Out and About: The trouble with boxes

What buyer doesn’t savor the idea of a desperate seller?

Almost nothing spells desperation more clearly than the sight of moving boxes piled in a corner.

So it was when I stopped by an open house of a one-bedroom co-op in the very low 90s between Riverside Drive and West End Avenue.  The sound of prospective purchasers smacking their lips was practically audible.

And well they may have appreciated the 750-sf corner unit, which contains an above average eat-in kitchen, spacious living room, plenty of closet space, nicely updated bath with subway tiles, through-wall air conditioning and generally open exposures in three directions.

The only issue worth noting is the condition of the floors, which could stand refinishing.

In a 1929 building with live-in super and little else, the apartment is well priced to sell somewhat below the $669,000 ask (after a stunning $6,000 cut last month) with monthly maintenance of $976.

Below are some of the other apartments that I have seen and various brokers have listed:

  • In Lincoln Square, an airy two-bedroom, two-and-a-half-bath co-op that has resulted from the combination of two units two decades ago.  There are a balcony, dining area, laundry room, L-shaped kitchen and nearly 100-sf space used as an office to accommodate the combination.  A symphony in outdated black, gold and white at every turn, this probably 1,600-sf apartment has ceilings of standard height, rececessed lighting and parquet floors in parts.  The pet-friendly 1974 building has a gym, garage and laundry room.  The offering price of $1.7 million with high maintenance of $3,097 may be as much as $150,000 too high.
  • A 2,700-sf penthouse that occupies an entire floor of a 1988 full-service building on Central Park West in the very high 80s.  With four bedrooms, three and a half baths, meandering layout, spongy floors, sauna, washer/dryer, four stunningly open views and a 251-sf terrace that is so narrow as to be practically useless, this condo has been on the market since December 2010, when it asked $9.9 million.  Since August of last year, the unit has been $8.995 million with common charges of $4.399 million and real estate taxes of $3,116 monthly.  Could price be the reason it has languished so long?
  • At the northern edge of Morningside Heights, a two-bedroom co-op in a 1957 pet-friendly high-rise with a distinctly institutional ambiance and no doorman. The basic 1,000-sf apartment offers a nicely updated galley kitchen, hardwood floors laid over asbestos tiles, decent bath, close access to public transportation and open, though not pleasing, views from its low floor.  The listing price of $435,000 with maintenance of $1,043 a month is remarkably low for it proximity to all that the Upper West Side has to offer.
  • A three-bedroom co-op close to the Hudson River in the very low 70s that could have a second bath added.  With a single small bath, mostly open views to the south, a dining room, washer/dryer, dated eat-in kitchen that has older appliances, inexpensive cabinetry and laminate countertops, refinished sloping floors and way too much hallway, this apartment of perhaps 1,200 square feet in a pet-friendly 1905 low-rise that has few amenities is listed aggressively at $.,195 million with monthly maintenance of $1,588 even after a $50,000 reduction last month.  The eventual sold price is unlikely to come close.

Tomorrow: Who goes there?

To take your own bite out of the Big Apple, you have the option to search all available properties privately.

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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

Web site

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