Archive for the ‘RealDirect Neighborhood Guides’ Category

From Russia With Love

Friday, July 20th, 2012

I’m a proud American and I’ve been living in New York for almost 10 years. I love this city and it’s people. One benefit of New York is the fantastic restaurants where the staff speaks Russian, my native tongue. But it’s not just the purveyors of fine caviar that speak the language of Czars; heck no—not by a long shot. There’s my watch repairman, my dog-sitter, and my favorite real estate attorney. I can even go to hockey games at Madison Square Garden, curse loudly in Russian, and half of the New York Rangers will get offended. I don’t actually do this, mind you, but my point is that there are Russians everywhere. Most of them will tell you that communism sucks. But wait, does it?

Let’s take a communist organization like RealDirect, for example. Of the 5%-6% commission typically charged to a property seller, we take up to 1% and redistribute it to the people. That’s right: from the pockets of your real estate broker to the pockets of the needy—that’s you, apartment hunters. Because Carl Marx knows you’re going to need that 1% to help you cover your closing costs, mark my words.

The communist revolution is back, but this time it’s different. Is the message getting out to my fellow comrades? I hope that one day we’ll have a button on the top right hand corner of this website that says “Russian”, so we could share the benefits of the City’s most innovative Real Estate agency in Cyrillic. In the meantime, comrades, give me a call.

Image via Forbes

A True Classic – The Chelsea Mercantile

Tuesday, June 19th, 2012

One of the most prominent and prestigious condos in Chelsea is the Chelsea Mercantile at 252 7th Ave (between 24th and 25th street). Or as some might call it, “the Whole Foods building”. Personally, I don’t eat healthy enough to get too worked up about Whole Foods. But as it was the chain’s first NYC location, it’s a pretty big deal to most people in the neighborhood. In fact, try and find a Chelsea real estate listing that doesn’t say, “Steps to Whole Foods!”. But organic groceries were the last thing on anyone’s mind when the building was constructed in 1908 as a textile factory called The National Cloak and Suit Company. 90 years later, the building and three surrounding structures were gutted and converted into condos. The Mercantile is 21 floors, 354 units, and is known for its high ceilings and stately limestone facade. The amenities are top shelf: full time doorman and concierge, valet service, gym, playroom, storage, a garden, and a 10,000 SF roofdeck. There’s also a public garage that can be accessed through the lobby. The units all feature stainless steel appliances, walk-in closets, black granite countertops, limestone bathrooms, and to complete the pre-war feeling, many apartments offer fireplaces and exposed brick. The Chelsea Mercantile perfectly represents the appeal of a condo conversion: modern luxury complemented by classic pre-war space and detail. Just something to think about while standing in a long line at you-know-where…

image via edenpictures

Making the Impossible Possible

Tuesday, June 12th, 2012

Real estate is a tricky business. You see, buyers want everything. I don’t blame them. The thing is that they don’t want to pay for everything. Like I said, tricky… but not, as it turns out, impossible. What you need is a neighborhood expert who’s in the know. What follows is a mostly true summary of a conversation I had with a recent apartment hunter who was looking for the impossible.

Client: I’m looking for an apartment in the West Village.

Me: You’re in luck. I’m RealDirect’s downtown specialist. What kind of apartment?

Client: One bedroom. An affordable one.

Me: Shouldn’t be a problem. There are lots of affordable one bedrooms available in the West Village. May I suggest—?

Client: (interrupting) Yeah, yeah. I’ve heard it all before. And now you want to show me some 6th floor walk-up. Look at me. (Points to his belly) Do I look like the kind of guy that wants to deal with that?

Me: (attempting not to look at belly) The building I have in mind has two elevators.

Client: Okay, but you need to know I have a ridgeback.

Me: (aghast) I’m so sorry. But, you know, isn’t that treatable?

Client: (looking confused) Wha? No! It’s not a medical condition; it’s a breed of dog!

Me: (relieved) Ohhhhh! I mean, of course it’s a dog. Well then. No problem. Pets are allowed in the building, and there’s even a doorman if you need someone to accept your pet food delivery.

Client: Spike only eats steaks.

Me: Really? Is that healthy?

Client: Vet says it’s fine, so long as he gets exercise; that’s why I need my apartment to be near a park.

Me: It’s west of Washington Street. You’ll be one block away from Riverside Park. That close enough?

Client: Should be.

Me: If it’s not, the building has a courtyard.

Client: (stroking beard) Hmmm. Sounds pretty good. My only concern is that I might have to be out of the country for prolonged periods of time. I’ve recently invested in a Tasmanian wallaby farm, and you never know when business calls. What if I have to rent it out?

Me: This co-op is one of the most lenient boards for renting I’ve ever seen—there are no rental restrictions at all.

Client: Good. Now what about the financial condition of the building? If there’s one thing I’ve learned from investing in Tasmanian wallaby farms, it’s to make sure to do your due diligence!

Me: The financials look strong when you dig into the statements. The building’s mortgage will be paid of in 2014. That’s going to free up plenty of cash flow.

Client: (suspicious) Say… how do you know so much about this building?

Me: I own a unit. Plus I have a few listings in contract there right now, as well as three apartments available for rent, so I can answer virtually any question you have.

Client: Wow, that’s great… but we still have a problem.

Me: Still?

Client: My budget is $500,000.

Me: How about a newly renovated junior one-bedroom for $480,000?

And that’s how the impossible—or, at least, the improbable—was made possible. Would you like to see what’s available in this fantastic building in the heart of the west village? Give me a call today! 917.414.8240

image via wwarby

There Is Only One Belaire!

Thursday, May 24th, 2012

Located at 524 East 72 Street, the Belaire is a full service, elevator condominium overlooking the East River on a cul-de-sac in the Lenox Hill area. Neighbors in this highly sought after location include Sotheby’s. The building was built in 1986 and consists of 183 apartments 77 of which are two bedrooms that offer stunning views.

The 50 story Belaire with its red brick façade was designed by Frank Williams and Associates and headed by William Zeckendorf Jr.  It is managed by Gumley-Haft and offers a fulltime doorman along with garage, pool and health club.   Recent sales of one bedroom apartments begin at $850,000.