Sunday, September 21, 2008

The Hunt: BoogieDowner Breakdown

This week's "Hunt" article in the Real Estate section of the New York Times details the quest of a 50-something couple looking for a 2 bedroom condo for under $1.1 mil. When BoogieDowner read "The Hunt" this week, we have to admit we groaned and sighed a bit. The reason? Not because we did not enjoy Hunt Honey Joyce Cohen's piece, but simply because at a price point that high, we have trouble coming up with Bronx comparables for the Breakdown. That's right... Bronx real estate is so undervalued that it's nearly impossible to find single family homes as high as $1 million. Now, if you're in the market to buy an entire apartment building, that would be a whole different story.

Okay, back to work. After living bicoastally for a while and then settling down in Woodstock, NY, Doug Menuez and Tereza Machado-Menuez were ready to move back to civilization and, after checking out properties in Chelsea, figured the financial district would be the cheapest place to buy. They were told that they'd be "pioneers" of sorts because not many other people lived down there (although the seemingly endless list of newly constructed condos and conversions would indicate otherwise).

The two conditions that Doug told his real estate agent any property would have to meet would be: 1) no vermin and 2) a washer/dryer in the unit. Funny, because when we were looking for a place, we told our agent: "Listen bub, we want the nastiest place you've got in your inventory. Seriously, give us roaches, rats, maybe even a squirrel or two living behind a wall. You know, really gross and vermin-infected." Um, doesn't it go without saying that most buyers are looking for a vermin-less unit?

Anyway, the Menuez's eventually bought a 2 bedroom/2 bath unit in 90 William Street for $1.106 million and a monthly condo charge of $1000. Not exactly a steal, but they seem quite happy with their news digs. The one thing it lacks: a private washer/dryer (and hopefully vermin). But they enjoy meeting other 90 William Street "pioneers" because the laundry room is right near the lounge, gym, and outdoor terrace. Congrats Doug and Tereza!

Of course, since we are the BoogieDowner, we must compare what these hunters would have found around their price point had they looked in the real estate hotness that is The Bronx:

Doug and Tereza could have moved right into this Baychester 3 bedroom, 3 bathroom beauty for $200,000 LESS than their financial district pad. Um, no additional comment on this property really necessary other than saying: this baby has an in-ground pool. Boo-yeah! Okay, I'll comment a bit further anyway... the master suite has a bathroom with heated marble tile flooring and the kitchen is state-of-the-art, complete with granite countertops and all that good stuff. Total price? $849,000. Only in the Bronx kids, only in the Bronx. View full listing here.

For over $300,000 LESS than the 2 bedroom condo, our hunters could have scored this beautiful 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom house in Throgs Neck. This place is right on the water and has gorgeous views from the deck. It's located in a private, gated community. Swanky! List price is $769,000. View full listing here.

For over $400,000 LESS than their new place, Doug and Tereze could have snapped up this adorable 3 bedroom, 3 bathroom house on uber-cute City Island. Of course, since this is the Bronx, there is a pool in the backyard. Master bedroom has a walk-in closet, and there's even a sunroom and a full guest bedroom suite. Taxes are a measely $175/month... much better than Doug and Tereze's $1000 monthly condo fee, right? Right. List price is $679,000. View full listing here.

And it's safe to assume all of these properties have their own washer/dryer (and are hopefully vermin-free).

*Hunt photo courtesy of G. Paul Burnett/The New York Times*



neutered poodle said...

just interested in what price point you were shopping at when you moved to the bronx? Compared to Philly (where I live now) seems like bronx prices are still pretty much out of reach for me.

Boogiedowner said...

That's why I hate when the Hunt is such a high price-point... because I can't really highlight all the bargain-basement real estate deals that are available in the Bronx. I try to keep it near what the hunters paid just so I can highlight the extra space and amenities that price point would have afforded them in the BoogieDown.
But there are excellent low budget deals out there... For example, I came across a beautiful 1 bedroom apartment in Kingsbridge Heights today for $155,000. We'll probably feature it as a listing of the day in the next week or so.
When we were hunting a year and a half ago, we were looking for a 2 bedroom - $250,000 and below. We eventually ended up in our large Bedford Park 2 bedroom (with separate dining area) for
I know it's basically impossible to compete with real estate prices in a place like Philly, but you truly get the best bang for your buck in NYC in the Bronx.