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The Empire State Building's Pricey Lights; When to Buy; More!

1) Finally, the answer to who's paying for all those thematic Empire State Building light shows: the tenants! They're now suing the building's landlord, claiming that their electric bills are far higher than the actual Con Ed costs. While it's illegal for residential landlords to profit from utility bills, there's no such law for commercial landlords, who often add 15 percent administrative charges to bills. A civil court judge ruled the building's owners have to turn over their Con Ed master bill, but the case is still making its way through the appeals process. ['Enraged Empire State Building residents blame landlord for sky-high electric bills'/NYP]

2) The Times weighs in on the when to buy question with a look at the possible pitfalls awaiting new development buyers: shoddy construction, iffy financing, and empty or never-completed buildings. But there are some deals to be had. Our old friend Warehouse 11 gets a shout-out as one example. ['Buying a Condo: Now vs. Later']

3) This week's hunters got tired of their limited all-hour options in Boston, and after a few too many 7 a.m. visits to Target for lack of anything better to do, decided to pack it all up for New York. The West Village didn't seem child-friendly, but a $1.225 million UWS apartment felt just right. A building going up across the street will obstruct part of their view, but hey, it probably won't be finished for another 47 years. [The Hunt/'These Hunters Were Won Over']

4) The Post checks out the New York Inn, voted the city's grossest hotel by users. The verdict? Among other things, "musty mold, strange hairs in the bedsheets and muck-encrused windows with views of neighboring cement walls." At $84 a night, better/worse than renting? ['The dirt on "filthiest" of NY's hotels'/NYP]

5) Making you feel like a complete underachiever is this week's Habitats column, about the family inhabiting a hundred-year-old limestone townhouse in Harlem's Sugar Hill. Dad's the VP of an online gaming company, Mom's a writer and former war photographer who does her own carpentry, and Son #1 played the psychopathic star of the 2007 thriller "Joshua." Do you have a poster from your child's latest film in your living room? Didn't think so. [Habitats/'Tea and Uncertainty for a Busy Family']


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