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Open House Agenda: Three Apartments to See This Weekend

By Donna M. Airoldi | December 13, 2013 7:24am
 Apartments for sale for less than $200,000 this weekend.
Affordable Starter Apartments
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MIDWOOD — Because our affordable starter apartment column last month was so popular, we decided to repeat it — but with units that are selling for even less.

915 E. 17th St., Apt. 515, Midwood, Brooklyn
Studio/1 Bath
588 square feet
Maintenance: $338/month
Open House: Sunday, Dec. 15, noon to 1:30 p.m.

Lowdown: Being able to own your own space for less than $1,000 per month isn’t the only plus for this apartment.

It's a studio that's larger than many one-bedrooms, has been recently updated and is in a doorman building in an up-and-coming area of Midwood.

“It looked very different a couple of weeks ago. We refinished the floors, painted, did minor renovations in the kitchen — nothing major in case someone wants to do their own," said Megan M. Walsh of Realty Collective.  "It’s very fresh and clean even though it’s a pre-war apartment.”

The north-facing unit is on the fifth floor of a six-floor elevator building, and it gets good light for most of the day, Walsh added.

“The main room is large enough to divide it with French doors, so you could have a separate bedroom and still get the light coming into the living room,” she explained.

Location: The apartment sits at the end of a cul-de-sac; a similar building across the street has a private security guard who watches the area, Walsh said. Designated parking is available in a nearby lot, for a fee. It’s a 5-minute drive to the Kings Plaza Shopping Center with more than 100 retailers.

Within walking distance are Brooklyn College, which houses the Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts; the Avenue J commercial strip, which includes the famous Di Fara Pizza; and Newkirk Avenue, with trendy restaurants and coffee shops such as Milk & Honey, Ox Cart Tavern and the year-old Coffee Mob.

The Q train at the Avenue J stop is a block and a half away. One mile east are the 2 and 5 trains on Flatbush Avenue.

Why put it on your open house calendar? This is an excellently priced starter apartment with lots of light and space, especially for a studio.

“We considered the pricing carefully,” Walsh said. “It’s better to price on the lower end then see if you get offers and bid up rather than price too high. We settled on $125,000 because a similar unit sold at that price not too long ago, and this apartment is even nicer.”


8 W. 119th St., #15, Central Harlem, Manhattan
1 Bedroom/1 Bath
Approximately 575 square feet
Maintenance: $450/month
Open House: Sunday, Dec. 15, 1-2 p.m.

Lowdown: The deal requires an all-cash sale, the fourth-floor walk-up needs renovation work, and there are household income restrictions for this HDFC co-op coupled with a 70 percent flip tax. However, the right creative buyer can turn this bare one-bedroom, pre-war apartment into a long-lasting home in the center of what has become gentrified Harlem.

“The place does need some work, such as new floors, a paint job and probably a new kitchen, but it has good bones and is in decent shape,” said Karen Cantor of Bohemia Realty Group.

As for the high flip tax, HDFC status expires in seven years, Cantor explained, after which the board may reduce or eliminate it. The unit is south facing and gets decent light; the fireplace is decorative.

Building management plans to redo the hallways soon, and the roof has potential to become a deck, Cantor added.

Location: The unit is on a brownstone block between Fifth Avenue and Malcolm X Boulevard, one block south of Marcus Garvey Park, which has a public pool and farmers market. At 125th Street, Malcolm X becomes Lenox Avenue. The area is a business hub with classic attractions like Sylvia’s and the Apollo Theater; newcomers include a two-story Red Lobster, and a Whole Foods is slated to open in 2015.

The 2 and 3 express trains at 116th Street and Malcolm X Boulevard are closest, but the stop at 125th Street isn't much farther. Also along 125th are the 4, 5 and 6 at Lexington Avenue, and Metro North at Park Avenue.

Why put it on your open house calendar? “If someone is looking for a truly affordable option and not afraid of a little elbow grease, it’s really a wonderful place with a lot of potential,” Cantor said. “It’s not for people looking for a short-term investment."


123-35 82nd Rd., Apt. 8U, Kew Gardens, Queens
1 Bedroom/1 Bath
850 square feet
Maintenance: $951/month
Open House: Sunday, Dec. 15, 1-4 p.m.

Lowdown: This large one-bedroom corner unit with a terrace has eastern and northern exposures and, save for the entry foyer, windows in every room.

It's part of an estate sale, but the former owner did not pass away in the apartment, said Alex Munoz of Better Home & Gardens Real Estate, adding, “That’s a question that often comes up with estate sales.”

The kitchen was upgraded a decade ago, Munoz said.

The apartment's open layout — with a large foyer and open dining and living room — is unusual for most one-bedrooms, Munoz said.

The property includes a common courtyard and dog run, 18-hour doorman and laundry in the building. There’s a waiting list for indoor parking.

The building is getting a new roof, which comes with a $75 per month assessment in addition to the maintenance that will last until 2018, Munoz said. “That’s reflected in the pricing, to keep it competitive.”

Location: “It’s convenient for commuters who work in the city or on Long Island,” Munoz said. “The Kew Garden LIRR station is two blocks away, and the E and F trains are three blocks away on Union Turnpike.”

The Queens courthouse is across the street as is P.S. 99. The immediate area has commercial banks, convenience stores, fast-food restaurants, and a few cafes along Queens Boulevard. A few blocks away on Lefferts Boulevard is where you can find more of a community feel, Munoz noted, with local bars and restaurants and the Kew Gardens Cinemas.

Why put it on your open house calendar? “You’re getting value with the price per square foot, plus a terrace. It’s very competitively priced,” Munoz said. “The Kew Gardens co-op market is very active right now. Sold transactions are up 38 percent over last year.”