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coops in the Bronx? why so cheap? high fees?
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I'm looking to buy close to the city so I attended some open houses in the Bronx (around Yankee stadium). What I don't understand is why all the maintenance charges are so high and land so cheap? Can anyone offer any insight on why this area that is so close to Manhattan and accessible major train lines, with lots of space, amble closets, and doormen yet dirt cheap at 90k-200k? Also, any clue why the maintenance fees are so high? I’d rather pay a higher mortgage and lesser maintenance fees but I cant find such a deal.

The 80s are over. The South Bronx has come so far. Crappy not-so-gentrified neighborhoods in BK are way more expensive then this. What's going on? Am I'm buying into an area that I won’t be able to sell out of in 5-10 year? Please help.

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The South Bronx is not "cool" so it has none of the hipster cachet that helps to drive prices in some of the Brooklyn neighborhoods. I agree that the Bronx can be an amazing value if you are willing to be a pioneer and also do without neighborhood services (numerous restaurants and bars--although the Stadium and courthouse do support some), retail beyond bodegas etc for the time being. Given the convenience and quality of housing stock available for rehabilitation/renovation I can't imagine that the neighborhood is NOT going to improve over the next 10 years, barring a major reversal in the crime decrease trend.

On the other hand, much of the rehabilitation that has been done has been under government/non-profit auspices meaning that many tenants are subsidized under Section 8 let alone rent stabilization. That will prevent the displacement that gentrification usually brings but it will also insure that the neighborhood has a large low income population indefinitely, that is usually primarily a "problem" vis a vis schools--many gentrified areas exist happily along side NYCHA projects (Chelsea and the East Village to name two).

yep, Section 8 and schools are not a great combo. but, if you plan on living there long term and don't plan on having kids, you might not be affected

it's also not as safe, there's gang activity going on just blocks away from otherwise ok grand concourse. i'd look at riverdale w/in Bronx instead.

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OP what do you consider high maintenance?

Of all the buildings in that area I'd say 1020 Grand Concourse probably has the highest maint.
around 700-800/mo for a 1BR, 30% tax-deductible

but this is a full-service doorman luxury building and the maintenance fee covers all utilities including electric
No, the maintenance isn't THAT much lower than the maintenance on a similar co-op in a comparable Manhattan building. Think of it this way: doormen, porters, building upkeep, etc. cost the same in the Bronx as they do in Manhattan. The only break you get is on property tax, which is based on property values. Since the property values are lower in the Bronx, your property taxes will be lower than they would be in Manhattan. BUT property tax only makes up a small part of the maintenance. You can tell by the % tax deductible in the maintenance fee. (You can only deduct the part of maintenance that covers property tax.)

In the example above, 750/mo maint, 30% td. means about $225/mo is going towards property tax. That's not a lot of money at all, which makes sense, because the sale price of $120K is super affordable. The reason the maintenance seems high is because of the amenities/service. I don't think these buildings are on land-leases.

I've seen listings for other buildings on the Concourse with lower maintenance. But anything with doormen, staff, etc. will have maintenance in the same range as Executive Towers.

But, even thought maintenance is not as low as you'd like I still think the neighborhood is a BUY.
This part of the South Bronx has been rapidly gentrifying and will continue to do so.
The art-deco buildings along the Grand Concourse are beautiful, as are the newly refurbished parks near Yankee Stadium.
Part of this area is also a historic district.
The subway access is fantastic and the Metro North stops a few blocks away.
There are always plenty of cops around because of the stadium. I walked around there at night a few times and felt safe. ( I didn't venture too far off the Concourse, however.)

Best of luck!!! Let us know how it goes.

OH and jason, Riverdale isn't 3X as expensive!!!
There are PLENTY of apartments in the <200K range in Riverdale proper (184 apartments on the market right now, to be exact).
The boards are tough, though. Maintenance fees run the gamut but seem to be reasonable.

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Matt, the areas Brooklyn where you can get a 1 bedroom apartment for $125K or maybe less in a doorman (or similarly nice) building are not five stops from Midtown (four if you use 59th Street). Everyone agrees that Brooklyn is much farther along in gentrification development than the Bronx but because of that prices are no where near comparable in any close in neighborhood with decent transport.

I would however, check out Crown Heights and the buildings on Eastern Parkway near the Franklin Avenue stop, particularly if you use the Lexington IRT. There might be something there in your price range with a doorman and Crown Heights is in the midst of rapid gentrification (again, assuming schools are not an issue--lots of "new residents" have kids but they seem to be going private.)

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