By Karen Monroe
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Subways and buses and trains, oh my! Since most of us don’t have a pair of ruby slippers to click our heels and get to a destination, living near public transportation is a big plus. Having a car in New York can be an unnecessary hassle. Living near a subway station, now that's a good thing. It's a huge convenience that buyers appreciate. It's a value that sellers cash-in on. It's called paying for proximity. And we do it.
In New York, we buy the lifestyle over the size of the apartment itself. Being out and about is exactly what it's about. And our ability to conveniently get to where we are going matters most. Forget the car - most homes are garage-less anyway, and public garages have car elevators that break just when we need our vehicle. But with a MetroCard in hand, we are free to roam.
Freedom has a price tag, though. Whether in the Heights or over in Bushwick, property values and rent prices increase the closer you get to public transportation. Convenience costs. By and large, most of us want the benefits of proximity to subways, buses and trains. And we are prepared to pay for it.
Even if we have an automobile parked somewhere in the neighborhood, catching a Manhattan-bound subway across the street will get us there faster. That is, unless you have those ruby slippers handy.
On the Run
Another premium we pay for is pets. Before even handing over a several-hundred-dollar pet fee to get into a building, the first challenge is locating a building that accepts pets in the first place. Often there are several limitations among supposed pet-friendly properties. These include accepting cats versus dogs, or both, size, weight, breed and how many animals you have. Imagine my crazy scene trying to get an apartment with three dogs. Oh, and there's a cat in my mix as well. Glad to report, if there's a will, there's a way. And I had a great real estate agent to navigate the process.
An exception to standard pet policies would be for service companions. I assume this is most often a dog – think seeing eye here – but who knows what goes for some people. A service cat, maybe. But what about other non-traditional pets, like a pig, ferret or snake? With a doctor's note, perhaps these, too, qualify as companions needed for health and quality of life sake.
Hosting an open house in the Heights recently, I was asked what the co-op board's policy is on pet birds. Really? Birds? I'm not a big fan of birds, pet or otherwise, or fish, for that matter. Sorry, bird and fish fans, just a personal thing I have. But for the right person with a legit doctor's note, possibly these, too, can qualify as service companions for which we can pay a pet fee to keep in our homes.
Karen Monroe practices real estate at Douglas Elliman Real Estate,156 Montague Street in Brooklyn Heights. She lives in the neighborhood and represents buyers, sellers and renters in Brooklyn and Manhattan. Karen can be found walking her dogs and running the parks, paths, streets and bridges of Brooklyn and beyond. For feedback and all of your real estate needs, contact Karen at firstname.lastname@example.org.