HGTV's Selling New York rides along with brokerages CORE, Kleier Residential, 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 Angela Bunt. Episode air date: 1/24/201.
We're well underway with the sixth season of Selling New York, and so far we've seen everything from dance studios to devil children, art gallery stagings to that damn apartment with the slide in it. This week, we get a little taste of Italy when a Miami-based broker enlists the help of Sabrina Kleier-Morgenstern to find the perfect apartment for an Italian client. But will they be able to close the deal on the dream home before it's taken off the market by somebody else? Speaking of taste, we'll also meet the owner of Kuma Inn, who recruits Halstead Property SVP Ayo Haynes to help him find the perfect 2BR for his new family. As usual, his needs and his budget aren't quite adding up.
The episode kicks off with a lunch meeting between Halstead Property SVP Ayo Haynes and her new client, King Phojanakon. King and Ayo are old friends, and now that his family is expanding he's looking to leave the 1BR rental lifestyle behind and buy a proper home for the Phojanakon clan. Ideally, he'd like a 2BR, 1.5BA downtown and around the $1M mark. You know, an apartment "fit for a King?" *Ba-dum cha!*
I run sh*t.
The first apartment is a 2BR, 2BA located at 300 Hudson View West in Battery Park City. Ooh, you fancy, huh?
The open floor plan and windows are appealing, but the kitchen has an electric stove, which is a big no-no for King. Although the common charges are around $2,400/month, the apartment is actually listed pretty reasonably at $989K. King likes it, but Ayo has some more properties she wants to show him.
The second apartment is another 2BR, 2BA in Battery Park City, listed at $1.17M.
While it's at the top of his budget, the apartment seems to fit the bill. Sure, the walk-in closet is only big enough to fit his wife's wardrobe, but who cares about clothing when you've got a television in the bathroom? Also, the kitchen has a gas stove, so King wouldn't have to do any remodeling. The only catch is that the common charges on the apartment are $2,800/month. Ayo explains that in Battery Park City many developers don't own the actual land their buildings are on, so the owners must pay extra to the city. With the apartment's initial cost already a bit too high, King can't swing the extra $2,800. Next!
Look! You can poop while you watch Chopped!.
Ayo is running out of options, so she calls King to ask if she can push their budget a little past the $1.2M mark. But he says they are maxed out at the $1.2M price. Ayo doesn't want to let King down because he's an old friend from high school, which I find strange since I loathe everybody I went to high school with. She enlists the advice of Halstead Property President, Diane Ramirez, who suggests 15 Broad Street in the Financial District. Ayo says she "wasn't even thinking about the Financial District." Yeah, that's because nobody's EVER thinking about the Financial District.
Nevertheless, the apartment and downtown location seem to fit what King is looking for, so she takes him to the amenity-filled apartment at 15 Broad. Seriously, it's filled with amenities: an huge pool, a yoga dance studio, a squash court, a community party room, and a bowling alley. Did you hear me? A BOWLING ALLEY!
I'll pay all the common tax you want for this thang.
This FiDi funhouse is a 1BR, 2BA, listed at $1.225M. The kitchen is big enough (and has a vent), and the amenities are tantalizing.
The only major problem is the child's bedroom, which is really just a sectioned-off area next to the kitchen. Not good for a sleeping baby! Ayo knows she won't be able to find them anything better within their price range. It's time for the Phojanakons to do a bit of soul searching to decide what their next move will be.
The fam meets up with Ayo at King's restaurant to discuss their decision. They tell Ayo that they're going to stay in their rental until they can save a bit more money and find the perfect 2BR, but they have no doubt that Ayo will find it for them when the time is right. Ayo's like, "Cheers to the search! Hey, what's that over there?" and dines 'n' dashes her way out of the restaurant. Suckers!
Next up, we're treated to the real-estate stylings of Sabrina Kleier-Morgenstern of Gumley Haft Kleier. She's working with Caterina Cicerone, a Miami-based broker with a lot of international clients. Because she doesn't have her New York State real estate license, Sabbo is going to help Cat find the right apartment for an Italian client, which will hopefully open up some business overseas.
The first apartment Sabrina takes her to is at 505 Greenwich Street in Soho.
It's a $1.225, 1BR, 1BA, filled with fabulous views, granite countertops and a large master bathroom. Of course, the apartment is stellar, but Caterina says her client is looking for office space and more West Village charm. Well, at least I think that's what she said. The language barrier is kind of tough.
In an attempt to capture the cozy, cobblestone vibe that Caterina's client wants, Sabrina takes her to the heart of the West Village to see a pre-war conversion at 84 Bedford Street. Although the property they're looking at already has a contract out on it, Sabrina explains that in NYC real estate, it ain't over until the fat lady sings. A.k.a if her client moves fast enough and is rich enough, they can steal the apartment away before it's sold.
While the 1BR, 1BA apartment isn't huge (it's only 717 square feet), it's "so warm," according to Sabrina. Not sure if she's referring to the fireplace or the vibe, but either way, the space feels super cozy with its skylight and intimate layout. Plus, there's an office space! Caterina thinks it's the perfect fit for her client and the ladies must act fast, because as Sabrina says, "Normally if the client wants to move forward and you do a bid and you do everything right, you know you're going to get the apartment. But in this situation, we already have a contract out. It's not just a 'yes we want it and we're going to get it.'" Or, if you're me, you try to get an apartment, have too low a credit score, need to pay a double security deposit, and ultimately have to borrow money from your mom.
Why you so mad, guuurl?
Caterina gets to work sorting out her client's financial affairs, and Sabrina gets to work on the shmoozing the broker at the 84 Bedford property. Of course, the ladies Kleier know the best way to make friends in real estate is food and booze (remember that '60s-themed party?), and Sabbo meets up with broker Mandy Young to figure out how they can edge out the competition. After agreeing to pay the full asking price, all cash, and also to pay the transfer taxes (a fee that's paid to the city and state), Mandy thinks they might have a deal.
To break the great news to Caterina, Sabrina brings her to Mama Kleier's house to drink champagne, which means she's totes in the family now. To add delicious Italian icing to the cake, Caterina tells the ladies that she'd like for them to help her sell a villa in Verona, Italy. Ah, yes, sounds like the beginning of a Shakespeare play. Only less tragedy, more lovely Italian estates.
I like all of the brokers featured in this episode, I like the clients, I like Caterina's accent, and I like watching buyers get contracts snatched out from under them because Sabrina Kleier don't mess around. For that reason, this episode gets a whopping 5 out of 5 cackling Kleiers!