One thing that's extra-special about that area is that a lot of the buildings were assisted/developed using the HDFC program, and those restrictions are starting to expire soon. So if you qualify based on your income, you can buy into a building with expiring income caps, and then re-sell it later as a fair-market property.
I particularly like the area around City College in terms of value. There are about a trillion laws that prevent agents/brokers from talking about things like safety, crime statistics, even quality of schools (fair housing regulations are very strict, and you basically get one strike before you lose your license), but I can say two things: I have sold properties there to buyers who are very happy, and Columbia University's continued march northward--among other things--has caused the west 140's and 150's to be singled out as a great place to buy and a smart investment (most notably in New York Magazine). All of that was enough to make me start looking for places myself in that neighborhood, but when the market crashed and our values took a hit in my neighborhood, I decided to stay put instead of taking a loss by selling. But if money were no object, I would DEFINITELY invest in that neighborhood.
Feel free to send me a message if you would like me to run a search for you. As you probably know, if in fact you are considering a purchase, an agent or broker's services are free of charge...the seller pays the broker, unless negotiated otherwise. It's one of the many reasons I recommend that a prospective buyer always use an agent...the others being the time-saving free labor of looking for properties, as well as the third-party negotiating.
Douglas Elliman Real Estate
Amy Casey, VP
There are currently 31 resale and new homes in New York on Trulia, including 3 open houses, as well as 7 homes in the pre-foreclosure, auction, or bank-owned stages of the foreclosure process. The average listing price for homes for sale in Hamilton Heights was $519,414 for the week ending Feb 10, which represents a decrease of 35.6%, or $286,678, compared to the prior week.
As an Agent, I have worked around the corner on W145th&Amsterdam from the newly named area for the last 2years. I've watched the neighborhood evolve and expand. I think it's great!
What do you know about the area? What have you heard? My take as an agent is typically more open-minded due to my profession. I want to help people find their Ideal Home, but I'd need know what matters most to you, as a Home-buyer. I have key points which come up in daily conversation with buyers, sellers, investors & renters. Everyone has different desires. I'd like to know what do you desire most?
As Harlem Communities go, everyone has varying quirks they like, don't like, preferences and such. I like the area for the old style architecture and feeling of being in an actual neighborhood. I've seen bright, sunny days when people within the community comes together and play cards & dominoes at the table outside the gated playgrounds. It made me feel good to see a community become a neighborhood again.
Quite a few of the brownstone buildings have been newly renovated from Single Family Homes and turned into Multi-Family Residences, Condos/ Coops. Yes, Units have been selling at varied speeds during this current market since early Fall08. I've shown clients property on W144@Hamilton Place between Broadway and W143 between Hamilton Pl & Amsterdam Ave over to Hamilton Terrace @W129th and around. I, personally, like the area very much; the eats; bakery on Ham Pl@W143; corner laundry, etc!
FYI: Remaining throughout the surrounding areas, are less desirable pockets, as most large Metropolitan Cities do. When prospective clients ask, "Is it safe?" My response is always,"Safe is relative. Safe is determined by where you were raised; your upbringing; what you are used to." My recommendation to everyone regarding unknown neighborhoods anywhere you may choose to live, with caution, of course, take a walk through during the day and in the night to observe the type of activity, if any, going on.
Well, I could go on, but I digress. I'd love to share more of the Hamilton Heights details with you.
Please feel free to contact me if you have any specific questions/ concerns.
Thanks for your inquiry. You made me reflect on the finer points of the neighborhood which is Ham Hghts!
You get very good value in Hamilton Heights. As far as development, and "up and coming" pretty much all new development in all parts of the city came to a grinding halt as of Sept. '08. A little life is coming back as developers are beginning to find new financing and get projects back on track. Others have been de-railed permanently or turned to rental - again citywide. So I wouldn't expect much new developments and as far as how new units are selling, it's a mixed bag. But again, you get a lot of bang for the buck there. As far as "how is the area?" I would advise you to look at school performance, crime stats, what services there are, etc. to decide if that neighborhood, or any neighborhood you may be considering, is what you are looking for.
Hope this helps.
Halstead Property, LLC