The Real.Est List
- StreetNoiseby Lucy Cohen Blatter | 3/07/13 - 8:58 AM
- Want to live in the massive Domino Sugar Factory development on the Williamsburg waterfront? You might even be able to find some affordable housing (CurbedNY)
- Sure pre-construction is sexy, but remember that what you see on a rendering isn't necessarily what you get (NY1)
- The 3 noisiest neighborhoods in NYC are also the most fun after dark (amNewYork)
- Mortgage rates are falling... so applications are up all over the country (The Real Deal)
- Wanna feel like a real New Yorker? Buy the apartment under Jerry Seinfeld... for $24 million (The Real Deal)
- Still dreaming of that apartment that got away? You're not alone (NY Times)
- Better be ready for some competition, buyers. The market is busy, open houses are nuts and it's feeling like a jungle out there (Malcolm Carter; The Real Deal)
- What happens when brokers are on the board? Conflict alert! (Habitat)
- by Sharon Krum | 3/06/13 - 3:15 PM
WHO: How cool are acting couple Peter Sarsgaard and Maggie Gyllenhaal, you ask? Well, for one thing, when they're around you, icicles suddenly form in the atmosphere.
WHERE: Sarsgaard, just cast in the new season of The Killing, and Gyllenhaal, who recently starred in the two-moms-against-failing-inner-city-school flick Won’t Back Down, live with their two daughters in Park Slope, Brooklyn, where the median sales price is $875,000 and the median rent is $2,595, 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.
- Real.Est. List Spotlightby Leah Hochbaum Rosner | 3/06/13 - 12:55 PM
In business for more than 20 years, the company and its army of cleaners aim to fix up even the grimiest of windows, leaving them crisp, clear and streak-free.
“Surprisingly, the insides of the windows are actually dirtier than the outsides a lot of the time,” says Apple's manager, Tom Bulawa, whose father, former window cleaner Mitch Bulawa, started the firm in the early ‘90s. Smoke—from cigars, cigarettes or everyday cooking—can leave interior windows with a gritty film that residents don’t always realize they can probably deal with on their own with a little bit of Windex.
Still, it’s the exterior windows that present the biggest challenges to residents. And Apple, named for the city it calls home, knows what to do to get the job done.
Apple isn't all about windows, though. The company, which has eight employees and services the entire Tri-State area, also cleans carpets and upholstery, floors and Venetian blinds.
Room for Improvement: Tepid water, window bars, secondhand pot smoke, and other things New Yorkers could do withoutby Mayra David | 3/06/13 - 11:26 AM
Photo Credit / Michael Lovitt
Drier clothes, hotter water, a ventilated bathroom and a little less "relaxing" from the neighbors. Seven New Yorkers share the ways in which their living situations could be improved.
- Ready to stage a prison break: I hate that there are bars in front of my windows! I need to stop fixating on them. - Warner, Brooklyn
- No contact highs - at least not before work: It always smells like weed in my hallways.- Sylvia, Lower East Side
- Tepid water blues: The water pressure in my apartment is non-existent. And the water takes forever to heat up. I wake up, brush my teeth, and boil water for my tea and it's still not hot!!! - Shelley, Harlem
- New floors, not new socks: There are nails in my wood floor that sometimes pop up and my socks keep getting snagged on them. - Fay, Midtown West
- by Jamie Lauren Sutton | 3/06/13 - 10:18 AM
Dear Ms. Demeanor,
I live in a (doorman) building where everyone keeps their doors unlocked. I don't feel comfortable doing it, but don't want to be a social pariah. What do I do?
Dear Doris Doorlocker,
Why should you be a social pariah? Are people going through those unlocked doors? I leave mine open all the time because I forget my keys as often as I remember them, but I never expect my neighbors to check if my door is open or not.
Lock your doors if that is what you want to do (it is your place after all). If anyone asks, tell them the main person you wish to keep out is your mother-in-law and no one will say a boo. (Btw, my MIL has keys to my place, so this in no way casts aspersion on her, merely MILs in general.)
Keep an open heart,
- by Molly as told to Kelly Kreth | 3/06/13 - 8:55 AM
Photo Credit / greckor
Moving in New York is never simple. After spending roughly $10K to move into our new tenement in Chelsea, and buying two brand new mattresses, my roommate Josh and I didn't exactly have a ton of cash to blow on stylish new furniture. A friend gave us her old white couch, which I paid movers to deliver.
It was great, but Josh and I are not exactly "white couch" people. We spend evenings drinking red wine and within weeks we had wine stains all over it. We also put our feet on the couch and invite random dogs into our house.
Let's be honest, even with the best intentions, the white couch's days were numbered. But by luck, one of my clients was getting rid of a nearly new, green velvet couch she was willing to sell me for $350.
Again I had to pay movers to pick up and deliver the couch to my third-floor walk-up apartment. When they were a half hour late, I was irritated, so I called. They assured me they were on their way, but when another hour passed, I called back and they told me they had no idea when they would arrive.
I tried to stay calm, but I was angry. When I started asking questions, the man on the other end of the line got snarky and told me to SHUT UP! I hung up, immediately flagged all of his ads on Craigslist--and totally frustrated--had to leave and go downtown for a work meeting.
- by Teri Karush Rogers | 3/05/13 - 3:17 PM
Flickr photos via Iain Browne
Q. How often should I expect my co-op maintenance charges to go up? What's a normal increase and why? Does it ever go down?
A. Expect your maintenance charges to go up every year or two, say our experts, and expect the increases to be well above inflation.
Maintenance fees cover the costs to run the building, and "in recent years a big challenge facing co-op boards has been rising fuel and real estate tax costs--which are rising faster than overall inflation," says real estate appraiser and market analyst Jonathan Miller of Miller Samuel Real Estate Appraisers & Consultants.
Typically, maintenance increases average 3 to 4 percent a year, says asset manager and real estate broker Roberta Axelrod of Time Equities, but "sometimes boards skip a year and have a larger increase in the second year."
If it's any consolation, boards hate maintenance increasees as much as you do--and not just because part of it comes out of their own pocket or because it could impact the property value of their own apartments.
- by Kelly Kreth | 3/05/13 - 11:17 AM
Sure those white-gloved doormen buildings are luxurious, but who wants to make small talk every time you walk into your building? Not to mention the fact that you may need to have your feet firmly planted in the 1 percent to afford holiday tips for a fleet of doormen.
Can you tell we're trying to make our doormanless-self feel better here? It's easier than you might think, actually, because in the last couple of years, a plethora of products and services have sprung up that make the unattended life easier (and safer, too).
Read on for five to add to your personal survival kit....
- Sponsored by Gotham Brokerage Co., Inc.3/05/13 - 10:21 AM
Photo Credit / will_i_be
If you’re looking to lower the cost of living in your NYC apartment (and who isn’t?), you may be able to save a tidy sum on your existing renter’s, co-op or condo insurance policy with a single phone call.
“It’s quite possible to reduce your monthly premiums by 5% to 20% a year, in most cases without reducing coverage,” says apartment insurance broker Jeff Schneider of Gotham Brokerage.
1. Make sure you’re getting the discounts you’re entitled to.
Most insurers offer credits for any number of things, says Schneider, so make sure your premium reflects them:
- Doorman or security guard: 3% - 4% credit
- Smoke detectors & fire extinguishers: 1-2%
- Central station alarm system: 15%
- Fire-resistant building: 10-15%
- by Alex Hughes | 3/05/13 - 9:01 AM
Two-bedroom apartments are usually significantly more expensive than one-bedrooms (one of the many reasons temporary walls are so popular in NYC). But in this week's Hot Dozen -- the 12 rental apartments Streeteasy.com visitors clicked on most often over the past seven days -- the two-bedrooms are fairly reasonably priced (including two without a broker's fee) and not much more than the one-bedz. So why not splurge for a bit of extra space (and maybe even a roommate to save more money)?
On the Upper West Side, a two-bedroom apartment (pictured) at 426 Amsterdam Avenue and West 80th Street is listed at $2,500/month. The building's a walk-up and the apartment has a strange not-quite-railroad-style set-up, but the rooms are relatively spacious and Central Park is so close. Plus the area is full of bars and restaurants.
- by Alana Mayman | 3/04/13 - 3:37 PM
Photo Credit / Presentlog
New York City dwellers pay sky-high prices--and rents--for our apartments (which, by the way, are about twice as expensive and half as expansive as our suburban friends’ places).
And though we truly believe NYC living makes up for all of its hassles/challenges, sometimes we resort to lies to convince ourselves--and our parents/significant others/suburban friends--that it's all worth it. Same goes for those who've left the city for the 'burbs....
Lies New Yorkers tell themselves:
- I'd never use a dining room anyway.
- More closet space would just mean I'd keep more crap around, so it's actually lucky not to have any.
- I don’t mind a sixth-floor walkup. I think of it as a workout.
- by Sara Alessi | 3/04/13 - 12:39 PM
The Upper West Side made a strong showing in this week’s edition of the Open House Scorecard (the 10 open houses those browsing StreetEasy saved more often than any others this weekend, with the open houses for several family-sized apartments in the $1m+ range winding up on multiple dance cards.
Let's start with a three-bedroom, two-bathroom co-op (pictured) on West 90th between Central Park West and Columbus. The $2.35 million fully renovated penthouse duplex is located on the fourth and fifth floors of a five-story elevator townhouse. The chef’s kitchen has top-of-the-line appliances, including a Miele dishwasher. There’s also a planted, decked terrace, two skylights and through-wall a/c.
Head a few blocks further up to skip the co-op board interview and buy a $1.2m a two-bedroom, two-bath condo sponsor unit on West End Avenue and 100th Street. The pre-war apartment will be fully renovated to feature marble bathrooms and top-notch appliances in the kitchen. Keep in mind that there's a $325.47 monthly assessment, with common charges set at $795 and monthly taxes ringing in at $639.
- by Tripp Whetsell | 3/04/13 - 10:44 AM
Photo Credit / Bryan Bruchman
After months of apartment searching online, you've finally found the perfect listing--plenty of space, light, an affordable maintenance, great neighborhood. But a second look reveals that pets/guarantors/washer-dryers/[insert dealbreaker here] are approved on a "case-by-case" basis.
What, exactly, does "case-by-case" mean--and how can you ensure that yours will be approved?
Generally speaking, “case by case” means that a co-op or condo board's rules are not cut and dried, and that board deliberation will be necessary.
Unsurprisingly, some real estate experts we spoke with equate "case by case" with "big headache ahead."
- StreetNoiseby Sara Alessi | 3/04/13 - 8:55 AM
- Rents up 7% in Sandy's downtown wrecking grounds... (DNA Info)
- ....even as renters take yet another Lower Manhattan landlord to court over alleged mishandling of Sandy damage (The Real Deal)
- Afraid to cross the street in Brooklyn? Turns out, that fear is justified (Fucked in Park Slope)
- One-third of borrowers say they'd pay more for a mortgage if the customer service were better (NY Times)
- If you own a co-op or condo, you'll probably still get your tax abatement--if your apartment is your primary residence (NY 1)
- More New Yorkers are moving in with siblings to split the insane rents (NY Times)
- Good news for the 1 percent: An automated parking garage system may negate the need for valet parking (NY Times)
- Here's how to divvy up space with your roommates (NY Magazine)
- by Lucy Cohen Blatter | 3/01/13 - 1:18 PM
This $3,000 one-bedroom at 333 East 34th Street (between First and Second Aves) has all the condo finishes (and a couple of already mounted flat-screen TVs thrown in) and is available April 1.
Pros: The apartment is in a full-service condo building with a 24-hour doorman and a roof deck.There's a washer-dryer on every floor. The kitchen and bathroom are modern and clean looking.
Cons: In addition to the $3,000 security deposit, the owner is asking for $6,000 in rent up front, which may deter some apartment seekers.
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.