Thursday, December 29, 2011

The $700K Condo Game: 33 St. Marks Place, #2

Some friends of ours were recently looking for a 2BR condo in Park Slope, with a healthy-sounding budget like $700K. Okay, maybe that's a healthy budget for a young couple - the question would be, is it a healthy budget for Park Slope? It didn't sound like too tall an order, given that the median price on Streeteasy for 2BR's in Park Slope is currently $795K with a median size of 1,100 sqft at a median price of $715/sqft. Certainly there's an 800-1,000 sqft condo for around $700K, right? But then our friends weren't too happy with what they were seeing available in that price range. They didn't want to be over in Williamsburg at 37 Orient Avenue - and we can't blame 'em. Williamsburg isn't for us either, so it didn't really matter that this was the best buy in Billyburg at the time. They weren't feeling the co-op application process either, which just seems like some nondescript pain that few understand and everyone fears. 4th Avenue offered some big new developments, but then you're on 4th Avenue. It takes recognizing the Park Slope market and making some trade-off's accordingly. So what do we think of this 2BR condo in a brownstone conversion that just closed for $702K?

33 St. Marks Place, #2 is just past 4th Avenue in what we'll liberally still call Park Slope here. So that's one trade-off already in terms of location, even though it is a quiet block around the corner from transportation and a short jaunt to the same avenues in Park Slope that everyone pays higher prices for. Remember, St. Marks Place is not to be confused with St. Marks Avenue, which takes over at 5th Avenue. This 3BR/2B on just over 1,000 sqft listed for $759K in August, went in contract in November, and just closed on 12/6/11 for $702K. What do we think?

Not too bad for something that comes in below Park Slope's average pricing. Not having seen the layout or the inside ourselves, we're a little agnostic on this 3rd bedroom of theirs (especially with the 2nd bathroom), but we'll give 'em the benefit of the doubt. It's not gonna wow you, but the quicky & clean renovation fits. Just up the street at 33 St. Marks Avenue you can see what just about $100 more per square foot can get you:

Which our friends gushed over, but was out of their price range with a starting list price of $925K.

And, keep in mind, $700K can still get you a shiny, turnkey 2-Family in Bed-Stuy with new appliances and some original details that gives owners a duplex with a yard and a rental unit on top to help with the mortgage. What do you think is the best place in Brooklyn right now for $700K?

Pro's: newly renovated, 3BR's, condo not a co-op, not a huge developement, location has upsides

Con's: not all that special, location has downsides, is it really 3 legit bedrooms?

Ideally: there's still a 2BR in Park Slope in this price range with a private outdoor deck that comes to mind

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