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Lofty Pursuits & Commercial Conversions

There's no doubt that loft style living is one of the most common New York City dreams. With the surplus of commercial property in the city, it's fair to wonder if it's worth it to convert a commercial space into a home. Apart from the obvious benefit of living among open and airy spaces, an uncharted floor plan leaves the outcome entirely up to your imagination. And if you decide to search for your diamond in the rough, you could actually save around 20%-30% compared to the current residential market price per square foot.

First and foremost, using an experienced broker who knows both commercial and residential properties and how to deal with zoning issues and expediting paperwork is a priority. Finding a place that will allow for residential conversions is best attempted in neighborhoods were manufacturing areas in the past, predominantly Tribeca, Meatpacking, Long Island City, Dumbo, and Red Hook. Generally, most neighborhoods with commercial areas designated for retail and office space will allow residential conversions.

So you discovered your property, closed, and the keys are in your hand... now comes the tricky part: renovations. The timeline and completion of your project is entirely in the hands of your contractor and architect. Horror stories may be more common to hear than success in this realm, so it is important you have a reliable and proven team in place. The basic amenities of a home are far different from an office space, so electricity, plumbing lines, and any existing walls or fixtures are all to be considered. During renovations, you can expect to pay commercial taxes until you secure a temporary certificate of occupancy, which can cost a pretty penny.

If you are up for the challenge, have some extra time, and aren't afraid of a major project, converting a commercial space into a residential dream home may be just what the real estate doctor ordered. The photos here within are from a previous Bracha New York listing on West 22nd Street. 

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Everything You Need to Know About Airbnb's NYC Takeover

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Everything You Need to Know About Airbnb's NYC Takeover

Unless you've been living under a rock for the past seven years, you've probably heard of tech startup Airbnb. The online platform allows everyday homeowners (and renters-- but we'll get to that controversial subject later) to rent out extra bedrooms or even their entire home to those looking for an alternative to pricey, impersonal hotels. 

In NYC, the use of Airbnb has become an especially hot topic with in the real estate world. But despite local governmental pushback, today, in the city's most popular neighborhoods, as many as 1 in 5 apartments are listed on the site. So what does this mean for you, should you hop on the bandwagon, and how can you go about taking part legally? Bracha New York breaks it down.

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