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: Continue reading

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Out and About: Beyond sow’s ear, a silk purse

Silk purse, a co-op near Central Park.

Silk purse, a co-operative apartment near Central Park.

Indiana Jones comes to mind.  Imagine the challenging and unsavory conditions he had weather on the way to the treasure he was hunting.

So it would be for buyers in search of a new home as they approach the building where an 800-sf apartment awaits them in the very low 100s of a Central Park West block.

When they spot the building, a pet-friendly 1900 low-rise with no elevators and no amenities beyond private storage, they undoubtedly will note Continue reading

Weekly Roundup: Landlord confession, piece of Portugal, April building permits, pocket listings, air purifiers, timely Lotto win, recovery threats

Penthouse pursuit is costly contagion to attain height, light, unobstructed views

Airbnb gears up for Albany initiative that would regulate short-term apartment rentals

City plans sale to debt collectors of tax liens against Sandy-hit homeowners

Cost of rent, price of property actually moving in sync

New York region’s borrowers way below average of homeowners who deduct mortgage interest

Stuyvesant Town tenants told pay up and up or move out this summer

Onetime Sinatra apartment sells after steep price cut

Lease confessions of small landlord make for compelling reading

All it takes is money, but there’s still rental inventory in the Hamptons

Investment group identified as purchaser of most expensive Manhattan residence, One 57 penthouse

Nascar superstar lists trophy condo on Central Park West for $30 million

Dancing queen Continue reading

Out and About: What is the color of money?

View through kitchen into living room.

View through kitchen into living room of Upper West Side condo.

Conventional wisdom has it that vivid colors can be an overwhelming obstacle to the sale of a residential property that is on the market.

Mostly the notion seems to hold true.  It is difficult, the argument goes, for prospective buyers to imagine themselves in a home that speaks too loudly of its sellers.

In fact, I recall one client of mine who rejected a house in suburban Washington, D.C. — solely, she said — because she hated the wall covering in the living room.  That sort of reaction happens more often than you might imagine.

But the well renovated apartment pictured here may defy the advice to tone down an apartment’s personality as expressed by bright colors.

Although I cannot imagine myself living with the palette chosen by the condo’s residents, I did find the place to be Continue reading

First-timers often focus fears on wrong questions

The only thing buyers need fear is fear itself. (Flickr photo by juanpg)

It is a fear that I have a felt myself: Buying real estate is scary.

However much anxiety that the process plagues first-timers, the fear seems to all but disappear with subsequent purchases.

Although it is incumbent on any buyer to assess the risk, it also is true that Continue reading

Out and About: Divinity is in the Details

Next Out and About April 8

Front door of apartment on Riverside Drive.

Front door of apartment on Riverside Drive.

Sometimes, it is not the layout, spaciousness or fine finishes that sell an apartment, not the overall characteristics.  Instead, it can be details that capture a prospective buyer’s imagination.

Such might be the case of a three-bedroom, two-bath condo on Riverside Drive in the low 90s.

The 2,600-sf corner unit has superlative views of the Hudson River through oversize windows from most rooms, including the improbably large kitchen, an exceptional amount of floor-to-ceiling mahogany woodwork and numerous other original features.

What first got me was Continue reading

$15 million lawsuit against the Dakota lives on

Dakota

Part 2 of 2

The co-operative building is legend.

Former home of John Lennon, Lauren Bacall and Leonard Bernstein, location of Rosemary’s Baby, the hulking Dakota on a corner of Central Park West at 72nd St. continues under the cloud of a $15 million lawsuit lodged by an African-American resident who served two terms as president of the board.

Alphonse Fletcher Jr., who moved into the building in 1992 claims racial discrimination in the board’s rejection of his application to purchase an adjoining apartment.  His complaint adds that he wasn’t alone, naming Continue reading