The Real.Est List
- by Marjorie Cohen | 5/20/13 - 11:37 AM
Boards are omnipotent--almost. They can turn you down for just about any reason as long as it doesn’t violate the city’s Human Rights Law, which prohibits rejections for reason of race, creed, color, national origin, sex, age, disability, sexual orientation, marital status, citizenship, occupation or on the basis of how many children you have.
Anything else is fair game--from how you part your hair to whether you have any at all. And (for now anyway) they have absolutely no obligation to tell you why they’ve rejected you.
That's where we come in. Below, the seven most likely reasons a co-op board may hit the reject button.
Last week Union Square's Zeckendorf Towers became the largest NYC condo to totally ban smoking. Now what?by Lucy Cohen Blatter | 5/20/13 - 10:10 AM
Time to add a new smoke-free building to our list of non-smoking NYC rentals, co-ops and condos: Union Square's 647-unit Zeckendorf Towers has become New York City's largest smoke-free condo.
Under the new prohibition--approved by more than two-thirds of the 85% unit owners who voted, according to a press release--smoking is banned both in residential and public areas, including outdoor spaces. A grandfather clause grants existing owner-residents who smoke a three-year interval before their units are subject to the smoke-free policy.
The Zeckendorf vote may be a tipping point.
A timeline for breaking even on your apartment purchase, Tribeca building bans low-income renters from gym, and moreby Sara Alessi | 5/20/13 - 9:15 AM
- Ever wonder how long you need to live in your co-op or condo to break even? 6.1 years on average--but it depends on your 'hood (The Real Deal)
- Qualifying for affordable housing doesn’t mean you qualify to use the gym in a TriBeCa building (Tribeca Citizen)
- ACRIS overhaul puts more data about co-ops online (The Real Deal)
- Who cares how far your apartment is from the subway? Biking’s the fastest way to get to work anyway (NY1)
- Being raised in NYC doesn’t just come with bragging rights--it gives you real estate rental smarts (New York Times)
- Bike sharing may be a good idea on paper, but on the streets it looks, well, ugly (New York Times)
- Forget the Upper West and East Sides: Well-heeled NYC families are headed near the Highline (New York Times)
- You, too, can live in a celebrity dream home (amNewYork)
- "Rootless, superrich" partly to blame for lack of affordable housing in NYC (NY Times)
- Cock-a-doodle-doo--don’t set your alarm, a mystery rooster is waking folks in Greenpoint every morning, and they like it (The Brooklyn Paper)
- by Lucy Cohen Blatter | 5/17/13 - 2:18 PM
This over 1,000-square-foot two-bedroom at 560 West 43rd Street is ideal for theater nuts.
Pros: The building has a doorman, gym, pool and concierge and it accepts guarantors. The apartment has two balconies and the bedrooms seem nicely sized (that's why it's described as a potential three-bedroom). We think the listing's description of the living room being able to double as a basketball court might be slightly hyperbolic, though.
Cons: Located just off 11th Avenue, it's a hike to the nearest subway.
- Transitionsby Jessica as told to Marjorie Cohen | 5/17/13 - 10:58 AM
Why would I want to move from a reasonably priced two-bedroom apartment in South Harlem, upstairs from my best friend and her family, overlooking Morningside Park and across the street from a recently built playground?
There was only one reason and it was a powerful one: the opportunity to live across the street from PS 59, one of the best elementary schools in NYC (recently relocated to a state of the art building on 57th between Second and Third Avenues), where my daughter will go to kindergarten.
- by Sara Alessi | 5/17/13 - 8:57 AM
Striking out on your own? You might want to check out the four one-bedrooms that made this week's edition of StreetEasy’s Most Wanted--the 10 sales listings StreetEasy users saved more often than any others this week.
Let's start with a one-bedroom, one-bathroom co-op (pictured) on West 11th Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenues listed at $875,000. Prewar details include exposed beams, exposed brick, a wood-burning fireplace, hardwood floors and 15’ ceilings. An in-unit washer/dryer rounds out the perks of this space.
- by Julie Inzanti | 5/16/13 - 2:53 PM
This $2.99 million Hamilton Heights limestone townhouse was build in 1897 and has all of the old-world charm you'd expect from the Gilded Age…
There are 8 grand fireplaces, a grand parlor and plenty of other grand rooms with soaring ceilings and original woodwork.
But there is one room in particular that will make you feel like aristocracy. The master bathroom! (Yes, there is what appears to be a working fireplace in there, too.)
The mahogany-footed standalone tub is so spectacular it would make Lady Grantham proud. All this place is missing is a lady in waiting to draw a bath and get you dressed for dinner.
Real Estate Want is a weekly column featuring New York City apartment details we're coveting right now.
- Lessons From a Small Landlordby Craig Roche | 5/16/13 - 10:27 AM
Lessons from a Small Landlord is a new bi-weekly column penned by a real-life NYC landlord whose pseudonym is Craig Roche.
In an ideal world without lawyers, apartment leases would be very short: “Tenant promises to pay $X per month for the use of the apartment, and landlord and tenant promise to behave reasonably.”
Plenty of tenants rent apartments or shares this way, but usually they know each other first. In the real world, for everyone else, lawyers write 10 pages attempting to codify what "reasonable" means.
From my perspective as a small landlord, an ideal lease:
- Is very official looking, making it look non-negotiable.
- Is printed in a microscopic font and full of impossible-to-decipher jargon.
- Gives the benefit of the doubt to the landlord in all circumstances.
- Has been tested in court.
- StreetNoiseby Sara Alessi | 5/16/13 - 8:56 AM
- StuyTown renters get mid-lease rent hikes up to $1,100/month (NY Daily News)
- This is why the most important thing to buy when you move into a million-dollar apartment is blinds (NY Post)
- New in town? Stealing papers and not holding the elevator are just two ways to tick off your neighbors/fellow New Yorkers (BuzzFeed)
- Why you shouldn't snap that listing photo til your dog is out of sight (Wall Street Journal, The Real Deal)
- Legal questions aside, Airnb may generate $1 billion this year in NYC's economic activity (Crain’s; previously)
- Greenpoint’s thriving; not so, the G trains (Crain’s)
- If there’s mold in your building, it’s the co-op board’s responsibility to check it out (Habitat Mag)
- Generation Y, you may want to extend that lease by, oh, 50 years or so (WSJ)
- Want to invest in NYC real estate? Crowdfunding opens the field to the masses...starting with Brooklyn (NY Times)
- You’re not the only one struggling to get the asking price on your apartment -- Ben Stiller’s sold at a near $1m loss (NYC Co-op Apartment Sales)
- by Sharon Krum | 5/15/13 - 2:39 PM
WHO: Starting at her kitchen table, Tory Burch built a fashion company now worth $3 billion. Who says women can’t kick ass in business?
WHERE: The CEO and designer of the "Tory Burch” brand lives in an apartment inside the Pierre Hotel at Fifth Avenue and East 61st Street. We're guessing that the annual tab for that is, oh, a touch higher than the median Upper East Side rental price of $2,800, as calculated by 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.
- Real.Est List Spotlight Galleryby Leah Hochbaum Rosner | 5/15/13 - 12:23 PM
Shortly after graduating from Columbia University in 2006, Tze Chun noticed a strange phenomenon among her friends: Even the ones pulling in six-figure salaries had nothing on their walls but ripped movie posters, if anything.
An art history major who longed to make the sometimes daunting art world more accessible for the younger generation, Chun understandably found this irksome. So she decided to do something about it, founding Uprise Art—the focus of this week’s Real.Est List Spotlight Series—an online gallery where buyers can shop for contemporary, original artwork, then set up an account that allows them to purchase pieces over time through monthly installments.
- Confessions of a Neighborhood Blogger
"I Love Franklin Avenue": A blogger's-eye-view of the Cobble Hill/Williamsburgzation of Crown Heightsby Julie Inzanti | 5/15/13 - 11:10 AM
Nick Juravich moved to Crown Heights in 2008 to work as Brooklyn Coordinator for the New York Road Runners' Mighty Milers Program, a youth health and fitness program. That job had him walking, running, biking, and riding subways all over Brooklyn, and he started a blog--I Love Franklin Avenue--as an effort to make sense of his new home.
In 2010, Juravich left NYRR to pursue a PhD in U.S. history at Columbia University, where he is now writing on the history of community activism, education and labor in New York City in the 1960s and '70s.
He narrowed the scope of his blog from a general overview of not only Crown Heights but all of the surrounding areas and Brooklyn in general to hyper-local community events, neighborhood change, and local issues in western Crown Heights, where Franklin Avenue is the main commercial strip.
- by Mayra David | 5/15/13 - 8:57 AM
Expensive parking, overheated bedrooms, and kitchens that don’t make sense for the act of cooking. Five New Yorkers share their apartment-life wants:
- Cheaper parking: I wish there was some kind of discount in the parking fees for building residents. I pay over $400 dollars for parking my car in a garage. After six months it still feels like highway robbery. - Victor, Financial District
- A kitchen for sane people I wish I could totally re-do my (rental) kitchen and make the layout make sense! There is no place to put a garbage can unless I put it in the hall way or in the dining area. The drawers for cutlery have been positioned above eye level and they only pull out halfway! The only counter space I can work on is as big as a cutting board next to the sink. There’s no place to add a butcher block or any extra storage since the kitchen is in a narrow alcove that opens onto the narrow hall way where we need to walk. There had to have been a better way of designing this. -Sally, Harlem
- by Teri Karush Rogers | 5/14/13 - 2:21 PM
Q. My co-op building has been hit hard in recent years by property taxes on top of a huge elevator replacement project. Our maintenance charges are already on the high side and we are trying to avoid another increase or an assessment.
Can you suggest some other alternatives for raising money that would be less painful?
For example, one idea that has been suggested is dividing up our undeveloped roof area and selling it to shareholders.
A. You're on the right track, say our experts, who shared some common and not-so-common ways co-ops and condos are building up their coffers nowadays.
- by Alex Hughes | 5/14/13 - 11:36 AM