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Friday, August 28, 2015

Fixer Upper Friday: Large Studio in Jackson Heights for $160k

Photo: Streeteasy
If I had my way, I would move every year, just for the sheer fun of getting to renovate another home with Renov8or potential. Sadly, Ross does not share my penchant for "fresh starts". Little did I know that when I found our current home - a 2BR with parking and a doorman - I was setting the bar pretty high for me ever convincing him to move again. Try finding another deal that that in New York City.

It doesn't stop me from "looking" of course. I'm always culling StreetEasy for new homes on the market that have good Renov8or potential. Some of these I send to friends who are looking. Others I simply ogle and dream about.

Take this large studio in Jackson Heights, for example, that recently showed up on StreetEasy:

Photo: StreetEasy
Photo: StreetEasy 

Though I am not even in the market for a studio, this one caught my eye as it happens to be located in one of my favorite co-op buildings in the historic district - the Warwick. No, I don't have any insider scoop on the Warwick, but I can't help noticing it as I'm walking in the neighborhood - what a handsome building it is. And so well-maintained.

Photo: StreetEasy
So, what is it about this studio in the Warwick that excites me? Well, the price for one. 

Other studios in the historic district are going for around $220k. Purchasing this one for $160k would give the purchaser about a $60k budget to work with to bring it up to market rate.

And the purchaser would need that much. Because the kitchen as you can see requires a gut renovation.

As long as you are going to all that trouble, why not play around with the floorplan?

Look at it - a studio apartment with an eat in kitchen!

It's kind of too bad, though. Because the windowed space the kitchen is taking up would be the perfect spot for a bedroom. Relocate the closets to the new "bedroom, and you've just made room for an open concept living/kitchen/dining area.

Assuming the board would approve of relocating the kitchen and that the kitchen abutting that side of the bath can extend plumbing lines, this large studio appears convertible to a one-bedroom.


One bedrooms in the historic district are listing from $250 - $279k.  That moves the equity needle (and renovation budget up) to a good $100k - and that's more than enough for a thoughtful renovation that retains architectural charm.

Some boards may approve "wet over dry" renovations if you can show a plan for how you will put in special water proofing measures, says Brick Underground.

I would appeal to the board by showing how much the value of the unit (as well as the comps in the building) will increase with a well-designed and well-appointed renovation.