Co-op pick of the week

A three bedroom that's one block from Central Park in South Harlem, for $550,000, if you make below a certain income

By Nikki M. Mascali | January 3, 2019 - 10:00AM 

The price tag of this bright and airy condo is well below the neighborhood average—but it's in a walk-up building.


Living near a park in New York City is something many New Yorkers dream about—and often pay premium prices for the privilege. But if an apartment is just one block from not one but two beautiful and historic parks, in Manhattan no less, surely it is going to come with a pretty hefty price tag, right?

Not so in the case of 226 West 111th St. #4, a three-bedroom, one-bath co-op just minutes from both Central and Morningside parks in South Harlem. With its $550,000 asking price, it is well below the $1.7 million median asking price for three bedrooms in the neighborhoods, according to StreetEasy.

The co-op is a restricted sale in a Housing Development Fund Corporation building, which means it has a strict income cap for buyers. (Check out Brick’s comprehensive guide to learn all about HDFCs and how to get one, if you qualify.)

According to the listing, a cash sale is preferred, but the apartment is approved for buyer financing with the Lower East Side Federal Credit Union. While there’s no mention of maintenance charges, monthly taxes are $806.

The co-op’s living room is bright and airy thanks to two large, street-facing windows.

The open kitchen, too, is bright thanks to a small window above the sink, light-colored cabinets. A metallic backsplash that pairs well with the stainless steel appliances that include a dishwasher. Another bonus of the kitchen is its ample amounts of both counter space and cabinets, including a floor-to-ceiling pantry-like one next to the fridge.

While there only seems to be photos of two of the three bedrooms indicated in the listing, both appear sizable (though one seems much more light-filled than the other).

The windowed bath appears to be a decent size, with the same light-colored tile found in the shower extending to the lower half of the rest of the room.

The co-op also features an in-unit washer and dryer, hardwood oak floors, and north, south, and west exposures.  

As for the rest of the 1910-built building, it has been gut-renovated with a new boiler, roof, plumbing, and electrical, and its interior has been recently painted, the listing said.

There is also an on-site super, a storage room, and bike storage, as well as a roof deck and courtyard tenants can use for entertaining and barbecuing. The building is pet-friendly.

It should be noted that 226 West 111th St. is a six-story walk-up with 25 apartments. While we don’t know for sure what floor #4 is on, it doesn’t appear to be too much higher than the car roofs seen out the living room windows.

Any stairs might be worth it to be in such close proximity to iconic Central Park, whose northern expanse is the best part of the park in this writer’s opinion, and the surprising landscape of Morningside Park, which features a cliff wall and waterfall. (Fun fact: Both parks were designed by Frederick Law Olmstead and Calvert Vaux, who also created Brooklyn’s Prospect Park.)

The co-op is also a quick walk from many Harlem mainstays, including Melba’s; the legendary Minton’s Playhouse, which is just through the kitchen of The Cecil Steakhouse—and where bebop was born; Tom’s Restaurant of “Seinfeld” fame, and a Levain Bakery.

As for transit, the C and B local trains are available just around the corner at 110th Street-Cathedral Parkway, while the 110th Street stop of the 2 and 3 trains is a little more than a block to the east. Additionally, the 1 local train is an eight-minute walk to the west atop 110th Street at Broadway.

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How to buy a co-op or condo apartment in New York City: A comprehensive guide

This guide to buying a co-op or condo apartment in New York City will help you navigate one of the most complicated and expensive real estate markets in the world. In Brick Underground's typical no-nonsense fashion, we take you through each step of the buying process, including information that many real estate agents may be reluctant to share. Throughout our guide, you'll also find links to dozens of useful Brick Underground articles to further your understanding of the nuances—arcane and strategic—involved in buying a co-op or condo apartment in New York City. 


Table of Contents

Deciding between buying a co-op or condo

Downpayment and asset requirements for buying a co-op or condo

Co-ops vs Condos: Lifestyle and other considerations

How to get a mortgage to buy a co-op or condo

The difference between mortgage contingency and funding contingency clauses

Deciding whether to work with a real estate agent when buying an apartment

When to work with a buyer's broker

How to hire a good real estate lawyer

A guide to NYC apartment building types: Prewar, postwar, white glove, full-service, elevator and walk-ups

Essential questions to ask about the building before you buy

Guide to attending open houses

How to evaluate an apartment's location in a building

Buying a co-op apartment from the sponsor

A guide to lot-line windows and illegal bedrooms

Common problems with buying new construction

Tips for buying "preconstruction" condo

Getting a mortgage to buy a brand new condo

A guide to buying a condo with property tax abatements

How to negotiate with a developer when buying a condo

How to make a successful offer to buy an apartment

How to win a bidding war

Getting approved by a co-op board

What to expect on closing day


Now, onto the first step of your search:  Determining whether you, your finances, and your lifestyle are better suited to a condo or co-op.


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