New York City
Washington DC Metro
Northern New Jersey
open house planner
manhattan condo market index
shop for a broker
submit your listings
why sign up?
Become an Insider
post your listings
We are first time buyers and quite confused between two properties. Please see details below. Any suggestions would be helpful! We like the east 70's apartment more but are afraid if we need to change due to size or any other concerns in few years and have to end up selling, might turn out to be really bad investment (considering its co-op, I am guessing sublet policy is not guaranteed)
Thanks so much!
1) East 70's:
Pros: bigger size, nicer school, flexible sublet policy (I guess not guranteed due to coop), more accessibility to restaurants and shopping
Cons: Coop (sublet policy might change), no doorman
2)Around 97 and west end
Pros: Condo, nicer bldg, doorman
Cons: Smaller apartment, less accessibility, school is not good
Go with the co-op.
I like that area better, East 70's will always be good for resale.
Condo is preferred only if you want to rent it out or run a business in the unit.
You can live without a doorman.
What else is "nicer" about the condo building?
You know you like the East side co-op building better -- you just admitted that you do.
A co-op is not necessarily a "con", any more than a fuji apple is a "con" over a macintosh. It's personal preference. Condo is easy to rent, but there's little or no vetting of purchasers. If a purchaser defaults on common charges, remaining unit owners are screwed. Co-op owners are protected from defaulters with first payback. And if you're in a condo with small children and your neighbor next door decides to rent to a frat house, your small child may not sleep so well. Nor you.
If you have kids, schooling should be a top priority, as opposed to ability to rent your apartmenmt out. You have kids. Look for a home, a school, a HOME.
They do like the co-op better.
They should go with their preference, for the life they want to live;
rather than the condo vs. co-op question.
Thanks for all the responses! School is not priority for next 4-5 years as no kids yet.
So go with your preference, nik.
4-5 years will be here sooner than you think.
That's life, time goes by so quickly.
If children are in your future, and you are purchasing an apartment larger than a one bedroom, school should always be a consideration. And you listed it on both your pros and cons lists. Transaction costs can be huge.
I agree with aboutready.
I would suggest the East 70s apartment if you feel confident you'll be living in Manhattan for the next 10 years. You will grow into the size and need the good schools. If you are there for 10 years the sublet policy won't matter as much because the market should appreciate over that time. If you feel you're going to raise your kids outside of Manhattan the smaller Condo can make sense as an investment property / 2nd home. I have yet to meet anyone who left Manhattan who did not miss it quite a bit.
Anyone with kids, maybe.
It can feel isolated living in the suburbs.
But moving out of Manhattan didn't cause me to miss it quite a bit. Not at all.
I can go to Manhattan anytime I want. It's a half hour drive.
I go to Tribeca a lot and can get there faster now, from Brooklyn than I did from midtown east.
I don't gaze out my window, looking at Manhattan and feeling that I miss it at all.
My Manhattan friends come to Brooklyn almost every weekend that I'm home to visit.
They like the peace and quiet and fresh air.
We go out to eat, go to concerts at Barclays Arena.
Friends have visited from out of town and have not even gone into Manhattan.
bay ridge is the fucking burbs?
i don't think so.
its right next to huntersburg.
With two school age kids, I would recommend being comfortable with the local schools or being comfortable with private school as an option. I see a lot of families who wish that 4 or 5 years ago they had offered more consideration to the local schools. Having said that, even though the zoned school for the WEA condo may not be great, there are a number of good magnet/lottery programs in District 3.
I agree with the advice of your looking for a HOME, not just an apartment, particularly with the expectation of children.
With kids, SIZE MATTERS. Trust me. Even 50 extra square feet. As does, of course, a good school. And again, if and when you have kids, you won't be as mobile, prone to living like a gypsy, hopping from apartment to apartment at whim. You're looking for a place to set down roots (at least for the forseeable future).
The only downside I see here is no doorman. That's a major minus. And don't listen to people who dismiss out of hand, saying simply "you don't need a doorman". Those people either don't live in New York City, are retired, or work out of their homes so they're home all day. Not having a doorman -- particularly if you've got a busy work schedule and work long hours -- is a particular pain in the ass when you can't have your laundry/dry cleaning dropped off ... must always be home for FreshDirect ... and every single package you ever have delivered ... every special FedEx document delivery, every Amazon.com and Zappos purchase ... and every eBay auction you win ... EVERY BLESSED TIME ... turns into a fight with FedEx/UPS/USPS over re-delivering, or you hauling ass to the post office/UPS/FedEx regional distribution center on your days off to fetch your packages.
Yes, Matt. I work from home but also go out during the day.
I wouldn't give up the major pluses of that apt. for the lack of a doorman.
The OP may find that the super or building staff will sign for packages.
Maybe the OP doesn't buy everything online and can have dry-cleaning delivered on Sat.
Maybe they can pick their cleaning up.
Possibly they don't use Fresh Direct.
When I had a doorman I did those things for myself.
I get packages re-delivered if I miss the UPS or Fed Ex delivery.
Not such a big deal.
determine best school options for your children, within a reasonable commute to your work. buy only in the neighborhood where those options exist. rent wherebver you'd like in the meantime.
re children the "home" is their school. the place where you live may change from time to time. a good school shouldn't be changed unless absolutely necessary.
do your best to arrange that your kids go to a great school and thrive there--and if you achieve that, and it aint broke, dont mess with it
real estate is relatively unimportant--but for the fact that it is nice if you can artrange that your kids can walk a short distance to siad schoiol
I agree with Matt that not having a doorman is a real minus. It will also affect resale when the time comes.
I imagine I am in the minority here, but I'd caution not to plan for kids you may or may not have sometime down the line. We expected to have children and the universe decided otherwise. We may yet, but I'm not counting on it, based on past experience. If we'd purchased solely based on school districts we would have missed other, more suitable opportunities.
Renting is not a bad option when plans may or may not change
The OP can always decide to squeeze into that small condo apt.
It has a doorman so it will feel bigger.
Or if a doorman is important and the OP still likes the East Side for what it offers,
the OP can keep looking around there for something with a doorman.
bramstar: My boyfriend's two nephews are out here in East Hampton for the week.
They are 2-year-old twins.
I can send them over to your place for the day.
If you like them, I tell ya what: Keep them for the rest of the week.
you may plan kids and not have them, but if you do and you need to sell, to move to a neighborhood with a good school, you will definitely get hammered on transaction costs
if you buy, buy with consideration of the likely success you will have having kids, in the best school district that works for you--school should trump all in your choice
otherwise rent until you know whether your garden grows or not
A friend was trying to have a baby for many years.
Didn't work and she gave up,then adopted 2 twin girls.
They were the cutest little girls.
When they were 4-years old, she got pregnant and had a boy.
He was a cute baby but by the time he could crawl he was hard to handle.
Hope you get the baby(ies) of your dreams, bramstar.
Until then, you can practice with these twin boys we've got here.
They're really cute. Lots of fun. Really.
What time can we drop them off at your place?!
We can be there by 6pm.
LOL, Truth! They sound great. You're a lucky gal!
Eh, they are cute for the first half-an-hour.
After that, I'm not cooperating with this so much.
Kids are a lot of work. They run, you gotta keep up with them.
They dribble, poop and barf -- and there's another mess to clean up.
I like my peace and quiet.
This is not peace and quiet -- it's toddler mayhem.
I'm out of town after 12/12/12 and the Hurricane Sandy Relief Benefit Concert at MSG.
If these kids come back for more, not my problem!
But don't give up hope, bramstar.
It may just happen, yet for you.
Or adopt two twin girls. They are cute and easy to manage.
Then you may have your own baby boy.
It happens, bramstar.
In Manhattan in the last 40 years I've lived in 24-hour doormen buildings, 4pm-midnight doorman buildings, and buildings without doormen.
Personally I prefer living without doormen, as do many people I know.
For people who work in the entertainment business, yes.
It's nice to have friends over for a visit without the doorman wanting to take photos with the visitors.
Now that I don't have a doorman, I really like the privacy.
I don't like doormen either, I'm really unwilling to contribute to a monthly fee that pays their bills. I've only had them when I lived in Tokyo, 25 years ago, when I didn't need them. The unwashed masses live in houses without doormen and I assume they're generally doing fine. We don't have a doorman and we haven't had any real issues.
AR, you had a doorman in *Tokyo*? I don't think even 1% of the residences in Tokyo have doormen. What was the story with that building?
I'm having a hard time figuring out the lifestyles of these people who actually prefer no doormen. How the hell do you get stuff delivered?
>How the hell do you get stuff delivered?
The mailman, UPS guy, and FedEx folks all seem to know without my ever telling them that if I'm not home they can leave my things with someone else in the building, come back the next day. I know my neighbors sometimes have deliveries left at one of the shops on the block, with a note saying where they've left a package, but I've never done that. More often packages are left for me in the lobby -- they have a key to get to the mailboxes and the same key gets them further inside.
Sometimes I have packages delivered to my office.
And I wouldn't be caught dead ordering anything from Fresh Direct.
It's a trade-off, like everything else.
It's convenient to have a doorman, and to carry around one key instead of two or three.
On the other hand, last time I calculated, $500 of my maintenance was going to pay the six extra guys. (We have eight in a building with 80-odd apartments, and would otherwise need only two.)
Carrying around two keys instead of one is really a burden?
A burden is a mortgage for an overvalued overpaid bubble asset with zero upside potential and a huge cash drain on family finances.
Carrying two keys. Not so much.
"The mailman, UPS guy, and FedEx folks all seem to know without my ever telling them that if I'm not home they can leave my things with someone else in the building"
Don't other people in your building work for a living?
"come back the next day"
Conveniently at precisely the same time the day before when I wasn't home. Hint: If I'm not home at 3:38 pm on a Tuesday, I'm probably not going to be there at 3:38 pm on a Wednesday. Or Thursday. Or Friday. Here's an idea! How about try me on the WEEKEND??
"More often packages are left for me in the lobby"
You have unusually trustworthy neighbors (and visitors to your building).
"Sometimes I have packages delivered to my office."
Not an option for those of us who work for giant media organizations, post-2001 anthrax scare, where everything is routed (and opened up) in the central mailroom.
> Carrying around two keys instead of one is really a burden?
No, an inconvenience, as I said. Not $500 worth, but an inconvenience. It'd really be three or four: front door, mailbox, and maybe two for the apartment door.
TripleZero, one of our four apartments had a doorman. Expat package for IB. The vast majority of Americans somehow exist without doorman. I'll take low charges over something that I would almost never need any day.
Matt, yes, often someone's home in one of the apartments my building, and if not it doesn't matter.
My building is surprisingly safe and my neighbors friendly in the three years I've been here. I've never had trouble receiving a package.
My attitude towards doormen shows just how un-New York I am; I love our current building and feel the doormen are top notch; unfailingly professional, polite and friendly with just the right blend of formality and familiarity. However, I would pay extra to have them go away; I hate being fawned over in any way and just feel most comfortable opening the door myself and carrying my own stuff.
NYCNovice, I'm a born-and-raised New Yorker, grew up in three buildings with doormen (um, not all at once), and I agree entirely with you.
One of the many great things about this town is that people have such different opinions about ... everything....
In general, doormen are noting your comings and goings.
They are reporters to the co-op or condo board and managing agent.
If your UPS man comes every day at a time while you are out, Matt --
sorry to break it to you but they have a daily schedule. The UPS guy arrives between 11:45am and 12:15 at my building.
If I'm expecting a package and can't be home, I ask my nice neighbor who is home most days at that time to sign for it. No Problem. Also no problem if I need to call for a re-delivery.
My Fed EX deliveries are always designated for before 10am . If I'm home in town I'm always home before 10am.
So I ask all who want to send me a Fed Ex delivery to send a "by 10am the next day, or 2-day by 10am delivery.".
I am fully in control of my Fed Ex incoming deliveries.
NYCNovice: You can just pay less, not to have a doorman by living in a non-doorman building.
lets be clear.
everyone on a co-op board is a crook taking bribes and kickbacks
managing agents are useless crooks also
doorman are paid spies for both parties above.
ah, the internet.
Somebody is paranoid:
about 1 hour ago
Member since: Jan 2009
ignore this person
ah, the internet.
Regarding packages, do any of you have buildings where there are large-size lockers (with settable 4-digit combinations) where the post office or UPS or whoever can leave items, along with a note in your own postbox telling you that you've got a package in the locker, and what the combination is? My building (very far from NYC) has this ans it's a great system. We never, ever have to be disturbed when the mail comes.
Truth - Doormen seem to come with other stuff we like, but I am meeting with Ali next week to present our ridiculous wishlist. I am pretty sure she is going to tell us we have a better chance of finding a flying unicorn to transport us between NY and DC on an as needed basis than finding what we are looking for in terms of NY residence.
"The vast majority of Americans somehow exist without doorman."
The vast majority of Americans live in HOUSES, where packages can be left relatively safe on front/back porches.
The vast majority of Americans also have CARS, which makes picking up laundry and missed packages a mere tick-off on the to-do list of errands to run on the way home, rather than an hour-long project like it is for non-car'd people in NYC.
And the vast majority of Americans also have their own washers and dryers, and have no need of coordinating laundry pick-up and drop-off.
"My building is surprisingly safe and my neighbors friendly in the three years I've been here. I've never had trouble receiving a package."
Boss, you realize you're in a very rarified minority in this respect, right?
"Regarding packages, do any of you have buildings where there are large-size lockers (with settable 4-digit combinations) where the post office or UPS or whoever can leave items, along with a note in your own postbox telling you that you've got a package in the locker, and what the combination is? My building (very far from NYC) has this ans it's a great system. We never, ever have to be disturbed when the mail comes."
NYC real estate is extremely precious, and retrofitting such a system as this for most buildings, if not totally impossible space- and logistics-wise, prohibitively expensive.
Matt, every one of us posting here is in some version of a very rarified minority.
So what? We're all just offering opinions and experiences. You seem really annoyed when other people don't have the same taste as you.
I'm in a rarified minority because my building is safe and my neighbors nice; you think living without a doorman is unthinkable; I'm saying it's not only thinkable but also, for some of us, preferable. Not sure why that seems to bother you so much that you'd be so insistently dismissive.
I also find it much easier and quicker and more pleasant to do errands as a carless person in NYC than I did in LA with a car. I like stopping by the bodega to get milk on the way home from the subway. Yes, even when it's raining.
@Matt - These boxes really don't take up much space at all, and it couldn't cost more than a few thousand dollars to put them in. Here they are on the right in this picture:
Anything that can't fit in the regular postboxes goes in the big boxes, and the delivery person writes the passcode on a delivery slip and puts that in your postbox.
And if the package is so huge that it doesn't even fit in the biggest box, the slip of paper tells you to go down to the post office and get it. It works like a charm and of course it's a lot cheaper than having a doorman. And the boxes don't even demand tips at Christmas time!
No doorman but have a great live in super. No problem with any type of delivery or package. I definitely prefer not having a doorman over having one. Having an excellent live in super is by far the best IMO.
Matt, you must be joking. The vast majority of people do not live in houses that are safer than Manhattan locked-entry apartment buildings without doormen. I'm fairly certain that people who live in apartment buildings without doormen where delivery is dubious do not rely on delivery. And that would be a pain for them. But as someone who has lived without a doorman for almost thirty years with no incidents (although I've had problems with regular mail delivery, but that has nothing to do with doormen), I can say that I agree 100% with Boss. As usual, you are entirely trying to impose your own sense of reality on what is actually the reality for others.
NYCNovice: Your wish-list is just a list. You can bring yourself to wish for one or two things less if you find a great apartment.
Agree with Boss_Tweed:
Also there are many Kinkos/FedEX locations around the city where you can have your deliveries sent and they will "hold" the packages there for your pick-up.
You make it sound like you never get a chance to leave your apartment, Matt.
I just came back to Brooklyn to find a couple of packages left outside my apt. door.
They didn't require a signature so they were left there since Monday.
Good stuff, too. Books and the other package was DVDs.
He doesn't know that the doorman keeps a log-book with all kinds of info about building residents. Their deliveries, who is having a party, complaints, who is staying in their apartment when they are away,and anything else that the board, managing agent and super want them to note.
Or, Matt: That you never have time to stop on the way home to do anything.
Or do errands on Saturday.