October 18, 2003 -- DON'T PANIC

Q: My wife and I are having some renovations done on our new co-op apartment and don't want to move in until the work is complete. We are hoping to find temporary housing where we can stay for two to three months until our apartment is finished. Where is a good place to begin our search?

Get thee to the Internet. Not only will you be able to search at your leisure, and without a broker in tow, in many cases, you'll get to view pictures of the palace or dump before venturing out to see it.

Check out, which will allow you to search a database of sublets - furnished, unfurnished, short or long term. You should know, however, that when you've found that gem you're looking for, you'll have to register and pay a fee in order to gain the contact information.

The following prices will allow you to search for 60 days: All boroughs: $85; Manhattan: $75; Bronx: $19.95; Brooklyn: $39.99; Queens: $39.99; Staten Island: $9.95; Westchester: $19.95 and Long Island: $19.99.

Since the same people who own this site also own and, you'll also have access to those additional sites at no extra cost.

Finally, many people find sublets through word-of-mouth, so be sure to spread the word. You may find, particularly in larger condo buildings (where it's easier to sublet than in co-ops), that residents post 'subletters wanted' flyers in the building, so ask your friends to check it out.

Q: I'm interested in selling real estate in New York City, and I'm really good at taking tests. Can I just sit for the real estate exam cold, or do I have to go to class first?

Even if you are an ace at tests, you cannot just pass the New York State (NYS)-administered exams and head out to make your fortune in real estate.

"You have to take a certain amount of classes and pass the exam before you can even apply to become a licensed salesperson," explains Alex Cesar, a real estate broker with Eychner Associates (, an agency specializing in the downtown Manhattan market.

Once you're a salesperson, you effectively serve an apprenticeship - working under the supervision of a NYS-licensed real estate broker. After you gain some experience, you can apply for a broker's license, provided you're sponsored by a NYS-licensed real estate broker. Of course you'll have to complete an additional 45 hours of class time and pass the state brokers' exam.

As with most things, there are exceptions to the rule, but slipping into a government-administered test isn't one of them.

For more information, visit the Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY) at or the New York Department of State at

Q: Last week, you mentioned some market statistics about two- and three-bedroom condos - nice for people with bigger bucks, but what about the rest of us? I own a studio in a co-op building on the Upper West Side. Is there good news for me?

Yes. According to the midyear Corcoran Report, which I mentioned last week, prices of studio apartments on the West Side (that's 57th to 125th streets), both condos and co-ops are up from last year - a delightful 9 percent and 12 percent, respectively.

The news is not so good for owners on the East Side (that's 57th to 96th streets), where studio co-ops are down 4 percent and studio condos down 18 percent.

Right now, downtown is where the action is. Prices of condos and co-ops, big and small are up - way up!. Co-op studios? (up 19 percent). Condo studios? (up 27 percent)! Need I say more?

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