No Comments

5 Ways To Make Moving Easier For Your Kids


Moving to a new home is a life-changing event typically accompanied by strong emotions. For all the excitement and optimism, there can also be a fair amount of anxiety. This is because two things are taking place simultaneously. You are saying goodbye to the familiar and hello to the unknown. This transition can be particularly challenging for kids, who often need extra support to cope with the change. Here are 5 ways to make your move easier on the kids and unite the family in optimism:


  1. Take Them on a Tour

For some kids, the anticipation of what their new home will look and feel like can be stressful, especially if it’s in a far away place. All sorts of questions can pop up in their minds – from the size of their new bedroom to whether they’ll make friends in the neighborhood – which can keep them fearful of leaving their old home behind. To help reassure them, take them to your new home before you officially move in. By walking them through the rooms and driving around the neighborhood, you will be familiarizing them with what their new life will be like, showing them that everything will be just fine. If you are unable to do so for any reason, try sitting down with them and showing them pictures or taking them on a Google street view tour.


  1. Allow Them To Express Themselves

Coping with change requires accepting a new reality and reframing it in a positive light. Of course, most kids don’t have such coping mechanisms in place just yet. They will typically need to work through some difficult emotions first. As your children try to come to terms with leaving their friends, school, and extracurriculars behind, along with the place they’ve called home for years, they can react in a variety of ways. As parents, it’s important to understand that this can be difficult and allow them to express their feelings in a healthy and constructive way. Afterward, you can help them reframe the move by celebrating the positives.


  1. Make Sure They’re Involved

Kids typically have little say in the decision to move, which can leave them feeling powerless. You can mitigate this by making sure your child is actively involved throughout the moving process, even if they are just responsible for making small decisions. Whether it’s choosing the color of the walls in their room, packing their clothes a certain way, or giving their input on what they would like to have in the new place, involving your children in the decision making process will make them feel better about the move.


  1. Create A Travel Pack

One of the best ways to provide a sense of comfort for your kids is to create a travel pack together with all of their favorite things – including toys, games, stuffed animals or other items they can keep in a backpack for the trip. Not only will this give them a sense of control, but they will also have their feel-good belongings close at hand.


  1. Throw a Goodbye Party

A simple party to acknowledge friends and memories is a great way to create a sense of closure. You may also wish to take a final goodbye tour of the neighborhood and all the places that have been a part of their world for years. While this activity is likely to bring up feelings of nostalgia and a bit of sadness, it is an important part of the process of moving on. You can then look ahead to all the possibilities and new memories you will be creating in the years ahead.


While there’s no surefire way to avoid moving anxiety, getting your kids involved early and often is your best bet for a smooth transition that benefits the entire family.

For information on moving in NYC or any real estate questions you may have, contact Batra Group at (646) 202-1877.

No Comments

3 Essential Staging Design Tips for Your Open House


There’s no place like home, and surely you’ve put much time and effort into making yours as lovely as can be! That said, when you’re ready to move out, you’ll want to give potential buyers the chance to envision it as their own. This likely means making some changes. Here are 3 Essential Staging Design Tips to help you create the perfect environment for your showings and open houses:


  1. Cleanliness


There’s nothing that turns off a buyer more than an untidy presentation. Before you even think about hosting an open house, make sure your floors are clean, your countertops are polished, your windows are smudge-free, your furniture is dusted, and so on. Remember to ventilate your house as well, and perhaps use air freshener or light a few candles to chase away any unpleasant odors. If you’re not the housekeeping type, now might be a good time to call in some backup and hire a cleaning service!


  1. Decluttering

Take the time to declutter and depersonalize your home. The idea behind this is that a prospective customer should be able to imagine themselves living here, making changes that would match their own vision. With that in mind, remove personal photographs, souvenirs, and other knick-knacks for showings. That collage from your trip abroad or grandma’s antique tea set may have to find a new temporary home! Aim for a neutral, spacious vibe, and consider renting a storage unit for larger items, such as quirky pieces of furniture or loud rugs and posters.


  1. Professional Style

Make sure your home looks as professionally styled as possible. You don’t have to go full Martha Stewart to succeed here, but it wouldn’t hurt to do some research and/or get some advice. Aim for contemporary style and comfort. In some cases, you’ll simply want to add a piece of accent furniture or artwork, or perhaps some new bedding or an area rug. You can even rent them from a staging company. The idea is to excite your buyer with the most attractive look possible.  

A few quick tips to get you started are:

  • Give your walls a fresh coat of neutral paint. This will make your rooms look both bigger and cleaner.
  • Opt for strategic lighting, such as standing lamps or wall mounts. Overhead lights tend to give off a harsh glare.
  • Buy a few succulents or a bouquet of flowers and set them up in a prominent place. Natural touches will make your house look more homey without compromising neutrality.

On a final note, don’t be shy in asking your real estate agent for help. It’s your agent’s job to guide in you in all matters related to the sale of your home, and they are typically well versed in staging. That said, be open to inspiration and put some creative effort into the process. It can actually be quite fun.

For more information on selling NYC property or any real estate questions you may have, contact Batra Group at (646) 202-1877.

No Comments

5 of the Best Dog Parks in New York City


Among the most important factors people consider when looking for an apartment in New York City are building and neighborhood amenities. For an increasing number of people, the must-have features include accommodations for pets, particularly dogs. In fact, according to, pets and pet services are among the top 2 most important amenities for renters and buyers in New York City. Many upscale buildings have taken note and now offer pet spas, grooming services and even indoor dog runs. But arguably the best treat for you furry friend is a great run in the park. 

Here are 5 great dog parks to know about when looking for neighborhoods to buy or rent in:

1. Carl Schurz Park – Upper East Side

Located between E 84th and E 90th streets, the Carl Schurz Park is a perfect spot to bring your pets if you’re living on the eastern half of Manhattan. Offering dog runs every Wednesday and Thursday from 12:15-1:15 pm, the park allows your pets to exercise freely in a safe environment. It’s also a comfort to owners that the park regularly sanitizes these spaces, cleaning them on a weekly basis in the summer and bi-monthly throughout the year.

2. De Witt Clinton Park – Upper West Side

On the opposite side of the borough, De Witt Clinton Park is a great place to bring your pets to if you’re in the Upper West Side of the city. With multiple dog runs throughout the park, your pet will have an opportunity to run and play to its heart’s content.

3. Washington Square Park – Greenwich Village

At the base of 5th Avenue, Washington Square Park is another great area for pet owners living in the heart of Manhattan. Like De Witt Clinton Park, Washington Square Park offers several dog runs for pets to play in. These spaces are open throughout the duration of the day, allowing dogs to get all their energy out until the park closes around 9 pm. 

4. Prospect Park Dog Run – Brooklyn

With acres of open green space, Prospect Park is a fantastic place for Brooklyn pet owners. Located next to Park Slope, the area is extremely pet friendly, allowing owners to choose whether or not their dogs should be leashed when playing in the grass.

5. Gantry Plaza State Park – Long Island City

Offering two different dog runs, Gantry Plaza State Park is a great spot for dogs to play in western Queens. The park also offers owners to walk their dogs along paved pathways from 8-10 am every morning, giving them an amazing view of Manhattan while they are out. So whether you’re on the go or there for the afternoon, Gantry Plaza is perfect for you and your furry friend.


For information on pet-friendly apartments, neighborhoods, or any real estate questions you may have, contact Batra Group at (646) 202-1877.

No Comments

What are the Closing Costs for a Seller in NYC?


Congratulations! You’ve put your home on the market, found a buyer, and are now ready to close a deal. But before you break open the champagne, you’ll need to plan for some final closing costs. The good news is that there are fewer of them for sellers than for buyers, although you will still need to factor in agent commission (typically 5-6% of the sales price). To help get you through the home stretch, we’ve compiled a list of standard seller closing costs, so you can plan ahead:


Fee type Amount
NYC real property tax Typically 1-1.5% of purchase price
New York State tax .40% of purchase price
Attorney fee $1000-$4000
Move-out fee $500-$1000
Flip tax 1-3% of purchase price
Payoff/loan satisfaction Varies, but expect $500+


This looks like a lot, but don’t worry. While transfer taxes and attorney fees are a given, depending on where you live, move-out fees and flip taxes may be optional. The move-out fee should be mentioned in your original lease, and if it isn’t, you might not have to pay it. Similarly, a flip tax, which covers renovations, is generally paid only when you’re selling from within a co-op. Finally, loan satisfaction is necessary only if you have a mortgage provider.


What about real estate commission? While not technically a closing cost, the agent commission is still paid at this time to both the buyer’s agent as well as your own (seller’s) agent. You should expect to pay around 5-6% of the purchase price, with both agents receiving an equal share. Importantly, if the buyer doesn’t have an agent, your agent will be required to represent both parties in the transaction, and earn the entire sum.


For more information on selling your apartment in NYC or any real estate questions you may have, contact Batra Group at (646) 202-1877.

No Comments

7 of the Best Museum Deals in NYC

New York City boasts some of the best museums in the world. From fine arts to history to science to pop culture, there are more than 80 museums across the five boroughs (including 23 in Manhattan) to pique your interest. While admissions prices vary, many venues offer free days/hours or suggested pay-as-you-wish prices in order to make their exhibitions more accessible to those on a budget. Here are 7 must-see museums in the city with great deals to match:


1.The Museum of Natural HistoryUpper West Side

Founded in 1869, the Museum of Natural History is an amazing place to spend an afternoon. Featuring permanent exhibitions of dinosaurs, ocean life, forests and the evolution of man, as well as limited-time special exhibitions such as The Butterfly Conservatory and Backyard Wilderness, the Museum of Natural History “is renowned for its exhibitions and scientific collections that serve as a field guide to the entire planet.” The museum offers a pay-as-you-wish policy, allowing visitors to spectate on their own budget.

2. The New York Historical Society, Upper West Side

As New York’s oldest museum, the New York Historical Society is another must-see for history buffs. Exhibits focus on both New York and general American history, featuring collections ranging from paintings by Rembrandt to relics from George Washington’s bed at Valley Forge to artifacts from the Civil War and World War I. Plan on visiting on a Friday night as the museum offers free admission from 6-8 pm.

3. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Upper East Side

With over 5,000 years of international art on display, the Met is among the most well known museums in the world. It features a dizzying array of rare artifacts from ancient Egyptian tombs, Native American clothing, Arms and Armor, Medieval Art, Musical Instruments, Costumes, and more. The Met offers a pay-as-you-wish policy for New York residents as well as students enrolled in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut schools.

4. The Guggenheim, Upper East Side

Like the Met, the Guggenheim specializes in fine art. Focusing more on modern and contemporary pieces, the Guggenheim offers its spectators beautiful paintings, sculptures and media that challenge your thoughts and beliefs. See works from Constantin Brancusi, Robert Mapplethorpe, R.H. Quaytman, and more. The museum offers a pay-as-you-wish policy from 5-8 pm every Saturday, cash only.

5. The Museum of Modern Art, Midtown

The MoMA is an iconic museum on the Upper West Side, featuring some of the best modern and contemporary art in the world from over 26,000 artists, including Joan Miro, Pablo Picasso, Vincent Van Gogh, Henri Matisse, and more. With its mission of promoting “diverse cultural, artistic, social, and political positions,” the museum is a great opportunity to see some incredible pieces of art. Plan on visiting Friday from 4-8 pm, when admission is free.

6. The Frick Collection, Upper East Side

Once the mansion of wealthy Pittsburgh industrialist Henry Frick, the Frick Collection on East 70th Street is known for its distinguished Old Master Paintings and outstanding examples of European sculpture and decorative arts. Since it opened in 1935, the museum has grown beyond Frick’s original collection to include special exhibitions on European Art and lectures from all over the world. Free admission from 6-9 pm on the first Friday of each month.

7. The Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology, Chelsea

The Fashion Institute of Technology’s Museum is ideal for those interested in both the history and future of clothing design. The museum’s permanent collection of 50,000 garments and 30,000 textiles includes clothing, accessories, textiles, sample books and photographs. The Museum at FIT is a division of the college, which is part of the State University of New York (SUNY) system. Free admission.

No Comments

IKEA Moves to Upper East Side

Towards the end of 2018, IKEA issued a statement saying that they were planning on opening a new storefront on the edge of Lenox Hill, on the corner of 3rd Ave and East 59th street. The move will help the Swedish company’s presence in the New York Metro Area, as they already have stores in Brooklyn, Long Island, Paramus, and Elizabeth across the Hudson River.

The most noteworthy trait of IKEA’s opening is that the store is actually a “Planning Studio”. This means that you won’t actually be able to buy any furniture from the store and take it home with you, but rather see how it looks and then have your order delivered to your house. According to IKEA representatives, the design of the store is to meet the demands of consumers in today’s market, especially in a setting like Manhattan.

With more renovations on the way throughout 2019, definitely keep an eye on what IKEA will do next in New York City. For more information on their move, click here.

No Comments

Amazon Moves Out of Queens

“Alexa – Cancel My Order”

In a shock to many on Thursday afternoon, the consumer titan Amazon announced that they would not go forward with moving half of their HQ2 to Long Island City in Queens. The decision reverses their previous announcement back in November of 2018. Amazon is still looking to proceed to build the other half of their HQ2 in northern Virginia.

The choice to not move to the New York borough was heavily influenced by local protestors and politicians, as they felt that the international company had dodged proper legal procedures. Though roughly 70% of New Yorkers supported the move, along with Governor Andrew Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, the resistance by residents in Queens was too much for Amazon.

Amazon has stated that they wish to continue to do business in New York City, hoping to build their presence across its boroughs.

“We are disappointed to have reached this conclusion — we love New York, its incomparable dynamism, people, and culture — and particularly the community of Long Island City, where we have gotten to know so many optimistic, forward-leaning community leaders, small business owners, and residents. There are currently over 5,000 Amazon employees in Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Staten Island, and we plan to continue growing these teams.”

No Comments

5 Best Places to Watch the Super Bowl in New York City

Even in New York City, Super Bowl Sunday is capable of shutting everything down for a few hours. It’s the perfect time to relax with friends, have a few drinks, and eat some food you’ll probably regret later on. This being said, it can be hard to find the best place in the city to go watch the Patriots play in the big game for the millionth time. Here are 5 places to go watch the game this Sunday:

1. Empellon al Pastor

Over by East Village, Empellon al Pastor is a solid way to start off our list. For $50, you’ll be able to order an unlimited amount of margaritas, house beer, wine and wings for a whole 90 minutes of the game. Not a bad option for most people.

2. Haven Rooftop 

Located on W 47th Street, Haven Rooftop is another prime place for Sunday’s big game. For $55, you’ll have a guaranteed seat to watch the Pats and the Rams play, plus one appetizer and pitcher of beer for two people. Doors will open at 5.

3. Vandal

Hosted by former New York Giants Super Bowl champion, Victor Cruz, Vandal is the perfect spot to go if you’re in the Lower Manhattan area. For a reasonable price, you and your friends will be able to purchase a table in the restaurant, allowing you to order anything off their drink and dinner menu. Not to mention you’ll be able to watch everything on their big screens Doors open at 5.

4. Virgil’s Real BBQ

Right by Times Square, Virgil’s Real BBQ is probably one of the best spots in the city if you’re looking for the best game day food for Sunday afternoon. For just $60, you’ll get a large platter of terrific barbeque food, including ribs, brisket, and wings, in addition to a bucket of Miller Lite. You’ll also be able to buy pitchers of Coors Light for only $15. Not a bad way to spend Super Bowl Sunday.

5. Villa Cemita

Over on Avenue A, just north of the Lower East Side, Villa Cemita is a great spot to watch the game with your friends. For $40, you’ll have access to a premium open bar, game day essentials like nachos and wings, and football themed party favors to take home with. Plus, you’ll be able to see every second of the game on their multiple HD televisions. Doors open at 6:30.