In the early months of 2022, we acquired a one bedroom condo in Chelsea, Manhattan, and subsequently renovated it. The property was sitting on the market for a while due to bad presentation and poor marketing. We managed to obtain a 5% discount on the latest asking price, and a 29% discount compared to the initial asking price. At the time of acquisition, the property was assessed above asking price by the bank, so we entered with a $50k equity.
The property was tenanted and in liveable conditions, but far from attractive. It is one bedroom, one bathroom, with private balcony, and staggering views of the skyline. The building is in decent conditions with a 24/7 doorman. The apartment was in dated conditions (these pictures are staged, real conditions were significantly less charming). Below we show the state pre- and post-renovations.
The bathroom was in original conditions, dating around 1990. The design was from a different era, with wallpaper and a curved cabinet.
A video of the bathroom can provide a better view.
We decided to fully renovate the bathroom with a minimalist design and soft tones.
The shower has waterfall technology, the toilet is sensor activated, the mirror is heated with anti-steam technology. All tiles are from Italy.
The bedroom was also dated, and the closet was not working properly.
The bedroom has been fully renovated with new and heightened sliding doors, and of course new flooring (throughout the apartment). All doors and sliding doors are in solid wood with metal details, soft closing and magnetic locks.
The kitchen was also in dated conditions, some of the cabinets were barely hanging.
The new kitchen is one of the highlights of the apartment. We replaced it in its entirety with new white gloss cabinets, Silestone Bianco Calacatta quartz countertop, Bosch appliances (fridge and dishwasher are hidden inside the cabinets).
The apartment had a corner exposure with large windows, but one window was not transparent, blocking the beautiful skyline views.
The new window provides a beautiful morning light and amazing skyline views at night.
The new flooring and painting also provides a serene feeling to the condo.
We also changed the flooring of the balcony and generally cleaned it and repainted it.
Overall, we believe that real estate is a solid investment. We managed to secure a 30-year fixed rate loan at below 3%. In a moment where inflation is increasing, and the stock market was at sky high valuations this investment seemed to make sense. We agreed on a purchase price in December 2021. We sold some of our equity positions at the time to fund this investment. Since then, the SP500 has lost 22%, and interest rates have almost doubled. We will adjust our future strategy depending on market conditions.