All posts by Brian Silvestry

I have been in the real estate industry first as a licensed agent and as a broker since 1999. I have sold in every Manhattan neighborhood though do work a lot on the Upper west side where I live and upper Manhattan. I speak French,Portuguese, and Spanish.

13 new listings in Harlem townhouse market so far in September

13 new listings have come on the market so far in September which is a healthy amount especially since last month there were only 4 new listings.

This is the breakdown of the new listings by price.

<$3mm 5
$3-$4mm 7
>$4mm 1

The Author-  Brian Silvestry , a licensed real estate broker, has been selling residential and commercial real estate since 1999. He has sold in every neighborhood from Battery Park City to Washington Heights.

Certificate of no harassment process bogged down

Recently, I applied for a certificate of no harassment(CNH) for one of my listings in the Mount Morris section of Harlem . It was a pretty straight forward process since there had only been only one tenant in the last many years. However, due to the shortage of staff at HPD it took more than 9 months to receive it.  In comparison, I went through the same process for another owner and was able to get an approval in 5.5 months. According to reps at HPD, they have many applications and lack the needed staff. Thankfully it was approved and the owner now has it and it’s valid for the next 3 years.

Upon approval of the application, they made the owner sign an affidavit of no future harassment. This is the owner’s statement that they will not harass the tenants in the future either. A future buyer will need to take the CNH along with the affidavit of no future harassment to the Buildings Department in order to get a permit to alter the building.

Previous coverage about CNH

The Author-  Brian Silvestry , a licensed real estate broker, has been selling residential and commercial real estate since 1999. He has sold in every Manhattan market from Battery Park City to Washington Heights.

West 100th street playground remains closed

The Tarr family playground at West 100th street in Central Park closed about 1 month ago for repairs and remains closed. They removed the matting and this week, workers were cutting the concrete and removed metal railings. No news on when it will re-open.

The Author-  Brian Silvestry , a licensed real estate broker, has been selling residential and commercial real estate since 1999. He has sold in every Manhattan market from Battery Park City to Washington Heights.

 

 

 

How making a low offer can backfire on a Manhattan property

Not that long ago, I showed an apartment on the Upper West side and the asking price was $1,975,000. The buyer asked me after seeing it what I thought of the price. I thought the price was right at the market price. They were asking pretty much exactly what the price per square foot in the building was for similar apartments. She decided to make a low offer starting at $1,800,000. Surprisingly, after a bit of back and forth, the seller negotiated the price down to $1,890,000 and accepted her offer. At that point, my buyer was very excited. But then hours after accepting our offer, the seller’s agent called to tell us that there was a full price offer now and they would be moving on to the new buyer. At which point, my client who was purchasing cash also offered the asking price. But the other party went higher. So we went higher. Thankfully in the end my client did get the apartment but she had to pay over ask and considerably more than the originally, agreed upon offer.

I think the lesson here is that you have to really understand the value of the property that you are offering. Even though it’s a buyer’s market, certain segments are still in demand and sell quickly if priced right. Also, the deal is never done until the seller signs the contract. For many reasons, starting too low may leave the door open for another buyer.

The Author-  Brian Silvestry , a licensed real estate broker, has been selling residential and commercial real estate since 1999. He has sold in every Manhattan market from Battery Park City to Washington Heights.

How is a Manhattan co-op different from a condo part 3?

In this continuing series we will take a look at a couple more differences between co-ops and condos.

1- Co-ops tend to be located in prewar buildings while condos tend to be newer, shinier and more full of amenities. So if you love prewar lobbies, crown moldings and other details of prewar buildings, you probably will be looking at more co-ops. Almost all new offerings in the last 10 years plus are condos so condos tend to satisfy the wants of Manhattan buyers who are looking for newer buildings with amenities like swimming pools, roof decks, bowling or golf simulators. Some co-ops will have nice amenities as well but very few co-ops have been built in the last 20 years or so.

2- If you are a foreign national or US based investor, condos will most likely be your choice. Co-ops tend to examine a plethora of documents as previously mentioned including US credit. Since a co-op can turn down someone without providing a reason, if you are foreign national purchasing as a primary residence or a pied-a-terre, your safer bet will be a condo. Also, if you are purchasing for investment, almost all co-ops will require you live there first then there will be restrictions for how long you can rent.

The Author-  Brian Silvestry , a licensed real estate broker, has been selling residential and commercial real estate since 1999. He has sold in every Manhattan market from Battery Park City to Washington Heights.

Manhattan co-ops versus condos part 2

There are many differences between Manhattan co-ops and condos and in this series we take a look at a couple at a time.

1- Condos typically let you rent your apartment out without limit. So if you experience a job change and do not want to sell, you can rent out the apartment without an issue. In a co-op typically, you can rent out 2 of 5 years and then need to move back or sell.

2-Co-ops normally have higher monthly carrying charges than condos but lower prices. For example a 2bd/2ba co-op on the upper west side of about 1100 sqft might cost you  $1.5 million and have monthly charges of about $2900. A similar condo might run you $2.1 million but the monthly charges might only be $2000.

Price differences, and ability to rent out are just two differences of the many between co-ops and condos in Manhattan.

The Author-  Brian Silvestry , a licensed real estate broker, has been selling residential and commercial real estate since 1999. He has sold in every Manhattan market from Battery Park City to Washington Heights.

Manhattan Boutique condo versus high rise- which is better?

A Manhattan boutique condo can have some advantages that a high rise might not. A smaller building can mean more of a personal feeling when coming home. In a Manhattan building with 30 or less apartments, chances are you are going to have more customization and less mass production like a new building with 200 units plus. In the boutique building in NYC, you will see amenities but not the scale that you would see in a high rise luxury building like One Manhattan Square or One Riverside where you have swimming pools, bowling alleys, lounges, party rooms and gardens.

In a large building you might pay more per square foot for these due to the amenities like in Waterline Square on Manattan’s west side or 15 Hudson Yards, where prices hover around $3k per square foot. In a smaller boutique building, you will have less amenities but can expect a roof deck, doorman, gym, and maybe a garden. Take for example, the 6 unit 207 West 75th street building which is brand new and averages only $2k per sqft.  In a 6 unit, be prepared to be involved in the operation of the condo.  In a 39 unit building like the Chamberlain at 269 West 87th street, you get amenities like a children’s playroom,storage, gym,doorman and common outdoor spaces and again averaging around $2k per sqft. Also, in small building, any repairs will hit each apartment owner more than in a large condo with more owners to divide up the costs.

I think it comes to your lifestyle. A small building works well for some people who do not need the amenity suites that some of the large luxury buildings offer. For some people they feel this is akin to living in a hotel and some people love it and some do not.

What is your preference: Boutique or high rise with tons of amenities?

The Author-  Brian Silvestry , a licensed real estate broker, has been selling residential and commercial real estate since 1999. He has sold in every neighborhood from Battery Park City to Washington Heights.

Shake Shack opening soon on Harlem’s 125th street

As Shake Shack prepares to open their Harlem store on 125th street, some residents are excited and some local burger joints are concerned. Harlem Shake and Harlem Burger Co which are both located nearby. are hoping their clientele will continue to come. Some of the offerings are similar. There is no set date yet for the opening of Shake Shack in Harlem but there is partnership with a local bakery, Lady Lexis pies to produce an item only available at the Harlem store. Also 5% of the custard sales will go to a local charity, Harlem Grown.

AMNY full coverage

The Author-  Brian Silvestry , a licensed real estate broker, has been selling residential and commercial real estate since 1999. He has sold in every neighborhood from Battery Park City to Washington Heights.

Harlem townhouse August market report

In the month of August the Central Harlem,Hamilton Heights market was quiet with only 4 new listings coming to the market.

Among the 4 new listings, there is an SRO sold without the certificate of no harassment for $2.1 million looking for cash buyers according to the listing which is the least expensive listing. Also listed this month is a home at 210 W 122nd street which appears to be renovated though the DOB records indicate SRO as well asking $3.995 million. Rounding out the new listings are an 8 unit for sale near Fifth avenue and a 3 family with side yard at 517 W 152nd street which was listed previously.

On the sale side(see table below), there were 5 sales and some properties went to contract or were removed from the market which resulted in a decrease of inventory from 82 available listings in July to 70 in August. This led to a corresponding decrease in inventory levels to only 14 months from 21 months in July.

Sold properties for August
Sale Price # Units
160 W 130 ST $2,400,000 8
37 W 126 ST $2,544,000 4
127 W 120 ST $3,451,000 3
106 W 120 ST $3,375,000 3
17 W 120 ST $3,750,000 6
# Active listings Inventory (months)
70 14
<$2mm 5
$2mm-$2.99mm 33
$3mm-$3.99 mm 25
$4mm + 8

July Harlem townhouse report

June Harlem townhouse report

The Author-  Brian Silvestry , a licensed real estate broker, has been selling residential and commercial real estate since 1999. He has sold in every neighborhood from Battery Park City to Washington Heights.