Welcome to Brick Underground’s sponsor apartment pick of the week, where we feature a co-op for sale by the owner of the building. You do not need board approval to buy these apartments, they are often newly renovated, and they typically require a down payment of only 10 percent, versus the 20 to 25 percent that most co-ops demand. In exchange for the condo-like ease of acquisition, expect to pay a bit more than a regular co-op, but considerably less than a condo. For more information, check out "Everything you ever wanted to know about sponsor apartments but were afraid to ask."
The U-shaped layout of this two-bedroom, one-bath co-op, 107 West 106 St., #4A, in Manhattan Valley is a little funky but the location is great and at $625,000 it’s well below the current median average of $1,055,000 for similar units in the neighborhood. The prewar building was finished in 1910 and is within walking distance of both Central Park and Columbia University. The building is small with just 16 units and five stories, so while no board interview is required, a co-op this size does require a certain amount of community involvement.
There's no elevator in the co-op, and this unit is on the top floor, which could get tiring. The unit does have room to grow, however: The hallway outside the apartment leads to a staircase with access to the roof. Although there are currently no plans in place, it’s possible the board may be open to selling the roof rights above the apartment. That's something to consider if you want to expand the co-op footprint. You'll also need to be aware the board might sell those rights to someone else.
The living/dining room has hardwood flooring and has a wall with exposed brick on one side. An archway leads to a small kitchen with quartz counter-tops, a stone backsplash, and stainless steel appliances, including a dishwasher and built-in microwave.
The kitchen has a window and plenty of cabinets, but it's short on prep space.
There's more exposed brick in the bedrooms. The unit faces south and west, which is one of the best orientations for natural light. The skinny second bedroom is only around 120 square feet so will only accommodate a twin bed.
The bathroom has been updated with new vanity and new tile. It has both a window and a skylight.
The maintenance fees are $1,189, which might feel a bit high for a building with so few amenities. The other sting is the transfer tax of around $9,000, which is currently the buyer's responsibility.
The pet-friendly building is made up of mostly one-bedroom apartments. The neighborhood is bike-friendly with lots of bike lanes and Citi Bike stations. With several train lines nearby, it's an easy commute from here to Midtown, and Long Island City. The area is popular with young families and there are playground and bike path improvements planned for nearby Riverside Park.
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