Some New York City homeowners can't wait out recession to sell

It’s not a good time to sell your home in the city, but some people must move even if it means accepting a lower offer than they might get if they waited out the slumping market. Here are a few sellers motivated by changing life circumstances that wait for no recession:

Upper West Side, 2-BR
316 W. 83rd St.
Asking price: $745,000
Purchase price: $425,000 (in 2003)

The Hapgood family has grown too big for its home. They were looking to sell a few years ago, but when a deal fell through they went with $50,000 in renovations instead. They put in hardwood floors and a patio in the backyard. “We have two children and they are sharing a bedroom right now,” said Siobhan Hapgood. They almost sold at the height of the market, but instead poured money into the home and now are looking to bale at a low point. “We know we’re going to sell down, but we’re also going to buy down,” Hapgood said.

Gramercy Park, 1-BR
200 E. 24th St.
Asking price: $489,000
Purchase price: $195,000 (in 2002)

Seven years ago, Gregory Hruska found a 600-square-foot apartment, which was fine for one person, but it started to feel cramped when his partner moved in two years ago. The couple decided to move to a bigger place. Then the economy tanked. “At first, we thought we should wait a while,” said Hruska. “But then we decided we can’t put our lives on hold indefinitely. And we said, ‘Let’s just do it.’” The couple wants to move to the burbs and expects a deal in neighborhoods they were once priced out of. “The houses in South Orange [N.J.] were out of my price range,” Hruska said. “Now they’ve fallen at an even faster rate than New York.”

Inwood, 1-BR
579 W. 215th St.
Asking price: $325,000
Purchase price: $190,000 (in 1994)

Fred Valle owns an apartment that he bought for his daughter but now rents out. He said the taxes and tenant hassles motivated him to sell. “Everyone has told me I’ve made a bad choice in selling it now because of the market,” Valle said. “But I just don’t want to deal with tenants.” It’s been on the market for a year, and the asking price has dropped twice. “I’m not lowering it any more,” he said.

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