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Would you buy an apt in a better location or with better amenities?
Easy, location! We have young children and have to plan our life around schools. I also stay home and seem to have a pattern of choosing location and/or more space over other luxuries.
It's never either or. You weight the amenities against the location. Buildings amenties are not all or none, and not all locations are equally attractive or unattractive. There's a lot of in-betweens.
Is this for your own use, or as investment to rent out? That might make a difference. If for your own use, a lot depends on what you consider "location" and "amenities". Re: location - are you talking establishing or "gentrifying"? Re: amenities, are you talking sort of basic, e.g. elevator, laundry in building? or expansion of scope to: doorman, w/d in apartment? Further expansion to:building roofdeck or garden, gym in building, pool, childrens' playroom? Of the "amenities" which would you be using, and be willing to pay for as part of your maintenance?
And, as uwsmom says, would you trade off an "amenity" for more space that you actually live in?
Sorry "established" not "establishing"
In this market, going with non-established or previously described up and coming neighborhoods is dangerous for your financial health. A small to moderate price declinemakes the established neighborhoods affordable to some who then take the up and coming neighborhood off their shopping list period..
The odds of a quality, established location taking a turn for the worse are much lower than the likelihood that amenities can be reduced. The RE truism is "location, location, location" for a reason. It isn't "amenities, amenities, amenities." Watch the amenities in new construction begin to disappear as the tax abatements expire in coming years. As taxes soar at these new buildings, owners are going to be shocked at what their monthlies become and the impact on resale values. Suddenly that triple tiered rooftop lounge with cabana service is going to seem an increasingly untenable expense.
I go for location over anything else (with a lot of importance placed on the single "amenity" if you call it that of a doorman). Then layout which is in a close tie to light and views. After these, amenities.
For purposes of this discussion, I am not counting
All spot on responses and no definitive answers. The exception is UWSMOM because there is a mitigating factor that weighs most for her decision as described by her and no less indicated by her moniker.
Ive had the luxury of renting in manhattan for 15 years before I bought, having lived in a variety of amenity/location options. Some things I thought were important and vice versa (and some things change with age as well) Point is, I developed a mini value system that helped me judge each place I looked at. Most important, I eliminated very few locations towards the end because I realized there were some locations that ended up enticing me with some amenities. An early mistake was severely limiting location options. But this was specific for me. You have to judge what's right for you.
Make a list! Don't limit yourself to making the list in 30 mins either. Spend 4 days, a week. Rate importance. You'd be surprised how different things are when you write things down.
The odds of a quality, established location taking a turn for the worse are much lower than the likelihood that amenities can be reduced..
The corrolary is that it's not likely to see amenities get added. An established building is not likely to add a pool or a high end gym.(especially the former)
Without a doubt location can trump many other factors, but many times a buyer cannot afford what he/she likes/needs in their most desired area and sometimes will find it outside of their prime targeted area. I just had this happen with a couple that spent about a year looking in Manhattan, then by chance stumbled onto a great building in Brooklyn that knocked their socks off.
On the other hand I just advised a client that it was my opinion that a purchase on lower fifth avenue was worth paying a bit up for when compared to similar style listings that they had viewed in less than prime UWS buildings.
But location has to be accompanied by an apartment that has some other positive attributes. Location will not save you if your future home has no view or at least good light among other things.
Good location can also be very subjective though we can all agree that certain addresses stand out in a crowd. The greatest risk is going way outside the box where transportation becomes an issue and perhaps safety.How far can the gentrification spread, where is the next Fort Greene, Williamsburg, Hoboken, SoHo, Hells Kitchen or Tribeca? If you guess correctly, ahead of the herd you can become very wealthy in this city. Guess wrong and you will be emotionally and financially un-happy for a long time. My father-in law bought a brownstone on West 22nd street in 1959, he did OK, though at the time he was told he was crazy.
I moved to the East Village in 1981, I never would have imagined what has now taken place. My first apartment on Norfolk Street was $200 per month.
Most buyers are probably best off sticking with the middle ground and finding the correct balance of location/amenities. That with a long hold time should be a winning strategy both emotionally and financially.
Just my two cents, though I think I have strayed a bit from OP's point...
The Burkhardt Group
ah, but would you live two block further north or east, it it meant a condo gym , or similar amenity you valued?
So many different answers, depending on the specific situation.
For our family, location & space trump everything. I prefer to work out in classes (at a gym w/ babysitting) or run in the park, so gym/spa amenities in-building are of no value to me.
Of course, once you start talking about compromises based on value, then I think space is of a little more value to me provided that we can stay in our school catchment.
As far as investments go, location trumps everything unless you know something about the area that no-one else does and that hasn't been priced in. That's been beaten into me now.
nyc10023: you raise what I think is a common view point. Amenities matter to some people but are of no value to others; thus, for a sizable segment of the buying market the cost of amenities are just a negative. A triple-AAA location, however, is not a drawback for any segment of the buying market. If you were choosing between amenities and location based solely upon ease of resale and likelihood of maintaining value, location trumps amenities.
When my husband and I were apartment hunting, we saw amenities as major drawbacks. We wanted as great a location and as much space as possible for the money we had. We didn't want how far our money would go to be diluted by things that we couldn't care less about. Communal children's playroom? Blech. Building library/clubroom? We're not that old. Gym? Equinox or Barton or the like are much more fun and engaging and likely to keep us working out than a building gym where I have to see my neighbors in sneakers and black socks or where I have to wait for one of two treadmills to open up. Rooftop? We get out of town on weekends and work during week days, so tanning on the roof or eating up there isn't appealing to us or something we would do if it were available.
On the other hand, living on or stone's throw from a great park? Priceless. Being surrounded by hip eateries, Michelin starred restaurants, awesome shopping, easy transportation, landmarked buildings and historic districts, safe streets, great food stores...that stuff really mattered to us and that basically means location trumped all.
> A triple-AAA location, however, is not a drawback for any segment of the buying market
Except of course for price.
"We didn't want how far our money would go to be diluted by things that we couldn't care less about. Communal children's playroom? Blech. Building library/clubroom? We're not that old. Gym? Equinox or Barton or the like are much more fun and engaging and likely to keep us working out than a building gym where I have to see my neighbors in sneakers and black socks or where I have to wait for one of two treadmills to open up. Rooftop? We get out of town on weekends and work during week days, so tanning on the roof or eating up there isn't appealing to us or something we would do if it were available."
Particularly about the in-house gyms. As a confirmed gym rat, I have yet to see any building's gym that even comes close to even the most mediocre of stand-alone gyms. Thanks, but I'll pay my extra $55/month to Crunch.
Yes, truthskr, there is the question of price. But the question here was essentially which is a better investment: amenities or location. Assuming the same price for both, my answer is location hands down. Ask a broker what they would rather represent: an apartment in a prime location like next to Washington Square Park, or the same apartment in a building on 11th Avenue in the 40's in a building with a pool, a yoga room, a gym and a communal movie screening room. I'd wager they'd go for the prime location unit every time.
I'm for location, but I love my gym (even if boring, and half-gym)...
Also a gym rat, and have a normal full gym (discounted) which I go to for weights, but love schlepping down in my pj's for cardio, sometimes meeting the 'nabes, or if I want privacy just put the earplugs on.
don't have to brave the cold/premix protein shake/package bars for post-workout/make sure I have correct change of clothing to wherever Im headed afer, etc, etc as I can just schlep back up..
Kylewest, I agree with what you just presented though the question wasnt specifically what was a better investment, it was "what would you buy?"
Granted most discussions on this board revolve around the investment aspect of purchasing here.
I myself picked a smaller coop building in chelsea over a beautiful amenitied building in Fidi. But as big a factor as the location was, it wasn't the deal breaker. It was the lack of views and light. Views were very high on "my list."
And since the original poster is an upper east side resident, Im imagining a choice between a newer loaded building between 3rd ave and the river vs a vanilla coop near the park.
Thank you everyone for your comments. Much appreciated. One of the buildings I am looking at with decent amenities is One Carnegie Hill (215 E 96). Not crazy about location, but apartments on high floors have great unobstructed views. Does anyone have any opinions about this building? Thank you very much.
It's all in the details. Even location, location, location doesn't mean the same to everyone. Say I had a choice between 81st & CPW - uber-prime location and 81st & Bway for my personal residence. Assume school zone is the same. And also assume same-ish price point & size. I think I would prefer Bway for convenience to shops & gym even though in the eyes of most, it would be by far the inferior location. As an investment, I would take CPW.
Quit the gym and walk to the stores or use the 2.5 blocks to warm up and warm down. It isn't that far from CPW to Broadway.
UES - a "pet spa", "his and her locker rooms" a "spa" (as in who is staffing that?) LOL. Well, the "party room" will come in handy when you want to have people over because the apartment spaces are pretty small.
I think the school zone aspect is a two way street.
See on the surface, one would think this is automatic for criteria for a "great" location. But particualrly in manhattan, you have a substancial buyer base that is single, international, or gay that could care less about the school zone. Penn State coaches excluded (really bad joke I know).
In fact, I ended up avoiding all Tribeca listings in the end because those units I found were substancially overpriced to what I could find in comparable neighborhoods that didnt have an overactive buyer pool insistent on being in this school district. (especially in 2010)
Give us another building to compare to.
vs. The Gotham (170 E 87)
The problem with amenities is that, most of the time, you're not really buying them as much as you're signing up to pay for them forever. The maintenance for a unit with amenities is generally going to be higher than the maintenance for a unit without amenities, and that cost is never going to go away. If anything, it will get more expensive.
I also tend to view amenities as a negative, central laundry being a near-universal exception in buildings that don't permit W/Ds. I was insistent on a roof deck or garden, but in the end, it was more effective for me to buy a unit in a no-amenity building and spend the differential building my own private roof deck (not for the faint of heart!) and adding a full-size, vented washer and dryer (will never pay for itself, but I don't care).
I look at some of the big-amenity buildings in my neighborhood and wonder how much higher the maintenance can go before the value starts to depreciate. A few of the "amenity" complexes in Chelsea have maintenance approaching $2,000 per month for one bedrooms, and the condo buildings will have CCs + taxes well over that once the abatements expire.
Well, we're talking about looking through different lenses at RE. School zone matters to us right now. As a pure RE investment, no, it doesn't matter so much depending on the price point.
It's enough to see neighbors in the elevator. I wouldn't want to see them working out.
I don't need a yoga room.
I don't need a kiddie playroom.
I don't need a screening room.
The Edge, however, has a nice swimming pool.
Does anybody actually use "the party room"?
Other than 7-year-olds?
Wouldn't they like a party at ChuckyCheese much better?
Or choose an amenities-nifty building.
Get up in the morning and go down to the gym. Sweat with your neighbors.
Drop the kids off at the playroom. You have some free time now to:
Drop the pet off at the pet-spa.
Go to the yoga room for afternoon post-lunch/pre-dinner yoga.
Don't get too relaxed because it's almost time for a flick in the screening room.
This is N.Y.C.
Why go out in the best city in the world when you can stay in your building all day and night?
Truth, are you looking in Williamsburg?
huntersburg: No, but we had a look in that area of Brooklyn one day.
The Edge does have a nice pool.
I'm only interested in a screening room if they show Ghosthunters and Celebrity Ghost Stories.
In which case only I and Mrs.Keith B. will be there.
huntersburg: Everybody else must have gone to the party room.
It's just you and I.
Having a Nescafe moment.
I'm more of the Sanka type.
What are the first 3 rules of real estate?
so does columbiacounty prefer lies?
How do they figure out if you are telling the truth in Columbia County? Do they throw you in the lake and see if you float?
UESres>>> One of the buildings I am looking at with decent amenities is One Carnegie Hill (215 E 96).
Amenities definitely good, but location is a negative. I suspect if you had to sell you would struggle a bit as there are people who would not buy in this building even for a 'bargain'. It is said that resales have been difficult, though some dispute this. It would though be good location for rental if you had to move out and couldnt sell. There is a separate thread on this building which details the pros and cons.
Thanks Matsui and everyone. What about One Carnegie Hill vs. a doorman building with no other amenities on Lexington in high 80's/low 90's?
UES- you really should read the thread on this building - land lease being a problem
Whatever cc posts (especially about me) is nonsense coming from a bitter man who won't put the blame for his sad life choices on himself or his se "friends".
Will he float if thrown into a Columbia County lake? Nobody will attempt to rescue him.
We can send a team from your new t.v. show: "Ghosthuntersburg" to investigate how a troll sinks to the bottom and haunts streeteasy.
UESres: The doorman building with no other amenities on Lex in high80s/low90s. (Is there an elevator and laundry room in the building?)
High 80s being preferable.
ho14: you are the Carmine Persico (Persicho?) of your building. ;)
1. in down markets less desirable property loses a greater % of its value
2. in the mid-1990's a 5th floor w/u studio at 408 East 73rd lingered eternally at $8000
3. by contrast prices declined only marginally in a Union Square doorman Coop I own in
4. there were many apts similar to 408 that I saw choke during the 1990's downturn
CC made sad life choices?
Are you in dream land?
Do you process anything he writes?
We should all make out like him, both in life and in RE.
I wish I could raise my family in the style he has in this town.
I'm all for a little shadenfreud now and again but there has to be misfortune for it to work.
falcogold is under orders from ar headquarters.
With his usual load of bs. in his diaper.
I don't read what cc writes.
Yes, make out like him, f-gold.
I made out with just under 500k in RE. All mine, no mortgage.
"falcogold you have mail" (aboutready, ORDERING falcogold OFF OF A THREAD TO READ HER EMAIL ORDERS)
Go get some balls you wussie.
Cough cough hack
And a doody in your diapers, falcogold.
falcogold1, what excellent life choices did columbiacounty make that led him to being dragged around by a broker to a rental apartment that had a ... hold your hat ... window in the shower. Wouldn't a high and mighty columbiacounty do better than that?
You got that right, huntersburg.
A life/ RE make-out we should all aspire to. lol.
By the way falcogold, you really ought to have that cough checked out.
Aboutready might be able to help - rumor is she's about to finish her first semester in paramedic training, which is pretty noble,
though I'd bet she quits after that.
And would then also claim she now owns half of an ambulance.
hey truth---downright hilarious? really?
get a life.
columbiacounty telling someone to get a life.
If I've offended you by agreeing or precieved liking of cc or ar or w67 let me just say, "I'm sorry".
We all can play for the dark side.
You are kind of crazy and hateful. That's weird for a re chat board.
I just want you to know, I'm good with it. Swing away. I hold off all banter in your direction.
C-burg, how bored are you?
More b.s. from f-gold.
Yo, you got mail".
Talk about crazy and hateful.
Go get some balls f-gold.
UESres: Back to the discussion at hand.
Buy it and hang on for the ride.
Buy what? Anything?
I hear you can get a good deal on an outhouse in Columbia County.
Guess who got a sales job at the testicle store?
Go easy on the marketing.
Are you pushing just testicles or do they have you selling accessories as well?
Can you show me your Le Sports Sac collection?
Got anything in titanium?
Truth, do they let you handle the merchandise?
Go for the location. In good locations, you are always near regular retail places that have the amenities and you can rent them.
make sure you're close to hunters burg.
What I do for a living, it's not retail sales.
If I did that, I would do my best at it.
Take your ball-less sack and fill it up with more b.s.
When you reach up to start with me you are way out of your league.
you got mail"
Back to the discussion at hand:
Chill out Sybil,
Why don't the 16 of you just give it a rest.
Let's talk amenities...
Rubber room a big plus
about 5 hours ago
ignore this person
report abuse make sure you're close to hunters burg.
Right, better by Huntersburg than 2 1/2 hours away from all the action in Columbia County.
The f-gold b.s. train keeps on woo-wooing along.
yo you got mail"
Pussy- wussie on orders from aboutready to keep making a jerk of himself on se.
the domination of one's thoughts or feelings by a persistent idea, image, desire, etc.
the idea, image, desire, feeling, etc., itself.
the state of being obsessed.
the act of obsessing.
The Middle East has thousands of years of animosity for their sensitivity issues.
What on earth is the excuse on SE?
The levels and speeds for animosity in the last couple weeks on this board are thru the roof.....
Ritholtz has the following when people post comments...
Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous
truthskr: Nothing new with them.
you idiot. they're talking about you.
columbiacounty, didn't you learn manners from your mother? It isn't nice to call someone an idiot. Especially coming from you.
cc. called me an idiot?!
He's like the Chatty Cathy doll I had when I was 4-years-old.
It had a cord on the back of the neck.
Pull the cord out and she talks.
But that doll only said 5 things.
One per pull.
Over and over.
Even at the age of 4, I got bored within a day.
no i didn't.
about 2 hours ago
ignore this person
no i didn't.
I think we now know what will be written on columbiacounty's tombstone.