week's Hot Dozen--the 12 rental apartments Streeteasy.com visitors clicked on most often over the past seven days--feature outdoor spaces where you can soak up the sun.
A one-bedroom apartment at 43 Greenwich Avenue and Charles Street, has already been snapped up despite its pricey rent of $4,300/month. That's probably because of the in-demand West Village location and the rare (and large) private deck that's bigger than most NYC apartments.
Head uptown to a more economical studio apartment at 244 West 64th Street and West End Avenue is listed at $1,450/month.The apartment building boasts a 24-hour concierge, free gym, laundry room, and shared landscaped courtyard where you can get appreciate the outdoors without going to Central Park just a few blocks away.
- by Mayra David | 4/09/13 - 8:55 AM
Photo Credit / Angela Rutherford
In a perfect real estate world, we would all transition from one apartment to another in a few seamless motions, like a cartoon Tarzan swinging from vine to vine. But even though it really is a jungle out there, swapping apartments rarely happens so smoothly, especially if you’re short on downpayment funds.
A perfect scenario could unfold like this: "Sell your apartment, live in a flex lease rental until you close on the new apartment, then move in. But there are so many factors involved that can make that scenario not happen,” says real estate agent Brad Bateman of Stribling & Associates.
Among the reasons why wrapping up the sale of your first place might not make sense for you: You haven't found a buyer, there is a time constraint (like moving out of your studio before the twins are born), or maybe there is a deal too good to pass up.
When you already own an apartment, your first challenge is likely scraping together the downpayment. Then you'll need to get approved by the board (mostly a co-op issue) and get approved for financing if you're taking out a mortgage.
- Diary of a First-Time Buyer (cont'd)by Elle Bee | 4/08/13 - 2:10 PM
It was a happy accident that Sidney, my broker, suggested we return to the West 181st street area, aka Hudson Heights. I had liked the location, which reminded me of a Parisian enclave with its leafy trees and trellised stone steps.
I first looked here in the beginning of my search—back in April 2011. And I'd never quite forgotten the charms of the neighborhood: the low-rise scale, thriving mom & pop stores (including an excellent wine store) and a street emptying into the openness of the Hudson River. The Starbucks on the corner was the only hint of the new world on the street.
On a Wednesday afternoon, Sidney, Chris and I met at 870 W. 181st, a large pre-war coop building that hugged the slight curve of the street heading down the embankment.
The lobby instantly clicked with my aesthetic: a columned marble lobby—not gleaming, but also not shoddy. We took the elevator to the third floor. The agent recognized me from a previous visit (not in this building), which was no surprise to me now that I’d been on the circuit a couple of years, where often I felt like I saw the same faces, just different apartments.
- by Emily Feldman | 4/08/13 - 11:36 AM
It was a Brooklyn weekend again.
Homes in the city's most populous borough—from Brooklyn Heights to Prospect Heights—dominated the latest Open House Scorecard, which ranks the ten open houses most frequently saved on StreetEasy this past weekend.
Brooklyn prices on this weekend's Scorecard ranged from $599k for both a two-bedroom Clinton Hill condo and a two-bedroom Prospect Heights co-op, to $995k for the two-bedroom Park Slope condo pictured at left.
The $995k Park Slope condo, at 27 Saint John's Place, has two bedrooms plus a guest suite and two bathrooms, ductless a/c system, washer/dryer, balcony--and incredibly low carrying costs of around $300/month.
- Sponsored by Click and Improve.com4/08/13 - 10:13 AM
If you’re buying or selling a NYC apartment, you’ve probably got a lot on your mind—such as the actual buying or selling.
Fortunately, you live in the non-DIY capital of the universe. Meaning you can hire someone else to handle the messy practicalities of prepping an apartment for sale…or transforming your new place into a home.
That’s where Click and Improve.com comes in. The home-improvement website (recently profiled here) can take care of much of what you may be needing at this transitional moment—ranging from painting and wallpapering to switching out light fixtures to reglazing the bathtub—at reasonable prices
You can take an a-la-carte approach and book a service on the web, to be performed by Click and Improve’s network of top-notch plumbers, electricians, painters and other service providers. Many jobs, including painting and flat-screen tv-hanging, are offered at flat rate prices.
- StreetNoiseby Lucy Cohen Blatter | 4/08/13 - 8:58 AM
- Sometimes a good closet can make or break a deal (NY Times)
- Suck it in: More micro-apartments coming to NYC (NY Observer)
- The pros and cons of using a real estate brokerage's "in-house" mortgage company (NY Times)
- Is the Upper West Side facing a supermarket shortage? (West Side Rag)
- Bank of America draws the most consumer hotline complaints about mortgages (The Real Deal)
- Can't decide which luxury apartment you want in The Atelier? How about buying the entire 45th floor? (Curbed NY)
- A nanny is every busy New York City's parent's best friend... here's how to find the right one (DNA Info)
- Sometimes living in NYC feels totally worth the sacrifices...othertimes, it does not (Huffington Post)
- How to make buyers overlook the fact that your apartment's on the first floor (NY Times)