08/19/16 11:56am
Via Flickr user verseguru.

Kenneth Hubriston on his way to his new home. Via Flickr user verseguru.

Welcome to the Fox Hunt, Brokelyn’s new column inviting you to tag along on a totally relatable story about trying to purchase a New York City home. 

It was last December when Kenneth Hubriston realized he needed to change his neighborhood, or else go insane. Engaged at the time in the fourth revolution of his “gap year” between an undergraduate degree and finding a job suited to his interest level, he had been paying month-to-month living in the uppermost hidden apartments of Lincoln Center’s David Geffen Hall, and it was clear why he hadn’t signed a lease. His downstairs neighbors were constantly playing their music too loud, particularly in the evenings, and there’s only so many times one can hear The Nutcracker in its entirety before admitting that, while beautiful and signatory of Tchaikovsky’s genius, one needs peace and quiet when watching Survivor.

And of course, there were “those vagabond cellists, hanging out every day after rehearsal,” Mr. Hubriston said. He wasn’t aware of the actual figures of the rent he was paying, but the board members in charge of his trust consistently informed him it was prohibitive. It was time for a move. (more…)

04/04/16 1:00pm
Our sentiments exactly. kl801 / Flickr

Our sentiments exactly. via Flickr user kl801

As is customary around this time every month, Brokelyn has the high privilege and distinct honor of presenting to you the sad state of affairs of Brooklyn real estate. This isn’t like all those other times we presented the sad state of affairs though. This time, we’re turning away from market data and toward the people’s record. We’ve put together a thoroughly oral history of rent increases upon lease turnover. We polled friends, colleagues and strangers, and we’ve come out with a few reasonable conclusions about why the rent is going up. Warning: results are depressing, to say the least. Once you get a sense of just how your own bum deal estate stacks up against the folks we spoke to, make sure to let us know about your rent woes in the comments section.

(This is the inaugural installment of a recurring real estate series we’re running on the first of every month.)
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12/31/15 11:59am
Once the ball drops, they better not drop the ball. via flickr user gigi_nyc

Once the ball drops, they better not drop the ball. via flickr user gigi_nyc

While 2016 may be a mere one-digit adjustment on your document signatures, the meaning of the New Year runs deeper. It brings with it a longstanding tradition of “out with the old” as we say goodbye to old flames, bad habits and dated perspectives, introducing creative pursuits, gym memberships and professional goals in their places. We promise to be better, do better. And just to make things official, we call these promises resolutions.

Now, let’s be honest here: New Year’s resolutions are bad lies. You make them and break them within a few weeks. There isn’t much use for them — unless, of course, you’re telling other people how they can change their lives. Seeing as how it would be a public service for us to do so, here are some suggested New Years’ resolutions for the visible people, places and objects in New York that continually dissatisfy us.  (more…)

12/07/15 10:32am
Are these apartments rent stabilized? Maybe! via Flickr user Jon Keegan

Are these apartments rent stabilized? Maybe! via Flickr user Jon Keegan

As we’ve gone over before, sometimes you might be sleeping in a rent-stabilized apartment and you don’t even know it. It’s not a situation limited to Bushwick though, because a new ProPublica investigation shows that almost 50,000 apartments across 5,500 buildings are owned by landlords getting tax breaks that entitle tenants to rent-stabilized leases that they haven’t been given. That’s bad. The good news is that you can easily find out of you’re in a building that’s owed rent stabilized leases. (more…)

12/01/15 1:45pm
Get ready to see a lot of this. via Flickr user Adam Kuban

Get ready to see a lot of this. via Flickr user Adam Kuban

If there’s one thing everyone in Brooklyn can seem to agree on, it’s that it’s expensive to live here. How to solve that issue is where things start getting kind of hairy, with the camps divided between building more apartments to increase supply to let the market take care of the rest and stronger government action to spur the creation of permanently affordable housing. Going by how the rest of the country is looking next year, it appears the “build shit and let God sort it out” crowd is going to win in 2016, because Forbes reports that Brooklyn is going to add over 6,000 units of housing to the borough next year, which is the biggest planned housing increase in the country. Hope you all like the sound of jackhammers. (more…)

11/11/15 11:25am
brooklyn rent

Just keep the crying down, you’ll wake up your roommate that you’ll have forever. Photo by Rachel DeLetto

Ah, the dream of living alone. There you are, wandering around your apartment totally nude, not worrying about a roommate walking in and laughing at your awful, shameful body. There you are, not waiting for someone else to get out of the bathroom, or washing someone else’s dishes or just wishing someone else would stop talking. Well, keep dreaming we guess, because the dream killers at Trulia took a look at all the data and came out with the news that 51.3% of one-bedroom apartments in Brooklyn will cost you over $2,000/month. (more…)

Welcome home, lady!

Welcome home, lady!

Searching through Craigslist for a room in New York is one of the more depressing endeavors you can put yourself through. Sometimes, if you’re lucky, the terrible listings you come across are a joke. On the other hand, sometimes, like in the case of this $450/month windowless walk-in closet that three guys are advertising as ideal for a woman, they’re entirely too real and you’re face-to-face with the pitiless screaming ghoul that is New York City real estate. Close your eyes and don’t look at it, lest it melt your face off! (more…)

09/14/15 2:17pm
Imagine having to charge so little that only the merely rich, not the mega-rich live in your penthouse apartment. via StreetEasy

Imagine having to charge so little that only the merely rich, not the mega-rich live in your penthouse apartment. via StreetEasy

So many of the people who’ve come to Brooklyn in the last 15 years have come with big dreams in their overstuffed satchel bag they brought with them on the bus from Bumblefuck. Those dreams are so often chewed up in the city’s uncaring maw though, then shat out and left as fertilizer for other people’s dreams. The latest group of big dreamers now confronting just how tough it is to make in this concrete jungle where dreams are made from? Developers of luxury buildings, who are building so many shiny expensive buildings in Brooklyn that they might drive down the prices of these unit and not make so much money they can send their grandkids’ grandkids to Yale. (more…)

08/06/15 9:35am
If you squint, you can make out the tiny wealthy residents, too. via Property Shark

Come on, you could do better than this. via Property Shark

Let’s say you’re a city planner responsible for the development of a city whose principal gripes are income disparity, gentrification and small business support, and someone points you toward an empty patch of land in your city. What would you do with the space?

If your answer was “build a luxury condo,” you can honestly just show yourself out. These interactive sliders popped up on Property Shark this morning, and playing with them shows you just how depressing a condominium looks against the skyline. But it did set us thinking about what might be a better thing to put in its place.
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