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Open House Agenda: 4 Apartments to See This Weekend

By Donna M. Airoldi | February 27, 2015 7:53am | Updated on February 27, 2015 8:13pm
 These apartments offer good value, especially when comparing their price per square foot to neighborhood averages.
Apartment Deals Based on Price-Per-Square-Foot Averages
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NEW YORK CITY — Though sales prices continue to climb throughout the city, those willing to jump into the market can still find decent deals — at least if you're looking at a neighborhood's median price per square foot. Here are four such apartments in Manhattan and Brooklyn neighborhoods that are seeing their popularity spike.

50 Lefferts Ave., Prospect Lefferts Gardens
Apartment 1H
Studio/1 Bath
Approximately 500 square feet
Maintenance: $404 per month
Open House: Sunday, March 1, 12:30-2 p.m.

Apartment 1J
1 Bedroom/1 Bath
Approximately 650 square feet
Maintenance: $498 per month
Open House: Sunday, March 1, 2:15-3:45 p.m.

Lowdown: These first-floor adjacent units are deals on their own, and even more so if combined to create a two-bedroom/two-bath apartment, which is hard to find in the area, said Jeffrey L. Welch of Brown Harris Stevens.

The building was developed in the late 1930s as a luxury rental, and both units have sunken living rooms and inlaid floors with little medallions, Welch said.

The studio sellers renovated their unit in 2013. The foyer is large enough for a small table and chairs, and the owners used the kitchen counter as both a breakfast bar and as an office.

“The living room and sleeping area is entirely separate from the kitchen foyer area, and it almost functions as a one-bedroom — you’re not stuck in one cube, one room,” Welch said.

If combining the units, it's easiest to leave the one-bedroom intact and make the studio a master suite, Welch suggested, but added that the studio has a new and bigger kitchen with abundant storage. The studio's hallway is lined with a four-door, Elfa-system closet.

Laundry in the 94-unit building is about to be renovated, with new machines and a Wi-Fi system that will enable owners to check which washers and dryers are available before heading downstairs, Welch noted.

The median price per square foot for the studio and one-bedroom are $498 and $521, respectively.

Prospect-Lefferts Gardens’ PPSF median was $312 in January 2014; it jumped to $610 by January 2015, according to Zillow.

Location: New businesses, like the recently opened Midwood Flats gastropub and Bluebird Food & Spirits, are coming to the area. Prospect Park and the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens are just two blocks away, as is the Prospect Park station for the B, Q and S (Franklin Avenue shuttle). The 2 and 5 trains at Sterling are three blocks east.

Why put them on your open house calendar? “It’s a well-run building and possibly the only building in the area that has a doorman,” said Welch, who has lived in the area since 2002. “It’s a neighborhood with a lot of community feeling."

521 41st St., Apt. B2, Sunset Park
2 Bedroom/1 Bath
Approximately 750 square feet
Maintenance: $597 per month
Open Houses: Saturday, Feb. 28, noon to 2 p.m.; Sunday, March 1, 1-2:30 p.m.

Lowdown: This second floor-unit looks directly down on Sunset Park, said Carol Graham of Corcoran Group. The sellers renovated the bathroom and kitchen, adding custom open shelving giving it a "country feel."

Though they use the bedroom with the double doors overlooking the living/dining area as a den, it is a true bedroom, Graham noted.

The self-managed, 40-unit co-op replaced the windows in 2013. There’s private storage in the basement and a common laundry room and courtyard.

Though Sunset Park’s real estate trajectory hasn’t been as steep as Prospect-Lefferts Gardens’, it is on the rise, especially as Industry City and other waterfront developments take shape.

This two-bedroom unit is priced just below the January 2015 PPSF median of $538. That's up from $464 two years ago, but there’s additional value since the unit is already renovated.

Location: Known for its vistas of the Statue of Liberty and downtown Manhattan, Sunset Park also has a large swimming pool, a sand volleyball court and multiple green fields. The long-awaited Bush Terminal Piers Park on the waterfront opened in November. Historic Green-wood Cemetery is a few blocks north.

The apartment, just east of Fifth Avenue, is equidistant to the Fourth Avenue 45th Street R train station and the 36th Street station, which has the D, N and R trains.

Why put it on your open house calendar? “It has two good-sized bedrooms, it’s a pet-friendly co-op, and for the price and size you just can’t beat it,” Graham said. Plus it's a diverse neighborhood with a lot of "real mom-and-pop" stores and "with all the development along the waterfront there will be a lot more amenities."

353 E. 104th St., Apt. 5B, East Harlem
2 Bedrooms/2 Baths
Approximately 1,131 square feet
Common Charges: $1,032 per month
Real Estate Taxes: $322 per month, tax abated until 2019
Open House: Sunday, March 1, noon to 1:30 p.m.

Lowdown: The sellers purchased unit 5B in the LEED-certified Observatory Place development from the sponsor in 2012, said Rafael Barbosa of Compass.

The two-bedroom unit with bamboo flooring is “bright” and has a “good flow.” The bedrooms face east; the living room gets southern light. The balcony has electric outlets, “so you can have an electric grill.”

Even though the apartment has ample closets, the sellers added a wall of IKEA closets to the master bedroom, which can remain or be removed, Barbosa noted. There’s central heat and air and laundry in the apartment. The unit comes with caged storage on the first floor.

The 33-unit doorman building has cold storage in the lobby and a bike room. There’s also an herb garden on the fifth floor, where residents in the spring and summer can be found sitting around tables sipping wine, and a spacious roof deck, Barbosa said.

The unit is listed at $795 per square foot, well below Zillow's January 2015 median of $963.

Location: The building is just west of First Avenue. New nearby businesses include a 24-hour deli and a “trendy” health club with spin classes and yoga, Barbosa said.

Thomas Jefferson Park to the north along the Harlem River is adding a skate park. The nearest subway is the 6 at Lexington and 103rd Street. There are plans for an entrance on 106th Street for the new Second Avenue subway.

Why put it on your open house calendar? “There’s a lot of future growth in terms of equity,” Barbosa said, considering other projects slated for the area. “And for investors, there’s a good rental market with Metro Hospital and Mount Sinai so close.”