3 Secret Neighborhoods About to Explode in 2018
Every year and pretty much throughout the year, I get asked what's the best place to invest? Today, I’m going to tell you.
Where should you invest your money? What's the neighborhood on the verge? What do you look for? What's kind of that indicator of a neighborhood that's going to increase in value because everybody wants their home to be worth more after they go to sell than when they purchased it. Right? That makes sense. Everybody wants that.
So I think there are some neighborhoods that always offer opportunities, depending on the time of year and what's happening in the marketplace and what's happening specifically in those neighborhoods that could really help you achieve great return on investment just by nature of being in those neighborhoods. So I'm going to drop those three secrets on you and for those of you who get our newsletter, you'll know this is just a continuation of our newsletter. I thought it was a really good topic.
The first neighborhood that I think 2018 is going to show will be a tremendous year for is Chinatown.
Now, everybody thinks Chinatown or the first thing they think of is going down Canal Street and getting hustled by some panhandler who wants to sell you a fake Rolex, a folex or a fake Gucci bag, fucci. I myself am the proud owner of many fucci bags. Just kidding, I don't have any fucci or Gucci for that matter.
But in reality, Chinatown is actually a fairly substantial neighborhood. And the part of the Chinatown that I'm speaking about is really East Chinatown or East of Bowery. So there's a little section between call it Grand Street and Bayard Street to the south, and Bowery to the West, and then the East River to the East, I think has really a lot of potential.
Why do I think 2018 is going to be a great year?
Because the retail in the neighborhood is completely changing. You've gone from very kind of classic New York City locksmiths, blacksmiths, whatever it is. I feel like I saw like a RadioShack there a couple of years ago.
That kind of sort of, okay retail, not really interesting to walk by has now changed into galleries, really interesting clothing stores, amazing restaurants, and bars. When you see trendy young chefs who really can't afford that Union Square location because the restaurant spaces are so big and the rents are so damn high, the rent is too damn high, then that's usually a good indication that there's a marketplace because the young affluent folk who want to go to these trendy restaurants will go to the neighborhood that those restaurants exist in, and Chinatown is becoming that spot. So I really think Chinatown has a lot of opportunities.
Also, there's a couple of real estate things that will make the real estate even better. And those factors are, for starters, there's not a lot of inventory, so there's a natural supply limitation, which always helps. Because the desire is always strong and the desire builds and the limitation of supply exists, there's going to be a very, very healthy demand.
But then on the flip side, there are a few anchoring projects being built right now, new construction projects, that are going to be very expensive that are setting a new pricing paradigm for the neighborhood and because of the urban density those new buildings are bringing, you will see an increased uptake in retail. It's sort of a self-fulfilling prophecy. And I think that for me is what makes Chinatown is such an interesting neighborhood.
It also happens to be in Manhattan, and people still want to live in Manhattan despite the explosions of Brooklyn and Queens, and now I'm hearing a lot about the South Bronx, although I personally don't know much about it. Although if you want to invest there, I will become very learned very quickly. So Chinatown is still very close by in the city. It's still a quintessential Downtown neighborhood, and at the same time it's right off the F train. So I liked the fact that it still has a convenience factor. So for me, Chinatown is neighborhood numero uno on the hit parade of secret neighborhoods is that 2018 is going to be very healthy for.
The second neighborhood is really a neighborhood within a neighborhood, and that's South Park Slope, aka South Slope.
Now for those who know my dirty little secret, I used to be a resident of North Slope Park Slope, and I liked it very much, although the commute did start to wear on me. So I moved back to Manhattan. Happy to share that story on another day. But having said that, South Slope, I think is a neighborhood on the verge for a number of reasons.
For starters, Park Slope has just gone bananas. When I moved there I thought I was paying top dollar for my home and then we were able to sell our home for a fairly healthy return, or I should say very healthy return. I shouldn't be so modest. Modesty is overrated. And we saw the neighborhood continue to explode.
But the reality is it's another big neighborhood, and the southern part of the neighborhood still felt like it was kind of lagging behind the rest of the neighborhood. But again, it is accessible. There are good restaurants. I love the fact that South Park Slope is still a beautiful neighborhood. I think what makes Park Slope and South Brooklyn, in general, such an attractive place to live for families, for couples, for anybody really, is the aesthetics. They're really nice neighborhoods to spend time in, and Park Slope, in particular, it's close to Prospect Park. That's really nice. So all of the things Park Slope has been known for, it's not lacking in South Slope, it just hasn't been fully as developed yet.
And the other part of South Slope that so interesting from my eyes is that there are different zoning rules in South Slope. So there's a lot of developers, small developers, doing somewhere between four to ten unit boutique condominiums.
So for anybody who doesn't want to go through the co-op process or someone who wants that flexibility of a condo, or maybe someone just wants something new but in an old neighborhood, which is always a nice combination, South Slope is now offering more and more of that. I see a new building come to market, I would say once every two or three weeks. And that's a really great opportunity for a buyer who really is focused on condos and someone who might even just, as I said, want something like a shiny new toy.
And also the prices are still healthy, relative to say the rest of Park Slope. So I think there's a lot of opportunities. I think South Slope will fill into the price points of the rest of Park Slope, and ultimately it will become a very anchored neighborhood. Even though it already is, it just continues to get better.
So that's neighborhood number two for me. Probably wouldn't have many people guessing South Park Slope. But again, my analysis a little bit different. Hopefully, you agree with me.
If you do live in South Park Slope or Park Slope in general, and you have some comments about what life is like, are you getting solicited by a lot of agents? If you have any friends that you've been to their homes and they're wondering about the value of their home, or just want to talk with us about what life is like, we are always trying to educate ourselves.
So I would love to learn more about what life is like in South Park Slope. As I said, I lived in North Slope, but it was like this North-South battle was like the Jets and the Sharks over here. That seemed really awkward, whatever.
So the reality is we are interested in learning more. So please again drop us a comment. Give us a call. Shoot us an email, text, Tweet, Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter, da da da da. I think that's all of them. Vine, just kidding. That doesn't exist anymore. So that's Park Slope.
Third neighborhood, again, kind of an oldie but a goodie and I'm going to tell you why: The Upper East Side
I'm really focused on in the neighborhood of the Upper East Side east of Second Avenue. Long been overlooked as a value-driven neighborhood, a place where you get the best deals, a place where kind of you end up falling into if you can't live anywhere else because it's too expensive or you just feel like it's sort of your second choice.
Now I know there's probably a lot of people who say it was my first choice to begin with, and the upper East side is a great neighborhood. I, myself, always get into fights with people because I tell them I'd rather live on the Upper East Side than the Upper West Side. I don't know, I just like it there more.
So the reality is though that the Upper East Side, especially east of Second Avenue, has really always been a value-driven area. But what has changed, and this is an obvious statement but an important one nevertheless, is the Second Avenue subway line.
We have recently listed a number of homes in a building on 85th Street between First and York, and we're actually listing another one there soon. If you want some information, give us a shout. We'll give you a little preview sneak peek of that one. We're staging it right now. It's going to look beautiful. It's going to be well priced, probably sell very quickly. So get your buyers. Get yourself in there. Drop us a line.
But what we're seeing is that the first time home buyers of the one-bedrooms and the studios in that neighborhood, it's a completely different animal now. You can get off the Q and walk one block and you're home. That was always the big knock of the far Upper East Side.
You had to schlep across town to the 6 train, and if anybody rides the 4, 5, 6, it is a God awful train. Guaranteed delays 24/7. And listen, the Q, despite its historically bad running service, is now so much better because they have new fresh tracks and they're operating more trains. So the Q has gone from worst in class to almost best in class and infrastructure in a major city like this is critically important to the quality of life.
So if you have good infrastructure, I think the value of your home is going to rise because good infrastructure yields more people want to move in the neighborhood, better retail. Again, self-fulfilling prophecy, more people who are moving to these buildings, retailers are going to say there's an opportunity, there's more ever density. We need to upgrade the quality of the retail and ultimately you're going to just create a better neighborhood that's going to rise in value.
I also think there was such a depressed value on Second Avenue because anybody who walked Second Avenue between 96th Street and 63rd Street between the years of say, I can't remember, it was like 2011 to 2016, it was a war zone. There were cranes, other things, bulldozers. Yeah, I'm so technical. There were so many apparatuses just lining the streets. There were street coverings, there was drilling.
They had this alarm go off every day. It was kind of scary. It was a bomb alarm. They were bombing the underground subway to create the space. You're living above bombing. It's kind of nuts.
So what happened is all of the retail in that corridor just died. And we're talking like dead plants, wilting, dying, totally disappearing.
And now retailers are moving back to the neighborhoods. So you really had depressed cap value and now it's getting this influx of better restaurant operators, better retail. And of course, I think the apartment values are going to go up because of that.
So again, Upper East Side, not a new neighborhood. Not necessarily a surprise for anybody, but I really think given our recent experience selling in that neighborhood, that part of town, I really think there's a lot of opportunity there. So if you are considering that neighborhood, give us a call and we actually are doing quite a decent amount of business there. And also I'd love to hear from you if you are in the neighborhood about what life is like. Did you live through the Second Avenue subway construction? What was that like? We're really interested in hearing from you and we'd love to speak to your friends or family, relatives, and just gather their thoughts as well.
I'm in constant data collection mode and always looking to have great conversations with great people. As many of you know, I am real estate obsessed, so never a conversation I will not have when it comes to real estate.