live in 1 bd, need 2nd. do i build a room or sell and buy?

Asked by Taybeh, Upper West Side, New York, NY Sun Apr 24, 2011

i live in a one bedroom and need second, can take the dining area and make it a small bedroom. would that be better. or do i sell and look for 2 bedroom to buy? i live in 230 riverside dr. what is market like for selling?

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Fern Hamberger’s answer
Fern Hamberg…, Agent, New York, NY
Sun Jun 17, 2012
It all depends on your space no of square feet, if the board will allow it etc..
All Reno vation and new construction have to pass the boarkd.
Buying in this market is much easier than selling, although I went through a few bidding wars.
Unbelievable, but the market is healthy....
Frn Hamberger
Vp and Asso brokerx
0 votes
Mitchell Hall, Agent, New York, NY
Sun Apr 24, 2011
Hi Taybeh,

Fortunately for you, the 1 bedroom apartments with dining areas at 230 RSD are pretty large for 1 bedroom apartments. Depending on the line approx. 775 sf - 850 sf. and many have windows in the dining areas so making a small bedroom is an option.

Do you currently have a river view? Do you love the building? Do you know the size and status of the adjoining apartments to your apartment? 230 RSD has many studios. It may be possible to buy an adjoining studio which would give you a large 2 bedroom 2 bath as another possible option.

In either case, you won't have a problem selling your apartment. 1 bedroom condos on the UWS have been going like hot cakes this winter and spring. I've sold all my inventory. A prewar luxury condo is even more rare.

The most recent sale in your building (775 sf 1BR ) sold in 3 weeks, looks like a cash buyer. There are many cash buyers out there in the condo market. I just sold a 1 bedroom condo in a building where the sponsor owns more than 51% of the units. It sold quick and for a higher price than any other one bedroom in the building during the past 18 months. I'm familiar with your building and UWS. I live and work in the neighborhood and we handled the conversion of your building.

If you have any questions or if I can be of any help, please contact me.

Mitchell Hall, Assocate Broker
The Corcoran Group
2 votes
Sami, , New York, NY
Sun Apr 24, 2011
A couple things more relevant to your circumstance. That building is a recent condo conversion and the sponsor still owns quite a few apartments which may make it difficult for a buyer to get financing for your apartment. Also, there needs to be a window in your dining area for you to convert it and call it a bedroom. Having said that, a 2 bedroom without a dining area is generally worth more than a 1 bedroom with a dining area so what I would do if I were your agent is list the apartment for you as a 1 bedroom for about 3 months while you get drawings and approval to convert into a 2 bedroom. These drawings could also be used in the selling. If there is no serious offer or interest after say 3 months, then you could do the conversion and relist it as a 2 bedroom. If the conversion doesnt cost much then it would become a very well priced 2 bedroom which could attract quick interest, especially in that neighborhood, which incidentally I know very well having lived there for 14 years.

1 vote
Joyce Minche…, , New York, NY
Tue May 17, 2011
Depends on your needs and your finances.

Some things to keep in mind.......
In a 2 bedroom apartment, you will likely derive proportionally greater capital appreciation than retaining a smaller unit. There are costs associated with selling and buying, therefore, you also need to ask yourself how long you intend to keep your 2 bedroom and what is the liklihood of recouping those costs and profiting over that time-frame.

While one bedroom apartments can often be converted, if your need results from an expanding family, there may be additional benefits for locating a larger unit..... an added bath for baby and more generous play space are a couple. Then there's a larger kitchen to accomodate broadening storage and prep needs.

Think of buying and selling a residential property as simply changing boats in the same stream, with a harbor tax. If your oars are still in the water, you'll experience the benefit or loss over time depending on the current, in much the same way. Bigger properties have the potential for greater reward and conversely... greater loss. Ultimately, will you be in your 2 bedroom over a substantial enough period of time to weather the trending of the market? In NYC we tend to have briefer downside troughs than in many less commercially dense areas.

Joyce Mincheff
VP, Associate Broker
The Corcoran Group
0 votes
Michele Conte, , New York, NY
Wed Apr 27, 2011
Send me your floor plan and I'll do a quick conceptual drawing (no charge) to see if your 1-BR would work just fine as a 2 BR. Please include room dimensions. But first, please tell me: Do you need a second bedroom as a full-time bedroom, or a guest room or den/computer/TV room?
As for current selling market, it is improving, but still a bit slower than we real estate brokers, and sellers, prefer. Prices are rising slowly and steadily, so you'd do better now than 18 months ago. It is still a "buyer's market", so you would do well on the buy side.
But at the cost of NOT attracting you as a client for myself, I will tell you truthfully: If you can make your current apartment work as a 2-BR, and you love your building, your location, and your monthly carrying costs, why move? If it works well as a 2-BR, you will get more for it when you sell it in the future than as a 1-BR now!
Send me a floor plan. I'll help you. or fax: 646 - 472 - 1209
Michele Conte
Senior V.P., Managing Director
Brown Harris Stevens Residential Sales LLC
0 votes
Jenet Levy, Agent, New York, NY
Sun Apr 24, 2011
I don't know the specifics of your finances, so taking that out of the equation, and purely answering if it is better to turn a dining room into a bedroom or sell and buy a 2BR, my answer is the second. You always have to think down the line what will be most beneficial in the long run. The market is very good right now, and your neighborhood is short on inventory, so it is a great time to sell and to snag a 2-BR before the market goes up too much more (and interest rates as well). Re-selling a 2-BR in the future will give you a very good return.
If you are thinking of selling, make sure you use an experienced, skilled agent who is affiiated with a company with very strong marketing capabilities. On the buy side as well, you want to use an agent who is you click with, who understands your needs, and who is a great negotiator. You definitely don't want to be unrepresented. Sellers have agents and when you buy you should too.
As far as the comment below about searching the REBNY (Real Estate of NY) listings, the major companies all have this - they are called VOWs, Virual Office Websites. Halstead was the first to give our agents the opportunity to have these, most have now eventually followed suit.

Hope this helps.

Jenet Levy
Halstead Propery, LLC
212 381-4268 for all NYC lisitings
0 votes
Jennifer Chi…, Agent, New York, NY
Sun Apr 24, 2011
Hello Taybeh,

You will need to ask yourself several questions. Do you need more room, or if you trully need just another "bedroom" and are willing to give up your dining alcove for a second bedroom. Will the second bedroom be enough pace for a full sized, or is it just for a child; can you afford to purchase a 2 real 2 bedroom if the dining alcove with a wall up is not an a option?

I suggest doing a search on line to see if you can afford to move. You have the opportunity to search approximately 20,000 exclusive listings, representing the ENTIRE database of residential listings available through the membership of the Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY) on my website. So no more piece mealing your seach, wasting your precious time jumping from broker house to broker house.

Jennifer A. Chiongbian
SVP/ Associate Broker
Rutenberg Realty NYC
127 E. 56th St., NY. NY 10022
212-688-1000 x 189
0 votes
Anoir Redoua…, , SoHo, New York, NY
Sun Apr 24, 2011
Hi Taybeh,

It will depend on a lot of different factors, mainly can you afford to buy a 2 BR (down-payment, pricing etc...) or do you have to make more use of the current space you have. If you can upgrade to a 2 Bedroom financial-wise, then I think that that would be a better option for you, because as the market is inching up the difference between a 1 and 2 BR apartment wil grow exponentially and if this trend continious (which I expect as most price ranges, especially the lower ones on the UWS have hit bottom in many cases). With exponentially I mean for example if the market would pick up 5% let's say this year than on a $1M 2BR that is $50K in hard dollars that you could have saved, furthermore because you're selling a 1 BR let's say for $600K, then your gain would be $30K if you would wait to sell in that same time period. Which is not bad, but compared to the $50K that you would be shelling out, because you waited, you would be on the loosing end of this bargain. Obviously the longer you wait in a rising market the bigger that difference becomes. Now I'm not a financial adviser and I don't know the exact details of your finances and potential purchase and sale, but this is only one reason that I can mention that it would be a good move (literally) if you could do it now. The second reason should really be to see f it will improve the quality of your life overall and with regards to future plans in life.

I hope this helped a bit and please don't hesitate to contact me for a more indept analysis of your personal situation and opinion of value for the potential sale of your home.

Best regards,

Anoir Redouane
Halstead Property LLC
0 votes
Eric Rosen, Agent, New York, NY
Sun Apr 24, 2011
You can of course convert the living room but of course that is not the ideal suitutation. The answer really becomes one of finances and your ability to purchase a true 2 bedroom. If you have the financial means I would suggest purchasing a 2 bedroom apartment. I can tell you from experience that 2 bedrooms are one of the "hottest selling" apartments right now.

The market for 1 bedroom apartments is slower than 2 bedrooms. Of course, any apartment listed with a realistic price will sell quicker than one listed "above market".

Best suggestion, speak with a mortgage professional and see what you can afford. Then contact a real estate agent and discuss what your true options are.
0 votes
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