Looking to buy on a budget of half a million dollars? Even in today's crazy market, it can still be done, and we've combed the listings for options in all five boroughs, from a Battery Park City studio to an old-school uptown co-op to a waterfront getaway right on Rockaway beach.
Q. I live in a 40-unit Brooklyn co-op, and we're trying to raise money for the building. We're thinking of selling the super's apartment and either relocating him to a smaller unit or outsourcing his job to someone off-site. What do we need to know? Also, he's unionized—will that affect how we handle this? And are there any drawbacks?
A. The short answer? Yes, a ton of drawbacks. This plan raises so many issues—from union regulations to the cost of selling his apartment, our experts say—that it would probably easier to find another source of income for the building.
For three decades she has lived in a four-story 1848 townhouse in Gramercy, where her sons grew up and where her studio is today. An avid collector, Attie’s home is teeming with eclectic tchotchkes and great vintage finds. Her favorite part, though, is a wall in her bedroom packed with objects, including art by her and her sons. Below, she tells us why the wall catches her eye.
If you own in a trendy neighborhood, chances are a broker will try to talk you into selling.
Just because you're happily ensconced in your Upper West Side co-op, content to overlook its imperfections to avoid the frenzy and expense of buying a new place right now, doesn't mean you won't hear from brokers trying to convince you to sell.
Indeed, real estate agents have long used letters and phone calls to "fish" for listings, i.e. apartments their clients want, even if they're not on the market. And with the supply of available apartments failing to meet buyers' insatiable demands (not to mention throngs of brokers competing for any and every potential listing), the tactic is becoming increasingly common—especially if you're in a desirable neighborhood. (Think most of Manhattan and pricier parts of Brooklyn, where you've probably gotten one of these unsolicited letters offering an appraisal, which look like this.) Halstead Property broker Andrew Phillips, who lives in a condo, says he "must get at least five to eight mailings a week from other brokers about listing my apartment."
If this kind of missive lands in your mailbox, should you respond? And what happens if you do?
You're all set to renovate your apartment. You've lined up a contractor and picked the fixtures you want. You've saved $100,000, which should even cover emergencies. But what you may not know is that hundreds or thousands of dollars of your budget may be going straight to your super, just to make sure the job goes smoothly (and maybe bend a building rule or two).
Graft, payola, quid pro quo: whatever you call it, money passes under the table all the time in New York. Often it's comparable to a tip, a way to say thanks to people who help out; sometimes it slides into illegal territory.
The mark of a truly nice (and expensive) apartment is often a fancy bathroom, and for our money, nothing feels more luxurious than soaking in an old-school claw-foot tub. They can be relatively hard to come by these days—especially in ultra-modern condo buildings—but we've combed the listings for apartments currently on the market with tubs we could stay in for hours. BYO rubber ducky, and check out the rest of them below:
by Leigh Kamping-Carder | 8/08/14 - 1:57 PM (Originally posted on 04/29/2014)
You have a job. Not too much debt. You pay your bills on time, and even sock away a bit every month. You’re financially stable—finally!—and in almost any other city in the country, you’d be thinking of buying a home.
But here? Not so much. These days, banks want at least 20 percent down, and with the way New York City apartment prices are going—a seemingly uninterrupted upward sprint—you’d be forgiven for your deep pessimism about ever affording your own place.
Take heart: There's a little-known state lending program that can be a lifeline for renters hoping to move up the property ladder.
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