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Open House Agenda: Three Apartments to See this Weekend

By Amy Zimmer | November 1, 2013 7:22am
 These three homes, priced at less than $770,000, come with interesting slices of of private outdoor space.
Open houses to check out Nov. 3
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MANHATTAN — Owning a private piece of outdoor space often comes with a hefty price-tag in the city, but these properties — a three-bedroom, a convertible two-bedroom and a one-bedroom — each cost less than $777,000.

104 East 37th St., 4E, Murray Hill, Manhattan

1 bedroom/1 bath


Approximately 625 square feet


Maintenance: $1,799/month

Open House: Sunday, Nov. 3, 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Lowdown: High ceilings, vaulted arches and lots of windows make this sun-filled pre-war one-bedroom feel airy and expansive. It also comes with a slice of the outdoors to soak up more rays: a roughly 8- by 23-foot south-facing terrace overlooking the backyards of townhouses along East 38th Street.

“When you look out all you see is gardens,” said Arlene Hochstat, of Douglas Elliman.

The apartment is in need of a renovation, she said, noting that the kitchen and bathroom were original. Also, any work on the terrace — now just a tar beach — is subject to board approval.

The maintenance for the elevator building with a live-in super is high, but Hochstat explained, “You pay for the outdoor space."

Location: The six-story building with roughly 35 units sits in the Murray Hill Historic District. Between Park and Lexington avenues on East 37th Street, it’s a few blocks from Grand Central Terminal and the shops and restaurants of Murray Hill.

Why put it on your open house calendar? There’s work to be done, inside and out, but the price was reduced $25,000 this week, Hochstat noted.

509 East 77th St., 2B, Upper East Side, Manhattan

1-bedroom/1 bath

Approximately 650 square feet


Maintenance: $1,619.35/month

Open House: Sunday, Nov. 3, 12 - 1:30 p.m.  (By appointment only; 917-972-8646)

Lowdown: This elegant one-bedroom — which can be converted to a two-bedroom — has floor-to-ceiling windows leading from the living room out to a balcony that's more than 12-feet long and to a second, smaller balcony from the bedroom.

It's in the landmarked Cherokee, four large interconnected six-story walkups that opened in 1912, funded by one of the Vanderbilts as "a model tenement to house poor working-class families with one or more tuberculosis-infected members,” according to a website for the 383-unit complex.

All apartments have multiple exposures — this one has north, south and west — because it was believed that the circulation of fresh air would help cure the patients and prevent their relatives from catching the disease.

Unit 2B was impeccably renovated with an eye for entertaining: the dining area has handmade mahogany built-ins and a 52-bottle wine fridge.

The south-facing apartment has exposed brick walls, its original — but restored — cast iron soaking tub and what Christopher Kromer, of Halstead Property, describes as an “efficient layout." It's on the second floor, overlooking treetops.

Though a co-op, the pet-friendly building has liberal subletting policies more akin to a condo, allowing owners to rent out units as soon as they buy.

Location: The Cherokee is east of York Avenue, across from the leafy John Jay Park, which has a renovated playground, an outdoor public pool and area for seniors to exercise. It's also near the East River waterfront.

The 6 train at 77th Street and Lexington Avenue is a bit of a hike, but there's a crosstown bus nearby on 79th Street and a cabstand that allows shared commutes to Wall Street, he added.

Why put it on your open house calendar? With the two Juliette balconies, the apartment feels like a bit of Paris in New York. The apartment is in pristine condition, and once the Second Avenue subway opens (expected in 2016), the area will be better served by transit.

96-05 68th Ave., Forest Hills, Queens

3-bedroom/1.5 bath

1,800 square feet


Taxes: $5,100/year

Open House: Sunday, Nov. 3, 12 - 2 p.m

Lowdown: Sliding doors separate the dining room from a tiled patio currently outfitted with a barbeque grill, netted canopy and outdoor seating for "indoor-outdoor enjoyment," said Armen Meschian, of Exit Realty Landmark.

"The patio is a phenomenal space for entertaining," he said. "[It's] a 14-by-14 concrete block standing on a metal frame: very sturdy and spacious."

The current owners have lived in this attached house for roughly three decades and have been painstakingly renovating it throughout, adding handcrafted Rutt kitchen cabinets and other custom built-ins, he said.

The house, on a leafy Forest Hills block, offers a taste of the suburbs with an indoor garage, two-car parking driveway, basement level laundry and ample storage space.

Location: The house, near Groton Street, is a few blocks from the Forest Hills Tennis Stadium, the original home to the U.S. Open where Mumford & Sons recently performed. It's a half-mile away from a Long Island Rail Road station. It's about a 15-minute walk to the E, F, M and R trains at the 71st Avenue stop and shopping on Austin Street, said Meschian, adding that with the driveway and garage, it may be easier to drive places, like to the Trader Joe's or Home Depot on Metropolitan Avenue.

Why put it on your open house calendar? You can get a three-bedroom house with a garage, parking and patio and pay roughly the same a month for an average one-bedroom apartment in Manhattan. More than 45 house hunters flooded the first open house, which netted six offers, two of which were over asking price, Meschian noted.