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Live and Work in a Tribeca Triplex

53 Murray St.
A bargain-basement price on a new downtown triplex probably means you're buying the basement, but at 53 Murray Street, you're getting the raw sub-basement, too. At $3.25 million for 5,335 square feet, the apartment costs just over half of Tribeca's average, according to StreetEasy. The sub-basement is great for architects, artists, and other tinkerers, with three rooms on the upper floors usable as bedrooms, says Shari Markoff of the Shvo Group. The basement includes a north-facing bedroom that gets decent light (though it faces another building). So if you need only one bed, Markoff suggests, you might festoon the first floor with fanned magazines and potpourri and welcome customers there. "It could make a great spa," she suggests. "Or it could be great for a not-for-profit." If you're in start-up mode, a location near the Fulton Street transit hub and a price you can defend to your investors will help anybody sleep at night. —Alec Appelbaum

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Waiting Out a Profit in Washington Heights

478 W. 158th Street
Could this be the cheapest three-bedroom in Manhattan? If not, then it's close, at $320,000. Sure, it's smallish (a little under 800 square feet, based on the floor plan) and it's in a prewar co-op at 478 West 158th Street that has a flip tax in place, but it's tempting. Especially considering it's been overhauled from floor to ceiling. (The hardwood's so new it's practically sparkling.) The building's pet-friendly, and there's no board approval, either. Common spaces are slated for renovations and living in a construction zone could easily turn into a colossal headache, but considering the upside — you wind up in a prettier place than the one you moved into — it may be worth the agita. Besides, after all that work, your property values will likely rise. That should ease the pain, too. —S. Jhoanna Robledo

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Avoid Brokers' Fees With an East Side FSBO

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Because a FSBO apartment — that is, a "for sale by owner" — means sellers don't have a broker's commission to pay, they can often be good buys. Take Harris Firestone's two-bedroom at 150 East 61st Street, just off Lexington Avenue, which just went on the market last month. Though it's been renovated to the hilt — brand-new oak floors, crown moldings, totally new kitchen — its asking price, $1.095 million, is less than the average Manhattan apartment, and a little cheaper than similar units in the building and others nearby. Firestone, who consulted an appraiser before pricing his unit, says he has more room to negotiate since he's going it alone. "The large brokers charge 6 percent, which is absurd to me," he says. He'd rather pass on the savings to the right buyer. But the big test will be whether he manages to unload it at all. Brokers often say FSBO sellers wind up needing their services in the end when they discover they can't market their properties as widely as agents do. Maybe they're right — or maybe they're just jealous. —S. Jhoanna Robledo

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Flipping Times Square Bargains Forces Glut

Taxicab Cash
Buyers can work the laws of supply and demand to their advantage at the Orion, Extell Development's towering condominium at 350 West 42nd Street. Investors initially snapped up the Orion's units, banking on Times Square's renaissance. Now many are out to collect profits, flipping their apartments back on the market and creating something of a glut. Today 34 condos compete for the attention of shoppers here, plus 38 more for rent, according to StreetEasy Real Estate. This 710-square-foot one-bedroom is the cheapest of its size at $715,000, though there is another unit on a lower floor with the same asking price. This one, though only on the seventh floor of a 61-story building, soaks in sunlight in the daytime. A 421-A abatement's in place for ten years, so property taxes are absurdly low — $18 a month! — and the common charges aren't off-putting for a project gilded with all the usual amenities, and then some: a health club with a pool, concierge service, and even free breakfast. —S. Jhoanna Robledo

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Get Used to the Neighbors in Brooklyn Heights

182 State Street
Brooklyn Heights co-ops easily command the price of this four-story townhouse at 182 State Street. If you've ever dreamed of owning one for $1.45 million (in prime Brooklyn, no less) and aren't married to living on all its floors, now's your chance. The caveats: It's only eighteen feet wide (though the lot's a generous 100 feet long). It's also chopped up into seven apartments, says listing broker Amanda Young of the Corcoran Group. And, here's the kicker — you may not be able to spread out into the entire house for a while, if at all. Four tenants have rent-stabilized leases, dashing most hopes of enjoying the full townhouse experience. (Wait them out and they might just move.) That said, the parlor floor's two units are delivered vacant, as is another unit, so you can combine both and have ample space to be the king of a scaled-down castle. — S. Jhoanna Robledo
Clarification: The rent-stabilized tenants can be removed from the building, if you want to spend a lot of time and money and whatever good karma you accumulated throughout life. You could also try asking them to move.

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When No Views Are No Problem Near Columbus Circle

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Say you want three bedrooms and three baths on the Upper West Side. And say you'll pay $1,000 per square foot but not much more. Seem impossible? Not entirely. At 10 West End Avenue, the Sunshine Group is offering 7H and 7J — a total of 1,974 square feet — for just over $2 million. That's a deal in a new 33-story building, with occupancy scheduled for this spring, where average active prices run $1,146 a foot. "It's a very easy combination and a functional layout," says sales director Loretta Bradbury. And it includes unlimited dips into the building's pool, gym, and Children's Museum of Manhattan–designed playroom. But you'll need to spend lots of time in the common space or outdoors (gasp!) to enjoy the surroundings. You get no terraces on the seventh floor, and your windows offer, um, "city views." On one side you face the John Jay College of Criminal Justice. And across West End Avenue, you're looking at a vacant lot that won't stay vacant. Bradbury won't comment on when a new building will cast its shadow. But, hey, you might be able to afford boarding school by then. —Alec Appelbaum

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Room to Maneuver in Clinton Hill

185 Hall Street
Corcoran's Eric Davis is the second broker to list this one-bedroom at 185 Hall Street in Clinton Hill, which previously sat on the market for months. Davis dropped the price to $299,000, and it might be time for a second look. The building has none of the glitz of a brand-new construction, but it's pet-friendly and an easy walk to Fort Greene Park and the restaurants on DeKalb Avenue. The apartment itself is smallish in size, but it has an enormous terrace that overlooks an iconic brownstone Brooklyn streetscape. Davis is listing two other apartments in the building, so you might get a deal. — S. Jhoanna Robledo

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Price Falls on East 53rd Street

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It's new year, new price with this 1,749-square-foot, three-bedroom, two-and-a-half-bath condo at 310 East 53rd Street. The $2.6 million asking price (which represents a $100,000 drop since yesterday) amounts to $1,484 per square foot. Though some units in the building have gone for much more than that, plenty of others are still looking for new owners after a year on the market. And don't forget about competing projects in the area only adding to the inventory. Will buyers bite? Maybe. But at this price, and with other lures (high-style fixtures, a 222-square-foot private terrace, floor-to-ceiling windows), the developers should get a nibble or two. — S. Jhoanna Robledo

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Unhip But Cheap in Rego Park

57-10 Junction Blvd.
Admittedly, there's nothing cool or sexy about Rego Park (Jackson Heights, maybe, even Long Island City). Then again, where else can one find a pristine, sizable studio for $110,000? And one with an alcove so it can be easily converted into a one-bedroom? (You'd need as much as that for a down payment in Manhattan.) This co-op at 57-10 Junction Boulevard has a less-than-ideal kitchen — it needs a makeover — but it's a corner unit, which means it gets lots of light and wide open views. Plus, the floor's been refinished and the walls repainted. The asking price was already palatable when it was put on the market in July at $125,000, but it has stalled there since, so it was reduced another $15,000. Outer-borough phobics will be glad to know Manhattan's not too far away: It's just fifteen minutes to midtown on the V or R trains, and it takes less than ten minutes to walk to the station. —S. Jhoanna Robledo

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A Rush to Sell in Midtown East

324 E. 50th St.
Calling all bargain-hunters: Time's running out on the owners of this one-bedroom at 324 East 50th Street, who are so anxious to sell they've lowered the price to $499,000 — what they paid for it a year ago. Almost immediately after they moved in, the wife got pregnant, and now they're moving back to San Francisco to be close to family, explains listing broker Holly Sose of City Connections Realty. Midtown East isn't exactly oozing with charm, but this property is, thanks to the exposed-brick walls and ten-foot-high beamed ceilings. Plus, at just under 700 square feet, it's decently sized, though most of the square footage goes to the enormous living room (the bedroom's tiny). —S. Jhoanna Robledo

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Finding the Price Point on Park Avenue South

425 Park Ave. S.
Another agent had been marketing this luxury prewar loft north of Gramercy for months at $715,000, but it didn't move an inch. Listing broker Darren Sukenik, who just added 425 Park Ave. South to his roster, says that's not a surprise. "Pricing is a science," he declares. "Buyers aren't stupid." So he slashed the asking to what he says is "absolutely the right price" — $695,000 — and from the looks of it, he may be correct. On a price-per-square-foot basis, he's on par with nearby competitors. But unlike other apartments similar in price and location, this one does not need renovations. Though it's compact (850 square feet), pristine floors, ten-foot-high ceilings, and views of the Empire State and MetLife buildings mean it could pass for a beginner trophy apartment. In the week since it hit the market with the new-and-improved price tag, Sukenik says he's had 50 showings but no takers just yet. —S. Jhoanna Robledo

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Everything's Bigger Up North (of Columbia)

501 W. 122
Ignore the broker-speak — listings agents are calling the neighborhood that straddles West Harlem and Morningside Heights "NoCo," as in north of Columbia University — and you'll see that this co-op at 501 W. 122nd St. may be the antidote to an Upper West Side family's space-starved distress. With four bedrooms and two baths sprawled over 1,700 square feet, it's worth a look, especially considering what the owners are asking. At $1.069 million, it's the price of a two-bedroom ten blocks south or a smaller three-bedroom just one block over. Plus, the down payment's a surprisingly buyer-friendly (for a co-op, anyway) 10 percent, and the apartment's flooded with light. The downsides? It's a walk-up, so hauling a stroller up and down the stairs could be tiresome. And it could use a makeover, especially the eighties-style kitchen. Plus, it combines two apartments so the layout's a little funky. Still, at this price, buyers could conceivably have the cash left over to give it some TLC. — S. Jhoanna Robledo

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Price Drops Make Perry Street Cheap(er)

176 Perry
Even millionaires love deals, so moneyed types would do well to take another look at this 4,000-square-foot condo in the south tower of the Richard Meier–designed 176 Perry Street. After languishing on the market for more than a year — 384 days to be exact, according to Streeteasy.com — it's so ripe for the picking it's practically falling off the tree. And with three bedrooms (one, a luxurious master suite), full river views, and three exposures, not to mention the designer's cachet, why shouldn't it get a little love? (It has a library and a terrace, too.) Since April 2005, it has undergone numerous price cuts, the asking price sliding from $8.95 million to $7.65 million. The most recent reduction, twelve days ago, brought the numbers down by $300,000. Number-crunchers take note: On a per-square-foot basis, it's going for a little less than what a neighboring unit sold for in September. — S. Jhoanna Robledo

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A Financial-District 2BR Dips Under $1 Million

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Three weeks ago, the price of this financial-district two-bedroom co-op at 176 Broadway was reduced by $30,000, according to Streeteasy.com, dipping its asking price below the million-dollar mark. At $995,000, it's $105,000 cheaper than a similarly sized unit in the same building and considerably less than what another one of equal square footage went for early this year. Not bad for a space that comes with ten-foot ceilings, central air, and a wraparound terrace — all the better to appreciate that kicking downtown vista. The building has a part-time doorman and a landscaped roof deck, too, and falls within the coveted P.S. 234 school district. Yet there are still no takers. (Could a tough board be the reason? If so, be sure your finances are airtight.) Here's where you try to negotiate an even sweeter deal with the seller. After all, the maintenance, at $2,060 per month, is a little on the high side. Even more significant, it's been on the market for 270 days and counting, which could make the owner open to any decent offers. How decent you want to be is up to you. — S. Jhoanna Robledo

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2 BRs — and a Year's Free Maintenance — in Inwood

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Even for low-key Inwood, the 950-square-foot co-op at 117 Seaman Avenue is a steal. (Go to the Barak Realty site and enter Web ID 300191.) It's got two bedrooms, a kitchen large enough to eat in, and a dining area that could easily be closed off to create a third bedroom — all for only $395,000. It's a little tired, but original details that prewar fans drool over — moldings, paneled walls, and the like — are intact. Plus, the seller's willing to pony up a year's maintenance (about $670 a month) just to get someone to take the apartment off his hands, says listing agent William Vilkelis of Barak Realty. Why so eager? Renters were in place, which made the property inconvenient to show. Brokers had to work around their schedules, and their moving boxes cluttered up the space. Now they're gone, and the owner, who lives all the way in Pennsylvania, doesn't feel like playing landlord anymore. — S. Jhoanna Robledo

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A Steal in Brooklyn Heights, Second Bathroom Not Included

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Other two-bedrooms in Brooklyn Heights are asking for much more, but at 155 Henry Street, there's a 1,250-square-foot co-op listed for a mere $759,000. Why so cheap? The sellers know their apartment is "bathroom-challenged" (i.e., there's only one), says their broker, Corcoran's Diane Young. After just two weeks on the market, they reduced it from $795,000 to $759,000. (Monthly maintenance is $1,379.) On a per-square-foot basis, it deserves a second look in a neighborhood so precious it's grown as expensive — if not more so — than many sought-after parts of Manhattan. Especially if you consider other pluses: The layout is flexible, the kitchen was built from scratch just two years ago, and the co-op allows for a 10 percent down payment. And though the apartment was formerly a doctor's office, it doesn't open out to the street. (It's perched a few steps above ground level.) Even better: Even though the building is situated in the heart of a historic district, the Landmarks Preservation Commission has already approved an additional commode, should you decide to add one. So you'd just need the co-op board's signoff. — S. Jhoanna Robledo CORRECTION, Nov. 1: An earlier version of this item incorrectly stated that Landmarks permission would be needed to add a bathroom.

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Union Square Lofts: Get in on the Ground Floor!

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Didn't think you could get a deal on a 2,100-square-foot brand-spanking-new condo right off Union Square? Actually, if you don't mind living on the ground floor, have we got a deal for you. Union Square Lofts is a factory conversion with entrances on University Place and 13th and 14th Streets; one sale closed there at $1,344 per square foot, and there are offers on all its other apartments. Except one — recently listed by Prudential Douglas Elliman's Lisa Maysonet at a shockingly low $701 per square foot. With an asking price of $1.495 million, it's a ground-level duplex currently configured as a two-bedroom with one and a half baths. So why the bargain-basement price? Because it's in, well, the basement. Ground- and-basement-floor apartments like this one are always cheaper. But this is a bigger discount than usual. Developer Josh Guberman says he could afford to cut the price drastically because "it's the least attractive unit. We really didn't market it yet; we thought it was kind of a no-brainer." Plus, the layout makes the loft less lofty: There are only windows on the south side and no full bedroom downstairs. But so what. You still get a private, keyed elevator entrance — one on each floor! — a "pre-mounted plasma-screen TV," and the satisfaction of knowing you scored a bargain. — Alec Appelbaum

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Hell's Kitchen 1BR: Such a Bargain!

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In today's uncertain Manhattan real-estate market, there are bargains to be found. Each week, we show you one. Listing broker Cynthia Dillon admits she and the seller purposefully priced this one-bedroom, one-bathroom co-op so it'll stand out as a bargain. Some other Hell's Kitchen one-bedrooms are cheaper, but they also offer less space; many others are actually asking more. There's also a slightly smaller unit — this one's 624 square feet — for sale in the same complex but for $60,000 more, though admittedly it's in a bit better shape. (Forget about new construction in the vicinity; you'd easily pay double, or close to it, for a one-bedroom in those.) "There's so much on the market that a property has to be really unique or perfectly done or priced right or it'll sit for a really long time," says Dillon. Apparently, they wanted to avoid that fate. The living room's kind of gloomy — it's in the middle of the apartment — but the bedroom faces south and gets lots of light. Plus the floors have been refinished. — S. Jhoanna Robledo

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East End Two-Bedroom Is Ripe for the Plucking

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In today's uncertain Manhattan real-estate market, there are bargains to be found. Each week, we show you one. Deal-hunting habitués of Carl Schurz Park ought to check out this $995,000 two-bedroom, two-bath co-op on East End Avenue. On a price-per-square-foot basis, it's cheaper than the Yorkville average, according to Streeteasy.com. Plus you get bragging rights for having scored an apartment nearly identical to the one right below it, which sold for considerably more — around $1.2 million — just six weeks ago.

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