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Open House Agenda: Three Apartments to See This Weekend

By Donna M. Airoldi | June 20, 2014 7:19am | Updated on June 20, 2014 5:29pm
 Three below-market HDFC apartments to check out this weekend.
Three HDFC Apartments to See
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MANHATTAN — Last week’s Apartmentality column focused on rising prices for Housing Development Fund Corporation (HDFC) units — moderately priced apartments with income restrictions that have become increasingly popular for bargain buyers. Though many are listed as cash-only sales, here are three HDFC deals to check out this weekend that allow financing.

29 W. 119th St., Apt. 35, Mount Morris Park/Central Harlem, Manhattan
2 Bedrooms/1 Bath
Approximately 700 square feet
Maintenance: $750 per month
Open House: Sunday, June 22, 12:30-2:30 p.m.

Lowdown: This new-to-market, two-bedroom, third-floor Harlem apartment previously had rental tenants, said Danielle Lewis-McLaurin, of Kian Realty NYC. The co-op sponsor painted the walls and polished the floors, but “if someone wants to jazz it up the way they want to, they are able to do so.”

The rear-facing unit, which overlooks a tree-filled courtyard, has north and west exposures and “gets a lot of natural light coming from the stained glass of the adjacent church,” Lewis-McLaurin said.

The building is “on the rise,” with increasing reserves and talk of putting in an elevator, “which always increases the value,” Lewis-McLaurin noted. Washing machines are permitted in units.

In addition to the income restrictions, which is $99,206 for a single buyer (see the listing for the income caps for multiple occupants), there’s also a 30 percent flip tax on the profit when sold, which “goes back into building, which is kind of paying it forward,” Lewis-McLaurin said.

Chase and Citibank have offered 80 and 90 percent financing, respectively, for units in the building, and the co-op is also working on securing a mortgage broker, Lewis-McLaurin noted. “This way people have more flexibility with the lenders, which is almost unheard of for these types of co-ops.”

Location: Marcus Garvey Park is one block north. Many of Harlem’s hottest restaurants along Frederick Douglass Boulevard and Lenox Avenue are within walking distance. The La Bodega 47 Social Club, a “craft rum cocktail lounge,” opened a block away on Lenox in February. The 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and Metro North trains are at 125th Street.

Why put it on your open house calendar? “You can’t really beat the amount of space you are getting per the price per square foot,” Lewis-McLaurin said, adding that the co-op will be refinishing the lobby and making other improvements. “Definitely next year at this time, whoever buys it will be pretty happy.”

7 W. 92nd St., Apt. 5A, Upper West Side, Manhattan
1 Bedroom/1 Bath
Approximately 500 square feet
Maintenance: $451.41 per month
Open Houses: Sunday, June 22, 2:30-4 p.m.; Monday, June 23, 6-7:30 p.m.

Lowdown: This fifth-floor one-bedroom apartment in an elevator building not only is priced below market, but also gets partial views of Central Park, just a few doors down the block.

The south-facing unit, with additional north and east exposures, is on the market for the first time, and “the building has reduced its flip tax from 85 percent to 25 percent,” said Amy Rea, of Halstead Property, adding that sellers can also subtract major capital improvements, brokers fees and closing costs.

Built in 1902 as a hotel, the apartment has “great architecture and a terrific layout,” Rea said. “Building code at that time meant a window in every room, including the kitchen and bath, and the sliding pocket doors mean no swing, for full use of the square footage.”

The unit’s maximum household income for a single occupant is $99,206. Finding a mortgage for an HDFC unit can be challenging because of the flip tax, but both Chase and Citibank are options for this building, Rea said.

Location: In addition to having Central Park steps away, the gluten-free By The Way Bakery opened earlier this year on Broadway near 90th Street, and new Indian restaurant Awadh debuted this month at Broadway and 98th Street. The B and C trains are at 96th Street and Central Park West; the 1, 2 and 3 trains are at 96th and Broadway.

Why put it on your open house calendar? “Not many apartments at this price have a view of Central Park,” Rea said. “And with windows on the south and north, all you have to do is open them and you get a breeze and fresh air off the park. It’s a really wonderful place.”

172 Delancey St., Apt. 5D, Lower East Side, Manhattan
1 Bedroom/1 Bath
Approximately 600 square feet
Maintenance: $301 per month
Open House: Sunday, June 22, 1:45-2:45 p.m.

Lowdown: This south-facing one-bedroom is a resale, but it’s the first time on the market after a recent gut-renovation, said Jason Lopez, of Douglas Elliman.

Improvements include custom Italian cabinetry in the kitchen, exposed brick walls in the living room, new oak flooring, subway tiles in the bathroom and two new CitiQuiet windows in front, Lopez said. The owner removed the bedroom wall to make it loft-like and added a Murphy bed. The furniture is available for purchase.

It’s a “well-maintained” building, and unlike many HDFC buildings, this one has no flip tax, Lopez noted, adding that for mortgage lenders, “Chase has been great.” The only restriction is the income cap at the point of purchase, which for a single buyer is $63,072.

Location: A plethora of trendy bars, restaurants and shops are on the building’s surrounding blocks, but closer to home is Joselito, an East Village Puerto Rican/Dominican restaurant that recently moved into the building’s storefront space, between Clinton and Attorney streets. The Essex Street Market is a few blocks west, but there’s talk of moving it to the south side of Delancey into the new Essex Crossing development. Another potential project is the Low Line, an underground park along Delancey in a former trolley terminal.

It’s two blocks to the F, J, M and Z trains, and there’s easy access to the Williamsburg Bridge, which is at the east end of Delancey.

Why put it on your open house calendar? Aside from the prime location and bargain price — relative to average Lower Manhattan one-bedrooms — “there is nothing like it on the Lower East Side. It is stunning and all of your friends will have apartment envy after seeing it,” Lopez said.