Tag Archives: New York

What can one buy across the globe for €100.000


They used to have this feature on a show I used to watch or in a magazine I used to read. Or I still watch the show or read the magazine but they just stopped with this specific feature. I for, but I do remember loving it; comparing house prices across the globe.

I thought I’d make it interesting and start with a figure so low that in some cities likely nothing can be bought with this kind of money; €100.000,-. My search starts in my home town Amsterdam. Online real etate search engines come back with mainly garages and parking spaces. A garage here can be on the market for as much as €85.000,-, depending on the area.

One house in particular caught my eye. It’s a 60m2 (650 square feet) one bedroom flat in a leafy southern suburb of the city on the market for €98.000,-.  The flat has hardwood parquet floors throughout and has a two south (!) facing balconies. With its proximity to public transport, one can be in the city center within 20 minutes. Also, local shops and facilities are excellent with a popular shopping center a few minutes walking away. Across the hall from the apartment is a separate storage room that can double as a study or guest room.

nice floors!

nice floors!

The catch; the apartment is fo sale only for those above the age of 55 and is what they call a service flat. This means that a communal charge of €375 one gets security, a 24/7 service desk, access to communal recreational areas, window cleaner, medical assistance etc.

Further to that, very little to be found in our price bracket in Amsterdam…..

Moving on, across the North Sea, to London! Now there’s a city notorious for it’s insane house prices… Because I feel that at least the address should still officially have London in it, I limit myself to areas within the main circular roads.

Oddly enough, online searches in London result in many surprising finds. One of them is a houseboat in Ice Wharf Marina on the border of King’s Cross (bad) and Islington (very nice!) It therefore has easy access to public transport and is a short walk away from fashionable Upper Street. It’s tiny, with a maximum width of 1.83m, yet offers romantic potential.

 

It's very pretty, but I wonder how high the ceiling is...

It's very pretty, but I wonder how high the ceiling is...

All in ll it’s more or less 19m2, which is a little over 200 square feet. Small? Yes. Charming? Yes. And all this for £80.000,- which is £500 under our budget!

That bedroom would not fit MY bed..

That bedroom would not fit MY bed..

The bedroom is hardly that. And I am not sure why there need to be two loos though… Maybe create one small bathroom and create a cupboard bed where he extra loo is now?”

I had to share this one with you by the way. It’s a tiny studio flat in posh and swanky Hampstead for a little over our budget at £99.800,- It measures less than 10m (110 square meters), with the main room measuring 2m40 2m70. It can do with some good decorating tips to make this a dream home. Maybe the tiny homes feature of Apartment Therapy can help the buyer with that?

2.4x2.7 meters....

2.4x2.7m.....

Moving on to New York City.. the city that never sleeps and according to some that is because too many people can’t afford to sleep there. 

I will never forget one of the bachelors in the first series of he Bachelorette inviting Christa to his studio flat in Manhattan. The horror on her face at such tininess was classic.

I am very curious what NYC has to offer for up to €100.000, which is approximately $129.000. The first couple of sites either tell me that unfortunately my search has not shown any results. On another site the first studio apartment I stumble across is on the market for $685.000….. so far not so good.

I decide to try to look on the real estates listings site of the New York times. There are actually a few available options for this money. Even on the island of Manhattan proper. On the most Northern tip, in historic(as the agent calls it) Hamilton Heights (I think that might be realtor’s lingo for gang ridden). It’s a 2 bed, 1 bath apartment comprising 820 square feet (about 72m2). There is a sitting room, separate dining room, kitchen, bathroom and two bedrooms. The main parts all face south to allow lots of sun to enter. It’s on the market for $125.000.

With the same agent a 2 bed, 1 bath is for sale in the same building. The building is a low income co-op with strict income restrictions and does not allow buyers with more than 120% median income.Unfortunately there are no pictures of the properties but this is a street view.

Looks a bit West Side Story-ish don't you think? Isn't that where Tony got shot?

Looks a bit West Side Story-ish don't you think? Isn't that where Tony got shot?

I’ll go more exotic next time. But for now, this will do.

Landmark buildings; The Dakota


The Dakota building is best known for a dark and sombre episode in pop history. It was here where John Lennon lived with his wife Yoko Ono, and it was in front of this building where Lennon was shot. But the building has played parts in many illustrous stories.

The Dakota around 1880

The Dakota around 1880

The building was erected in 1884 when the upper west side was still just marshland with farms. Real Estate king Edward Severin Clark wanted to target the extremely well-to-do New Yorkers and planned the most luxurious and extravagant building New York had ever seen. He hired architect Henry J. Hardenbergh to design his vision for him.
Before the building was finished, all apartments, each with at least 12 rooms, were sold. It was, and still is, one of the most prestigious places in the city. Over the years, famous people that resided in the building were Lauren Bacall, Judy Garland, Rosemary Clooney, Leonard Bernstein, Rudolf Nureyev, Boris Karloff and the Lennons to name a few. Yoko Ono still calls it home. There was a rumour that Tom Cruise was going to buy there too, but these were in fact rumours and not true.

Long before the Lennons bought their apartment, or rather, apartments as they bought several, the buiding was used as filming location for the intense adaptation of Ira Levins novel Rosemary’s baby. In the movie from 1968, the building was portrayed as  The ‘Bramford’, the brooding Gothic building where newlyweds Rosemary and Guy Woodhouse (played by Mia Farrow and John Cassavetes) set up home.

Farrow and Cassavetes at the entrance gate

Farrow and Cassavetes at the entrance gate

John  Lennon was not the first murder victim of the Dakota. In 1978 Oscar winning actor Gig Young first shot his wife to death, before shooting himself. Ironically, he won an oscar for his role in They Shoot Horses, Don’t They in 1970. A year after Ruth Gordon picked up an Oscar for her performance as the Woodhouse’s neighbour in Rosemary’s Baby.

Still today an apartment in the Dakota is something only the immensely rich can afford. This 6,5 room apartment (half of an original) is on the market for a mind blowing $7.500.000…..

for sale for $7.500.000

for sale for $7.500.000

You do get your money’s worth obviously as Central Park is just across the street. The apartment itself is not too big though. The kitchen could even be referred to as small-ish. And I always wonder why Americans often don’t have separate toilets. Here you have to go through either the master bedroom, or the library which will likely end up being used as 2nd bedroom.

And I am not sure if Yoko Ono as a neighbour is a selling feature.