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A Downsizing Hunt; The Neighboring Renovation Nightmare

1) In a rare downsizing Hunt, a couple in their 60s already spends a lot of their time in the country, and they decide that the 1,450-square-foot, three-bedroom co-op they own in Brooklyn Heights is just more space than they need. Plus, they want to get back to Manhattan. Although they had come from opposite sides of the park, their search takes them to Sutton Place due to the abundance of large one-bedrooms with extra half-baths. There, they find an ostentatiously-renovated co-op for $995,000 and seem equal parts intrigued and repulsed by it, but decide to wait and see if the price drops, which it does, significantly, to $775,000. They make an offer which is accepted right at the same time that their offer on a different apartment is also accepted. They decide to go with the lavishly decorated one because its bigger, has great views, and, well, you know. The Ionic columns, they remove, but the rest of it can stay. [The Hunt/'Jettisoning a Few Extra Square Feet']

2) A next-door renovation can result in an overabundance of noise and dust. But even worse than that is potential structural damage, which is becoming an increasingly valid concern and more and more renovations, dealing with height constraints, try to dig for extra square footage. It's a problem that (the old) 74 Grand Street has dealt with first-hand and that supporters of the Merchant's House are worried about currently, but smaller versions of these same dramas are playing out in neighboring townhouses all over the city. There are some steps that both the neighbor doing the renovation and the neighbor suffering from it can take to avoid too much unpleasantness (because, let's face it, there's going to some unpleasantness). These include pre-construction surveys of neighboring properties and written agreements of who is going to pay for what types of damages. Or, failing that, just suing each others' pants off. ['Coping With a Neighbor's Renovation']