nw3 to nyc

Observations on moving my family across the Atlantic

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Property porn

I’m not sure how well used this phrase is in the UK and probably not at all here in the US. Property porn refers to the free glossy magazines that come through the letterbox showing all the amazing houses and flats that are completely unaffordable to normal people but I can’t help looking. I loved Fabric, a North London property magazine, with its lifestyle pieces, bought in articles with film stars and ridiculously priced property. I loved the Ham & High’s property supplement on a Thursday. My guilty pleasure at breakfast, leafing through the glossy pages, spotting properties I recognised in NW3 and choking on my tea as I saw the crazy prices. A mere £15 million for a house nearby, in its own one acre plot with a recommendation from the estate agent to knock it down and build your own – for that much money!? Anyhow, my replacement for this void in my life since moving to New York is the Real Estate section of the New York Times on a Sunday. It’s not glossy but it does a good line in what it calls “Big Ticket Sales’. Today’s is a mere $24.75 million (£15.3 million). A bargain as it was originally on the market at $32.75 million (£20 million) in 2008. Blimey. It is accompanied by a “Warmly renovated in homage to blue” – a stately six-story Upper East Side town house for a snip at $29.99 million (£18.6 million). I love the quote from the agent at the end of the article. “All the triple mint house have been sold out. There is not much inventory. That’s we can basically name a price”. But compared with the soon to be marketed penthouse on East 79th Street, which will offered at $50 million (£31 million), it’s a bargain and at least you get a whole house.