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Buy Low

  1. buy low
    Penthouse Price Plummets in Brooklyn 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]
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    Can’t See the Apartment for the Carpet 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
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    Starving Artists, Come to the Lower East SideThink there are no affordable one-bedrooms in downtown Manhattan? Think again. At $299,000, this apartment at
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    Prices Slip on Chelsea Condos 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
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    Enter the Market in HarlemNothing 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
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    Home Sweet 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
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    A Studio With Reasonable Strings Attached 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
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    A Deluxe Apartment in the Murray Hill Sky 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
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    No Pets, Less Money in Washington Heights 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
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    No Frills But Value on the Upper West Side 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
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    Hey Ho, Let’s Go … to 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
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    Rebuild Your Own Apartment in Hamilton Heights 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
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    Dreaming the Possible Park Slope Brownstone Dream 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
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    Reinvest Your Bonus in 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
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    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
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    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
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    Enduring the Assessment in Murray Hill 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.
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    A Central Harlem Townhouse for the Aspiring Landlord 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
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    One Bathroom Makes UES Co-op a Bargain 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
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    West Village Pad Seeks Patient BuyerThis 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
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    Live and Work in a Tribeca TriplexA 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 HeightsCould 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 FSBOBecause 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 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 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 CircleSay 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 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 StreetIt’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 ParkAdmittedly, 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 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 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) 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)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 MillionThree 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
  35. buy low
    2 BRs — and a Year’s Free Maintenance — in InwoodEven 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
  36. buy low
    A Steal in Brooklyn Heights, Second Bathroom Not IncludedOther 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.
  37. buy low
    Union Square Lofts: Get in on the Ground Floor!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
  38. buy low
    Hell’s Kitchen 1BR: Such a Bargain!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
  39. buy low
    East End Two-Bedroom Is Ripe for the PluckingIn 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.