'Selling New York' Real Estate Causes Anxiety
In Episode 11, the editors of HGTV's "Selling New York" artfully manage to bring us in on the anxiety attacks that CORE Group's Shaun Osher and developer Christopher Schlank are experiencing. They are trying to get the epic 141 Fifth Avenue condo building up and selling.
Also on edge this week is a lovely couple expecting a baby at any moment. They made the stressful decision to move back to Manhattan before their baby is born, and to have poor Sabrina Morgenstern Kleier of Team GHK help them make it happen.
The bigger and sexier stress storyline is 141 Fifth Ave. We learn in this episode that after lots of anxious waiting, the landmark Flatiron area conversion finally scored its Temporary Certificate of Occupancy. So with that stressful detail said and done, the developer now has a fire under him: He needs to sell units ASAP. We don't want him to default on all those loans and ruin our economy further! CORE, meanwhile, is anxiious to power out those sales and cash in on the big money to be made in commissions.
The big commission will come from the utterly spectacular penthouse cupola. It's one of the best pieces of architecture one can imagine living in and it's still available for just $12 million!
With all of this in mind, Osher and Schlank show HGTV viewers some tense banter. Their exchange really illustrates how important perfection is in this industry and how much rides on the tiniest of details. When buyers are paying $4 million a pop they do deserve perfection and a finished product.
The cupola penthouse ("the cherry on top" as Osher puts it) will set the tone for whether he's successful in selling the building. So that's more stress. (Full disclosure: I've been in the cupola while it was under construction and it is completely and utterly epic.)
The episode's second storyline was significantly less fabulous. It went to Team Kleier this time around. (It was their turn to have something less dazzling anyway.) Sabrina knows this, too, and rather reluctantly accepts her episode challenge.
She's stuck taking a wishy-washy pregnant couple around, who just weeks before the birth of their firstborn decide they are determined to move back into Gotham City. Talk about pressure!
But the real pressure is on the HGTV producers: This couple is not really made-for-TV. They come off boring.
Justin and Carli live an hour-and-a-half outside the city and Justin works on the Upper East Side. They figure they should live near Justin's workplace. Their budget is bland for Sabrina. It is just $1.5 million to $2 million. This really is pocket change compared to those $10 million properties her family is way more accustomed to handling. But there are properties HGTV must show!
As usual, "Selling New York" takes us into places that definitely don't work, but obviously have won some exposure-lottery at the network.
First up is Isis. It's $1.625 million, with 1,250 square feet and big windows. Unfortunately, it won't be ready in time for the baby. So that's out, but yay to Isis for the TV time!
The second place is a two-bedroom, two-bathroom with a 525-square-foot private terrace listed at $2.2 million. A challenge: Justin is something of a giant and the master bathroom shower isn't made for giants. He'll have to get a bench to take a seated shower! Or just use the building's pool.
Meanwhile during the couple's journey exploring their return to Manhattan, they realize all things don't start and end in the Upper East Side. They tell Sabrina that they want to look south. Unfortunately, south means west to Sabrina, landing Justin and Carli at Hudson Yards, way out in the wild West 30s. (More likely HGTV had to figure out how to squeeze Hudson Yards into an episode and made the insertion here.)
The trio check out a 2,560-square-foot loft priced at $2.35 million. Carli likes, but notes what everyone says about that area: no stores, restaurants, etc. Instead of telling the truth, that besides nice apartments, it is pretty dead over there. She kindly says in her soon-to-be motherly way that the neighborhood "might be a little too up-and-coming for us."
What Justin and Carli want is what we all want: The West Village. But what we know and what Sabrina knows is that's a pipedream. Justin and Carli can't afford that kind of real estate.
Fortunately for Sabrina, she doesn't have to make them face this reality for at least another six months. Justin breaks the news that ultimately life is crazy stressful right now with the baby coming. Alas, they're going to hold off on house-hunting to focus on baby. (It's a boy!)
Moment of truth: When Justin self-consciously notes: "The search hasn't been a waste of time." Indeed, it was.
Read more home TV coverage or search homes for sale in New York, N.Y. at AOL Real Estate.