I really liked Vivian S. Toy’s recent article “The Apartment Critic” in the New York Times, and wanted to share it with you. Vivian has visited over 600 Manhattan apartments in the last five years for her “On The Market” page in the NYT’s Real Estate Section. Being required her to narrow down each apartment she’s viewed to highlight the Pro’s and Con’s has provided her with a unique perspective on Manhattan real estate. She makes some key takeaways: 1) Be upfront about both the pros and the cons about an apartment with a client – that builds trust between a broker and buyer. 2) Design choices can minimize a con, but sometimes too customized a design choice can become a con and lead to lowered value and longer time on the market 3) and the important acceptance of “To live in New York is to embrace compromise, how else could we live as we do, cheek by jowl and in such limited spaces?”
I think that’s one of the hardest mental hurdles first-time Manhattan buyers need to embrace – that despite the high price points here, many apartments still have something that is not ‘perfect’. Naturally everyone their ‘dream home’ but even luxury homes don’t always come ‘con-free’. One Victorian townhouse I sold for $6,800,000 had a gorgeous layout and wonderful light and room proportions, but a tiny garden with views onto the back of a rent-stabilized building and its courtyard. Not ideal for a celebrity, but it was the ‘dream’ for a young family charmed by its West Village location and layout. To succeed in New York real estate requires identifying your primary needs, see enough properties to gain perspective, enjoy what’s positive, and understand if what’s missing really affects your primary needs, and then make your best choice and take the plunge with eyes wide open.
Read the article. You’ll enjoy Vivian’s insight. – Tony Sargent