Handbag Designer, 22, Nets $8.1 M.Village Townhouse

Greenwich Village has a very young new landlord.

Earlier this year, a 22-year-old handbag designer and freelance fashion writer named Charmaine Ho bought a 25-foot-wide Greek Revival townhouse on West Ninth Street. According to city records, a limited liability corporation in her name paid $8.1 million.

Her parents, who still live in the Hong Kong house where she was born and raised, are paying for almost all of the townhouse. “I can contribute as much as I can, but it’s not enough, and they’ll have to help me,” said Ms. Ho, reached through a school e-mail address. “I don’t even have a full-time salary! I work part-time for a small designer, and then I also write things for Web sites.”

Her father, who she said works as a minister for the Hong Kong government—“I think he works for the business side, I’m not sure what he does”—hasn’t seen the place yet, although her mother traveled to New York for house-hunting. “When I talked to them about it,” she said, “they were like, ‘O.K., makes sense.’”

They’ll also have to pay around $200,000 to renovate the floor-through apartment that Ms. Ho will live in. “The place is so old you have to tear down a lot of things,” she explained. “I think it’s the Federal period, I’m not sure.”

Meanwhile, a three-bedroom apartment downstairs and the one-bedroom place upstairs are being rented out, and Ms. Ho will get a roommate for her floor: “I’m planning to move in with a friend, she’s also looking for a new place because her boyfriend just left.”

What will their $200,000 renovation look like? “I want it to be more Art Deco, it’s something I like. Not the ’20s, but the ’70s—Yves Saint Laurent.”


Handbag Designer, 22, Nets $8.1 M.Village Townhouse