The Real.Est List
- by Debra as told to Kelly Kreth | 11/05/10 - 7:04 AM
The first time I tried to buy a co-op, I was turned down. It was back in 1993, when I was a single mother of a two-year old living on the Upper East Side. I was going through a divorce and had to move from my two-bedroom rental. I figured it was the perfect time to buy. Being a doctor with an office on Fifth Avenue, I knew I wanted to be close to work with a view of the park. After looking at about 35 apartments with my broker, I finally found the perfect one. It was a classic-six with two maid's rooms going for $1.2 million. My finances were in order and because my office was right next door, I knew many people on the board.
Most were my patients.
- by A. Ready | 11/04/10 - 3:00 PM
If you are looking for a doorman building in Midtown West and are happy to trade free music in your atrium for lower rent, maybe today's no-fee apartment pick is for you. The Nicole, located at 400 West 55th Street at 9th Avenue and built in 2004, is an amenities-rich building with a gym, lounge, garden, as well as breakfast served daily. This two-bedroom, two bath with walk-in closet is available for $4,200 a month, and the landlord is offering one month free rent and will pay your broker's fee. As the median rent for similarly-sized units in the neighborhood is $5,200, this seems like a good deal to us.
- The kitchen you hate may not be a kitchen
Real estate broker-blogger Malcolm Carter takes a look at the kitchen-related regulations of New York City's Administrative Code. Apparently, many Big Apple apartments do not have kitchens, only kitchenettes. How can you determine whether your food preparation space can be called a kitchen? It must contain at least 80 square feet, and "the total window area must be a least one-tenth of the floor area, and all required windows must be at least 12 square feet." Kitchenettes, unlike kitchens, are allowed to be windowless as long as mechanical ventilation is provided. Does your apartment sport a lowly kitchenette? You're in good company. This 1,285 square foot apartment at the Sherry Netherland, located at 781 Fifth Avenue and currently listed for sale at $3,975,000, has a 10'3" by 4'7" kitchenette. (Malcolm Carter)
- by A. Ready | 11/04/10 - 8:50 AMWhere you choose to live arguably reveals something about your personality: Remaining in a rent-stabilized apartment in StuyTown long after you can afford to buy might indicate that you appreciate a good bargain (or are just cheap). Exchanging the charm and prestige of a pre-war building for a post-war white brick stalag could mean that you're just not that concerned with appearances. And requiring not only a super and a doorman but porters and a concierge might be seen as markers of an overblown sense of entitlement.Now, it appears that what you do inside your apartment--specifically, which television shows you watch--are also personality indicators. Read on for what The Office et al say about you...
- Um, how much is that in studios?
Crain's New York is reporting that the Saudi royal family has rented seven apartments at the Waldorf-Astoria, for the princely sum of $210,000 a month on a six-month lease--an all-time rental record, according to brokers. The apartments, located on floors 37-41, are intended to accommodate 29 family members. So what's $210,000 a month in denominations real estate commoners can understand? We ran the numbers: At today's median rents in Midtown East, that works out to about 100 studios, 74 one-bedrooms, or 42 two-bedrooms. (Crain's NY)
- by Theresa Braine | 11/04/10 - 6:34 AM
I decided to get rid of quasi-exterminator TC when he said he was going to bomb the apartment to get rid of every critter in it—lots of creatures, from carpet beetles to the occasional roach, come to light once you’re searching—and then focus on the leftover bed bugs, if any. By then I had started reading Bedbugger.com and other reputable websites and getting an idea of what I was up against. And saw that my instincts were correct: Pretty much every single thing this guy had done was wrong.
- Are YOU my landlord?
Move over Pictionary. The Village Voice has just unleashed a new "game" called "Who's My Landlord?." Rule Numero Zero? "Your building sucks" because otherwise "you really wouldn't care who you wrote your monthly check to." But it's not so simple to determine who your landlord is. Slums have a surprising tendency to change hands, city records can be woefully incomplete, and some buildings don't even show up in the deed recording system because the building is in foreclosure (in which case you will need to turn to New York Supreme Court to find out the identify of the person engaging in domestic terrorism against you and your building). The game may not be simple to win, but at least this sets forth how to play. (Village Voice)
- by Jamie Lauren Sutton | 11/03/10 - 12:48 PM
Dear Ms. Demeanor,
I am on the board of a great building, but I believe it could be better. The problem is that the old-timers on the board don't even know what an iPod is let alone understand why we, the younger board members, want iPod docking stations in the new roof deck we want to build--or why we want a roof deck at all. Many of the newer buildings around us are offering amazing public spaces and we have to do what we can to keep up. We have researched some new deck systems that are both affordable and very attractive. What is the best way to shake things up without breaking any hips, if you get my meaning...
Signed, New Wave vs. Old School
- Ventless dryers not so bad after all
Even if you are fortunate enough to live in a building that permits washer-dryers in apartments, there’s a better-than-even chance you will not be allowed to vent the dryer to the outdoors. But how well does a ventless dryer work? Over on StreetEasy, the ventless dryer crowd says not bad at all provided you don’t overstuff the machine, keep the lint filter very clean and the door to your laundry area propped open while the machine is on. Preferred brands? Miele, Bosch, and Asko. (StreetEasy.com)
- by A. Ready | 11/03/10 - 6:49 AM
This one-bedroom, one-bathroom coop at 420 E. 55th Street comes complete with a "very motivated" seller. Just how motivated? Six days ago the asking price for the unit was lowered by 9%, or $50,000, to $499,000 (slightly less than $700 per square foot, which is cheaper than about 65% of similarly-sized Midtown one-bedrooms). In the original sponsor sale back in June of 2005, the sellers paid $574,349. The apartment looks to be in excellent condition, and the maintenance is a very low $994 per month for this 790-square-foot abode. Downsides....?
- CompsWatch: What's going on in FiDi?
These days we frequently see apartments close below their last sale price, but rarely do they start out asking for less than the price they last commanded. Downtown, that may be changing: In the last couple of days, we've noticed a number of apartments come onto the market below their previous sale price. Here are a few that caught our eye:
- A two bedroom, two bathroom condo at the Cocoa Exchange on 1 Wall Street sold in November of 2006 for $977,250. Yesterday it came on the market for $875,000.
- A small studio at the Greenwich Club at 88 Greenwich Street, came on the market for $450,000 yesterday. It last sold for $580,000 in September 2007.
- A 1,681-square-foot two-bedroom at the Cipriani Club Residences at 55 Wall Street, was just listed for $2,100,000. It sold in November of 2007 for $2,530,713.
- by Michelle Castillo | 11/03/10 - 6:31 AM
While apartments are supposed to have heat in New York City, what they don’t tell you is that it’s not always the well-regulated thermostat that you may be used to if you moved here from somewhere like L.A. These old radiators shake, rattle, bang and blast heat in only one temperature. So even though I had thought one of my biggest problems moving here from California would be freezing during the winter, I found that I was wearing my summer skimpiest indoors rather than bundling up.
- A moment of silence
is in order: According to CurbedNY, the Atelier, 478-unit luxury condo on E. 42nd is lowering its common charges...for the second year in a row. Nice bragging rights for the owners of the 69 apartments currently for sale. So how'd the Atelier do it? We already know that the building rents out its roof deck to non-residents for $5-10k a pop, but we'd like to hear more. And we want to know how much the common charges have gone down. Anyone? (CurbedNY)
- by Teri Karush Rogers | 11/02/10 - 2:27 PM
We’ve talked a lot about how to find out if your future apartment has bed bugs, and by now you probably know that bedbugregistry.com is a good place to look for information not only about apartment buildings but also hotels. (Tip: User reviews on many other travel review sites will mention bed bugs if they are present at a hotel.) But what if you’re en route somewhere and want to know whether bed bugs are waiting for you at your destination....whether it be movie theater, conference center, client's office or your best friend's apartment building? There's an app for that now. Read on for more info and our Q&A with its creator, who hasn't been to a movie in 6 months.
- Apartment staging, Botox, and Brazilians
Apartment staging--aka the act of stripping your personality and personal effects out of your apartment to make way for someone else's fantasy--came into its own around the same time as Botox, Brazilian waxing, and real estate blogs. What happens if you don't conform to the erasure aesthetic? If you are Christine O'Donnell, you wind up savaged on Gawker by an anonymous 25-year-old raised on porn. (Sorry, but you are going to have to Google that one yourself.) If you are squashed with your young family into a one-bedroom apartment in Brooklyn that you try to sell without staging it first, you are going to get a picture of your messy toy-strewn living room posted on Brownstoner, followed by psychographic portraits like this... more>>