Friday, March 14, 2014

The less-than-fabulous truth about some of those fabulous condos in the sky.

The longer I stay in the real estate business, the more jaded I get.

Most people walking into a $50,000,000 apartment on a floor high enough to have a view of Montauk would say oh my god, this view is fantastic! 

I can walk into the same apartment and say oh my god, these floors are awful.

This is exactly what I did yesterday.  The floors really were awful.  They looked cheap.  They were warping and separating. 

Of course, it is true that whoever buys an apartment like this is probably going to think of it as raw space, ready for demolition and a complete redo, regardless of the floors.

But still.

Somebody planning to spend $50,000,000 on an apartment is going to notice a thing like that.

The beauty of a view of Montauk--or any other view--is significantly diminished if you’re standing on a really awful floor, especially when you’re expected to pay more than $13,000 for a single square foot of it.

Another apartment I saw recently for a mere $17,000,000 was--no kidding, seriously--the ugliest place I have ever been.  

The original space was probably lovely when the building was built, but what the current owner has done to it is obscene.  I can’t even describe it.  

Every square inch of wall in every room was covered with something hideous and jarring.

In yet a third property with a price well into eight figures, the view from the living room was very nice, but the direct, head-on view from the tub in the master bath as well as the bed in the master bedroom was of the huge black condo building across the street.

And vice versa.  

There’s nothing the owner can do about that except maybe put up some curtains (the walls of those rooms are basically all glass), but it will be interesting to see if the final selling price is anywhere near the asking price.

Another apartment, same price range, had floors of polished concrete. Polished concrete floors were popular about fifteen years ago; these had been laid circa 2012.  

Can you imagine what it cost to put those in? Can you imagine what it will cost to replace them with something friendlier?

I once showed a famous and very witty writer an apartment with polished concrete floors.  She said she wouldn't live on concrete floors unless she was sentenced to them.

The moral of my story is, don’t wish for some fabulous trillion-dollar apartment.  What you’re living in right now may very well be nicer in many respects. 

But if you ever plan to sell it, here’s some advice:

Have as much fun as you want with the furniture (you can always store it and rent something less fun but more universally appealing to stage the property when it’s time to sell), but keep the walls, floor, kitchen and bathrooms as neutral as possible.  

If there’s some major flaw, such as a window with a brick wall view, consider covering that window and hanging a picture in its place.   

And if there’s one thing you shouldn’t stint on, it’s the floor.  Get the best quality you can.   

Any questions?  E-mail or call or call 917-991-9549 and we'll talk.

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