Out and About: Hard sell goes in just four months

Nice views from two-bedroom Upper West Side apartment.

An attractive apartment in a good location that has all the right features and a reasonable price normally sells with relative ease.

The two-bedroom, two-bath condo on a corner of Amsterdam in the low 90s had everything going for it — everything but the ability to see beyond the white panels that shrouded the windows for months during construction.

While property on the market often demands a buyer’s vision, this one called for an unbridled imagination.

With baths dating to 2002, an airy layout and an acceptable open kitchen a level below glamorous, excellent hardwood flooring, a dining gallery, washer/dryer and an above-average amount of closet space, the corner apartment in was listed in early May at $1.395 million with common charges of $787 and real estate taxes of $1,008 per month.

Even though the price remained stuck at its original ask, which seemed high to me, the unit in a 1928 doorman building somehow went to contract just two weeks ago.  I congratulate the brokers involved and, most of all, buyers who obviously were able to see beyond the apartment’s temporary liabilities.

Below are some of the apartments that I visited over the summer (each of them now under contract) and that various other brokers have listed:

  • On Riverside Drive in the low 100s, a two-bedroom, two-bath co-op facing walls in all directions.  With old and narrow eat-in kitchen, worn baths, refinished (if stained) floors, dining room and the necessity of a general cosmetic overhaul, this 1,400-sf unit in a 1926 doorman building seems priced at $1.1 million with monthly maintenance of $1,448 to sell for just under $1 million to avoid the “mansion” tax. 
  • A one-bedroom co-op in the high 70s between Columbus and Amsterdam avenues.  In close to estate condition, the apartment has a small old kitchen, floors that need to be replaced, northern exposures over a busy street, well proportioned rooms and generous closet space in a 1910 pet-friendly building with part-time doorman and live-in super.  At $675,000 with maintenance per month of $1,375, the price does not fully account for the unit’s poor condition.
  • A 2,337-sf condo in a modernized and discreetly elegant 1898 building that has two other units lingering on the market for months.  With high-end everything, monster master bath, two other stylish baths, windowless “office,” handsome open kitchen, washer/dryer, exceptional closet space, gorgeous cherry floors, 36-foot-long living room, 10.5-foot-high vaulted ceilings, small balcony and mostly obstructed northern exposures, this Lincoln Square apartment is offered for an optimistic $3.85 million with common charges of $2,879 and real estate taxes of $1,700 per month.
  • In the mid 80s between Amsterdam and Columbus avenues, a studio in which part of the eat-in kitchen is ludicrously misrepresented as a dining room.  The adequate kitchen has painted wooden cabinets and older appliances.  Other aspects include a sunken living room, good-size foyer and somewhat limited light from the entrance courtyard of the pet-friendly 1948 building with laundry and private storage as its only amenities.  The asking price of $399,000 with low maintenance of $596 for this 520-sf co-op is appropriate. 

Tomorrow: Auction in Queens

To take your own bite out of the Big Apple, you can privately search all available listings for your new home.

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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

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