Cedar Valley Apartments – The bargain condos next door

Living in the New York area is hardly a cheap endeavor. Thus, when people hear of a Nassau County condominium complex - just five miles from Queens - whose units are selling for as little as $80,000, an understandable first reaction is to ask for the catch.
At Cedar Valley Apartments, 20 Wendell Street in Hempstead, New York, even residents say anyone looking for a catch will be looking for a long time.
“There are condos right across the street from us going for more than $400,000,” said Tina James, who bought her one-bedroom unit in April for about $98,000. “So it’s a desirable area.”
Yet, at Cedar Valley, studio apartments can go for as little as $80,000, one-bedrooms for as low as $110,000, and two-bedrooms for as little as $143,000. What makes Cedar Valley so affordable?
“We’re geared toward first-time buyers, for the most part,” said Sales Director Joe Foster. “About 90 percent of our buyers are first-time buyers…we recognize our target consumer, we understand the market, and we’re able to sell very affordable units.”
Built in 1966, the 239 units that comprise Cedar Valley Apartments were considered premier rentals until 1989, when they became co-ops. Over $1.5 million in improvements has been put into the complex, including brand new stainless-steel appliances and ceramic tile bathrooms for all units. It is the only elevator-equipped complex in Hempstead, and offers central air and garage access to all residents.
“A lot of people have a negative preconceived notion of Hempstead,” said Foster, “but it’s a very revitalized place. A lot of work is being put into it…Not only that, but Cedar Valley is right on the Garden City border, which has a reputation as being a very nice place to live.”
“[In Garden City,] you’ve got a lot of restaurants, reputable stores, malls, that sort of thing,” said James. “That’s all right around the corner.”
James, one of the approximately 10 percent of residents who owned a prior home, said she bought her Cedar Valley unit after her kids had grown up and moved out, when she realized she no longer needed her large house in nearby Lakeview. She works in Great Neck and calls her commute “very convenient.” Even for those who work in New York, though, travel is easy, with buses and the Long Island Rail Road within a stone’s throw of Cedar Valley.
“I’m very happy with my purchase,” said James. “I get to come home to my home at night, but I don’t have to cut the grass or do any other maintenance. I just pay my maintenance bill, and they do a great job keeping the place looking good.”
Because it is so close to the Queens border, Cedar Valley is convenient for those working in Queens, those who have outgrown their current Queens apartments but wish to remain in the area, or those who simply want to get out the city each night. Similar to the influx of ex-Manhattan residents in Queens and Brooklyn, Cedar Valley serves as a perfect example of the influx of Queens residents to Long Island.
And, like Queens, Cedar Valley is a diverse community. Many cultures, including African-Americans, Caucasians, Asians and Hispanics own homes in the complex, with more coming in each week.
“Our residents are firefighters, social workers, government employees - everyone,” said Foster. “Units are going fast.”

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