Bellmarc’s Sue Caplan says her biggest request from clients in 2004 wasn’t for a classic six or a terrace. Instead, she wrote in her December holiday letter, the most coveted “property” in New York was even more elusive: “Single male, 30s–40s, attractive, not overly neurotic, geographically desirable.” She was joking, but only a little. “I get a lot of clients who are actively looking for a mate, and they see me as a good source because I meet so many people,” Caplan says.
Forget Match.com or JDate. If you’re a single New Yorker, your best bet may be to ask your broker to find you not just your dream apartment, but also someone to share it with. In fact, snagging you a date might prove easier in this overheated market. No wonder Andrea Picott, a 32-year-old Manhattan banker, is giving her real-estate agent, Vickey Barron of Douglas Elliman, a chance to pair her off at a company-sponsored “open house” for unattached clients around Valentine’s Day. “She’s always talking about how she wants to set me up, so why not?” reasons Picott.
Gumley Haft Kleier’s Samantha Kleier Forbes and her sister, Sabrina Kleier Morgenstern, say playing matchmaker is an easy extension of their job description. Since brokers spend hours touring or marketing properties with buyers and sellers, “you get to know them intimately,” explains Kleier Forbes. (After all, brokers see personal histories and bank statements.) “When you prepare their board package, you know everything about them,” adds Kleier Morgenstern. Brokers are also used to distinguishing between perennial shoppers and relationship-ready clients. Those who view dozens of spaces but find fault with every one, or are always about to make an offer only to back out at the last minute, may not be ready to commit to a property or a partner. That’s why Kleier Forbes says she waited to introduce attorney Amy Schulder, for whom she’d found a rental, to a sports-marketing executive client until he signed a contract for a two-bedroom. “I wanted to see if he was a window shopper or a buyer,” she says. (For the record, the couple clicked and has been dating for a few weeks.)
There’s a caveat, of course: Although they may have the expertise to get people together, agents say deals can still fall apart in spite of their best efforts. “It’s not foolproof,” adds Kleier Morgenstern. “With dating and real estate, so much of it is timing.”
Feinstein Hands OverHis Keys
Singer, composer, and cabaret owner Michael Feinstein has finally unloaded his meticulously renovated two-bedroom condo at 15 West 63rd Street (a.k.a. the Park Laurel) for approximately $3.75 million. Sources say the cabaret crooner, who spends most of his time in Los Angeles but keeps a place in the city for his numerous East Coast stints, moved to an Upper East Side townhouse last summer to be closer to his eponymous nightclub at Park Avenue’s Regency Hotel. But it took a few months to find a purchaser for his former pied-à-terre. That (unidentified) buyer has just moved in, no doubt enjoying what Corcoran broker Haidee Granger, who lives in the building and represents many deals there, describes as an “immensely stylish space.” Neither Feinstein nor his broker, Lisa Calka, was available for comment.
Photo Courtesy of Brown Harris Stevens
295 Greenwich Street
Asking price: $2.175 million.
Maintenance and taxes: $2,472.
Brokers: Warren King and Toni Scott, Brown Harris Stevens.
It’s hard to find a deal in a seller’s market, but this Tribeca condo is about as close as they come. Everyone on our panel thinks the three-bedroom, three-bath apartment is worth more than its asking price. Listings broker Warren King of Brown Harris Stevens explains that the owners are looking for a quick sale because the husband’s been transferred to Southern California.
Marjorie Dybec, Bellmarc: “A lot of people looking in Tribeca really want a loft, and it may be hard to get a buyer to pay loft prices for this,” says Dybec. Still, she says, the apartment should “sell easily” because it’s in pristine condition, has a great layout, and is located in the coveted P.S. 234 school district.
Her assessment:$2.25 million.
Michael Brais, Benjamin James Associates: “There’s absolutely nothing wrong with it, other than the fact that it’s a series of segmented spaces,” explains Brais. “But for a family, it’s a dream.”
His assessment: $2.395 million.
S. Hunie Kwon, JC De Niro and Associates: “It’s surprising because this is commonly known as a cookie-cutter building,” he says. “But this unit has a unique layout,” with views of the Hudson from all three bedrooms.
His assessment: $2.35 million.