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How much to tip your building staff, best nabes for pied-à-terre buyers, & more

By Austin Havens-Bowen  |
December 6, 2019 - 3:00PM

This week, readers visited Brick Underground for bathroom renovation ideas that will upgrade your life and your apartment's resale value. Adding features like radiant-heat flooring and heated towel bars can reduce your energy bill while also making it more appealing to buyers when it's time to sell your apartment. Other hacks: extra-large mirrored medicine cabinets and LED lighting. 

Also of interest: Questions that you should ask your partner before you move in together. NYC's real estate market tends to accelerate relationships to live-in status before couples really get to know each other. Discussing in advance your day-to-day sleeping habits, budgets, long-range relationship goals, and even what would happen with your place if you break-up—can save you a lot of aggravation down the road.

Here, in full, are this week's top stories.

1) Holiday Tipping Guide: How much to tip your doorman, super, porter, and more

2) Best Manhattan neighborhoods for a pied-à-terre if you're a frequent business visitor, empty nester, or international buyer

3) 8 NYC bathroom renovations that will improve your life—and your apartment's resale value

4) How New Yorkers can take advantage of the city's oversupply of luxury condos

5) 8 questions to ask before you move in with your boyfriend or girlfriend in NYC

And from this week's sponsors:

Ask Sam: Our gas was shut off. How can we get it back on—and get a discount on our rent? [sponsored]

7 questions to ask before buying a penthouse [sponsored]

A guide to New York transfer taxes, mansion taxes, and flip taxes [sponsored]


Austin Havens-Bowen

Staff Writer

Staff writer Austin Havens-Bowen covers the rental market and answers renters' questions in a column called Realty Bites. He previously reported on local news for the Queens Ledger and The Hunts Point Express in the Bronx. He graduated from Hunter College with a BA in media studies. He rents a one-bedroom apartment in Astoria with his boyfriend and their two cats.

Brick Underground articles occasionally include the expertise of, or information about, advertising partners when relevant to the story. We will never promote an advertiser's product without making the relationship clear to our readers.