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Open House Agenda: Three Apartments to See This Weekend

By Amy Zimmer | May 30, 2014 6:56am | Updated on May 31, 2014 7:58am
 Three renovated 2-bedrooms in pre-war buildings, ranging from $850,000 to $499,000.
Three Apartments to See This Weekend
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NEW YORK — As two-bedroom units have become almost as elusive as three-bedroom homes, we scoured this week's new listings for some impressive options at different price points. These three renovated units in pre-war buildings range from $850,000 to $499,000.

385 Argyle Rd. #5F, Ditmas Park, Brooklyn
1.5 Bedrooms/1 Bath
Approximately 916 square feet
Maintenance: $675 per month
Open House: Sunday, June 1, 2 to 4 p.m.

Lowdown: Though this apartment is currently configured as a one-bedroom, it's easy to wall off the dining area — as many units in the same line have done — to create a second bedroom, measuring roughly 11-by-9 feet, Corcoran's Karen Talbott said.

This fifth-floor mint-condition unit in an Art Deco elevator co-op has three exposures overlooking trees.

"What makes Ditmas Park special are its trees, and what makes this apartment special is that you look straight out onto the trees," Talbott said. "It feels like a tree house. It feels like there's breathing space."

The seller didn't do a "glossy renovation" after moving in six years ago, but instead updated it while keeping the "original charm" of the bright unit, which has high ceilings, arched entryways, moldings, and original (but refinished) wood cabinets in the kitchen with new appliances, Talbott noted.

The building, one of the area's handful of co-ops, has very little turnover, Talbott added.

Location: The co-op sits in the heart of Ditmas Park's enclave of Victorian homes. It's steps from Cortelyou Road's farmer's market and popular restaurants like Purple Yam, Castello Plan and the Farm on Adderley. There's a tot lot around the corner, a playground at a school across the street and a 5-minute bike ride to Prospect Park, Talbott noted. The Q train is five blocks away.

Why put it on your open house calendar? "With this price and maintenance, you can buy for less than rent," Talbott said, noting that it's especially a good deal considering the "quality" of the unit's pre-war details and treetop views from every room.

204 W. 140th St. #6E, Central Harlem, Manhattan
2 Bedrooms/2 Baths
Approximately 1,047 square feet plus 585-square-foot rooftop terrace
Common Charges: $593 a month

Taxes: None through 2022 because of tax abatement 

Open House: Sunday, June 1, 12:30 to 2:30 p.m.

Lowdown: Built in 1926 — with a glass-enclosed elevator overlooking the historic 19th century townhouses of Strivers Row — this 29-unit complex was converted to a condo in 2007.

The penthouse — which has a stairway in the skylit living room leading to a large private roof deck — has many of the high-end touches common in new developments: radiant in-floor heating, a washer/dryer, Bosch appliances, Poggenpohl cabinets, Supa Doors and energy-efficient heating and cooling.

"It's luxurious living at a great price," said Douglas Elliman's John Keenan. "And you have a private roof deck, which is spectacular."

Though some house hunters might complain about real estate being taken away for the staircase, they gain the extra outdoor space that makes it feel like a "house in the sky," along with the unit's "huge and beautiful" kitchen, "big" bedrooms, Keenan noted.

Location: The building, called Strivers North, sits just outside the area's historic district. Local hot spots include Make My Cake for baked goods and Londel's Supper Club for dinner and live jazz, Keenan said. St. Nicholas Park is also nearby.

It's a short walk to 137th Street for the B and C trains. The 2/3 trains are on 135th Street and Lenox Avenue.

Why put it on your open house calendar? "This offers great value for the size and finishes," Keenan said of the penthouse, noting that another unit in the building recently went for over the asking price.

213 W. 80th St. #5W, Upper West Side, Manhattan
2 Bedrooms/1 Bath
Approximately 1,000 square feet


Maintenance: $955 a month
Open House: Sunday, June 1, 1 to 3 p.m.

Lowdown: When Fainna Kagan and her husband bought this floor-through unit in 2008 it was a "complete disaster," with uneven floors and no kitchen cabinets.

"But my husband and I saw the potential," she said. "We basically stripped the apartment down to the beams and started over."

The couple tapped their neighbor, a professional architect, to help them reinvent the space. It's on the top floor of a walk-up, enabling them to raise the ceilings to roughly 12 feet.

"It gives the apartment a loft-like feel," Kagan said.

It has an ultra-modern look and touches — like wide plank chocolate maple floors, a washer/dryer, in-wall air conditioning, high-end appliances, in-floor bathroom heating — and includes nods to the building's history with exposed brick and decorative fireplaces.

Because the unit is so spread out, Kagan said, "If I'm in the living room and my husband is in the bedroom calling me, I can't hear him."

During private showings, in advance of Sunday's first open house, prospective buyers have been wowed by the unit's custom closets, which utilize the floor-to-ceiling space with racks that rotate with pull down levers, Kagan said, noting that if you have a vision, "You can have anything made."

A buyer could also potentially buy the roof rights, pending board approval, she added.

Location: The 10-unit self-managed co-op is on a prime Upper West Side street, half a block from the American Museum of Natural History. It's equidistant from Central Park and Riverside Park, Kagan said, and steps to restaurants, shops and grocers like Zabar's.

Why put it on your open house calendar?  A top-floor walk-up unit might be a deal breaker for some buyers, but that's why the price and maintenance are relatively low for the area. "If there was an elevator, it would be priced over $1 million," Kagan said, adding that its perch makes it "one of the brightest apartments in the building and there are no neighbors making noise on top of you."