Prepare to Buy

His name is Mandy Patinkin. He’s selling his loft in Tribeca. Prepare to buy.

The Hollywood character actor and Broadway star recently listed his three-bedroom duplex loft at the Sugar Warehouse, located at 79 Laight Street, on the market for $1.895 million-without ever having moved in.

Mr. Patinkin and his wife, actress and writer Kathryn Grody, bought the 2,600-square-foot apartment in mid-July of 2002. It apparently wasn’t a good fit from the start. Soon after the purchase, they began renting it out to a tenant, whose lease is up in November.

“They were just looking for a change,” said the apartment’s listing broker, Stephen Perlo, a vice president at the Corcoran Group. He declined to comment further on the Patinkins’ plans.

The about-face is an uncharacteristic one for Mr. Patinkin and Ms. Grody, who, with their two children, had been living in the same rental building on the Upper West Side from 1979 well into the 90′s. When a Philadelphia Inquirer reporter toured the unpretentious flat in 1995, Mr. Patinkin explained to him, “We don’t like fancy.”

In fact, their short-lived adventure at the Sugar Warehouse was a bit fancy. The apartment they’re now listing has prewar details, beamed ceilings, hardwood floors, high-end appliances and large windows on the north and east sides. The downstairs has an open kitchen and living room, and there are skylights in each of the three upstairs bedrooms.

“It’s the best in downtown living,” said Mr. Perlo.

Perhaps the commute was getting to him: Mr. Patinkin is currently starring in the new Showtime series Dead Like Me , in which he plays an undead grim reaper whose job it is to harvest souls of the soon-to-be deceased. It films in Vancouver, B.C.

TAKE THE MONEY AND RUN! TV EXEC BREAKS SWEAT TO CLOSE

370 East 76th Street

One-bedroom, one-bathroom co-op.

Asking: $489,000. Selling: $477,000.

Maintenance: $798; 48 percent tax-deductible.

Time on the market: one and a half months.

“We all could have used a good drink after that,” said Wendy Divack, broker at Charles H. Greenthal, of the tense closing at this East Side apartment she recently represented. It’s unusual for a closing to depend on how fast the buyer can run, but this one did. The buyer had taken out a jumbo mortgage as well as a home-equity loan to cover the costs of her new pad, but unfortunately, because of some miscommunication at the bank, wasn’t able to come through with the $35,000 loan in the crunched closing. All parties involved were already at the end of their ropes: The seller was primarily living abroad, making it difficult to communicate, so closing dates had already been postponed. But the buyer, a career woman working in the TV industry, was determined. She’d spent several months looking for a place, and immediately knew that this high-floor apartment with a balcony in the luxury Newport East building was the right one; she wasn’t about it let it drop. She bolted to the bank to grab $35,000 from her personal savings. Money in hand, she soon returned. Two and a half hours later, the deal was closed, and the buyer is now having drinks by the rooftop pool of her new home, and biding her time until the reimbursement check arrives. “These things happen and then the next day you go on with your life and enjoy,” Ms. Divack said. Rena Black at Bellmare Realty brought the buyer.

RECENT TRANSACTIONS IN THE REAL ESTATE MARKET

CHELSEA

22 West 15th Street

One-bedroom, one-bathroom condo.

Asking: $520,000. Selling: $500,000.

Charges: $414. Taxes: $482.

Time on the market: nine months.

MODEL TENANTS Two renters had been pitching tent in a one-bedroom condo, whose owner, living in Belgium, decided he wanted to sell the place last November. The only problem was that their lease wasn’t due to expire for another year, and the tenants, a couple in their 60′s who run a local business around the corner from the building, had no interest in moving out just yet. So broker Karen Gastiaburo at William B. May went about showing the apartment, trying to explain the sticky situation to any prospective buyers, and negotiating the tenants’ schedule, but she found the year wait for a move-in date a bit of a turnoff to most. Ms. Gastiaburo persisted nonetheless, and finally met with Victoria Rong at Citi Habitats, who decided to work her way backward. The two brokers discussed with Ms. Rong his last possible closing date, which was this July, and decided to work from there, trying to find a comparable place for the elderly tenants within a few months. But little was to be found: It was a nice apartment, with 715 square feet in a building they loved, and a fairly low rent. It seemed as if the deal would fall through. Until, amazingly, the tenants themselves found a new place in the same building, directly upstairs from their old apartment. The closing went through in July, and the tenants happily traveled up a flight. “They were extremely generous, especially under the circumstances. It was a joke to them on some level: ‘We are going to have to move eventually anyway, let’s just do it sooner rather than later,’” Ms. Gastiaburo said.

GREENWICH VILLAGE

350 Bleecker Street

Two-bedroom, two-bathroom co-op.

Asking: $685,000. Selling: $660,000.

Maintenance: $1,006; 60 percent tax-deductible.

Time on the market: two months.

MAGNOLIA STEAL There are plenty of reasons to want a place in Greenwich Village: Its tree-lined streets, laid-back vibe and authentic neighborhood feel, after all, are good enough for the likes of Julianne Moore, Gwyenth Paltrow and Sarah Jessica Parker. All that factored in to this J.P. Morgan associate’s decision to leave a cookie-cutter flat in midtown west-but the clincher was this apartment’s proximity to Magnolia Bakery, which offers retro-tasting frosted cupcakes to the village-trendy masses strong enough to brave its crazed lines. It also happened to be a smart investment for him: a corner apartment with city views, two split bedrooms, an open kitchen and a gorgeous roof garden. “It is fabulous, he just went in at the right time and just scored,” said the buyer’s broker, Nancy Lee at the Corcoran Group. “He had a good eye for real estate.” The seller had moved back to his original Australia for work, but left the renovated apartment in good condition. Wigder Frota, also at Corcoran, had the exclusive.