The Real.Est List
- by Tracy Kaler | 3/18/13 - 10:28 AM
Flickr photos by juhansonin
Renovating anywhere--let alone in New York City--is certainly not easy, even for the seasoned pro.
BrickUnderground has covered many of the mysteries and challenges you are likely to encounter--from the hidden costs of a NYC renovation, to how to get your punch list completed, to what, exactly, an expediter does (and does not), picking the best kitchen countertop material, and, of course, the special exceptions occasionally granted board members.
(You'll find more about the process of slicing, dicing and improving your apartment in our Renovation section as well as our biweekly NYC Renovation Questions column and its predecessor, the NYC Renovation Chronicles.)
For best results--and to stand any chance of getting your project completed on time somewhere in the vicinity of your budget--you'll want to avoid these newbie mistakes.
- StreetNoiseby Sara Alessi | 3/18/13 - 9:05 AM
- Your apt could be worth $1,000-$40,000/day as a film set--but not if you live in a walk-up or a place with lots of windows (NY Times)
- Don’t like waking up to a jackhammer? Avoid East Houston St., thanks to overnight construction (DNAinfo)
- Bronx Housing Court evicts renters at "disturbing and unprecedented rate," says new report (NY Times)
- Property tax abatement update: There's a sneaky April 1st filing deadline for new condo/co-ops...and new building or old, if your apartment isn't your primary residence, you no longer qualify for an abatement (Habitat Magazine)
- More Manhattanites are buying fixer-uppers, due to limited fixed-up options (NY Times)
- City feel crowded? That’s because more people are living here--especially in Brooklyn (amNewYork)
- …fortunately, a few thousand more apartments will be available in Brooklyn in the coming years--especially in Williamsburg and Park Slope (Crain’s; The Real Deal)
- If you live in The Whitman, Chelsea Clinton could be your new neighbor (The Real Deal)
- by Alana Mayman | 3/15/13 - 1:57 PM
Flickr photos via martakat83
The economy is allegedly turning around, NYC real estate is heating up again and bidding wars are apparently back in a big way. As you hit the open house circuit this weekend, here are some tips for sabotaging the competition like the consummate New Yorker you are.
- Gush to other open house attendees about the ENORMOUS fabulous tower that is being built across the way, complete with big box retail. "It will be just like living in the 'burbs!"
- Hang a bed bug exterimination sign-up sheet in the elevator.
- Send your kids in all filthy and sticky and have them yell, "Which one of you is going to be our new neighbor?" Even better... have them bring in a big, smelly dog too.
- by Lucy Cohen Blatter | 3/15/13 - 12:51 PM
Located in the more hipster-than-stroller-friendly Lower East Side, this $4,300 three-bedroom might be more likely to attract roommates looking for a share rather than families.
Pros: The new boutique elevator building allows pets and has a roof deck. There are also two bathrooms! Appliances (which include a washer/dryer) are new, and for many, you can't beat the excitement of the neighborhood.
Cons: The rent is net effective, which probably means that the monthly outlay is higher and there's a free month or so rent thrown in there. Also, at under 1,000-square-foot, the apartment isn't big for a three-bedroom, and we're wondering if the wall off the kitchen is meant to create a living room/dining room or a "bedroom."
No-Fee Rental of the Week showcases an apartment that’s currently on the market and is being offered with no broker fee (otherwise known as the holy grail of New York City rentals). For tips on how to find more no-fee apartments, check out the The 8 best websites for finding a no-fee apartment in NYC and our Guerrilla Guide series.
- by Mike Mahon as told to Kim Gorode | 3/15/13 - 11:16 AM
I’d been living in the Chelsea/Hells Kitchen area (West 30th Street and 9th Avenue) for two years when I decided I wanted to join my growing group of friends who were living in or moving to Williamsburg.
In Chelsea, my old apartment was a two-bedroom. My portion of the rent was $1,375 per month. I lived there with my best friend. It wasn't very large, had small bedrooms and a very small living room with one big shared closet since the bedrooms did not have them. The best feature was a gigantic kitchen with a sizable balcony that had views of New Jersey and the Empire State Building.
There are definitely some plusses about my old neighborhood, including proximity to public transportation. There are also a few good bars and restaurants such as Hudson Station bar and grill, Blossom Du Jour, a great vegetarian place, and Co., which is a fantastic Neapolitan pizza spot. And the beginning of the development of Hudson Yards was bringing in more new places to hang out nearby.
- by Sara Alessi | 3/15/13 - 9:05 AM
It looks like big spenders were out in force on StreetEasy this past week: This edition of the Most Wanted -- the 10 sales listings saved more often than any others by those surfing StreetEasy this week -- exhibits a definite tropism toward big spending and classy living.
Take this rather droolworthy $1.995m two-bedroom, two-and-a-half-bathroom condo (pictured) in TriBeCa, on Leonard Street between Church Street and Broadway. The south-facing prewar penthouse duplex loft comes with a private terrace, though the outdoor space has yet to be connected to the apartment (the seller has architectural plans and permits from the DOB to facilitate the process).
- by Mike Akerly | 3/14/13 - 2:35 PM
Q. My kitchen will become mostly unusable for a week or two while my landlord fixes a leak above the sink. There has not been any permanent damage to my personal property, but am I entitled to a discounted rent for the time I can't use my kitchen?
A. Possibly. There are at least two possible theories upon which you might be due a rent reduction for the period of time that the repair work is conducted.
The first is the Warranty of Habitability. This is a warranty that is implied in every NY residential lease that covenants that the rented premises is 1) fit for human habitation, 2) provides the essential functions of a residence, and 3) that the occupants will not be subjected to hazardous conditions.
- by Julie Inzanti | 3/14/13 - 12:21 PM
Plenty of townhouses require upgrades and sometimes entire overhauls, but from what we can see, this $3.4 million Brooklyn Heights home at 152 Willow Street is in enviable ready-to-wear condition, featuring many clean, crisp, modern updates to the old-fashioned details.
The exposed brick in this 1920s townhouse is balanced with a sturdy modern staircase, and the old fashioned coiled radiator in the bathroom is matched with updated his and her sinks and modern fixtures. The kitchen looks like it just stepped out of a showroom, featuring a Viking range big enough to sleep a vast Subzero fridge. along with a quaint little window to add a touch of country-kitchen.
The $3.4 million isn't exactly pocket change, but at least we won't need a renovation budget....Real Estate Want is a weekly column featuring New York City apartment details we're coveting right now.
- Hell's Bitchenby Kelly Kreth | 3/14/13 - 10:23 AM
Probably the biggest mistake my landlord ever made was giving me her cell number.
In February I was due to begin paying rent—I had paid a year up front back when I moved in—and she texted to let me know where to send the check.
Before that, when I needed to get in touch with her, I typically would call her husband as I have the number of the shop he works at around the corner and get random workmen to relay messages to him, but figured texting was a far better, convenient and deliciously passive aggressive way to communicate.
When I first noticed a bed bug crawl across my bed at 10:30 p.m. about a month ago I urgently texted her. She told me to mail her the bug so she could have it analyzed, and texting made it way easier to put the kibosh on that and tell her I would be calling the bed bug dog in the morning so as to waste no time.
Now I text her all the time, but am sure to use a variety of emoticons and say LOL to soften the blow of complaint after complaint. I hate myself. But it is effective--my bed bug problem was handled efficiently.
- StreetNoiseby Lucy Cohen Blatter | 3/14/13 - 9:04 AM
- Goodbye classic-six envy: Living in a 400-square-foot studio can make you a better person (NY Times)
- Rents continue to go up, and you can thank the luxury market for at least some of that...(Douglas Elliman February Rental Report)
- ...and compared to these seven international cities, ours is still a bargain (Daily News)
- Red Hook and Gowanus developers and residents might want to consider building properties higher -- or face steeper insurance premiums -- thanks to new FEMA flood-risk zoning (DNAInfo)
- Those considering moving to a gentrifying neighborhood may want to watch this film about Williamsburg and be forewarned (NY Times)
- Feeling lucky? Here are a few tips for negotiating the rent on your next apartment--and the one that you're already in (CurbedNY; previously)
- TriBeCa residents poised to get more green space (Tribeca Trib)
- More affordable (and not-so-affordable) housing may be on its way Hudson Square area in Lower Manhattan thanks to City Council-approved rezoning (The Real Deal)
- Attention Staten Island residents: New York homeowners can expect more (non-mandatory) post-Sandy buyouts to come their way (Wall Street Journal)
- by Sharon Krum | 3/13/13 - 3:38 PM
WHO: Rachel Weisz recently announced she is heading to Broadway, and rumor has it she will be starring opposite her husband Daniel Craig. Oh, to be an investor in that show.
WHERE: Weisz, currently playing a witch in the family flick Oz The Great and Powerful, lives with Craig in the East Village, where the median sales price is $785k and the median rental is $3,295, 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 Tracy Kaler | 3/13/13 - 12:38 PM
Q. I’m about to move into a tiny studio, and am considering a murphy bed. What should I know?
A. Murphy beds -- also known a hide-a-beds or wall beds -- are most attractive when they're part of a built-in case or cabinet (fixed or attached) to your apartment wall. The idea is that when folded or in the closed position, no one would ever know that the cabinet is indeed a Murphy bed.
Built-in storage, usually flanking either side of the bed, is completely customizable and designed to work with your individual space. This removes any dorm-like feeling or the hideous “bed in a closet” that has been associated with Murphy beds of yore.
- Real.Est. List Spotlight Galleryby Leah Hochbaum Rosner | 3/13/13 - 10:51 AM
Living in the city that never sleeps has lots of pluses—the nightlife, the diversity, the culture—but the unique complexities of shopping for groceries is a definite minus.
Local supermarkets can leave much to be desired, and getting groceries home can be a tough thing (hello, grandma cart!), plus who really has the time to shop when we're working 8-8 to pay our rents?
So it's no great surprise that online grocery delivery services like Peapod, the subject of this week’s Real. Est. List Spotlight Series, have flourished on the island of Manhattan. The Skokie, Illinois-based company offers seven-day-a-week delivery and the power to shop in your pajamas.
“Cities are probably where we are strongest because of how hard it is to go grocery shopping,” says Peg Merzbacher, director of marketing for Peapod, noting that if you typically have to lug bulky bags up to your fifth-floor walk-up you’ll probably jump at the chance to let someone else do the heavy lifting.
Room for Improvement: Useless security cameras, an unwanted night light, and not-quite-adult furnitureby Mayra David | 3/13/13 - 8:54 AM
Photo Credit / lostpilgr.im
Furniture that wasn't found on the street, a functional security system and neighbors who don't take "the city that never sleeps" as their personal mantra. Five New Yorkers share what's at the top of their home(life) improvement wish list.
- Up all night: My bedroom faces the bedroom of my neighbor about 5 feet away (It's an H-shaped building). For no reason I can divine they sometimes leave their lights on all night and the light shines right into my room. What are two old people doing up all night? I probably need some blackout shades. - Alexis, Harlem
- Reclaimed, salvaged... whatever: Time for a make-over. I'd like to re-do my living room. It's not comfortable, not conducive to lounging. We have two chairs that are street finds, which we "paired" with a cheapo Ikea table. It seemed like a good idea at the time, but we're over it. It's time take the space to the next, more adult level. - Rachel, Jackson Heights
- ... and speaking of make-overs: My bedroom is not very warm and inviting. It's kind of cavernous, with just a low, minimalist bed on the floor. Frankly, it reminds me of a Montessori bedroom. - Adam, DUMBO
- by Julie Inzanti | 3/12/13 - 1:35 PM
In a city of over 8 million people living on top of each other, the potential for disaster is skyscraping. We’ve fished around for a few of the more insane freak accidents apartment-dwellers in New York have experienced.....
1. Crushed by a Murphy bed. Yes, this really happened folks.
You've probably looked around your tiny apartment and considered the Murphy bed solution at one point or another.
After this you might reconsider. Or at least you will understand the value of licensed professionals and work permits.
Annie Grossman lives in a railroad style apartment near Union Square. She is a dog trainer who does most of her work at her apartment and occasionally fosters dogs. Her space constraints made it difficult to work with the dogs so she figured a foldaway (or up) bed would be the perfect solution.