Randy Answers the Biggest Questions

September 21, 2022

Your biggest questions about renting or buying in New York City! What New York City neighborhood offers the best value? The most bang for your buck? Manhattan vs Brooklyn? What are some tips for renting in NYC and what paperwork do you need? What is the most expensive block in New York City? Luxury Realtor Randy Baruh answers it all, plus his best restaurants, craziest amenities in an apartment and the craziest real estate story you’ve ever heard!

Q: Where can you get the best bang for your buck?

A: Well, I think Harlem is one of the most incredible bang for your buck in all of New York City. Number one, you have beautiful streets, gorgeous brownstones, and it's incredibly convenient. You have all the trains there, the B, C 2,3, 4, and the 5 trains. It's pretty easy to get downtown from Harlem, and you can get some great deals there.

Q: What are some tips for renting in New York City?

A: The best tip that I can give you is to get your paperwork together before you start going out and looking at things. You want to have your tax return. You want to have some pay stubs, you want to have some reference letters. And you know, armed with that stuff, you're going to be better prepared to get that awesome apartment.

Q: Manhattan versus Brooklyn. Which is better?

A: I love Manhattan and I love Brooklyn. But I will tell you, the market is crazy in Brooklyn and has been for as long as I can remember. Even through 2020, we were getting multiple offers on properties all over Brooklyn. So if you're looking for a great place to live, but don't mind a lot of competition, checkout some neighborhoods in Brooklyn. In Brooklyn, you're gonna get a lot of tree-lined brownstone streets and a lot of the brownstone areas, certain areas of Brooklyn are really really hot, where you're getting a lot of cool restaurants and you're getting great bars and a lot of amazing nightlife.

Other areas of Brooklyn are going to be quiet are going to be great for taking a stroll, lots of parks, lots of trees and a great neighborhood. 

There are also great areas of Manhattan, though, so it's hard to make a distinction. I love all of New York City. 

Q: What’s the priciest Street in New York City?

A: This is apparently 71st Street between Madison and Park. There are some fancy fancy limestone mansions in this area, some of which are currently priced in the $80 million range. If you want to look at some fancy limestone mansions, go up to the Metropolitan Museum. Take a look around and you'll see some incredible historic homes from the Gilded Age. So if you like that show, that's a great area to kind of look at some stuff.

Q: What's the best Steakhouse in New York City?

A: The other night I went to Gage and Tollner on Fulton Street in Brooklyn. It’s been around since 1879 and it was recently relaunched and refurbished. And I'll tell you we had an incredible 32-ounce T bone steak paired with another 28-ounce bone in ribeye. And I was incredibly impressed. So you guys should check out gage and Tollner in Brooklyn for an amazing steak.

Q: What was the most unique amenity you’ve come across?

A: So this is kind of a crazy story. Once I had a client who's a superstar in the NBA. We were looking at his property, and he had a special room designed for smoking weed. He had put in an air raid circulator, on the ceiling and broke through the roof to pull all the smoke out so he wouldn't bother his neighbors. I thought that was kind of an interesting amenity to the apartment. And you know, for anyone looking to buy who you know, enjoys some ganja now and then, that could be a great factor to play into their decision-making process.

Q: What is your craziest real estate story?

A: I've told this story a couple of times. Way back when when I started renting apartments, I was showing an apartment on the seventh floor of a seven-story walk-up. I was showing it to this young lady who was fairly provocatively dressed, but to each their own. And we went up we looked around the apartment, she said, “I really love this apartment, I really want to take it. What do I have to do?” I said, “Well, I got an application. You know, we're gonna ask for some reference letters, a couple of bank statements, a reference letter from your landlord, so on and so forth”. She said, :Wait a second. I don't have a guarantor. And I don't make enough money to cover this apartment. So what do I have to do to get this apartment?” And I said, “Well, there's something called insurer rent. There's some other services that can act as a guarantor for you–” and she cuts me off. She said, “No, no. What do I have to do to get this apartment?” And now I felt that she was asking for something different than providing paperwork, maybe providing some other kind of service. And I just kind of played dumb.

Q: What are some of the weirdest street names you’ve come across?

A: One of the weirdest that I've ever encountered was an up in Inwood. There's a street named Seaman which is perpendicular to another street whose name is Cumming. So we used to rent in a building right on the corner of Seamen and Cumming. And I used to have to literally tell people when they asked to see this apartment to meet me on the corner of Seaman and Cumming and it was kind of a funny situation. You guys should go check it out. It's actually a beautiful street in Inwood, right near Fort Tryon Park.

 

Follow Randy on Instagram (@randybaruh) and TikTok (@randy_baruh) for more Real Estate tips and apartment video tours. 

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