CASE STUDY 3: ROBIN BARON
Started with $40,000 down payment.
A few years after Robin Baron moves back home to New York from Los Angeles, her West Side rental building goes co-op. “There was no chance I wouldn’t buy it,” she says, getting a hand from her parents toward the purchase price of $165,000.
Baron and her then-husband rent out her starter apartment and buy a seven-room wreck on West 84th Street for $535,000. A gut renovation commences, as the market heads into the early-nineties dip.
She sells the no-longer-shabby place (listing it with Corcoran’s Deanna Kory) for $835,000. The next year, she’ll sell the starter apartment for $565,000. But she’s onto her next makeover: a 5,000-square-foot triplex maisonette at West End Avenue and 90th Street, for $1.1 million—a bit too far north for the typical West Side buyer at the time.
The triplex (now in prime territory) sells for $5.2 million. Baron is now renovating a nearby brownstone she’s purchased for $2.55 million.
That brownstone sells for $6.3 million, and Baron puts $3.15 million of the spoils into buying a limestone townhouse on West 102nd Street that had been a seven-unit tenement.
TODAY: That renovation’s almost done, and she’ll move in this December. It’ll have a closet bigger than some studios, a wine cellar, and an exercise room. It’ll also be worth about $8 million.