Friday, September 17, 2010

☞ DWELL: 307 West 126th Street Condominium

OPEN HOUSE: Sunday, September 19th, 3:00PM-4:00 PM, apartment number 2A. The adaptive reuse Central Harlem condo at 307 West 126th Street (between St. Nicholas and FDB/8th) was converted sometimes in 2007 and one of the units are up for resale. The block is kind of still all over the place since most of the north side consist of community gardens and the south side basically faces the tail end of yet-to-be revitalized buildings on 125th Street. That said, for $499K, one gets 854 square foot of space, 2 bedroom, 2 baths and common charges of $723. It's pretty much going for the same purchase price as when it was sold in 2007 which is around $584 per square foot. On the plus side, the express A train is half a block away (and there's a horse on the wall in the guest bedroom).


  1. #2A is reported in many places to be 711 sq',not 854, thus significantly increasing it's ppsf.

    Place sold 2 years ago for $484,185 or $680 ppsf in '07. No one is going to pay a half mil for this joint, way too much inventory out there in better locations. Applying the standard "Harlem Hype 25% price chopper" to this unit, I'm figuring it might sell @ $375K in 90-120 days. If they get an offer @ $400K, they should take the money and run! Common charges way too high for a bldg like this.

  2. Do me a favor Reynolds and vacate Harlem for one of those 'better locations' that you keep harping on about. Bloody hell, you are like a broken record. Also, what is the "standard Harlem Hype 25% price chopper?" lol. What a load of nonsense. You do give me a good laugh though old fella. Don't forget to take your pills this afternoon ;)

  3. Every apartment in NYC inflates its square footage, which is why buyers that obsess over ppsf are doing themselves a disservice. Don't single out this listing for doing it.

    I actually looked at this apartment in 2007 when it was on the market. It's very nice with a logical floorplan. Finishes are luxury without being over the top, as well as functional. The modern touches complement the pre-war elements of the building rather that clash with it. The master bath is pretty spacious for NYC.

    I like these kinds of condominium adaptions of tenement-style buildings, and this is one of the better ones you will find (I've looked at several and have lived in one). Agreed that common charges are quite high for this type of building, but it should still sell with a price in the $400s.

  4. ...but 'fudging' 20% harlemfanatic? that's not an understandable oversight, that's 'bait & switch' false advertising. but true you look at a property, bring a tape measure and note pad. i go one step further and bring a level (a small hand held and a 3 footer). not unusual to learn floors are not properly horizontal and walls properly vertical. counters, appliance installations, tubs, sinks, there are a lot of 'tricks" in home & building construction designed to create the illusion of flawless, when in truth the flaws are there. the oldest trick in the book? "Popcorn ceilings", per wiki, 'Cheaper than painting, it could be quickly and easily sprayed on in new construction and was also useful in masking ceiling defects in older homes, such as stains, uneven ceilings or poor workmanship'. there is no integrity of any kind in real estate, 100% caveat emptor.

    I have not seen this unit, but it has a major, glaring obvious problem that may not be so apparent to the new arrivals of Harlem. It's trying to place a square peg in a round hole, and that's why it won't sell.

    "Shoe horning" 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms on a 711' foot print? Are you kidding me? That's the stuff you see and relunctantly put up with in Tribeca for example, NOT Harlem. Half the reason people migrate to Harlem is the narrative of how much more space you get, etc. and so forth. This property is taking a concept of lower Manhattan, and plugging it into Harlem, a concept that runs contrary to one of the key and very motivations you are attracted to Harlem (more space). The property is not delivering on one of the promises of Harlem, space.

    I've never heard of a 2B/2B in Harlem of 711 sq'. (2B/1B, yes, not 2 bath though). 2B/2B in Harlem pretty much start at 30% larger than this listing, or low 900+ sq'. Anyone willing to buy this property is forgoing one of the promises of Harlem.

  5. Reynolds93,

    As has been evident on countless other occasions on this blog, you are NOT the authority on what Harlem promises or what she is.

    In my opinion, most people relocate to Harlem because it is affordable relative to the rest of Manhattan, and yet convenient in that it is close to major employment centers (midtown and downtown), while locally offering a growing list of the luxuries that people expect from Manhattan living (restaurants, entertainment, shopping, etc.). Now that affordability does mean one can buy more space uptown for the same amount of money downtown, but when people are primarily motivated by the desire for more space, they generally leave Manhattan, not relocate within it.

    Now back to thsi listing, you are making a bunch of assumptions, many of which are downright false, and others of which you have no proof.

    First of all, this apartment does NOT have a popcorn ceiling. That is, unless the previous owner decided to spray over the original ceilings, which only a dummy would do.

    How do you know that 711 is the correct footage, and not 854 or some other number? You don't. I certainly haven't measured the apartment, but I'm comfortable "guesstimating" that the true square footage is higher than 711.

    Uneven floors, walls, countertops, etc? Unless you know this to be the case on this apartment (I don't and I have seen it), you're just baselessly speculating.

    Furthemore, there are plenty of 2B/2R apartments in Harlem with less than 800 square feet. In fact, I have lived in one. I've even know of some 2B/2R units at under 700 sq ft, and I know a 4 person family (with two very young children) that chose to buy it. But more freuqently, people that buy 2B of this size are single professionals that need a home office, and the second bedroom serves this purpose. So while these may not be spacious enough for you, there are plenty of other buyers for which it sufficient.

    Your problem is that you continue to assume that everyone in Harlem has the same tastes or priorities and therfore will have similar reactions to things, whether it be real estate, upscale restaurants, or anything else. The beauty of Harlem, and New York in general, is her diversity. I hope you learn to appreciate this one day.

  6. OK, now I have a mental picture of Reynolds attending open house after open house, level and tape measure in hand, chortling quietly, or not so quietly, to himself as he finds the most minor variance.

  7. "How do you know that 711 is the correct footage, and not 854 or some other number? You don't."

    The New York Times printed the selling record, and in that record the footage is defined as 711 sq' (in the sales transaction record filed with the City). The NYT states their source is: NYC Department of Finance. As you can see, all the above units are the same size. Agency's can "fudge in advertising". However legal docs and records following properties? No fudging.

    A little history to educate you my friend, 307 West 126th Street (renovated) sales began in August of '06, it's a five-story, 10-unit condominium conversion, built in 1910, houses six one-bedrooms and four two-bedrooms. Asking prices for one-bedrooms start at $467,600; the two-bedrooms start at $489,500. Warburg Realty Harlem was the original agency handled the newly introduced property, they defined the footage as 711 sq' for the 2B/2B
    (where they provide a detailed floor plan and you can do the math).

    Yes, I keep up with the Real Deal. Now I have answered your question. 2A is 711 sq', it's clear, documented, end of story.

    The fact of the matter is real estate agencies lie, fudge, etc. as a matter of normal practice in advertising. If this were advertised in truth, the 711 square footage alone would negate further inquiry to a large amount of potential buyers on that parameter alone. The agency knows that, and that's why they will not be truthful, and advertise this unit as 711 sq'. I'm baffled Harlemfanatic that you would buy and swallow the story of a real estate agency hook line and sinker, in face of some many facts that illustrate otherwise. Tell me, why do you think it's 854 sq'? The selling agent said so? Harlem Bespoke printed it? Perhaps the selling record filed with the City is wrong, the New York Times is wrong, the original listing with the original agency is wrong, and the documented floor plan that you can examine with your own eyes is also wrong. And you Harlemfanatic, you sir are right!

    Don't hate the player, hate the game.

  8. Reynolds, just a word of advice, some of your accusations are becoming borderline libelous. Probably not a good idea to make statements such as: "The fact of the matter is real estate agencies lie, fudge, etc. as a matter of normal practice in advertising", when clearly your statement is in reference to a specific listing and agency.

    Back to the listing, is it not possible that official records may at times be incorrect? Who is to say that the owners did not go around with a measuring tape and come up with the number 854 sq. ft?

  9. Reynolds93,

    Yet again, you demonstrate a fundamental lack of understanding of how the corrupt and poorly regulated (notice I did not say over- or under-regulated) real estate industry works in the City of New York, particularly with respect to new developments.

    I am well aware of the hisotry of this condominium. It was in fact a Warburg agent that showed me the property before it was first sold (sadly I do not recall her name).

    You are 100% WRONG when you state, "However legal docs and records following properties? No fudging." Nothing could be further from the truth. Allow me to let you in on a little secret. There is no square footage police in NYC. The fact that the original sale was recorded at 711 means absolutely nothing of substance. It simply indicates that 711 was the square footage recorded in the offering plan at that time. That floor plan and square footage can be changed at any time by filing an amendment to the offering plan. DOB inspectors generally only verify the total square footage of the building. They do not go around measuring each room for accuracy. Therefore, it's up to the developer to be truthful about square footage in each apartment. If you think developers can be trusted in this regard, I can get you a great deal to buy the Statute of Liberty.

    Now I never suggested that the correct square footage is 854. In fact, I doubt it is given the incentive that sellers and listing agents have to overestimate. What I did state is based on my visual inspection, I would guess that the apartment is larger than 711. Could I be wrong? Certainly. Again, I did not measure. But at least I've seen the apartment and spent a few minutes inside to visually inspect. You sir have never been inside this buiding. Therefore, you have no credibility here.

    I don't mind a contrarian in a discussion. In fact, I celebrate differences of opinion. You sir, however, have an annoying tendency to opine on issues of which you lack a fundamental understanding. For once, please come down off your high horse and admit you don't know what you're talking about. It's painfully obvious to everyone else. We're just waiting on you to join the party.

  10. Can't we all get along ??

    Getting back to the Open house...Let us know how it looks ! I won't be back in THE CITY for about 6 weeks. I would love to hear from someone who saw the condo !