Out and About: Some units try much too hard

Total square footage is one thing; livable square footage is quite another.    Total square footage is one thing; livable square footage is quite another.

Total square footage is one thing; livable square footage, quite another.

The co-op in questions boasts two staircases, one sleeping loft and a kitchen that calls to mind “demure.”

Rock-climbing, spelunking experience useful here.

Rock-climbing, spelunking experience useful here.

Between Columbus and Amsterdam avenues in the mid 80s, the supposedly 650-sf apartment occupies the former parlor and the ground floor beneath it in a 1915 townhouse with no amenities except a laundry room (which undoubtedly is close at hand.)

The striking characteristic of the place is how little its agreeable style manages to mask how cramped it is.

One fancifully winding staircase intrudes into the living room and makes for a scary climb to a loft that has a ceiling merely four feet high. Having both mountaineering and spelunking experience seems indicated.

A more traditional second staircase occupies another corner of the room, leaving precious little space for the kitchen. Together, the staircases not only eat up an unconscionable amount of space but also compel an unlikely and unwanted amount of exercise.

No one's definition of chef's kitchen.

No chef’s kitchen this.

Downstairs is a gloomy bedroom facing the street and a small, dark interior bath fitting into the kitchen’s footprint.

Yes, it always is possible to carve an apartment into bite-size pieces, but tight spaces don’t make for easy living.

While you can cut a pie into upteen slices, doing so will not add up to a particularly fulfilling experience.

The unit went on the market back in July for $665,000.

The price has crept sullenly down in five stages, finally last March to $599,000 with maintenance per month of $726.  And that did the trick: A buyer who must be desperate, foolish or both signed a purchase contract just a week ago.

Below are some other units that are listed by various brokers and that I have visited:

  • A winning two-bedroom, two-bath condo on the western edge of Morningside Heights that was gut renovated half a dozen years ago.  With beautiful finishes, washer/dryer, extra storage adjoining the apartment, ample closet space, two-zoned central air conditioning and quiet southern exposures nearly clearing the opposite building in the block’s interior, this apartment has a handsome open kitchen with top-end everything.  In a 1922 doorman building that is near a subway stop and has a fitness room, the apartment is listed reasonably at a reduced $1.475 million with monthly common charges of $1,322 and taxes of $401.
  • In the low 70s, a 440-sf studio on West End Avenue in the low 70s.  This diminutive co-op facing east has a new kitchenette, decent bath, good floors, “quiet” windows, a walk-in closet and a fresh coat of paint.  On and off the market for as much as $445,000 since November of 2011, this apartment is listed for $359,000 with monthly maintenance of $778 in a 1924 doorman building that forbids dogs.  It went under contract three weeks after it was offered at the lowered price. 
  • A three-bedroom, two-bath corner condo on Broadway in the high 90s.  There are a superlative galley kitchen that has an adjoining so-called family room, extraordinary amount of closet space, stylish baths (one with both soaking tub and stall shower), high ceilings, central air conditioning and washer/dryer.  The only drawback of the 2,150-sf apartment is the exposures into a pleasant and bright enough interior space euphemistically described as “garden.”  In a 2006 building with a full range of amenities, this unit is fairly priced at $2.249 million with common charges of $1,980 and taxes of $690 a month.
  • In Lincoln Square, a renovated one-bedroom co-op in a pet-friendly 1982 doorman building that has an improved open kitchen of outdated style.  With northern exposures facing other buildings that are not oppressively close, the apartment has its bedroom oddly placed opposite that kitchen, standard-height popcorn ceilings and oversize windows.  Its asking price of $600,000 with monthly maintenance of $1,100 resulted in a signed contract early last month.

Tomorrow: Terrible Temptation

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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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  • A 440-sf studio on West End Avenue in the low 70s.  This diminutive co-op facing east has a new kitchenette, decent bath, good floors, “quiet” windows, a walk-in closet and a fresh coat of paint.  On and an off the market for as much as $445,000 since November of 2011, this apartment still is listed for too much money at $359,000 with monthly maintenance of $778 in a 1924 doorman building that forbids dogs.  243 wea 1502
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