by Anne and Ben as told to Martha Burzynski | 11/08/13 - 8:59 AM
We moved to Carroll Gardens twice. The first time was when we originally moved to New York in 2005, and the second time, a few years later, was after grad school.
Most recently, we lived above Court Street Grocers. We loved it, loved the neighborhood. It still had a neighborhood feel without tons of foot traffic from outside the neighborhood. By the time we left last spring, it was definitely more crowded, with people spilling out of the restaurants and bars nearby.
Q. A friend of ours told my wife and I about an opening in their building and gave us the number of their super. We called him, he showed us the apartment, we loved it, and told him we wanted to apply.
The management company told us we had to pay a broker fee, even though we never even spoke with an agent They wanted this "broker fee" in cash. It seemed shady, but we paid it anyway. Is this “broker fee" legal? If not, how would we go about getting our money back?
A. Yes, the broker fee is legal assuming that the firm collecting it maintains a valid brokerage license with the Department of State (which you can check here) and provides you with an Agency Disclosure that looks like this. If they fail to provide it, they may not be entitled to keep their commission.
“I’m looking to buy a new or recently constructed two-bedroom condo. I'm open to any hip/up-and-coming neighborhood in Brooklyn, Manhattan or Queens. Where can I get the most bang for my buck? Please keep in mind that I want to buy from a developer with a good reputation.”
WHO: Liv Tyler just published an etiquette guide with her grandmother entitled “Modern Manners.” We hope it includes a lesson on why it's important to turn your TV down after 11 p.m. Some of your neighbors need their beauty sleep.
In this edition of Take It or Leave It, our veteran renters suss out what’s good, bad and ugly about this sunny 1-bedroom in a Midtown East walk-up. Our panelists—who among them have 43 years of rental experience—include RentHackr founder Zeb Dropkin, freelance writer Lambeth Hochwald, and BrickUnderground’s own senior editor, Lucy Cohen Blatter.
Mayra got the built-in bookcase look by combining and customizing four $59.99 Ikea bookcases. It cost about a quarter as much as professional built-ins.
After covering the seams, the four separate units work as a whole. And they blend in better with their pre-war apartment surroundings.
Mayra went for a very simple profile on the top trim. Having a bit of decoration matches with the existing picture rail and crown molding.
The added baseboards give the Billy's thin, modern lines a bit more substance and heft.
When we first moved into our apartment, we fell into a newbie decorating trap. We were basically setting up our new space to mirror our old apartment. The living room was comprised of the sofa /TV area, a desk stuck in the corner for a work space, and one wall taken up by a large bookcase full of books. And the dining room was just that: A room with a table and chairs for dining.
Eventually we re-worked the plan to make better use of the space. As recounted recently here, we decided to build a home office, which could also double as a tiny guest room. That left us with enough space for a comfortable living room for relaxing and entertaining. The dining room, then, had to embody some storage solutions, including the wall of books I had been dreaming of.
Q. My husband and I are thinking about selling our one-bedroom apartment and looking for something bigger. Should we list it now, before interest rates go up too much, or wait until the spring, when more people will be looking? As far as finding a two-bedroom apartment, will we be better off looking now or next year?
A. There's rarely been a better time to sell--or a worse time to buy a two-bedroom. Here's how our experts break it down.
So the love of your life just kicked you out once and for all? Naked Apartments can’t mend that broken heart, but the apartment rental website can help you dodge or minimize the sting of a broker’s fee—typically 12-15% of a year’s rent—while you find a new place to call home. Scan the dwellings listed here in our Low-Fee Rental Roundup or hop onto Naked Apartments and search by “no fee” or “low-fee” for places with fees of less than 9%.
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