But even if regulations are favorable and buyers are willing to renovate, there is still a third obstacle: fixer-uppers tend to make a bad first impression.
Compared to shiny new luxury condos, fixer-uppers look like an apartment well below their price range, and require a lot of imagination from buyers.
Last year, Corcoran broker Deanna Kory sold a 5,000 s/f fixer-upper co-op on the Upper East Side for just under $9 million.
But Kory also said most people who looked at her Upper East Side fixer-upper showed little interest.
In 2011, Karma Sagiev of Evans Real Estate Investments had a 1,800 s/f fixer-upper at Park Avenue and 57th Street listed for $2.5 million.
The Complete Idiot's Guide to Investing in Fixer-Uppers is one of these popular books.
The book emphasizes the cosmetic fixer-upper and recommends avoiding historical restorations and structural changes, as well as hidden and noncosmetic work.
It is the sort of book that our private clients and fixer-upper buyers will read, so as appraisers we should know what it says.