The tight market supply and rising prices mean buyers on a budget are looking at neighborhoods that may not have been on their radars just a few years ago. Here are units in four such areas with open houses this weekend.
2 Bedrooms/1 Bath
840 square feet
Common Charges: $347/month
Real Estate Taxes: $259/month
Open House: Sunday, Aug. 11, noon to 1:30 p.m.
Lowdown: The current owner of this south-facing two-bedroom apartment re-did the kitchen, bathroom and hardwood floors two years ago. The tub was re-glazed two months ago, and there’s a washer/dryer in the unit.
“There is no tax abatement, so there won’t be a big increase in taxes in a few years, like some of the other properties in the neighborhood,” Lee Williams, of Rutenberg Realty, said.
The pre-war building uses “natural gas for heat, not oil, so you pay for what you use, and with five closets, storage is never an issue,” he added.
Location: The Museum of the City of New York, El Museo Del Barrio and Central Park are about half a mile away from the building, which is off of Second Avenue. The Manhattan Neighborhood Network’s Community Media Center, which teaches kids video and TV production, is two blocks away. The nearest 6 train stop is 103rd Street and Lexington Avenue.
In recent years, new restaurants and residential buildings have opened in the area, particularly along Lexington Avenue. "There’s a yoga studio around the corner, a new grocery store, East Harlem Cafe and a new bookstore," Williams said.
Why put it on your open house calendar? At $613 per square foot, it’s well below the average of $958 for East Harlem, according to Trulia. With a Second Avenue subway station coming nearby to 106th Street, the value for the area will only continue to increase.
1 Bedroom/1 Bath
825 square feet
Open House: Sunday, Aug. 11, 1 to 3 p.m.
Lowdown: The owner of this large one-bedroom with a garden view and two walk-in closets completed a $25,000 renovation just one year ago, said Darnell Williams, of Rutenberg Realty.
Two common outdoor areas include a garden with picnic tables and built-in barbecue grills, and a dog run. The weight limit for dogs in the building is 35 pounds.
“The building has really good financials, a surplus, and it’s over 80 percent owner-occupied,” Williams said, adding that owners can rent their units for up to two years. There’s a short wait for the $175-per-month on-site parking. A storage cage in the basement is $60 per month.
Location: The apartment is on the Sunnyside/Woodside border, near Greenpoint Avenue. There’s a wine bar and a cafe around the corner, and nearby pubs, said Williams, adding that Skillman Avenue also has several new restaurants. The neighborhood has long had a strong Irish community, but immigrants from Thailand, the Philippines, Colombia, Ecuador and other Asian and South American countries have settled here in recent years.
The apartment is three blocks from the Queens Woodside Library and PS 11, and one block from the 52nd Street 7 train station and buses to Manhattan. The area is getting new bike lanes.
Why put it on your open house calendar? It’s great value for a spacious one-bedroom. Williams has seen a larger audience interested in Sunnyside and Woodside this year — particularly young professionals pushed out of Manhattan and neighboring Long Island City and Astoria, he said.
“Those are great areas, but prices keep increasing and a lot of people can’t afford them," said Williams. "Sunnyside is right on the border, so you have all the amenities people are looking for just five minutes away.”
3 Bedrooms/2 Baths
Common Charges: $241/month
Real Estate Taxes: $60/month
1,886 square feet
Open House: Sunday, Aug. 11, 3:30 to 5 p.m.
Lowdown: This nearly 1,900-square-foot duplex, on the market since July, has a chef's kitchen with a granite-topped island, three bedrooms (two are on the small side), two baths, three balconies and a private rooftop with unobstructed views of Manhattan.
"There’s loads of closet space," Hakim Edwards, of Halstead Property, added.
The building, constructed in 2008, has a 25-year tax abatement.
Location: The building is located in the northern side of Crown Heights, near Bedford-Stuyvesant, and has shops and restaurants in the area, including Peaches and Saraghina. The St. John’s Recreation Center — with its fitness facilities, indoor pool and $150 annual membership — is two blocks away. The Utica Avenue A/C subway station is less than half a mile north.
Why put it on your open house calendar? Crown Heights is changing fast. People who moved into the neighborhood just four years ago say they're already being pushed out by the next wave of gentrification.
Edwards recently sold four apartments in the southern part of Crown Heights. All went over the asking — including a one-bedroom at 25 percent, or $50,000, more. “That set the market. Now we’ll be starting [the pricing] $50,000 higher than we had been,” Edwards said.
2 Bedrooms/1 Bath
1,100 square feet
Open House: Sunday, Aug. 11, 1:30 to 3 p.m.
Lowdown: This large, attractive Art Deco-era two-bedroom apartment, new on the market, is in excellent condition. It's nearly 1,100 square feet with six closets and a foyer/entry large enough to work as a dining room. The owner recently renovated the kitchen and bath.
“The unit faces northwest and has views of the tree line and the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge from the master bedroom,” said Hakim Edwards, who also has this week’s Crown Heights listing. The board allows 90 percent financing.
Location: The apartment is two blocks north of Brooklyn College's beautiful, New England-like campus. The college is building a new performance hall, and the Kings Theatre nearby on Flatbush Avenue is undergoing renovations, both set to open in 2014, Edwards said.
Near the Flatbush/Nostrand Junction, as the intersection is termed, are Target, Men’s Warehouse, Starbucks, Dallas BBQ and Blink Fitness. Sears, Staples and an Old Navy outlet are farther north on Flatbush. The 2 and 5 trains at Brooklyn College are steps away, as is the B103 express bus — which stops near the Flatbush Food Co-op, bars, restaurants and shops along Cortelyou Road in Ditmas Park — before going express to Downtown Brooklyn. The Q and B Newkirk station is less than a mile away.
Why put it on your open house calendar? The well-designed apartment offers an affordable entry into a gentrifying neighborhood with multiple express transportation options.
Will Flatbush be the next hot Brooklyn neighborhood? Edwards thinks so. “I get a lot of buyers priced out of Crown Heights and Bushwick — and all the usual other suspects of gentrification — finding their homes in Flatbush. It reminds me of selling in Crown Heights five to six years ago.”