Throughout New York City, some of the most sought-after apartments are located in prewar buildings (those built prior to World War II), such as the Central Park West's Dakota or the stately maisonettes located on the Upper East Side. On the outside, these majestic structures reflect a bygone era rich in detail and master craftsmanship matched only by the ornate moldings, solid wood mantels, grand marble staircases and other design elements which impart an old world charm to the apartments within.
Unfortunately, in some cases much to the disappointment of the buyer in the market for such an apartment, poorly-planned and executed renovations could very well have stripped a once magnificent home of all its charm, leaving a bland shell of its former self, sadly lacking in character.
Authenticity is Key
It's more or less a given that a new kitchen or bathroom will increase the overall value of your co-op or condominium. However, these renovations or those done to other areas of the home such as the living and dining areas or bedrooms, should be well-thought-out and executed, taking into consideration the period and style in which the building was built. The same holds true for renovations done to the lobbies and other common areas of these residential buildings.
"We know that when people buy a home, they do so from an emotional standpoint," says Marilyn Harra Kaye, president of Prudential MLBKaye International Realty, a full-service brokerage firm in Manhattan. "They go with their gut instincts. When they first walk into the potential home, they tend to either love it or hate it."