The Real.Est List
- "Remind me not to die in my building"
was the first comment posted after a lengthy online post-mortem by a doorman, "Mr. Murphy," about a death in the Upper West Side building he used to work at. Perhaps the most morbidly fascinating passage in the essay filtering death through the eyes of the building staff was a graphic exchange between the super and a longtime doorman about all the bodies they have discovered over the years (the guy who hung himself was the worst, they agree). More>>
- by A. Ready | 1/06/11 - 1:04 PM
Washington Heights is not everyone's ideal nesting spot, but few would deny that Riverside Drive has its charms, even at the northern end of the island. This week's no-fee rental is a renovated two-bedroom, one bath offered by Goldfarb Properties at Mandel Court (920 Riverside Drive, at 162nd Street). A picture on the landlord's website shows an updated eat-in kitchen (as one would expect at this price, it is not a top-of-the-line culinary area), and the listing on StreetEasy reveals nicely refinished hardwood floors. Every room has a window, the unit has high ceilings, the bathroom is marble.
- All the single ladies--and their doormen
Young, single, female apartment dwellers often complain about doormen who seem a little too interested in their comings and goings, particularly when guests of the opposite sex are involved. But in a recent essay, NY Times 'Big City' columnist Susan Dominus reveals that she did not exactly chafe under the supervision of her former doormen-slash-elevator-operators. Instead, she describes with eloquent precision the tangible and intangible support served up by the staff of the Murray Hill apartment building she (along with dozens of other single women in their studio abodes) called home in her pre-married late 20s. More>>
- by Theresa Braine | 1/06/11 - 9:48 AM
Things unraveled quickly after New Year’s 2010. Having declared myself bed bug free following a 2009 battle that had sucked up my entire summer, I had hesitantly started unpacking my possessions from the plastic bags around the holidays, despite a few suspicious-looking welts that started appearing much the way the water in the glasses had jiggled in Jurassic Park at the distant approach of the tyrannosaurus rex.
My landlord, whom I’ll call Rocco, told me he was going out of town for a long weekend to visit his wife’s family and would not be available for about five days.
- by David Katz, Architect | 1/06/11 - 6:15 AM
I always know that I am dealing with a renovation rookie when immediately after briefly describing their project they want to know the cost.
As a basic ballpark, the minimum cost of a respectable New York City renovation is about $250 per square foot, but unless you are doing a gut renovation, the cost cannot be accurately predicted this way. And even then, the cost of renovation work varies dramatically based on a seemingly infinite number of variables.
While the size of the area of work is an important consideration, it is far from the only thing that affects the price. For an early indication of project cost I always take the following into consideration.
- by Michelle Castillo | 1/05/11 - 3:45 PM
While heat and hot water might sound like a luxury in warmer parts of the country, it’s a necessity in New York City. I was lucky because my problem was the opposite – my apartment was always scalding hot. Some of my friends were not so lucky.
Not having hot water will make you do crazy things, like subwaying several stops to a friend’s apartment that has hot water or showering at the gym, as a couple of my friends did. And then there's my boyfriend, who lives in an apartment he recently found out was zoned for commercial use only.
- by A. Ready | 1/05/11 - 2:27 PM
The end-of-year Manhattan real estate sales reports issued this week, along with the media response (both conveniently compiled by CurbedNY here), were a bit discombobulating. Sales volume was indisputably down, sales prices were up year-over-year and down from the third quarter, and--depending on the source--the overall market itself was stable, flat, up or down.
As appraiser Jonathan Miller explained to CurbedNY, the increase in median sales price was not the result of increased prices, but rather due to a decrease in the number of studios and one-bedroom units sold. A greater percentage of large-unit sales caused the increase in prices.
So what gives with the market for studios and one-bedrooms?
- 1/05/11 - 12:53 PM
There’s something about a really nice apartment – an Architectural Digest-quality nice apartment – that we can never quite put our finger on, but that makes the place look tons more luxe than our own.
Or it could just be the flowers.
H.BLOOM, a Flatiron-based floral provider that launched in April, aims to make that degree of gorgeousness accessible for anyone with an extra $35 in her or his weekly budget.
The company sells flowers by subscription. Sign up on their site for weekly, biweekly or monthly deliveries (use code BRICKU for 20% off your first delivery through Dec. 31), and they’ll bring a bouquet to your door, doorman or office on your day of choice. The arrangements start at $35 – and delivery’s free.
- by A. Ready | 1/05/11 - 12:11 PM
Look past the lack of staging and observe that this one-bedroom, one-bath apartment on a prime Brooklyn Heights block (24 Monroe Place, #8C) has the advantage of both location and pre-war charm. The windowed eat-in kitchen has been recently renovated, and the apartment has three closets.
Despite the rather high $1,185/month maintenance, there is no doorman. But the building has a live-in super, an attractive roof deck, and bike storage.
- by Teri Karush Rogers | 1/05/11 - 10:39 AM
Co-op boards have been known to go to great lengths to protect resale values, including turning down a sale if they believe the price is too low or encouraging buyers and sellers to strike backroom deals that produce artificially inflated closing prices.
Now, stung by a lowball sale of an apartment that lingered for a year on the market in the hands of an allegedly inattentive agent, a board member on Habitat’s BoardTalk forum wants to know if it’s okay to bar the agent from handling any future sales in the building.
BrickUnderground checked in with a few of our legal experts and found opinions strongly divided.
- by Jamie Lauren Sutton | 1/05/11 - 6:37 AM
Dear Ms. Demeanor,
I am in possession of information I would rather not have. I suspect our new doorman (early 30s and married) is dating one of our neighbors' daughters - their 17-year-old daughter, in fact. I have seen her standing in the lobby talking to him meaningfully at odd hours, and when he helped her in to a taxi yesterday I am fairly certain he gave her bottom a squeeze.
What do I do? I do not think I can ignore the issue entirely.
- by Teri Karush Rogers | 1/04/11 - 3:45 PM
In the print edition of its January issue, Habitat Magazine publishes the results of its survey of 49 NYC property management firms (representing 44% of New York’s co-op/condo stock) on issues ranging from average maintenances increases, to average fees for sublet applications, to most common forms of communication with residents.
BrickUnderground eyeballed the results. Here are the highlights:
- Entry level property managers generally get paid between $36-$75k, senior level managers from $56-$150k.
- Minimum annual management fees per building range from $12,000-$45,000.
- Email is the most common form of communication with clients, followed by phone, and facetime. Texting was dead last, with about half the firms reporting 0 text communications, the rest reporting 5-10% of their client communication occurred via text.
- Oddball tips for tackling your apartment's dirty little secrets
Did you know that vodka can remove ball-point pen stains from white leather upholstery? We did not, and there are a number of other cleaning ideas that caught us by surprise in ApartmentTherapy.com's collection of readers' cleaning tips. Use rubbing alcohol to keep your butcher block shiny and grime free. Flour will apparently make your stainless steel surfaces gleam (as will olive oil with a subsequent buffing). Toothpaste can be used to remove marks from hard surfaces. And a paste of baking soda and water applied to the grout on your kitchen floors can work wonders. Happy cleaning. (ApartmentTherapy.com)
- by Kelly Kreth | 1/04/11 - 10:41 AM
Turning Art is a five-month-old online art subscription service run by a so-called “dynamic coalition of art-loving geeks” in Cambridge, Mass.
Essentially a kind of Netflix for wall art, Turning Art lets you set up a queue of artwork chosen from more than 320 prints that range from traditional to conceptual and span 79 different artists. Turning Art then supplies you with a frame and allows you to swap prints from once every three months to as often as you like, depending on the subscription plan you choose ($9.99 for a new print every three months; $14.99 for one every two months; or $19.99 for unlimited exchanges).
- by Teri Karush Rogers | 1/04/11 - 6:21 AM
Q. I'm currently negotiating renovations with my landlord for a larger apartment that I'll be moving into shortly. The previous tenant lived there for 40 (!!!) years and the floors look like wet cardboard. I'd like the landlord to pay to refinish the floors but he cites the 80% carpet "rule," claiming that the floors will be substantially covered by carpet, it's not a big deal. My question has two parts.