The Market

A Manhattan 4-bedroom for $150K? Of course there's a catch (or two)

By Virginia K. Smith | August 25, 2015 - 2:59PM

While the idea of a four-bedroom in Manhattan for under $200,000 is enough to make us salivate, this Washington Heights listing we came across requires a pretty particular kind of buyer. For starters, it's an HDFC co-op, which means it's income restricted; in this case, that means a maximum gross household income of $54,720 for a one to two person household, or $68,084 for a three or more person household. And on top of that—like so many HDFC co-ops these days—the sellers are requiring that you shell out that $150,000 asking price up front, all cash.

As expected given the price range, prepare to do major renovations. The place is far from move-in ready. (Indeed, the listing description ends with a number of hashtags about its desperate need for renovation; "#fixerupper #wreck #handymanspecial #makeityourown #inneedofrenovation #inneedofrepair #renovateinyourowntaste"). Take a look at the interiors and floor plan below:

As is typical with HDFCs, there are heavy flip taxes to help ensure that prospective buyers are in it for the long haul, not as a quick investment opportunity; in this case, you'd be giving up 30 percent of your net profit to the co-op were you to eventually sell, and keeping the remaining 70 percent for yourself. That said, it is a corner apartment with high ceilings, an eat-in kitchen, the potential to add a dishwasher and washer and dryer, and easy access to the 1 train, which is just a block away. So what do you think: Any readers out there with tons of liquid access, a limited salary, and the time, energy, and cash to pour into a renovation?


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