• No-Fee Apartment of the Week

    No-Fee Apartment of the Week: $3,000 one-bedroom in Kips Bay

    No-Fee Rental of the Week: A $3,000 one-bedroom at 333 East 34th Street

    This $3,000 one-bedroom at 333 East 34th Street (between First and Second Aves) has all the condo finishes (and a couple of already mounted flat-screen TVs thrown in) and is available April 1.

    Pros: The apartment is in a full-service condo building with a 24-hour doorman and a roof deck.There's a washer-dryer on every floor. The kitchen and bathroom are modern and clean looking.

    Cons: In addition to the $3,000 security deposit, the owner is asking for $6,000 in rent up front, which may deter some apartment seekers.

    No-Fee Rental of the Week showcases an apartment that’s currently on the market and is being offered with no broker fee (otherwise known as the holy grail of New York City rentals). For tips on how to find more no-fee apartments, check out the The 8 best websites for finding a no-fee apartment in NYC and our Guerrilla Guide series.

  • Transitions

    Hell's Kitchen to Crown Heights: Leaving the convenience of Midtown for the next (more beautiful) Williamsburg

    I recently moved from Hell's Kitchen back to Crown Heights, where I lived from 2008 to 2010.

    I liked Hell's Kitchen--especially the fact that it has lots of great restaurants. You could eat food of a different nationality every night of the week. We used to eat at Totto Ramen and 5 Napkin Burger a lot. I also really enjoyed the convenience of Hell's Kitchen--mostly because I could walk to work.

    It was also nice to be near the Theater District. Of course, the proximity to that neighborhood and to Times Square meant there were tons of tourists walking (slowly) everywhere, so that could be annoying.  

    My pre-war doorman building on West 49th and Eighth Avenue had a lot of tenants who had been there for a while, including young professionals and a smattering of theater folks.

  • StreetEasy's Most Wanted

    StreetEasy’s Most Wanted: Lofts, anyone?

    This $589k condo in Clinton Hill has an open feel with floor-to-ceiling windows and 15’ ceilings is currently configured as a 2-bedroom, 2.5 bath apartment.

    Compared to the run-of-the-mill layout of your average one-, two-, or three-bedroom apartment, the versatility and openness of a loft can be appealing...and several made this week's edition of StreetEasy’s Most Wanted--the 10 sales listings StreetEasy surfers saved more often than any others on the real estate site this week.

    In Clinton Hill, Brooklyn a loftlike condo (pictured) is on the market for $589k.  This duplex (more like a triplex if you factor in the stairs to the basement and the upstairs sleep loft) is legally considered a studio apartment. However it's currently configured as a 2 bedroom, with one 'bedroom' on the open-walled mezzanine level and one in the basement level. It has 2.5 baths, 15’ ceilings and a private backyard. The living room features floor-to-ceiling windows, leading to the yard. There's an in-unit W/D and monthly charges are pretty low (common charges $297, monthly taxes $24).

  • Real Estate Want

    Real Estate Want: A closet with a little bit of Mr. Big

    A walk-in closet fit for Carrie Bradshaw...now if we only had the wardrobe.

    If you're like most New Yorkers you're probably rigging shoe storage on the back of every door in your apartment or shoving your off-season wardrobe under the bed in vacuum-sealed space-bags. 

    The walk-in dressing area in this $7,500 per month East Village Condo, however, makes us think of that moment everyone in the audience gasped in unison during the first Sex and the City movie when Mr. Big opened the doors to Carrie's custom closet in their Park Avenue apartment…yes, we're still jealous.

    No more crouching and digging in dimly lit cubbyholes…now you can stretch out and style yourself in a spacious boudoir. Well at least a girl can dream...

    Real Estate Want is a weekly column featuring New York City apartment details we're coveting right now.

  • Rent Coach

    Rent Coach: Why won't my broker lower her fee on a condo rental?

    Rent Coach Mike Akerly

    Q. I’m working with a broker to find an apartment in the city.  I ruled out co-ops early on because I just don’t want to subject myself to the entire application and interview process.  So, we’re looking at lots of other buildings including some condos. 

    On some of the listings my agent says she's willing to lower her fee from 15% to 12%.  However, she won't drop her commission on any of the condo buildings.  I happen to really like some of the condos so this was disappointing.  Why won’t my agent lower her fees for these?

    A. Brokers in New York City typically show two types listings:  The first are referred to as “open listings” which are apartments that the owner or manager has made available to all licensed brokers that may have a potential renter for the building.  For these listings, that broker is typically permitted to collect their own fee from their client and keep it in its entirety. 

  • Hell's Bitchen

    My worst nightmare becomes reality: The arrival of (real) bed bugs

    Hazmat-suited Moving Right Along mover preparing to pack my things to be fumigated. See also: My new boyfriend. It's hard to not fall in love with a man who keeps you calm even when you are crying and wears a nifty suit. 

    If my life was a movie, the foreshadowing would seem too contrived. 

    About a year ago I was diagnosed with Lyme disease and have been struggling with it. I often try to explain it to people by saying it is like having internal bed bugs. 

    Right around the same time, after I moved here to Hell’s Kitchen, I got paranoid that the bites I was mysteriously getting were from bed bugs and called a bed bug dog service.

    I recall vividly staying up all night to read BrickUnderground’s own Theresa Braine’s chronicles of her bed bug disaster.  Turns out I did not have bed bugs but did have a major case of paranoia combined with mosquito bites. 

    A few months later a close friend was plagued with the bloodsucking beasts. I would not see her for the eight months she dealt with them for fear I’d get them myself. She handled her situation far more calmly than I did and my nightly neurotic mantra became, “They are not my bed bugs.” 

    Oddly, on my one-year anniversary in this apartment, I was in the throes of dealing with my Lyme disease, Googling the latest research studies, and out of the corner of my eye saw something crawl across my white comforter.

  • FEMA releases updated floodmaps for all NYC, how not to sell your own apt, and more

  • Your Celebrity Neighbor

    Your Celebrity Neighbor: Paul Rudd

    WHO: Paul Rudd is handsome, charming, funny and yes, he’s married, but he’s still our imaginary boyfriend.

    WHERE: The actor who starred in “This is 40” and the upcoming “Admission” lives in the West Village, where the median sales price is $1.9 million and the median rent is $3,500, according to StreetEasy.

    Your Celebrity Neighbor is a weekly heads-up on the A-listers who call your neighborhood home and (in theory) shop the same Duane Reade as you.

  • Advertisement

    Creative Closets will organize your life (if you let them)

    In a town where apartments are often closet-sized, actual closets can be little more than figments of the imagination. But the mission of Yonkers-based Creative Closets—the subject of this week’s Real. Est. List Spotlight Series—is to make over even the smallest of spaces to suit your storage needs.

    Established in 1984 by Curt Bohlen and Agostino Rocchi, a pair of designers who met at another firm and went out on their own with dreams of offering better services at better prices, Creative Closets now services Manhattan and Westchester.

    And it's not just about closets—they also work to make any room (including garages, laundry rooms, basements, attics and offices) more efficient. In addition to shelving and hanging spaces, the company offers custom doors, drawers, hampers, counter tops, shoe cubbies and more.

    Working with smaller spaces—including the dreaded triangular closet—can be especially challenging, according to Matt Donovan, head designer at Creative Closets. But, he says, something can almost always be done to turn cluttered confusion into organized oases.

  • Room for Improvement

    Room for Improvement: These New Yorkers would like quieter stairs, warmer floors, and more closets, stat!

    Photo Credit / abocon

    Creaky stairs, peeling paint, pesky bed bugs and a bad case of the winter blues.  Six New Yorkers share their apartment living woes (and wishes).

    • Tired of creaky stairwells: There's a sign that hangs in our stairwell that asks everybody to be mindful of the neighbors when we are walking past their apartments. It's impossible to be quiet on these stairs. They are not level and they creak and bend and I don't think they've ever been up to code. -Keisha, Brooklyn
    • Wishing for warmer paint: I hate my view lately. I know I can't change that about my apartment, but I think the reason I hate my view is that it's so gray outside right now and my apartment is gray, too. Until spring is here, I think I'd like to paint it warm desert colors. -Mary Ann, Upper West Side
    • ...and warmer floors: My basement apartment is really cold. I would love under-floor heating because I hate having cold feet. -Britta, Upper West Side