Townhouses: it's all you—for better and for worse.

New York
Julia Hoagland Of Compass

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Townhouses: it's all you—for better and for worse.

 There are 1,869 single-family townhouses in Manhattan. This is less than 1% of the total 290,517 Manhattan non-rental housing units (co-ops /condos /cond-ops /townhouses), and less than 0.002% of the approximately one million total Manhattan housing units (including rentals).

The market for a four-bedroom apartment is very different than that for a four-bedroom townhouse. The width of an apartment is rarely discussed, while in a townhouse it makes all the difference (anything less than 18' throws you out of a large portion of the searching public's minimum width parameters). Style, the existence of an elevator, tax base, landmark status, curb cut /garage /stoop, kitchen location, and the existence, size and exposure of a garden are all characteristics that affect value. (Views: not so much.) Single-family townhouses trade at a different per SF price point than multi-family, and the existence of rent-stabilized and/or rent-controlled tenants are of great investment consequence.

Unlike living in an apartment building, you are the only credit risk in your own townhouse. You alone bear the cost of and make arrangements for all maintenance and repairs (trash, roof, boiler, etc.). You also have complete autonomy when it comes to building renovation approval (aside from the NYC Department of Buildings and the Landmarks Preservation Commission (if applicable).

With complete autonomy comes increased responsibility. There are a myriad of unique considerations surrounding Manhattan townhouse investments; make sure the broker you partner with understands the intricacies of the market.

Sources:
Vandenburg, Lauren DeLotto of DeLotto&Fajardo LLP, NYC.GOV/Finance

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For Sellers: Open violations can be punitive.

Outstanding violations, even when unwarranted can derail sales if not dealt with in advance. It takes time to clear violations, which can give nervous attorneys reason to advise a buyer against proceeding and/or put pressure on bank mortgage processes and affect financing rates. All violations and their statuses are available to view on www.nyc.gov.

Ensure diligence is complete on the property prior to listing.

For Buyers: Renovations should not be taken lightly.

Time to gut-renovate a townhouse, including drawing plans, filing and obtaining permits, redoing electrical and plumbing and installing an elevator can approach two years. There can be tremendous upside in converting a multi-family building to a single-family home. Your broker and inspector can help you assess the extent of the work.

Be prepared for carrying costs during renovations, and hire experts to ease the burden.

subheader3 With an acclaimed business approach, Julia Hoagland and the Modern Luxury Living Partnership (MLLP) are known for being innovative and creative thinkers who bring transparency to the Manhattan marketplace through comprehensive data collection and analysis, market research and a gift for interpretation. This foundation of market analysis entrusts them to high-end clients and enables them to diversify their efforts across all Manhattan markets. Their achievements illustrate their expertise:

  • Brown Harris Stevens Honor Roll 2011, ranking in the top 5% of the firm's brokers
  • 2011 BHS Eastside Office "Most New Deals" achieved in January, March, May and July
  • Brown Harris Stevens Honor Roll 2010, ranking in the top 10% of the firm's brokers
  • 2010 BHS Eastside Office "Most New Deals" achieved in April, July, August and November
  • Brown Harris Stevens Honor Roll 2009, ranking in the top 10% of the firm's brokers
  • Number one broker in sales volume in 2006 and 2008

 * MLLP welcomes Eunice Cuevas as our newest Operations Associate

subheader4margin1Julia Hoagland   •  Senior Vice President/Director
212-906-9262   •  jhoagland@bhsusa.com   •  Twitter Logo@JuliaHoagland mppl logo housing disclaimer christies

Comments

Informative post.

Liane ("Li") Read — May 29, 2012

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