Thursday, May 19, 2011

Reaching in Clinton Hill: 48 Madison Street

We usually don't cover properties east of Classon, but we're starting to feel like the move towards Bed-Stuy is once again inevitable and perhaps desirable. And Halstead's calling this Clinton Hill, so we thought it's worth a stab at it. 48 Madison Street is a 3-story building with a crusty feel to the exterior and some clean pictures of the interior, currently re-listed for $798,500. It's an odd price to see after the place was first listed for $869K back in February 2010, then dropped to $824,500 in August of 2010. We're not sure what the de-list/re-list pattern tells us here. Maybe they took a pause for the winter, or a contract fell through. We're also not sure why we're splitting $500's at these price points.

StreetEasy and Property Shark will tell you this is a 3-Family home, but the listing says, "Present All Offers... SRO Property. Pending Certification of No-Harassment." That's not a good sign for a property that already has some question marks. That can be a huge situation to tackle and often it's hard to get the clarity needed to know it's worth it. Even with the Certificate of No-Harassment in hand it's tricky, but without it? Also note the layout, as the floor plan calls out 3 units, but by our count we can't see more than 2. The inside sure cleans up pretty nice, though:

With so many options in this price range east of Classon, it's hard to say this is the one that's worth it. We don't know the market well enough over there yet to single out the best in breed properties. But this one doesn't look like it's it. And you don't have to necessarily go east of Classon for a deal. Another Halstead listing now in contract, 137 St. James, still looks like a way better play - even if it needed a healthy renovation on most of the units. If you're willing to deal with an SRO, 189 St. James or 72 Downing would each be a better way to go than 48 Madison.

Pro's: nice interior at times, backyard, under a million

Con's: still not seeing the value, potential SRO status is huge headache, curb appeal

Ideally: know your Bed-Stuy, or just stay vigilent for a better deal in Clinton Hill