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Buying Easier Than Renting; Gwathmey Masterpiece Sells

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1) This week's hunter learns a hard truth by the end of his arduous hunt. "There was nothing particularly special about it," he says of the place he eventually buys, "but there was nothing overly bad about it, which, sadly, is how you have to look at New York real estate sometimes. I didn’t find the one flaw I couldn’t live with.” That's kind of depressing. But maybe we're getting ahead of ourselves. Our hunter, Carlo, is 28 and has been working at NBC for three years. His odd working hours demand that he live by himself but he can't swing the rent on his own, so he moves back in with his parents for a couple years, saves up, and sets out to find a one bedroom for under $440,000. He is eventually forced to settle for a studio that he can live with and he seems like he's going to be fine. The moral of the story is probably that hard real estate truths only really apply if you're not a millionaire. [The Hunt/'Career and Apartment, Finally in Sync']

2) Speaking of not being able to afford the rent and buying instead, more New Yorkers might be heading in that direction. As rents climb, sale prices have been holding relatively steady. (The exception, of course, is extremely high-end apartments, the pricing of which, as Howard Lorber can tell you, is not a science.) The Times has a detailed analysis of four individuals' decisions to rent or buy. [Rent or Buy?]

3) Former Goldman Sachs partner Jonathan S. Sobel recently sold his penthouse in the Verona, which was renovated twice by Charles Gwathmey, after receiving an unsolicited letter of inquiry from a broker representing clients in the same building who decided they wanted an upgrade. Those clients shrugged off the fact that there were no units available in the Verona and shelled out $21 million for the 5,300-square-foot 10th-floor penthouse, which the article describes as having a "seemingly endless compendium of unique architectural elements." Sobel is currently staying in his summer home in the Hamptons. What a nice, happy ending for everyone. [A Gwathmey Opus Changes Hands]