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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Spotlight: Long Island City Attractions

Queens, NY – Once a manufacturing hub known for its iconic Pepsi Cola sign, Long Island City has transformed into one of the city’s hottest residential neighborhoods, with some noteworthy sights to match. Following is a list of Long Island City’s top attractions:

Gantry Plaza State Park

Located on a former dockyard and manufacturing district in the Hunters Point section of Long Island City, Gantry Plaza State Park boasts 12-acres of beautiful park grounds, including well-preserved remnants of the area’s past. The most notable of these are the huge iconic Pepsi Cola sign and the gantry cranes for which the park was named. The park sits adjacent to Hunters Point South Park, which adds another 5.5 acres of park grounds with pedestrian and bike paths, a playground, picnic terraces, wooden seating areas, and a 30-foot-high cantilevered platform to this must-see destination.

Gantry State Park is a popular meeting place for people all ages and offers breathtaking views of Manhattan across the East River, as well as the United Nations HQ and Roosevelt island. 

Noguchi Museum

This inspired museum houses thirteen galleries and an outdoor sculpture garden featuring a wide collection of artwork by Japanese-American sculptor Isamu Noguchi (1904-1988). The museum itself is Noguchi’s actual workspace in then-industrial Long Island City, a wonderful treat that allows you to feel how he integrated his work with his natural surroundings. Special exhibits explain aspects of his life, work against the World War II detention of Japanese-Americans, and his development of specific artistic projects, such as paper lamps.

MoMa PS 1

MoMA PS1 is one of the oldest and largest nonprofit contemporary art institutions in the United States. Located in Long Island City, New York, MoMA PS1 is dedicated to exhibiting the most provocative and challenging art from around the world. MoMA PS1 is an affiliate of The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA). This museum is literally housed in an old school, and when you walk the halls you cannot help but be brought back to your own grade school memories of buildings just like this one. The art here is very modern/contemporary and often quite provocative.

Elevator Historical Society

A celebration of the history of elevators, this museum is a wonderful collection of elevator parts and memorabilia. Most of the items on display are still functional and, unlike most museums, can actually be touched to experience the feel of these classic pieces.

Sculpture Center

SculptureCenter is a not-for-profit arts institution dedicated to experimental and innovative developments in contemporary sculpture. Sculpture Center commissions new work and presents exhibitions by emerging and established, national and international artists.

Hunters Point State Park

Once an abandoned industrial area, the space has transformed into a bonafide waterfront park, including a central green, playgrounds, fitness equipment a dog run, a bikeway, a waterside promenade, picnic terraces a basketball court, a 30-foot-tall cantilevered platform for viewing the skyline and waterfront, and a 13,000 sf pavilion that contains comfort stations, concessions, and an elevated cafe plaza.

The Cliffs

The Cliffs, opened in 2014, offers both high and short walls, a slack line area, classes in many phases of climbing, as well as stretch and yoga classes, and climbing parties. Almost all of the climbs are leadable and the lead only overhung cave will challenge even the more advanced climbers. You will also find a full locker room with lockers, showers, and sinks and a small retail shop with enough climbing equipment to outfit the beginner.

Queensboro Bridge

There are 16 bridges that connect the island of Manhattan to the outer boroughs, and at least a dozen of them offer pedestrian lanes. Among them is the world famous Queensboro Bridge (also known as the 59th Street Bridge and now officially The Ed Koch Bridge). A walk across this iconic, century old structure will give you a great view of Long Island City, the East River, and the Upper East Side of Manhattan.

Hunters Point Historic District

The Landmarks Preservation Commission’s (LPC) 1968 designation report describes the Hunters Point Historic District as “a notable residential area…which retains, on both sides of the street, a feeling of unity and repose, little changed since it was first built” that “serves as a microcosm of the domestic architecture of the last quarter of the Nineteenth Century.”

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Batra Commercial Division Enjoys Steady Growth

New York, NY – Following its successful launch earlier this year, Batra Commercial is adding more commercial agents to the team to meet increasing client demand and expanding its service area throughout Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens. We have several projects in development, including retail and office spaces in Midtown East, Upper East Side, Long Island City and Williamsburg. 

Batra can help you find the perfect space for your next office, retail shop, or new development. Contact us for a free consultation!

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Amazon Selects Long Island City for New H2

Long Island City, NY – Talk about a winning streak. Long Island City was already the fastest growing neighborhood in NYC this year, with a projected 6,400 new residences to open by 2020. Now they will also be home to Amazon’s HQ2.

Amazon announced on Thursday that they selected a pair of cities for their second headquarters: Long Island City, NY and Crystal City, VA. The exact LIC location has not yet been unveiled, but Politico reports that it will likely be part of the 15-acre Anabal Basin waterfront mega project.

The reaction in Long Island City has been mixed at best. While the economic incentives are certainly attractive, many locals fear that the new offices will put a strain on the neighborhood’s infrastructure, particularly the area’s schools, transit and sewer systems which are in dire need of upgrading. Community leaders were already sounding the alarm on the pace of development as too much too soon. Adding 25,000 Amazon commuters is an overwhelming prospect, to say the least.

Luckily, however, many of the area’s infrastructure upgrades will be complete by the time Amazon opens shop in 2020. Pundits also point out that Amazon will likely play a major in the area’s continued transformation.

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Market Trends: New Construction Boom in Queens & Brooklyn

New York, NY – New construction is ramping up in Queens and Brooklyn. According to Localize.City, there are 31,000 new units slated to hit the NYC residential market by 2020 – with the vast majority in Long Island City. In fact, the nearly 6,400 new apartments being developed for the Queens hotspot is almost double its nearest rival, Williamsburg. 

The current construction boom is largely the result of a rush of permits filed by developers in 2014 and 2015 hoping to cash in before the 421-a tax abatement program expired. Interestingly enough, a 421-a tax abatement replacement program has since been approved and new permit filings are again on the upswing, with Brooklyn and Queens still leading the way:

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Long Island City’s Race to the Top

Queens, NY – Things continue to look up for Long Island City. In fact, the newest towers under construction in the perennial hotspot will rival midtown Manhattan at 60 and 70 stories high. 

In a virtual race to the top, the neighborhood has seen a handful of noteworthy buildings vying for the title of “tallest building in Queens.” That distinction currently belongs to the Citigroup building at 49 stories, but will soon be eclipsed next year by City View Tower at 66 stories and Queens Plaza Park at 70 stories.

The glass tower procession is part of an concerted effort by developers to appeal to young professionals seeking amenity rich living at somewhat discounted prices from midtown.  

Following are the area’s most exciting new residential and mixed-use skyscrapers coming to the market:

5Pointz Towers, 22-44 Jackson Avenue
Set for 2019, 5Pointz Towers at 22-44 Jackson Avenue will be comprised of 2 residential towers rising 48 and 41 stories with 1,115 units overlooking a common 5-story podium with an extensive array of amenities. The building’s interior design features graffiti style artwork throughout as homage to the iconic former street graffiti mecca it replaced. The mixed-use property will also include 50,000 square feet of retail space and parking for 250 cars. Amenities include a courtyard, event room, climbing wall, fitness center, game room with shuffleboard and pool tables, laundry room, lounge, on-site parking, pet grooming services, basement storage, bike room, children’s playroom, and 10,000+ square foot gymnasium with pool.

Queens Plaza Park, 29-55 Northern Boulevard
To be completed in 2020, Queens Plaza Park will be LEED-certified with 63 floors containing 954 apartments. The new development will incorporate the existing landmarked Queens Clock Tower Building, a half-acre public park and renovated Queens Plaza subway entrance acquired in the property purchase. Amenities will include a pool, children’s playroom, fitness center, storage, laundry room, bike room and library, and a large backyard with kids play sets and plenty of grass.

Court Square City View Tower, 23-15 44th Drive
Set for 2020, City View Tower will rise 66 stories and contains 800 units. The sleek monolithic structure will feature an all glass facade with 360 degrees views and a skylit amenity space on the fourth and fifth floors, including a fitness center, full service garage, lounge, on-site parking, pool, spa/therapy room and terraces/balconies.

Jackson East, 26-32 Jackson Ave
Jackson East, soon to be followed by Jackson West down the block, is a 37-floor tower featuring an eclectic mix of glass and brick, with building corners glazed with floor-to-ceiling windows and balconies siding many mid- and upper-floor units. The complex will also include storefronts along Jackson and 43rd Avenue.

The Forge, 44-28 Purves Street
Completed in 2017, The 38-story Forge is a stylistic descendant of 30 Rockefeller Center in Manhattan, and includes long continuous bands of multi-pane windows. The building hopes to achieve LEED Silver status and has wind and solar panels. The interior will feature art installations by local artists. The 272 apartments are decidedly modern, with KitchenAid and Bosch stainless-steel Energy Star appliances, Bosch washers and dryers, European white oak floors, quartz kitchen countertops. Amenities abound, including a double-height lobby, a coffee shop, a 75-car garage, bicycle storage, laundry room, children’s playroom, fitness center, a private conference area with kitchen and fireplace, a second-floor courtyard with a pool, a grill, a bar area and a movie screen, billiards room, wet bar, terrace, concierge and tenant storage. The ground floor also features 2,000-square feet of retail space.

42-50 24th Street
This 70-story tower by Dynamic Worldwide Group will be composed of a square masonry base and a sweeping glass tower with front-and-center views of Midtown Manhattan. It will rival the city’s largest buildings at one million square feet.

43-30 24th Street
Currently in pre-construction, this Stawksi Partners project will rise 66-stories and include 921 rental apartments, 17,000 square feet of retail space, a library and an indoor swimming pool.