Like all things wonderful, there are also horror stories, or at best, stories that give you cause for pause.
This story is about a foray into Manhattan Condo acquisition.
It started one sunny spring afternoon, while walking from my favorite Thai restaurant, near the Firehouse on 8th Avenue and 46th. I have been going to the same Thai place for 14 years, and compare Thai food I have had worldwide with this place. After 9/11, I would walk past the neighboring fire house and read all the obituaries, and notes left for the fallen heroes and their families. It was depressing!!!
Anyway, I saw this sign go up in the middle of Time Square. “New construction - Condos for sale”. I did not have to do any research, rely on an appraiser, or really apply much common sense, to know that if I could buy in Time Square, I could be a landlord (and a well paid one), for life, or so I thought!
I vigorously wrote down the toll free number, made it back to my client’s place, and called to get my name on the list. Yes, I want the cheapest, the smallest, the best value.
A year goes by, I see the well muscled contractors put together the building at lightning speed, and wondered which of these guys were pouring my future floors!
Then the call came welcoming to come in to purchase a unit.
I was scheduled for 2 days later, and could not be squeezed in any sooner.
I arrived on time, armed with my guide price, check book, and dressed to the nines!
Then a funny thing happened;
A good-looking guy, who had been introduced in the waiting area about 10 minutes earlier as one of the developers, claimed that an emergency staff meeting was being held regarding pricing. All prices were to increase effective immediately. I am no talking about the guide pricing, no we were already $60,000 above that with today’s price. If I was interested in buying, I had to buy at the” yet to be published” next day’s price. I complained bitterly, accused the management company of wasting my time, wailed that an appointment earlier that day provided a cheaper price, and made my utter distaste known to all who cared to listen.
I was “pacified” with a promise that I would be the first one contacted once the revised prices were published.
Before I left, I surveyed the model units that were set up. “What joy!” I thought;
Zuma Tubs, Walnut floors, Kohler fixtures, Modern Light fixtures. It was a place made for meeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!
My phone call came, at 10p.m. that night. The Condo had increased in price by $100,000. Yes, the market could bear it, but my pocket could not.
“$725,000 for a 1-Bedroom 600 square feet!. No way” I said.
All of a sudden, I remembered the thin walls, the cheap paint, and the inefficient HVAC system I had glossed over in my initial walk through.