1)Josh Barbanel reports reports that our recent Upper East Side Development Du Jour, The Charles, faces a lot of challenges, especially because it's pretty much the same thing as nearby new ultra-luxe developmentThe Laurel. And The Laurel ain't doing gangbusters in this historically lower-priced corner of the UES: "Of its 129 apartments, 62 are now in contract, but brokers say that in the last month of financial uncertainty, only three buyers signed contracts." [Big Deal/'Designed for Hard Times']
2) The 'Living In' gang tackles Koreatown, because apparently there are apartments mixed in with all those karaoke and BBQ joints. Speaking of karaoke, this sentence may make you want to strangle yourself with a mic cord: "With Chelsea and Gramercy Park hemming it in, Koreatown has come up in the world, acquiring an affiliation with SoFi (South Fifth Avenue) and NoMad (north of Madison Square)." [Living In/Koreatown]
3) A thousand people responded to a poll on the Corcoran website, and the results have been published in a consumer report. More than 80% said location was more important than layout, views or parking. Two-thirds said it's more important to live near a subway stop than near office, shopping or restaurants (the secret of gentrification!). And, ruh-roh, 59% said the Wall Street bonus season would affect their ability to buy an apartment." [Big Deal/'The Wish List']
4) And now, a story that feels like it was written just a few months too late. From the article summary: "Lisa Houlgrave and her husband, Simon Rogers, needed an apartment to match an antique mahogany table and a circa 1790 Hepplewhite serpentine-front sideboard." From the story: "I didn't want to live in the stinky East Village. It was so unattractive." Wonder what she'll think of those tent cities that'll be popping up soon. [Habitats/'When the Furniture Dictates the Choice']
5) Now that mortgages are more impossible to attain than real answers on Lost, buyers are doing the unthinkable: They are borrowing money from parents and friends. Yikes, do you really want your folks hanging that over your head during Thanksgiving dinner with the whole family? ['Mixing Money and Family']
6) In this week's Hunt, a Brooklyn divorcée exits her rent-stabilized Midwood apartment with a $250,000 budget. She looks west to Jersey City, even though she is only familiar with a nearby mall. She settles on a three-bedroom condo on Harrison Avenue for $230,000, and ends up liking it a whole bunch. [The Hunt/'Life After Rent Control']
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