The Real.Est List
- by Leonora Desar | 4/16/13 - 8:55 AM
Photo Credit / lusterbr
We've already touched on some of the considerations when buying an apartment IN a brownstone -- issues such as noise (since brownstones often weren't intended to be divided the way they are); chimney, fireplace and overall structural problems; and the general upkeep required.
If fractional living isn't your thing and you're looking to buy an entire brownstone, here are some things to consider first.
1. Upkeep and responsiblity
A brownstone is a more hands-on investment than any other property, warns real estate agent David Schorr of Heddings Property Group.
Unlike a co-op or condo, “If anything goes wrong with the property it’s the owner’s responsibility to get on the phone with the contractor or electrician,” says Schorr. “You can’t just call up your super and say I’ve got a problem.”
- by Roland Li | 4/15/13 - 2:16 PM
It's no secret that New Yorkers have very specific tastes. Just listen to one order a Starbucks coffee, or a meal in a restaurant (substitutions much?).
So maybe we shouldn't be surprised to hear how specific some New York City apartment hunters can be about their wishes and requirements.
That said, below are five dealbreakers we wouldn't have seen coming.
1. Passing the plumbing test
While working with a client recently, real estate agent Corlie Ohi of Citi Habitats was caught off guard when her client asked if he could shower in a seller’s bathroom on East 61st Street.
- by Sara Alessi | 4/15/13 - 11:24 AM
Forget the six-digit deals.The majority of the apartments that made the Open House Scorecard--the 10 open houses StreetEasy users saved more than any others this weekend--ring in at over a million bucks, in some cases way over $2 million.
A well-renovated three-bedroom, two-bathroom condop on West 82nd Street and Broadway on the Upper West Side is on the market for $2.595m and doesn’t require board approval. The prewar apartment features new windows, custom closets and a multi-zone audio system with keypads throughout. The kitchen has a center island, SubZero fridge, Wolf range, as well as marble countertops. The third bathroom is currently being used as a powder room with a laundry room, but can be converted back into a full bathroom. The doorman building has a children’s playroom, roof deck, and live-in super.
- Sponsored by Regosin, Edwards, Stone & Federby Adam H. Stone, Esq. | 4/15/13 - 10:08 AM
Even if you’re not a celebrity, there are a few great reasons to consider buying or refinancing your apartment under the name of an LLC (limited liability company) rather than your own. There are also a few drawbacks.
Here’s what you need to know going in:
Privacy at home—and at work
It’s very difficult for the innocently or not-so-innocently curious to unearth the amount you paid for your apartment unless they have the name of your LLC or your exact address, which is one reason why celebrities and other well-known folks have been purchasing under LLCs for years.
Also, buying under an LLC makes it nearly impossible to find out where you live by searching public property records for your name.
But it’s not just celebrities using LLCs these days.
- StreetNoiseby Sara Alessi | 4/15/13 - 8:58 AM
- Here’s why you should wait for a rainy day to shoot those apartment photos (Gothamology)
- How to survive your neighbor’s (sometimes destructive) renovation (NY Times; previously)
- Brooklyn rents are rising twice as fast as Manhattan's--but still lots cheaper by the square foot (The Elliman Report)
- The right retail tenant on the ground floor of a co-op could mean you live maintenance-free (NY Times)
- Got kids? 2,361 NYC kids on kindergarten waitlist in Queens, Greenwich Village, Brooklyn (DNAinfo)
- Real estate titans really don't like it when you write bad things about them (The Real Deal)
- Your co-op/condo board could be enforcing rules that don’t actually exist (Habitat Magazine)
- The ins and outs of conversions (real estate, not religion) (NY Magazine)
- Would-be Brooklyn renter tries rhyming his way into an affordable rental (CurbedNY)
- by Lucy Cohen Blatter | 4/12/13 - 2:29 PM
Fifth Avenue between 38th and 39th Street may not quite be the Fifth Avenue address of your real estate dreams, but this $4,500 corner-unit one-bedroom has plenty of amenities that might just make up for it.
Pros: The apartment is a corner unit, so it's large — over 800 square feet. The kitchen is new and there are lots of windows. Plus, the building has a doorman, concierge, roof deck, gym and pool.
Cons: Despite the congested-and-a-little bit-gritty neighborhood, the price tag is high for a one-bedroom. Plus the apartment, to us, has a bit of a cookie-cutter feel.
- by Hirondelle Chatelard as told to Mayra David | 4/12/13 - 10:59 AM
There was an accumulation of things that pushed us out of Williamsburg. Not to sound like a hipster pretending to be a wizened Brooklynite a la “I remember back in the day…” but the street we lived on--Berry Street--did go from deserted to nightlife-galore in one short year.
The record store below us in the building played regular concerts, on the corner of our block they opened a wine bar, and then there was the whisky bar that opened literally right below our window.
We were eavesdropping on too many smokers’ conversations and partaking in too much secondhand smoke coming into our apartment. It was affecting our sleep patterns. In short, living there wasn't pleasant anymore. We were over-saturated with the Williamsburg hipster vibe.
Then there was also the fact that we were getting sick of our apartment itself.
- by Emily Feldman | 4/12/13 - 8:58 AM
An extra bedroom, when not needed for the purposes of sleeping, opens up a whole slew of possibilities, and many listings in the Most Wanted--the top 10 sales listings saved most by StreetEasy users this week--point that out.
The listing for a $599k Park Slope 1.5-bedroom, 1 bathroom condo notes that the "large second room" can also make for an ideal home office or work studio. Its location in the apartment, tucked in a corner near the kitchen and far from the master bedroom and the temptation of napping, may lend itself to the work-space designation.
If more than two bedrooms are essential, consider this three-bedroom condo on the market in Park Slope for $889k. The listing cuts right to the chase: "This apartment offers a gorgeous living room, one full bathroom, two large bedrooms, and an additional den/study/guest room." The condo occupies the building's entire floor and comes with a washer and dryer, which means, if you plan on using the third bedroom as a home office, you'll have very few excuses to leave.
- 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.”