Get in Before the Manhattan Valley Historic District Does

A two-bedroom for $989,000 just steps from Central Park? It does exist, and you won't even have to shoehorn yourself into a cave. This condo at 44 West 106th Street is fairly roomy (1,100 square feet), has tons of light, and was built just five years ago, so you could get by without doing any renovations. Though apartments around the corner fetch hundreds of thousands more for nearly the same size, listing broker Catherine Holmes of Barak Realty says buyers are still not fully sold on Manhattan Avenue, hence the discount. For years, the area suffered from neglect. But that was long ago and like nearly everywhere else in the city, Manhattan Avenue has undergone a renaissance — a fact that house hunters seem slow to embrace. That could change soon: The stretch between West 104th and 106th Streets is up for historic districting, says Holmes; if so designated, nothing ugly will go up near your building. While the designation process just started back in January, a favorable ruling will surely spike property values. Until then, it's cheap Upper West Side living, close to the park. —S. Jhoanna Robledo