The Real.Est List
- by Sharon Krum | 5/08/13 - 3:10 PM
WHO: Matt Lauer can’t seem to get a break these days, yet when we watch him in the morning, he’s still a pro. We’re not switching channels.
WHERE: The co-anchor of “Today” lives on the Upper East Side, where the median sales price is 1.25 million and the median rental price is $3,000, 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.
- by Tracy Kaler | 5/08/13 - 1:33 PM
Q. I want to expand my kitchen into my dining room but there's a gas line in the way that's connected to my gas meter. Can I move it or do I have to work around it?
A. It sounds like what you're referring to is actually a gas riser, which begins in the basement of your building and terminates at the top floor. Getting authorization from your co-op or condo board to move it is probably not possible.
“If you alter a gas riser, you have to shut down the riser in the basement,” says construction professional Mike Kaler. This shutdown affects everyone whose appliances receive gas from that particular riser.
- Real.Est. List Spotlight Galleryby Leah Hochbaum Rosner | 5/08/13 - 10:56 AM
Whether it’s a leaky faucet, a tub that won’t drain, or something of a more disgusting nature, everybody’s going to need a plumber sometime. And Joseph-Marco Santullo of Systems 2000 Plumbing Services—the latest subject of our Real. Est. List Spotlight Series—wants you to call him when you do.
“We do brownstones and high-rises and everything in between,” says Santullo, a second-generation plumbing professional whose father started Systems 2000 in 1982 with just four plumbers. The younger Santullo took over the Upper East Side business in 1992, and it now boasts a staff of more than 30 master plumbers who are ready and waiting to snake your drains—at any hour of the day or night.
You’ll even speak to a human being at any hour.
“We do not have an automated system,” says Santullo, who understands how important it is to have a living, breathing, understanding person on the other end of the line when your bathroom is filling with water. “It’s a very personal company.”
On Season Two of 'Million Dollar Listing New York,' more of everything, including money, nudity, models, and catfightsby Kelly Kreth | 5/08/13 - 8:55 AM
In previewing the first episode of the new season of Bravo’s “Million Dollar Listing New York” (which debuts tonight), what struck me was that there was more of everything.
Important note: More is not necessarily always better.
1. More cursing.
I counted 15 curses (including preview of the next episode) which would average one curse per four minutes. Which is still less than the average cab ride, I suppose.
The takeaway: New York real estate is not all unicorns and rainbows. When this much money is at stake, conversation can get heated. In other words, don't take your kids along to see apartments.
- by Alex Hughes | 5/07/13 - 2:16 PM
Midtown Manhattan--the land of skyscrapers, corporate offices, and tons of transportation options--is the home to three apartments on this week's Hot Dozen, the 12 rental apartments Streeteasy.com visitors clicked on most often over the past seven days.
A studio apartment at 314 East 41st Street and Second Avenue is listed at $1,600/month and has no broker fee. The building has a 24-hour doorman and live-in super and is located a short walk from Grand Central, with quick access to almost any and every subway line.
- by Teri Karush Rogers | 5/07/13 - 10:59 AM
Q. The building next door is doing some repairs, and, without asking permission, they put up scaffolding/sidewalk shed that extends across most of the brownstone building I own.
Besides blocking the light into the first floor of my house, I'm also worried about safety. Someone--maybe even one of the workers--could climb up and enter through one of the second floor windows, which have no bars on them.
Can they really do this without my permission? What are my options? They said the work may take several months!!
- 2013 Updateby Teri Karush Rogers | 5/07/13 - 8:31 AM
In a city of single-digit vacancy rates, there are some compelling reasons to pay a good real estate agent to find you a rental: You’re new in town (read this first), you’re busy, you can’t find what you want on your own, and/or you plan to stay put for a couple of years or more.
But the reasons not to work with a broker can be compelling too—such as, you can’t afford the fee (typically ranging from one-month’s rent to 15% of a year’s rent) or you just don’t want to pay if you can help it, and you’ve got time and energy to do the legwork on your own.
To help you get started on the right foot in the dog-eat-dog May-October rental season, here's our annual update of the best places to start your no-fee apartment search online.
- Diary of a First-Time Buyer (cont'd)by Elle Bee | 5/06/13 - 1:42 PM
At this point in my apartment-buying career—and yes at times it has felt like a full-time job—I began coming around to the idea that hope looks through a blind eye.
With so many obstacles in my way, should I give up? Or was that purchase just around the corner? Or a phone call away?
After the Wells Fargo debacle--and upon the advice of Sidney, my real estate agent--I called the local branch of Mortgage Master, a privately owned direct lender with access to more flexible loan products than what commercial banks can offer.
I was assigned by phone to Peter, a loan specialist, who took in my details, clucking sympathetically at various points. He ran my credit report while we were on the phone. I held my breath: with so many inquiries into my credit the past six months, my score had dropped a few points, even though I had taken out no new credit or ever had a late payment.
- by Sara Alessi | 5/06/13 - 11:05 AM
The relatively low pricing, access to greenery and good transportation of Prospect Heights seem to have had their way with apartment-hunters this weekend. This edition of the Open House Scorecard--the 10 open houses StreetEasy users saved to their open-house calendars this weekend more often than any others--features an assortment of pre-war Prospect Heights abodes on the market for less than a million dollars.
On Prospect Place between Flatbush and Carlton Avenues, a $745k three-bedroom, two-bathroom prewar co-op (pictured) features 10’ ceilings, a decorative fireplace and whitewashed exposed brick, as well as built-in bookshelves. The apartment is convertible, and is currently configured as a two-bedroom plus home office/guest room, but the two back bedrooms could also become one large master bedroom.
- Sponsored by Regosin, Edwards, Stone & Federby Adam H. Stone, Esq. | 5/06/13 - 9:56 AM
In a frenzied real estate market in which many New York City co-ops and condos are drawing multiple offers, it can be tough to resist the highest offer--and to remember that, even now, having to start over with a different buyer can translate into lost time and money, uncertainty, and price cuts to combat the stigma of a listing perceived as “stale.”
It is important to choose the right offer--and to structure the contract carefully--to get the deal done the first time.
As a transactional real estate attorney, I recommend to all my clients that, to the extent possible, they take the following steps to increase the odds of a successful closing.
Zero down-payment mortgages, what some people will do for a $100/month rent-controlled apt, and moreby Sara Alessi | 5/06/13 - 8:58 AM
- Adult adopted by 85-year-old to inherit $100/month rent-controlled apartment. Yep, you read that right (NY Post)
- Zero-down payment mortgages may not be so crazy after all (The Real Deal)
- Sandy woes continue for co-op owners -- FEMA bars co-ops from disaster aid (NY Times)
- Is the bike-share rack program a co-op’s worst nightmare? A West Village co-op thinks so (DNA Info)
- Navigating the school game in NYC isn’t easy, but here are some tips for finding a good school and 'hood (NY Times; previously)
- A new charter middle school option, E3, could open on the UWS next fall (DNA Info)
- For clean air and a mold-free home, who you gonna call? Mold-busters (NY Times)
- by Lucy Cohen Blatter | 5/03/13 - 1:40 PM
This week we're making our first foray onto Roosevelt Island (and, fyi, contrary to what many an apartment listing says, Roosevelt Island is not the Upper East Side). Assuming you're okay with a Tramway or F-train commute, this $4,895 three-bedroom seems like a pretty good deal.
Pros: The building has a pool, gym, concierge, doorman and all the amenities you could ask for. All apartments are pre-wired with outlets for Cable TV and have room-to-room climate control and hardwood floors. The kitchen is modern, bright and inviting and there may also be a balcony, though the generic listing info is a little vague on this point.
- Transitionsby Brian as told to Roland Li | 5/03/13 - 10:29 AM
I'm originally from Westchester and spent about a year living in Colorado. When I came back to New York, I moved back in with my parents in Kips Bay.
That neighborhood is all right. It has good restaurants (I especially liked Curry in a Hurry), mostly along Second and Third Avenue. It was the area where, pretty late at night, you could see all these taxi drivers eating on their breaks, eating Indian and Chinese food. The neighborhood felt as though it was predominantly families and empty nesters. The nearest subway was the 4/5/6, so it was convenient to get to where I worked, near Grand Central.
But after around four months, I was ready to move out. I ended up finding a roommate who posted an audio ad during a podcast. It turned out we were both into card games, so it was perfect.
- by Sara Alessi | 5/03/13 - 8:56 AM
If you don't mind a little fixer-upper, grab a pencil (and maybe a hammer and some nails for later, while you’re at it) and pay attention to this edition of StreetEasy’s Most Wanted--the 10 sales listings those browsing StreetEasy this week saved more often than any others--for a look at some apartments that could use a little vision, and some TLC.
Over in Brooklyn, on Lincoln Road and Rogers Avenue in Prospect Lefferts Gardens, you’ll find a $995k five-bedroom, three-bathroom townhouse that needs some work, despite “good mechanicals” and a new roof. Though the home (which also has a backyard) needs updating, it it can either serve as a single-family home, or an owner’s unit with one-bedroom garden rental. There are also plans drawn up for converting thisinto a two-bedroom garden rental and a four-bedroom, three-bathroom owner’s duplex with a walk-in closet and study.
- by Alana Mayman | 5/02/13 - 2:34 PM
Like any other professional group, some real estate agents are smart, experienced and good at what they do. Some are just a little too fresh and new for our tastes.
Below are 10 signs yours is a bit too green.
- She tells the seller's broker that you love the apartment and money is no object.
- He asks you if you know the difference between a condo and a co-op...because he can’t remember.
- You tell him you are looking for a prewar Classic Six on the East Side, to which he responds: "Totally! The Lower East Side has the best bars!!!"
- He thinks YOU will be filling out the board package.