My Own Personal Manhattan Dream Home — Part I: The Quest to Closing

Over the years, I’ve helped many clients find new homes. Sometimes, their new home isn’t necessarily perfect for their needs or is in need of some TLC or personalization. I have had the opportunity to witness many partial or full transformations for multiple clients, often helping them along the way.

Now, it’s my turn! I haven’t done this in many years, but no time like the present. My husband and I recently purchased an apartment in the very trendy neighborhood of Central Harlem. Interesting side fact: the majority of buildings in Harlem are not zoned to be taller than nine stories, therefore there’s a ton of natural light and skyline views throughout the neighborhood. Plus, Harlem is filled to the brim with history, architectural details and the arts–many famous jazz clubs, such as The Cotton Club, are still around today. Walk around on a Sunday afternoon, and you’ll hear music pouring out of all the restaurants, and you can enjoy the fine cuisine at hotspots like Red Rooster or Sylvia’s on Restaurant Row.

Red Rooster Harlem "Grade Pending" sign

Patrons sit at the outdoor cafe of the Sylvia's restaurant on Lenox Avenue in the neighborhood of Harlem in New York

I had my eye on this building since selling an apartment there for one of my estate attorney clients five years ago. At that time, I was surprised to find a new construction, full-service, mid-rise, doorman condominium building with amazing amenities such as deeded parking, a serene zen garden, a conference room, children’s play area, and laundry facilities on every floor.

1400 5th ave

I immediately knew that I wanted to live in this community, and when my husband and I recently decided to purchase, I pursued a listing when it came on the market. We had a great mortgage broker, Christian Nguyen of Citizens Bank, and a top New York city real estate attorney, Jerry Feeney, to help us and l feel fortunate to have made a deal here!

new apt with broker

Due to the lengthy process of purchasing real estate in Manhattan, this was not as easy as I had hoped it would be–and needless to say, I have a newfound appreciation for my clients’ level of stress going through the process. We closed just before the July 4th weekend, and we are now beginning the process of turning this apartment into our new dream home. There will be multiple steps in this renovation project.

The process has only begun. Stay tuned for Part II of the journey!


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