Auction of two Harlem buildings nets $6 million

Auctioneer Chuck Schcieifer spots a biddder.

Auctioneer Chuck Scheifer swivels and spots a bidder in packed room.

In a highly successful auction Wednesday of two Manhattan buildings that the state has declared surplus, taxpayers benefited with winning bids totaling $5.97 million.

An estimated 300 individuals jammed into the auction room on the eighth floor of the Adam Clayton Powell State Office Building on 125th Street to witness or participate in the sale.  There were 107 registered bidders, according to one official.

“Our goal is to get property on the tax rolls,” said the official, James P. Sproat, director of Real Estate Planning & Development in the Office of General Services.  “We’re satisfied that we’ve done the best for the taxpayers.”

Auctioneer Chuck Scheifer was less restrained: “I’m incredibly pleased and thrilled,” he allowed. “Fantastic.”

Immediately after successfully bidding on

Immediately after bidding successfully on 364 W. 119 St., the buyer (in blue shirt) and auctioneer converse.

First on the block was Continue reading

Out and About: Victims of their own excess

Squash anyone?  Kitchen of brownstone listed for $10 million.

Squash anyone? Kitchen of brownstone listed for $10 million.

They closed on the brownstone on Aug. 20, 2008 for $7.85 million.

It happens that Lehman brothers collapsed less than a month later, causing our housing markets to swoon.

While the markets in Manhattan and Brooklyn in particular have made great progress since then, we still have a way to go before reaching the peaks of days gone by.

Unfortunately, the sellers — I’m sure, a very nice family — have overestimated the demand for properties that can accommodate a big family easily. Continue reading

Auction set for vacation place with great security

Two houses in Manhattan also are available to bidders

If security is paramount, the happiness will be hard to contain of whoever is the winning bidder at the auction of a property in Northern Adirondack Park this summer.

On 27.3 acres in the hamlet of Lyon Mountain in Dannemora, the property includes several acres of undeveloped land and 23 buildings totaling 90,676 square feet.

New York State is selling the former minimum-security correctional facility as surplus property on July 10, and the minimum bid is a mere $140,000.

(If a second prison might prove to be of interest, the former Arthur Kill Correctional Facility on the southern tip of Staten Island is for sale as well, but not at auction.) Continue reading

Weekly Roundup: Buyer woes, singer’s many purchases, U.S. price gains, mortgage brokers’ profits, soulful kitchens, millennials’ optimism

Manhattan a tale of two markets

Real Estate Brokers Predict a Tough Time for Buyers

Buyers ask, brokers try to answer

Tight inventory leads buyers to risk their down payments

Popular keywords enable listing agents to sell fast

Booming Hamptons market pushes renters east

And Fire Island fights Sandy’s effects on housing market as summer approaches

For trophy properties, $100 million is the new $50 million

Short supply of Brooklyn brownstones, leads to whopping price tags as more Manhattanites switch boroughs

For fixer-uppers, go east

City official says two, three more micro-unit developments in the offing

Sanitation Department schedules disposal events for hazardous products in five boroughs

Social media bigwig accused of trashing apartment in Chelsea and purchases big Greenwich Village loft for $8.15 million

Noted artist lists for $3.13 million Fort Greene townhouse purchased for nearly $2 million less in 2007 and renovated

Network TV anchor Continue reading

Bankruptcy auction set for a brownstone in limbo

14 Queens co-ops, houses also go on the block in March

Saga of bankrupt brownstone on the Upper West Side is coming to an end.

The bankruptcy saga of the Upper West Side brownstone, right, finally seems to be coming to an end.

The 11-unit townhouse at 313 W. 77th St. went on the market in September of 2011 at an asking price of $3.995 million.  It has languished since then.

Still, the 5,898-sf brownstone between West End Avenue and Riverside Drive is bound to fetch more than that at a bankruptcy auction.

Bankruptcy trustee Albert Togut of the Togut, Segal & Segal law firm previously entered into a contract to sell the building for $3.75 million with a tenant who has agreed to move out if an offer of at least $4.5 million is made to purchase the place vacant.

Consequently, any successful bidder below $4.5 million would have a doozy of a time Continue reading

Weekly Roundup: NYC condos, U.S. inventory, all-time low rates, Airbnb, pet furniture, most diverse metros, housing forecasts and much more

Brownstones increasingly go mod

Number of new listings of new condos turns up in Manhattan along with prices there and in Brooklyn, Queens

Causing 15 percent increase in materials and monopolizing workers, Sandy raises construction costs

Buyers of lower Manhattan apartments so far unmoved by storm

Rents continue to climb as vacancies reach 32-month high, and biggest October increases hit smaller units

Report suggests that multiple bids for renovations may encourage homeowners to overpay

And don’t expect financing for renovations to be a breeze

Five brokers investigated on complaints that they demanded extra fees from HIV renters

Region remains least-affordable major housing market in nation

Foreclosure filings surge in metro area, more than anywhere else

With her Georgia home foreclosed, she has reason to sing the blues

Media mogul pays record $54 million Continue reading

Out and About: Love thy neighbor but not thy neighbor who is trying to sell a similar property

One of the brownstone gardens among many.

The listing sounds pretty tempting:

“. . . [A] den/dining/sunroom with skylights and large windows to the lush garden, a true Eden.”

This one seems just as nice:

“In a historic townhouse, this apartment has three levels, a beautiful, private garden, and 2 or 3 bedrooms with 2 renovated baths.”

And there’s this one:

“The living room opens to the verdant garden of approximately 500 square feet, with attractive hardwood decking surrounded by lush plantings.”

This too (albeit grammatically erratic):

“Cute Garden with grill, quiet with lots of plants and lovely brick walkway connecting kitchen Garden.”

And another.

Here’s another:

“Beautiful brownstone triplex with large landscaped garden, three bedrooms and three and a half baths, steps from Central Park.”

And the last:

“Large bright parlor floor 2 bedroom with 12-foot ceilings and classic hardwood detail  . . .  Eight-foot windows look out on a well maintained private garden.”

Although you may have surmised with some justification that I’m fixated on gardens again, my point Continue reading