Out and About: East Harlem offers housing value

One of the smaller kitchens in the new East Harlem buildings that I visited.  Most are both attractive and serviceable.

Call it East Harlem, Spanish Harlem, SpaHa or El Barrio.

What ever you call it, the neighborhood’s boundaries lie between First and Fifth avenues and East 96th to East 125th streets in northeast Manhattan.

It is enjoying a raft of new developments, the thrum of gentrification and the throb of racial and economic diversity that is at least as robust as some other popular parts of Manhattan.

Just a couple or few blocks from the five buildings that I visited on a brokers’ tour recently are the new Costco, Target and other useful stores as well as an upscale mom-and-pop bakery called Savoy.  Yet old-time restaurants such as Rao’s are nearby as well, along with casual restaurants where a cafe con leche makes for a delightful afternoon pick-me-up.

There is plenty of bus transportation, but perhaps the area’s biggest drawback is the distance from many of the buildings from the Lexington Avenue subway line.

That’s one of the most obvious tradeoffs for living in East Harlem, the other being Continue reading

Advertisements

Weekly Roundup: Rates near bottom, wealthy foreigners buoy market, steam showers are hot

We top another list, not that there’s anything good about that

A plague of boarded-up buildings visits East Harlem, which brims with new condos as well

How do co-op, condo monthly costs compare?

There are 14 ways for a co-op board to reject you even before an interview

With your truly horrible story about renting, Curbed could pay your rent for a month

Global buyers of super-luxury residences show us the money

Among the 10 most expensive distressed properties in the Hamptons is one listed at $9.45 million

Manhattan jury convicts 70-year-old lawyer of bank fraud, money laundering in scheme involving Westchester real estate

In housing court, Faye’s a no-say and must pay with no delay

October’s 2.8 percent decrease marks 13th straight month of lower prices from year to year

They’re buying high and selling much higher in Beverly Hills

First-timers seem undeterred by housing market’s vagaries, lenders’ strictures

Single mothers Continue reading

The High Road: Auctions produce but one winner

For bidders at this auction last February, hope springs eternal.

The willingness of distressed developers to resort to real estate auctions puzzles me.

I also wonder why a consuming public puts up with them.

But I don’t doubt why the companies that run auctions love them: money, of course.

Prompting this screed are three things: 1.  A blogger for the New York Times called to interview me about auctions; 2. A couple of auctions have been scheduled of condos in East Harlem; and 3. I noticed an advertisement just yesterday for 10 properties in the outer boroughs.

The pitch that the auctioneers make to developers is that they can benefit from instant establishment of the market value of their properties.

If the developers decide against selling out the building or don’t accept some of the bids, they’ll know exactly what to charge for the remaining units.  So goes the pitch.

All they have to do is dangle before buyers a few apartments in their building as available “absolute,” the auction companies contend; that strategy guarantees the seller’s acceptance of the winning bids.  Other units will be offered at the same auction with ridiculously low minimum bids, but the developer retains the right to reject the eventual winners.

In either case, buyers can be counted on turn out in droves in the hope of snaring a bargain. They are doubtless the same buyers who shun bidding wars in horror.

Yet an auction is nothing more than a bidding war.

True, a few buyers — even many at times, depending on circumstance — buy property at a good price.  But Continue reading

The Big Apple: A 30-room co-op could be yours

High Line is proving to be an increasingly strong magnet for developers

With the next section of the elevated Chelsea park known as the High Line poised to open next month, New York developers are gearing up numerous projects along the route in hopes of capitalizing on rising interest in the area.

The High Line has helped transform an area that remains a long walk from public transportation, offers less retail than other downtown neighborhoods, and until recently was associated with crime and industrial blight.

The second section, which is slated to open sometime in June and will run from 20th Street to 30th Street, is a less-developed area but has already attracted new construction.

Even with $60 million for adjoining apartments, not just anyone can assume board approval in famed building

Two adjoining duplex apartments at a legendary Park Avenue address are about to be put on the market for $60 million.

The grand apartments on the 12th and 13th floors of Continue reading

The Big Apple: Prices double over 10 years. More!

10-YEAR REPORT DEMONSTRATES REBOUNDING MARKET FROM 2009 TO 2010

The 2010 Manhattan real estate market shows marked improvement from the doldrums of 2009, with prices twice as high as a decade ago, according to 10-year apartment and townhouse market reports.

The median sales price of Manhattan co-ops and condominiums in 2010 was Continue reading

7 co-ops, 11 homes to be auctioned off March 9

The office of the Queens County Public Administrator has scheduled the auction of seven co-ops with starting bids ranging between $56,000 and $176,000.

Google satellite view of the Malba, Queens home to be sold. Click to expand and, below, see a photo of the two-story brick house with garage.

Also on the block March 9 at 11 a.m. will be 10 single-family homes and a condo (from what I can tell) with bids starting between $162,000 to $950,000.  The high upset price is for a place at 141-42 11th Ave., Malba.

And if you’d like to buy a big bunch of properties all at once, there’s a significant auction of a foreclosed East Harlem complex scheduled for March 11 at 11 a.m.

For risk-takers, the co-ops are being sold subject to the approval of the buildings’ board of directors. The units are: Continue reading

Well, sometimes size really does matter

Okay, I admit to having envy.

When I received enticing membership offers and noticed that Costco was opening in Manhattan’s East Harlem, I thought maybe this was the time I should surrender to my urge to splurge on big bargains on big boxes in big boxes. The amount of storage space in my apartment would not deter me, I decided

Yes, it's Costco in Manhattan. At last.

Dutifully, I punched in a reminder to be there on Nov. 12, when the store opened.  But I chickened out when came the day. Continue reading