Out and About: 2-bedroom units are all the rage

This is the final Out and About for the summer, but please do check in for occasional posts on other topics meantime.

Second bedroom of my apartment, which is on the market at this writing.

Second bedroom of my apartment, now on the market.

Two-bedroom apartments may well meet the needs of the biggest segment of buyers.

For one or two residents, they represent the flexibility of having an office, guest room or baby’s room for a family planning to grow.

For a couple already with offspring, two-bedroom units make it possible to accommodate easily (in New York City terms) two quite young children of even the opposite sex, two of the same sex into their teens and even three kids should it be possible to divide a large bedroom if, as often is the case, a true third bedroom is too much of a financial stretch for the buyers.

It is no surprise, then, that two-bedroom co-ops and condos accounted for approximately a third of the market share in Manhattan during the first quarter of the year.  And they sell quickly when priced correctly.

Two-bedroom units that are listed under the market have been going fast, while those that seem to be exactly on the market take just a bit longer.  That’s true of at least three pre-war apartments that I happened to see on the Upper West Side within the last couple of months.  Consider these:

  • In the low 90s west of Columbus Avenue, a very nicely renovated one-bath condo that has open northern exposures, lots of closets, high-end kitchen and good flooring.  The 1,100 sf apartment was reasonably listed in April for $1.15 million with monthly real estate taxes of $762 and common charges of $935 a month and went to contract four weeks later.
  • A co-op on a high floor of a doorman building on West End Avenue in the low 100s.  With good-size rooms, a Jack-and-Jill bath, washer/dryer, long narrow kitchen replete with laminate cabinets and older appliances, and some unimpressive built-ins in the living room, the rambling pre-war unit was priced below the market at $1.099 million with monthly maintenance of $1,575.  It had three offers in little more than a week, two of them above the asking price.
  • On a corner of Amsterdam Avenue in the low 90s, a 1,200-sf corner co-op with glam open kitchen and bath totally finished with Carrara marble, sunken living room, smallish bedrooms overlooking a playground, washer/dryer and southern exposures.  Underpriced at $995,000 with maintenance per month of $1,845, the apartment had several offers within a week and was under contract in two weeks for substantially over the listing amount.  A member of the board put the amount at $1.2 million, though I can’t vouch for that sum.
  • An overpriced one-bath co-op several blocks below Columbia University on a corner of Broadway.  Each of the rooms overlooks the busy thoroughfare, and the apartment all too evidently bears the scars of having been chopped from a larger one years ago.  Although the tired eat-in kitchen retains original wood paneling evocative of an earlier use, perhaps as a dining room, it is at the opposite end of the apartment from the living room (there is no dining room), has acres of laminate cabinetry and provides only older appliances.  This place, offered for $925,000 with monthly maintenance of $1,704, went under contract within three weeks last month.

Among others I visited, also listed by various other brokers and unsold at this writing, are the following:

  • On Riverside Drive in the high 70s in a post-war building, a co-op that has an unusual amount of closet space.  There are an updated master math, older second bath, each of them en suite; an improved windowed kitchen with inexpensive cabinets, marble countertops and older appliances; a relatively big dining area off the foyer; ceilings of standard height; and southern exposures across a much-trafficked street.  The 1,150-sf apartment on a low floor has an unrealistic asking price of $1.175 million with low maintenance of $1,260 a month.
  • An exceptionally renovated (at a cost of $750,000) co-op on Central Park West in the low 80s.  With great views of Central Park and the skyline from a high floor of a desirable pre-war building, the 1,000-sf apartment boasts a breathtakingly sleek open kitchen, two extremely stylish baths, numerous built-ins, high-tech systems, washer/dryer connections and rooms that could be larger for a price reduced by $250,000: $2.5 million with monthly maintenance of $2,935.

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

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Malcolm Carter
Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker
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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