• Your Celebrity Neighbor

    Your celebrity neighbor: Liza Minnelli

    WHO: Liza Minnelli channels her inner rockstar with a headband and sequins. Who said the eighties aren’t back?

    WHERE: The Oscar-Emmy-Tony winner lives on the Upper East Side, where the median sales price is $1.285 million and the median rent is $2,695, 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.

  • Dear Ms. Demeanor: My neighbor is stealing my packages

    Dear Ms. Demeanor,

    I have written to you before about my neighbor who has ridiculously loud and poorly-timed sex.  But my latest issue with her tops even that. 

    I live in a mid-sized building with no doorman in Yorkville; if I am not home to receive packages, they are usually left inside the vestibule by the delivery service (this area is accessible only to building residents). 

    Over the last few months, I have had three packages go 'missing' - 2 from Amazon and 1 from a clothing store.  This last package included a number of summer dresses and the tracking information said it had been delivered successfully. 

    When I came in to my building the other day, I saw 'the noisy one' checking her mail wearing one of the dresses I had ordered WITH THE TAGS STILL ON.  

  • When is a two-bedroom actually a junior-4? When is a one-bedroom just a studio?

    New York City real estate agents are famous for using less-than-transparent "brokerspeak," putting positive spin on some less-than-positive aspects of an apartment (take that "cozy" hole-in-the-wall or that run-down building "full of character"). 

    Sometimes those very brokers will label an apartment as a "two-bedroom" when it's a really a junior-4--or call a studio a one-bedroom.

    One steamed-up StreetEasy user has taken to the forums to ask why brokers think the studio/one-bedroom label are interchangeable

    Most responses fell somewhere in the "because brokers are crooks" camp, though one (brave) agent explained his justification for listing a studio as a one-bedroom.

  • Ask an Expert

    Ask an Expert: Whose problem is it if my brownstone renovation bothers the neighbors?

    Q.  We're renovating a brownstone and we informed the landlords of the attached brownstones in advance. During demolition, one landlord called repeatedly to complain about the dust. 

    My contractors really did try their best to contain the dust, including hosing, closing all windows and doors, etc. I had my contractor speak with this neighbor to explain to him why he is getting dust. (My neighbor has brick walls internally, not sheetrock, and the sand and grout from his walls was creating more dust.) 

    He demanded that we clean his apartment as well as his tenants' apartments. Then he demanded that we clean his building throughout the entire renovation. 

    We offered to clean his building after the demolition to maintain a good relationship, but we explained that we were not legally obligated to do this. He told us not to bother and verbally threatened us. 

    What is the obligation of an owner to neighboring buildings during a renovation? Any advice on dealing with abusive neighbors with unrealistic demands?

    A.  While NYC Building Code is somewhat vague on this point, say our experts, you do have certain responsibilities to the neighbors.

  • StreetEasy Hot Dozen

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

    The one-bedroom apartment at 228 West 4th Street  in the West Village boasts over 900 square feet of living space (and an enviable set of listing photos).

    Whether you’re looking uptown or downtown, apartments on the West side of Manhattan are the focus of this week's Hot Dozen--meaning more StreetEasy.com visitors clicked on these rental listings than any others.

    A large one-bedroom “loft” at 228 West 4th Street and West 10th Street in the West Village is listed at $3,600/month and judging from the rather fabulous (and numerous) photos, is quite a potential catch. Aside from the picture-perfect neighborhood and proximity to the subway, the 900-square-foot prewar apartment has a separate kitchen, dining area, and living room. The building has a live-in super and remote doorman system. Downsides: There's no mention of laundry facilities, and the building is a walk-up. 

  • The Insider's Guide to 'Speed Roommating'

    A Speed Roommating event earlier this month at a Midtown bar.

    Some daters swear by speed dating, so I was intrigued to hear about Speed Roommating.

    The idea kicked off in London in 2004, and was launched in January here in New York on SpareRoom.com

    The concept for these free biweekly events is simple: register, then upon arrival at a designated bar, don a tag that alerts others to whether you have a room or need a room, as well as your budget and location.

    You are given a free drink ticket and then are free to roam, scanning others’ chests to find someone whose needs fit yours in terms of housing. 

    According to Joshua Wellman, the event’s host, out of about 150 registrants per event, about half show up -- the ratio of male-to-female is about even, and the ratio to apartment seekers to those who want to rent a room is two-to-one. 

  • Living Next To

    Living next to Herald Square is not as bad as you think

    I moved to Herald Towers a few months ago, not because I wanted to meet and greet all the tourists that flock to see Macy's--the world’s largest department store--but for convenience. 

    As in, I only need to walk 20 yards (probably less) to get to wherever I want to go. Every form of public transportation is less than a minute away. There’s the B,D,F,M,N,Q,R and if I walk a bit west and there’s the 1,2,3 lines and east there's the 6.  Penn Station is one block away.

    I can go anywhere, anytime. I have friends who live in the Bronx and Brooklyn and I never reject a night out. Getting there and getting home at 4 in the morning isn’t a hassle. 

    When I tell people that I live by Herald Square, specifically in between the huge Forever 21 and The Gap on 34th between Fifth and Sixth, a majority of them look at me with disbelief. Why on earth would you want to live in a tourist trap?

  • StreetEasy Open House Scorecard

    The Open House Scorecard: Pads with washer/dryer bragging rights

    Not only does this renovated $1.495 million two-bedroom condo on the UWS have a private washer/dryer, the building also offers a gym and a roof deck right down the hall.

    Tired of lugging your laundry down the hall, into and out of elevators or up and down stairs? (Who isn't?!) Then pay extra special attention to this week’s Open House Scorecard (the 10 open houses saved to StreetEasy.com users’ open house planners more often than any others last weekend) because many feature a private washer/dryer.

    Feeling a tad survivalist? A two-bedroom $729,000 condo on 12th Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenues in Park Slope is all about independence. It’s got a private washer/dryer, a separate street-level entry and overlooks a private garden. The duplex even has an individual heating and hot water system. A low common charge of $154.26 rounds out the appeal of this space.

  • 4 things buyers MUST do if the seller wants to stay after closing

    Rarely is it possible to close on the home you’re selling and the one you’re buying in the same day.

    To bridge the awkward few days that often lapse between closings—and avoid the cost of moving twice—many sellers ask for the right to remain in the old apartment for a specified amount of time after the closing. 

    It’s called ‘post-closing possession,’ and in the typical scenario, the seller pays the proportional share of the buyer’s mortgage interest as well as carrying charges/maintenance fees, real estate taxes, utilities and insurance.  

    It’s a no-risk proposition for sellers—and the exact opposite for buyers. If you agree to let the seller stay, here is what you need to do to protect yourself:

  • StreetNoise

    StreetNoise: The return (?) of the bidding war, assessor's software may be as high as your property tax, and more