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Open House Agenda: Four Apartments to See This Weekend

By Donna M. Airoldi | April 25, 2014 7:03am
 Four true two-bedroom/two-bath apartments to see this weekend.
Two-Bedroom/Two-Bath Apartments for Sale
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NEW YORK — Not surprisingly, demand for two-bedroom, two-bath apartments in New York is high, but as is the case with so much of the current real estate market, supply is extremely low — especially when one’s budget doesn’t quite reach seven figures.

But sometimes a smaller unit just won’t do — particularly when the buyers are a couple who work from home or a family requiring a separate room for a child or two. At the time of publication, there were just a little more than 100 two-bedroom, two-bath units listed at less than $1 million with open houses scheduled for this weekend, compared to more than 400 one-bedrooms. Here are three true two-bedrooms with more than 1,100 square feet of space, reasonable maintenance or common charges, and they’re not on the ground floor.

415 Beverley Rd., Apt. 4C, Kensington, Brooklyn
2 Bedrooms/2 Baths
Approximately 1,100 square feet
Maintenance: $1,064 per month
Open House: Sunday, April 27, 2:30-4 p.m.

Lowdown: A few buyers already have made offers above the asking price for this corner apartment in Kensington, but the seller won’t be making any decisions until after Sunday’s open house, said Margaret Calarco, of Coldwell Banker Reliable Real Estate.

“We had so many people come to the first open house, which is a good thing,” said Calarco, who credits limited inventory in the area and has seen a big jump in open house attendance for Kensington apartments in the past year. “It’s a corner unit, facing Beverley, so it gets a lot of light. There’s also a lot of closet space, with a huge walk-in in the master bedroom.”

The seller, who is moving after about 10 years due to a growing family, renovated the two full bathrooms in 2008, but the kitchen has not been updated, Calarco noted, but added that the space is in “very good condition.”

The building, with about 130 units, has “strong financials” plus a 24-hour doorman, two laundry rooms, storage and a garage — the latter two have waiting lists.

Location: The apartment is between Fourth and Fifth streets just west of Ocean Parkway — home of the country’s first bike path — and one block south of commercial strip Church Avenue. Two grocery stores, Golden Farm and Foodtown, are within a short walk, as are a variety of good ethnic delis and restaurants, such as the Mexican Grocery on Second Street for homemade chorizo and Bobek Deli for pierogies.

Church Café and Wine Bar opened around the corner in March, and a new yoga studio is slated to debut at Church and Fifth in early June. It’s about a 10-minute walk to Prospect Park. The F and G trains are at Church and McDonald Avenue. The B103 is two blocks away, as are express buses to Manhattan.

Why put it on your open house calendar? Buyers priced out of Manhattan and Brooklyn neighborhoods such as Park Slope, Brooklyn Heights and Greenpoint are starting to discover this area and the value it offers, such as being near Prospect Park, Calarco said.

A tip for interested buyers attending Sunday: “Be prepared to make an offer and have your pre-approval letter and be ready to go,” Calarco said.

251 Seaman Ave. Apt. 5F, Inwood, Manhattan
2 Bedrooms/2 Baths
Approximately 1,150 square feet
Maintenance: $1,019 per month
Open House: Sunday, April 27, 12:30-1:30 p.m.

Lowdown: The seller of this co-op in Inwood completely gutted the space after buying it in 2007, said Susanna Saarinen, of Access Property Group, who made the sale.

“It wasn’t 100 percent a wreck, but it wasn’t in great shape,” she admitted. “Now there’s a brand new kitchen, two new bathrooms, the apartment shows beautifully. [The seller] is a designer. Taste is [relative], but I think what she did is stunning.”

The owner tried to keep as many original Art Deco details as possible while giving the space a modern upgrade, Saarinen said, such as redoing the bathrooms with the subway tiles popular from that era. She also refinished the moldings and the hardwood floors and had all the paint stripped off the metal doorframes to expose the original brushed aluminum look. The kitchen has butcher-block counters and bamboo flooring. The bedrooms are nearly equal in size, and there is “massive closet space.”

“It’s a real two-bedroom. you can grow into this apartment,” Saarinen said. “You also could easily put a big dining table that seats up to eight in the foyer and still have plenty of room to walk around.”

One thing that differentiates the building from most co-ops is the board allows washers and dryers in the apartments on a case-by-case basis, Saarinen noted, adding that the maintenance is very low for an apartment this size.

Location: The apartment is located between 215th and 218th streets, about three blocks from Broadway, where Saarenin has an office. She’s watched several new businesses open the past 18 months — including the neighborhood’s first Starbucks.

“The people here are very community oriented and they prefer independent mom-and-pop stores, but the change supports local businesses, which is great, too,” she said. “All the old places that had been sitting vacant or had old, not-so-attractive businesses are either turning around or renovating. It’s starting to be hip without being hipster.”

Public transit includes the 1 train at 215th Street and the A at 207th.

Why put on your open house calendar? Even though the asking price is on the higher end for apartments of this size in the neighborhood, Saarinen said, “it offers great value because the maintenance is so low, and it’s in move-in condition — you don’t have to do any renovations.”

110 Clifton Place, Apt. 2H, Clinton Hill, Brooklyn
2 Bedrooms/2 Baths
Approximately 1,162 square feet
Maintenance: $953 per month
Open House: Sunday, April 27, noon to 1:30 p.m.

Lowdown: Located in a former ping-pong ball factory, this two-bedroom with a loft storage space is “in beautiful condition,” said Deborah Rieders, of Corcoran Group, who sold the unit to the current and prior owners. “[The seller] has been there nearly six years and did a lot of work to it. It’s got a great modern rustic quality,” she said.

In true factory-loft fashion, there are casement windows, double-height ceilings with architectural details and “amazing light.” The bedrooms are split, and the loft area above the kitchen and one of the baths — both of which have luxury furnishings and finishes — is “only about 4-feet in height, but the previous owner used it as a lounge, with big pillows you could plop down on to watch TV or read a book,” Rieders added.

“Unlike new developments in the neighborhood, there is a massive volume of space. It’s flexible and can be used in multiple ways. There’s a huge dining and living area, and you could add a home office,” she noted.

The building’s common spaces — including the roof deck with open sky views — were recently renovated.

Location: Situated between Grand and Classon avenues one block from the Clinton Hill Historic District, the apartment’s building is amid landmarked brownstones and is just two blocks from Pratt Institute.

“The area is undergoing a renaissance,” Rieders said. “There are tons of great restaurants and cafes right outside the door — from new artisanal doughnut shops and great bars with homemade beer to pizza and more old-school places.”

The Classon Avenue G train is around the corner. The C train and Shuttle at Franklin Avenue and Fulton Street are about nine blocks away. The neighborhood is also getting new bike corrals.

Why put it on your open house calendar? “It’s a one-of-a-kind, super spacious, bright apartment that has all the greatness of a historic rustic loft with modern amenities,” Rieders said. “And this is an old warehouse building. You just can’t get that type of building from scratch any more.”

467 W. 163rd St., Apt. 6, Washington Heights, Manhattan
2 Bedrooms/2 Baths
1,270 square feet
Common Charges: $635 per month
Real Estate Taxes: $22 per month (abated until 2032)
Open House: Sunday, April 27, noon to 1 p.m. (by appointment only)

Lowdown: With an entire floor of space, a keyed elevator that opens directly into the unit and two balconies, this ample Washington Heights apartment offers more than just two full bedrooms and baths.

“The space is unlike any other apartment I’ve seen,” said John McGuinness, of Harlem Properties.

The building was new when the owners moved in; the only work they did was to re-sand and polish the wood floors, he said, adding that there’s also enough space to carve out a third bedroom using the dining area, which would “give the room it’s own balcony.”

Completed in 2006, the seven-unit building offers basement storage and a common roof deck with 360-degree views “for 20 miles on a clear day.” With the apartment just one floor below the top, “if you have a strong Wi-Fi connection, you can use it on the roof,” Guinness noted.

Location: Morris Park Condominiums is one block from the Jumel Terrace Historic District — which includes George Washington's Revelutionary War headquarters at the Morris-Jumel Mansion and Sylvan Terrace, a landmarked block of 20 wooden rowhouses — and Highbridge Park, which is getting an ice rink and a soon-to-reopen footbridge to the Bronx as part of a recent makeover. The Columbia University Medical Center complex is also nearby.

“The neighborhood is mainly middle-class working families, with original New York flare,” McGuinness said. “You can get awesome tacos on the corner, there’s the tamale lady selling out of her cooler. But there’s also good Italian restaurants and neighborhood bars where policemen and firemen hang out.”

For car owners, the George Washington Bridge, FDR Drive and the Henry Hudson Parkway are all easily accessible and “you don’t have to fight downtown traffic.” The C train is at 163rd Street, and the A and 1 trains are at 168th.

Why put on your open house calendar? “Who doesn’t love a spacious, bright apartment?” McGuinness asked. “The beauty of living uptown is you’re still in Manhattan, but you pay half the price. ... Obviously, the neighborhood is not the same, but the potential to earn your investment is there. The writing is on the wall.”

Note: To attend the open house, contact McGuinness for an appointment at 212-369-1518 or john@harlemproperties.com.