Bones37, Home Buyer in New York, NY

UWS charm or New construction Battery Park City?

Asked by Bones37, New York, NY Wed May 21, 2008

Torn between buying a Pre-war condo on UWS that requires renovations vs. brand new construction in Batter Park that offeres more space for same price. Although, I like the water views...parks...ammenities ...close proximity to Tribeca BPC husband is concerned that it may not be a good investment as compared to buying UWS. Although buying a home is not always for the sole purpose of getting a return, we certainly don't want to loose something significant if we decide to sell in 6 years?? Thoughts..comments?? Thanks.

Mel Lowry

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Glenn Minnick’s answer
Purchasing a pre-war condo is usually a better long term investment. Pre-war condos comprise less than 5% of the available condo stock in the city and are extremely sought-after...especially among European Investors (over 35% of condo buyers are now from Europe due to the weak U.S. Dollar). Most condos in the city were built after the 1980s and therefore tend to have a "cookie-cutter" look/layout. While each new building may have gorgeous new finishes, they tend to look all the same after a while. Pre-war buildings often offer unique layouts and lovely pre-war details that a new building cannot offer. You can often do gorgeous renovations of a pre-war condo and create instant equity. AND...The Upper West Side has more shops, restaurants, more of a neighborhood...therefore inventory is generally tight and prices are higher because families love the area. As an investment standpoint, condo rental inventory is also tighter and you will get more per square foot for rentals on the Upper West Side. While Battery Park City may seem like a bargain up front, you still don't own the land and are at the mercy of the city regarding increased land rental charges. And, there is always a ton of competition should you decide to rent your Battery Park apartment.
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0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Aug 17, 2008
Hi Mel.

I will try to answer this question as best as I can here for you. Going over your description regarding Battery Park vs. Upper West Side as your future residence you listed 6 reasons as to why you would enjoy living downtown and only one partial reason as to why you would consider buying on the UWS which is an investment opportunity. I also agree with you that buying a home is not always for the sole purpose of getting a return. To be honest, whether you buy DownTown or UWS and are planning to live there for a minimum of 5 years you will make your money on the place when and if you decide to sell at that time. Downtown is a very hot area right now and most brokers would agree that it will continue in that direction. There are several great new buildings which are going up as we speak, you are close to transportation and have amazing views of the river and Jersey along with all the parks and patrol units which help everyone feel a-lot safer.
I think that you and your husband should make a list of positives and negatives of living in both places, and decide what will work best for you. For the same price on the UWS you are getting less space, you will also put in additional funds into renovating that apartment and maybe not enjoy the area as much? Battery Park you listed all the positives attributes, on top of that it's a brand new building which tends to have a better flowing floor plan and you are not worried about renovating the apartment and possibly going over budget and over time.
One thing which you may or may not know already Mel is that Battery Park City is a Land Lease. That means the buildings which are up are all leasing the land, usually for up to 90-100 years and that will explain why Common Charges may be slightly higher in that area as opposed to everywhere else, but not extreme.

I think that you already know your self where you would prefer to live. If you and your husband are looking for more specific information, please contact me and I'll be more than glad to share that and answer any concerns or questions which you may have.

Hope I helped a little.

Best of luck to you both
Warmest Regards
3 votes Thank Flag Link Wed May 21, 2008
Dear Bones37,
What part of the UWS? A well maintained UWS pre- war condo always is in demand..
As this is to be your home, you have to figure in your lifestyle choices such as: exercise, entertainment culture, as well as shopping ,eating out and proximity to work, etc..Also you have to figure in future life changes, such as children, pets, elderly parents and any changes in your health or lifestyle choices.
Hope this helps you with your decision!
Please let me know if I can help you with your real estate purchase or sale.
I'd appreciate a referral to your friends and family!
Jolie Muss
Licensed Real Estate Broker
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 12, 2008
Did your real estate agent explain about Battery Park being on land lease? That is one factor to consider. It was built on landfill from the excavation of the World Trade Center and the maintenance is high because the condos do not own the land they are on. Just one factor of many to consider.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 5, 2008
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