Out and About: Walls always speak volumes

Portion of a wall that needs help

Clean windows, polished floors, organized closets and sleek kitchen all communicate positive aspects of any home being considered by buyers.

One characteristic that is not usually noticed at once also can have a decided impact on first impressions and subsequent appreciation of properties on the market.

That is the walls, especially in pre-war apartments and townhouses. The shape they are in speaks volumes.  They thereby affect prices in ways that can elevate or depress the selling price.

Consider the photo above. Perhaps you can Continue reading

Make noise, skip elevator in 2/2 UWS co-op

180 LRA handsome two-bedroom co-op on the Upper West Side provides expansive rooms, no adjacent neighbors and no need to wait for elevators on 93rd Street at Amsterdam Avenue.

Totally renewed with skim-coated walls, fresh paint throughout, brand-new lighting and numerous other improvements, the pristine pre-war apartment on a high first floor contains approximately 1,200 square feet, a modern kitchen with granite countertops and upscale appliances, two baths with stylish new updates that include Carrara marble, and exceptionally spacious closets.

Floorplan of 180 W. 93rd St., #1B

Floorplan of 180 W. 93rd St., #1B (Click to enlarge.)

About halfway between Central and Riverside parks and in the middle of a neghborhood with all kinds of grocery stores, retailers, schools, restaurants and other amenities, the pet-friendly boutique building provides a part-time doorman seven days a week, live-in supers, bike room, laundry room and private storage room (for which there is a waiting list).  Washer/dryers, sublets and pieds-a-terre are permitted.

The apartment is priced to sell, at $995,000 with monthly maintenance of $1,812.  There’s more information and you’ll find more photos here.

You may have guessed by now that I am listing the apartment for sale, and the first open house will be Sunday, June 2 from 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.  This co-op happens to have been a wonderful home for me over the last seven years.

Tomorrow: Weekly Roundup

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Malcolm Carter
Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker
Senior Vice President
Charles Rutenberg Realty
127 E. 56th Street
New York, NY 10022

M: 347-886-0248
F: 347-438-3201

Malcolm@ServiceYouCanTrust.com
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Out and About: The allure of Hamilton Heights

View of a Hamilton Heights from top floor of nicely renovated townhouse offered for $2.695 million.

View of a Hamilton Heights from top floor of a nicely renovated 4,400-sf townhouse that is offered for $2.695 million.

For buyers accustomed to neighborhoods farther south, Hamilton Heights may represent challenges with respect to convenience, amenities and street life.

Yet on a recent tour of an even dozen open houses, I was struck anew with how vibrant the area is and how great is the value of properties in contrast to more popular parts of Manhattan.

As the New York Times has noted, the massive Columbia University development now rising to the south suggests that Hamilton Heights is on the verge of a boomlet:

. . . Hamilton Heights, largely unknown to those who have never cracked the 100s on the No. 1 train, is preparing for an influx of teachers, students and support workers. It is also anticipating the higher real estate prices that usually come with proximity to an Ivy League institution.

The Heights Continue reading

Out and About: There’s a patch of blue (& white)

patch of blue

When it comes to obstructed exposures, it takes all kinds.

There are those where all you can see out the windows is forbidding blank brick walls mere feet away, often in courtyards.

Other more distant exposures may tower so high that the only way to glimpse the sky is to stick your head out the window.

Others may consist of buildings some distance away, perhaps half a block, where it is impossible to see anything worth seeing — not a skyline, not a river, nothing of interest and nothing particularly offensive.

Then there are those exposures like the one in the photo that are partly blocked by buildings across the way, letting in a modicum of light but permitting nothing like a view.  What they offer is a patch of blue.

The apartment from which I took this photo is Continue reading

Out and About: Rolling conversions never smooth

Lots of terrace, tiny kitchen in West End Avenue condo.

Lots of terrace, tiny kitchen in 829-sf West End Avenue condo.

The temptation always is great to get in, as it were, on the ground floor.

That possibility occurs when a building’s owner decides to convert from rentals to condos with only a fraction of the tenants gone.

To my mind, the situation creates the worst of several worlds — the continuing presence of resentful renters, infrastructure yet to be completely (sometimes even mostly) updated, endless buyer traffic and the mess and interference of contractors in the building for months and months as they work on one apartment after another.

It is not immaterial that buildings with majority sponsor ownership cannot qualify for mortgages backed by Fannie Mae.

In the mid 90s Continue reading

Out and About: $25 million is a lot of money

Fully paneled dining room of mansion on Central Park West.

Only buyers can determine what a property is worth to them, so there’s no way for someone who isn’t a lender’s appraiser to decide with any level of certainty the value of the mansion on Central Park West.

Twenty-five feet wide in the mid 80s, the house retains many original details such as carved mahogany mantles, bay windows, coffered ceilings, paneled dining room, very high ceilings, impressively scaled main floor and stained glass windows evocative of Tiffany.  There are three exposures and four outdoor spaces.

Three of the five floors were renovated to various standards, including central air conditioning; the top two floors have been gutted, exposing pipes and opening up walls and ceilings. Continue reading

Out and About: 2nd time is charm, 3rd better

View over Morningside Park toward Harlem

Listing  brokers like nothing more than being the second agent asked to sell a property.

When the first broker’s exclusive listing contract expires, that’s when the seller casts about for a fresh approach.

Sometimes the seller has legitimate concerns about the first broker — for example, unresponsiveness, poor marketing strategy, few open houses.

But the failure to unload the property often isn’t because of the broker: Continue reading