A few things to consider if you’re considering a move downtown
I frequently have clients uptown who ask about moving downtown. They’re tempted to move to neighborhoods like Gramercy, Union Square, east/west village, Greenwich Village, Soho, or Tribeca because of the night-life, shopping, and a number of other reasons.
Before you start looking to move downtown, here are a few things to consider:
- Rental buildings with doormen are in short supply downtown. Because they are in such demand, they tend to be much more expensive. Most of them do not allow pressurized walls or permit roommates to share one-bedroom apartments.
- Condos and Co-ops: Most doormen building downtown are privately owned. Most owners don’t want to deal with the hassle of rental paperwork, meaning you will rarely deal directly with the owner and will have to pay the broker fee (usually 15%) as well as the board fees. If you want to rent in a co-op building you will also have to pass a board interview. You can rent directly from an owner from Craiglist, but finding an apartment on your own can be time-consuming and risky.
- Value: Neighborhoods like Murray Hill, Midtown, the Upper West Side and the Upper East Side are flush with modern, newly renovated apartments. The price you pay for a luxury doorman building uptown will likely get you a small, un-renovated walk-up downtown. There are always people willing to make these sacrifices to live in a high-profile neighborhood, so owners have less motivation to maintain and upgrade apartments.
In summary: Doormen building are more expensive and most likely will include fees and higher rent, unless you are willing to take the extra steps. Most will be small and not in the best condition. You will pay mainly for location. If you aren’t willing to give up comfort for location or if you are a young professional who goes out once or twice a week downtown you may be better off finding (or renewing your lease on) a nice apartment uptown. It’s a lot less expensive to take a cab than to find a comparable apartment downtown. Location is important, but this is your home and even a busy professional will spend a significant amount of time there.