Tuesday, May 17, 2011

2-Family Fixer in the Slope: 638 Union Street

638 Union Street is a cute, unattached 2-Family brick building in Park Slope. You've got what appears to be 2 community gardens on either side, in pretty centralized location on Union between the trains at 4th Avenue and all kinds of goodies on 5th Avenue. The location is prime, so is the Park Slope premium intact? Well, the few interior pictures we do get don't tell us much:

And the call to "bring your architect and imagination" for a ~2,000 sqft home listed at $1.3M says the rest. We're not sure how extensive of a renovation they have in mind. The original details we get a sneak peak of look fine to us. We'd love it if only a few cosmetic changes were all it took. The listing boasts, "The deep back garden allows room to extend the house" which would be a lengthy & pricey endeavor, but perhaps not too surprising to see even at this price considering how quickly the larger, much-less handsome 405 Douglas went into contract.

We really like the location, curb appeal, and post-renovation potential. But at only 16.5' wide and less than 2,000 sqft, the price leaves us stranded somewhere in the middle. If this purchase is going to require an all-out renovation, then there's gotta be some flexibility on the price to attract a tenant with Earthly funds. Because otherwise they'd head to a fixer-upper with more value like in Clinton Hill. Then again anyone with deeper pockets quick to drop on $1.3M AND a gut reno kind of money would probably find better value in a more flagship property that isn't too much more expensive, like 491 4th Street. Kind of a Goldilocks situation with it being a good value for neither the more modest buyers nor the ballers at this price. Which one is "just right"? Since the owner's sitting on all equity for many years now, only time will tell which kind of client he'll settle for.

Pro's: curb appeal, super centralized location, community gardens surrounding it

Con's: small, no interior pictures, work needed, no indication of extent of renovation needed

Ideally: this were more affordable or more turnkey, but most likely someone overpays for this location

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