Halstead Property

Welcome to the official Halstead Tumblr Blog, where our local agents are your local experts. Halstead Property is the largest privately owned real estate firm in the New York Metropolitan Area and we strive to innovate and modernize your real estate experience. Through this blog, we aim to act as your neighborhood and real estate ambassador. We have daily contributors whose primary goal is to investigate and produce daily commentary and rich content that will give you a taste of the areas we service and you live in. If you have any feedback we invite you to contact us at social@halstead.com.

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QUOTE OF THE DAY - RICHARD GROSSMAN TO CHINA DAILY

A recent article by China Daily touched on how the Chinese are now the #1 International Buyers of US residential property according to new statistics released. To support that point, China Daily sat down with our Executive Vice President, Managing Director, Richard Grossman, to learn more about this growing trend. Richard summed it up perfectly with our Quote of the Day above that appeared in their recent article!

To network with Richard feel free to visit his webpage or email him directly. 

EYE ON FIDI - THE RETURN OF THE FIVE AND DIME 

By: Donald E. Sharpe, Lic. Real Estate Salesperson reporting on all things Financial District, Battery Park City and Seaport

As the old saying goes, “Everything that’s old is new again” and this has never been more evident than with the  continuing rebirth of the historic  Woolworth Building at 233 Broadway  in Lower Manhattan. Completed in 1913 and designed by architect Cass Gilbert,  it was actually the worlds tallest building at the time and remained so until 1930 when it was surpassed by 40 Wall Street.  And can you believe that even now it remains as one of the twenty tallest buildings in New York?! 

What retailer Frank Woolworth originally conceived of as a 20 story building  ultimately became a 60 story structure, built in a neo-gothic style. It’s common nickname at the time was “The Cathedral of Commerce” due to the it’s resemblance of European Gothic cathedrals.   In the years since, the majority of the time the building was continuously owned by the Woolworth Company and it’s successors  until it was ultimately sold in 1998 for what now seems an unbelievably low $155 million. 

Subsequently a majority of the building continues to be owned by the Witkoff Group; however the top 30 floors were recently  sold off separately to Alchemy Properties and are currently in the process of a conversion to residential condominiums, amid much fanfare. The penthouse unit is touted as being anywhere between 5 and 9 stories (!!)  and is potentially being  listed for a record-breaking $110,000,000 by itself.  The plan is to have a total of 34 units, designed by Thierry Despont, and in a general price range of upwards of $3000 per square foot. 

Regardless of the speculative nature of the pricing, one thing is for sure:  the Woolworth Building is again the focus of worldwide attention and whatever happens can only prove  to further boost values in an already rapidly booming area of Manhattan: The Financial District. 

Click here for archives of The Halstead Blog Eye on FiDI blog series.

To learn more about exciting opportunities to own a home in this rapidly evolving area, contact me directly at DSharpe@Halstead.com  

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Thoughts from EYE on FiDi are those of Donald E. Sharpe and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Halstead Property, LLC

EYE CANDY OF THE DAY: DESIGNED TO SHINE 

A closet full of designer duds is a match made in style heaven for a uniquely chic living space like this two-bedroom cooperative nestled on a coveted stretch of Carnegie Hill in the heart of Manhattan’s Upper East Side. A gracious entry foyer greets you into the light-filled designer renovated apartment with soaring ceilings and greenhouse windows for a living room full of open views that are like a breath of fresh air. What we most appreciate is the 16x11 Ft Master Suite that has an enormous walk-in closet perfect to house a growing arsenal of couture collectibles, and the 2nd bedroom is equally as spacious with well-proportioned closets and an en-suite bath. 

Click here to see more of the prewar cooperative home. 

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Sample all of our Real Estate Eye Candy Powered by Pinterest here.  

Don’t miss our Snapshot of the Day for more stunning imagery, find us on Instagram @Halstead or visit our online gallery here

Barak’s Thoughts on When is the Best Time to Buy?

In the 2nd installment of regular Halstead Blog series from Halstead Property’s Barak Dunayer, we bring you Webisode 2 titled “When is the Best Time to Buy?”

Barak shares his thoughts on knowing when the right time to buy is, while pointing out that buying early on is a smarter move than waiting for the market to drop, and reminds home buyers that, 

“Your first home may not be your dream home, but buying it will help you get there closer and faster

Click here to watch Webisode 1 – “I Can Find Anything Myself”  and stay tuned for the next installment of the 8 week series.

Share your thoughts and connect with Barak on Twitter or over email, and visit his agent website to learn more, and for all of your real estate needs. 

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Thoughts and opinions presented in this video series are those of Barak Dunayer and do not reflect the official opinions of Halstead Property, LLC.

EYE CANDY OF THE DAY: PERFECTLY POLISHED PENTHOUSE

Privacy abounds at this palatial penthouse with 1,447 square feet of impeccably designed interior space and an outdoor balcony that offers an additional 60 square feet of private space. Located in the heart of SoHo in a premier boutique condominium building, this 2 bedroom home is a dream come true from the moment you exit the private key-locked elevator where soaring 11-foot high ceilings will sweep you away, while views of SoHo’s classic streetscape can be seen through floor-to-ceiling windows in nearly every room. For more urban zen, head out to the private balcony and take in the beautiful scenery from the landscaped garden that bridges this collection of luxury buildings known as 139 Wooster Street. 

Click here to discover more about this perfectly polished SoHo Penthouse. 

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Sample all of our Real Estate Eye Candy Powered by Pinterest here.  

Don’t miss our Snapshot of the Day for more stunning imagery, find us on Instagram @Halstead or visit our online gallery here

10 REASONS TO LOVE RIVERSIDE BOULEVARD

With Nora Ariffin, Licensed Associated Real Estate Broker from our Village Office.

I’ve been living on the Upper West Side for over 20 years, happily calling Riverside Boulevard home for the last 3 ½ years. Before moving farther west, I would often go to Riverside Boulevard for showings or to bike along the Hudson in Riverside Park. In fact, the four-mile long park was one of the main reasons why I moved here. I like to think of this waterfront neighborhood as my own little getaway, and here are my top 10 reasons why you should consider Riverside Blvd (West 62nd- West 72nd Streets) for your next getaway:

1. A trip to Riverside Blvd would not be complete without spending time (and getting in a workout) in Riverside Park. You can often find me biking along the path that runs parallel to the Hudson River or running up and down the stairs at West 68th Street.

2. When I’m not working up a sweat in the park, I like to unwind at a café and take in the calming Hudson views. The Boat Basin Café located at West 79th is great, but I prefer Pier i Café (500 West 70th Street in Riverside Park South), which is practically just outside my front door. Be sure to check out Summer on the Hudson, a series of arts & entertainment events (many of them free!) in Riverside Park hosted by the Parks Department. Check out nycgovparks.org for the 2014 Summer on the Hudson schedule.

3. My ideal weekend morning would be to get tea and a chocolate croissant from BLUcafé (120 Riverside Blvd at Trump Place) and read the newspaper or a magazine on a bench in the park followed by a walk along the path.

4. Riverside Blvd is not far from Lincoln Center/Tucker Square where I often go to the Tucker Square Greenmarket (West 66th Street and Columbus Avenue) on Saturdays to pick up honey, fruit, vegetables, cheeses and bread from tri-state area farms and purveyors. For information on the 2014 schedule and times go to grownyc.org.

5. If venturing east for a market haul sounds a bit brutal, then check out Jubilee Market Place at 180 Riverside Blvd or gourmet grocer, Citarella (2135 Broadway at West 75th Street). Fairway Market’s flagship store is at 2127 Broadway.

6. Biscuits & Bath provides grooming, training, daycare and other great services for your dog (located at 160 Riverside Blvd). Dog lovers will also appreciate that nearby Riverside Park has three dog runs at West 72nd, West 87th and West 105th Streets.

7. Oenophiles in the Riverside Park South area should check out Renaissance Fine Wines & Spirits located at 161 Freedom Place. 

8. Hiro Sushi at Ollie’s (160 Freedom Place) is one of my favorite local eateries. Scallion pancakes and General Tso’s chicken are my regular orders. For finer dining, I prefer the bistro-style Cafe Luxembourg at 200 West 70th Street. Their yellowfin tuna burger is a must-try.

9. I travel farther uptown to play tennis at Riverside Drive and West 96th Street at city-run courts located in Riverside Park. You can go to nycgovparks.org for details on tennis permits, courts locations and reserving play-time. I find the $200 season permit to be a great investment as it allows me to play tennis at courts throughout the city.

10. Most buildings along the boulevard provide a shuttle bus service to and from the nearest subway station (express and local stop) in the mornings and evenings, which is a huge convenience. 

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Thoughts and opinions presented in this post are those of Nora Ariffin and do not reflect the official opinions of Halstead Property, LLC.

DO YOU KNOW THIS BUILDING?

By: Deborah Zavon, Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker, Park Avenue Office. 

The Graybar Building – 420 Lexington Avenue, Midtown East, Manhattan. 

Ratatouille is not the only charming rat. There are three rats that make me smile whenever I see them. They are suave, deco and quietly waiting to surprise the pedestrians below.  I enjoy the reaction of people who walk by every day never noticing them until they are pointed out. Have you seen these rats? 

They run up the cables from the awning of the Graybar building pictured above, located at 420 Lexington Avenue in Midtown Manhattan. If you have entered Grand Central Station from Lexington Avenue they run above your head.  The design of the building is by Sloan & Robertson, and the cast-metal deco rats were added below the baffles on the cables that hold the awning to look like mooring lines with baffles to discourage rats crawling aboard ships. 

There are many surprising architectural finds in the city that are intriguing and interesting to come across. Share your own “Do You Know This Building?” photo with me in the comments below, or over email

Visit my agent website to learn more and for all of your New York City real estate needs. 

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Thoughts and opinions presented in this post are those of Deborah Zavon and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Halstead Property, LLC.

MOTHER NATURE PUTS ON FIREWORKS DISPLAY 

Even before tonight’s 4th of July Macy’s Fireworks, Mother Nature put on quite a display of her own as an opening act.

Enjoy this photo of 1 WTC the other night during an electrifying thunderstorm!

Halstead Property wishes everyone a Happy 4th of July!

From a backyard barbecue, to taking in a night of fireworks - We hope you have a happy, healthy and safe Independence Day!

MANHATTAN MARKET REPORT UPDATE FROM OUR CHIEF ECONOMIST

For the 2nd Quarter 2014

By Greg Heym, Chief Economist at Halstead Property

Manhattan apartment prices averaged $1.7 million in the second quarter, virtually unchanged from the first quarter’s record level, and 19% higher than a year ago. A booming new development market, which posted a record average price of just under $3.5 million, combined with a record co-op sale and scarce inventory kept prices elevated. The number of reported sales was 9% higher than a year ago.

The median price, which measures the middle of the market, fell 1% from the first quarter of 2014, but was 5% above 2013’s second quarter. This shows us that most of the increase in the average price is due to the high end, as the middle of the market is rising at a much slower pace.

Perhaps the most telling statistic on the strength of the luxury market is that at the time of our report, 45 closings over $10 million had been recorded. During the same time period in 2013, there were just 16, a 181% increase.

All sizes of co-ops saw their average price rise compared to 2013’s second quarter, led by a 26% gain in three-bedroom and larger units. Overall, the average co-op price of $1,240,747 was a 12% improvement from the second quarter of 2013. The average condo price of $2,283,151 was slightly below last quarter’s record level, but 26% higher than a year ago. New developments, such as One57-which had 4 closings over $30 million-pushed the average price 47% over the past year for three-bedroom and larger condos.

The full version of the report click here.

DO I KEEP RENTING OR SHOULD I BUY?

By: David Wagenheim, Licensed Real Estate Salesperson, East Side Office

I am often asked, how does one know when it’s time to stop renting and consider buying an apartment. This can be different for everyone. Some like the ‘security’ of owning their own home, others feel it’s a way of fulfilling the ‘American Dream’, etc., but for many, it’s when the rent they are paying no longer makes sense to them.

Whatever your reasons are, you should be aware that if you are going to purchase, the ‘common’ rule of thumb is that you want to make sure you are going to stay in this home for at least five (5) years. If you think you can’t make that commitment, then you may want to consider holding off because you may not make your investment back. Granted, there are always exceptions to every rule, as we certainly see cases where if the market is on an ‘upswing’, it’s quite possible to recoup your money earlier. I am of course speaking in generalities.

Recently I worked with clients who were paying $3,325 per month in rent. They loved their apartment and neighborhood, but they knew it was a matter of time before their rent would go up again, and thought it might be time to take the next step.

After some searching, we found an apartment that they were happy with a little further north of their current neighborhood, but, with a bit more space. The list price of the apartment was $600K with a monthly maintenance of $1K per month. With a down payment of 25% ($150K), a 30 year mortgage with an interest rate of approximately 4%, their payment (including their maintenance) came to approximately $3,148 per month. This already was enough to make them happy with their decision. However, because of deductions available to homeowners on their interest, they would save an additional $491 per month thereby bringing their ‘net’ monthly outlay to $2,657. In just one year they will not only save themselves $8,016, but they will be building equity in the years to come giving them a sense of ‘security’ as well as helping to fulfill the ‘American Dream.’

Connect with me over email and visit my agent website to learn more about this topic, and for all of your real estate needs.

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Thoughts and opinions presented in this post are those of David Wagenheim and do not reflect the official opinions of Halstead Property, LLC. 

BRIAN LEWIS HOLIDAY PREMIERE

Presents a Video Tour of the Penthouse C at 118 West 79th Street

Recently named once again to the prestigious list of Top Agents in the US by the Wall Street Journal, Brian Lewis figured he would celebrate the Holiday Weekend by releasing this feature film tour of his newest exclusive penthouse at 118 West 79th Street.

Easily one of the most exquisite homes on the market today—this Pre-War penthouse at 118 West 79th Street has it all. The two-bedroom home comes with a lush (and irrigated) garden and al fresco dining space on the wrap-around terrace, which offers eastward views of Central Park and a cityscape panorama to the south. Step inside to the open-plan living and dining space complete with original molding, a dining bar and access to two entrances of the terrace. The master bedroom and guest bedroom (currently used as an office) each have an en suite bathroom. Of course the views of the terrace and beyond are the greatest  assets to this stylish oasis in the sky.

Jaw-dropping sights and amenities aside—Lewis takes you on a soaring, fun journey through the penthouse. You meet Lewis in Central Park where he dares you to “look up.” Suddenly, you speed off to the top of 118 West 79th Street where you meet Lewis once again on the gardened terrace. Before stepping inside, he snaps some day and night shots of the breathtaking views with his phone camera. Expect more Lewis trickery as he introduces the double entrances from the terrace. 

WATCH THE PREMIERE VIDEO NOW

Also we invite you to watch all of Brian’s 300+ videos by clicking here.

YOUR EYE CANDY OF THE DAY: FIFTH AVENUE DELIGHT

Stunning views of the Reservoir and Central Park make this spacious Fifth Avenue cooperative a must see.  The two-bedroom corner apartment boasts an eat-in kitchen with the most romantic backdrop that overlooks the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir, in addition to a sprawling terrace with views looking all the way down Fifth Avenue to the Metropolitan Museum. The master bedroom, corner living room and dining area all have additionally as spectacular views of Central Park and the New York City skyline that you will find. 

Click here to learn more about this residence located in a premier full-service Upper East Side cooperative building. 

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Don’t miss our Snapshot of the Day for more stunning imagery, find us on Instagram @Halstead or visit our online gallery here

YOUR EYE CANDY OF THE DAY: BROOKLYN BROWNSTONE

Located on one of the most desired blocks in prime Fort Greene, this mint 2,000 sq. ft landmarked co-op has everything and more. Designed by a famed local architect named Frank Bosworth for G.R. Barteaux, the brownstone first floors have end entry porches with iconic columns and friezes ornamented by a large Greek key design. This unit offers 3 bedrooms, an office, 2 full baths and a large open living room with an adjoining dining area next to a modern kitchen complete with high end stainless steel appliances. From the kitchen, you will have access to the lovely and tranquil private garden terrace, a perfect space for outdoor entertaining. There is also an additional guest quarter located on the lower level. 

The prewar cooperative building is complete with amenities including a laundry room  and a bike storage room, and is minutes to Fort Greene park, Barclays center, restaurants, attractions in Downtown Brooklyn and the subway. 

Click here to discover more about this Brownstone. 

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Sample all of our Real Estate Eye Candy Powered by Pinterest here.

Don’t miss our Snapshot of the Day for more stunning imagery, find us on Instagram @Halstead or visit our online gallery here

TOP FARM SHARES IN THE NEW YORK CITY AREA - HEALTHY HOME SERIES - PART I

By Julianna Flamio, Halstead Property Social Team

In recent years the “locavore” movement has cropped up in kitchens, markets and restaurants across the New York metropolitan area. A weekend trip to the farmer’s market is not the only practice in maintaining a fridge stocked with organic, local produce—many conscious consumers are turning to farm shares also known as Community Supported Agriculture (CSA). A CSA allows consumers to buy a “share” of produce directly from farmers sometimes “up-front” at the start of the season, according to localharvest.org. The share could be a box, bag or basket of vegetables (or fruits, cheeses, eggs etc.) delivered to a set location on a weekly basis. Lately CSAs have become even more popular. There were 108 CSAs in NYC in 2013 compared to 30 CSAs in 2004, according to Crain’s New York. CSAs are not exclusive to urban areas—suburbanites can also find nearby CSAs to join. Take a look at some of the best farm shares in the New York City Area according to the feedback we received from some local expert agents:

Carnegie Hill CSA

Location: Upper East Side

Every Tuesday for 24 weeks from June through November, Upper East Siders could pick up their share of vegetables grown at Stoneledge Farm in South Cairo, NY. Stoneledge Farm also delivers to a number of other CSAs in the city, but what makes Carnegie Hill CSA unique is that it offers its members “half shares.” Members are also required to help in keeping the CSA functioning by volunteering at least one shift the pick-up location. Carnegie Hill locals should check out csasprouts.org for more information on this CSA.

Central Park West CSA

Location: Upper West Side

Members of this CSA have the “Fruit Add-On” option, in which they could choose to add fruits from Hudson Valley-based Breezy Hill Orchard to their shares. Vegetables come from Angel Family Farm in Goshen, NY. Members also can choose to purchase standard or half shares each season. Check out centralparkwestcsa.org  to learn more about Central Park West CSA.

Local Roots NYC

Locations: Alphabet City (East Village) and Brooklyn

Local Roots NYC prides itself on its “alternative CSA model.”  This CSA breaks up its seasons into summer, fall and winter, so members do not have to pay up-front for the standard June-November CSA season. Local Roots NYC works with a neighborhood CSA in Alphabet City and various neighborhood CSAs in Brooklyn in areas like Williamsburg, Boerum Hill and Greenpoint. NYU School of Medicine and companies like IMentor and APP Nexus run “workplace CSAs.” Local Roots NYC sources vegetables from Rogowski Farm in Warwick, NJ and fish from Acme Fish in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. The organization also works with local purveyors who produce granola, juices, cheese, pasta and so on. Go to localrootsnyc.org to learn about membership and more.

Nextdoorganics

Location: Brooklyn

This year-round CSA has pick-up “hubs” throughout Brooklyn and offers home delivery to its Manhattan members. Membership is flexible at $20-50 per week based on whether a member will be adding more items to a standard package of produce. Nextdoororganics sources from right around the corner at Bushwick Campus Farm and Sky Vegetables (rooftop farm in the Bronx) to farms from afar like Lancaster Farm Fresh Cooperative in Pennsylvania. Check out nextdoorganics.com for more information.

Catalpa Ridge Farm

Location: Hoboken, NJ

Catalpa Ridge Farm in Wantage, NJ has been running its own Community Supported Farm (CSF) for 19 years. Produce is dropped off to three locations in Hoboken every Tuesday. The farm’s website publishes the year’s harvest schedule to give members an idea of what produce they will be receiving from June through October.

Check out justfood.org for more information on CSAs and where to find one in or around your NYC neighborhood and check out tomorrow’s post on top farm shares in Connecticut and the Hamptons.

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