NYC Market Realities


1123423-2_lWith regards to the New York City Real Estate market, this is a very busy time of year.
Rentals in prime locations are going within hours and sales are going in weeks.

There is very little inventory across the board, no matter the budget.
From the entry level starter studio on the rental side, up to the uber-luxury penthouse on the sale side.

Vacancies are slim and many are staying put for another year.

Come prepared and have your game face on!

The Belnord


This amazing home is in a unique trophy property on the Upper West Side of Manhattan.

Encompassing an entire city block from 86-87th and Broadway to Amsterdam, there are rental apartments ranging from a

handful of pre-war loft style studios to mostly classic six and seven room layouts ideal for families. When the building was completed in 1908, it was the largest private courtyard in the world.

As you enter from the 86th Street side, you are greeted with a double archway and gates manned 24/7 in addition to a concierge area. Vehicles are permitted to enter and load/unload for a period of 3 hours in an area once only traversed by horse-drawn carriages.

The homes have been completely renovated with all of the modern amenities such as central air conditioning, Viking, Miele and SubZero appliances and yet retain the meticulous prewar details one hopes to find still in tact in this environment.

There are a limited selection of homes remaining. Far from the cookie cutter building and each home is quite unique. Please do contact us if you are not quite ready to purchase as of yet and want access to the best rental properties in town.

Best Starter Apartments Vol. 1


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This is balling

There are many places one can call home here in NYC. The first choice for most is Manhattan. The balance of safety, having the entire city as your backyard and location make this the end all be all. Do realize, that most condominiums are hovering just north or south of $1000/sf . The flexibility with condo ownership makes it more appealing for those who don’t have the strong financials. When you are looking for a 500sf studio, you are talking $500,000 minimum for older condominiums. New construction in prime areas with amenities can easily start around $700,000.

Since many are not aware of these market realities and who doesn’t like a good deal, I have taken my $1M tour and downsized it to a basic starter apartment range of budgets. If you are looking for a bargain price, have strong financials then look at co-ops. In the interest of helping those who are unsure of which category they fall into, I will provide you with an option for each.

These are hands down, the lowest priced, sound values for purchase in the entire city right now. I have lived in more areas than there are subway stops. If I say the entire city, I mean it. There is always a lower priced deal for more space out there, but would you really live somewhere based off of the price tag? You know the old adage, you get what you pay for.

$155,000 Co-op on 63rd Street Upper East Side

This is a remarkable value as it is hands down, the most square footage, in a full time doorman building, south of 96th street right now. The co-op just purchased the land and the monthly maintenance is 71% Tax deductible. The total net after tax cost is only $1685 per month with a cash purchase! This is an exceptional co-op in that there is unlimited renting allowed after two years of ownership! Huge 575sf Alcove Studio custom designed and impeccably renovated. Discounted over 60% to offset the high monthly maintenance. The comparable apartments in the neighborhood cost over $425,000. You can buy this apartment for a 60% discount! There is a flexible board, great location the apartment is east facing. This is recently renovated and designed with high end finishes to utilize every last inch featuring Subzero and GE stainless steel appliances, cherry wood cabinets and granite countertop. The kitchen is not only top-of-the line, it is sized to entertain. The bathroom features modern Grohe fixtures and designer tile. This home has an open plan feel, so you might feel as though you were in a loft, but with all the conveniences of the Upper East Side. This is a Full-service co-op that features a planted roof deck (designed by the architect who landscaped the Central Park Zoo), a new high styled classic contemporary air-conditioned lobby and elevators designed by Ephelind Coblin Architects, a newly designed facade and entrance. There is a garage for $350/mo, a common storage, bike room and laundry room. The pet policy is dogs must be 20 inches or less in height and weigh 40lbs or less.

$335,000 Condo in Battery Park City

Beautiful one bedroom, one bath apartment in a 24 hour full service doorman condo building located in the heart of Battery Park City, minutes from Wall St., next to the Hudson River Esplanade. This 537sf apartment has north facing oversized windows, is bright and quiet. The apartment features new hardwood floors and an open kitchen, marble bathroom. The building has newly renovated lobby, free exercise room, bike room, laundry on every floor. And on-site parking. Do not miss this opportunity.

Or for more square footage, quality and a better location…

$691,000 Condo in Gramercy 

Incredible Value! Now priced at $1000 a square foot with combined taxes and common charges under $850. Loft-like one bedroom with high ceilings boasting nearly 700 sf of interior space on the 2nd floor of an intimate walk-up condo building. This home features a large living/dining room combination that is ample and airy creating the perfect setting for entertaining; open kitchen with an island and stainless steel appliances which include a dishwasher; and a marble bathroom. Washer dryer on every floor and only 2 apartments per floor. East exposure facing the rear of the building allows for a pure quiet escape… Located on Third Avenue just South of 23rd street in one of the most convenient and sought after neighborhoods.

These are the three lowest priced options for ownership in Manhattan downtown. There is nothing lower. The co-op is a remarkable value if you can make an all cash purchase as the monthly will be lower than most condo options. The condo in BPC is decent if you are looking in that area, but the one in Gramercy is really the perfect blend of quality, location and space overall. You lose the amenities but get a much nicer home overall.

If you or anyone you know is thinking of making a purchase, do feel free to contact me for advice, assistance or even objective feedback.

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$1M NYC Tour Part 4- “Da Bronx Bombers”


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Now if you are thinking outside of the box, then you are thinking of the Bronx. There is nothing as non-diluted, un-filtered and authentically New York as the only portion of the city that is actually on the continental United States. This is the home of the greatest professional sports team in the history of sports, the New York Yankees. If you have a need a reverse commute into Connecticut or work somewhere in Westchester County or upstate NY and still want to be close enough to Manhattan to feel like you are not out in the sticks, this is where it’s at. Plus getting to the games is a simple task. The front-runner Yankee fan commutes an average of 45 minutes from New Jersey, even longer if coming from Long Island or wherever they flock from. A true fan living in the Bronx commutes 15-20 minutes maximum.

As for the purchase options in the Boogie Down, there are plenty of low prices. As with anywhere else in NYC, location is everything. To simplify the process, I have focused on the absolute best amount of square footage in a nicer area for both the co-op condominium options.

$525,000 1750 sf Co-op in Riverdale

Just 12 minutes to the Upper West Side, this spacious, sun-filled, high-floor 3 bedroom, 3 bath residence is located in Manor Towers, the most desirable luxury building in Central Riverdale. With a gracious layout, the spacious entry foyer opens to an ample and sunny L-shaped living room, with expansive views that stretch all the way to the Long Island Sound. The Master Bedroom Suite offers numerous closets–including a large walk-in, a sitting or office area and lovely over-sized en suite bath. There are two additional bedrooms, one with en-suite bath. Third full hall bath and closets galore complete this capacious residence. Pet friendly, full service building near parks, schools, transportation and houses of worship. With 24 hour doorman, wonderful building staff, swimming pool, tennis courts and parking, this special building offers a wonderful lifestyle in the heart of wonderful Riverdale.

$975,000 2275sf PH Condo in Riverdale

This is the epitome of affordable luxury! Instead of spending $3M to even sniff something similar in Manhattan, this sun-splashed four bedroom duplex penthouse comes with top of the line touches. Starting with floor to ceiling windows in the double height living room, to the six burner Viking range and gorgeous granite counters in the Chef’s Kitchen. The master bedroom suite offers an abundance of closet space and a stone master bath with double sinks and a glass door double shower as well as a large balcony. There is a hand hewn walnut staircase leads up to den/office, three generous bedrooms, and two more bathrooms. This is a new Condominium in the heart of Riverdale that offers a fitness center, children’s play space and a river view roof deck as well as indoor deeded parking and washer/dryer in each apartment. There is easy access to PS 24, The Public Library, Seton Park, houses of worship, transportation and shopping. This is all just 12 minutes to the Upper West Side. Low common charges of $856/month and 421a abated taxes of just $25/month makes this a value and a true winner. This spectacular home was featured in the New York Times.

If you missed any of the $1Million Dollar tour of NYC links are right here.

Pt 1

Pt 2

Pt 3

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$1M NYC Tour Part 3- “Live Like a King in Queens”


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In the city in 15mins via LIRR

The tour continues, if you missed it try here and here for the first two installments.

Now if you needed to catch up to speed on what this tour is all about, let’s keep it moving. This is something to think about if you like parks. Queens has more total acreage of park space than any part of the region. If you are looking for space, there is nothing in the city that can compare to what I found in Forest Hills for under a million dollars. This is a super safe and beautiful area with old world charm in Forest Hills Gardens where there are tons of Tudor style homes.

For those that don’t know, this is the most scenic and serviceable area in Queens as you have multiple transportation options such as E/F/G/R trains, the Long Island Railroad, taxi services and bus routes a plenty. The trip into Manhattan is easier than some parts of Washington Heights and the area is much nicer overall.  I actually will start a mini tour based off of this area as I found perhaps some of the lowest priced starter apartments in this area of the city that totally trump ANYTHING in North Manhattan.

Co-op

$599,000 1573sf  4BR/3Bath There is actually a place that just hit the market that is going for $849K and sounds like comparable square footage, but why break the bank!With no floor plan or pictures to examine, it may as well be a pipe dream.  Seeing is believing! This extremely rare, four bedroom, three bathroom Forest Hills residence thrills from the floor to the ceiling with its country home feel, windowed dining room alcove, spacious living room, hardwood floors and lots of closet space. The kitchen has granite countertops, brand new stainless steel appliances, designer cabinetry and ceramic tile. The master bedroom features an ensuite windowed bathroom, alcove sitting area and a large walk-in closet with a California closet system. The second bedroom easily transitions into a library or office. One of the three bathrooms includes a bathtub and separate shower stall. The six-story, post-war co-op building has an elevator, laundry room, parking garage and intercom system. Pets are welcome board approval. For the pictures (proof) slide over here.

Condo

$875,000 1788sf Penthouse Designed by famed designer Andres Escobar, this penthouse offers contemporary living in a luxurious environment. The spacious lay out is complemented by floor to ceiling windows, top of the line fixtures and appliances. Take a look at the floor plan and observe the TWO large private terraces! There is healthy mix of local retail along Austin Street to keep you busy and the property footprint is equidistant between both airports for the constant traveler. Enjoy unprecedented amenities including Shuttle transportation, fitness center, cinema, children’s play room, owners lounge, and 24 Hr Doorman to name a few.  Slide right in here!
The World is Yours

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Your Key to the City Awaits on Block Beautiful!


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Wow!

Gramercy Park

 

This weekend I noticed how many great spaces are available in the Gramercy Park part of town. I have a friend who celebrated his birthday. See that red building on the right? WINNING!

That made me think about how blessed people are who live here and have the coveted key to the only private park in the middle of the city, as the other is in Queens. While that apartment is a massive classic six, I started to think about this on a smaller scale than the multi-million dollar spaces we all dream of. What about the space that the couple just starting a family would want?

The lowest priced property that actually had a key to this private park is $480K. It is a 500sf JR1 currently configured as an open studio. I love this area of town as it is scenic, picturesque, there great options in terms of transportation and you have some of the best restaurants in the city all within walking distance.

There are currently 13 places currently for sale under $1M keys to the park. All are at least JR1 or true one bedroom layouts. The top option is an 875sf one bedroom that can convert to a two bedroom going for $769K shown here.

 

Perfect for a nursery

Great location

 

 

The space is sufficient for a couple that may have a surprise on the way and are thinking long term. Superb schools, a private park in a historic part of town and superb restaurants and culture options for two or three generations to enjoy!

This is a rarity in that the properties here under $1M rarely go on sale as the location is so in demand. There are four places on prestigious Irving Place as well from $529K topping out at $869K. This area is rich in history and there is a plethora of fresh and healthy food options to shop for when cooking. Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods are the large chains in the area, there is also a farmer’s market in Union Square.

This is a great time to make a move here. If you realize that with this amount of inventory, there may be wiggle room with prices in an area where there is usually none at all due to the demand. Most of the apartments have not been on the market for more than 6 weeks, so this is the time to get creative and make offers. Owners tend to think that a sale can happen within the first month, so they get a bit antsy if there has not been any serious offers.

I am famous for finding superb locations and would love to work some magic for you 😉

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NYC Real Estate Glossary


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Alcove studio (JR 1)
A studio apartment with a separate alcove that can be used as a sleeping area. Many people put up a screen or other partition to give themselves more privacy. Just a bit larger than a box or rectangle shaped studio, but not quite a real one bedroom.

Balcony
An outdoor space that protrudes from a building. Most balconies are private but some are shared between neighbors.

Building Amenities
Extra features and services offered by a building. Amenities could be a gym, concierge services, high-speed internet access, a business center, etc.

Classic 6, 7 or 8
The term ‘classic’ followed by a number (usually starting at six) refers to the number of rooms in an apartment. It is most often used with pre-war apartments. For example, a ‘classic 6’ would be a two bedroom with a living room, dining room, kitchen and maid’s room.

Co-broke
When brokers are working on a ‘co-broke’ basis, they are sharing exclusive listings with each other. In a co-broke transaction, one broker will represent the buyer or renter, while the other will represent the owner of the property. The commission is usually split 50/50.

Convertible/Flex One, Two, Three or Four bedroom
An apartment that is convertible or flexible in terms of the number of bedrooms. For example, a convertible two bedroom is a one bedroom apartment with enough space (usually in the living room) to wall off an area for the second bedroom. A convertible three bedroom is a two bed apartment where a third bedroom is carved out of the living space, and so on and so forth. The terms ‘convertible’ and ‘flex’ can be used interchangeably.

Duplex
An apartment with two levels.

EIK
Stands for Eat In Kitchen, a popular apartment feature.

Exclusive listing
When a broker has an ‘exclusive’ listing, the owner of that property has hired them on an exclusive basis to either rent or sell their apartment. The broker will try to rent or sell the property through the brokerage community or through their own marketing efforts.

Façade
The front of a building. A façade can be made out of a number of materials, such as granite, glass, marble, limestone, etc.

Floor-thru
An apartment that runs from the front of a building to the rear wall, occupying an entire floor. Usually found in brownstone and townhouses.

Guarantor (or co-signor)
A guarantor is a person who assumes financial responsibility of a lease for a tenant or tenants who otherwise would not meet the landlords financial qualifications. For example, someone attending law school who might not have an income would use a guarantor, often a family member, to satisfy the landlord that rent payment will not be a problem. The guarantor is a ‘backstop’ for the tenants in the event of non-payment. Guarantors generally need to make 80 times the month’s rent in annual income to qualify.

Half-Bath
A bathroom with no shower or bath.

Junior four
A one bedroom apartment with a separate alcove area. The “junior” refers to the fact that the alcove qualifies as a junior fourth room. (The other three rooms are the bedroom, the kitchen and the living room) This separate alcove can be used as a dining area, or, if the building allows, as a walled off sleeping area.

Keyed elevator
Refers to an apartment that has an elevator that opens directly into it. One must use a key to operate the elevator. This feature is found mostly in lofts and penthouses.

Loft areas
Apartments with high ceilings will sometimes have a ‘loft area’ built into them. A loft is a platform constructed over the living space for the purpose of extra storage, a sleeping area, a home office, etc. Generally you can access the area with a staircase or ladder. Loft areas are very useful because they make use of otherwise wasted vertical space.

Managing Agent
A third party-organization that manages most co-op and condominium buildings. Most co-op and condo buildings will hire a managing agent to maintain the building, collect rent or monthly maintenance fees, manage the building staff, etc.

Market rate (or ‘non-stabilized’) buildings
With a market rate apartment, a landlord, at his own discretion, determines how much monthly rent he will charge on any given apartment. Renewals are not guaranteed unless stated in the lease. Introduced in 1993, “luxury destabilization” is the newest form of a Non-Stabilized Lease. It provides for lease-end destabilization of apartments which rent for over $2,000.00 per month.

Murphy bed
A bed that is built into the wall or attached to the wall and pulled down when needed. A popular piece in studios, Murphy beds are a great space saver and come in a variety of styles and price ranges.

Open Kitchen
A kitchen that is not separated from the living space of an apartment. Open kitchens are a common feature of loft apartments.

Original Detail
Refers to the details originally carved and built into pre-war apartments. Apartments from this era typically had very ornate patterns, moldings and decorations around doorways, fireplaces, etc. Sometimes during renovations these details can be lost.

Pass-through kitchen
A kitchen with an opening to the living or dining space of the apartment.

Pied á terre
A French expression; translated literally it means “foot on the earth”. It refers to an apartment that someone uses as a second home, usually because their business requires to them to spend several days or weeks in New York every month, with their primary residence being too far away for a daily commute. Pied á Terres are also kept by those who simply enjoy having a place to stay of their own when they visit New York for shopping and social activities.

Quadraplex
An apartment with four levels.

Rent Stabilization
Established in New York City in the late 1960’s, its mandate was to set limits on the monthly rental increases building owners could charge for vacant apartments and renewal leases. It also set guidelines of performance for both landlord and tenant. In stabilized buildings, rent increases typically range from 3%-5%. Tenants are guaranteed the automatic right to renew their leases provided they have fulfilled the terms and conditions of the lease.

Room Count
The number of ‘rooms’ in an apartment. A living area, a bedroom, and a walled kitchen count as ‘rooms’. Therefore, a one bedroom apartment with a living room and kitchen has three rooms. A studio with a separate kitchen has two rooms. A studio with a Pullman kitchen has one room.

Security Deposit
A deposit, usually one month’s rent, that a rental tenant will give to the landlord at lease signing as security against damage to the apartment during the course of their tenancy. At the end of the lease term, the landlord will take the cost of any damages caused by the tenant out of the security deposit before returning it. Most of the time the deposit will be held in an interest bearing escrow account.

Studio
A one or two room apartment with a combined living and sleeping area. The kitchen is either a separate room or set in a wall off the living area. This type of kitchen is usually referred to as a “Pullman” kitchen, after the Pullman railroad cars.

Terrace
A roof or part of a roof or a building, used as outdoor space for an apartment. Often confused with a balcony, the terms are used interchangeably.

Triple-Mint
Refers to the condition of the apartment. An apartment is ‘Triple-Mint’ if the apartment, kitchen and bathrooms are all in mint condition.

Triplex
An apartment with three levels.

Walk-through Kitchen
A kitchen with two means of entrance. You can actually ‘walk through’ the kitchen from one room to another.

WEIK
Stands for Windowed Eat-In-Kitchen, a very popular feature.

 
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