Looking for a rental in New York and have a budget of $1,800 a month? You've probably already guessed that you won't find too many townhouses or sprawling lofts, but there are a lot of solid studios and one-bedrooms--a couple of honest-to-god two-bedrooms, too!--to be found in Queens, Brooklyn, the Bronx, and Manhattan, with natural light, real storage space, and a few amenities, to boot.
Manhattan rents being what they are, $2,500 a month for a one-bedroom in Alphabet City with hardwood floors, a dishwasher, natural light, and access to a shared courtyard isn't particularly crazy--especially if said one-bedroom is located a block away from the L train.
But what if this apartment is better described as a "junior one-bedroom" with a miniscule kitchen? Then potential renters might understand why the apartment's been on the market for a few weeks. (Also, why is its Alphabet City location bizarrely described as "East Greenwich Village"?)
So is this starter apartment worth the money? Our experts— including RentHackr founder Zeb Dropkin, freelance writer Lambeth Hochwald, and BrickUnderground’s own senior contributing editor, Lucy Cohen Blatter—weigh in for this week’s Take It or Leave It.
WHO: Tart tongued TV mogul and American Idol/X Factor judge Simon Cowell just shelled out more than $10 million for a Manhattan abode. Word of advice to the neighbors: no singing or tap dancing in your apartment, because if Cowell doesn’t like it, you’ll be tossed out of the building.
247 Hancock Street, where a furniture designer did a $60,000 renovation in exchange for a break on rent
When furniture designer Ben Erickson told us about his remarkable living situation in June—he gut renovated the top floor of a Bed-Stuy brownstone in exchange for a $1,000 monthly discount on the rent—we were pretty impressed the arrangement worked out for him.
“We just kind of vibed," he said at the time, referring to his landlord. "We just connected and somehow instinctually knew that we were just going to be friends and everything was going to be cool.”
Every buyer hopes his or her apartment will be a wise investment, and in this week's Buy Curious, Douglas Elliman broker Jacky Teplitzky tackles the question of how much an elevator adds to the price--when you buy and eventually sell.
THE WISH LIST:
I'm planning to buy my first apartment, and I want to invest in a one-bedroom that will keep its value. Personally, I don't mind living in a walk-up, but is it smarter to buy in an elevator building? How much more will I pay? And when it comes time to sell, will the lack of an elevator limit the buyers who'd be interested?
While owning a home in New York increasingly looks like a pipe dream for all but the ultra-wealthy, that doesn't mean you can't make some money off of gentrification and skyrocketing housing prices.
At least, so goes the thinking behind CityShares, a new investment platform that founder Seth Weissman says "allows investors to participate in NYC real estate at a fraction of the cost of purchasing" a brownstone, according to a press release. Members can get in on the profits from multi-family properties in "appreciating New York City neighborhoods" for a minimum investment of $100,000. Not exactly cheap, but significantly less than the price of an apartment.
There are few tasks more daunting than setting out to buy your first home, especially for the average New Yorker facing ever-so-steep price tags on teeny-tiny places.
In a nod to the ubiquity of the experience, HGTV created the series "Property Virgins," dedicated to documenting the travails of being a first-time buyer. Each week, viewers can catch real estate guru and host Egypt Sherrod guiding real estate newbies through their first purchase, helping them to strategize, plan, and ultimately buy a home that’s the right size for them (and their wallet).
But in case you don't want to hightail it to Swett, S.D., an unincorporated 6.16-acre hamlet with a bar, a workshop, three trailers and a house, take a gander at what's available in the five boroughs for about the same price.
The Real Estate Survival Guide for NYC Buyers, Sellers, Renters & Dwellers
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