5 Manhattan Restaurants That Are Over 100 Years Old

I received a lot of great feedback about last month’s article regarding Brooklyn’s Longest Running Family Restaurants, so today’s post is about Manhattan’s Oldest Eateries. Before there was Grand Central’s Oyster Bar (established 1913), The Palm (1926), or even Katz’s Deli (1888), the city hosted thousands of famous eateries, dozens of which are still around today. Some names are more recognizable than others, but every one of them is still worth a visit.

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Image by Chris Ruvolo

Delmonico’s
Opened: 1837
Financial District: 56 Beaver St.
The idea for this iconic establishment came as early as 1827 when the Delmonico brothers opened a successful shop that sold pastries, coffee, chocolate, liquor, and cigars. Ten years later, they bought the triangular plot of land at the intersection of Beaver, William, and South William Streets and opened what would quickly become one of the best fine-dining venues in NYC. A favorite of Theodore Roosevelt and Samuel Clemens (aka, Mark Twain), Delmonico’s was the first to offer private dining rooms and to serve menu items à la carte. It became known for its house special, the Delmonio steak (still widely copied today), and for its extensive wine list. Delmonico’s is also known for originating Lobster Newberg, Eggs Benedict, and Baked Alaska. Its spacious dining room, rich with mahogany-paneled walls, paintings of old-school patrons drinking martinis, and ornate, lofty ceilings, is still regarded as one of the best fine-dining locales in New York.

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Photo courtesy Creative Commons

Pete’s Tavern
Opened: 1864
Gramercy Park: 129 East 18th Street
You might recognize Pete’s Tavern from numerous TV shows like Seinfeld and Sex and the City. At the turn of the century, the famous writer O. Henry frequented what was then known as “Healy’s” when he lived down the street. He wrote about it in his short story “The Lost Blend,” calling it “Kenealy’s,” a fact made known by Pete’s awning that proclaims “The Tavern that O. Henry Made Famous.” Pete’s sits in a building with a history all its own. Originally part of the Portman Hotel, the bar operated as a speakeasy disguised as a flower shop during Prohibition. In the ‘50s, it became NYC’s first popular gay bar. Today, despite its history and character, this loveable tavern retains a neighborhood feel and remains remarkably tourist-free. It’s known for its pub fare and beer, including Pete’s own brew, the 1864 Ale.

Old Homestead Steak House, 56 9th Avenue, Manhattan, New York. Photograph taken 28 July 2012.
Image by Leonard J. DeFrancisci

Old Homestead Steakhouse
Opened: 1868
Meatpacking District: 56 9th Avenue
As the neighborhood has changed around it, Old Homestead has remained the same legendary steakhouse since opening its doors in 1868. Then known as the Tidewater Trading Post, the “meatery” has operated from the same place since, making it one of the longest continually serving restaurants in the country, let alone NYC. The restaurant is known for its iconic life-sized cow named Anabelle over the entrance and its Texas-sized servings. In fact, the “doggie bag” is said to have been originated here due to the generous plate sizes. Old Homestead was also the first locale to put on its regular menu a burger priced more than $40—the Kobe burger.

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Ear Inn
Opened: 1890
SoHo: 326 Spring St.
One of the oldest existing taverns in New York City, the Ear Inn is housed in the ground floor of the historic James Brown Building, built in 1817.  Brown, an African-American Revolutionary War veteran who served as an aide to George Washington, was the proprietor of a tobacco store at the location when it was built in 1817. Then it was only several feet from the Hudson River shoreline. After several owners, beer brewer Thomas Cook purchased the location in 1890 and ran a successful saloon. The townhouse became a speakeasy during Prohibition, and the upstairs apartment served as a boarding house, brothel, and smuggler’s den throughout the years. Today, locals rave about its comfort food, patchwork divey decor, and paper tablecloths that you can draw on. I definitely recommend that anyone check out this location at least once.

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Photo courtesy of Commons: Wikipedia Takes Manhattan

Bridge Cafe
Opened: 1794
Financial District: 279 Water St.
The Bridge Cafe sits in the shadow of the Brooklyn Bridge, though it opened a good 90 years before it. Although it’s been closed since Superstorm Sandy, reconstruction is expected to be completed this year. Many await the return of this venue, which has been serving drinks in one form or another longer than all but one other place in town, Fraunces Tavern. It is housed in one of Manhattan’s oldest wood-framed structures, and when it opened in 1794 as a bar and brothel, the East River lapped up to its foundation. Former patrons include waterfront pirates right up through and beyond the 1850s when it was called “The Hole in the Wall.” In fact, many fights, robberies, and several murders are said to have occurred here. Some claim the building is haunted. Repairs on the 221-year-old building will preserve the original pillars, intricately ornate tin ceilings, and oak bar. Once reopened, the Bridge Cafe will be like stepping back into time.

A Look Into NYC’s Architectural Styles

New York City is home to many architectural styles that are diverse and impressive. Whatever neighborhood you’re in, you’ll come across various types, maybe even on the same block. Clients often ask me for background about the styles in each neighborhood so I have created a rundown of some of NYC’s common architectural styles.

Georgian (1700–76)
The Georgian style was the most prevalent in the English colonies throughout the 18th century. It can be identified by its formal, classical details. St. Paul’s Chapel, on Broadway between Vesey and Fulton Streets, with its pediment, columns, quoins, Palladian window, and balustrade, is a great example. Also surviving from this era is the Morris-Jumel Mansion in Harlem, built in 1765 and billed as Manhattan’s oldest house. Another example of the style is Fraunces Tavern at 54 Pearl St. It’s a 20th-century reconstruction of a house built here in 1719.

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Photo by Jim Henderson

Federal (1780–1820) 
The first truly American architectural style is characterized by its clean simplicity. Usually 2–3 stories, these buildings have unornamented stone windowsills and lintels. The Charlton-King-Vandam Historic District in the South Village, designated a landmark in 1966, contains the city’s largest concentration of row houses in the Federal style (as well as a significant concentration of Greek Revival houses). There are more original Federal-style houses in the West Village, near and along Bedford Street between Christopher and Morton Streets. And, 4–10 Grove Street, just off Bedford, is another authentic group of houses built in this style.

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Photo by Beyond My Ken/Below

Greek Revival (1820–60)
Characterized by symmetrical shapes, pedimented gables, heavy cornices, bold, simple moldings, and wide, plain friezes, the Greek Revival style emerged in the late 19th century when the taste for all things Greek (including furniture and interior design) was at a peak. Perhaps the city’s finest example is Federal Hall National Memorial with its Greek temple front, steep flight of steps, Doric columns, and a simple pediment, resting on a high base called a plinth. Located at 26 Wall Street, this is where George Washington took the presidential oath of office in 1789.

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Photo by Hu Totya

Gothic Revival (1830–60) 
While cottages built in this style had only one or two Gothic features, most commonly a steeply pitched roof or pointed arches, the churches built at this time were usually representative of English Gothic style. Other characteristics include castle-like towers with parapets, front-facing gables with decorative incised trim and topped with finials, porches with turned posts or columns, and decorative crowns over windows and doors. One of the most celebrated Gothic structures in the US is Trinity Church, at Broadway and Wall Street. Until the late 1860s, it was the tallest building in the area.

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Photo by Gryffindor

Italianate (1840–80) 
In New York, the Italianate style was used for everything from commercial buildings to urban row houses. The facade is usually brownstone, and the buildings often include high stoops, round-headed double doors, and windows and doors that are flanked with carved scrolls or acanthus-leaf shapes. SoHo’s Cast Iron Historic District consists of 26 blocks of cast-iron buildings designed in this style. Check out Greene Street between Houston and Canal to take in the Italianate sculptural facades.

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Photo by Jim Henderson

Beaux Arts (1890–1920)
This massive and grandiose style emerged from the academic neoclassical architectural style taught at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris, and it heavily influenced architecture in the US. Usually constructed with stone, Beaux Arts buildings include balustrades, balconies, columns, cornices, pilasters, large arches, triangular pediments, and lavish decorations, including swags, medallions, flowers, and shields. The New York Public Library’s main branch in Bryant Park, at Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street, is an example of Beaux Arts. Other examples include Vanderbilt’s Grand Central and the US Customs House on Bowling Green between State and Whitehall Streets.

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International Style (1920–45) 
Dominant in the middle decades of the 20th century, this visually weightless style came from a desire to break from historically based ornamentation. Its structures share a stark simplicity and functionalism: rectilinear forms, surfaces stripped of decoration, and open interior spaces. Examples include the Seagram Building at 375 Park Avenue and Lever House at 390 Park Avenue between 53rd and 54th Streets, which is credited with popularizing glass curtain walls and plazas. The Secretariat building in the UN complex, at First Avenue and 46th Street, is another example. It was designed by an international committee of architects from 1947–53.

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Art Deco (1925–40) 
Taking its name from a Paris expo in 1925, this jazzy style embodied the idea of modernity. Also not based on historic precedents, the Art Deco style became the widely accepted design for everything from buildings, trains, and ocean liners to jewelry and household items such as lamps and cigarette lighters. Its buildings have a vertical emphasis characterized by linear, hard edges, with stylized decoration. The distinctive profile arose from the New York zoning law of the time, which required setbacks at a certain height in buildings to make sure that light and air reached the street. The most famous examples include The Empire State Building, Chrysler Building, and Rockefeller Center.

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Photo by David Shankbone

Postmodern (1975–90)
Heralded by the return of “wit, ornament, and reference” to architecture, postmodernists lept onto the scene in the ‘70s, shunning the steel and glass formality of the International Style. Postmodernism reintroduced classical details into design, but in outrageous proportions. There is nothing cold about these rebellious buildings. A prime example is the distinctive Chippendale shape of the Sony Building at 550 Madison Avenue, perhaps the most well-known skyscraper of the 1980s. The Morgan Bank Headquarters at 60 Wall Street is another. The column base is a mirror of the facade of the 19th-century building across the street.

Photo by David Shankbone

21st-Century Architecture (2000–present)
We’re only 15 years into the new century, but it’s clear that today’s curvaceous structures stand in contrast to the angular architecture of the past. Examples include the billowing curtain look at the IAC Building on West 18th Street, designed by architect Frank Gehry and the geometrically patterned Heart Tower at 300 West 57th Street by Sir Norman Foster.

Photo by Edificio

If you’d like to learn more about the architectural styles in NYC, check out the teak decks of the 1920s style yachts, the Manhattan and Manhattan II, to enjoy a tour of NYC’s architectural landmarks from the water hosted by the New York chapter of the American Institute of Architects.

New Disclosure Rules for Shell Companies in New York Luxury Real Estate Sales – The New York Times

Interesting article about Mayor de Blasio’s new disclosure rules for shell companies in New York. The new rules will ensure that buyers have to disclose their names, even when purchasing under an LLC, to help identify real estate owners who are avoiding city income taxes by claiming legal residency outside the city or country. The article says, “an estimated 89,000 of the city’s condos and co-ops — valued at $20 billion based on city tax assessment data but with an actual estimated fair market value of $80 billion — are owned by people who claim to be nonresidents of the city.”   New Disclosure Rules for Shell Companies in New York Luxury Real Estate Sales – The New York Times.

8 Bushwick New Condo Developments to Look Out For

I’ve recently posted several articles about Bushwick because the neighborhood is a prime example of how a New York City neighborhood can take off and accelerate in growth in just a short number of years.  From 2013-2014, the median home price in Bushwick increased over 30%, the highest growth rate citywide, while rental prices increased over 20%. This once gritty, industrial area is seeing new developments popping up all over, from hotels to rentals to condos.  Here is a snapshot of some upcoming condo projects on or soon hitting the market in Bushwick.  

13 Melrose

This brand new, postwar low-rise near the Myrtle Avenue subway stop launched sales last August. The majority of the eight, one-bedroom homes (priced $389,000–$733,000) were snapped up quickly. Select units have private outdoor space; all include 10-foot high ceilings, white oak hardwood floors, oversized windows, and modern appliances in the kitchens and baths. The local developer, Brookland Capital, appears unstoppable. They have plans for many other condo projects throughout Bushwick.

1094 Madison Street

Brand new to the market, this four-story, eight-unit condo building between Evergreen and Central Avenues is another Brookland project. Designed by L&C Associates, the spacious one bedrooms, some duplexes, feature kitchens with London Grey Caesarstone countertops and rustic mosaic backsplashes, as well as bathrooms with white porcelain tiles accented by custom walnut vanities and chrome fixtures. Prices for the remaining units are $425,000–$625,000. 1094_Madison__SIsaacson-5

1290-1300 Decatur Street 

Currently under construction on the east end of town is this four-building project, each with eight one- and two-bedrooms. Developer Rimon Gabbay purchased the properties for $495,000 in 2013. The recently released exterior rendering by architect S3 features gray brick, wood wall panels and balconies, and steel and glass windows and doors. The top two floors will have duplexes with private terraces.

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Rendering by S3 Architecture

26 Starr Street

Between Wilson and Central Avenues, this new condo/apartment project is in pre-construction. The owner, Lazer Waldman, plans three separate buildings to span the lots of 24-28 Starr St. Designed by Charles Mallea, the facade includes gray panels and protruding, asymmetrical windows. The development will have a total of 24 units, including two duplexes with mezzanines.

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Rendering by Charles Mallea

322 Menahan Street

Brookland Capital has filed applications to construct a six-story residential building of 8,629 square feet at the vacant lot of 322 Menahan Street. Feingold & Gregory are designing what Brookland partner Boaz Gilad calls a Bauhaus-style condo development with 24 units. 

1255 Bushwick Avenue                    

Brookland also purchased the Lutheran church at 1255 Bushwick Ave. for $1.95 two years ago. The original design for the seven-story, 32-unit condo building by Isaac & Stern was met with criticism. Reports say that Brookland has since scrapped that design, and will instead raze the structure and start from scratch.

424 Evergreen Avenue

Plans for a four-story, three-unit residential building were just announced for this vacant lot in the center of Bushwick, three blocks from the Gates Av. stop on the J/Z subway. It will measure 4,300 square feet, which works out to units averaging 1,430 square feet, just the right size for condos. Manish Savani is listed as the architect. 

Vacant 424 Evergreen Avenue, image via Google Maps
Vacant 424 Evergreen Avenue, image via Google Maps

Rheingold

One of the highest-profile developments in Bushwick is the mega project at the former Rheingold Brewery. Current plans for the 10-building complex call for 1,000 apartments of which 327 will be condo units. Plans for three of the buildings have been filed, one of which includes a spectacular 25,000-square-foot green rooftop. It’s unclear whether the new developer, The Rabsky Group (who bought the site from Read Property Group for $53 million last year), plans to make good on Read’s agreement to include 30% affordable housing. There’s still a lot to be worked out for this enormous undertaking. I will keep you posted as development continues.

With all this new growth activity, it’s easy to see ample opportunities to stake your claim in Bushwick. Please let me know if you’re interested in learning more about this vibrant community.

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ODA’s Rheingold rendering, courtesy of Brownstoner.com

In Bushwick, Street Art Comes with a Copious Side of Advertising Billboards

My last blog post about Bushwick mentioned the Bushwick Collective, a group of artists whose street art has contributed hugely to why Bushwick was recently voted 7th coolest city in the world by Vogue Magazine (head to the Jefferson Street stop off the L and check it out if you haven’t already). Now corporations are coming in and using the city walls for ads.  Check out the below article from hyperallergic.com and tell me what you think.

In Bushwick, Street Art Comes with a Copious Side of Advertising Billboards.

Bushwick on the Rise

Photo courtesy of homemadefx.com
Photo courtesy of homemadefx.com

The neighborhood of Bushwick was chartered in 1661 and originally named Boswijck, a Dutch term meaning “little town in the woods” or “heavy woods.” The township included the modern-day communities of Bushwick, Williamsburg, and Greenpoint, and was founded as an area for farming food and tobacco. Bushwick later became an industrial hub and was home to several breweries at the turn of the 20th century. Today, the neighborhood shares a border with Ridgewood, Queens to the northeast, Broadway on the southeast, Broadway on the southwest, and the Cemetery of the Evergreens on the southeast. The rise of real estate prices in surrounding areas such as Williamsburg has caused young professionals and artists to flock to this formerly industrial area, which was recently named the 7th coolest neighborhood in the world by Vogue.

Map courtesy of brooklyn.com
Map courtesy of brooklyn.com

As the arts community continues to flourish in Bushwick, real estate prices are on the rise as well. Sales prices have appreciated 130.4% over the last 5 years, with the average price per square foot reaching $638, 8.5% higher than the average for Brooklyn. The median rent for a 1-bedroom is $2,000, which is much higher than in in 2012, but still a bargain considering 1-bedrooms go for $3,100 in nearby Williamsburg. Living alongside the Bushwick’s artists and young professionals are a sizeable Hispanic population, mostly comprised of Dominican and Puerto Rican origin. This lively, community-oriented neighborhood also contains a major commercial center along Knickerbocker Avenue.

Bushwick is becoming an increasingly popular dining destination – 11 new restaurants opened in March of this year alone. Neighborhood staples like Roberta’s and Northeast Kingdom have been recently joined by the Appalachian-influence Montana’s Trail House, Lucy’s Vietnamese Kitchen, the Ethiopian Bunna Cafe, and many more. Fritzl’s Lunch Box is home to one of NY Eater’s best burgers in Brooklyn, and Tutu’s is an equally great option for those looking for a craft cocktail or draught beer to accompany their burger.

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While there are many galleries to visit, including Outlet on Wilson Avenue and Storefront Ten Eyck near the Williamsburg border, street art by The Bushwick Collective is a must-see as well. Walk along Jefferson Street starting at Wyckoff and continue toward Saint Nicholas Avenue to see murals from artists around the world. The Collective’s annual block party takes place in early June, and is the perfect opportunity to explore Bushwick’s street art scene. Nightlife options include Lot 45 and Bossa Nova Civic Club; those looking for a more laid-back night should try Miles or The Rookery.

If you’re thinking of moving to this vibrant, ever-changing neighborhood, please get in touch with me – I would be happy to help you find a home in Bushwick.

Q&A with Patrick Yee, EVP of Marketing & Content Strategy at Refinery29

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Patrick Yee was recently named one of 2014’s most influential buyers, sellers, and marketers by Adweek. He joined Refinery29 as an early partner in 2009 and has led the company through 1000% audience growth, making it the fastest growing media company in the US per Inc 500.  It is now the #1 style media brand online.  Patrick took time out of his busy schedule to talk to me about the success he has helped R29 build as well as some of his favorite NYC spots.

JD: You have helped make Refinery29 the huge success that it is today. Please tell us about, how you got started with R29 and about how you’ve watched R29 grow into the media giant it is today.

PY: I met the founders of Refinery29 while exploring a joint venture with my shopping site back in 2007. After I sold that company in 2009, I joined the Refinery29 Board of Advisors and then soon joined full-time as an early partner. At Refinery29, we’re growing an iconic media brand focused on smart, provocative and progressive content and video programming at the intersection of style, culture and independence. We’re now the #1 style media brand online and are obsessively focused on providing resource and inspiration to our readers 24/7, wherever and whenever.

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JD: Brandon Silverman, the CEO of CrowdTangle says that you “saw the potential when the company was still tiny.”  What is it about a company, large or tiny, that you see as having potential? 

PY: My partners are creative, authentic, brave and uncompromising.  And we’re focused on developing a brand that not only inspires and entertains but is truly meaningful. I’m constantly focused on people and product.

Image courtesy of Designsponge.com

JD: According to your LinkedIn profile, one of your current areas of focus is audience development.  It’s pretty obvious that you’re a success—your audience has doubled each year for the last 5 years! To what do you owe that success and especially, how do you maintain it? 

PY: Our growth has always been fueled by our culture of experimentation, distilling winning formulas, and adapting and innovating on those formulas over time. Despite our exponential growth, it’s never come easy and we’ve had to reinvent ourselves and leave a lot behind over the years.

Image courtesy of Designsponge.com
Image courtesy of Designsponge.com

JD: R29 is all about women; what are your top sources for inspiration about men’s fashion and lifestyle?

PY:  I always get super inspired from travel (recently Mexico City), my home Williamsburg (and also the L-train) and my co-workers at Refinery29.

JD: Your online presence is impressive. You blog, you tweet, you have a LinkedIn account, among others, and of course, you work on media every day. What is your secret to staying on top of it all and still being able to disconnect? 

PY: FOMO is the secret ingredient! I’m fascinated by the projected life vs real life, and how self-expression has exploded so visually. I truly believe in the power of technology to enhance people’s lives and I have an incurable curiosity.

JD: You gave a talk on the media panel of SXSW this year about “Booming Media Trends Holding onto Identity.”  Can you tell us a bit about what you discussed? 

PY: A big topic we discussed was reach vs depth: our focus on meaning more to a loyal and passionate audience versus meaning less to a mass audience. Engagement is everything.

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JD: What do you love most about living in Williamsburg?

PY: Samurai Mama!

Image courtesy of Sumarai Mama
Image courtesy of Sumarai Mama

JD: What are your favorite NYC restaurants? 

PY: Vinegar Hill House15 EastCosme

JD: Where would you like to see yourself in 5 years? 

PY: Investing locally in a number of the right retail or restaurant concepts.

Follow Patrick on TwitterInstagram, and Linkedin to read his updates and see his photos.

Buying a New York City home in 10 steps

Buying a home is one of the biggest financial decisions you’ll ever make, and if you can do it in New York City, it could also be your best financial decision. Friends and clients often ask me whether they should consider buying.  I always tell them the same thing; if you can afford to buy, buy in New York.

As long as you have sufficient funds for the down payment, it is almost always net effectively cheaper to buy than it is to rent in New York, not to mention the return you can expect on your investment. Over the last ten years, the average price for a home in Manhattan has appreciated over 40%, and in the last year alone, the average price has appreciated 6%. The average price for a Manhattan apartment is now $1.8M, and the average price per square foot is $1370. This New York Times calculator is a great tool to help you determine whether you are financially ready to buy an apartment.

New York Skyline view over the Flatiron district and downtown Manhattan.

Once you decide to move forward, there are some decisions to think about, such as what type of home you should purchase.

Co-op

In Manhattan, cooperatives comprise two thirds of all apartments available for purchase and are owned by an apartment corporation. When you purchase an apartment in a co-op building, you are buying shares of the corporation that entitle you as a shareholder to a “proprietary lease.” Typically the larger your apartment, the more shares of the corporation you own. As the owner of a co-op, you will pay monthly maintenance fees for building expenses such as heat and staff salaries. Subletting your co-op could prove challenging, but every co-op has its own rules so this is not always the case. In order to purchase in a co-op, you often have to put down over 20%, submit a board package, and conduct an interview with the board. They are not required to explain the reason for your approval or rejection.

Condo

Purchasing a condo differs from purchasing a co-op in that you actually purchase the property itself, as well as a small percentage of the common elements of the building such as the halls and stairwells. Every condo has a separate tax bill from the city. As the owner of a condo, you will pay monthly maintenance fees for building expenses such as building repairs and maintenance, however the fees are lower in condos than they are in co-ops since there is no underlying mortgage for a condo building. In some cases you can finance up to 90% of the purchase price of a condo and there are no restrictions on subletting. Many of my foreign buyers, investors, and parents purchasing for their children choose condos for these reasons.

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Townhouse

Owning a townhouse provides the owner with a “fee simple” ownership of real property. There are single-family and multi-family townhouses which can be lived in or rented out at will. In either case, the owner is responsible for payment of all real estate taxes, maintenance and repairs of the property. The sale of the property may be conveyed to any party without prior approval by anyone other than the homeowner.

Cond-op

A cond-op is a residential cooperative where the ground floor (typically commercial units) is converted into a separate condominium that’s either owned by an outside investor or the original building sponsor. So while the residential units are a co-op, the commercial units are owned as a condominium by an entity other than the co-op. The co-op does not receive the benefit of the income from these units. People often refer to cooperatives that operate under condominium rules as cond-ops, though this is inaccurate.

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Steps for your NYC Home Search

There are many nuances in the application process for buying a New York City home, however I have put together a very basic and simplified overview of the steps involved in purchasing an apartment. You will find that some of the items on the below list often happen in tandem.

  1. Because New York City is such a competitive market, the first step in the home buying process is to get pre-qualified for a mortgage (which is obviously not necessary if you buy your home all cash). Based on the information you provide during your initial conversation with a mortgage broker (I know several mortgage brokers that I highly recommend) you are potentially qualified for a loan, assuming full and accurate disclosure.
  1. With your pre-qualification, you are ready to start looking for your home while you…
  1. Apply for pre-approval. To get pre-approved, you will need to provide your mortgage broker with information for a detailed background and financial check (including tax returns, credit check, and income history). You’ll then get a letter from the lender stating the amount the lending institution would loan you. This commitment is valid for about 60 days.
  1. Identify a home you want and make an offer. I will show you the best of what is available all over NYC.
  1. Negotiate and get an accepted offer.
  1. Your attorney will do due diligence on the contract and building (I have some great recommendations for attorneys as well). Once there is a meeting of the minds, sign contracts and put down a 10% deposit in escrow.
  1. Work on the board package or condo application while you
  1. Get a commitment letter from the bank (loan application and appraisal).
  1. Once approved by the board, a waiver is provided and the attorneys will prep the closing.
  1. Close!

If you are considering purchasing your first or next New York City home, take a look at the Town Residential Q2 Aggregate Report for a sense of Manhattan prices by neighborhood. If looking for an up and coming neighborhood where you can get more space for your dollar, some places getting a lot of attention for affordability and architecture include SunnysideRidgewoodOcean Hill, Sunset ParkCrown HeightsJackson Heights, and Bay Ridge.  Let me know if I can help you in your search.