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Open House Agenda: 3 Apartments to See This Weekend

By Donna M. Airoldi | May 15, 2015 7:30am | Updated on May 15, 2015 11:56pm
 Even HDFC apartments are seeing prices spike. Here are three for less than $500,000.
3 HDFC Apartments for Less Than $500,000
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NEW YORK CITY — While most affordable housing programs focus on rentals, some target home ownership, like HDFC coops. These units usually carry income restrictions for buyers. Their sales prices, however, often aren't capped, and many of these co-ops are now seeing increases. Still, when considering their size, location or low maintenance, they could be relative bargains. Here are three this week listed between $450,000 and $500,000.

482 Morgan Ave., Apt. 1R, Greenpoint
1 Bedroom/1 Bath
Approximately 550 square feet
Maintenance: $400 per month
Open House: Sunday, May 17, noon to 1:30 p.m.

Lowdown: Since converting to HDFC status in 1980, this unit, plus one currently in contract, are believed to be the first resales for this pet-friendly Greenpoint building in 35 years, said Maurice Singer of Corcoran Group.

Although many HDFC co-ops have high flip taxes or resale restrictions, this one does not since the building only kept those resale rules in place for 25 years and that time period expired, Singer noted. Though market-rate pricing is allowed, “the co-op did not take the steps to officially make it a market rate building, which is why it remains an income-restricted building."

Subletting is allowed without a waiting period.

The owners renovated the long railroad apartment a few years ago with new bathroom fixtures and “house-sized” kitchen appliances. There’s no dishwasher, but one can be installed, Singer said.

Each of the building’s eight units has a designated hook-up in the basement for a washer/dryer.

The “real draw” for this ground-floor unit, however, is its shared backyard, even though “it could use some TLC,” Singer said. “All units on the second floor and above have to go through the basement and up stairs to the yard. The first floor units have semi-direct access — just hop out your window.”

Income cap levels start at $99,825 for an individual. Financing is available through Citibank, which is significant since it's difficult to get bank approval for some HDFC coops.

Location: The building is situated in the southeast section of Greenpoint between Division Place and Richardson Street. It’s near East Williamsburg, which is getting a new “creative complex” with rooftop dining. Xi’an Famous Foods is around the corner; it’s a half mile to McGolrick Park.

It’s about 10 blocks to the Graham Avenue L station and 1 mile to the Nassau Avenue G station.

Why put it on your open house calendar? Aside from being a good deal with low maintenance, “this little corner of Greenpoint is vibrant,” Singer said. “Everything you need is right there — cool restaurants and cafes, dessert parlors, drug stores and a grocery store.”

7 E. Third St., Apt. 2, East Village
1 Bedroom/1 Bath
Approximately 412 square feet
Maintenance: $301 per month
Open House: Sunday, May 17, 2:30-4p.m.

Lowdown: This unit is back on the market after a deal fell through, said Willie Kathryn Suggs of her eponymous real estate agency.

The seller is a set designer for the nearby La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club, and he used his design skills to update this petite apartment with a movable breakfast bar, built-in storage that surrounds the entry door, bathroom storage space, and a custom closet and shelving in the bedroom, Suggs said.

The exposed brick is the chimney to the unit’s former fireplace. “The hearth is still there and you could unbrick it for a decorative fireplace,” she added.
The “very bright” unit surprises people, Suggs said, noting that the living room faces southwest, across from the Bowery Hotel, and a gap between the hotel and the building to the east allows direct sunlight in. Although it’s a first-floor unit, it’s about 15 feet above the sidewalk so “no one is walking by and looking in.”

The bedroom (which fits a full-sized bed) and bathroom get morning sun and face a courtyard. The ceilings are nearly 11 feet in height.

The co-op repointed the building last year and put washer/dryers on every floor. Each unit also has a storage room. Maintenance is low because the building rents out commercial space, Suggs said.

The income cap for an individual is $100,000; the flip tax is a set dollar figure for the first 15 years: $1,185. Because there are only two rentals in the building, Suggs said that banks will finance purchases in it.

Location: The unit is in the west end of the East Village between Second Avenue and Bowery, steps from NoHo, SoHo and the Lower East Side. The infamous former Mars Bar around the corner on Second is set to become a wellness center with a yoga studio.

The F train is three blocks away at Second Avenue and Houston Street; the 6 is five blocks west at Bleecker Street, where there’s also access to the Broadway-Lafayette B/D/F/M station.

Why put it on your open house calendar? “It’s a one-bedroom for under half a million dollars with low monthly costs,” Suggs said. “You can live in it, grow into it and stay in it when it’s time to retire.”

79 Hamilton Pl., Apt. 17, Hamilton Heights
3 Bedrooms/1 Bath
Approximately 800 square feet
Maintenance: $704 per month
Open House: Saturday, May 16, 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Lowdown:  This building has multiple units for sale, but this one has “extras," like an exposed brick, a newly upgraded kitchen with granite countertops, re-done floors and a reconfigured layout including an expanded bathroom, said Willie Kathryn Suggs, who also represents this recently renovated fifth-floor walk-up in Hamilton Heights.

“The place is gorgeous," Suggs said.

After renovating but before moving in, the seller was in an accident and the walk-up was no longer viable, so it’s for sale again.

The “bright and quiet” unit gets direct sunlight and faces two courtyards.

The pet-friendly building has a J-51 tax abatement, “so there are no real estate taxes,” and each time a sponsor unit sells, the proceeds are put toward the mortgage, Suggs said, adding that the maintenance is currently high in order to build up a reserve fund, but the goal is to eventually “slash” the maintenance to “less than $300.”

The board recently redid the community room and approved a bike room and storage room. They also ordered custom period doors with wrought iron over glass to look as it did when built, and new chandeliers will be installed in the hallways once the last units sell, Suggs said.

The income cap for an individual is $70,560 and goes up to $100,680 for a family of four. The flip tax is 30 percent on the sale profit. Financing is available from the Lower East Side Credit Union.

Location: "One minute from the front door," you have Hamilton Grange for American fare, Coccola for Italian and Geisha for Japanese, said Suggs, who lives in the area.

Across the street is Alexander Hamilton Playground; Riverbank State Park along the Hudson River is less than a 10-minute walk away. The 1 train is at 137th Street-City College; the A/B/C/D trains are at 145th and Saint Nicholas Avenue.

Why put it on your open house calendar? It's a good deal for a three-bedroom in the neighborhood, Suggs said. “It also has a forward-thinking board, going to zero debt.”