Exec. Vice President
Mark D. Friedman
Sr. Vice President
Some seniors are getting their own New York City apartments--on their child's dime.
The apartments tend to be small one-bedroom cooperative and condominium units, very often in new developments.
At the Arbor, a condo in Riverdale, there were two separate cases of children buying units for their mothers when the sales office opened earlier this year, said Monica Klingenberg, executive vice president of the Marketing Directors, marketing and exclusive sales agent for the project. The development is slated to open in 2008.
In one case, Klingenberg said, the woman and her mother were already living in Riverdale, but the woman wanted her mother to be physically closer.
The woman bought her mom a $450,000 one-bedroom apartment, and the mother is responsible for paying the carrying charges.
In the same Riverdale condo, a brother and sister purchased a one-bedroom for their mother so she would be nearby. He lives in the Bronx, his sister is in Manhattan, and their mother resided on Long Island. The siblings' mother takes care of the monthly charges.
In New Rochelle, Klingenberg also negotiated a deal for a couple looking to buy a home for the wife's parents. Empty-nesters, the parents had been living in a large home in the same area. The couple helped the parents downsize by buying them an apartment in Trump Plaza in New Rochelle last fall. The building is slated for occupancy this summer, Klingenberg said.
Though not yet common enough to be considered a trend, such arrangements may become more popular.
"We're going to see more of that simply because there is more money at a younger age in Manhattan now," said Max Dobens, an associate broker and vice president with the Jacky Teplitzky Team at Prudential Douglas Elliman.
One broker made such provisions in her own life.
Susan Ruttner, an associate broker at Halstead Property, bought a co-op in the building she lives in with her husband for his mother.
"As an only child, and a physician, she had him on call all day, every day: 'Come take my blood pressure, can you get me my pills...that type of thing,'" Ruttner said. The couple paid for the apartment, and the mother pays the monthlies.
Beyond assuaging concerns about the health of their parents, the second home can be a short- or long-term investment for children. There are no assisted living bills and, over time, the unit would presumably appreciate. Then, once the parent dies, the children can rent the unit for a supplemental income.
Instances in which children buy for their parents may become commonplace as more people see New York as a great place for active elderly people to retire.
"I know a lot of people who have moved back, especially older people that are coming back to New York because it's easier. They don't have to drive. There are more things to do," said Mark Friedman, a Halstead Property agent that helped a couple buy an apartment for a parent at Boulevard Condominium on Broadway close to 86th Street. "Because of the prices going up in Manhattan, if an older person wants to move back to New York, it's very prohibitive."
By Lauren Elkies
Thursday, July 05, 2007