Out and About: Tip top an East Side condo is not

The little garden is lovely, the apartment at the top of fire escape not so.

Getting to the one-bedroom co-op on the Upper East Side means negotiating a passageway in an early 20th century building facing the street and entering a sweet little garden.  At the far side stands a three-story white clapboard house dating to the mid-19th Century.

There the charm ends.

The apartment is a one-bedroom unit up two flights of stairs with ceilings so low that I had to fight the urge to hunch over — and no one would mistake me for tall.

To many consumers, ceiling height is everything.  Many prospective buyers won’t even look at apartments that don’t exceed the legal minimum.  To quote the New York City Administrative Code, Continue reading

The High Road: How many brokers count right?

How many rooms do you see?  What would a broker say?

Granted you are more likely to worry about the amount of square footage in a co-op, condo or townhouse than the precise number of rooms when judging the price.  But room count is neither irrelevant nor debatable in the eyes of the New York City Administrative Code.

Nor is it acceptable–legal or ethical–for a broker to misstate the number of rooms–either because of ignorance of the definition of a room or because of a desire to inflate a property’s characteristics.

Generally, a room must have minimum dimensions of Continue reading

When is a kitchen not really a kitchen?

No one would mistake Julia Child’s kitchen for a typical one in the Big Apple.

Out-of-towners invariably know two things about New York City apartments: Prices are high and kitchens are small.

But how many consumers and brokers alike know what a kitchen is?  Yes, we have galley kitchens, country kitchens, eat-in kitchens and Pullman kitchens.

In fact, any space used for cooking either is a kitchen or a kitchenette, according to the city’s Administrative Code.

While a kitchen must contain 80 square feet, Continue reading

When is a bedroom not a bedroom?

Imagine solid walls on the left and right of the floorplan--they do exist.


How often have you walked into an apartment in New York City that is being marketed with more bedrooms than truly exist?

The fact is that the definition of a bedroom is not open to question, though you may well be excused for thinking otherwise. Continue reading