'Selling New York' Episode 9: Make Up Your Mind

A piddly $2.5 million budget won't get you jack in New York City when you have a laundry list of requirements you won't budge on. Thursday night's episode of HGTV's "Selling New York" was less about selling property and more of a lesson on how hard it is to satisfy a New Yorker. Indecision can make for missed opportunities and an expensive waste of money.

Also, once again we're reminded of how limiting not being wealthy can be, even if just $2.5-million wealthy.
Never Satisfied
Bachelor and home-hunter Matthew Pasha embodies the singles conundrum in New York to a T. He's unable to commit and always looking for something better when he already has something fantastic. Besides looking for the perfect home, he's also looking for a lady love. One requirement: He must live within walking distance of bars and restaurants for meeting those ladies.

Matt already put down a $300K deposit on a perfectly lovely place inRobert A.M. Stern's Upper East Side luxury condo, The Brompton. He is willing to walk away from it if he finds a better-looking place. He checks out Michael Strahan's old bachelor pad at 25 Murray St. and loves it. Scoring the pad that the former football player gave up to be with Eddie Murphy's ex-wife is worthy of some good bragging. Unfortunately, the views from 25 Murray aren't as good as those at The Brompton.

GHK'sSabrina Kleier Morgenstern then takes him to The Rushmore, where Matt's ladies will love the building's pool and screening room. Annoyingly, he'll have to meet them a short cab away as there aren't bars and restaurants nearby. In the end, Matt chose to stay with The Brompton after he "crunched some numbers."

Points for Sabrina, who was patient and nice enough to bring him one of those famed Kleier bottles of champagne after he wasted so much of her time. Highly doubtful, though, that he'll get one of those coveted dinner invites.

Best Dis: The witty Sabrina (who so resembles an Olsen sister) deadpans: "If Matthew wants to see more properties, I'm afraid it might confuse him even further."

Upgrading for the Pooch
Buyers Carolyn and Dave already had the perfect place, but their wide-load of a dog didn't jibe with the co-op board. Pudgy Katie exceeded the 20-pound weight limit. Rather than starve the dog, or get rid of her, Carolyn and Dave did the right thing and went looking for a place that recognizes that dogs of all sizes deserve a luxury condo.

Carolyn set out to look with GHK'sLaurel Rosenbluth and we quickly learn that Carolyn is a fussy lady with far too many demands for her $2.5 million budget. The damn dog has ruined everything and Laurel has the frustrating task of trying to meet all of those needs.

They check out an East 57th Street property that has most everything Carolyn wants for $2.695 million. But: Carolyn finds the balcony space "a little claustrophobic" as "the buildings are very close." Uhh, Carolyn. This is New York. We're a vertical city of highrises and skyscrapers!

Laurel keeps it together though, taking a deep breath before bringing Carolyn to a fantastic Chelsea penthouse. It's everything Carolyn wants and more. Of course Carolyn falls in love with it. Well, until she hears the price $2.99 million.

Steadfast to her $2.5 million budget, she ask Laurel to bid $2.5 million. Laurel knows this won't work and says that Carolyn at least should bid $2.7 million.

No dice. Carolyn says to try the $2.5 million anyway.

No surprise: Carolyn, Dave and Katie don't get the place. Laurel is without a sale.

Awkward Camerawork
The camera people seemed to enjoy Carolyn's short skirt as they let the camera linger on her legs five times (at least) too many.

Overpriced Hobbit Home
Elyse Pasquale, a theater and independent-film producer, has been juggling the burden of living in her new awesome penthouse pad, while also having her old 900-square-foot, exposed-brick Gramercy triplex unsold. She desperately wants to sell the old digs -- and turn a profit to justify what she spent on her new property.

The triplex is a one-bedroom replete with two fireplaces and a spiral staircase. An overweight dog would certainly find it hard to maneuver the stairs every day, much less a person. The layout is wacky: There is only one bathroom and the bedroom is on the third floor.

Elyse wants way more than her one-bedroom is worth (a whopping $895K). CORE Group's Maggie Kent says it's $100K too much.

This is a tough one. For Elyse $100K is a lot of green she'll be sacrificing, whereas for Matt, $300K is apparently just a drop in the bucket.

Poor Maggie is the victim of Elyse's financial ambitions, and she all but bitch-slaps Elyse, who is relentless in her quest to turn a profit during a down market.

The awkward floor plan, which one broker said resembled a home for hobbits, is one problem. But the bigger one is that the next owner has to be legitimately well off. No trustafarians says the co-op board.

Besides no parents-buying-for-their-kids, other unreasonable rules are: no pets and no pied-à-terre use.

When Maggie realizes she isn't getting anywhere with Elyse on lowering the price, she brings in her friends at other firms to survey the property and price the place.

Of course everyone says the hobbit home should be priced at roughly $100K less.

Elyse now is panicked and listening. She needs that profit, but she also needs to sell that place. She surrenders through tears and lowers the property $100K. Her place is still on the market, but there has been notable interest now.

Best Line
When Maggie schools Elyse: "You're attached to an old market," she scolds, after Elyse whines for sympathy. She feels "like putting it down in the sevens is completely devaluing the apartment."

Unfortunately, the HGTV editors took out Maggie's response to Elyse: "I could sell it tomorrow if I made it $400,000!"

See more reviews of "Selling New York" or other home TV coverage.
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