Buying new furniture is a major hassle these days—you need to be prepared to wait weeks or even months to take delivery because of supply chain chaos. That’s why some pieds-à-terre buyers who need to furnish an entire place and don't have time to wait are buying fully furnished condos at new developments.
It’s a twist on the old way of doing things. Buying a furnished resale apartment is the usual (but rare) way to get a place that’s all set up—and those furnishings may not be necessarily new or styled. The attraction of buying a furnished sponsor unit is that the furniture has been selected by a professional designer and has not been used by anyone else.
You can find this luxury amenity at new developments like Jolie at 77 Greenwich St., 75 Wall Street, and Greenwich West at 110 Charlton Street. (Furnished sponsor units were available at the private residences of Four Seasons Downtown New York, including fitness equipment, but those units have sold out.)
At Jolie, a luxury condo tower that overlooks lower Manhattan, there are several furniture packages that buyers can choose from, starting at $45,000 for a one bedroom, which covers a design fee and installation.
Buying a furnished apartment appeals to buyers moving from other states as well as locals who have been renting in the city, says Marzena Wawrzaszek, an agent at SERHANT who represents listings at Jolie, where a one bedroom is currently available for $1,680,000.
Furniture can be delivered on the day you close, she says.
“It’s a nice option since supply chain issues means the wait for furniture deliveries can take months,” Wawrzaszek adds.
For Washington D.C. resident Aida Sukys, moving into her fully furnished, one-bedroom pied-à-terre at Jolie was as easy as checking into a hotel. She’s the CFO of a company called JustWorks and is in NYC three or four nights a week.
She tried looking for a furnished rental last summer, but couldn’t find anything available, so she decided to buy. With her busy schedule, she wanted an easier approach to furnishing a place that would also avoid supply chain headaches.
While checking out the model residence for Jolie, she asked the agent if she could buy it furnished. It turns out, the building was open to it—and later launched its furnished home packages.
“We started offering this amenity last fall as we had many people inquire about our model home furniture, so we put together packages to give buyers an option for a move-in ready experience,” Wawrzaszek says.
Like rolling into a hotel
Sukys says the style of the furniture in the model apartment caught her eye. She like the design and appreciated the custom-designed rugs and quality of the furniture, which is from a private supplier.
Seeing the furniture in person, as opposed to photo or video, is important to make sure it is good quality, she says.
“But what really appealed to me was the fact that I didn’t have to go get the furniture myself,” she says, ticking off all that is involved in decorating an apartment in NYC: measuring, tracking down products, and getting everything delivered when you’re not even in town—a tall order even without supply chain problems.
For her, moving in just involved bringing dishes, linens, a mattress, and tv. Everything else, like lamps, rugs and furniture, was installed for her.
“My husband and I put my clothes and linens in my car, and the building gave me a clothing rack when I arrived, and wheeled my stuff up. It was like rolling up to a hotel. They even hung my clothes for me,” she says.
“The really nice part was after we went out to dinner. When we came back it felt like home, it was all organized,” Sukys says.
Avoiding delivery snafus
That turn-key experience is also the goal of Platinum Properties, a real estate brokerage, which recently launched the Platinum Collection, a group of five luxury condos at 75 Wall St. that also can come furnished.
“We wanted to do something that was outside the box and gives the buyer the convenience of a turn-key property,” says Khashy Eyn, CEO of Platinum Properties. Buyers at 75 Wall St.—which is also home to a Hyatt Hotel—can chose to buy all the furniture or by the piece if they want, he says.
Working directly with a supplier, Vesta, gives Platinum the ability to avoid the delivery snafus that trip up the consumer, Eyn says.
One furnished apartment there is #35A, a one bedroom, one and a half bath with 902 square feet. It is on the market for $1,249,000. It has top-of-the-line appliances from brands like Sub-Zero, Liebherr, Bosch, Miele, and Electrolux. There’s wide-plank cerused oak floors and Botticino marble in the bathroom.
But interestingly, not all listings mention that the apartment comes furnished. It’s something that an agent would tell you when you were checking out the apartment.
That seems to be par for the course—Brick tried and failed to find online sales listings for sponsor units that come furnished—as if we had a few hundred thousand to play with ourselves.
That’s because doing an online search will turn up furnished resales, if it turns up anything at all for furnished listings. So if you want to go this route, start by restricting your search parameters to new development—and then go in person to check out the listings you like.
Next, take a tip from Sukys and just ask—even if the building doesn’t necessarily offer a furniture package, you may luck out like she did and be able to buy the furniture in the model apartment.
Here's a tip: That's the scenario at Northern Lights on Northern Boulevard near Downtown Flushing in Queens. Apartments here have original fireplaces and custom millwork, and the building has a private courtyard and will add a gym, and children's playroom.
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