A "cheap" mansion in the five boroughs? Why the Bronx may have what you're looking for
By Lucy Cohen Blatter |July 23, 2014 - 11:59AM
Riverdale is one part of New York City where, assuming you have the cash, you can buy a sprawling suburban-style mansion and—unlike the heated market for Brooklyn brownstones—not face an army of rival bidders coveting the same house, the New York Observer reports.
This well-to-do part of the Bronx, and specifically its high-end Fieldston enclave, hasn't seen the kind of real estate boom that's rocking other parts of the city. While a Manhattan three-bedroom apartment will set you back $4 million, on average, the 12 big homes currently on the market in Riverdale—all of which range from four to eight bedrooms—are asking between $2 and $4 million, according to StreetEasy.
Still, is Riverdale truly a win-win for space-hungry buyers? Below, some pros and cons, courtesy the Observer:
Most places are legitimately big—well over 3,000 square feet. And they're not narrow brownstones that share a wall with the neighbors: they're real houses with backyards substantial enough you'd best describe them as grounds.
Many houses have been sitting on the market for a while, so sellers may be open to negotiating on price or other parts of the deal.
If you've got a car, you're only 20 minutes from Manhattan, which is pretty agreeable as far as commutes to the suburbs go.
Riverdale lacks urban conveniences. Don't expect the kind of nightlife or shopping you'd get in Manhattan, Brooklyn and even some parts of Queens.
When it comes time to sell, depending on what the market is like then, you may face the same kind of slump that makes the area so value-friendly for buyers right now. From 2009 to 2013, almost a third fewer properties over $1 million sold compared to the previous five years, the Observer reports, and several dozen homes have been on the market for six months or more—quite a contrast to the Brooklyn brownstone market, where many homes are getting multiple offers.
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