When you hit hard times, as many folks have, what would you sell to make ends meet? What precious possessions are a little less precious when the rent or mortgage is overdue?
Certainly, things you don’t need right now are things you may consider selling. Like those burial plots you’ve been holding onto.
The Associated Press reports that burial plot brokers are seeing an uptick in the reselling of grave sites. To move the plots fast, they are selling for a quarter of their original price. What a steal! If you have a job, maybe it’s time to invest.
Ebay has twelve burial plots up for auction. Is that an average number or a high number? Your guess is as good as mine. A few of the ebay sellers offer free shipping, but I don’t see the point of that.
The asking prices on ebay range from $250 to $12,000, but there are no bidders on any of them yet. One seller is selling four plots in Laurel, Maryland, my hometown. Eerie.
I wonder why people even have burial plots to sell. Wouldn’t people who plans that far ahead be less likely to get in financial trouble? Maybe the plots are already in the family. Like The Big Bopper’s family, who is selling the Bopper’s casket fifty years after his death. Or maybe more people make early funeral arrangements than I think.
The only place I heard of buying funerals in advance is in the novels I read as a kid. The characters in the books I read are dirt, dirt poor. Through great sacrifice, the mother who could barely feed her kids would come up with the weekly nickel to pay her life insurance. Does this scenario come from A Tree Grows in Brooklyn? Or A Hero Ain’t Nothin’ But a Sandwich? All of the above?
This trend also reminds me that “cemetery” is one of English’s most frequently misspelled words. To be fair, most people don’t have to spell “cemetery” often. But if this sell-off continues, people may stop getting tripped up by that third “e.”
Or perhaps, people should learn the easier-to-spell, “cremation.”
Corcoran.com lists a minuscule 267 new listings this week, the lowest number I have seen on the site. Corocoran defines a new listing as a property that has come on the market in the last seven days.
Usually, four to eight hundred apartments fall in that category. Sometimes, a new development lists each unit separately and creates an unwieldy amount of new listings.
Yes, the holidays may be responsible for the lack of new listings. But people are not putting their apartments on the market these days unless they have to sell.
The November housing report tells a tough story for home sellers in a season full of tough news on all fronts. Sales of existing homes declined 8.6% and the median price declined 13% from $208K last year to $181.3K.
The article identifies the peak of the market as July 2006 when the median price hit $230K. G and I sold our apartment in May 2005.
Every report about the national housing market must be asterisked for New York City residents. The decline is happening here; it’s just not the avalanche it is elsewhere. Yet. Housing Predictor.com projects a 19.4% decline in Manhattan prices in 2009.
As a buyer on the sidelines, I take all the bad news reported as good news for me. Despite cheering with those in the grandstands, I see the prices going down as a necessary correction.
Many families have been burned in the housing build-up and crash, but prices could not continue to go higher and higher out of the reach of normal people. Million-dollar studios in Manhattan couldn’t last forever. Eventually, someone must buy it as a place to live rather than an investment. Manhattan and the nation was playing a game of musical chairs. The music and all the house flipping stops and people must put their butts somewhere.
Are Manhattan apartment prices coming down–finally? Asking prices seem noticeably lower in Manhattan and certain Brooklyn neighborhoods. Another fluke?
As evidence of the turning tide, check out my old Schermerhorn Street apartment, the price knocked down by $40K since I posted about it. An apartment in another favorite building I watch, 200 E 27th, has come down $20K.
Check out this co-op on Amity Street in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn. The Bergen Street F stop is only four tree-lined blocks away. Granted the “F” in F train stands for “frustrating.” But the F is the only game in town and it’ll do.
The listing advertises 1000 sq feet of shared outdoor space. I wonder how many residents share the space. From the picture, the brick building looks small, so not that many?
The apartment, a duplex, is 900 square feet with a $599K asking price. That equals $921/sq ft–high for Brooklyn but the outdoor space trips that equation.
What interests me about this apartment for sale is that this apartment is the apartment G. and I used to own. We sold this downtown Brooklyn one bedroom in May 2005 for $345K. Today the asking price is $440K.
Does the $85K price increase say anything about the New York City real estate market as a whole? (When I refer to the New York market, I mean my market: Manhattan, parts of Brooklyn and just maybe, Astoria, Long Island City and Jackson Heights in Queens.) Has the asking price moved with the market or has the price outpaced the market?
Last week’s news about the declining price of existing homes (down 11.3% percent nationwide from a year ago) encouraged me that we might be able to jump into the market again. A New York Times article says that the market is seeing prices not seen since 2004. If that statement could be applied consistently, our old apartment would not cost $440K; the cost would be lower than our 2005 sale price. If only that were true.
I read prices in New York declined by 7%. Even in New York media, meaningful stats remain cloudy. Is the 7% all five boroughs added together? Averaging all the boroughs together doesn’t tell the Manhattan shopper anything. A short piece in the New York Times indicates that current prices are falling in Manhattan but the stats don’t reflect a decrease yet.
Back to our former nest: 96 Schermerhorn is a great apartment. When the Brooklyn Law School dormitory rose behind the building, our apartment was spared the loss of a great view. The view looks out over Brooklyn and the Verrazano Bridge. I am puzzled that the old photo of our living room with our furniture is used. Looked better then, perhaps? I like the kitchen remodeling, but I wonder if the openness above the kitchen counter is worth the loss of cabinet space.
Sentimentality or sour grapes? I think the former, but we won’t know until we are owners of a new space ourselves.
Scanning the listings on Corcoran.com, you’d think that Manhattan apartment prices haven’t budged, despite the crumbling of the rest of the nation’s real estate markets. I’m not looking for Manhattan prices to crumble; I only want them out of the ozone.
Whenever I see a 750+ square foot apartment listed for under $500K, I assume there is something terribly wrong with it, like a $1500 maintenance fee. Or it sits under a highway, or over a bar. Something. And I am never disappointed.
But the news beginning to be good for us fence sitters. Barely noticeable to the naked eye, some prices are moving downward.
- The Washington Heights apartment on Wadsworth sat at $439K since May and now it lists at $409K.
- The apartment on West 12th took its second price slashing from $725K to $699K to $649K.
- Most surprising of all is the penthouse studio at 96 Schermerhorn that seemed like a deal at $275K. The price went up to $300K, but now it sits at $250K.
All three of these apartments sounded relatively sellable at their original prices. Sellable to someone other than me.
Though the copy in the listing doesn’t tip its hand, 200 E 27th Street is a great building to live in, well located at the corner of 27th and 3rd. The building boasts a fantastic roof top, the best place to see the July 4th fireworks with the twinkling New York skyline as backdrop.
The layout makes the most of the 725 square feet. When you need efficiency, the boxier the better. And closets. New Yorkers need closets and this apartment has plenty of them.
Friends of ours live on the first floor of this building. They have a huge patio with a privacy fence, outdoor lighting, a manly gas grill and a top-notch chef. Of course, that patio has nothing to do with this apartment, but at least you would know there is a couple in the building worth making friends with.
A couple of months ago, this apartment could easily have sold at its $545K asking price. But today with credit markets tighter than grandma’s girdle, the sellers need to come down to $485K to make me come knocking at the door.
I don’t need a calculator to figure out this tiny box is not 950 square feet. Is the 2nd floor missing from the floor plan?
The apartment on West 111th Street claims 950 square feet and two bedrooms in the listing. The floor plan shows 565 square feet and one bedroom. (I did use a calculator, estimating the jug-handle hall to be 8.5 x 3.)
Possibly the wrong floor plan was put in by mistake. Or maybe the 950 is a misprint. Or maybe the sellers think the students in the area are fools.
With a hefty $649k asking price, the realtors are banking that the prospective buyers don’t have a calculator or a newspaper.
I do love the built-in bookcases and the North and South windows. You’ll need all those windows to toss out your stuff that doesn’t fit into the non-existent closets.
In these alliterative economic times, with the “credit crunch” and the “mortgage mess” blanketing the news, prices in Manhattan are finally coming down. Slowly. Very slowly.
It took an “economic earthquake” and a “bank bust” to make it happen. Yet in these “terrible times,” there is a little “buyer’s bright spot.”
The Little Studio That Could increased its asking price from $275K to $300K. That little studio is in 96 Schermerhorn in Downtown Brooklyn, a building that I have a soft spot for.
Bravo, seller, bravo! As the only price increase in any of the apartments I have been watching, I must applaud the move. I mentioned the apartment was underpriced in my post a few weeks ago.
If it were any other apartment, I would be shocked at the gall, my perpetual state since 2005. Since Brooklyn has more gall than Manhattan, the ride down might be even slower on the other side of the bridge.
Pundits are calling this a buyer’s market, but I don’t know too many people buying. And what is going to happen to the New York market when there ain’t no money to be borrowed?
Gene and I sold our apartment in 96 Schermerhorn in May 2005. So naturally, we remain fascinated by what goes on in the building.
How much are the apartments going for now, we wonder? Translate: how far off the peak did we sell? We had a one bedroom, so studio apartment price wars are less relevant, but interesting nonetheless.
This penthouse studio is newly listed on Corcoran for $275k. The price caught me by surprise as our former neighbors sold their beautiful studio in 2005 for around $265k.
A studio on a lower floor with a $100 lower monthly maintenance and a $375k price tag is in contract. Is the difference between apartments worth $100,000? From our visits, the penthouses are not as glamorous as one would expect. But $100K is a steep drop, my friend.
Another studio in the building listed by a different broker is priced at $369k. Broker #2 tries to position her studio as having .5 bedrooms, but a click on the floor plan will show you that it is no larger than the others. Square footage for all three apartments unknown, but the floor plans indicate they are all about the same.
Hmmm, is our $275K requester just a motivated seller? Is there a real difference in the condition of the apartments?
Let’s watch this one.
Who doesn’t dream of buying an apartment in the West Village? And what ordinary mortal doesn’t give up this dream as unattainable?
The West Village is usually the first neighborhood to be written off when rubber meets the road. But here is a charmer that some reasonably employed person might be able to buy. Not that I can afford to buy it myself, but here is 800 perfectly-laid out square feet in the West Village for $725K.
The layout is nearly identical to our current apartment in Battery Park City. Only we’re renting and we’re in BPC.
This apartment is $906 per square foot, ladies and gents, below the $1000 psf barrier. In the Village. Maintenance is high at $1120. But still.
It “needs your loving touch.” Uh-oh.
I can tell that no one currently lives there by the sparse furniture in the photos. Desperate seller? Fifth floor walk up? How many years will that be tolerable? For our dog, Aimee, the climb would be tolerable for about one or two walks before she would insist on wee-wee pads.
The Village tranquility is probably vanquished by the stream of ambulances headed for St Vincent’s Hospital, a block away. At least you will reach the hospital in time if you are having a heart attack.