Co-op pick of the week

Buy in a co-op building that's been vetted by a real estate expert

Corcoran

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How much total do you plan to tip the building staff this year?

We'd be inclined to assume that Barbara Corcoran, founder of the eponymous real estate firm, knows her fair share about how to pick a strong co-op, so given the fact that she bought a $10 million penthouse in this building a year ago, we're thinking this three-bedroom, three-bath on Fifth Avenue between 96th and 97th streets is likely a safety bet.

It's around 2,000 square feet and asking $2.925 million. Considering the fact that it's on the market for the first time in 40 years, we'd venture to guess that the apartment could use a little updating, since only a few rooms are pictured in the listing (plus it has those telltale words: "Bring your architect/designer"). 

That said, this is a true family-sized apartment, with a maid's room in addition to the three bedrooms, a large entry foyer, a living room with a woodburning fireplace, and a formal dining room.

Apparently, there's also a washer and dryer and a butler's pantry.



The building itself was built in 1924 and is the classic white-glove Fifth Avenue co-op (but it also has a fitness center and a bike room bringing it more up to date). In keeping with the exclusivity, you'll also have to put 60 percent of the purchase price down. And maintenance is $2,761 a month.

It's pet-friendly and has private storage, too. We think it goes without saying that the co-op board approval could be rigorous. Make sure your credit is stellar.