Out and About: Don’t be fooled with a conversion

There is nothing like a gut renovation. (Flickr photo by Asturnut)

There is a 16-story building on West End Avenue in the low 70s that has undergone conversion from rentals to condos, a situation fraught with issues that I have explored from time to time.

Among the issues: How long will it take for the conversion to be completed? How deep are the developer’s pockets?  How will lingering tenants and ongoing construction affect the ambiance of the 1924 building? How certain is the quality of future work?

When I asked the listing broker three different ways how many of the units were occupied by owners, she told me that approximately 60 percent had that status, a healthy proportion indeed.  Yet Continue reading

Comparing sales just got harder, in a way

Six of one and . . . (Flickr photo by theilr)

Starting March 12, the city changed the way it displays property records in its online database, the Automated City Register Information System, or ACRIS.  The modification was little noticed until the Real Deal ran a piece on its Web site the other day.

For example, as the publication observed, the closed sale price of a unit at 10 West 66th St. that had shown a recorded sale price of $1 million jumped to $1.75 million. A studio at 61 Jane St. had a price tag of $87,900 when the deal closed in 2009, then $439,500 after the change in ACRIS, from which StreetEasy.com and PropertyShark.com draw data.

The change is meant to reflect virtually everything a buyer expends to purchase a co-op, Continue reading