Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Buyer Beware: 146 Washington Avenue

We jumped at the price point when we saw 146 Washington Avenue on the northern edge of Clinton Hill hit the scene for $575K last week. Then a few days later it was quickly bumped up to $775K. Now, we've documented the origins of a delayed priced increase on such properties as 632 Baltic, but this quick increase indicates lots of interest rather than lack of interest.

But caveats abound! This brick building is listed as a 3-Family on Property Shark, although the listing warns, "Purchaser must verify C of O." To complicate matters: "Bank owned property being sold as is with tenants in possession and no representations of warranties." Hmmm, not just that there are tenants "in place", but tenants "in possession". As in the building possesses tenants, or the tenants possess the building? Like a hostile take over? Sounds more like when Nino Brown took over The Carter building in New Jack City:

Very inviting. And, for anyone who'd like clarity on the matter, the listing offers, "Please do not to disturb or contact the tenants." Just great. Cherry on top? "Buyer pays NYC & NYS transfer taxes." According to Property Shark, this building was purchased in February 2010 for $1.05M by "Frank J Rio, Referee" on the day a foreclosure auction was scheduled as the result of a Lis Pendens for $1.5M from 2007 against the person still listed as the current owner, who appears to have puchased the property in 2005 for just over $1.1M. The plot thickens.

Even the Property Shark picture of the exterior from 2007 has a "For Sale" sign on the front! (see above)

Pro's: price point, curb appeal, amenities on Myrtle

Con's: messy history, all kinds of caveats not in any buyers' favor, "tenants in possession", question marks galore, price increase, gonna take an all cash purchase, not a lot of clarity on what's really going on

Ideally: worth looking into, but lots of questions would need to be answered. We wouldn't touch it with a ten foot pole.

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