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Selling New York: All Hail The Twenty-Something Buyer

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HGTV's Selling New York rides along with brokerages CORE, Gumley Haft Kleier and Warburg as they try to sell fabulous properties fabulously. Here's our recap of how the NYC real estate industry is portrayed to the world, penned by Molly Reisner. Episode air date: 8/4/2011.

Break out the celebratory kazoos because last night's Selling New York aged down about thirty years. Nary a fur coat or Upper East Side listing to be seen when two apartment-yearnin' youngsters step on the scene!

First, we meet a hip little lady with a bitty budget who wants to nab a rockin' Manhattan. Then, a young gun with cash to spare calls on his girlfriend's broker mom to help him find a one-of-a-kind spot where he can kick off his Vans at the end of the day. Don't worry about keeping up with these kids?I've got the 411 all here in today's recapulous recap!

Oooh, I love it when we start an episode at my favorite office: Kleier HQ! Papa and Mama K are holding a meeting with all four of their new brokers. They're having a recap update about their listings. Whoah, we're now recapping...a recap!

The red-arrowed gentleman is brand-new broker Curtis Nixon. No relation to the most famous of Nixons: Cynthia. Curtis used to be in advertising, but wanted "to be in the quirkiness of the real estate in Manhattan." He's well liked by Mama and Papa for his "southern hospitality" and they have confidence in him. P.S. They are such a cute pair, like bosses who are your grandparents!

So, Curt's first client ever in the universe is Alexandra "I'd like an awesome 1 bedroom in Manhattan for $350k" Samuel. Eeeow! That's a tall order for Curt, and he's feeling the pressure to prove his worth with "all eyes" on him. Mama K concedes that's a huge challenge for anyone, much less someone new to the biz. But a-challenging he must go, and soon he and magazine assistant Alex are strolling around...

...The Foundry in Gramercy Park. Curt thinks this apartment is "a great starting off point" for Alex to see what her eensy $350k will get her in the 212. Which is this 600-square-foot studio loft, going for $379k:

She's less than impressed with the cost per square foot, which makes sense considering she's coming from living in her mom's roomy 'burban house, where no one must store their bike next to the TV. The $930 monthly maintenance fee on top of a mortgage would burst her bank account, so Curt suggests?brace?Brooklyn! First, he takes her to Williamsburg, which is the perfect 'hood since she wants a young local crowd. And what's hotter than 80 Metropolitan? Seriously, it's 90% sold! Here's a peep at the 531 sq. ft. studio:

Alex likes the design but not the tiny size or the non-Manhattan address. She feels like she should get more value for her dollars, all expressed succinctly with this face:

Oh, the price of delusion! Curt gently reminds her that the building is sparkling spanking new and has tons of amenities, but to no avail. Alex feels certain she should get more space in BK since she "went over a bridge to get there." Easy girl, why u got 2 hate on bridges? Without crossing any godforsaken bridges, Curt and Alex step on over to another lively, up-and-coming Brooklyn 'hood?Greenpoint!

It's where The Pencil Factory used to make pencils. And then magically transformed into modern, luxury living! Not hard to see why Alex is loving this 623-square-foot, 1BR, 1BA airy, pristine unit:

And at $323k, it's sittin' pretty within Alex's budget. She finds it to be "an ideal space", as do many other buyers, but isn't sold on the environs yet. Off a walkin' they go, where Alex absorbs Greenpoint's charming sites, including this dapper dog who will dutifully watch over your bike:

Alex is tentatively interested and needs some mull-time, leaving Curtis a little nervous about possibly losing his first client...

...which doesn't happen because Alex decides to anoint Greenpoint as her new home! Mama and Papa K are thrilled and impressed! Curt brings over some celebratory bubbly to Alex's, where she gushes how happy she is in Greenpoint and how bridges are not the enemy. The update informs that Curt's on a roll: he's already closed a second deal and has two new clients in his pocket. I smell a spin-off!


Warburg broker Leslie Modell Rosenthal is working to find an apartment for first-time buyer Alex Michaels, who is her daughter Missy's boyfriend. Superflous footnote: Missy is a lil' pop star! Alex is looking to move out of the Upper East to a more happenin' locale like the Flatiron District. He wants an out-of-this-world loft and by golly, Les is going to her bust her Blackberry trying to deliver. First, she takes him to The Grand Madison at 225 Fifth Avenue, where this sleek slinky 1,820-square-foot fiefdom is up for grabs:

I'm definitely getting an M.C. Escher staircase vibe:

It's not the $2.14 million pricetag that makes Alex cringe, but the "manicured" feel of the design. He wants something quirky and full of personality, got it, Les? She's glad he knows what he wants but thinks it will be difficult to find AKA wants him to just buy something already, jeez.

Les has another option up her sleeve at 206 East 16th Street?The Abbey Condo.

Dear Abbotts,

Sorry for pricing you out of me. I didn't mean for it to happen.


The parish is pretty rad?check out this 2BR, 2BA oasis of pre-war detail:

And the crowning glory? This creature:

Because everyone could use some inspiration while doing the dishes. Alex admits Les found him "exactly what he was looking for" but now that it's in front of him he's getting clammy feet. Les understands he's got to think about plunking down $2.25 million but is also all "my time is important" and wants Alex to ink a contract for crying out loud.

Screech! That's the sound of Alex putting the brakes on any contract-signing. He and Missy meet up with Les at The Limelight Market so he can tell her he's not ready to buy. Why? "I feel a little too young," he says, while licking an ice-cream cone:

He still wants to move but keep renting so he can keep his options open. Les is totally surprised and totally annoyed at the change of heart, saying "I'm not going to be making money and I'm going to suck it up." Anybody else get the heebie jeebies from mixing family and finances? Despite the (manufactured) tension, Les promises to rustle up some rentals to show him instead.

Where? The Abbey! Back at the parish, the gang tours this 1550-square-foot wonder:

Alex is enamored with the $4,195 a month, 1BR, 1BA rental, which comes with a bonus: a room that makes you feel like you're in the movie Being John Malkovich!

He takes it! A week later, the trio catches up over burgers at Homestead Steakhouse. Alex is jazzed to be living in the parish and is thankful to Les for tolerating the switcheroo. Les seems satisfied that one day all her hard work will pay off, from the bank account of her daughter's seemingly loaded beau. But wait, maybe Les isn't all about the Benjamins?the update tells us she declined a $7500k commission for the rental. Nice discount!

Episode grade: Two deals in one episode? Your batting average is improving, SNY! You are hereby awarded 4.5 out of 5 cackling Kleiers!

· Selling New York [HGTV]
· Selling New York coverage [Curbed]

80 Metropolitan Avenue

80 Metropolitan Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11211 Visit Website

Grand Madison

225 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY