Archive for Property Info


Thinking of Selling Your Apartment with a Neighbor?

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With larger Manhattan apartments generally selling for more per square foot, this question comes up from time to time.

Suggestions to consider:

  • Would the 2 apartment layouts work well together?  Some really don’t.  According to some experts, the straight line – horizontal feel does not really work well.
  • Consult an architect or professional designer to see if the combination would create a desirable space.
  • Bigger combinations are more desirable than smaller combinations.
  • Consider the cost and amount of work that would be necessary for the renovation.

Other points to ponder:

  • Be objective when determining  whether the combination would be more valuable
  • Have a good working relationship with the other owner
  • List both apartments with the same broker and make sure an architect has reviewed the proposed combination to make sure it is feasible.
  • Make renderings and floorplans available to prospective purchasers
  • Hold open houses at the same time for both units.
  • Make sure you have a written understanding on how any sales proceeds will be divided prior to marketing the units.
  • Make sure the combination would be approved by the co-op board.  If this is the first combination in the building, definitely make sure the board is in agreement prior to marketing them together.
  • Consider offering the units individually as well as in combination with the neighbor to cover your bases.
  • Financing is trickier when purchasing two apartments that will be combined to one.  Make sure your lender is on board.
  • Have an architectural plan created for marketing purposes that achieves the multiple bedroom apartment with the least amount of renovation necessary.  Consider getting a proposal from multiple contractors based on the plan.  Avoid the lowest priced contractor which may be unrealistic in price.
  • Consider purchasing part of the common area from the board or association to enhance the layout.


Excerpted from article at the Brick Underground

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Bloomberg Announces Micro-Apartment Design Winner

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Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced the winner of New York City’s micro-unit apartment design competition this week.  The design competition we reported on in July seeks to address some of the City’s housing problems.   

The winning team of Monadonck Development LLC, Actors Fund Housing Development Corporation and nARCHOTECTS, designed the modular units with 10-foot-high ceilings, Juliet balconies, big windows and ample storage.  See the slide show of images  here.  The 250 to 370 square feet micro-apartments are being built as pre-fabricated modular units at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, and will be placed on a city-owned site at 335 East 27th Street in Manhattan.  They should be ready for move in by September 2015.  It is being reported that 22 of the 55 units will be set aside for the low- and middle-income renters with a price range of $940 to 1870 per month.

Many of the space-saving plans including completion entries are featured in an exhibit at the Museum of New York City called “Making Room:  New Models for Housing New Yorkers”


The Value of Light in a Co-op or Condo

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Light is perhaps the most subjective of the view-floor level-light trio but this is the logic Miller Samuel has used for years (based on the “paired sales” theory that isn’t very practical in an appraiser’s daily life) but it’s a good starting point, and of course it depends on the nuances of each situation


Graphic: Jhoanna Robledo –  New York Magazine , Commentary by Jonathan Miller of  The Matrix.


Is That “L” Really A Room? Maybe…

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Room Requirements

Q:  Does a room need to have a window to be considered a “room” for listing purposes?  If so, is there a minimum required size for the window?

 A:  Yes.  For listing purposes, the NYC Administrative Code requires every “room” to have at least one window that opens onto a street, yard, or court on the same lot.  Furthermore, the window must have a total area of at least one-tenth the floor area of the entire room.  Closets, halls, stairs, laundry rooms, bathrooms, foyers and dining spaces are not considered “rooms” and therefore do not require windows.

To view a FAQ on the proper marketing of bedrooms and other rooms in a dwelling, CLICK HERE.  Note that “bedrooms” and “living rooms” have different window size requirements than regular “rooms”.

From REBNY Newsletter

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New York City Real Estate is different – and navigating the waters can be difficult without a network of friends or financial resources to help you.  There are many websites you can visit, but here’s a few to help you get started:

StreetEasy has searchable listings and user forums geared towards sales rather than rentals. For $15/month you can get sold prices of coops, condos and townhouses. A must have if you are trying to determine what the “correct” selling price should be.

Trulia  has searchable listings and interesting neighborhood stats.

The New York Times website  has articles and searchable listings.  provides you with comprehensive and detailed data including zoning, permits (Department of Building information), property tax information etc.

Curbed NY  is a cross between commentary and gossip, it is a good place to get a feel for New York real estate and learn about new developments and conversions. Tongue-in-cheek

The BrickUnderground gives practical advice, with current prices and advice on rental apartment living.

Hotpads A search tool with thousands of apartment listings plotted on a map.

NabeWise ranks neighborhoods based on various characteristics.

If you have certain neighborhoods in mind, for rentals,  sites like Naked Apartments and RentHop  provide search tools to narrow preferences

Navigating the waters of Manhattan real estate is not for the faint of heart.  It takes stamina and persistence to find just what you want at a price you can afford.  Educating yourself is a great first step.

 Adapted from a New York Times article by Joseph Plambeck


Charing Cross House, 305 East 72nd Street

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I’ve always wondered why buildings where named as they are…This building, at 305 East 72nd Street, New York, NY 10021 was named after the book- 84, Charing Cross Road-.  Here’s what the plaque says:

Charing Cross House

From her many years’ correspondence with Marks & Co.,  Booksellers, of London Helene Hanff (1916-1997) created 84, Charing Cross Road the little book beloved around the world and a timeless bridge of the seas uniting people who love New York and London and Literature

…I decided the time had come to get me a real apartment with real furniture, and in my right ,mind and shaking all over I went around to the construction site of a new building going up over on 2nd Avenue and signed a lease on a 2 1/2 (“bed-sitter”) apartment that isn’t even there yet…I want to live like a lady even if it means putting off England till it’s paid for…

 Oh, the new address: AFTER September 1, 305 East 72nd St.,New York, NY 21

Here’s the linkto a YouTube excerpt from the Film about two friends (Anthony Hopkins & Anne Bancroft) who had never met, based on Helene Hanff’s book.

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Manhattan Coop and Condo Sales Reports For Q2 2009

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Manhattan Market Report Q2 2009

Manhattan Market Report Q2 2009

Miller Samuel, an independent appraisal firm,  and Prudential Douglas Elliman real estate today released the Manhattan Market Overview. The report tracks the 1532 sales of coop and condo apartments that closed in the second quarter of 2009 and compares the data to first quarter sales of this year as well as the same quarter sales of 2008 thus adjusting for seasonality.

In addition, the  report separates and compares median sale prices of resale properties ($725,000) with the median sale prices of new developments ($1,069,162). This is important because new developments represent the state of mind of buyers who signed contracts up to 18 months ago. Other stats include:

  • Listing inventory grew a modest 8.7% over the same period last year but fell 10.2%  from the prior quarter. This reflects the restrained release of “shadow” inventory, which include new development units at or near completion not currently offered for sale, and “casual sellers” opting to wait until market conditions improve before listing their properties.
  • There were 50.3% fewer sales in the second quarter as compared to the same period last year as weaker economic conditions and more difficulties for many to obtain a mortgage made it more difficult to buy an apartment.
  • The average amount of time to sell and apartment is now 162 days. Twenty seven days longer than the same period last year as raising inventory creates increased competition among sellers.
  • The listing discount, which is the difference in price between the last asking price and the selling price, was 7.8% was down from 12.4% in the first quarter of this year but up from 3.6% in the prior year quarter.
  • Both studio and 1 bedroom coop apartments saw no change in median sales prices from the prior quarter at $365,000 and $580,000 respectively.
  • Two bedroom coop apartments had a decline of 4.4% to $1, 075, 000.
  • Both 3 and 4 bedroom coop apartments declined by 41.8% to $1,995,000 and 53% to $4,200,000 respectively
  • The overall median sale price a Manhattan condo fell below $1,000,000 for the first time since the first quarter of 2007.

Other reports published today include Corcoran and Property Shark, Brown Harris Stevens and Street Easy.

Other commentary supplied by The Huffington PostThe New York Observer, ForexYard, CNNMoney and The New York Times

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