The Real.Est List
- by Jamie Lauren Sutton | 4/17/13 - 2:49 PMDear Ms. Demeanor,My communal roof turns into a beer pong party every Friday and Saturday night when the weather warms up. How can I ask my neighbors to cool it without seeming like an old fogey?Sincerly,Fairly fogey-ishDear Fogey,Let's be honest, you probably can't. You will be yuckng their yum or they will be yucking yours. Why not propose alternating Fridays and offer to front them the money for the booze for one night of the summer?
- by Mayra David | 4/17/13 - 11:39 AM
A bathroom with two entryways, beepless elevators, and neighbors that don't smoke… six New Yorkers tell us what they’d add to their homes--or subtract--if only they could…
- Less social neighbors I’m in the basement of a brownstone and my neighbors like to sit outside and talk and sometimes they smoke, too. I’d say something but I know they are moving out soon anyway. I hope the next tenants don’t smoke -- or entertain -- much. - Kwenelle, Harlem
- It’s getting hot in here With the weather warming up I remembered that I really want ceiling fans throughout the apartment. -Gerald, Gramercy Park
- What happened to good ole elevator music? I wish the elevator on my side of the building didn’t have that loud, high pitched beeping sound every time it passes a floor. The beeping turns into a long squeal whenever it reaches a floor where it has to stop. I can hear it from my bedroom. - Joyce, Hamilton Heights
- Real.Est. List Spotlight Galleryby Leah Hochbaum Rosner | 4/17/13 - 10:19 AM
You recycle your newspapers and your glass bottles, bike to work when you can, and pay all your bills online. You’re doing your part to help the environment. But you want to do more.
Going green doesn’t have to be daunting, says Green Depot marketing manager Susanna Schultz.
“You don’t have to throw out everything in your apartment,” she says. “That’s not exactly sustainable. But it’s easy to switch stuff out as you go.” (See below for specific suggestions.)
Green Depot was founded in 2005 when former MTV executive Sarah Beatty faced a mold contamination scare after remodeling her Manhattan apartment.
- by Mike Akerly | 4/17/13 - 8:58 AM
Q. My wife and I are shareholders in a large co-op and I am on the board. We own shares in two apartments and are in the process of trying to rent out one of them.
Recently the board voted to allow our property management company to perform and review credit and background checks of rental applicants.
Our prospective tenant submitted the required application well over two months ago, and neither she nor us have heard any response from the management company. We’re losing thousands of dollars in rental income and will still have to wait for a board interview and approval even after we receive their acknowledgement of the application and credit check.
Is this delay typical of management companies? Without giving the appearance of impropriety as a board member, is there anything else I can do move this along?
A. A two-month delay after an applicant has submitted an application is extremely atypical and frankly, inappropriate. As an agent of the co-op, the management company has an obligation to fulfill its duties with the care and diligence normally exercised by agents in similar circumstances.
- by Teri Karush Rogers | 4/16/13 - 2:41 PM
Q. The plaster in the middle of my living room wall started bulging a little where it backs up against my shower.
What could be causing it? How concerned should I be? Who is responsible for fixing it--me or my co-op?
A. A leak is almost certainly the cause, say our experts, and the first thing you must determine is its source.
"With plaster, the water will just sit and cause the bubbling you are seeing in your wall," says Alex Ushyarov, a general contractor and the co-founder of home improvement website Click and Improve.com. "A plaster ceiling, on the other hand, will eventually give in and the portion of the saturated plaster will fall."
- by Alex Hughes | 4/16/13 - 1:07 PM
There are highs and lows in this week's Hot Dozen--the 12 rental apartments Streeteasy.com visitors clicked on most often over the past seven days. Among the lower-end apartments are single room occupancy studios in the $1,000 per month range, and on the high-end an over-$7,000-per-month three-bedroom on Central Park West.
A compact, lofted $1,500 studio (pictured) at 20th Street and Eighth Avenue (another hip and convenient neighborhood) is a single room occupancy unit in a townhouse. Again, utilities are included and pets are allowed (if you can find room for one), but note that this apartment features a communal bathroom, shared with two other tenants.
- Sponsored by Braverman Greenspunby Robert Braverman, Esq. | 4/16/13 - 11:32 AM
Investor demand has helped fuel rising condo prices, but many New York City condo boards are waking up to the fact that a bumper-crop of absentee owners--many of them investors--can be hazardous to their building’s health.
In the buildings where I am the legal advisor to the board, the tipping point occurs when at least 20-25% of units belong to owners who rent out their apartments when they’re not using them, which is most of the time.
The effects are broad enough and consistent enough that I expect to see some condominiums push to create cultures more akin to that found in co-ops, particularly with regard to the implementation of more restrictive rental policies.
- 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.