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A blog from CityRealty (Links below will take you to the 6sqft site)

Features

One Madison, 23 East 22nd Street, #56  (R New York) One Madison, 23 East 22nd Street, #56 (R New York)
Since the start of the pandemic, the demand for larger coops and condos, not to mention townhouses, has surged. Most of these properties are part of the city’s large luxury market—that is, they are worth $4 million or more. If you’re lucky enough to be looking for a luxury property, there are many available options. Still, deciding what type of purchase is the best match for your budget and lifestyle can be challenging. This article outlines five things to consider before investing in a New York City luxury property.


Cost of Closing

As a rule, count on your closing cost coming to 2 to 4 percent of your purchase price, whatever type of property you buy. Closing costs include but are not limited to transfer taxes, mansion taxes, bank fees, attorney fees, and broker fees. There are also a few costs that are unique to each property type.

Townhouses:
  • Mortgage recording fee (buyers must pay a state and city mortgage tax of 1.925 percent on loans over $500,000)
Condos:
  • Upfront building fees (board application fee and move-in charges)
  • Transfer taxes (only applies to new units)
  • Mortgage recording fee
Co-ops:
  • Upfront building fees (board application fee and move-in charges)
  • Transfer taxes (only applies to sponsor units)
  • Escrow (some buildings may ask for an Escrow ranging from 3 months to several years)


  • Generally, the highest closing costs are incurred when buying new condos. Coops (except sponsor units and those that require a large Escrow) will result in the lowest closing costs.

Taxes

There are two classes of property in New York City. Class 1 properties contain three or fewer units. Class 2 properties contain four or more units. Single-family townhouses are class 1 properties and coops and condos are class 2 properties. Depending on your class or property and borough, your property taxes can vary widely.
First, consider class 1 properties. Buying a class 1 property in an upscale Brooklyn neighborhood versus Manhattan will result in a much lower tax liability. This reflects the different state equalization rates set for Brooklyn versus Manhattan. The state equalization rate refers to the percent of one's home value on which one pays taxes. In Brooklyn, the rate was just 11.89% in 2020. In Manhattan, the 2020 state equalization rate was set at 36.21%. This means that brownstones in neighborhoods like Park Slope or Cobble Hill are taxed on a substantially lower percentage of their home value than brownstones on the Upper West Side or Harlem.

Brooklyn townhouse owners aren't the only property owners who seem to benefit from the city's and state's unusual property tax laws. Thanks to an outdated law, class 2 properties (coops and condos) are assessed as rental properties. As a result, assessors input the value of coops and condos based on rents in comparable apartment buildings. Generally, this leads to coops and condos being assessed far below their actual value, which generally benefits coop and condo owners, especially those who occupy luxury units.

Coop and Condo Fees versus Maintenance Cost

Coop and condo fees vary widely, even at the luxury level, but only two things are certain: In a coop, fees include taxes, and in a condo, taxes are paid separately. In addition, the more amenities offered, the more fees you're likely to pay overall. But how does this compare to owning a townhouse?

If you own a townhouse, you won't need to pay for amenities you don't plan to use (e.g., a shared roof deck, gym, or playroom). But owning a townhouse does bring many expenses about which coop and condo owners never have to worry, even if they are lumped in with their fees. These expenses range from sidewalk repairs to snow removal to façade repairs. Over time, incidental maintenance on one’s townhome can add up. Even if money isn’t a concern, as a homeowner, you will be solely responsible for ensuring that your property and the sidewalk in front of your property meets city standards.

Insurance

When you insure a coop or condo, you’re only insuring your own unit. Anything outside your unit is covered by the building’s insurance. While your coop or condo fees are theoretically still helping to pay for this insurance, even when this is taken into account, insurance on a coop or condo is generally significantly lower than insurance on a townhome.

Lifestyle

The final and most important consideration, especially if you’re buying a luxury unit, is always going to be lifestyle.

Townhouses offer greater privacy and generally offer more square footage. They are also more likely to provide access to a multi-level living space with great character. The main downside of purchasing a townhouse, even if maintenance and insurance costs aren’t a concern, is that they tend to demand more attention. So, unless you also employ full-time staff to manage your home's day-to-day upkeep, it can be difficult to put a townhouse on autopilot (e.g., when you retreat to a summer home).

If you’re looking for the charm of a pre-war structure but without the high-level attention needed to manage a townhouse, a classic six in a pre-war coop on Park Avenue, Central Park West, or West End Avenue may be a better option. The major downside of moving into a pre-war coop is that many of these buildings are plagued by aging infrastructure (e.g., they don’t have central air and can’t support in-unit washer and dryer units). Many also offer only limited amenities. For this reason, if you place a high value on convenience, a new luxury condo is likely the best option.


New and Noteworthy High-End Listings

As a New Yorker, your apartment is required to have some personality --you are not a worker robot in San Francisco. No matter how small the space may be, your sanctuary in the city should remind you that you are alive, creative, and living your dreams in the greatest city in the world. Below are two dozen new-to-market high-end listings that convey the creative eye of the seller and are within inspiring spaces created by the city's generations of talented designers and craftspeople.

From the Listing: Welcome to 139 Pacific St #4 a spacious floor-through 3 bed, 2 full bath, sunny, top-floor home in a beautiful 25-foot wide Brownstone facade coop on a desirable, quiet, tree-lined street in Cobble Hill. This penthouse is the only apartment on the floor, is chock-full of pre-war charm, and has modern upgrades including split system cooling throughout. The 9'7" ft ceilings combined with desirable northern, southern, and eastern exposures allow all windows and skylights to flood the interior with wonderful natural light. See floor plan and full details here.

From the Listing: Get ready to be wowed with this 1,338sf southern-facing three bedroom, two bath, light-filled home with open living space with 7.5-inch European white oak flooring, and a private balcony. The open island layout is ideal for entertaining and includes ample storage space with a top-of-the-line integrated appliance package. This custom Italian kitchen features a Bardiglio marble countertop and matching backsplash paired with super-matte white lacquer cabinetry creating a timeless elegance. The integrated and paneled 36 Fisher and Paykel refrigerator blends seamlessly into the background, while the stained white oak wood veneer island with oversized breakfast bar serves as an ideal gathering spot that can accommodate extra seating as it comfortably fits five stools. See floor plan and full details here.

From the Listing: Penthouse F is a renovated 2 Bedroom 2 Bath loft located in the midst of Little Italy, Nolita, Soho, and Chinatown. Enter through this spacious duplex and immediately notice the abundant amount of light provided by the open ceiling and south-facing windows. The first floor of this stunning duplex features an open living room and dining room which is perfect for entertaining and situated nearby is an open kitchen featuring stainless steel appliances, white granite countertops, and custom cabinets throughout. See floor plan and full details here.

From the Listing: Welcome to your high-floor renovated prewar home, neighboring Park Avenue. No detail was spared, from the moment you step off the elevator onto your semi-private landing and enter this corner three-bedroom apartment on the 14th floor. A large living room greets you with a working fireplace to warm up the home. Sunlight streams in throughout the day from both Southern and Western exposures. No stone was left unturned with custom moldings, 8 tall full core doors, recessed lighting, oversized vented washer and dryer, in-ceiling sound system, and french oak wired brushed chevron-patterned flooring throughout. See floor plan and full details here.

From the Listing: One-of-a-Kind Corner 3 Bedroom Duplex with expansive, over 1,000sf Terrace. Designed by acclaimed DXA Studio, homes are conceived and built with a craftsman spirit. Beautiful, hand-selected details are fashioned with remarkable care. Our Duplex features custom white oak flooring, European-style windows with 20ft ceilings, and a well-appointed kitchen and baths that create an experience that exudes serenity. It is truly Townhouse style living with the benefits of a Condominium. See floor plan and full details here.

From the Listing: Located on a cobblestone street within the West Village, One Morton Square offers the opportunity to experience the finest in city living while holding an address synonymous with luxury. Spanning over 1,300 square feet, this loft-like residence is highlighted by oversized southwest-facing windows, heightened 10-foot ceilings, and designer finishes throughout. A bright and open living and dining area is accompanied by a high-end kitchen complete with an expansive marble island, bespoke hardwood cabinetry, chef-grade appliances, and custom woodwork that carries in from the entry foyer. See floor plan and full details here.

(Compass)
From the Listing: One of the most unique spaces offered in the downtown market today, the penthouse is a rare opportunity to achieve townhouse-style living with all of the services of a condominium, at a fraction of the price point. Fully renovated and designed by Joseph D'Urso Architects, this two-bedroom, two-bathroom is ready for its lucky new owner. Located in a carriage house adjacent to a former brewery converted to condominiums, #PHN is one of only two apartments in the building. Climb one flight of stairs to be immediately wowed by one of the most unique rooms out there, a lofty space with twenty-foot ceilings, a skylight, and huge windows. See floor plan and full details here.

From the Listing: This expansive duplex loft is authentic Tribeca at its best - soaring beamed ceilings, oversized windows, glorious northern light, and wonderful views. With 3 bedrooms plus a home office/den and 2 1/2 baths, this grand-scale home offers plenty of room to roam while allowing everyone to find a private nook to cozy up in. See floor plan and full details here.

From the Listing: This classic, turn-key, corner loft at the iconic Sweeney building in DUMBO is the one you have been hoping would come to market! Enjoy 3 windowed bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms and unobstructed views of the Manhattan Bridge and the East River. Wrapped in windows with soaring 11' ceiling heights, light pours in through northern and eastern exposures. The B line is the rare line in the building with three legal bedrooms and 6B has many added features for the design-savvy buyer. See floor plan and full details here.

From the Listing: Renovated 2 Bedroom, 2 Bathroom Pre-WW1 Loft apartment in the heart of Flatiron/Union Square is a must-see. Massive corner living space with 11+ foot ceilings is perched on the eighth floor of this architecturally distinguished co-op overlooking Fifth Avenue.

The semi-private landing leads into a large living and dining room with plenty of West and South facing windows making it bright and sunny. The living room is made up of two lounge areas with built-in shelving along the northern wall. Adjacent is the dining area with an open flow to the kitchen for interactive entertaining. The Poggenpohl kitchen is outfitted with top appliances and tons of cabinet space - sleek design with functionality in mind. Stacked Miele W/D is hidden behind double doors in the bedroom corridor. The secondary bedroom and full bath then primary suite which has abundant built-in closet space for optimal storage.
See floor plan and full details here.

From the Listing: Residence 12B at The Visionaire is the ultimate oasis retreat from the busyness of downtown Manhattan in a premier luxury Green building. Tucked away in Battery Park, this home offers stunning water and city views, and an incredible landscaped 765 sqft private terrace and planted area accessed through the primary bedroom in a one-of-a-kind layout. Floor-to-ceiling windows grace the living room providing exceptional views of the water, parks, and One World Trade Center from both living and kitchen. The open concept chef's kitchen features river-washed black granite countertops, stainless steel Wolf appliances, and stunning waterworks black backsplash. See floor plan and full details here.

From the Listing: Paris meets Soho! This 2,000 square foot serene, sophisticated full-floor loft is quietly tucked away on historic Howard Street at the bottom of Crosby Street. Cobblestones, European boutiques, and charm add to a sense of tranquility hard to find in New York City. A private elevator opens into a huge light-filled living room with 12' ceilings and massive windows. There is a working wood-burning fireplace, forever unobstructed views, and the original 19th-century wainscoting and moldings. See floor plan and full details here.

From the Listing: This expansive corner loft in Soho really delivers that wow-factor and impresses the moment you arrive! Chic design meets refined loft living in a handsome full-service prewar condo building, in a vibrant area just a block north of Canal Street. The 3 bedroom 3 bathroom gem is bathed in natural light and generously proportioned with high 12' ceilings, elegant white oak floors, and beautiful finishes and color tones throughout. Massive windows lining 2 sides of the home showcase stunning downtown views that even capture the Freedom Tower and Empire State Building. See floor plan and full details here.

From the Listing: Sun-filled, sprawling NoHo Loft loaded with charm! This quintessential 3,100 sq ft corner loft welcomes all-day, natural light from 3 exposures and features a grand-scale entertaining space, gracious 3 bedroom layout, and open city views from 15 oversized classic windows! The custom Poggenpohl kitchen with center island is open to the entertaining area, featuring deep granite countertops, abundant custom cabinetry, along with top-of-the-line appliances including a SubZero refrigerator, Bosch dishwasher, a 6-burner professional Wolf stove along with two extra freezers. Nearby, French doors open to a second and third bedroom. See floor plan and full details here.

From the Listing: Get ready to be wowed! This dramatic 2 bedroom, 2.5 bath condominium boasts a grand living space with New York City as your backdrop, 10.2-foot ceilings, brilliant light, and your own private parking space. Located at the crossroads of three of the trendiest neighborhoods, Tribeca, Soho, and Hudson Square, this 1965 square foot stunner has it all. See floor plan and full details here.

From the Listing: Just listed. Apartment 19B, located at 444 Central Park West, is a rare find, not only in this full-service cooperative building but on the Upper West Side. This corner, the duplex residence is a stunning two bedroom, two bathroom with powder room which has huge views from every room. To the East, the view encompasses the full expanse of Central Park, to the North are viewed up to George Washington Bridge and beyond, and to the West is the Hudson River. The apartment was designed by the award-winning architect, Edward I. Mills whose firm is internationally known for their innovative design. See floor plan and full details here.

From the Listing: Rarely does a Tower A-line apartment come available for sale at the spectacular, premier co-op, 200 Central Park South! This two-bedroom home, with expansive living room, formal dining room, oversized entry foyer, an abundant amount of storage space, and two and a half baths, is a true UNICORN!

A wall of windows, facing North and East, welcomes you with direct, panoramic Central Park views as you enter through the gracious, formal foyer of 28A. The awe-inspiring, double-wide living room has three separate areas for entertaining with open Central Park, Upper East Side, and Upper West Side exposures that surround you. Off of the living room you will find a classic wet bar and a powder room, so your guests never need to use an en-suite bath.
See floor plan and full details here.

From the Listing: The main Sanctuary to this beautiful Synagogue has been converted to a truly unique loft residence with balconies overlooking the 20 ft high grand living room, which still holds the original crystal chandelier from the 1920s. This sacred space became the studio and residence of the renowned artist William Wegman when he purchased the building.

The Loft retains the original ceiling and original details of the Sanctuary, and the proportions are extraordinary. There are 3 bedrooms, one office/ living/guestroom, 3 bathrooms, open eastern exposure, and all modern amenities, including C/A/C, and the hallowed walls of this beautiful building impart a sense of tranquillity.
See floor plan and full details here.

From the Listing: Presenting incomparable luxury living close to Central Park in a beautifully appointed 3 Bedroom, 3 Bathroom apartment at the full-service Touraine condominium. The expansive 1,853 sq ft residence is an Upper East Side gem reflecting quality in every detail, with professionally designed interiors that impress by Sasha Bikoff whose distinctive work on the home has been featured in the press. See floor plan and full details here.

From the Listing: Dream of waking up to Central Park? Enjoy Central Park views and full service living in one of New York City's most iconic locations, with over 47 linear feet of park frontage on 2 gracious floors, this immaculate home at 230 Central Park South. Originally 3 bedrooms and 3 baths, now converted into a spacious residence with 2 primary bedroom suites with 3 full baths, easily converted back to 3 if needed, this turnkey residence is the pied-a-terre you always dreamed of, or rent as an investment property with super low monthlies. See floor plan and full details here.

From the Listing: Pristine and mint full-floor two-bedroom home with an all-season balcony directly overlooking Central Park. Absolutely no expense was spared in reimaging this space by Brazilian Architect and Designer Lenka Soares. The elegant private landing welcomes you home and the soothing pallets of 11N balance perfectly with the cascade of the Central Park canopy that defines the view. A contemporary open kitchen with a waterfall marble island and a complete bosch appliance suite is well suited to entertaining or a quiet morning coffee. The living/dining area is framed by a handsome Knoll Textile grey leather wall and culminates in floor-to-ceiling windows from which you can view Central Park from end to end. See floor plan and full details here.

From the Listing: Spectacular 6 bed, 6 bath duplex condo located in a highly sought after UES boutique building. This is an incredible opportunity to occupy both the 9th and 10th floors, giving you 4750 square feet of grand living space. This fabulous must-see apartment has it all; high ceilings (over 9ft), multiple exposures (south, north, east), and a state-of-the-art eat-in Poggenpohl chef's kitchen with Viking appliances. Other highlights include; fully equipped smart home with Sono system, heating, A/C, video cameras w/microphones & night vision, shade control, lighting system, and heated floors which can all be controlled with your smartphone. See floor plan and full details here.

From the Listing: Situated on a uniquely elevated site offering water views and the quiet and beauty of the most "park-like block" in all of Brooklyn Heights, this mint 5-story townhouse offers a unique vantage point unlike any other home in the neighborhood and needs to be seen in person to truly understand. Restored to perfection by its current owners with the assistance of renowned architectural firm NV/d, this home has been the recipient of many design awards over the years including the BHA Annual Award for Restoration Excellence and the New York Landmarks Conservancy Lucy G. Moss Preservation Award. See floor plan and full details here.


From the Listing: With over 4,500 square feet between interior and exterior spaces, seeing is believing for this one-of-a-kind Penthouse condo on coveted Great Jones Street in prime NoHo. Accessed via direct elevator, this authentic loft features 3,036 interior square feet, 3 terraces (totaling over 1,500 square feet), double-height ceilings, exposed beams, and a rare, wood-burning fireplace. The main level showcases 10 oversized windows, bringing in light from 3 exposures—North, South, and East—to fill the loft with abundant light throughout the day. The windowed kitchen is elegant yet functional, with walnut cabinetry and top-of-the-line appliances. The generous dining area below the skylight can easily accommodate dinner for 10+. See floor plan and full details here.

From the Listing: One-of-a-kind duplex condo residence on one of Tribeca's best blocks boasting a unique history and design, and an impeccable gut-renovation! This special gem is distinctive in every way, boasting 2 expansive stories of loft-like living space bathed in light with triple exposures (south, east, and west), a separate duplex studio across the hall that was also finely renovated, a large private storage room in the cellar, common roof deck with garden and planting beds for every unit! VERY low combined monthly expenses! See floor plan and full details here.

From the Listing: Nestled in the heart of a tree-lined landmarked block in Carnegie Hill, this SMART 4 story with finished cellar townhouse merges a heritage of elegance along with minimal modern sophistication to seamlessly create a contemporary inner-outer living oasis in over 5,100 square feet. This home boasts refined living in six bedrooms and bathrooms and over 1,000 square feet of multiple outdoor spaces including a garden, a terrace off the primary bedroom, and a sprawling roof deck. The entire house is outfitted with beautiful, hand-selected designer lighting and thoughtful fixtures. The exterior walls are all insulated with spray foam insulation, and the bathrooms are insulated for superior sound and thermal envelope. See floor plan and full details here.

From the Listing: Live Above the prime UWS in a Robert A.M. Stern Trophy! This brand new home is being offered in the Full Service, highly sought after Two Fifty West 81 ST Condominium. Residence 18A checks all of the boxes with river, park, and city views, 360 SqFt of private outdoor spaces, direct elevator entry, and exposures in all directions. This nearly full-floor 4 bedroom, 3.5 bathroom home with automatic shades + outfitted closets throughout is decorated with the finest art, furniture, and appointments from around the world and is the perfect answer to buyers wanting new without the wait. See floor plan and full details here.

From the Listing: Impeccably designed elevator townhouse that was completely re-built and reimagined into a modern-day oasis. Designed by FLANK architects this flawless townhouse spared no expenses from the carefully crafted materials to the master workmanship. The residence exudes the highest standards of finish and is truly a home for the ages.

The house was originally built in 1875 and was re-built in the 1920s by the notable architect Frederick Sterner and features a striking bow window with wrought iron detailing. The interior went through a 5-year restoration with an excruciating focus on detail and quality in which the stone, hardware, and millwork were commissioned from Italian and local artisans. The result is a true masterpiece and labor of love that seamlessly balances form and function.
See floor plan and full details here.

From the Listing: Perfectly located on Central Park and 70th Street, high atop one of New York's most coveted pre-war cooperatives, 101 Central Park West, is apartment 17/18G. This grandly scaled and perfectly renovated duplex, with four bedrooms and four-and-a-half baths, is ideally configured for gracious living. Flooded with beautiful natural light in every room, the apartment is also unique in that many of the principal rooms feature corner exposures. See floor plan and full details here.

From the Listing: Spanning over 3,300 square feet with unparalleled 360-degree Park, River, and New York City views, this incredible home just underwent a luxurious gut renovation that took over 2 years to complete. The elevator opens to a private foyer with a South-facing view that spans as far as the eye can see. It then moves into the grand living/entertaining space which features Western and Northern exposures, with views of the river, the park, and all of New York City. Ample space is strategically laid out to naturally section off the living, dining, and kitchen areas to allow for the perfect home to entertain guests. See floor plan and full details here.

From the Listing: Encompassing 4,160 square feet plus over 500 square feet of terraces lining all east-facing rooms, this 4-bedroom, 3.5 bathroom home impresses immediately upon entry into a custom, architecturally crafted arched foyer. 14-foot high ceilings and over 55 feet of width make the living, dining, and kitchen areas the perfect place for large-scale entertaining, complete with custom built-ins, glass-fronted china cabinets that double as sliding doors, intricate moldings, and a drop-down theater screen and projector. Mixed-width solid white oak flooring is found throughout, as are Lutron-controlled recessed lighting and shades - all tied to a Savant home automation system for seamless use. The custom-designed Smallbone kitchen with polished statuary marble countertops and ceramic tile backsplash is equipped with a full suite of Gaggenau appliances, custom banquette seating and considerable refrigerated wine storage. See floor plan and full details here.

From the Listing: The most iconic triplex penthouse in New York City's history. As is approximately 10,000 square feet. Located on the 50-yard line of Central Park South with epic park views. Welcome home to the most iconic three-story penthouse of New York City's future steeped rich in its history. A once-in-a-lifetime investment opportunity perched 37-floors above the 50-yard line of Central Park South on Billionaires' Row. This unparalleled real estate offering presents an irreplicable chance to reside in one of the most unique trophy penthouses in the world. Modern luxury and exquisite views abound atop the historic and iconic c1930s Hampshire House, one of Central Park's most exclusive white glove buildings, featuring unparalleled low carry costs. See floor plan and full details here.
 
 
 
 
Hampshire House penthouse floor plan
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Hampshire House penthouse floor plan
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Hampshire House penthouse floor plan 8
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From the Listing: This exceptional renovated 4/5 bedroom residence with four beautiful terraces is ideally situated on the 18th floor of the iconic Majestic, at the corner of 72nd Street and Central Park West. It captures breathtaking views overlooking Central Park and the Manhattan skyline.

A private elevator landing opens onto a gracious square gallery leading to a 35-foot expanse of entertainment space incorporating a living room and library with floor-to-ceiling French doors opening onto two exceptional terraces floating high above Central Park. An elegant and oversized 27ft dining room is situated at the north end of the gallery, and can easily accommodate up to 18 guests. The dining room opens onto a 36 ft. terrace which captures views of The Dakota and The San Remo, as well as clear open views northward of the entire Park.
See floor plan and full details here.


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Contributing Writer Cait Etherington Cait Etherington has over twenty years of experience working as a journalist and communications consultant. Her articles and reviews have been published in newspapers and magazines across the United States and internationally. An experienced financial writer, Cait is committed to exposing the human side of stories about contemporary business, banking and workplace relations. She also enjoys writing about trends, lifestyles and real estate in New York City where she lives with her family in a cozy apartment on the twentieth floor of a Manhattan high rise.