• Your Celebrity Neighbor

    Your Celebrity Neighbor: Rachel Weisz

    WHO: Rachel Weisz recently announced she is heading to Broadway, and rumor has it she will be starring opposite her husband Daniel Craig. Oh, to be an investor in that show. 

    WHERE: Weisz, currently playing a witch in the family flick Oz The Great and Powerful, lives with Craig in the East Village, where the median sales price is $785k and the median rental is $3,295, 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.

  • NYC Renovation Q's

    NYC Renovation Questions: Murphy beds may be more practical than you think

    This Techline Studio Murphy bed fits easily into a small space, and will cost you anywhere between $3,500 and $9,500 including a high quality inner spring mattress, delivery and installation. Flanking cabinetry is additional.

    Q. I’m about to move into a tiny studio, and am considering a murphy bed. What should I know?

    A. Murphy beds -- also known a hide-a-beds or wall beds -- are most attractive when they're part of a built-in case or cabinet (fixed or attached) to your apartment wall. The idea is that when folded or in the closed position, no one would ever know that the cabinet is indeed a Murphy bed. 

    Built-in storage, usually flanking either side of the bed, is completely customizable and designed to work with your individual space. This removes any dorm-like feeling or the hideous “bed in a closet” that has been associated with Murphy beds of yore.

  • Advertisement

    Peapod: Shop for groceries in your skivvies (just put some pants on when the delivery guy comes)

    Living in the city that never sleeps has lots of pluses—the nightlife, the diversity, the culture—but the unique complexities of shopping for groceries is a definite minus.

    Local supermarkets can leave much to be desired, and getting groceries home can be a tough thing (hello, grandma cart!), plus who really has the time to shop when we're working 8-8 to pay our rents?

    So it's no great surprise that online grocery delivery services like Peapod, the subject of this week’s Real. Est. List Spotlight Series, have flourished on the island of Manhattan. The Skokie, Illinois-based company offers seven-day-a-week delivery and the power to shop in your pajamas. 

    “Cities are probably where we are strongest because of how hard it is to go grocery shopping,” says Peg Merzbacher, director of marketing for Peapod, noting that if you typically have to lug bulky bags up to your fifth-floor walk-up you’ll probably jump at the chance to let someone else do the heavy lifting.

  • Room for Improvement

    Room for Improvement: Useless security cameras, an unwanted night light, and not-quite-adult furniture

    Photo Credit / lostpilgr.im

    Furniture that wasn't found on the street, a functional security system and neighbors who don't take "the city that never sleeps" as their personal mantra. Five New Yorkers share what's at the top of their home(life) improvement wish list.

    • Up all night:  My bedroom faces the bedroom of my neighbor about 5 feet away (It's an H-shaped building). For no reason I can divine they sometimes leave their lights on all night and the light shines right into my room. What are two old people doing up all night? I probably need some blackout shades. - Alexis, Harlem
    • Reclaimed, salvaged... whatever: Time for a make-over.  I'd like to re-do my living room. It's not comfortable, not conducive to lounging. We have two chairs that are street finds, which we "paired" with a cheapo Ikea table. It seemed like a good idea at the time, but we're over it. It's time take the space to the next, more adult level. - Rachel, Jackson Heights
    • ... and speaking of make-overs:  My bedroom is not very warm and inviting. It's kind of cavernous, with just a low, minimalist bed on the floor. Frankly, it reminds me of a Montessori bedroom. - Adam, DUMBO
  • Killer couches, kamikaze ceiling fans and 3 other freaky accidents involving NYC apartments

    This Brooklyn building collapsed last year. Luckily, no one was hurt. We can't say the same for a certain little rabbit who wound up on the wrong side, er, inside a sofa bed.

    In a city of over 8 million people living on top of each other, the potential for disaster is skyscraping. We’ve fished around for a few of the more insane freak accidents apartment-dwellers in New York have experienced.....

    1. Crushed by a Murphy bed. Yes, this really happened folks.

    You've probably looked around your tiny apartment and considered the Murphy bed solution at one point or another.

    After this you might reconsider. Or at least you will understand the value of licensed professionals and work permits.

    Annie Grossman lives in a railroad style apartment near Union Square. She is a dog trainer who does most of her work at her apartment and occasionally fosters dogs. Her space constraints made it difficult to work with the dogs so she figured a foldaway (or up) bed would be the perfect solution.

  • StreetEasy Hot Dozen

    The StreetEasy Hot Dozen: 12 rentals that may or may not be available by the time you read this

    This one-bedroom apartment at 240 East 21st Street and Second Avenue is listed at $2,295/month with no broker's fee.

    Decently priced apartments in the Gramercy Park and Flatiron areas -- two popular neighborhoods sandwiched between the workaday high-rise office buildings of Midtown and more lively downtown -- are all over this week's Hot Dozen, the 12 rental apartments Streeteasy.com visitors clicked on most often over the past seven days. 

    two-bedroom apartment at 129 East 15th Street and Irving Place is listed at $4,995/month with no broker's fee. The apartment has two bathrooms, granite countertops, and a washer and dryer. The duplex townhouse pad comes with a wine fridge and its own personal outdoor patio, making the already great sounding 1,200 square feet sound even better.

  • Ask an Expert

    Ask an Expert: We're leaving New York. Should we sell our Brooklyn condo or rent it out?

    Photo Credit / Real Estate Photographer Douglas Ljungkvist

    Q. We are moving to another state and debating whether we should sell or rent out our Brooklyn condo. What should we consider when making our decision?

    A. You'll need to consider everything from how much you stand to profit under each scenario to your own appetite for the ups and downs of landlording, say our experts.

    "First and foremost, you should seek advice from their financial planner and tax advisor to see what makes the most sense for your particular situation," says real estate attorney Adam Stone of Regosin, Edwards, Stone & Feder. "Meaning does it make financial sense to keep the apartment as an asset, or would it make more sense to sell, liquidate, and diversify?"

    Next, suggests real estate broker Gordon Roberts of Warburg Realty, "have the apartment evaluated by real estate brokers with a track record in your neighborhood – say, three brokers from different firms who specialize in rentals, and three others who specialize in sales. Get their opinion of value, and ask for recent comparables. In the current market, chances are that all of them will say they can easily find a buyer or tenant for you."

  • StreetEasy Open House Scorecard

    The Open House Scorecard: A window to the world -- from your eat-in kitchen

    Like to eat where you cook? This edition of the Open House Scorecard -- the 10 open houses StreetEasy users saved to their open-house calendars more often than any others this sunny weekend -- features several apartments with EIK options.

    Let's start with a two-bedroom, two-bathroom condo (pictured) on West 79th and Amsterdam listed for sale by owner at $1.649m. The windowed, eat-in chef’s kitchen has been renovated and features floor-to-ceiling Italian cabinets. Each bedroom has a custom walk-in closet, and the building is zoned for PS 87. It’s not far from Central and Riverside Parks, and there’s a full time doorman and resident super.

    An eat-in, windowed kitchen is the highlight of a $1.25m two-bedroom, two-bathroom prewar condo on 90th Street and Broadway on the Upper West Side. The kitchen is also equipped with granite counters, stainless appliances and plenty of cabinet space. The building features a live-in super, 24-hour doorman, a fitness center, central laundry and onsite storage. Plus, there are just four units per floor, and the common charges ($587) and monthly taxes ($540), are fairly low.

  • What lies beneath: Basement storage 101

    Photo Credit / Tenant Storage Lockers by Gales Industrial Supply

    In Manhattan real estate, $801,000 is a price tag that wouldn’t normally raise an eyebrow. Especially given its dimensions: 800 square feet and a 20-foot-high ceiling. But this particular price-tag wasn't for an apartment-- it was for a storage space in famed Upper West Side building The Dakota

    Only a few blocks south, at the new One57, a storage unit in the building can be yours for as little as $110,000. But what you get for that money is just a 30-square-foot wire mesh cage.

    These (clearly top-of-the-line) examples aside, most New York City storage spaces don’t approach the six-figure mark. Oftentimes, of course, building storage isn’t even for sale and only available for lease from a rental, condo or co-op. But however it’s offered, there’s no denying it’s one hot commodity in New York City's real estate market. Here's everything you need to know.

  • Featured Partner

    12 tips for buying new construction with confidence

    As a New York City real estate lawyer who has helped (and occasionally discouraged) hundreds of clients buy new condos over the past decade, I can tell you that purchasing new construction is riskier than buying an apartment in an established building.

    Risks range from obtaining a mortgage, to getting what you pay for, to closing on time, to the possibility of debilitating construction defects and power struggles with the developer as your new building matures.

    Here’s how to reduce the chance that any of this will happen to you: 

    1. Buy a condo in a medium-sized (20-50 units) or larger building

    If you’re buying into a 5-unit building, like some of the projects I’ve seen in Brooklyn recently, you’re going to own about 20% of the building. That’s a big concentration of risk-- especially if you’re the first one to buy  (in that case, you don’t even know whether the developer is going to be able to sell the rest of the apartments) or if the developer has little or no track record.  What if they disappear—or can’t keep the payments up on their 80%?