I can’t believe NYC real estate

I got a courtesy call yesterday from a Manhattan real estate agent saying he wanted to show our apartment. I told him we didn’t live on 47th Street anymore. Since I’m still receiving calls, they must not have rented our old place, even though it’s been available for more than a month and our lease was officially up June 30th. Their lack of success might have something to do with the way they’ve advertised the place. Forgetting for a moment that the new rent is crazy ($2150! And what’s even crazier is that this is on target for the neighborhood), they listed the apartment as a spacious two bedroom with new renovations. Jesse and I laughed and laughed.

First, we rented the place for $1575 three years ago. That’s too expensive, but the pace and amount of the raises in rent is telling. The only people who can afford the area now are ones with rent-stabilized apartments, really wealthy people, or newbies who live four to an apartment while they work their way up the ladder.

Second, the place is barely a one bedroom. The loft fits a full-size bed and not much else. When we signed our lease three years ago, after they’d taken our deposit, the management company included a rider that said we were not allowed to use the loft as a bedroom, even if it had been “shown that way, advertised that way or used that way by previous tenants.” All of which had happened. Must have been a fire code thing, since there was no fire escape up there. The “second” bedroom (note the current ad doesn’t include a picture of it, probably wise on their part) is an alcove we used as a small office. When the agent showed us the apartment originally she said, “You won’t believe this closet.” As we were moving out, several people viewed the place. Everyone said, after seeing the alcove/office/closet, “So, the two bedrooms are upstairs?”

Third, when we first rented the place, the kitchen tile was cracked, the stair railing was loose, the kitchen cabinets were outdated, the bathroom tile and cabinet needed work, and the place hadn’t been painted in two years. None of this was fixed before we moved in. Even though the management company told us they would paint if the tenants didn’t (and what tenants do?), they did not. After repeated phone calls, they finally said, “The walls don’t need paint”. I guess large scuffs and black marks only count as wear-and-tear—-unless you want to take a couple hundred from the security deposit. So Jesse and I painted the place with the help of friends, in a bright, pleasing yellow. According to NYC housing law, the landlord has to paint every three years, so it’s due a good paint job before the tenant moves in. As you can see in the pictures, it hasn’t been done. And nothing else has been fixed either. I can barely make out the missing kitchen tile and the listing bathroom cabinet.

While the apartment is sunny and relatively spacious for two people who don’t mind bumping into each other, and it was the perfect cozy nest for our baby’s first home, the place is not what they’re making it out to be. The ridiculousness of NYC real estate would be more amusing if we didn’t have to deal with it. Here’s the insanely inaccurate advertisement:

$2150 / 2br – HELLS KITCHEN TRULY SPACIOUS 2 BR W/ SUNNY LIVING RM!! DUPLEX!! (Midtown West)

Reply to: hous-346887455@craigslist.org
Date: 2007-06-07, 11:40AM EDT

***** SPACIOUS DUPLEX 2 BEDROOM IN HELL’S KITCHEN – MIDTOWN WEST *****

SPACIOUS, 2 BEDROOM apartment in a very well-maintained building.
EXCELLENT LOCATION, STEPS TO TRAIN, shopping, great restaurants,
bars and more…

Spacious 2 bedrooms with new renovation and nice details.
Great size, sunny living room, perfect for your entertainment,
and relaxing time. This stunning apartment has high ceiling, polished hard wood floor,
and large windows.

*** For more information, call Ester or Declan at 917-572-2903 or 646-596-6337*
Listing # 187666

WEB ID #: 187666

Call Declan @ 646 596 6337 to view

old apt LR fireplace kitchen stairs bedroom bathroom

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One Response to “I can’t believe NYC real estate”

  1. etmoving1 Says:

    Great Post. I am looking to move to NYC so this is very informative.

    http://www.estimatetoday.com/

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