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Southbridge Towers, #6D (Compass) Southbridge Towers, #6D (Compass)
When perusing New York real estate listings, especially low-priced listings are sometimes accompanied by two words of warning: “estate sale.” That might be confusing to buyers from other parts of the country who are accustomed to hearing the phrase used to describe what is essentially a high-end garage sale of the entire contents of a home. But in New York, it means that the home itself has come on the market because the previous owner has died, and the apartment is offered for sale by their estate, usually their heirs.
Some would-be buyers are hesitant to enter a home where there has been a recent death out of fear or respect. Others, however, are more likely to be scared of the condition of the apartments that have not been changed in decades. There is a reason many listings encourage searchers to “bring your architect”: Low asking prices are often offset by the costly, extensive renovations needed to bring these apartments up to modern standards.
Additionally, the purchase of an estate sale apartment takes more time and legal help than that in the purchase of a traditional unit. It is not unheard of for a deceased person's estate to put the apartment on the market before all legal issues have been fully resolved, which can delay the closing. Inspections are still allowed, but estate sales cannot be contingent on the seller making the changes or repairs one might be able to bargain for somewhere else. The process is complicated enough with a straightforward will, but title claims can further complicate the process. It is little wonder Brick Underground quips that, "what you save on asking price, you may well pay for in the time, effort, and cost it takes in navigating a sale with attorney involvement."
However, certain buyers are not put off by estate sales but rather embrace them. Some people appreciate an apartment’s rich history, and a class of design enthusiasts welcomes the challenge of either restoring a prewar home to its former glory or bringing it into the 21st century. Either way, the following listings offer the chance to create one’s own estate in highly coveted parts of Manhattan and Brooklyn for significantly lower prices than one would typically pay.

135-Ocean-Parkway-01 135 Ocean Parkway, #14K (Griffith Real Estate)
From the Listing: Here you’ve got an oversized 1 bedroom that is been sold below market, allowing you to renovate and create your dream home and not pay for someone else’s renovation which you so so like. You can easily convert to a 2-bedroom with filing permits and the addition of 1 wall. The kitchen was renovated 10 years back; leave it alone or open up. Low maintenance includes cooking gas, heat, AC, hot water, and real estate taxes. Estate sale that has court approval for sale. See floor plan and full details here.

75-Henry-Street-01 75 Henry Street, #24J (Douglas Elliman)
From the Listing: Cheerful apartment features five side-by-side windows across the entire space. Welcoming foyer with multiple closets, a sweet "L" off the kitchen ideal for workspace or a sleeping alcove, and a good sized living area. Multiple bonuses include two huge closets, a dressing area, plus a quadruple set of closets in the foyer. You won’t believe the amount of closet space! Beautifully maintained, full-service building with a lovely common garden off the lobby. Low monthlies, gas included. This well-priced estate sale is ready for you to create your dream space. See floor plan and full details here.

111-East-56th-Street-01 The Lombardy, #311 (Stephen P. Wald)
From the Listing: Estate Sale Opportunity at The Lombardy Hotel. This newly renovated, oversized, one-bedroom, one-bath apartment is beautifully furnished and ready to go for your personal use or for investment with permissible daily, weekly, and monthly short term rentals. Hotel services include doorman, bell man and front desk services, fitness center, business center, Nico’s Beauty Salon and valet parking. Housekeeping is available for an extra fee. See floor plan and full details here.

425-East-86th-Street-01 425 East 86th Street, #3E (Elegran)
From the Listing: Apartment 3E features a sizable entry foyer with two big closets. The living room can be a great entertaining space with enough room to fit a dining room table and proper sitting area with room to spare. The bedroom has two large closets and easily fits a king size bed with room for nightstands, a desk, and more. The apartment is an estate sale with original finishes that allows washer and dryer with board approval. See floor plan and full details here.

176-East-77th-Street-01 Lenox Manor, #10F (Compass)
From the Listing: Apartment #10F features a gracious and efficient layout, an extra large living space with ample room for dining as well as a king sized bedroom. The kitchen features a charming tiled floor and has full sized appliances, including a dishwasher. This warm and inviting quiet high floor home has wonderful natural light and plenty of storage throughout. Located in an unbeatable Upper East Side location, only one block from the 6 train, 176 East 77th Street offers a full time doorman, live-in super, lobby level laundry room, and a garage. Please note this is an estate sale. See floor plan and full details here.

200-West-86th-Street-01 The St. Germaine, #17I (Douglas Elliman)
From the Listing: Estate sale - motivated seller! Located in the heart of the West Side, this is a great opportunity to own in an Art Deco pre-war building. The apartment boasts a great layout. Upon entering, you’ll find a dining foyer, which leads to a spacious and large dropped living room with two stairs, 5 closets and wide open views from a high floor. The oversized living room could easily accommodate a dining area as well. Beautiful hard wood floors run throughout. The extra-large primary bedroom has a windowed full bathroom. See floor plan and full details here.

90-Gold-Street-01 Southbridge Towers, #6D (Compass)
From the Listing: This bright and spacious East-facing 2 Bedroom apartment within the sought-after Southbridge Towers in the vibrant Fulton/Seaport section of Lower Manhattan! This gracious 2 bedroom home features generously-sized rooms, oversized windows, a private outdoor balcony, and excellent closet space is in need of renovation and awaits your personal touch. This is an estate sale, and is being sold as is. See floor plan and full details here.

500-West-43rd-Street-01 The Strand, #37B (The Corcoran Group)
From the Listing: As soon as you walk into this spacious, high floor 1-bedroom, 1-bathroom apartment you can’t help but be drawn to the amazing natural light flowing through the southeastern-facing bay windows. Step out onto the private balcony to take in the dazzling panoramic views that span from the Hudson River, 180 degrees up to the magnificent Midtown skyline. The well-laid-out floor plan features a large living room with enough space for separate sitting and dining areas and plenty of options to incorporate a home office space. Common charges include heat, gas, water, cable and access to the luxurious amenities. This is an estate sale. See floor plan and full details here.

300-East-40th-Street-01 The Churchill, #3T (Bond New York)
From the Listing: This spacious convertible 2-bedroom is an estate sale home. The entry hall features a half bathroom that leads into a large foyer before entering the living room. The junior four dining area can convert to a second bedroom, if necessary. Apartment 3T also features a windowed walk-thru kitchen and a large bedroom with an en-suite bathroom. See floor plan and full details here.

392-Central-Park-West-01 Park West Village, #20B (The Corcoran Group)
From the Listing: Estate sale! Bring your own architect and design the home of your dreams on the top floor of this Central Park West icon! This versatile junior four layout can be configured as an extra-large one-bedroom with a formal dining room, a one-bedroom plus den/office space or a true two-bedroom. Storage abounds in this apartment with five large closets throughout. The impressive views offer a peak of the Midtown skyline. Take in the Central Park views to the east from the expansive balcony which spans the length of the living room. See floor plan and full details here.

400-East-56th-Street-01 Plaza 400, #33D (Douglas Elliman)
From the Listing: 33D is considered one of the premiere homes in the entire building due to its incredible open views facing north, east, and west from oversized windows, spacious and large rooms, a gracious entry foyer, a windowed eat in kitchen and most importantly this flexible layout can easily be converted into a real three bedroom home. Today this quiet corner apartment features two full split bedrooms, two full bathrooms, a large entry foyer, excellent closet space and a sizable balcony with truly impressive full city and river views. The apartment has just been completely painted, all of the walls are now skim coated, a simple base board molding has been added, the parquet wood floors have been sanded and stained and the kitchen and bathrooms are usable. This is an estate sale. See floor plan and full details here.

17-East-97th-Street-01 The Mannados, #3B (Stephen P. Wald)
From the Listing: Seize the opportunity to purchase a rarely available Carnegie HIll estate sale at The Mannados that has not been to market in over 60 years. Upon entry you are greeted by a large windowed entry foyer coupled with original well preserved prewar accents throughout. As you traverse a long hallway you are flanked on both sides by four bedrooms including a massive 24 x 15-foot primary bedroom with four large eastern window exposures. Further down the hall you come to the separate windowed eat-in chef's kitchen equipped with an abundance of storage, full pantry, dishwasher and gas stove. As you reach the end of an 80-foot corridor you enter into a massive and open double wide 30 x 15-foot living and dining area. See floor plan and full details here.

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