Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Still Standing in Deep Carroll Gardens: 121 Rapelye Street

We don't like to bring you stale listings like these, but in an effort to be comprehensive, we'll take it on. Besides, it's a fairly interesting case & is typical Brooklyn real estate in action. 121 Rapelye Street is a semi-attached 4-Family brownstone deep in Carroll Gardens. Orginally listed at $1.45M sometime before the crash in 2008, then dropped to $1.3M sometime after a Lis Pendens was filed in September 2009, then re-listed still at $1.3M with a different broker in February 2010. First of all, a price drop of 10% hasn't traditionally been enough for most pre-crash prices - just ask 204 Clermont Avenue. Second of all, we can't imagine what this Lis Pendens is all about. It appears the owner paid $160K in 1992 for the property, satisfied the mortgage in 2007, and hasn't taken out any additional money on this property. The document type on the Lis Pendens is "Specific Performance", but we can't imagine what kind of debt that'd be that couldn't be refinanced and paid off using the equity in the property. And, finally, even the re-listing can't be helping much. The property is still pretty undercover, and the agent hasn't responded to our telephone calls or e-mails. If you stood to make a $75K+ commission on one deal, would you be GONE FISHING?

Either way, something smells fishy. The property's vacant - wouldn't you wanna collect some $6,000+/month in rent while you're awaiting foreclosure? Rents are decent in this area these days. Some of our friends priced out of Park Slope and the East Village have made their way over here, and it ain't cheap either! These owners have to have seen some ballpark offers in the past 2 years, and no bites? What do you think?

Note, semi-attached buildings have their advantages and disadvantages. We like to imagine some Norah Jones-style windows punched into the west side property.

Pro's: vacant, wide, some original details, rents have arrived here

Con's: off the beaten path, close to the BQE, price, odd situation

Ideally: Take a closer look, give a low-ball offer a stab, but good luck even getting in touch with this agent.

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