Pads with a payoff: 6 NYC apartments that may be wise investments too

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If you’re in the market for a new apartment, you know how easy it is to spend your days ogling gorgeous listing photos. But in real estate as in other important areas of life, beauty is often skin deep. How can you tell if that  downtown loft with the 16-foot ceilings and in-unit washer/dryer is not just easy on the eyes, but a good investment too?

That's the conundrum  RealtyHop—the new sales-focused website from the folks behind RentHop--aims to solve. In addition to providing typical listings details like square footage and building amenities, the site also offers up each property’s estimated investment potential in case you should ever decide to rent the place out. Called a cap rate, this number represents the annual operating profit—which is the estimated rental income minus yearly expenses and common charges, divided by the asking price. (This estimated rental income is based on the asking rents of comparable neighborhood properties, assumes 100% occupancy, and doesn’t take into account such things as the cost of repairs, advertising, closing costs or sublet fees paid to the board.) Just be sure to remember that since co-op buildings are pretty restrictive about subletting, the cap rate analysis is more useful if you’re looking for a condo.

In this week’s round-up: A Financial District two-bedroom in a building with an on-site grocery store, a Brooklyn Heights one-bedroom in need of a little TLC, and a sunny Yorkville condo in a pet-friendly building. All have estimated cap rates of between three and five percent, making them reliable investments, according to RealtyHop.

Two-bedroom, two-bath Financial District condo at 99 John Street, #306 for $1,195,000

Located in the heart of the Financial District, this two-bedroom offers a large living room, a home office with room for a queen-sized bed, and great closet space. There’s also an open concept kitchen with a breakfast bar. The condo building has a 24-hour concierge, a parking garage, a dry cleaning valet, and even an on-site grocery store. Maintenance is $564 a month, taxes are $750 a month, and the estimated cap rate is 4.71%.

One-bedroom, one-bath Yorkville condo at 206 East 95th Street, #4A for $550,000

With a bright and airy living room, an open stainless steel kitchen, a large entry foyer and lots of closet space, this 536-square-foot Yorkville one-bedroom feels even bigger than it actually is. The pet-friendly condo building has a 24-hour doorman, a live-in super, on-site laundry and a gym. There’s also a storage unit available for just $2 a month. Maintenance is $767 a month, taxes are $545, and the estimated cap rate is 4.12%.

Two-bedroom, two-bath Financial District condo at 50 Pine Street, #9S for $1,385,000

Also in the Financial District, this two-bedroom loft features high ceilings, hardwood floors, an open stainless steel kitchen with lots of counter space, an oversized master suite with storage space, a well-lit second bedroom, and a vented washer/dryer and central a/c. The pre-war building has just two units per floor and 21 total residences, as well as a full-time super. Monthly maintenance is $1,122, taxes are $360, and the estimated cap rate is 3.91%.

Two-bedroom, two-bath Battery Park City condo at 2 South End Avenue, #9C for $850,000

Just steps from Battery Park, this spacious two-bedroom has a large master suite with a walk-in closet and a full bathroom, a second bedroom with its own large closet, an open-plan living room/dining room, and a separate stainless steel kitchen. Amenities in the luxury condo building include a 24-hour doorman, indoor parking, a gym, a lounge, a billiards room and a roof deck with Hudson River views. There is also a tenant currently in place until February 2016. Maintenance is $2,491 a month, taxes are $1,495, and the estimated cap rate is 3.80%.

Two-bedroom, one-bath Prospect Heights co-op at 431 Sterling Place, #2A for $679,000

There’s lots of room for entertaining at this 740-square-foot pre-war two-bedroom in Prospect Heights, which offers high ceilings, a large living room, a separate dining room and kitchen, and two spacious bedrooms with lots of closet space. Maintenance is $600 a month, and the estimated cap rate is 4.42%.

One-bedroom, one-bath Brooklyn Heights co-op at 40 Clinton Street, #3H for $449,000

This onetime studio in Brooklyn Heights has been converted to a one-bedroom, but is still in need of kitchen and bath renovations. However, at $449K, the unit is priced low enough that these repairs should definitely be doable. Amenities in the co-op building include a doorman, an attached garage, a roof deck and bike storage. Maintenance is $781 a month, and the estimated cap rate is 5.0%.

RealtyHop is a search engine for NYC apartment buyers looking for undervalued or great investment properties. RealtyHop listings include estimated investment potential in the form of a cap rate: a calculation derived from the annual operating profit divided by the purchase price.