Article Originally Published in Mansion Global
NEW YORK, NY - Real estate is truly in Elizabeth Stribling-Kivlan’s blood. Her mother founded Stribling & Associates, the New York brokerage for which she’s now president. Ms. Stribling-Kivlan’s mother was so committed to her career, in fact, that she stopped to show an apartment on her way to giving birth. “It’s a rumor that’s totally true,” Ms. Stribling-Kivlan told Mansion Global.
In her current role, Ms. Stribling-Kivlan is in charge of 315 agents at a firm that boasts the highest average sales price of any in Manhattan, she says. We caught up with her to talk about everything from a San Francisco building that got away to the upsides of “micro” apartments.
Mansion Global: Describe your dream property.
Elizabeth Stribling-Kivlan: It depends. Sometimes it’s a castle in Scotland, sometimes a beach bar in St. Maarten. But for me, waterfront beachfront property is my dream. And I’d kill for a pool in New York.
MG: Do you have a real estate property that got away?
ESK: I was offered a building in the Mission District for $600,000 in 2003 when I was living there. That property is so incredible right now. Another one is a Manhattan penthouse on 29th Street across from the Ace Hotel. I’m kicking myself in hindsight, since now it’s on the market for such an astronomical price.
MG: What does luxury mean to you?
ESK: Luxury is in the eye of the beholder. It’s not about a particular price point. It’s an emotional commodity. In New York, technically it’s $5 million and up, but it’s a flexible word.
MG: What area do you think is the next hub for luxury properties?
ESK: In New York City, I think it’s outside Long Island City and into other parts of Queens. It’s a market that’s been a little on the fringe, but I’m surprised it hasn’t happened yet.
MG: What’s the biggest surprise in the luxury real estate market now?
ESK: I’ve been surprised that the concept of tiny living (somewhat a Nordic thing) hasn’t caught on more. There’s something great about having an incredibly designed 1,000-square-foot apartment with unbelievable views. You can have really chic micro units with high-end finishes. That’s the ultimate pied-a-terre.
MG: Where are the best luxury homes in the world and why?
ESK: New York. We have such intense rules about how we build and what we can build. You can’t get better than the luxury properties here, both in terms of investment level and what’s going on all around you. New York as a city can be whatever you want it to be.
MG: What’s your favorite part of your home?
ESK: I’m about to move into a new place that I bought for the view of the Brooklyn Bridge. I need a moment every day where I’m inspired, and for me, looking at the bridge is amazing. That motivates me to be the best I can be.
MG: What best describes the theme to your home and why?
ESK: Color, comfort and whimsy. I think it’s fun.
MG: What’s the most valuable thing in your home?
ESK: My wife. Aside from that, stuffed animal my father gave me when I was a child. He died when I was a young.
MG: What’s the most valuable amenity to have in a home right now?
ESK: Parking. If you have a valuable car, especially, it’s great.
MG: Best piece of real estate advice?
ESK: Follow your gut. Sometimes it’s worth paying an extra $10,000 when you’re thinking about the big picture.
MG: What’s going on in the news that will have the biggest impact on the luxury real estate market?
ESK: Brexit. There’s an opportunity for us here in New York. There’s potential for great investments to happen here.
MG: What is the best area now for investing in luxury properties?
ESK: I think you have to look at “how easy replicated is this property?” If you’re buying on the edge of Central Park, or on the waterfront or in a mega project, you need to think “Is this something that can happen again?” If not, it’s a great investment. You need to think where the price is going to be in 10 years.
MG: What area currently has the best resale value?
ESK: There’s a lot of value on the Upper East Side still. The housing stock is unbelievable. Even on the far East Side too. It’s only going to get better when the Second Avenue subway is finished.