From Wreck to Ritzy
"I've done more homes in 'estate' conditions than anywhere else in the city. I don't want to be morbid, but there's more older people on the Upper East Side." She said. "They don't typically do renovations, and then you have a vacant apartment badly in need of them that hasn't been touched in 30 years."
[caption id="attachment_62559" align="alignleft" width="300"](http://nypress.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/45W67-15ABC_KCN1_WEB.jpg) Above, an example of the end result of a gut renovation on a formerly antiquated property.[/caption] Usually, Bass gives her clients a markdown on the market price based on what projected renovation costs will be. "If someone has to put $50,000 - $200,000 into renovations, we price it accordingly. If it's going to cost $150,000, you should decrease the selling price by that much," she said. However, Serhant has found that there isn't always a need for that. Many of his listings have been selling at full market rate, including a townhouse at 152 E. 71st Street that just went for a cool $6 million. [caption id="attachment_62560" align="alignright" width="300"](http://nypress.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/152-E-71street__6_resize.jpg) A room in the recently purchased 152 E. 71st Street that will receive a major overhaul.[/caption] "There aren't many townhouses for sale, especially on Upper East Side, so people are jumping on any opportunity that might be available, even without a price cut," he said. The $6 million townhouse on 71st Street was sold to a family attracted to the home's Hollywood history: Breakfast at Tiffany's was filmed from the third floor of the house, and Woody Allen's Manhattan was filmed from the fourth. Famous neighbors have included the Fondas and Marlena Dietrich. The house's current owner, Kent Russell, 61, says it's been in his family since the 1940s - and looks like it hasn't been touched since. "It's a wreck. A beautiful wreck, but a wreck," he said, adding that some of the original features, like wallpaper, piping, and gaslights, date back to 1865. Bass said she's found that most of the people buying these homes aren't families but young professionals looking to do the work. "I haven't sold these to people with large families, because they'll be displaced while work is underway," she explained. "These are clients who are able to stay with a friend, commute into the city, or live in a rental." Andrew Ellis, 29, is one of them. Currently living in Murray Hill, he bought the first fixer-upper Bass showed him just last week, which happened to be on 95th and 2nd Avenue. He didn't initially set out to find an apartment badly in need of renovations, but found that he wanted to change something about every other apartment he saw. "I thought, 'this wall shouldn't have been put there to begin with,' or, 'there are other ways space could be utilized,'" he said. Ellis is a consultant who works out of town Monday-Thursday, so he'll be mostly out of the way while contractors work on the apartment. The co-op board of the building was thrilled to have him move in, he said, because they've been waiting for someone to come in and fix it up, lacking the funds to do so themselves. However, for Second Avenue buyers like Ellis, there are other things to consider, like where the contractors are going to park while the Second Avenue Subway Construction is still underway. Though businesses continue to close left and right, Ellis is optimistic, hoping that restaurants and bars will come back into the neighborhood once the subway is complete. "The way I see it," he said. "The whole area has nowhere to go but up."
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