The Real.Est List
- by A. Ready | 12/01/10 - 3:27 PM
Starting this month, it will be more expensive to screw up your recycling if you live in a building of 9 or more apartments. Here's the deal, according to a memo we received from the Superintendents Technical Association:
- The city has established two tiers for fines depending on building size. Residential buildings with 1-8 units will see no change: It's still $25.00 for the first citation, $50.00 for the second and $100.00 for the third. But fines for residential buildings with nine or more units and commercial buildings will increase from those levels to $100 for the first violation, $200 for the second and $400 for the third.
- Co-op and condo owners unite
Back in August, BrickUnderground told you about a new grassroots organization of New York City apartment owners formed "to help owners achieve fair play, transparency, and accountability in condo and co-op governance and operations.” The Alliance of Co-op and Condo Owners (ACCO) is also behind The Ombudsman Bill, which if passed would create a state government office to educate co-op and condo owners about their rights and provide alternative dispute resolution. All worthy goals. Starting next week, as part of their grassroots outreach, the ACCO will be holding two forums for apartment owners in the near future, with more to follow in various locations. More details >>
- by A. Ready | 12/01/10 - 12:36 PM
While this writer does not value an apartment's outdoor space very highly, she is well aware that for many it is a desirable (or perhaps essential) feature. But even someone with a ho-hum attitude toward balconies and terraces will be impressed with the views and outdoor access of this two-bedroom, two-bath co-op at 70 Remsen Street. According the the listing on StreetEasy.com, this classic landmarked co-op building is one of only three in prime Brooklyn Heights offering comparable views. And the views here are stunning, sweeping east, west and south from two 37' by 17' wrap-around terraces.
- It's beginning to look a lot like Hanukkah
With Hanukkah almost here, BrickUnderground went searching for some decorating ideas for the holiday. While the pickings are admittedly slim, Apartment Therapy has some recommendations for making your home more festive (though their "Hanukkah-friendly" wreath did stir a bit of a dust up). It's a bit late to order online for this year but they also list a number of sources for modern menorahs. We were particularly impressed with moderntribe.com, which not only carries menorahs, but also a whole host of decorating and party items to help you celebrate, including the Harlequin-styled porcelain dreidelspictured here.
- by Teri Karush Rogers | 12/01/10 - 9:34 AM
Whether you consider holiday tipping a form of blackmail, a legitimate annual rite like any workplace bonus, or something in between, you have probably wondered what you get in return.
Depending on the size of your tip and the length of the recipient's memory, payback can range from a friendlier and/or more helpful attitude for a couple of months to a longer-term disposition toward special favors—bent workrules, drycleaning that regularly finds its way upstairs to you, or a wave upstairs to the plumber who shows up to install your new "television."
- No guarantor? Don't panic (yet)
It’s hard enough finding a decent apartment to rent in NYC, and, as the NY Times correctly pointed out the other day, even harder to get approved if you fail to meet the minimum income requirements of the city’s notoriously demanding landlords. What the Times didn’t mention is that for the last couple of years, a company called Insurent Lease Guaranty has offered an option to many renters who earn less than 40 to 50 times the monthly rent and who don’t have a wealthy local guarantor lined up. The details >>
- by Teri Karush Rogers | 11/30/10 - 1:40 PM
Ever wonder what you'd do with a concierge if you had one?
Well, we do, sometimes. So when the PR reps for the Beatrice--a chic new North Chelsea rental perched atop the Eventi Hotel--offered us an inside glimpse into what Beatrice residents asked of complimentary on-site concierge Luxury Attaché the week before Thanksgiving, we looked forward to some armchair voyeurism and a smattering of teachable moments.
We were not disappointed.
- The Nanny Question: Tipping the person who cares for your children
BrickUnderground's 2010 Holiday Tipping Guide sets forth suggested tipping ranges for those who assist us in our vertical living experience, including, for some of us, the full-time nanny. Our rule of thumb: One week pay minimum or two if you can afford it. Or, one week pay and one week vacation. Over on StreetEasy.com, most commenters agree, but not all. One employer who pays the nanny about $450 weekly was thinking a gift card for maybe $200 would be sufficient. Um, not so much. "For real?" asks one, "It's almost better to give nothing." More>>
- Don't let your B'klyn pooch pee on the neighbor's gate
A Brooklynite who doesn't like it when dogs relieve themselves on the iron gates in front of his/her townhouse asks the folks on Brownstoner's forum whether such concerns are "overly sensitive." Not at all, say most of the 34 people who've responded so far, who appear to be a fairly even split of dog-owners to non-dog-owners. "Not only does it corrode the fence, it burns whatever is growing in the garden in that location," explains one. More>>
- by Teri Karush Rogers | 11/30/10 - 6:42 AM
When it comes to doling out below-market gratuities to the building staff, there are three kinds of apartment dwellers: Those forced by circumstance, those who undertip by design, and those who do it out of ignorance. Read on for the consequences...
Frugal by circumstance
Who: Under- or unemployed as well as retired residents on fixed incomes.
Consequences: Though some staff say they won’t perform extra work for free inside these residents’ apartments, most say they don’t treat this group any differently from regular tippers. In fact, many doormen we spoke to say if they receive a low tip—particularly from someone who normally tips fine—they automatically attribute it to financial trouble and that there is no need to say “wish I could do more.”
- Sponsored by The Zweben Group11/30/10 - 6:41 AM
Is your place too far from the subway? Dark as a crypt? In a building with bed bugs? Cheer up. No apartment is perfect, especially in the eyes of a potential buyer. And while you can't hide it, you can try to put it all in perspective.
"We can often move things along by reminding buyers that New York City real estate is by definition an exercise in compromise, and that every flaw, in theory at least, is reflected in a lower price," says Paul Zweben, a real estate agent with The Zweben Group at Prudential Douglas Elliman. "That's how you get past the fixation on the one or two things that are 'wrong' to an appreciation of everything that's right."
Read on for some ideas on how to address the less sell-worthy aspects of your apartment.
- by A. Ready | 11/29/10 - 3:40 PM
The Apple, Peeled, a smart NYC real estate blog run by a pair of smart real estate brokers, is tired of hearing buyers ask, "What are sellers thinking?" and vice versa. More precisely, The Apple is tired of having to rely on lagging market reports to answer the question. So they've launched an easy-peasy online consumer confidence survey that took us a whole 37 seconds to answer. The polls close Wednesday, and they'll release the results next week. Until then, they promise you seven straight days of good luck if you forward the survey to ten friends and ask them to take it. (The Apple, Peeled)
- by Teri Karush Rogers | 11/29/10 - 7:00 AM
So how much total do you plan to tip the building staff this holiday? $500? $1,000? More? Nothing? Find out how your gratuities compare to what the neighbors are planning to dole out by taking our one-click survey that posts instant results.
It will hurt a lot less than the paper cuts from those stacks of twenties.
- by Teri Karush Rogers | 11/29/10 - 6:53 AM
Though most New York City apartment dwellers don't start doling out tips for another week or two, the mental onset/anguish of holiday tipping season begins the day after Thanksgiving Weekend, when vertical dwellers begin trolling the web for advice on how much to tip, how to tip, and who to tip.
BrickUnderground's 2010 Annual Tipping Guide tells you what you need to know, starting with the basics laid out right here. Also up today: 10 Manhattan Doormen Talk Tips, the very inside-baseball 7 holiday tipping rules for doormen & residents by BrickUnderground's anonymous doorman columnist, and a reminder to take our one-click survey to find out how much your neighbors are giving. Later this week: What happens to bad tippers, and advice for cashing in on all that gratitude.
- by Openthedoor-man | 11/29/10 - 6:52 AM
Tis the season to be jolly. Yep, jolly indeed are the doormen of every building hustling and bustling in tune with the sugar plums and ginger bread cookies dancing in our heads.
Okay, who the hell am I fooling?
It’s really because of those beautiful envelopes and what’s waiting inside. Dead presidents of all kinds, preferably less of Washington and more of Grant and B. Frank.
On that note I’ll do something a little different other than breaking down what’s considered a good tip or a bad one and just inform both tipper and doorperson about certain do’s and don’t during this holiday season.