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Construction Nightmares

In the last two weeks of the summer, I attempted to complete the installation of a pool and update the bathrooms of a house I own on the tiny little Bahamian island of Eleuthera. Wow, do I now have an even better understanding of the challenges of any construction, let alone in Manhattan.

Supply change delays continue to wreak havoc on arrival time for materials. This makes renovations in the city even more difficult. Take, for example, my bathroom vanity. The bottom arrived two weeks late, but the top was on time. I could store it in my garage, but with such limited space in NYC, you don’t have that luxury. Another example was my tiler. To help complete my wall quickly, he worked weekends and stayed late midweek. You can’t do that in buildings here because of strict weekday work hours, usually only 9-4. Some buildings on Fifth Avenue even have summer work rules, which only allow an owner to do construction for two or three months out of the year. Construction projects in those buildings can sometimes take two or three years! Management company’s insurance requirements have skyrocketed, with many requiring $10 million in coverage, which is impossible for a smaller contractor.

So, what does this mean for the real estate market? Apartments in mint or even very good condition are selling well, but apartments that need work or major renovations are having a tough time. To get them sold, pricing is key.

Wish me luck, because as of this week, I still can’t find my pool!

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