Impress the co-op board and live here happily ever after
In Case You Missed It: Every so often, BrickUnderground digs through the archives to find the best advice our experts have shared through the years.
When it comes to New York City co-op boards, a good first impression—that is, a comprehensive board package—is critical. Here, what most boards are looking for:
• Finances: A board wants to know if you can afford the apartment and its upkeep, including all monthly costs (like mortgage and maintenance fees, as well as assessments). They’ll want evidence of financial independence and solvency via third-party documentation of all assets, IRAs and 401Ks, and liabilities. They’ll also want see two years of tax returns. If a building is on the older side, the board subject you to even more scrutiny since these buildings may require more assessments to ensure they remain up to code.
Anyone who has ever attempted to garden in a New York City window box knows apartment living is not terribly conducive to plants. But Cora Neil, a spatial designer who found most traditional planters unsightly and dysfunctional, is hoping to change all that with the HEDGE, a planter with a powder-coated steel frame and a base made of sustainable coconut and latex that’s suited to any plant that can survive in a small pot.
MURRAY HILL, MANHATTAN: Newly renovated 2-bed, 2-bath with wraparound terrace in full-service building with doorman, laundry, garage, and roof deck at 80 Park Avenue (between 38th and 39th), $5,950/month
If you've got $6,000 a month to spend on rent, it may be time to take up tanning, or at least grilling. Even smack in the middle of Manhattan, a lot of your options in this price range come with their own outdoor space, or in buildings with shared roof decks, or even both. To make things easy and give you an idea of your options, we've looked through the current listings for options in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, and the Bronx.
Taking your search for used furniture online can be a mixed bag, to say the least.
To call Craigslist a minefield is to put it mildly, but then, there's a reason the oft sketchy site has stuck around: you can get some serious deals there, particularly when it comes to furnishing your apartment on the cheap. For the uninitiated, though, jumping in can be daunting, and as such, Apartment Therapy has a rundown of tips for getting started, whether you're interested in buying, selling, or a little bit of both.
Inheriting a huge Paris apartment: less exciting when it's already got a lifetime tenant in place.
It seems like the kind of elaborate obstacle that only ever exists in the movies: man inherits apartment, only to find it's got an elderly tenant, who gets to stay in the apartment for life—and to whom he's contractually obligated to pay a monthly fee. But the seemingly outlandish plot of My Old Lady, a film starring Kevin Kline and Maggie Smith that hit theaters earlier this month, is actually based on the very real "viager" system in France, in which an individual can buy an occupied apartment by paying the (usually elderly) owner a stipend every month until their death.The buyer is required to pay a down payment—or "bouquet"—of around 30 percent of the total sale price; the size of the monthly payments is determined in part by the seller's age.
Drew is a real estate agent, Jonathan a contractor and home designer, and as well as being supreme experts in buying, selling and renovating, last year the brothers made People’s Sexiest Man Alive issue. Here, they explain via email how to revamp your small New York apartment, the biggest mistake you can make renovating, and why open concept design is no passing fad.
WHO: Singer Alexa Ray Joel said recently that she doesn’t own sweatpants, and hangs out at home in kimonos and robes. We, on the other hand, live in sweatpants, not that we actually sweat in them. We think of them more as TV pants, and hope one day to own 200 pairs, one for every cable channel.
The term “penthouse” is bandied about rather freely these days to describe almost any apartment on a high floor. (The most recent offender is 388 Bridge Street, a hybrid rental-condo tower in Downtown Brooklyn that's got 40 penthouses, as DNAinfo reports.) But the technical definition is actually something along the lines of a structure on the roof of a building that’s set back from the outer walls to create a private and secluded outdoor space. So even though this Long Island City two-bedroom, two-bath with a terrace is only $1.5 million (not exactly the eye-popping price tag you'd expect when you hear "penthouse"), it qualifies.
Just because you live alone doesn't mean you can't tackle home improvement projects
Renovating your apartment solo—without a family member or significant other to pitch in—gives a whole new meaning to the phrase “do it yourself.” Luckily, there are a ton of shortcuts to make all sorts of jobs easier and safer. Apartment Therapy has a rundown of advice from around the web, including pointers on installing cabinets and using an extension ladder when you're taking on a project on your own.
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