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July 8, 2009
Harlem’s Real Estate Boom Becomes a Bust
By CHRISTINE HAUGHNEY
Of all the New York City neighborhoods swept up in the real estate boom of the last decade, few became as hot as Harlem. It grew increasingly gentrified and integrated. Its economy developed a lively pulse, and its town homes — stately, historic, but often neglected — fetched prices unheard-of for the area.
But that sense of electricity and evolution, which thrilled some residents and troubled others, has been unplugged. And a single block — West 134th Street between Frederick Douglass Boulevard and Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard — offers a vivid illustration of just how cool the market and the mood have turned.
On that block, developers have been trying to figure out what to do with at least four town houses they bought during the boom. Two years ago, the developers planned to renovate the homes and resell them for more than $1 million apiece. But they are leaving them boarded up, letting them fall into foreclosure or selling them, in one case for less than $600,000.
Craig Charie, who is trying to sell an unfinished brownstone at 221 West 134th Street, said he had contemplated chopping up the home, which belonged to a Harlem family for nearly 90 years, and renting it out to Columbia University students.
“It’s not my first choice,” Mr. Charie said. “It’s a beautiful place.”
His appreciation for the potential of the homes is shared by the affluent blacks and whites, families and young artists who have settled in the neighborhood in recent years. And many say they are confident that Harlem will recover its real estate dynamism — that the transformation in the last 10 years has amounted to more than just rising home values. The shopping districts and redevelopment projects that have emerged, they say, constitute a durable set of changes.
Some see a benefit to the market’s cooling, saying it will allow a greater opportunity for residents, new and old, to work together to restore some of the neighborhood feel that had been lost through gentrification.
Still, for many involved in Harlem’s remaking — real estate agents, bankers, shop owners, new residents — the swing in real estate fortunes has been breathtaking.
From 2004 to 2007, according to StreetEasy.com, a real estate Web site, the median sale price for the area’s town houses jumped by about 150 percent, to $1.4 million from $554,250. By contrast, the price on the Upper East Side rose by 38 percent. And the volume of sales of town homes in Harlem far outpaced that of any other neighborhood.
“They became highly sought after,” said Jonathan Miller, the president of Miller Samuel, an appraisal firm, “because of the prices that were being seen to the south, and that people found they could get a lot for their money.”
But the appetite for the homes was quickly sated after ailing banks began sharply curtailing the lending that had paid for the costly renovations many of the properties required. Shells of brownstones that cost more than $1 million two years ago are now fetching less than half that price, according to brokers with Massey Knakal Realty Services. And fewer homes are changing hands. In the first half of this year, 11 Harlem town homes sold for an average of $1.1 million; in the same period of 2008, 27 town homes sold for an average of $1.3 million.
In many cases, brokers will not even agree to try to sell the properties because there are no buyers, said Victor Sozio, the director of sales for Massey Knakal’s Harlem office, who is selling Mr. Charie’s property. And the slide may only be beginning; early signs indicate that it will be far more severe than the downturn that has hit much of the nation.
The decline is frustrating not only to those who bought Harlem homes hoping to resell them, but also to longtime owners who had anticipated seeing long-abandoned parts of their blocks spruced up. William J. Brown, a brownstone owner whose family has lived in and around the 134th Street block for four generations, said the area seemed to be turning a corner a few years ago.
“It feels like a regression,” Mr. Brown said. “It seems the progress has halted or stopped.”
Certainly, the results for the properties on 134th Street have not been what the neighbors had hoped for. The house at 259 West 134th Street has been renovated and is for sale. But at 245, where it appears that renovations began with new windows, a foreclosure auction is scheduled for next week, according to data tracked by PropertyShark.com. The houses at 255 and 257 are boarded up; PropertyShark records show the latter in pre-foreclosure as of November.
For Amos Palmer, the previous owner of Mr. Charie’s brownstone, the time to sell was 2006. Mr. Palmer contacted Michael Meier, a Prudential Douglas Elliman broker, and said he wanted to sell the home and move closer to his sons.
A long line of potential buyers wanted to see it, Mr. Meier said, and five made offers. Mr. Charie, a lawyer and real estate investor who had bought and renovated properties with his sister Alison, paid $750,000 in March 2007.
He said he expected to make a solid profit. He planned to spend nearly $550,000 on restoring original features, like the dark wood stair railings and the brownstone exterior, and hoped to resell the home for as much as $1.6 million. He was so eager to move forward that he offered to clean out the odds and ends of Mr. Palmer’s family. Two years later, that task remains.
Mr. Charie halted renovation plans in June 2008 because he feared that no matter what he did, he would not be able to sell the property. He recently reduced the price to $599,000. If he cannot get that, he might proceed with the idea of turning the home into rental apartments, even though he is reluctant to sacrifice the original moldings to reconfigure the space.
Down on 119th Street, a town house Mr. Charie bought in 2007 and renovated has been languishing on the market since last year, despite a price cut to $1.3 million from $1.695 million. But he is far from soured on town house investments.
“I’m not done with Harlem,” he said. “I just have to shift what I do.”
a little slow to the draw, eh?
sorry, didnt mean to double post...i thought i posted 2 mins after article appeared...my bad
Joedavis, had you read this article? Patience will indeed be rewarded....
. In the first half of this year, 11 Harlem town homes sold for an average of $1.1 million; in the same period of 2008, 27 town homes sold for an average of $1.3 million.
This is what we are seeing -- no sales and marginal reductions in price -- not 1/2 off as indicated earlier in the article, and most reductions so far are above 125th
I'd like to see the details of your statistics. I know some particulars of 3 sales in Harlem for the first half of this year in which the sale price was above the average you cite. The sale to the Columbia prof was financed by Columbia so that was truly a curve buster that skews up average to $1.1MM. There was a sale on Strivers Row in which the final price was close to 1MM below asking price that was asked during peak. There was a Ham Heights purchase with some non-traditional financing. So I don't know what you're seeing but based on my observations that article is spot on.
I read that article, and it gave me the feeling that Harlem is near the bottom - at least with regards to townhouses or luxury apartments. My feeling is that at the lower end of the market people will just stay in their apts where they are rather than take a huge loss. I know that's what I would do.
Half-a-million is a great deal for a townhouse, I wish I had a lot more money, we would definitely buy one of those and renovate it.
i would love to find a townhouse to renovate in Harlem for less than 1/2 million below 125th st
still not seeing anything like that
foreclosed properties in the 130s yes
mmarquez: this was the whole "real estate can't fall" argument from 2000-2006, that if prices fell at all, people would just hunker down and refuse to take losses. unfortunately it didn't work that way anywhere else in the country. 1) foreclosures, 2) need to move/personal reasons, 3) panic rush to exits...
haughney is a long-term bull but here even she is bearish: "...early signs indicate that it will be far more severe than the downturn that has hit much of the nation"
this is the beginning for Harlem not the bottom...once the appraisals start heading down -- after some closings come in, the trend will be set
I'm looking in the m seeing closing at 10-20% less than asking. Are they really going to go any lower? Maybe Harlem is just a more desirable area to live in now than it was 6 years ago.
I definitely think that things are worse on the higher end.
Joe: Why the emphasis on below 125th? Some of the blocks (Striver's, for example) are nicer north of 125th.
the strivers blocks (3 of them between FD and ACP) are nicer but have no/little amenities nearby. The surrounding area is not that nice.
Also, for me it is a question of being able to easily walk to work or to Broadway in the UWS/MH area, or to Central Park or Riverside Park, so actually my interest is restricted to S of 125 and W of Lenox
The area near City College has nice buildings too, but again the amenities are weak.
JD: not too many ths that fit that criteria on the market. MH has some nice ones, but they're priced the same as UWS.
Plenty of sub $2mm townhouses West of Lennox, South of 125th Street actually. Many in decent shape. I too track this market. But waiting for it to fall more. You can't get that kind of value on UWS.
"Plenty of sub $2mm townhouses West of Lennox, South of 125th Street actually. Many in decent shape. I too track this market. But waiting for it to fall more. You can't get that kind of value on UWS."
i've been following it too. the few that come to mkt are really not nice. too narrow and the lack of light is an issue. imho harlem will suffer the most. the shadow mkt in harlem also includes lottery buyers of condos and townhouses that have more ability to price downwards but that might want to secure equity before it vanishes too.
For a very long time it made sense to buy a Harlem townhouse because you could buy it for less than $300k and invest 500-600k into it, and either live comfortably at a relatively low cost of living or sell at a large profit. The problem was when townhouse shells started selling for $700k to $1 million and then you had to invest additional money into it- well....it wasn't substainable.
I believe mmarquez110 has a point that Harlem is more desirable than it was 6 years ago- but that only means that it's finally included in the conversation with the rest of Manhattan, whereas 6 years ago...hell, even 3-4 years ago (just look at old streeteasy threads), it was tough to get people to include Harlem in the Manhattan conversation. Manhattan is different from the rest of the country in many ways- however the factors that moved prices up so quickly are no different than the rest of the nation- jobs and easy money. Easy money is gone for a long time to come. Jobs- well who knows, but things don't look great right now.
Harlem has generally turned a corner, but prices will need to fall in order for the improvements in the area to continue. Some blocks, such as the one illustrated in the NY Times article, might have a very tough time for awhile to come. Things got out of control- and out of reach for the more modest purchasers- and in order for the improvements in the area to continue- things need to become affordable for this group of people.
I completely agree with samerun. Shells costing over $1mm doesn't make sense - not when a basic rennovation costs $500k + and a "nice" rennovation is easily $1mm +. It gets even more complicated when you consider the fact that construction loans are so difficult to get - how many buyers that have $500k-$1mm in liquid cash are looking only to spend $1.5mm on their home.
A lot of what is on the market right now are crappy rennovations too - with asks around $1.5 mm. It's my view these need to come down in price as well, simply because the cost of making these "nice" is not that much less than a shell.
The concern in Harlem is not price reductions - this I think will attract a new set of more middle-class buyers (using middle class in the NYC sense - not nationwide standards). The concern is that people stay stuborn to long and we see lots of boarded up townhouses and condos.
All neighborhoods have been adversely impacted by the economic downturn. But what impact do you think the approx. $7 billion Columbia Expansion will have on Harlem?
500k for a shell and 500k for renovation is the max that many of these can sustain
300k for a shell is the right benchmark -- particularly in the current loan environment
Yet recent shell sales are 875K or Lenox and apparently 850k on west 121st
can't imagine what these buyers are thinking
agree with kspeak that many of the "fixed up" ones are so poorly done that the renovation cost is substantial. They need to come down by about 50%. Many of these people bought these brownstones through City housing programs and are trying to convert 500k to 1500k. Dont see it happening any more
More interesting is what happens when a lot of these start heading to foreclosure since these folks really have high negative equity in these buildings now -- they took out in loans substantially more than what they paid for the building, in effect they are using this cash to live on and have no ability to make the payments
The banks will need to wake up to this reality in due course.
The new developments may still crash sooner as some are pointing out
"A lot of what is on the market right now are crappy rennovations too "
100% agree, many underwent only cosmetics. many of them make me wonder whether anything structural was done. i wouldn't be surprised if buyers get stuck with major flaws. concern-wise leverage is going to be an issue for Harlem for years to come. How many Mr Charies are out there and for how long will they be able to carry negative cashflow.
LOL -- Mr and Ms Charie are not in short supply yet they are not getting desperate yet
Mr Charie hasn't even called back to see if my original offer above his current asking price is still good.
On the other hand many of these people are highly over-leveraged. They paid 1 to 1.5 million for a shell without a certificate of non-harassment and are sitting on the property for 3 years so they can get a clear certificate in another 6 months. That's a lot of negative cash flow to deal with before you even renovate.
236 W 139th went under in this mode.
Why is Harlem knocked so hard and the entire NYC RE value has plunged?
NYT, last to know.
Is it any wonder this paper is going to take the big dirt nap?
"LOL -- Mr and Ms Charie are not in short supply yet they are not getting desperate yet
Mr Charie hasn't even called back to see if my original offer above his current asking price is still good."
i do smell stress when he tried to pull off the "certain European is interested". what a clown!
kspeak said "The concern in Harlem is not price reductions - this I think will attract a new set of more middle-class buyers (using middle class in the NYC sense - not nationwide standards). The concern is that people stay stuborn to long and we see lots of boarded up townhouses and condos."
I'm already seeing unoccupied (though not necessarily boarded up) townhouses that were purchased at the height of the frenzy. The owners aren't necessarily stubborn but they are so under water that a FMV offer is not going to bail them out, and if they purchased at the end of the bubble then making renovations is just going to put the owners deeper in the hole. As JoeD mentioned above, the banks are going to have to decide what they're going to do.
Harlem has plenty of space to go down. Here are the reasons:
1 - Most people prefer to live on UES/UWS in a coop rather than in a row house in Harlem.
2 - People with kids will realize that private school costs will wipe out any benefits in price that the buyer will have over neighborhoods with significantly better schools.
3 - Since there are plenty of buyers who were counting on purchasing the row houses and renting out for a bundle, will end up under water. Just like people who own, renters will not pay high rentals in Harlem when they can live in better neighborhoods.
4 - There will be plenty of row houses that will end up empty due to the buyers not having enough money to renovate the shells or run down houses into at least livable condition.
Harlem will take it's queue from Bed Sty and Bushwich. Short sales abound and prices are down already 40-50% and still going down.
"Most people prefer to live on UES/UWS in a coop rather than in a row house in Harlem"
>>> This is a really strong statement. Sure, clearly more famiies do live in UES/UWS coops - but there is a lot more inventory, and Harlem was not considered an "option" until a few years ago. Second, having even a small backyard (as suppose to having to bundle your kids up and go to a park) is a huge convinience. Not to mention the other advantages a townhouse provides in tersm of privacy, etc.
Clearly the desire for townhouse living explains why people moved to Park Slope, Brooklyn Heights, etc. orginally.
"People with kids will realize that private school costs will wipe out any benefits in price that the buyer will have over neighborhoods with significantly better schools."
>>>> First, many parts of the UES (e.g., Carnegie Hill) and UWS/Morningside Heights do not have great public school options, not to mention other neighborhoods in Manhattan/Brooklyn that somehow still manage to attract families. Brooklyn Heights - a very established family neighbhorhood - currently has a barely passable elementary school but certainily did not 10, 15 years ago, and it has been a family neighbhorhood for a long time.
Second, the cost differential can easily pay for this. Even if the cost to buy a townhouse is the exact same as to buy a nice 3 bedroom apartment, most of them have a 15 year tax abatement. Your average 3 bedroom coop easily has $2500 a month in maintence - this alone pays 1 tuition. You save another $300k in purchase cost, and you are there already. Not to mention the other options people consider beyond the traditional Collegiates/Trinitys - Catholic Schools, G&T programs, etc.
Third, plenty of people I know think buying for a public school is risky now - with the rezoning that has gone on and the overcrowding. A lot of people I know say they'd rather save the money on real estate to pay for private schools.
That said, I think prices need to come down more to make the "value proposition" for townhouses in Harlem compelling again.
Interesting to note that many of the buyers I know who bought in Harlem were young married couples who were thinking they'd live in Harlem and then when their first kid got to kindergarten age they would decide what to do. The hope was that public schools would be good enough, there kid would test well enough for G&T, or they would win the lottery for a charter school and if none of these worked out they figured they could sell their units and move to the UES/UWS. Now they are stuck. They can't sell their apartment unless they are willing to take a loss, the public schools aren't good enough, so they hope to win the lottery, test for G&T or it's private school. Perhaps though, there are enough people who bought who can't afford the private school option and can't afford to move, so they (God forbid) will have to send their kids to public school in Harlem. Perhaps these kids and their parents could be the green shoots that actually lead to public schools in Harlem actually being mediocre.
Those townhouses absolutely were and are overpriced, especially if you pay nearly a million dollars and have to still do significant renovations. Meanwhile, your best shopping option is Pathmark (which I love by the way). Those two things do not jive.
My overall point though is that even though Harlem suffered from an as large or even larger bubble than the rest of the city, it won't necessarily go back down to where it was. Many non-speculators purchased there over the past 5 years, and they are there to stay, at least for the near-term. That will serve to improve the amenities in the neighborhood.
mmarquez110, I agree with you.
Most young married couples I know in Harlem weren't counting on the public schools being great within 5 years. That said, the public school on 122nd and FDB is decent now (by no means great) and its test scores/other measures are comparable to the public school zoned for Brooklyn Heights - thanks to a great principal who started several years ago,
I do agree that a townhouse that requires significant rennovation should not cost over $1 million. It's one thing if all you need to do is some cosmetic updates, but most require more than that. But I also don't think Harlem will go back to where it was - at least not Central Harlem (South of 125th) and the established parts of West Harlem.
real estate downturns last for YEARS. fringe areas regress to their mean once the speculation is washed out. financing is tight. Harlem is going DOWN, DOWN.and that's before social unrest starts. doomed.
I work not that far from Harlem. I better start wearing a bulletproof vest in anticipation of the day when the masses start pouring below 125th and pillaging morningside heights.
I guess these galling flippers didn't get the memo...
i currently live next to a so so school. it is on the list of "Need Improvement" just like the better schools in Harlem. if i would put my children into my zoned school, they would not make a difference. 2, 5, 20 kids do not change the grades of hundreds.
what the parents need to know is that if the school is on the "list" for 2 or more years, they can choose another school in that district to send their kids to. unfortunately for me, it would cost me a small fortune to have a kid in day care in the neighborhood and another one in a school who knows where. i would have to pay a babysitter school days to wait for him on a designated corner to pick him up from the bus and stay with him for the 3-4 hrs.
there are more and more people sending their pre-K children to special classes or getting tutors to get into G&T. some people i know do not send their kids to kindergarten because they did not score high enough and leave them in day care with more special classes/tutors to try to get them into G&T for the first grade.
now take all of the people who bought in Harlem and are now STUCK. they will do anything they can to get their kids into the G&T, so it will become harder to find space in those programs. they will end up STUCK again.
i agree that outdoor space is great when owning a house, but living in a good/great neighborhood far outweighs the outdoor space no matter how you look at it.
>>> i agree that outdoor space is great when owning a house, but living in a good/great neighborhood far outweighs the outdoor space no matter how you look at it.
Look, clearly there are trade-offs to be made by living in Harlem. But to suggest the economics are 100% better by living in a zoned school is silly - especially when you consider that zoning only applies to elementary school (saving you 6-7 years of tuition). A lot of neighborhoods started attracting familites before they had great schools; in fact, this is almost true by definition. School districts become good OVER TIME by attracting middle and upper middle class families. So yes, 10, 20 kids DOES make a difference, just not immediately.
And clearly there are some logistical issues to deal with when one's school is not within walking distance. But this is something lots of families deal with - not just in NYC, but in the suburbs. Some people have nannies, others have a parent who works part-time or stays home.
Some people are willing to make the tradeoff for space, outdoor space, etc., and other are not. Other people I know looking at buying now are increasingly skeptical of buying on the basis of a so-called good school district, with all of the rezoning and overcrowding issues. They would rather spend $300-400k less (which is really what we are talking about for families with 2 kids) upfront, and have the flexibility to look at different schools options, when there is no guarantee even by living in PS 6 or PS 41. Still others have a bias towards some sort of private schools - they want the religious aspects, they want the lack of bureacracy, etc. Still others insist on public schools and good school districts.
It comes down to different strokes for different folks. To suggest that there is a universal or easy answer for everybody - buy in a "great" area zoned for a good school district - does not take into account the complexity of the way different families make decisions.
We're insisting on a public school in Harlem, and whether or not the schools are good, we plan on supplementing their education at home. The way to make public schools better is not to send all of our kids to charter or private schools. We won't be able to afford private schools anyways, and don't want to live in a closet on the UWS/UES.
I totally agree with you that my points are not for one and all, but is for consideration of the majority. Take a look at the article that ran in April, it speaks to my point.
I know people who live in marginal areas in NJ, on "the good side" of town, where the schools are bad. They still live there, pay crazy taxes and send their children to private schools. To each his own.
That article is sickening. We have to ask ourselves as a country why we're in the position of there being so many poor public schools.
Mmarquez - that's great. You're right - that's how schools get better. By parents sending their kids their, supplementing their education, and getting involved.
As for the people who "live in marginal areas in NJ, on "the good side" of town, where the schools are bad. They still live there, pay crazy taxes and send their children to private schools" - well, at least you don't pay crazy taxes in Harlem. Or have a crazy commute assuming you work in Manhattan.
Bottom line is I think Harlem has enough of a "value proposition" to not completely de-gentrify, between the architecture, convenience of commute and transport options, parks, the fact that it's in Manhattan, etc. I think there are other "finge" areas that have a less compelling argument - Red Hook is an obvious example but there are plenty of others. At the end of the day, we're talking about some gorgeous blocks with nice brownstones, plenty of parks, etc. just north of Central Park. It certainly deserves a discount to the UWS/UES, but the fact that Harlem can even be discussed relative to the rest of Manhattan is hugely different than the view even 5 years ago.
The pricing in 2007-2008 got to the point where the value was probably not there. But I don't think
Englewood Cliffs is the ultimate example of this. This area shares a school district with Englewood. These are two disparte communities seperated by a line on a map. The nature of the school system depresses the RE value. It's a great place to buy if you were going to send your kids private anyway. The same house in Tenefly or Alpine (next town/much better schools) will fetch a much higher price and will retain it's value (most likely).
"Neil Breslau and designer Nancy Fire Breslau, who sold a co-op at 333 Central Park West for $4.6 million in February 2008, are now trying to flip their penthouse condo at 111 Central Park North. They purchased the 2,897-square-foot, four-bedroom unit in May 2007 for $4.975 million, and it's now back on the market for $6.4 million. Jill Sloane and Jeffrey Berger of Halstead Property have the listing."
how nuts are these guys?
i have been living in Harlem for the last 1.5 years on 129th in Central Harlem. I don't think Harlem is as gentrified as the media claims to be. Also its still quite dirty. And i think the real estate people misunderstood the market and started believing the false hype around harlem. I mean a two bedroom for $750K in 'the Lenox' is a joke. I would say if the progress continues to happen Harlem is still atleast 5 years away from becoming a full fledged livable area.
"Livable" for whom?
williamgrey is clearly some sort of zombie creature
> The same house in Tenefly or Alpine
I could never live in a town called "Tenefly". I know its supposed to be nice, but there are just some lines I can't cross.
i would actually live in "Tenafly", no matter what it is called. it has one of the best public school systems in the country.
The bloggers and response must have been signficant to the NY Times article that started this thread.
The NY Times changed the title of the article. "On a Harlem Block, Boarded-Up Buildings and a Changing Mood".
That's so typical NYTimes. They don't seem to have any backbone left for telling the real story - like the piece a month or so ago that only quoted optimistic realtors. This was the first honest NYC real estate piece I'd seen from them in a while, and now they are trying to tone it down. Disappointing.
impressive discussion...ive learned a good bit about Harlem RE I didnt know from folks here...i agree with midtowner that RE mkts take years to find tops and bottoms, so we're nowhere near there yet in NYC, including Harlem..and i also wonder why NYT changed a perfectly fine headline...guess all the brokers and Harlem homeowners flooding them with hatemail changed their title
Sirwinston, there is a lot of grey mixed in with the black and white in this discussion. As I stated earlier, I believe Harlem prices need to fall considerably in order for the neighborhood to continue to improve. That said, I have a vested interest in Harlem because I bought a new construction condo here 4 years ago. I am not worried if my property value falls for X years because I expect to be here for a long time to come.
I think the NY Times headline was ridiculous (the original one), even though the article was valid. Sure, they probably were flooded with hatemail, however there were probably a lot of valid points that were probably introduced. Here are a couple of good one's:
or from Urban Digs page (which doesn't encompass everything but gives you a solid idea of what has changed) - http://tinyurl.com/Harlemnewdevelopments
It's just not the same Harlem that existed prior to the boom. Sure there are still open plots of land and abandoned shells that still remain but much of Harlem just got so expensive that it was out of control- ultimately slowing the rate of improvement in the area. The NY Times article highlighted a hint of what has been occurring- but it certainly gives insight.
I have a friend who would love a brownstone in Harlem- even a narrow one would meet her needs and she would even enjoy renovating. She doesn't make a lot of money, but she is an amazing saver. There is a 12ft wide one in Hamilton Heights she would probably love- BUT even after a few price cuts, they are asking 695k for a shell. Somehow it just went into contract last week after being on the market for nearly a year so we won't know the verdict as to the actual price paid- but I am guessing it was still way too much.
why are we talking about the schools. god forbid u have kids to send to school in Harlem. future losers/homeless/unemployable no matter what u do. their schoolmates will contaminate them no matter the excellence of the curriculum.
For ....sake move to Princeton if u want your kids to excel...NOT HARLEM.open your eyes.
In Princeton, a lot of people send their kids to private, even when the public school is better than the private schools. That I don't understand. Because of that you have a huge amount of property taxes going into the public school. It works out well for those who believe in public school - take the money of those who don't want their kids going to the same school as their maid's kids
mmarquez110 - I wish you good luck. It's people like you who can make positive changes in Harlem that will influence generations. I hope that as you take on this worthy fight (and it will be a fight) that others choose to help you carry the load.
The pricing for a Harlem condo has gone below $500psf (except for the C.Virginia Fields Gateway corridor on FDB)...but Lenox and FDB above 125th certainly have. The people I know born and raised in Harlem tell me that FDB above 125th is much safer than Lenox above 125th and there were headline-grabbing gun busts over the past 12 months or so (Afrika Owens crew around 135th and FDB and guns left in mailboxes at 129th and Lenox). I have walked around both areas quite a bit at different times. Does anyone have a preference?
sellers in harlem are extremely greedy
most buyers regret moving in harlem, especially those have families
>sellers in harlem are extremely greedy
Jason006, do you think that people in Harlem are more greedy than the rest of NYC?
I know a lot of families that bought in harlem over the last 3-8 years. None of them are regretful.
Agreed that sellers in harlem are greedy. I much prefer other parts of manhattan, where sellers just give their houses away to the first comer, regardless of value.
You are so wise. Thank you for your deep insight.
I am sure some regret it, but the census tells us there are more high income families every year, so net-net they like it.
Only resale in my building went for $53k more than original price. (Still a loser with transaction costs).
However on the FDB corridor prices are fairly firm.
There are nothing but projects on FDB right above 125th...to compare that area to Lenox Ave which has retail, restaurants, transportation, and luxury residential is silly.
S/he must have meant BELOW 125th.
If you want to stay in Manhattan, where else can you go but Harlem...unless you have a substantial trust fund.
The two guys that work for me both live below Harlem - one by Lincoln Center, the other Hells Kitchen. They both pay more than me in rent even though they make a lot less than me. Some people are willing to spend half their take home pay on rent, I don't get it.
I do mean above. Most People from Harlem (born and raised) will tell you that fdb ABOVE 125 is safer that Lenox above 125.