Short is the distance between a high window in a prison cell and rooms with windows jammed into a corner.
Although the exemplar in the above photo, taken in a co-op between Amsterdam and Columbus avenues in the low 90s, shows that light enters the living room, the windows add nothing else. In fact, they throw off the room’s balance.
Without going up to the windows themselves, such a configuration require a resident to hike over to them just to know the weather. They probably are better for jumping out than looking through.
Yet the apartment, which results from the awkward combination of two units, received numerous offers over the asking price of $1.299 million within one week of its going on the market in May.
And those windows aren’t the only problem with the three-bedroom, two-bath co-op of approximately 1,500 square feet. Other issues besides them and the windows relate to the older kitchen, condition of the floors, exposures toward brick walls in half of the rooms and a load-bearing wall that limits the possibility of expanding the kitchen.
In a 1925 building with part-time doorman and a few other amenities, the apartment is in generally poor condition. Even the listing broker acknowledges the necessity of $100,000-250,000 of work on the place.
Following are some of the other properties that other brokers have listed and that I visited before the market snapped them up:
- Near Lincoln Center, a one-bedroom co-op that underwent a comprehensive renovation four or five years ago. In a 1975 doorman high-rise with garage, garden and roof deck, the apartment has a pleasant enough open kitchen that has dark wood, black granite countertops, small sink, dishwasher and other appliances of modest quality in stainless steel. There are built-ins, skim-coated ceilings of standard height, added crown molding, newer floors and bright northern exposures that are partly open. At $625,000 with monthly maintenance of $1,336, the unit is appropriately priced and so went under contract last month.
- A 387-sf studio in the very low 80s between Amsterdam and Columbus avenues. There are an older open kitchen with granite countertops and breakfast bar, ceiling in need of attention, nice enough bath, massive walk-in closet and mostly open western exposures in the condo, which is in a 1900 mid-rise with full-time doorman, garage and laundry room. It is listed hopefully for $489,000 with common charges of $461 and real estate taxes of $351 per month. It was taken temporarily off the market two weeks ago.
- On West End Avenue in the very low 100s, a beautifully renovated two-bedroom, two-bath penthouse that has a more than 900-sf wraparound landscaped terrace in a 1927 mid-rise lacking a doorman. With two stylish baths (one of them rather narrow) and their whirlpools, ample closet space (though with no closet in the second bedroom), wide high-end kitchen, washer dryer, through-wall air conditioning and skyline views in three directions, this appealing condo is offered for $2.675 million with combined monthly costs of only $1,783. That would make the terrace worth something less than $1 million. Really? Apparently, since it found a buyer last month.
- A cute — sorry, but that word applies — one-bedroom co-op on the second floor of a pet-friendly 1920 brownstone in the low 70s between Broadway and West End Avenue. This approximately 780-sf floor-through provides ceilings greater than 10 feet high, enormous walk-in closet, oversize windows, through-wall air conditioners, wood-burning fireplace, exposed brick, older open kitchen full of laminate and a decent bath. There is the possibility of combining the unit with one below. The asking price of $739,000 with low maintenance of $900 a month aims significantly too high.
Next: Play fair
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Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker
Charles Rutenberg Realty
127 E. 56th Street
New York, NY 10022