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Penthouse Price Plummets in Brooklyn

383 Carlton Ave.
Since it went on the market in February, this three-bedroom, three-bath penthouse duplex at 383 Carlton Avenue has had three price cuts, most recently a 10-percent reduction ($225,000) sometime yesterday. New York test-drove the space this spring and found it pleasing enough. It's certainly swanky, with all the top finishes and appliances. And with 2,328 square feet, a roof terrace, and two balconies, there's plenty of space for entertaining. The new price tag of $1.875 million is nearly a million less than that initial asking, making the penthouse primed for the picking. "It's a very dramatic price drop," admits listing broker Jerry Minsky of the Corcoran Group. "The owner's ready to sell. It's one the nicest apartments in downtown Brooklyn." —S. Jhoanna Robledo Related: This Is Not My Beautiful House! This Is Not My Beautiful Life! [NYM]

Can't See the Apartment for the Carpet

165 Christopher St.
It's not every day you'll find a respectably sized two-bedroom in the West Village for less than a million. Even after a recent price cut brought this 1,100-square-foot co-op at 165 Christopher Street down to $999,000 (meaning the buyer is exempt from the one-percent mansion tax), it's still available. After six weeks on the market, could the deep magenta carpet be to blame? It does distract from the ample light and sensible layout. If you can ignore what's underfoot — not to mention a few super-bright walls — you might be able to see the space for what it is: the downtown aerie you've always wanted. —S. Jhoanna Robledo

Starving Artists, Come to the Lower East Side

Think there are no affordable one-bedrooms in downtown Manhattan? Think again. At $299,000, this apartment at 153 1/2 Stanton Street might be the single most affordable downtown one-bedroom on the market. It's no dump, either, nor is it tucked into the farthest possible downtown corner. (In fact, it's a quick walk to the F train and near a restaurant-rife part of the neighborhood, just down the block from Stanton Social and AK Cafe.) Yes, the apartment's narrow, and it's actually a junior one-bedroom (meaning a wall was put up). Also, there's a flip tax, so you have to part with some of the net profit if you sell within eight years, says listing broker Tracie Hamersley of Citi-Habitats. But the maintenance is low — less than $1 per square foot — and a storage locker is included. The building is even open to pets. Also, you just need 10 percent down. Plus, you won't have to worry about bidding against more moneyed competitors: Only a single buyer or a couple making no more than $48,000 can apply (it’s an "income-restricted" HDFC co-op). Teachers, day-care workers, starving artists, dancers, actors — get your bids in. —S. Jhoanna Robledo

Prices Slip on Chelsea Condos

Chelsea Stratus
Who says you can't get a new-construction condo on the cheap in Chelsea? Well, maybe not exactly "cheap." (This is pricey, trendy Chelsea, after all.) But still, this two-bedroom, two-and-a-half-bath apartment at the Chelsea Stratus (101 West 24th Street), supposedly the tallest condo in the neighborhood, has had two price changes, according to Streeteasy.com. The most recent slash was two days ago, lowering the asking by more than 20 percent to $2.88 million. If this floor plan's not to your liking, there are more than a dozen left on the market, all of which are outfitted with name-brand kitchen appliances (Fisher & Paykel, Sub-Zero), high-end finishes, and other de rigueur luxuries. Par for the condo course, the building's larded with goodies like a wine cellar, billiards room, and indoor basketball court, too. —S. Jhoanna Robledo

Enter the Market in Harlem

137-9 W. 142nd St.
Nothing like the words "price reduction" to get a bargain hunter's pulse quickening. This two-bedroom apartment at 137–9 W. 142nd St. was already tolerable at $265,000, but a discount weeks ago has brought it down to an even-more-palatable $250,000. The building's a walkup, and this unit's on the fifth floor — a hardship if you've got kids and strollers to transport every day. But considering the co-op has no income restrictions (which some listings at this price range in the neighborhood do) and requires only 10 percent down, this property may just be the entry you've been waiting for into the city's untenable real-estate market. —S. Jhoanna Robledo

Home Sweet Foundry

Jackson Foundry
A penthouse for less than a million? In a new condo project? This $999,000 duplex atop Jackson Foundry, a "Civil War–era" conversion on Jackson Street and Manhattan Avenue in Williamsburg, got massively price-whacked yesterday (by $146,000, according to Streeteasy.com). At over 1,400 square feet, that's less than $700 per square foot, almost unheard of in these oh-so-trendy parts — especially when you consider that it comes with intact period details that don't always survive the modernization process, like exposed-timber columns, cast-iron staircases, and rolling fire doors. (Some ceiling heights go up to seventeen feet.) And the huge terrace is yearning for barbecue season. A call placed to someone in the know about the development reveals that "it's a correction, rather than a reduction," but we'll take our discounts where we can. —S. Jhoanna Robledo

A Studio With Reasonable Strings Attached

26 Cornelia St.
Can't resist the siren call of the Village? This studio that's just returned to the market (a previous buyer fell through) may be the answer. Tucked in a 60-unit co-op in the prototypically adorable 26 Cornelia Street, it's priced like many similar apartments in the area at $411,000. For that, you'll get a space flooded in light, a brick fireplace, and tons of storage. (The building itself has a courtyard, laundry facilities, and a live-in super.) What makes it all the more attractive, though, are the extras: The board welcomes pied-à-terre buyers (usually a no-no at co-ops), parents buying for their kids (attention NYU students!), and pets (though no dogs), and it allows sublets, as long as you've owned the place for at least two years. —S. Jhoanna Robledo

A Deluxe Apartment in the Murray Hill Sky

45 E. 30th St.
This 4,343-square-foot four-bedroom at 45 East 30th Street in Murray Hill is billed as a "townhouse in the sky." Surprisingly, the phrase isn't typical broker hyperbole: Comprising four floors (a quadruplex?) stacked atop one another, it's more like a modern-day brownstone than an apartment, only with views — the Empire State Building and Rockefeller Center, for starters — usually only attainable from a penthouse. "If it was on ground [level], you'd be walking into a house," says listing broker Yury Holohan. Lest millionaire bargain-hunters think it not luxe enough, this trophy property also comes with seven terraces and a pool, just in time for the summer entertaining season. It didn't sell at the original price of $12 million, so now the asking's been reduced to $9.99 million after almost two months on the market, according to Streeteasy.com. That's about $2,300 per square foot, which, for a new construction, is a shade less than what a top-floor aerie in another prewar conversion just ten blocks south is commanding. —S. Jhoanna Robledo

No Pets, Less Money in Washington Heights

143 Bennett Ave.
Even for affordable Washington Heights, this 862-square-foot two-bedroom at 143 Bennett Avenue near the Cloisters and Fort Tryon Park seems reasonable at $459,000. The kitchen and bath have been renovated and the co-op's gilded to the hilt with parking, storage, a tenant's lounge, and a children's play space. The catch? "The building doesn't allow cats or dogs," says listing broker Simone Song, who cites 143 Bennett's pet aversion as a big reason the unit hasn't moved. There's another two-bedroom on the block, so if you know how to wheel and deal, you may be able to use it as leverage to negotiate an even better price. —S. Jhoanna Robledo

No Frills But Value on the Upper West Side

314 W. 94th St.
The asking price of this two-bedroom, two-bath at 314 West 94th Street has just been marked down 11 percent to $995,000 after barely three weeks on the market. That places it well within bargain territory, at least for a neighborhood that routinely sees apartments of this size going for more than a million. It also means you won't have to pay the one percent mansion tax levied for properties that go for seven figures, which could garner a savings of at least $10,000. The building's no-frills — there's no doorman, only a video security intercom — and the kitchen may need some updating, says listing broker Tony Rivera of Prudential Douglas Elliman. But it's a pet-friendly condo with low common charges just a half-block away from Riverside Drive, he adds. The building's also investor-friendly, so if you want to buy and rent out, perhaps to students attending Columbia University twenty blocks north, you're good to go. —S. Jhoanna Robledo

Hey Ho, Let's Go … to Forest Hills

Forest Hills
This 853-square-foot co-op on 67th Road in Forest Hills (hometown of the Ramones) used to be listed for $20,000 more. But after only a few weeks on the market, the asking price has been hacked down to $259,000, according to Streeteasy.com. It sounds like the owners are motivated, which could mean even more wiggle room for you. All the crucial renovations — kitchen and bath — have been taken care of, and the unit comes with storage that rents for just $47 a month. (There's parking, but you'll have to get on a wait list to nab a spot.) At $410, the monthly maintenance is low, too. —S. Jhoanna Robledo

Rebuild Your Own Apartment in Hamilton Heights

552 W. 141st St.
Budget buyers willing to take on what is, in real-estate parlance, a classic "handyman's special" (it's a wreck) should take a look at 552 West 141st Street, a two-bedroom on a picturesque block of Hamilton Heights. Harlem has always offered deals, especially for those unafraid of major renovations, but this seems a better value than most at $200,000 for 1,000 square feet, a price not seen since, well, before Harlem saw a different renaissance. The catch? "The apartment needs some lovin'," says Prudential Douglas Elliman broker Bill Pfaff. "There's no kitchen. The bathroom's the only part that works." Plus, it's a Housing Development Fund Corp. building, which means there are restrictions placed on the income of purchasers. In this case, a single buyer can't make more than seven times the combined yearly total of the maintenance ($481 per month) and utilities (approximately $250 per month). (Couples multiply by eight; a family of three by nine.) So if you make more than $61,500, you're probably out. And that's not all: The co-op, which owns the unit, wants an all-cash transaction — check with your attorney for the reasons they may demand this — but Pfaff says they're "very willing" to negotiate.
—S. Jhoanna Robledo

Dreaming the Possible Park Slope Brownstone Dream

213 13th St.
You're determined to live the brownstone dream in Park Slope, stroller-police and Food Co-op fanatics be damned. Maybe a building with an extra unit you can rent out for additional income (or guests). But every house seems to go for too much; according to the Corcoran 2006 Report, the average price of a two- to four-family home in the neighborhood is $1.79 million; the median price is $1.625 million. This house at 213 13th Street defies the numbers with an asking price of $1.05 million. Yes, it's closer to Fourth Avenue than Fifth or Seventh, and it isn't exactly huge, but hey, you can't have everything. At the very least, you get intact, original details (three fireplaces, pine-plank and parquet floors, moldings) and a pretty brick façade to remind you why you longed for a Brooklyn brownstone in the first place. —S. Jhoanna Robledo

Reinvest Your Bonus in Central Park West

115 Central Park West
Attention, bonus babies: If that extra compensation's burning a hole in your vault, this five-bedroom, four-and-a-half-bath triplex penthouse on Central Park West may be just your thing. The Web listing screams "major price reduction," and it's no joke: According to Streeteasy.com, 115 Central Park West was reduced a week ago by $2.6 million to $13.9 million. (You could buy a pied-à-terre downtown with the 15 percent discount alone.) The asking price seems downright reasonable for a building of this caliber — it's at the Majestic, after all, an exclusive prewar co-op that's one of a handful of named buildings with storybook histories like the Dakota and the San Remo. If you're looking to spend much more, way more, there's always the $70 million triplex at the Pierre. —S. Jhoanna Robledo

Get in Before the Manhattan Valley Historic District Does

44 W. 106th St.
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

Move to Soho for Free Cable!

Who says multi-millionaires don't enjoy a perk or two? (See swag bags.) Anyone who shells out $2.995 million for this 2,300-square-foot loft on Broadway just south of Broome will get cable gratis, and much more. So much more. In fact, the lucky buyer will pay "zero maintenance." Yes — zero. The building's so financially sound, says broker Wendy Maitland of Brown Harris Stevens, that it doesn't have to charge a monthly fee. (As if getting to live in an iconic Soho loft drenched in what the listing describes as "buttery light" weren't enough.) The cherry on top of an already decadent treat: It's a condop (a co-op that functions more like a condo), which usually means fewer confining rules.
S. Jhoanna Robledo

Enduring the Assessment in Murray Hill

34 E. 38th St.
Don't be afraid of the big, bad assessment: Others may fear paying $182.93 a month on top of the costs for a $390,000 studio at 34 East 38th Street, but the enterprising few could benefit from what may be a bona fide deal. Sometimes, buildings have to raise funds for renovations and upkeep and, rather than increase the maintenance permanently, they divide the cost among residents by issuing an assessment. It's a drain on the wallet, but only for a specific period. And it's likely that refurbishments will increase the value of the property in the long run, because the building will be in better shape. (Calls to the listing agent were not returned, but according to the city's Department of Buildings, a permit has been issued for roof and masonry work.) It's best to check with your broker and attorney on the specifics of this apartment, but if the assessment's due to expire in a year or two, it could be worth the investment. —S. Jhoanna Robledo Clarification: According to Lillian Seidman-Davis, board treasurer of 34 E. 38th St., the permits were issued for roof and masonry work in 2003. The work has since been completed. Also, the assessment has since been lowered by 25 percent "due to the self-management policies administered," Seidman-Davis says.

A Central Harlem Townhouse for the Aspiring Landlord

53 W. 127
On a price-per-square-foot basis, this Central Harlem townhouse at 53 West 127th Street, on the market for $1,375,000 and divvied up into six units, is about $100 cheaper than one-family or smaller multifamilies in the neighborhood, says broker Todd Stevens. The common areas and four of the six units have been renovated, and tenants pay $6,600 a month to put toward the mortgage. So why the discount? For answers, one need only look at a similar listing from Stevens, a brownstone at 205 West 123rd Street. Though it's been on the market for at least eight months and the price dropped from $1.675 to $1.495 million, it's still available. That's because anything with five units and over requires the buyer to come up with a larger down payment — the bare minimum is 20, if not 25 to 30 percent, says Stevens. You'll also need to apply for a commercial loan because banks consider structures like these commercial buildings. What you end up with is a stepping stone to landlord bliss (or hell, as the case may be). But with the neighborhood growing increasingly fashionable, rents will likely go up, which should make you feel better about those late-night calls about the plumbing. —S. Jhoanna Robledo

One Bathroom Makes UES Co-op a Bargain

Richard Serra
The sellers of this Upper East Side two-bedroom at 25 East 86th Street are serious. They just slashed the price (which already wasn't particularly outrageous for a white-glove co-op off Fifth Avenue) by about 20 percent, down to $985,000. At $821 per square foot, it's an unequivocal bargain as Streeteasy.com prices most other apartments in the area at an average of $1,039 per square foot. So why have buyers given it the cold shoulder all this time? A few light-deprived rooms and just one bathroom could be a deal-breaker for families. It's also small compared to the outsize units elsewhere in the building (though at 1,200 square feet, certainly not cramped). Plus, the co-op requires a 50 percent down payment, limiting the buyer pool. Still, at this price, and with bona fides like intact prewar details and entry to the much-beloved P.S. 6 nearby, Citi-Habitats listing broker Sarah Buff believes (hopes) it won't languish on the market for too long. —S. Jhoanna Robledo

West Village Pad Seeks Patient Buyer

175 W. 13th St.
This one's kooky but intriguing: If owning property in the city is your ultimate dream, and you don't have any plans to sell anytime real soon, or even live in it, this one-bedroom in a full-service, doorman building in the West Village could be what you're looking for. Priced at $449,000, 175 West 13th Street is definitely a deal — maybe even 25 percent less than market rate — for the area. But here's the catch: You'll have to be game to play landlord, and for an indeterminate amount of time. A rent-stabilized tenant's in place, and it's unclear if what that tenant's paying will cover your monthly mortgage and maintenance nut. The Prudential Douglas Elliman listing suggests that the "enormous pot of gold comes in the future," but what that actually means is you're free to swoop in when the tenant doesn't want it anymore. Or, let's face it, dies. There are some fancy tax advantages too, but check in with a lawyer or an accountant to clarify whether this deal is good for you. —S. Jhoanna Robledo