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!

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$5800 – 3BR/2BA Apartment – 45 Pineapple Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201, USA


It’s been a while since an update, life happens.

Here’s an awesome Brooklyn Heights rental currently available.

 

Living Room

$5800 – 3BR/2BA Apartment – 45 Pineapple Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201, USA.

Sex in the City? Outdoor Space? Find the Hat Man!


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Not a fire escape

Even without trying, I ALWAYS end up finding great outdoor spaces for my people. I love grilling and chilling and usually, people who do gravitate to me as well. Out of 100 apartments available in any budget, I have a knack for showing the best four or five right away. What the heck are you paying me for anyway?!!!

This is a super value. At $2100, the rent is actually quite low for the area and outdoor space. This amount of outdoor space is actually quite hard to find, but here it is. The location is what everyone looks for. Details are below on the listing.

This is located on one of the Villages most desirable and beautiful blocks, just steps to Union Square, restaurants, NYU, shopping, Washington Square Park, & all subway lines. This Charming loft studio is peaceful and quiet with an amazing large private outdoor space that is as big as the apartment itself. Other features include high ceilings, an open kitchen with breakfast bar, new stove and refrigerator, A/C, wall of closets and bike storage. The elevator building is perfectly maintained, has a live-in super as well as a central laundry room making this unique apartment the perfect place to call home. JULY 1ST OCCUPANCY.

If you want Sex in the City, then look no further. The Hat Man CAN Do!

Starter Studio with Patio

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So what does it REALLY cost to live in Manhattan?


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It really works too!

This is a post that will create a ton of discussion. There are many areas to live, but the ideal areas for most are anything below midtown. A great deal of people will also look along Central Park on either the Upper West or East side.

No matter the area, after many years and seeing thousands of apartments, there is a magic number that must be considered the starting point for anyone looking to avoid crossing 110th Street.

While the last two years have happened and prices did correct themselves a bit, there is no way to keep prices down for a rare commodity for too long. You can argue all you want about what you may read in the papers pertaining to NYC real estate, but the fact is, more people move here each year. New hires, graduates, summer interns, vacationers and people downsizing or upgrading due to divorce and expecting children. The cycle never ceases, if anything it only increases.

Pay close attention, wait for it, here it comes…The one common thing that I have noticed since 2005, for a wide offering of what is out on the market, $1700 per person is the benchmark. You may find some things on the market for less. 95% of what is out there is sub-par and will waste your time.

I have found some rare gems on the market for less. There is this one number that really sticks no matter who or where you look. If you are looking for a simple studio in a great area, this is the starting point. If you are looking for a share in a doorman building, this is the point of entry. You can always try to find a needle in a haystack, or you can come prepared with realistic expectations of how much hay you are looking through. FYI-The fireplace is in a true one bedroom on Irving Place for $4100.

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Priced out of Manhattan? Here are the best options elsewhere


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I know that everyone comes here to live in Manhattan. But what do people who live here do when the landlord raises the rent to an amount that you just can’t afford anymore? Or what about the transplant who is new here, but really isn’t making that $3500 luxury hi-rise money yet? Or maybe the hipster who wants to be adventurous and go against the grain of living in the East Village? For those that are new to the city and the market reality of the prices and space here has just smacked you in the face, I have some areas that you will want to consider.

Williamsburg
This is the first place people mention when considering going away from the traditional areas on Manhattan to live. It’s hipster vibe, trendy shops and cafes make people gush for days. I lived here for a year and it was decent. There is almost too much to do along Bedford Ave. Cool bars, great restaurants and McCarren park are the pluses of the neighborhood. The subway access if you are close to the L train and no further than Lorimer is actually superb and in some ways, better than being in Manhattan. Well, at least if you are way east or west and far from a subway line. The problem is that rents here are starting to mirror Manhattan places, now that it is a well-known hot spot.
WillieB

Harlem
This was once an area that people feared. With a huge expanse by Columbia, Bill Clinton coming to town and the lack of acreage on Manhattan Island as a whole, this area is enjoying a new Harlem Renaissance. The rents here are lower than areas below 96th street (but hurry, because they are rising), the commute downtown is not that bad (try to get a spot near an express train) and the food and shopping options are plenty. Your getting the Manhattan zip code, but if you are smart, can pay borough prices. The trade-off is less drunk frat kids stumbling around the streets for EVERYBODY hanging out on the streets. From Grandma’s and Grandpa’s to young children staying out way past their bedtime, this area of NYC is super diverse, a last remaining slice of what New York USED to be and becoming more and more gentrified by the week. You would really be surprised to see the eclectic mix of faces that stay on past the old “Mason Dixon” line of 96th Street these days!
Harlem World

Astoria
I have stayed here off and on at times. My father lived here when I was young. This is a great area that looks close on the map to Manhattan, but if you are not right by the subway, it can be a bit of a trek on the late night. The area is becoming trendy and so the prices are nearing Manhattan prices, though you MAY have more flexibility in terms of requirements and negotiating a deal. MAY is the operative word. Dining options are mostly Latin mom and pop restaurants and Greek as there is a heavy Greek population in the area. This is the first destination for most when considering the outer boroughs aside from Willie B.
Astoria

Jackson Heights
This area is a hidden jewel of the boroughs. If you don’t know, now you know. This is a great area for keeping the costs down. This is a diverse area in Queens with great subway access if you can get a place in the 70’s to 80’s and not too many avenues away from Roosevelt Ave. In some ways, it can actually be a shorter commute than Astoria if you work it out the right way. I lived here for over five years and loved it. Great food from many different cultures, cheaper prices than Manhattan, Willie B, or Astoria and only a 30 minute commute to Manhattan max.
Jackson Heights

Park Slope
After Williamsburg, this is usually the next place on the map when considering BK. The Brooklyn Heights area is always first on the list, but with its superior subway access and closer to Manhattan than parts of Manhattan location, it is the one area of the city that is truly across the river with city prices. So heads turn to Park Slop as the next viable choice. There is a great neighborhood feel, great school systems for those families with or having children. Good dining options and a short trip to the city make this a solid value.
Park Slope

That’s the five top areas that people consider when leaving the traditional areas of the Upper West or East sides, midtown to downtown. I have one more bonus area that is perhaps the best jewel in all of the boroughs. The mainstream writers haven’t caught up to this old school native yet though. To find out about that one, you will have to go with me.

Happy home hunting!  😉

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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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Rookie or Veteran?


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You are here looking for a home. You call or email about a specific place that’s the DREAM home on the perfect tree-lined street, only to not get an address, hear that it’s rented or if you are lucky, get taken to a box facing a brick wall.

This is the most in demand market to find a home and the busiest time of year for rentals is approaching fast. The vacancy rate is under 1% again. To put that it in perspective, for every one building with 100 apartments in it, you MAY be able to sublet a room from someone within.

To move is an important decision. Likely one of the more important ones you are likely to make in the next three to four years. To do this and not choose wisely the target of attack is like throwing dice against a wall. Is that really how to choose a home?

There are over 27,000 licensed real estate salesperson in this city. Each year there are about 10,000 transactions. The amount of new agents that actually last in this business is less than 10%. This brings to mind an interesting question.

Would you buy a car from a pizza-maker? Get a haircut from your bank teller?

That’s the likely result when you put your trust in an inexperienced agent. He/She will likely be in another industry when you are looking to purchase in two or three years IF that agent can even find you and secure the right place.

If that’s what you want to spend your time doing, then you can do that without a broker and save the fee if you are able to find a place. This is not the time of year to risk losing the perfect place because someone wants to show you what they want you to see and not take you to what you are telling them you want.

A broker earns the fee for much more than just how many places they show you. A good broker earns the fee for showing you fewer places that are ALL viable options based off of your needs. There is no way that a rookie can do this without the proper inventory knowledge. There are many managements, co-op/condo owners and developers to choose from. Too many apartments to list that turn over before they can even be listed during this time of year.

The essential functions when using a broker for a rental are to save you time in the initial search, securing the apartment by having the necessary documentation, saving money over the course of the initial year or two by finding that gem that is NOT available to the public and PERHAPS a below market rent. This is among the many other hats (pun not intended if you know me) we wear. (Board package and interview preparation, relationships with owners/landlords/supers/porters, knowledge of areas for those relocating and other networking possibilities).

Take time to really think about your search for a home and remain open-minded about the possibilities. This city is a cornucopia of experiences for you to delve into. Make sure that you are not being led by someone with no sense of the realities in this marketplace.

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