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: 1/5/2012.
It's hard enough to find a NYC apartment that suits your urban needs (AKA living 1/2 block from amazing nachos), but add a ticking timeline and it's a recipe for a panic picnic! Selling New York's tables got turned last night when a featured broker is on the hunt for the perfect Carnegie Hill dwelling that must be mere millimeters from her close-knit family. HINT THAT'S MORE LIKE JUST TELLING YOU: Is the buyer a Kleier? Then, a family flees the Upper East Side for another state and relies on their agent to magic up a sale as soon as yesterday. Welcome aboard to 2012, all. Let's do 'dis.
CRISIS #1: BROKER SEEKS CARNEGIE HILLS APARTMENT NEXT DOOR TO FAMILY BEFORE BABY BUSTS ON THE SCENE
Samantha Kleier and hubby J.P. are in the market for a new Upper East Side apartment. Their second babe is about to burst into the world and they need more space. The catch, because you know there is one? Sam "change is not my middle name" Kleier requires that they only look within two blocks of their current home. She's lived on the same block since she was 3 (!!). Her parents and sis are each just a few steps away and she doesn't want a lick of distance to separate them. As a fellow challenger to zip code change, I totes get where she's coming from. 11215 4VR!
Their first stop takes them to 40 East 94th Street to check out this $3.1 million spot:
Sam's not digging the separate children's wing while J.P.'s all about keeping the kid's corralled on the other side of the apartment. A wise husband, J.P. says "a happy Samantha makes for a happy home."
I really want this to be a tooth-breaking candy necklace in fake blue-raspberry flavor. Or dinosaur eggs about to hatch:
Next, Sam and her dad Papa Ian are at her apartment with contractor Brendan Flanagan. There, they come up with some ideas on how to make Sam's current cluttered apartment more liveable and also sale-friendly. The main goal? To transform her office/shoe-collection into a third bedroom.
Because every stiletto needs a loving home:
Logical Sam knows sweeping out the shoes is the right thing to do, but Anti-Change Sam wants everyone to get the eff out of her shoe shrine and let it be. After all, she's only shoeman. This kind of sums it up.
Sam and Mama Bear walk to the outer limits of The Kleier Komfort Zone (two blocks from any family member) to look at a 3 bedroom/3 bathroom abode at 111 East 88th Street.
Will this $2.125 million spread get the stamp of Sam's approval?
The children's rooms are near the master?check! Nice kitchen?check!
Teensy closet in master bedroom that fits half a kitten heel? UNCHECK THAT SH%^&T:
Now Sam's back at her pad to check out Brendan's handiwork. The clutter's been stashed stylishly in an enclosed dresser. But her shoes?
JK, Sam searched her soul and relocated her soles to make way for baby.
Later, the entire Kleier Krew BBQs it up at their summer house in Long Island's Village of Atlantic Beach. Over hamburgers and lemonade, Mama Bear tells Sam the apartment she sorta liked (the second one) is rented. Sam unblocks her blockage boundaries with a breakthrough: she's willing to expand her living radius to 3 blocks! "I'd live in a shoe to stay exactly where I am," she says.
More like nestle her newborn in a shoe closet, because that's what ends up happening! Her baby ends up saying "heeeeey" to outer-womb living a little early and Sam n' fam end up snazzying up the shoe showroom to make way for Caroline's nursery:
Caroline's close-up. HOW CUTE, SO CUTE!!
Sam tells us the search is on hold for the time being, but the update explains that her short-distance dreams just might be coming true: they're negotiating an offer on a larger apartment in the same building.
CRISIS #2: AGENT MUST RUSTLE UP A BUYER FOR AN UPPER EAST SIDE FAMILY GONE MID-WESTERN
Warburg's Leslie Modell Rosenthal is having a homecoming of sorts?she's headed to the building she used to rest her blonde-coiffed keppe for seven years: Lenox House at 301 East 78th Street. There, she's meeting with seller Rob Britton, who's looking to unload his $1.175 million listed unit in 2.3 seconds. Why? He's moving his family to Minneapolis tomorrow, mainly so his hearing-impaired daughter can attend a good school there. Nice dads always warm my cockles.
A tour of the 2 bed/2 bath corner apartment:
Les is feeling pretty confident about her Lenox Hill batting average?she's sold 10 units in the past and is known as "the building specialist." But will her skills translate into a fast sale?
Next, Les has a tea party with her two pals who still live in Lenox Hill to "pick their brains" about how to stage an open house. The friends amp up the building's community vibe and family friendly feel.
Why is no one talking about this amazing family photo where EVERYONE IS NESTLED IN A HUG?
The Lenox Hill love fest leads Les to come up with an idea...
SCAVENGER HUNT OPEN HOUSE!
After getting the idea approved by Rob, Les enlists her daughter Missy to help come up with the activities for the hunt. It's gotta be stuff kids can figure out but keeps them contained in the apartment while their parents check out the square footage. It also has to have zero budget since Rob is selling his pad for less than what he paid.
Missy conferences with her mom while taking a breather on the (closed lid...OR IS IT?) toilet:
Will Les scavenge a buyer during the open house?
Love that kids are excited about counting lightbulbs, even though it's the kind of scavenger hunt where there are "no losers, only winners."
Finally, Les has a skype call with the Brittons to share her bummer news: there's no news.
Portrait of an adorable family:
No offers in sight, though Les says optimistically, "that could all change in a week." Well, it didn't. Because the unit is still for sale, and the Brittons had to add one more item on the scavenger hunt: a $90k discount.
Episode Grade: Family comes first in this feel-good first episode of 2012. Not a whole lot of buying or selling buzz...but the warm fuzzies win me over with 3.5 out of 5 cackling Kleiers.