Seems like Ross Geller's come a long way from sharing a tiny two-bedder in the West Village with his ex-girlfriend and their baby.
Almost a decade after the last episode of "Friends" aired, David Schwimmer has shown that his requirements are a little more refined than those of the TV character he played. So much so, apparently, that he's bought and torn down a landmark-worthy East Village townhouse built in 1852 -- to replace it with a luxurious, six-story mansion.
Schwimmer snagged the $4.1 million property (pictured above) in 2010, which at the time was one of the oldest buildings on the block and located a stone's throw from a National Historic Landmark, the Sixth Street Community Synagogue. According to the New York Post, Schwimmer had been sent three letters from the city's Landmarks Preservation Commission since the purchase, notifying him that the East Sixth Street building could gain landmark status by the end of this year.
Still, just four months after the last notice was sent, the building was bulldozed at Schwimmer's instruction (what Curbed called a "surprise demolition") to make way for his luxe new digs.
Though we can't say we're too surprised. Schwimmer did, barely three months ago, put his $10.7 million, 11,000-square-foot L.A. mansion on the market. With its outdoor swimming pool, spa and an in-home theater, his rich tastes aren't exactly shockingly new.
What is particularly sad about this situation however, is that the initial listing advertising Schwimmer's now-property clearly sought a new owner that would appreciate and preserve the home's original features, rather than tear it down for something new and "better." Local bloggers such as EV Grieve have posted the listing, which reads:
"Endless possibilities for this oasis in the East Village! This south facing, 4 story, plus English Garden floor, mixed use townhouse will be delivered vacant. Situated on a lovely tree lined block location between Second and First Avenues, this home with its magical Tuscan inspired garden proves to be one of the finest East Village houses available. Move right into the owner's duplex and have a beautiful home with the added benefit of income producing live/work English Garden floor and two large floor thru residential units OR transform it into the single family home of your dreams. So many opportunities for living!"
Those opportunities probably did not include fitting the abode with an elevator and a swanky roof terrace, which reportedly are in the plans for Geller's new home.
East Village residents, including Grieve, have expressed dismay and outrage. Grieve wrote in an entry just this morning: "Just to spell this out, Schwimmer and his people knew that the building was under landmark consideration, yet they hurried and destroyed it anyway.... With all the available upscale townhouses on the market in the city, why did he buy this historic building only to tear it down?"
We think it's safe to say that Schwimmer may not be viewed as a friend by all in the neighborhood.
As you might expect in the country's most expensive city, New York residential real estate has the highest conforming loan limit allowed under law, $729,750. While in the chicer parts of Manhattan that'll get you beans, if you're willing to live a little south of the action, you can snatch up an apartment like this three-bedroom -- for only 3.5 percent down.
The country's second biggest -- and notoriously traffic-plagued -- city is also just about as expensive as it gets. Awesome views of Beverly Hills, Wilshire Blvd. and the mountains beyond are the highlight of this classy apartment.
This apartment's building is set on a 3.5 acre lot that offers a pool, tennis court and fitness center. There's also valet parking and a concierge. But if you have pets... well, that's OK! The listing boasts of the building's "rare pet friendly environment."
Chicago's conforming loan limit is substantially lower than those of Los Angeles or New York. At $409,000 this duplex flirts with its FHA-loan ceiling. The apartment's kitchen has a cherry-stained inlay floor with a breakfast bar.
Our country's fifth largest city doesn't have property values as high as you might think. The relatively low median sale price of $305,000 pulls the FHA conforming loan limit down to $420,000. That delivers one bedroom and one bathroom in the case of this contemporary apartment. Is the stunning skyline looming outside the apartment's floor-to-ceiling windows worth that sum? Your call.
The Loan Star State's real estate comes pretty darn cheap and Houston dirt is no exception. The FHA will only insure your loan up to $271,050. But, considering bang-for-your-buck value in the state, that means the government will sponsor some pretty comfortable digs. This 2,791-square-foot traditional home offers four bedrooms on its well-landscaped plot. If the place strikes a chord with you, be sure to make the open house this weekend. See the listing for details.
Think back to that stylish Philly apartment. You know, the one-bedroom that cost in the neighborhood of $400,000? Now consider that this home's living room alone probably comes somewhere close to rivaling that apartment in total size. A reminder of just how much location determines value.
Located on a cul-de-sac, this Phoenix home offers four bedrooms. At $345,500 it's priced close to $150,000 above the median sale price, allowing relatively well-heeled borrowers to take out substantial loans for as low as, you guessed it, 3.5 percent down.
While the space may distinguish this home on paper, the home's interior really seems to set it apart. There are stone-arched doorways, exposed-beam ceilings and black hardwood floors. All of it potentially attainable for just 3.5 percent.
Ravaged by the foreclosure crisis, Jacksonville real estate values have plummeted over the last few years, allowing deals like this large single family. Priced at $379,900, the home is just shy of the point where the government steps back and says: "It's 20 percent from here on out."
Who knew you could find a glass-enclosed pool just yards from a pond on a property below $400,000. An amenity like this, plus the home's exquisite, varnished interior should be a reminder that today's market is, undoubtedly, a buyer's one. Worried you're not up to financial snuff? In case you didn't hear, you can buy a lot of homes like this one for just 3.5 percent down.