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, 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
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
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
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
Next Out and About April 8
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
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
It is not even an estate sale, but the Upper West Side co-op in the high 70s on West End Avenue apparently hasn’t been improved in the half century since the owners purchased the place.
Defining “vintage,” the apartment is typical of one that has aged in tandem with the owners.
The situation is understandable and not all that unusual, except for the number of years that have passed. More often than not, it seems, owners grow comfortable in their homes and fail to notice the need for updating.
I suppose the feeling is not unlike the pleasures of an old pair of slippers, a well-worn cardigan or a hardcover book that has been losing the test of time.
The challenge for any broker is Continue reading
A view of Riverside Drive last fall.
In some circles, Riverside Drive has never quite measured up to the desirability of Fifth Avenue or Central Park West, even though it was designed by Frederick Law Olmstead.
But residences on the tree-lined serpentine roadway, which runs from 72nd to 181st streets along Riverside Park and the river beyond, are much in demand.
Lobbies, like this frosted beauty at 180 Riverside Drive, were designed to impress.
With many of them selling at a premium, the apartments in stately pre-war apartment buildings and converted mansions, for the most part, have boasted among their occupants notables such as Damon Runyon, George Gershwin, Sergei Rachmaninoff, Hannah Arendt, Saul Bellow, J. Robert Oppenheimer and Paul Krugman, according to Wikipedia. My former sister-in-law and brother-in-law live there, and my first home in Manhattan was there as well, at No. 425.
Fictional characters have included the leads of 6 Rms Riv Vu by my late friend Bob Randall, the Will & Grace mainstays, Liz Lemon of 30 Rock, copywriter Freddy Rumsen of Mad Men and White Collar‘s Neal Caffrey.
When I checked one day last year to see how many apartments were available on Riverside Drive, I found Continue reading
Kitchen of 775-sf apartment on Manhattan’s Upper West Side.
Some Manhattan apartments in popular neighborhoods actually are affordable for buyers whose incomes put them in the middle class.
However, many of those units have less realized than actually fulfilled potential such as one in the low 90s close to Central Park.
The co-op is in one of the formerly city-owned buildings transferred to a Housing Development Fund Corp. and thus is known as an HDFC apartment.
HDFC apartments come with income restrictions, but they are reasonably liberal. The latest median income standards Continue reading