BrickUnderground picks for 2014's best, worst, weirdest, and more

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While December is unquestionably a time for holiday partiesholiday tipping, and even the occasional holiday open house, it's also a time to reflect on the 12 months past—in particular, the ups and downs of a year in real estate (that is how most people celebrate the new year, right?). 

Before we plunge into 2015, we take a look back—in the form of yearbook-style superlatives—at what 2014 had in store for buyers, sellers, and renters:

This is just about the only kind of rat we could live with. (Photo credit: Ludovic Bertron)


Best way to make a small apartment work: Raise your baby in the bathroom (or the walk-in closet).

Best way to find roommates: Host a late night talk show in your living room with Andrew W.K. and Gilbert Gottfried.

Best new tactic for the bold and broke: Crowdsourcing your rent.

Worst pet: The rat who hung out on an Upper West Side woman's chest while she slept.

Best pet: Any dog worth carrying across the lobby to appease the building's new no-paws-on-the-floor rule.

Least accurate claim: The "world's smartest air conditioner"

Extell Development's One Riverside Park became a lightning rod for controversy because of its separate entrance for low-income renters


Most popular new affordable-housing perk: the 1 percent maximum rent increase for stabilized apartments.

Least popular new affordable-housing perk: poor doors.

Most likely to drive up prices in Yorkville: the Second Avenue Subway. (If it ever gets finished, anyway.)

Most missed alumni: Southbridge Towers, which voted to remove itself from the Mitchell-Lama program.

Turns out, Upper East Siders aren't dying for extra trash in the neighborhood, i.e. a new waste management station. (Photo credit: angela n.)


Most heavily trend-pieced (but still affordable!) outer-borough 'hood: Ridgewood.

Fake neighborhood name least likely to catch on: Clinton.

Fake borough name least likely to catch on: Quooklyn.

Easiest way to upset an Upper East Sider: Mention the Marine Transfer Station.

Yup, these weird, translucent neighbors definitely make us want to rent here. 


Best way to convince people not to move to NYC: Taylor Swift's tourism campaign.

Best apartments for college grads (or age-defying trust fund kids): the Murray Hill tenement-turned-luxury building (where one-bedrooms start at $3,000 a month).

Spookiest advertising tactic: "Ghost" people in renderings for new developments.

Spookiest new decor trend: DIY taxidermy

Most coveted accessory of 2015: Smartphone-controlled, noise-canceling earplugs.

Least likely to look back on the '90s fondly: Everyone who's getting sick of their downtown lofts.

Thanks to the guy who snuck into Gramercy Park and uploaded the shots (Photo credit: Google Maps)


Most flagrantly criminal landlord: The guy who allegedly tried to burn down his building—with the tenants inside—to  sell off the land.

Most flagrantly criminal broker: The guy who allegedly burglarized his own clients.

Most flagrantly criminal residents: Most Airbnb hosts.

Best illegal use of Airbnb: The guy who got rare Gramercy Park pics up on Google Earth. 

Most flagrantly criminal house pet: Ferrets.


BrickUnderground finds: your apartment must-haves of 2014

Tipping the building staff: BrickUnderground's 2014 guide

Party etiquette 101: making nice with the neighbors, noise control, and more

10 things New Yorkers secretly love about the holidays

Check out BrickUnderground's annual holiday tipping poll