The Real.Est List
- by Marjorie Cohen | 4/01/13 - 9:45 AM
Photo Credit / TheeErin
Remember back when you pronounced "Houston" Street like that city in Texas, assumed all apartments came with closets and dishwashers, and that coops were homes for chickens?
Maybe you still do.
Whether you are a new or old hand at NYC real estate, chances are you will find this collection of most-frequently asked questions--provided by brokers who work with first-timers--educational, entertaining or both.
1. "When should I start looking? How long will it take?"
"Out-of town renters are shocked at the speed with which deals are made here. Especially in a hot rental market like the one we’re in now," says real estate agent Leslie Hirsch of Brown Harris Stevens. Remember that you should show up to any showing with documentation ready and prepared to sign a lease. It can happen that fast.
- StreetNoiseby Sara Alessi | 4/01/13 - 8:59 AM
- Buyers: 5 tricky co-op board questions to watch out for (Habitat Magazine; previously)
- Get clicking, renters: Here're five reasons to pay your rent online (Roomster)
- “Magic words” that could sell your place faster include "city views," "open kitchen," "oversized windows" and more (Property Shark)
- Not willing to give up Fido to score a NYC pad? Here’s what pet owners sometimes have to do (NY Times; previously)
- Here’s why you might want to ditch your old furniture before putting your apartment on the market (NY Times)
- Bronxites: Want to go green? Score a free tree through April 28 (DNAinfo)
- Displaced Sandy victims to live rent-free for a year, thanks to FEMA, HUD (The Wall Street Journal)
- Investors beware: Queens man was caught in $50m real estate scam (NY Post)
- Not a fan of high-rises? Neither are community leaders in Bushwick (DNAinfo)
- by Lucy Cohen Blatter | 3/29/13 - 2:12 PM
This $2,800 one-bedroom in Park Slope is rent stabilized and across the street from Prospect Park. Not a bad combination.
Pros: Aside from those mentioned above, the apartment seems to be generously sized. Plus there's a washer-dryer in the apartment.
Cons: We're pretty sure this is a walk-up and find it curious that there's no photo of the bedroom. Perhaps it's really small.
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 Lindsay as told to Lucy Cohen Blatter | 3/29/13 - 10:51 AM
I lived in the East Village on East Fifth Street and Second Avenue until a month ago when I moved to Carnegie Hill.
My old building was a sixth-floor walk-up, but luckily I was on the second floor. The total rent was $2,750. The bedrooms were decently sized by Manhattan standards -- I could fit my queen-sized bed and a dresser.
But the kitchen, bathroom and living spaces were tiny. The “kitchen” was just an oven, a sink and a mini fridge. We had to buy a small island on wheels just to have space to dry our dishes. The bathroom didn’t have a full-size bath and shower.
I loved the neighborhood, though, and rarely ever left. I never took cabs and would walk everywhere -- both in the East Village and to the Lower East Side.
There were so many restaurants I loved that were within walking distance, like Sauce and The Meatball Shop -- both on the Lower East Side, and Beyond Sushi, an amazing vegan sushi place on 14th Street, where the food is so beautiful we always took pictures of it! We also loved Xi’an Famous Foods, a noodle shop on Saint Marks.
Ultimately I decided to leave because I was moving in with my fiance and we found that the apartments we could afford all had really strange layouts or were really small. We decided to try the Upper East Side because we knew it was more affordable.
- by Sara Alessi | 3/29/13 - 8:43 AM
Looking for a family-sized NYC apartment in the $800k price bracket? So are lots of folks, judging by this week’s edition of StreetEasy’s Most Wanted--the 10 sales listings StreetEasy users saved more often than any others this week.
On the Upper West Side, an $820k three-bedroom, one-and-a-half-bathroom co-op (pictured) in a non-doorman elevator building on West 93rd Street between Central Park West and Columbus Avenue can serve as a two-bedroom with the smaller third bedroom functioning as a home office or small bedroom maid’s. Gorgeous prewar details include high, beamed ceilings, moldings and French doors. Central Park is a half-block away, and maintenance is a very reasonable $1,132. But this Edwardian, estate-sale apartment needs to be restored (which may explain why it’s priced so far below $1m).
- by Julie Inzanti | 3/28/13 - 2:41 PM
After dealing with the hustle and bustle of the city day after day, don't you want to just climb into your treehouse and read comic books or grab some shut-eye among the birds?
One sleepy little detail we love in this $485K art-deco studio at 2 Grove Street in the West Village is the corner window seat that feels like a treehouse. The south/west exposures are elevated from street level, making it the perfect perch from which to disappear from the world and get lost in the trees....
Real Estate Want is a weekly column featuring New York City apartment details we're coveting right now.
Rent Coach: The broker didn't say there was a fee until AFTER the lease was signed. Do we have to pay?by Mike Akerly | 3/28/13 - 12:56 PM
Q. My parents-in-law live in Queens and decided to see what living in Manhattan is like for one year. They picked a broker and selected an apartment on the Upper East Side.
The broker never mentioned to them what fee she charges, and they assumed she was being compensated by the building. Right after signing the lease, the broker asks for a 15% fee. My parents-in-law are upset for obvious reasons. They did not sign any contract with the broker and fees were never disclosed. Do they have any obligation to pay her?
A. Based on the facts you shared, no. In order for a broker to collect a fee, some form of agreement needs to be reached by both the prospective tenant and the agent. At a minimum, it must provide for the amount of the fee to be collected in the event that the agent shows the client an apartment that they end up leasing. Such an arrangement is typically provided for in a fee agreement, which I have previously discussed.
- Hell's Bitchenby Kelly Kreth | 3/28/13 - 10:28 AM
When we last left off, I had just had my apartment treated for the first time for bed bugs. Two weeks later my PCO returned to once again apply a fairly environmentally-friendly spray to kill the unwanted intruders.
In the meantime, like a total mental patient, I’d been scanning the room several times a day looking for something. Since the first and only sighting of the bug on my bed, thankfully while I was not in it, I had not seen a trace of them and neither did my PCO.
On his third visit he scanned everywhere and told me the coast was clear but to let the (pesticide) dust settle for a few weeks and he’d bring his dog, Bruno, back to ascertain the situation.
Again, I went over every corner of the room, particularly the only small area the dog ever noted bugs. Still saw no dead ones or any skin casings.
- StreetNoiseby Lucy Cohen Blatter | 3/28/13 - 8:55 AM
- Better practice that open house poker face; agents can tell right away when you're bluffing (NY Times)
- NYC apartment bargain hunting just got easier thanks to a new online tool (Inman News)
- ...and a new rental app claims to be the ultimate bait-and-switch buster (movement-app.com)
- Think buying in a luxury building assures you a high-end retail tenant? Think again (DNA Info)
- Why you're going to pay a lot more to live in Northern Williamsburg than Southern Williamsburg (NY Observer)
- Time to redecorate/furnish your new place? These are the city's best furniture spots (Racked)
- Why the Upper West Side is a better bet for investors than trendier downtown locales (NY1)
- ... and in other neighborhood news, apparently Murray Hill is not just for ex-frat boys after all (amNewYork)
- Considering installing electric key-fob access to your building? Here's what to expect (Habitat Mag)
- You know why your sky-high rent/maintenance are worth it? New York is the best city in the world (Time Out New York)
- A guide to the best sleeper sofas for New Yorkers short on space (New York Times)
- What abatement changes mean for co-op and condo owners (and their wallets) (New York Times)
- by Sharon Krum | 3/27/13 - 2:43 PM
WHO: Cyndi Lauper might have sung “Girls Just Want To Have Fun” 30 years ago, but she still looks like she would be a blast to hang out with.
WHERE: Lauper, who is the composer and lyricist of the new Broadway musical “Kinky Boots," lives on the Upper West Side, where the median sales price is $1.035m, and the median rental price is $3,200, 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.
Room for Improvement: Dreaming of radiant floor heat and a window with an actual view of the outsideby Mayra David | 3/27/13 - 12:28 PM
Photo Credit / Alkiol
Radiant heat, dull details, and some serious space makeovers. Six New Yorkers have a smorgasbord of home improvements wants and needs.
- Warmer floors: I’ve always wanted radiant floor heating. I have been dreaming of having this incredibly amazing, toe-warming feature, ever since I stayed at a friend’s home who had heated floors -Brad, Brooklyn Heights
- Moldings without layers of paint: I wish my apartment didn't have layers and layers of paint caked onto the molding which really shows and takes away any detail -- I can paint over the walls but the moulding (and light switches! and electrical outlets!) is hard to fix and looks amateur. -Brian, Murray Hill
- An unbricked window: I would change the bathrooms…the former owner bricked in bathroom windows that looked into an unattractive courtyard, at the same time causing the apartment to lose light. -Patricia, Upper East Side
- Real.Est. List Spotlightby Leah Hochbaum Rosner | 3/27/13 - 10:43 AM
Taxis honk their horns at all hours of the night. Sirens blare from near and far. And semi-drunk folks congregate outside the next-door bar for a quick smoke. Will you ever get any sleep?
You will if Altair Energy Services—the focus of this week’s Real. Est. List Spotlight Series—has any say in the matter. The Lew Beach, New York-based company, an authorized Indow Windows dealer, installs energy-saving storm window inserts that block out cold air and—most relevant to sleepy city-dwellers—reduce noise by up to 75 percent, says Altair president Jonathan Hunt.
“There’s a huge demand for sound reduction in the city,” says Hunt. “They’ll also help you stay warmer in winter, cooler in summer and save money on heating and cooling costs.”
NYC Renovation Questions: Countertop problems in my kitchen -- should I fix, replace or request a discount?by Tracy Kaler | 3/27/13 - 8:50 AM
Q. My kitchen renovation is done. One of the problems is a less-than-perfect granite countertop, which in essence runs through the whole kitchen and pantry areas -- 35 linear feet of granite, and then some.
Some of the seams are rough to the touch, with obvious fillings that are not well disguised. On another counter, there is a 1/4-inch gap between the wall and the counter. The contractor keeps bringing the fabricator to correct these problems, but I think the fabricator did a very shoddy job.
What can I expect the contractor to correct? Should I insist on replacement, or a discount?
A. Without seeing your kitchen, it’s tough to determine where the blame lies. It’s possible your countertop template (the exact measurements and a pattern made after your cabinets were installed and before your tops were fabricated) wasn’t done correctly, or it’s possible the stone wasn’t cut to the template’s specification.
- by Teri Karush Rogers | 3/26/13 - 3:13 PM
Photo Credit / Lynne Schreur
Q. The apartment building next door is demanding access to my terrace so they can repair their facade. They say I have to let them and that I will not be able to use my terrace while they are doing the work.
Do I really have to? If so, is there any limit to how long they can have access? Am I entitled to compensation? Who pays if they damage my terrace or plantings?
A. Your predicament is not unusual, according to our experts, and there is a good chance that you do, indeed, need to allow the repair work to be done from your terrace.
"Provided that the adjacent building owner can demonstrate that the only way that it can effectuate the repairs is by entering onto your terrace, Section 881 of the New York Real Property Actions and Proceedings Law requires that such access be provided," explains real estate attorney Tracy Peterson of Braverman Greenspun in Manhattan.
- by Joe Lazauskas | 3/26/13 - 11:27 AM
This week's Hot Dozen--the 12 rental apartments Streeteasy.com visitors clicked on most often over the past seven days--features several no-fee apartments.
Let's start with a three-bedroom no-fee apartment (pictured) at 30 Carmine Street and Bleecker Street, newly renovated and listed at $4950/month. The well-located West Village apartment sports stainless steel appliances, two bathrooms, and the always enviable washer and dryer.
Further east, a two-bedroom apartment at 622 East 11th Street and Avenue B is listed at $2,375/month and is no fee. The walk-up apartment is more of a trek than a short walk to public transportation (except for the First Avenue L station), but it's relatively affordably priced for the hip neighborhoods of Alphabet City and the East Village.