By Malcolm Carter

In the course of my open house rounds, I see properties that are listed for as little as $300,000 and as much as many millions, well into the double digits.

You might expect me to go gaga (sorry, Lady) over the most expensive ones.  And they obviously do make a strong impression, but they begin to look the same after a while.

I find that I can pretty well predict how a high-priced property will look even before I go through the door whether in a pre-war or a post-war building.  It’s the exceptions at various price points that get my heart beating fast, however.

Apartments that grab me are those with not only charm but an unusual amount of character such as the one in the photos.  In its first week in the market, this co-op at 444 Central Park West, between 104th and 105th streets, already had a decent offer, according to the listing broker, yet it inexplicably was taken off the market permanently last month.

Truth be told, I fell in love with the apartment, which is in a 1929 doorman building encrusted with Art Deco detail between 104th and 105th streets.

Although I could quibble about the duplex renovated some three years ago — for example, the modern kitchen that it’s a bit small for two cooks at once, placement of the terrace off the master bedroom and the spiral staircase, albeit sturdy and well designed — I’d be willing to overlook those relatively minor concerns in light of the corner co-op’s many assets.

Where to begin? (Be still, my heart.)

The 1,400-sf unit is on the 18th and 19th floors of the building with vistas you want to reach out and touch.  From that perch, you can marvel at Central Park and beyond to the east and north.  On the upper floor, the terrace is beautifully planted, and it beckons its owners outside for breakfast, reading, cocktails or almost any combination thereof.

However appealing the terrace, which rests above the second bedroom used as a sitting room (shown above), I was struck by the character of the main floor.  The owner had set into the walls antique wooden church doors, burnished the hardwood floors and otherwise added elements that one doesn’t see every day.

In addition, the evocative tilt-and-turn windows are new and double-glazed, preserving the apartment’s and the building’s original aura.  The walls have been skim-coated. Unseen are the cement floors and walls, affording an unusual degree of quietude.

As far as I am concerned, character counts for a lot.  Moreover, buyers continually demonstrate that I am not alone: An attractively priced property that drips with character and is flooded with charm can be counted on to sell quickly.

The asking price was $1.325 million with monthly maintenance of $2,376.

Below is a sampling of other properties that are listed by various brokers and that I have seen in the last few weeks (prices and other details may have changed since I originally saw them):

Malcolm Carter is a real estate broker and columnist for the West Side Rag. A version of this post was first published at Service You Can Trust, Malcolm’s blog.

Photos of duplex at 444 Central Park West courtesy of listing broker Matthew Steele of CitySites Real Estate Group.

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