The Top Haunted NYC Apartment Buildings

Halloween is officially upon us! As ghosts, zombies, perhaps Donald Trumps and witches flood to NYC for a festive holiday weekend, we thought we would track down the true ghosts that live in the city. In fact, we weren’t surprised to find over a dozen NYC apartment buildings who have reported unexplainable incidents and activities dating as early as 1920! So as you unwrap your chocolate and perfect your costume for this weekend’s festivities, here are a few apartment buildings you might purposely add to your trick-or-treat route.

1. The Dakota
The building’s most famed ghost is of musician John Lennon, but workers and residents dating as early as 1920, have seen a young boy and girl roaming around the building.

2. 123 On The Park
This Brooklyn rental luxury building was formerly the Caledonian Hospital. The Doorman consistently speak of strange voices, smells and mysterious footsteps credited to the ghosts of former patients.

3. The Octagon
This Roosevelt Island building was built on the site of the former NY Lunatic Asylum. Reports of unexplainable incidents and paranormal activity have occurred. Even pets will refuse to walk up the stairs of the building.

4. 14 West 10th Street
This picturesque townhouse on a beautiful block in the West Village is actually nicknamed “The House of Death”. With reports of up to 22 deaths, including the spirit of Mark Twain, the dark reputation of this building is infamous.

5. The Osborne Apartments
The historic Osborne Apartments, built in 1885 right next to Carnegie Hall, is said to be haunted by two notable ghosts. The first, Alfredo Taylor, who’s ghost is said to roam the building’s halls as well as ride the elevator. The second, Johanna Gadski, who lived at The Osborne. Residents living in her old apartment have noted strange sightings, including sliding doors opening and closing by themselves, that they attribute to Johanna’s ghost.

Regardless of the ghosts you may see or the stomach-ache from candy, we hope you have a safe and very Happy Halloween!


One Blackfriars, London

New York City’s “Wall Street” and London’s “City” are the world’s most important financial capitals.  Between these two great cities, the money flow is unrivaled and this dominance is projected to continue into the next few decades and beyond.  We find many of our clients to be among the global elite – world citizens who fluidly move between cities and regularly ask us about the market in London.

In order to better understand the UK luxury market, The Margolis Team recently visited London.  We met with our international partners at Knight Frank and toured multiple properties in the sprawling city.  We left with a great education of the market and fantastic resources at our disposal.  We would like to take a moment to feature an exquisite development that caught our eye called, One Blackfriars located on the Thames.  One Blackfriars will be a landmark that will include 274 exceptional residential apartments set within its iconic 50 story tower, a 162 bedroom boutique hotel, retail, café & restaurant space and a new landscaped piazza for enjoyment of the public. This development will also deliver a new level of luxury to riverside living.  Services include a 24 hour concierge by Harrods Estates with valet parking, private fitness suite with gym, thermal spa & swimming pool, virtual golf, wine cellar and cinema room.  The development is due for completion in early 2018.

If you have any questions or interest, in One Blackfriars, the London market or UK properties in general, do not hesitate to ask us because we can knowledgeably connect you with the right property and representation.
Please click here to get a glimpse of One Blackfriars.

One BlackFriars



Real Estate Eye Candy

We often tend to take on serious issues in our blogs.  And we’ve heard from our readers that, every now and then, you’d like some real estate eye candy.  Well, we listen to our readers (hint: keep the suggestions coming) so we are happy to present to you a recent deal round-up from the last few months, for your oooohing and aaahing pleasure.

$50.9 Million, a Time Warner Record | A full-floor penthouse near the pinnacle of the south tower of the Time Warner Center.

Greenwich Village Townhouse for $22.3 Million | A four-story Greenwich Village townhouse; the likely buyer was a Facebook founder.

Upper East Side Penthouse for $37.94 Million | A stunning home spanning the top four floors of the Charles condominium at 1355 First Avenue.

Upper East Side Penthouse for $20.69 Million | Another penthouse at the Charles on the far Upper East Side.

For $28 Million, Another Perch at One57 | A sprawling three-bedroom apartment at One57.

Trump Sells His Penthouse for $21.38 Million | This penthouse was sold to the founder of the Fresh Market, a supermarket chain.

At The Core | Predictions From This Time Last Year

We always believe in putting things into perspective – sometimes zooming out and other times turning back the clock to revisit yesteryear’s perspectives.  If only to reinforce humans’ weak predictive skills, we think there’s always a lesson in there.

So where did everyone think we’d be right now?  This time last year, we thought we’d be in a different place.

  1. Inventory:  to start with, most prognosticators believed we’d have far more supply hitting the market.  With prices being as robust as they have been, surely sellers would finally be moved to list more property, right?  Wrong.  Inventory has only dipped lower.
  2. Credit:  with the financing markets remaining tight since the 2009 downturn, many believed that banks would need to begin loosening their credit standards in order to a.) maintain mortgage volumes and b.) maintain their own profitability.  Yet, no, this hasn’t happened either.  Stringent lending standards have persisted and this has done nothing to improve volume or property prices.
  3. Rates:  the idea of the Fed keeping rates at such simulative levels for so long brought out the incredulity in many “experts”.  And still, to this day, it looks like December is the earliest that a rate increase may occur.
  4. Prices:  we have seen year on year gains to be envied in most national and international markets.  Some have even ventured to call the market frothy.  Yet when you consider that half of all transactions are cash, the overleverage that would be necessary to create such froth is unsubstantiated – it just ain’t there.  It’s understandable that people had predicted a plateau to property prices.  Yet underlying supply and demand dynamics have prevented any such calming of the market.  Records continue to be set, medians continue to rise, and the pipeline for new supply is but a trickle.

So what are we to make of these predictions?  First, the market continues to be far more resilient and dynamic than most thought.  Never underestimate the power of NYC real estate.  Second, there’s a certain momentum or inertia to things (take your pick of which angle you choose).  Things rarely change as quickly as we want or believe them to (except when bubbles pop).  Third, we as humans have an awfully hard time looking out to and processing an accurate future.  For now, we would humbly offer: stay calm and work with the market at hand.  The goal is not to predict it, rather to have the agility to react as needed:  appropriately and with the discipline to benefit from wherever it takes you.

Stuck on Stocks?

It doesn’t take a financial expert to take a quick look at the stock market and deduce that investors are on edge.  One economic report can create a 500+ point rally only to be eliminated two days later by a questionable employment outlook by a noted economist.  The markets are clearly trying to find their way and make sense of the data it’s getting from a gazillion sources.  So are buyers and sellers looking at the stock market to bolster their confidence or provide a leading indicator for what’s to come in the housing market.  We have seen market volatility impact buyer and seller psychology in the past, and we’re here to share some lessons learned heading into the last stretch of 2015.

As Warren Buffett is noted for saying, “it’s not about timing the market, it’s time in the market that matters.”

Our advice to buyers:  if you’re looking to the markets to somehow justify your purchase, focus instead on your needs and the time horizon for holding your property to avoid comparing apples to oranges.

  • What are your reasons for purchasing a home? (i.e. getting married, growing family, etc.)
  • How long will you be holding on to your property? (i.e. 5-7 years, indefinitely, etc.)

The overarching question to consider is:  does it make sense to weigh the short-term asset movement of the stock markets against the long-term asset value of a home and the benefit that having that home brings to you?

Our advice to sellers:  let your life needs dictate your reason to list and sell, not the markets.

  • What are your reasons for selling right now? (i.e. downsizing, moving, etc.)
  • Do any of those reasons change based on your portfolio value?

Does it make sense to delay a decision by one to two years based on the predictions you make now about the future?  Think “a bird in the hand vs. two in the bush” and maintain your discipline.


What Interior Designers Are Seeing Today

Let’s discuss something on a lighter note!  For those of you looking to renovate, stage or merely freshen up your space, we thought we’d share some insight from one of our favorite interior designers/architects Kevin O’Sullivan, of Kevin O’Sullivan & Associates, on what’s been seen in the world of interior design today.

“Its interesting to me that 75 years after “mid-century modern” brought us Jacobsen furniture and Richard Neutra architecture, we are actually seeing their ideas in practice again in New York City homes, but now re-imagined for modern living.

I am increasingly seeing New Yorkers looking for a “downtown-uptown” feel to their homes.  They want functional spaces and designs, with a minimum of undue visual clutter.  That means somewhere they can mentally relax, offering simple lines and calm colors.  Dusty hues are trending, as is black and white.

Lately, there has been a preference for apartments with bigger spaces but fewer overall rooms, rather than numerous smaller private spaces.  Within their space, people don’t want ornamentation for its own sake anymore.  That’s a big change from say 25 years ago.  I suspect improvements in technology are making it easier for people to share spaces without being in each other’s way, and that is reflected in preferences for apartments and designs.”

Kevin O’Sullivan

At The Core | State of the Market

Welcome to the fourth quarter of 2015!  It has been a doozy of a year so far, marked by high demand, tight credit markets and even tighter inventory.  Truth be told, September was slightly slower than expected, but keep in mind that’s on the heels of a healthier than expected summer.  We’re regrouping during this little breathing period and are bracing ourselves for a robust year-end.

Everywhere we go, wherever we see brokers, we can’t help notice their long faces.  They just can’t find that new property for their prospective buyers.  It can be disheartening even for those most experienced.  Quality property is rapidly swooped up, making it that much more important to be in a position to make a strong offer as soon as buyers begin looking.

The current stock market volatility is not being particularly helpful in getting sellers or buyers to act, as both sides are processing recent stock market, international and political news.  Alas, it’s just another September.  Interestingly, the plethora of news coming from every which way is not actually playing out in the numbers.  You’d expect to see some plateau or perhaps dip in on-the-ground trends but it’s not what we’re seeing.  We’re still breaking records on median prices, both in purchases and rentals.  We believe this to be due to the continued magnetism of NYC as a robust and resilient real estate market and a safe haven for many individuals.

We anticipate that the fourth quarter will be healthy as real estate participants make sense of this volatility and get comfortable with it.