A large, affordable family home on the Upper East Side—with a catch (natch)

By Jennifer Laing  | October 28, 2014 - 2:59PM

Looking for a family home? How does a large three-bedroom, two-bathroom apartment on East 63rd Street for $995,000 sound? Too good to be true? Well it is, sort of (the monthlies are astronomical, but more on that later), and yet it’s not—which is exactly what caught our eye about this listing.

First the good news: The fifth-floor apartment’s big—1,725 square feet since two one-bedroom units were combined to create the space—and has three good-sized bedrooms, including a master suite with its own private entrance, and two full baths, each with its own window. It’s also got an open living-dining room with lots of windows that—thanks to fairly unobstructed south and west views—make the apartment look extra bright.

Who wouldn't want to a cook in a kitchen filled with high-end appliances and cabinetry?

The kitchen is all glossy white cabinets and granite countertops, with a laundry list of swish appliances: Thermador double ovens, Sub-Zero fridge, six-burner Wolf range, Sinkmaster garbage disposal. Built-in storage, from floor-to-ceiling bookshelves and clever cabinets to custom walk-in closets and an additional room that could be renovated to a third bath, is another bonus. And lastly, it's zoned for P.S. 267 (aka East Side Elementary), a school founded in 2010 and currently serving grades pre-K through three that InsideSchools praises for its quality curriculum.

The alcove dining room gets light from two sides

Now for the bad news: the building at 301 East 63rd Street is paying down a mortgage of tens of millions of dollars, so while the apartment’s purchase price is low (about a quarter the cost of similar places in the area, which sold for an average of about $4.25 million, according to StreetEasy) the monthly bill shakes out to a whopping $6,808 a month! Why so high? No. 301 was formerly a landlease, meaning that the co-op didn't own the land on which the building sits. But a few years ago, the co-op was forced to buy the land, and took out a mortgage to do so, leading to an indefinite, sky-high monthly assessment for shareholders. Eleven days ago, the owners slashed the asking price by $255,000. 


Once a landlease, the building now owns the property on which it stands

That said, if you wanted to buy this three-bedroom, you'd face few of the restrictions that typically apply to co-ops: Subletting, pied-a-terres, co-purchasing and guarantors are all allowed, according to other listings in the building. Built in 1959, the pet-friendly property also has a concierge, doorman, live-in super, bike room and garage parking available. 

Two one-bedrooms were combined to create the oversized floorplan


Landlease apartments are cheaper, but are they worth it?

Why I bought in a landlease building despite the horror stories

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