Sunday, March 9, 2014
New to the Listings section of the blog, it's a 2-Family frame house in Bed-Stuy priced below many 2BR apartments in town. 16 Kane Place may not be what you had in mind when you think of brownstone Brookyn, but it's also totally turnkey and relatively way affordable at the asking price of $679K. Not dripping with detail either, but move-in condition and some exposed brick for good measure...
Sure, it's out past Utica too, and it's on a tweener street, but the days of a fixer-upper 2-Family brownstone under $600K on a tweener street like 298 Herkimer are long gone. If you're getting into a house priced with a 6 in front of it in Bed-Stuy these days, it usually has to be all cash, the house isn't turnkey, and it has a lot more hair on the deal than this. Maybe you missed how many frame houses in outer reaches of brownstone Brooklyn went for well over $1M in last week's closings. The misnomer article about investors buying the cheapest deals in Brooklyn under $500K would have you believe that they're being snatched out of the hands of homebuyers, when they so aren't. Homes that sell for far below-market prices are usually in far below-market situations and conditions. Buyers with tens and hundreds of millions in the bank can barely even find those properties anymore below $500K. And have fun sleuthing Manhattan under $500K. 16 Kane Place is one look at the sub-$700K on-market kind of deal.
Pro's: pricepoint, turnkey, finance-able, 2-Family, beets a condo, near express trains
Con's: small frame house, tweener block, further out than most buyers have in mind, not the historic gem that most buyers have in mind
Ideally: if you're thinking Bed-Stuy or Bushwick and you max out around $700K, the pickings are slim, but this is certainly a do-able look among them.
Friday, March 7, 2014
New to the Listings section of the blog, it's a huge 4-Family on the border of Prospect Heights and Crown Heights. As townhomes go, 466 Prospect Place is a monster at 20' x 70' on 4-stories, giving you over 5,000 sqft on an extra-deep 131' lot. Maybe this is on the Crown Heights edge of things, but houses much smaller than this go for over $3M just a block or two west of here. So what it lacks in location (which isn't much), it more than makes up for in size. The interior is totally rentable space that won't knock your socks off, but also isn't full of deferred maintenance like most of these 100 year old buildings. It's also got separate mechanicals for all the units.
You can fit a true 3BR apartment easily on a floorplate that large...
They're getting just over $1,000/BR now, leased out until 2015. But if you don't know, $1,500-$1,600/BR happens easily over here too, for the right kind of space. And maybe you missed what other extra-deep buildings around the corner have pulled off rental-wise when spruced up with stylish renovations. Developers way behind the curve marvelled at the end of 2012 when $1.1M cash wasn't enough to take down 489 Park Place, which was still a steal at $1.3M. The real buyers wasted no time turning it into 4BR/2 bath rentals for some $4,000 - $4,600/month...
That same rent on 466 Prospect Place has you easily grossing over $200K/year, well above the current ~$150K. The price tag of basically $3M might give you sticker shock at first, but $535/sqft is still half that of anything in Manhattan. 4% isn't a dream cap rate for a buy & hold investor, but an end-user may make it work for them by taking 1, 2, or 3 units for themselves over time and maximizing the rental income potential of legit 3BR apartments. For those in the know who want to buy a piece of the ever-growing Prospect Heights / Crown Heights corridor, this is certainly one large look at it.
Pro's: size, great tweener location, rental income potential, totally renovated & turnkey, extra-deep lot
Con's: not much original character, sticker shock at the whole-dollar number, not a lot of return for an investor, not quite what the average end-user wants
Ideally: when the neighbor wanted under $2M, the sharks were circling. This property won't be stolen, but it's certainly worth a look. Needs to find the right buyer to make it work near this price.
Wednesday, March 5, 2014
This just in! One of Brooklyn's most sought-after neighborhoods, Fort Greene, is only 1 square mile. And on top of that people still think they can name which blocks within that square mile they wanna live on. Well, it ain't gonna be cheap. Cue 169 Adelphi Street. This decked out 4-story brownstone is north of Willoughby Avenue, next to a frame house, and was asking $3.65M. The price sounds high if you haven't been paying attention, but it was love at first sight for someone who closed on Valentine's Day for $3.5M. We're told the buyer just sold some huge lots for much more than that, so the wealth trickles "down" (if you can call it that) to the townhouse market. On blocks with lots of buyers and almost no product, fixer-uppers command $2M+ and finished products can obviously get well over $3M. No wonder Platinum Members are psyched about sourcing a fixer-upper here for under $2M.
Or hop over to Fort Greene's more beloved blocks, where 35 South Elliott, #D is a duplex condo that was asking $1.2M. That's right, $900+ per square foot is alive & breathing in Brooklyn. It closed for $1.185M on Valentine's Day. Who was the lucky Valentine? A buyer from the Upper West Side in Manhattan. This is a 25' wide building, a unit with roof access, and kind of generic interior. No wonder Platinum Members are psyched about an even more stunning duplex condo with a huge backyard and low common charges in Fort Greene that wants this same $1.2M price pre-market and is certainly well worth it in our book.
When close to the park in Fort Greene commands well over $3M, you can imagine what Park Slope costs close to the park. 627 3rd Street is a stunning single family that wanted $3.95M and closed for $3.85M just before Valentine's Day. Yes, it turns out the buyers of 115 Lincoln Place got so much drama about their proposed pimped out extension on their extra-deep lot, that they said 'screw you guys, I'm going home',
....and bought a better house on a better block, and are now flipping Lincoln undermarket. Platinum Members had access to the flip, which should be wrapping up soon.
Almost $4M may or may not shock you for a flagship house in Park Slope near the park, but check out the Windsor Terrace activity! Buyers from just down the block on 3rd Street picked up 411 Prospect Avenue. This 13' wide frame house on 3 stories in generic turnkey condition won't win any beauty contests. But it was also asking "just" $1.1M. Too bad it closed for $1.675M two days before Valentine's. Maybe now those stunning finished products in Bed-Stuy, Crown Heights, and Lefferts going for well over $1.5M are starting to make a little more sense comparatively?? Is this what $800/sqft really looks like off the beaten path of Park Slope??
It's activity like that frame house which makes 107 President Street, even in generic condition just steps from the BQE, look like a steal. It listed for $1.95M and closed a few days after Valentine's for $1.765M. That's about as straight-forward a look as you'll get in BoCoCa for under $2M on-market anymore these days.
Another Valentine's Day closing is a house that's probably a dog in most people's books. 287 22nd Street is a tiny frame house in Greenwood, too deep to even call it South Slope or Windsor Terrace anymore. With a list price of $1.2M, anybody can hate on this place, but only buyers from Chelsea made it happen for $1.16M. But if you think that sounds like a lot...
Deep in Bed-Stuy, past Utica, near the projects, this wide frame house & one-time Brownstoner building of the day at 201 Chauncey Street sells for $1.4M a few days before Valentine's Day. Regardless of the huge lot, it takes some serious cash and some serious vision to purchase this piece for this price, even these days. Not everyone is knocking down the door to pay ~$125 per buildable square foot for a piece this size in this location. Platinum Members are checking out a 3-story brick house over here tomorrow for under $1M.
Speaking of lofty price per buildable square foot numbers, 814 Dean Street on the Prospect Heights & Crown Heights border sold for $1.25M last month too. 25' wide, and not that much buildable, but at $234/bsf it makes 500 Sterling Place look like a steal. Totally different proportions, but to think they called Sterling Place overpriced at the time!
It took almost 2 years, but a few days after Valentine's Day, 35 Rogers Avenue (aka, 35 Grant Square) finally sold just $20K above its 2012 asking price, for $1.1M. Platinum Members were in & out of this under-marketed piece back then. This deal is even more obvious in this market than it was in that one, and we can still picture people low-balling them were it still available today. Can't wait to see what kind of operation lands in this sleepy-but-prime little commercial space. The 1000 Dean Street surroundings are quietly percolating...
Posted by Jonathonne at 3:34 PM
Sunday, March 2, 2014
This is the story of a huge corner building in Clinton Hill, the wanna-be's who thought they could low-ball it, the developer who thought he could sell it himself, and the Corcoran open house that sold it in a flash. Yeah, we tried to tolja' about 71 Irving Place almost 3 years ago, when it listed for $1.195M, then dropped to $975K. Buyers with millions in the bank moaned about how much profit they could make, "Would it be enough?" Buyers who claimed to be design geniuses were boggled by how to reconfigure this huge 24' x 53' building with windows on all sides, which is so simple to do it's almost impossible to go wrong. Which is it, huh? Are you a design genius, or is this perfectly blank canvas just too perplexing for you? You can't have it both ways. If you can lay-out a 16' x 40' rowhouse that's attached on both sides, we're pretty sure you can figure out this puppy. The real developer buyers certainly did...
Would-be buyers complained the location was "the hood", because they're obviously too good to do a development on the same block as Vinny Chase's house. He, like most of you, was priced out of Fort Greene too. But he also, unlike many of you, got religion in time and picked up something in the next door neighb': Clinton Hill.
Yes, when the original deal in the fall of 2011 fell through on 71 Irving Place, we had handfuls of people back in the house when the price got as low as $700K-$800K in the spring of 2012. Instead of the price going up, the owners were dying to do a deal ASAP at an even lower price. Imagine that! Was that good enough for buyers? You would think, right? What more could opportunistic folks ask for than capitulation?? This was their time to shine. Buyers who puff up their chest and love the feel of their heels on a seller's throat finally had just what they were looking for here, right?
Well, the wanna-be's complained about condo comps and tried to steal the building at a level even lower than the already-discounted price. Buyers who can't take "yes" for an answer can't be satisfied. You bring them a property listed at $4.5M that will do the deal at $3.5M, and instead of saying, "Wow, great! That's $1M off!" they get too cute and wanna steal it for $2.5M. The glass is already well over half full, but all they can see is what's empty. Buyers who bragged about buildings of theirs throwing off $60K month were trying to fight over $50K on the purchase of 71 Irving Place. Back then, nobody wanted to pay even $200/sqft for this piece, while even the dinkiest condos were fetching well over $500/sqft. Guess what? Nowadays simple, modern condos across the street are closing for over $900/sqft, like 82 Irving Place, #6A.
The buyers, however, weren't the only ones playing games at 71 Irving. The listing brokers received a cash offer in writing from a proven developer that was $50,000 higher than the $750K they closed for in 2012. Perhaps there were shady reasons why the brokers took the lower offer (most likely because the high offer came from a buyer's broker - which means splitting their commission in half), but they could always hide behind the, "Well, the seller was burned on the last deal..." excuse for why they went with a lower back-up offer and net themselves more while netting their seller less. Either way, the deal was a steal and despite the brick collapsing on one side, there was plenty of meat on the bone for a profit. Even the basement cleaned up nice...
The roof deck was another no-brainer...
The developer's pictures were too dinky and their website too underground, but you slap this shiny listing on Corcoran.com and then the Joe Public retail buyers can finally get their heads around it. They listed for $2.5M and are now in contract, supposedly for $2.4M. You can shock & awe over that whole-dollar price, or you can realize that it's still under $500/sqft - which is almost half of what that condo across the street cost, and the same price that people pay for houses over here that need a gut reno, not ones that just completed theirs like 71 Irving did. Novices will still see the on-paper leap from $750K to $2.4M as some kind of speculative bubble, although this is more than just on-paper, y'all. This ain't Bitcoin; this is brick and mortar!
This is just one of two houses certain wanna-be buyers dropped the ball on for under $800K that year, which are fetching $2M+ in today's market. Can't wait to see the look on their faces when the next one hits the market soon!
Pro's: huge corner, windows everywhere, decent renovation, roof deck, under $500/sqft, among the best of breed for this price, perfectly sleepy but well-situated location
Con's: woulda/coulda/didn't for dozens of developers, not in everyone's budget on the retail end, not everyone's favorite renovation, listing brokers pre-flip took less money for their seller in order to net more money for themselves
Ideally: we can't imagine where this could've gone if an even more polished developer got their hands on it. Just goes to show what "good enough" can get in the top locations.
Thursday, February 27, 2014
Another stunning townhouse hits the market on one of the best little blocks in Bed-Stuy. 196 Hancock Street is full of original details in great condition, asking $1.85M. Certainly no finished product either, but the best houses don't have to be to get these prices anymore. Sure, just a year ago, over 300 people lined up around the corner to see a Clinton Hill fixer-upper like 102 Gates Avenue listed under $1.3M. But since then, fixer-uppers in Bed-Stuy and Crown Heights have sold on and off-market for well over $1.5M cash. Including 7 Arlington Place and 1261 Dean Street, both of which have their work permits estimating renovation costs as much as $300K+, with work already underway. And don't forget the Bed-Stuy SRO at 1 Arlington Place that listed for $1.795M and just closed for $1.923M. It's shocking to see the numbers rising so quickly, but we're talking about sick houses on amazing blocks just over a mile east from Clinton Hill where finished houses are well above $3M when they wanna be. All this in a city where 500+ condos sold for $1.5M or more last year. 196 Hancock Street was just purchased for well under $1.5M, but it won't have any trouble selling now for well over $1.5M without any significant work to it. Walk down this block...
And step into this...
The floors are in amazing condition, with a variety of patterns throughout...
The kitchens are functional, but bound to be updated...
In the time it took most people to adjust to $1.85M pricing for finished products in Crown Heights and Bed-Stuy, has that really become the new price for a fixer-upper in those neighborhoods? Only time will tell...
Pro's: grade A product, curb appeal, stacked with original details, totally live-able as-is, great block
Con's: won't go cheaply, work to be done
Ideally: way too rich for our blood, but certainly worth a look, if only just for fun
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
The e-mails pile into BK to the Fullest on a daily basis from people who swear they'd invented the concept of real estate. They want to buy some property, do something to it, and sell it for more. What a concept! As if the market wasn't already jam-packed with folks whose full-time job is doing just that. Not just any folks are in this market either. There are more experienced folks, more connected folks, folks with deeper pockets. The impetus of novices, hobbyists, and dreamers who swear they're ready to run circles around proven developers - and do it in less time with less money - is simply adorable. But the Brooklyn real estate market waits for no man - as we tried to tell you a few years ago. Everyone thinks they can just name off a price, a location, and a scenario - and that there's a house just like that waiting to be bought by them and only them. In actuality, why don't you sit back and see what's ACTUALLY HAPPENING in the market, then figure out if you're equipped to participate in it? Can you afford $2M for a house in relatively generic, turnkey condition?? You used to think that happened only in Park Slope. Then you woke up and realized it was happening in Fort Greene. Then you thought you could do it in Clinton Hill. Well, guess what?? It's come to Crown Heights now! 627 St. Marks Avenue lasts barely a week on the market before closing this month for its asking price of $1.9M. The buyer?? A designer at Anthropologie coming from Park Slope. While you still think you're too good for Crown Heights, ballers are buying these homes right out from under you.
Deep in Bed-Stuy and far from any Manhattan-bound train, 684 Greene Avenue couldn't get $799K last year. Well, wake up, Rip Van Winkle, 'cause it just sold for $1.22M this month. This is more than the average buyer thinks they need to pay and further into Bed-Stuy than they think they need to go. Yet for some reason an Anthropology professor on Morningside Drive in Manhattan just bought it. You wanna argue with reality? Again, you think you're too good for Bed-Stuy, and people more baller than you are buying houses right out from under you. From Anthropologie to Anthropology, there are no apologies in this high-stakes, winner-take-all real estate game.
Ah, now Fort Greene. There's a one-square mile neighborhood near a park that even novices can get their heads around. Long gone are the days of crack dens, the millionaires have been here for years. Famous movie stars with money mere mortals couldn't dream of (and it's all-cash!) can't find what they're looking for in this little sliver of Brooklyn. So it's no wonder the pricing here is reaching epic heights. You don't have to pull teeth to get people to tell you they want to live on a block like 8 South Portland Avenue, but they better have the funds to back it. Listed for $3.99M off & on since last year, this "23 foor wide brownstone" (sic. - 'cause who needs to spellcheck when you're collecting $150K+ in commission??) closed last month for $3.7M. Platinum Members are currently scheming on a stunning, barely marketed 23' wide 5-Family over here for a fraction of this price. Oh, Brooklyn!
Well over $3M for the second week in a row in Clinton Hill? Come on down to 374 Washington Avenue where a Michelin-star chef coming from lower Manhattan picks up this house for full asking price of $3.75M. And they still wanna ask us if we have off-market deals in Clinton Hill. We sure do, but they're not necessarily cheap either.
A condo pushing $2M in Crown Heights?!? Not for a finished townhome, not for a fixer-upper, not for a huge 8-Family income property. Almost $2M for a condo in Crown Heights. Is 225 Eastern Parkway not the building you were expecting to have condos fetch this much?
Well, Unit #5A just closed for over $1.925M. While we state facts, people accuse us of being bullish. Meanwhile, Brownstoner comes out and proclaims, "We’re bullish on Crown Heights in general so we’ll go out on a limb and say that we think they’ll end up getting pretty darn close to the asking price of $1,750,000." Who knew less than 6 months ago that it would soar above that asking price? No matter how you cut it, almost $2M for a condo or $950/sqft, Crown Heights can no longer be slept on.
Just before the shock of a $2M condo sets in, check out 76 Macdonough Street, #3. A Bed-Stuy condo asking $599K sells for $625K this month! That's over $800/sqft, for all those jokers who tried to tell us condos in buildings like 531 Bergen Street by Barclays couldn't fetch that much. Boy, it seems like just yesterday people didn't wanna pay this much for a nifty 2BR in prime Boerum Hill like 89 Dean Street. Now it's happening in Bed-Stuy, where buyers coming from Fort Greene pick up this stylish piece. Dozens upon dozens of relatively-modestly well-to-do people in & around Brooklyn could afford a purchase like this. Half of them will probably still tell you they don't wanna be in Bed-Stuy. We know, you still think Bed-Stuy fixer-uppers are $600K or less, not the finished condos. It's cool; you'll catch up. Just remember, by the time Bed-Stuy looks the way you want it to look, it certainly won't cost what you want it to cost.
When Bed-Stuy condos are fetching almost as much as Brooklyn Heights, you know something's really going on. A studio in Brooklyn Heights at 110 Livingston Street, #7N sells for $630K. With an asking price of $650K, it was still a relative value, but small for most people's taste. Buyers from Dubai said, "We'll take it." No wonder a penthouse co-op we covered nearby at 85 Livingston Street is rumored to have a contract at full asking price of $389K, even while shooing away the big brokers.
We couldn't get people to pay $1.5M out on 10th Street between 4th and 5th Avenues after the crash. Now they sail above $2M with ease. 336 10th Street listed for $2.29M and closed for $2.25M to a buy side from 5th Avenue in Manhattan.
We tried to tolja' about 419 Halsey Street before it hit the market last year. The owners wanted $800K to get it done. However, Platinum Members passed, and some wanna-be buyers played their hands pre-market without hitting the seller's number. Buyers think they're shrewd when they beat up deals off-market with low offers, as if the seller's have no alternatives. All the while Corcoran was in the seller's ear talking about $900K, and they weren't kidding. It's all fun and games until the Corcoran open house, and the low-ballers no longer have a seat at the table. The house listed for $899K and just closed for $935K. When sizing up the market you're stepping into, do a little homework and figure out where you might actually fit in first.
Pick it up in an estate sale for $1.2M and immediately relist it for $1.85M? That's how it's going down on 196 Hancock Street on one of Bed-Stuy's best blocks. If you weren't there with cash when it was going down, why complain about the owner's cost basis now? Oh, and if you think you can low-ball 'em anywhere under $1.85M now, you don't know what we know...
Posted by Jonathonne at 1:21 PM
Sunday, February 23, 2014
"Deep" in Crown Heights, a 3 story home with great original details has some 20 buyer groups at the first open house and quickly goes in contract above its asking price of $999K. 1488 Pacific Street is "all the way out" between Kingston and Albany, not where the average home buyer these days tells you they want to be. But Crown Heights has become one of Brooklyn's worst-kept secrets over the years, so the $1.5M+ buyers have shown up to join the party. Cash buyers, 50% down buyers, 20-25% down buyers, and the FHA buyers. Getting something vacant that can be financed with original details this nice for anything near a million is becoming a value...
Sure, the "property will need new kitchens and baths", but those are actually pretty affordable to do nicely. And that's the fun stuff anyways. Some of these details can't be reproduced even if money is no object. All it took was 4 pictures for these guys at Corcoran to let you know what this house is all about...
Sourced for under $700K in 2013, this house - as it sits - is worth even more than the asking price of $999K on the flip. Kind of a better version of 1148 Sterling Place. All they really had to do was brush the dust off and announce this bad-boy on the open market. At this rate, this will be the only house you can afford in Crown Heights pretty soon...
Pro's: great original details, quintessential 3 story 2-Family, healthy 20' x 50' size, pricepoint is a relative value
Con's: further east than most currently have in mind, only 3 stories, needs work, gone already above asking price
Ideally: if this 3 story goes for well over a million this far east, imagine how much value is in the 4-stories homes in even more desirable parts of Crown Heights