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Where would you live in NYC if cost was no object?

April 19, 2011 1 comment

There are many places one can choose to live. Aside from budget, every area has it’s pro’s and cons to consider.

Let’s place the budget aside and focus on the aesthetics for a moment. What areas of the city have always intrigued you and made you say “one day, this will be my neighborhood”.

There has always been high demand for areas downtown. The town house architecture as well as the tree lined and even cobblestone streets of the West Village have a certain “sunday brunch” feel in that area. The east village tenements and many bars and lounges invoke artictic creativity. The exclusivity of Gramercy Park and the key, make block beautiful a popular choice.

There is Battery Park City for those seeking river views and a short walk to work downtown, but not the cold business like feeling of Fi-Di. Tribeca for a loft lover looking to enjoy the great eateries. How about the Upper East Side for walks along museum mile. The Upper West Side for those arts lovers who frequent Lincoln Center.

This city has a cornucopia of great areas to consider and we all need to live somewhere. To give you an idea, many celebrities are in all of the neighborhoods mentioned if that has added value. Leo and Tyra are in BPC, David Wright is in Flatiron, Jimmy Fallon resides in Gramercy and Joan Rivers is even the head of her Upper East Side co-op’s board. Perhaps knowing that your favorite celebrity is in an area makes for added value when you consider who your neighbors are.

The architecture is unique in each neighborhood and that also needs to be considered. Both with the buildings as well as with the lay of the land. Crave tree lined streets? The Upper West Side and Greenwich Village are focal points. Is subway access for 15 minute trips anywhere key? Columbus Circle and Union Square have multiple train lines intersecting for maximum access to the city.

Is it all about the space within your living space? Then that opens up the entire city as there are huge lofts downtown, classic six and combined units uptown (East and West) and whole brownstones or penthouse lofts in new developments in Harlem.

To cover all of this city can be time consuming and frustrating when you get too many cooks in your kitchen. Many agents focus on specific areas and really don’t know all of the city well enough to add value. If they haven’t lived it, they really can’t know it.

I know this city better than most having lived in many areas. If you need a taste of the finest in many areas, reach out to me. As the site’s name states, the hat man can do!

Posted with HatPress for HatsBerry.

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The Sun is Shining, weather is sweet!

April 15, 2011 2 comments

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Blue Skies

This is a great image to head into the weekend with in our minds.

I love the spring and summer as it is a time of hope. There are many places one can think to live in NYC. the most in demand areas are Gramercy, Union Square, Chelsea and the Village. The blend of subway access, tons of restaurants and shops to discover, a hip crowd and the feeling of safety due to so many people constantly around enjoying the area gives a fresh feeling.

There are many tree lined and even some cobblestone streets in the West Village. New York is often thought of as a building of huge skyscrapers, but being in these areas gives a glimpse into New York’s past and a more warm and serene feeling amidst the hustle and bustle found in midtown.

The high demand and low supply of housing here makes for an interesting dynamic. The market rate rents are higher than most of the people looking can afford. The best “deals” are often still way higher than anywhere else in the city. People still will line up and often, if a place is solid enough in terms of location, quality and space, people get very creative in figuring out a way to secure it.

There is nothing better than the right location in this city. People travel as much as two hours each way to commute into Manhattan to earn a higher salary. There are things we all trade off on to live here. Some prefer to get a lower cost of living for better space and quality. While others pay premium for the best possible location and as a result, feel that the quality of life is improved.

While I can’t say which way is right for your particular situation, I can definitely find the best in either respect if you need to move. The sun is shining, let’s enjoy it!

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What do we really need to live?

April 8, 2011 4 comments

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I know that I blog about NYC Real Estate, so some of you may feel left out. I also blog about life in general, so this is for EVERYONE. There are a lot of answers to this question. While some may argue about two of these. Generally speaking, there are the basics. Food, shelter, clothing come to mind easily.

I’m listening to music, that always helps me. “Gotta have house, music, all night long! House music, move your body, rock your body.” Dancing also comes to mind. That’s just me being me, giving you a taste of my world.

So many things come to mind on top of the basics. Family and friends, fulfillment in endeavors. The points are like PI. Virtually endless. We can go on forever with this, so I look forward to the comments that should follow.

The inspiration for this post comes from her. She has what can be arguably the best rental deal in the city in terms of location. One block from Central Park! George Carlin comes to mind ranting about stuff. She took him quite literally even down to her artwork!

We all sacrifice things to live in New York City. I am sure my friends out here in cyberworld have made sacrifices wherever you are calling home right now. With the advent of technology, working from home is something that more of us can do now than ever before.

So I ask of all of you. What do YOU need to live?

Posted with WordPress for ‘Hats’Berry.

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The Worldwide MASSIVE BK Co-Op

March 26, 2011 Leave a comment

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Talk about Brooklyn’s Finest! This MASSIVE 1500sf co-op is just steps from BAM and EVERY train line! You can party on Labor Day on Eastern Parkway and the after party can be right upstairs when the parade a done! I swear, this is a solid value on so many levels. I know this city and will find you the best of the best no matter what the budget.

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$1M NYC tour Pt.1-For savvy investors, now is the time!

March 17, 2011 1 comment

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The Manhattan market is saturated with the mundane. There’s a surplus of average inventory on the sales and rental end these days. Quality is at a premium and as such, so is the price.

With the start of the peak rental season upon us, a virtual feeding frenzy is beginning in the real estate market here. Rental vacancy rates below 1% always equate to an uber-competitive rental market. At the mid to higher end price points for rent here (4000+/mth), the question of making a purchase comes to mind for many families sure to be here for 5 years.

After all, with rates being so low and the out of pocket so high to rent here, doesn’t making that much cash translate to equity make sense? Many times I have seen a client remark, “With all the recession talk, THIS is all I can get for 1M these days?”. This is because entry level for studios in most luxury new development downtown is $650,000. It makes one wonder “what does $1M get you in NYC these days?”

So since New York City is really five boroughs, I have picked out the five best values within the budget, in residential homes, co-op/condo apts, retail and mixed use properties. This is aimed to educate you on the different levels of investing here. Today’s entry is for what I like to call Manhattan proper. While Curtis Mayfield made a great song called “Across 110th Street”, the areas that are always in demand and considered solid are below 96th street. I will follow up with Brooklyn, then Queens, the Bronx then lastly Staten Island.

Manhattan: This is a unique market and as such, it is very complex. See my post on Co-ops vs Condos for greater details on the particulars and differences.

Co-Op 950sf JR4 $649,000 Two blocks away from Central Park, this spacious 950+ square foot one bedroom is easily convertible to a fabulous Junior 4. Just put up a wall in the large windowed dining alcove and you’ve created a two bedroom home. The apartment offers a gracious layout including a large entry foyer, huge living room, versatile dining alcove and a tremendous bedroom. This sunlit home has been completely renovated featuring newly installed 5” wide oak plank floors, dental and new baseboard mouldings, gorgeous kitchen with ceramic tiled counters, backsplash and floors. The stunning bathroom has been re-done with floor to ceiling Carrera marble, double clear glass shower doors and a new vanity. Four huge closets including a walk-in, lovely custom drapes. Southern exposure… Additional amenities in this pet friendly luxury building include a concierge, 24 hour doorman and garage.

Click For Photos Click For Floor Plan

Condo 850 sf 1BR $849,000 This is a large one bedroom, in a PRIME Central Village location. There are low monthly costs here even though it is not a new development so this is a true find. The location here at the prestigious Randall House is central to everything the Village has to offer near Union Square, Whole Foods and cinemas, just steps to the N, R And 6 trains. Special features include a windowed renovated kitchen, a large living area, ample closets,  southern exposure for natural light and city-proof windows. This is in a Full-service, 24 Hour Doorman building with garage on premises and laundry in the building. Pet friendly as well!

Click For Photos Click For Floor Plan

These are just two examples of what your dollar gets you in NYC “Manhattan proper” right now. I made sure to give you the absolute best options for investment purposes factoring in lowest possible monthly cost, renovation conditions and most importantly, location. This affects value for both rental and resale.

Stay tuned for more updates on the $1M NYC tour!

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Rookie or Veteran?

March 14, 2011 Leave a comment

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You are here looking for a home. You call or email about a specific place that’s the DREAM home on the perfect tree lined street, only to not get an address, hear that it’s rented or if you are lucky, get taken to a box facing a brick wall.

This is the most in demand market to find a home and the busiest time of year for rentals is approaching fast. The vacancy rate is under 1% again. To put that it in perspective, for every one building with 100 apartments in it, you MAY be able to sublet a room from someone within.

To move is an important decision. Likely one of the more important ones you are likely to make in the next three to four years. To do this and not choose wisely the target of attack is like throwing dice against a wall. Is that really how to chose a home?

There are over 27,000 licensed real estate salespersons in this city. Each year there are about 10,000 transactions. The amount of new agents that actually last in this business is less than 10%. This brings to mind an interesting question.

Would you buy a car from a pizza-maker? Get a haircut from your bank teller?

That’s the likely result when you put your trust in an inexperienced agent. He/She will likey be in another industry when you are looking to purchase in two or three years IF that agent can even find you and secure the right place.

If that’s what you want to spend your time doing, then you can do that without a broker and save the fee if you are able to find a place. This is not the time of year to risk losing the perfect place because someone wants to show you what they want you to see and not take you to what you are telling them you want.

A broker earns the fee for much more than just how many places they show you. A good broker earns the fee for showing you less places that are ALL viable options based off of your needs. There is no way that a rookie can do this without the proper inventory knowledge. There are many managements, co-op/condo owners and developers to choose from. Too many apartments to list that turn over before they can even be listed during this time of year.

The essential functions when using a broker for a rental are to save you time in the initial search, securing the apartment by having the neccessary documentation, saving money over the course of the initial year or two by finding that gem that is NOT available to the public and PERHAPS a below market rent. This is among the many other hats (pun not intended if you know me) we wear. (Board package and interview preparation, relationships with owners/landlords/supers/porters, knowledge of areas for those relocating and other networking possibilities).

Take time to really think about your search for a home and remain open minded about the possiblities. This city is a cornucopia of experiences for you to delve into. Make sure that you are not being led by someone with no sense of the realities in this marketplace.

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