Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Relative Value in Brooklyn Heights: 16 Hunts Lane

If you're gonna drop just under a million for a tiny place all to yourself in a great neighborhood, make sure you're getting the best. 16 Hunts Lane is an adorable converted carriage house on one of the niftiest little alleys in Brooklyn Heights. We almost never cover Brooklyn Heights, but after seeing the quirky likes of the also-tiny 400 Bond Street go into contract on the edge of Carroll Gardens around its $999K, the tiny 643 Degraw on the edge of Park Slope trickle down to $935K, and the sale of Brooklyn Heights' most expensive townhouse ever for $11M - 16 Hunts Lane starts to look like an adorable condo alternative and a great entry to the neighborhood.

We ain't mad 'em for their tiny kitchen that doesn't even look as good as the kitchenette at the Mondrian hotel...

And not mad at them for the 99 cent store run for a 2nd light bulb they could've made (or even a run downstairs to unscrew one of the non-recessed light bulbs) they neglected to make before taking a picture bathroom...

Sure, we'd much rather spend this money on an entire mansion, like this one the agent tells us is back out on the market. But as tiny things in nice places go, even at a paltry 700 sqft, this is going to knock somebody's socks off. Why bother with the projects across from 291 Hoyt, when you can settle into this quaint little lane?

Pro's: curb appeal, adorable little lane, in Brooklyn Heights proper, great condo alternative, no absurd condo or co-op fees to fuss over

Con's: small, B+ interior, you could get a mansion a few miles east instead

Ideally: with an $11M neighbor, and $2M+ places flying off the shelves in Park Slope above asking price for all cash within the first month of listing... this is a compelling little play.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Real Men Wear Pink: 233 Garfield Place

Have you been down Garfield Place recently? We have. So has Anne Hathaway and tons of other high net worth bidders on places like Cousin John's renovation of Jenna Lyons' place. So don't think the $2.395M list price or unbearably-pink exterior are keeping anyone away from 233 Garfield Place. Heck, even Puffy's man enough to pull off pink:

Or just get your power-blaster ready to expose the nice brownstone, and leave your wimpy offers at the door. Once the ballers waiting to pounce on a prime Park Slope block see the interior of this listing that just came out yesterday, it's a wrap. The 32 people that missed out on 596 3rd Street will certainly sink their teeth into this...

Why the Buddha landed in front of the fireplace, we can't really tell. But you know he's really big among these types. You can even find him lotus positioning his way around another similar property just a few blocks over. From the floors, to the mantles, to the pocket doors - this has all details that make folks weak in the knees. Heck, even the "complete staircase with original fret work" sounds like something ordinarily reserved for classic guitars. Take up the green astroturfy carpet to expose even more original floor:

The rental income on this 3-Family "pinkstone" is below market, and really a lot like the pink exterior, if you think about it - just getting in the way of the baller who will make this house their home. But those of you with the bank accounts of mere mortals, don't fret! There are still original wood details just this good 3 miles east for less than half this price. This one's gone already, as is this one, but contact us for others. We've been screaming that for months; you don't have to wait for the beloved NY Times to tell you.

Pro's: great block, great interior, price isn't even that bananas (comparatively), original everything, PS 321

Con's: gotta blast that pink off, gonna take this price or more to get it done, probably won't last

Ideally: the good news is, it just so happens that these aren't the only 2 square miles in town where people built awesome "Romanesque Revival, neo-classical, neo-Italian Renaissance and Queen Anne buildings" just over 100 years ago. Go figure!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Semi-Open House This Saturday: 864 President Street

Listed since before Thanksgiving, and nearly impossible to get into, this 7-Family hit the scene for $2.7M. 864 President Street is a healthy 20' x 50' on a great block in Park Slope. The price doesn't seem too too crazy compared to what you see for the flagship properties on the best blocks in the Slope these days. But who does this property work for? The listing brags, "This 5 story Victorian brownstone has an income of $150K that should pay off $1.9 million dollar mortgage." However, our commercial mortgage guy says this place can carry a maximum mortgage of $1.2M. And our guess is they're not ready to adjust that $700K discrepancy on their price.

Thus, even if you had the $1.5M in cash necessary to acquire it (which is no small "if"), then is that what you want to pay to get one floor, at best, of this big ol' house? Wouldn't you want more of it to yourself?

104 Berkeley Place is a cheaper look at something just as pretty on the outside that a user can actually get a duplex in AND get great rentals without the drama of rent controlled or rent stabilized tenants. 104 Berkeley is also simpler to finance.

And as investors go, $150K gross income for $2.7M? You can NET $150K over here for $2.4M. And at least that you can see the inside of and get to enjoy all the upside that the market will bear.

The "open house" on Saturday that's "By Private Appointment" we're sure is only for qualified buyers. But we're hard-pressed to think who's ready to make this happen unless there's readily-available upside in the rents, or readily-available flexibility on the price. Certainly there's a long term conversion play here, but there's no telling how long that might take. And we'd rather not pay the ~$20K/year tax bill waiting to find out.

Pro's: curb appeal, location, a cinch to rent, flagship Slope

Con's: no pics inside, pricing, acquisition, rent controlled/stabilized tenants, where does the buyer live?, where's the investor's cash-flow?

Ideally: maybe, just maybe, there's someone out there with the funds to swing it for whom this is a slippery slope away from purchasing an already-pricey co-op in a brownstone. Maybe they'll figure if they're paying $1M+ for a 2BR, they might as well pay almost $3M and get the whole building?

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Expired Listing with Potential: 105 St. Marks Avenue

"And now, ladies & gentleman, the starting line-up for... your Chicago Bulls!!!"

Ok, not really, but how hilarious is this video? 105 St. Marks Avenue couldn't really compete with the likes of 57 St. Marks Avenue in the $2M range, but there's still plenty of value here considering the price action in Park Slope. We're kind of sad to see it go away just as the market was really heating up. We can see action on this just below that $2M number, given what's been going on. And they only bought for $1.1M in 2007, and didn't do the MOST amazing job or anything inside. Isn't there equity left to strike a deal appealing to both sides? The C of O is for a 2-Family "with no more than 4 boarders". So those of you who had a 5th boarder in mind for this place, you can "Fuhgeddaboudit!"

You get a healthy 20' x 50' on four floors with an extra-deep yard and some buildable squarefeet? Original details are okay, with a mediocre renovation for this price point, but we see potential.

Pro's: curb appeal, great block, price coming down in an up market, big place

Con's: so-so renovation, no longer listed

Ideally: maybe this owner would reconsider...

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Different Strokes: 400 Bond Street

Prices are no joke right now in the best parts of Brooklyn!

400 Bond Street, listed for many months at $999K, is now in contract. Call it "Gowanus" if you will. Wonder why it's almost a million dollars for a 15' wide place with rental-looking fixtures, if you'd like. But this is what is happening with prices. Just as sellers moaned on the way down, buyers are now moaning on the way up. And both have to either move with the market, or get mowed over. There's nothing compelling going on over here on 400 Bond Street in our book, but that doesn't mean it won't fetch its price in this seller's market.

There sure is some generic space and tiny bedrooms for this price per squarefoot, but at least you get a roof deck!

For less money, we'd much rather have 931 St. Marks Avenue, that went in contract just over a week ago. But that's just us. Obviously, you've seen the premium people pay for the top areas. Even 210 Hoyt Street starts to look like a bargain across from the projects, compared to 400 Bond.

Bond Street is a condo alternative for someone, but we'd even rather be in this over-priced co-op for less money than a so-so space on the edge of Carroll Gardens. It's definitely a case of "different strokes for different folks." But if you think you're sneaking up on anybody with bargain prices in the best parts of Brooklyn, it's a case of "Whatchu talkin' 'bout, Willis?!?!"

Pro's: techincally - it's all yours, a garage, a little terrace, a little roofdeck, on the edge of a great neighborhood

Con's: on the edge of Gowanus, rental-grade fixtures, no back yard, garage isn't wowing us, wouldn't you rather get a condo?

Ideally: figure out what compromises you're willing to make, because the steals are all gone in this market, and even previously-overpriced is finding its buyer.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Just in Contract: 613A Hancock Street

Just 3 miles east of where $700K barely gets you a decent Home Depot condo on a shaded block off of 4th Avenue, barely in Park Slope, comes a turnkey 2-Family in Bed-Stuy for $590K. 613A Hancock Street is your proto-typical Bed-Stuy flip. Originally came out in June for $395K, closed in August for $360K, then came back out in November after a serviceable renovation.

This renovation is nothing too fancy, but it gets the job done. You get the great classic brownstone look on an amazing street filled with all kinds of architectural details for a very affordable price. An owner's duplex with a yard & a 2BR rental above is what people are chasing in other neighborhoods for 3 times this price or more. Our mortgage people assure us qualified buyers can swing this purchase with $50K downpayment or less. That's 2 years rent to many couples in this city. Maybe it's not the original details some are aching for, but it ain't too shabby either...

Pro's: curb appeal, totally turnkey, owner's duplex with a yard, 2BR rental, price point, easy to finance

Con's: won't feed your appetite for original details, a hike to the train (which isn't uncommon in Bed-Stuy), are you ready for Bed-Stuy?

Ideally: get these babies while you still can

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Chasing the Unicorn: Park Slope Under $1.5M

Many readers looking for townhouses in Park Slope in the $1.5M range have lamented that their bids with $200K-$300K downpayment have been rejected in favor of lower offers with $500K down, or all-cash offers. As was the case when we were under-bid by a faux all-cash offer on 96 St. Marks Avenue.

Many of these are the same readers occasionally telling us what's overpriced by $200K or $300K, especially in Park Slope. It may be the case that "beauty is in the eye of the beholder", but pricing's in the eye of the seller who sells it & the buyer who buys it - not those who scoff at prices from the sidelines. Just because you don't like Park Slope prices, doesn't mean they aren't what they are. And the new pay-to-play price is $400-$500K downpayment.

But don't take our word for it. Let's let the numbers speak for themselves. Setting South Slope aside for now....

36 residential townhouses closed & had their sale recorded in Park Slope proper in the past 6 months.

Of those 36, only 10 closed for $1.5M or less.

Of those 10, only 2 were purchased with less than a $500K downpayment.

Of those 2, one was a gut renovation & the other one was a 1,600 sqft 2-Family in the less-desirable PS 282 district, not the coveted PS 321. But let's take a closer look at all of these sub-$1.5M sales:

105 St. Marks Place was a 2,700 sqft 3-Family, purchased by an LLC for $1.375M all-cash, and in PS 282, not PS 321.

345 5th Street was a 15' wide estate sale that needed lots of work that closed for $1.4M with about $500K downpayment.

411 4th Street was a "bring your architect" that closed for $1.455M with about $500K downpayment.

362 6th Street was a dated, 1,700 sqft, 2-Family estate sale that needed lots of work, sold for $1.3M all-cash.

290 8th Street was a turnkey, 2,500 sqft 2-Family, closed for $1.445M with over $500K downpayment.

405 Douglass Street was a gut renovation that had an accepted offer within the first few weeks it was listed - in PS 282, not PS 321 - sold for $1.16M and needed over $300K in work.

396 Douglass Street was a tiny, 1,600 sqft 2-Family that was serviceable, but could use some renovations to update it, closed for $1.1M with a $220K downpayment - also in PS 282, not PS 321.

131 St. Johns Place was an SRO purchased for $999K all-cash, which takes 6 months & $50K in paperwork to convert the C of O just for the privilege of doing a ~$1M renovation with cash.

385 3rd Street was an estate sale purchased for $800K all-cash, bound to be a gut reno as well.

And all the buys just above $1.5M during the past 6 months were some of the best buys of the year, and still involved at least $400K downpayment in all of them. This includes the likes of 596 Carroll Street, 706 Degraw Street, and 158 Garfield Place (all-cash).

So, don't get us wrong; $200K-$300K is still a heck of a lot of money in the big picture. It just happens to not even move the needle in Park Slope proper. We're talking about a neighborhood where Anne Hathaway looks at $2.6M houses on Garfield Place, people. (She makes $8M a movie, btw, you think you're gonna outbid her?) We're talking about a neighborhood where even the bird houses are baller:

Wake up & smell the high net worth!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Time to Ball: 596 3rd Street

The pent-up demand in Park Slope is making its presence felt. Out just two weeks ago, 596 3rd Street has already endured over 30 appointments, a bidding war, and is in contract above asking price. For our part, when we first saw this 18' x 38' single-family home with an exterior that looks like grampa's argyle socks, we weren't chomping at the bit or anything.

Then the interior wasn't quite calling our names either. The flagship interior photo was this one:

And then a bunch of so-so mantles:

Yet it's certainly on the block just off the park, in a stretch with stately neighbors asking almost $4M. Is this the 2,476 sqft Park Slope buyers had been waiting for? A tiny single-family shell for over $1.8M that needs at least $500K in work to get up to speed for most users in this genre? One reader told us they weren't interested in paying the "park block premium" on this one, and their point was well taken. Another reader wondered what we thought of the $750/sqft price tag. While the median price per square foot for homes sold in the past 6 months in Park Slope has been $622/sqft, this article demonstrates how getting bogged down in metrics sometimes can be deceiving when there are so many other intangibles to consider. And we tend to think that the type of buyers who could bear a ~$2M purchase and ~$500K-$1M renovation, the majority of which would have to be in cash, wouldn't necessarily quibble over a $100K or two.

Almost regardless of the state of the economy, the haves still have, and these purchases should be no surprise. Park Slope remains the flagship neighborhood in Brooklyn, and still costs a fraction of what townhouses in comparable residential parts of Manhattan cost. For people looking at $10M townhouses in the West Village, $1.86M or more still looks like a paltry price to pay. We don't think people with the kind of cash to make this happen are necessarily deterred by the macro-economics in the country at the moment. Especially if they find themselves bidding against each other. Indeed, Mitt Romney recently points out that the majority of his income in the past 10 years has come from capital gains from investments made long ago, and that his fresh income from speaker's fees is "not very much". One man's "not very much", totaling just under $375K in the past year in Romney's case, just so happens to be in the top 1% of income in the entire country.

Suffices to say, Park Slope buyers aren't living check to check.

Pro's: Prospect Park block, neighbors worth double, rare product

Con's: curb appeal, needs lots of work, small, original details are "meh", bidding against ballers

Ideally: simply not for us. If we could swing this purchase, we'd want a bigger, prettier shell to start with, or a finished product in a neighborhood with more value for the buck.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Corner 2-Family with Garages in Clinton Hill: 63 Gates Avenue

After our last look at a corner lot in Fort Greene, comes an interesting corner lot in Clinton Hill. 63 Gates Avenue is a skinny 2-Family right on the corner of Willoughby, a block from the C train. Pricing is certainly funky at $1.7M. So are the dark, interior pics we're imagining were taken with someone's blackberry...

The garages can be deceptively useless. Unless there's room to really develop them, it's kind of the most expensive place to just put your car ever. Parking spaces in new developments can sell for as little as $15K, and yet there's way more than $150K of mark-up being applied here. Just 2 years ago, the building in Boerum Hill where Rucola is, wider and also on the corner with 2 garages, fetched only $1.4M. Who is 63 Gates even remotely compelling to at this price?

And the only details we get written up on the whole property are "1 bedroom apt rental $1500 PER MONTH delivered vacant"?!? That doesn't even scratch the surface.

Pro's: corner lot, a block from the train, original details

Con's: pricing, 16' wide, garages are really wasted space in the big scheme of things

Ideally: a pretty bootleg listing that could use some revamping and a price drop.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Mixed-Use on Prime Fort Greene Corner: 250 Dekalb Avenue

We love the feel of this stretch of Dekalb Avenue in Fort Greene. Renting over here can be a joy, quietly tucked in the middle of it all, without the presumptuousness of some neighborhoods or prematurely-gentrified feel of others. It's just an overall great vibe. 250 Dekalb Avenue sits on the corner of Vanderbilt and Dekalb, just a block away from Brooklyn Flea, and in a long alley of restaurants and spots leading up to Fort Greene Park. They show us a bit inside, but not much:

Not the best, not the worst, but we'd rent it in a second. They want $2.3M over here, which sounds legitimate to the ear when we're talking about 5,500 sqft and 3 apartments + a bistro tenant. The ground apartment sounds like it's not currently set up as residential, so that would need some work to turn around. They started at $2.5M in November and dropped their price within a month. As corner mixed-use properties go in this price range, we'd rather end up at 603 Vanderbilt, closer to Prospect Park for just $100K more, and that might be just the price 250 Dekalb is trying to out-maneuver. The apartments look way superior in 603 Vanderbilt, in addition to its preferable location. Throw in the fact that Corcoran's visibility is exponentially higher than NauCorp's, and that $2.3M price starts to look like simply a 603 Vanderbilt knock-off.

Pro's: lovely location, corner lot, size, rental income potential from 3 apts + bistro, original details in apartments

Con's: could use some sprucing up inside, 603 Vanderbilt looks much better for only slightly more, no details on cashflow, requires commercial loan, not the best in breed

Ideally: with 250 Dekalb being virtually all equity to its owner, maybe it finds a happy medium at a lower price before 603 Vanderbilt does.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Topics: Rent

You heard it here first: water is wet, the sky is blue, and "the rent is too damn high!"

Was this really headline news to anyone? Every first of the month, most of us are reminded of this grim reality. But what to do? As we often say, "If ya can't beat 'em, join 'em!" Luckily, to that point, there are a ton of purchasing options out there not always explored by people consistently paying what would be the mortgage on a huge mansion in any given suburb just for a tiny rental apartment in an NYC borough. In fact, this average Manhattan lease number of $3,309/month would be the mortgage on a loan of almost $700,000, at the latest rates quoted on Yahoo Finance's real estate page. Talk to a lender for details, obviously. But we've seen what $700K can do in the condo game, and don't get us started on the 2-Family housing it can buy you a little further east!

Lots of new FHA-approved apartments are around for those looking to go that route. And tucked away in the streets of Brooklyn there are still cash-flow neutral-to-positive multi-family homes for sale. The benefits of owning are great. Mortgage interest (and some other costs) can be tax deductible. Your mortgage stays fixed while rents go up. Mortgage rates continue to dip to absurd lows. We encourage anyone who's even fancied the thought of purchasing to talk to a lender and figure out how much house they can afford. It's simply a question of your credit score, your income, and your downpayment. You'll never know unless you just ask the question. And it costs nothing to find out. Contact us if you need a great mortgage point person who can give you a snapshot of what you can purchase, or if you need a consultation on your renting vs. owning matrix in this market.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Great Buy In Contract Yesterday: 27 7th Avenue

If you wanted a serious castle on front street in Park Slope right next to the train, with unique curb appeal & sick original wood details throughout, then 27 7th Avenue is your guy.

It looked pretty attractive to us even at its $1.995M asking price when it hit the market in the spring/summer of 2011. By the time it fell to $1.8M in September, we put the bat signal out for Platinum Members that this thing was the best $1.8M in a cloud of disappointing listings in that price range. Then we couldn't believe when it was dropped to $1.65M a few weeks ago. One reader told us the estate condition, lack of a backyard, and school district were the deal breakers for him. Those are all valid points. But to see this place slip to the price that 270 Sterling Place went into contract for was still a shocker to us, and it was only a matter of time before someone swooped it up. The interior is very comparable to 270 Sterling, in fact:

We can only imagine that reader "romanov" who commented on 270 Sterling, also hopes they keep the triplex in this place. Those are decisions we try not to 2nd-guess ourselves. Even if it needs all new kitchen & bathrooms, what's the next-best buy within 10 blocks and $250K of this one? It ain't 292 1st Street. It ain't 725 President Street. "Bravo" to whoever lands 27 7th Avenue.

Pro's: curb appeal, so little inventory like this, price, unique original details, close to the trains & everything

Con's: busy 7th Avenue, little to no yard, bus stop across the street

Ideally: this is just a great buy to us, everyday of the week. Especially with how hot the Park Slope market has gotten, and compared to the 270 Sterling sale.

Monday, January 9, 2012

The $700K Condo Game, Pt. II: 310 2nd Street, #5D

Recently we covered a look at a $700K 2BR condo around Park Slope when considering the options for a young couple looking for a condo in that area and price range. Then, just a few days ago, another young couple we know in the BoCoCa area lamented to us that their fancy 1BR rental was getting hiked up from $2,400/month to $2,700/month, and they wondered if there were any 2BR apartments to purchase in that general location for $500-$600K. The short answer is, "No." While there are a handful of co-ops priced that low with maintenance around $1,000/month that's pretty much prohibitive, no true condo is selling that low in that area. Or at least not without serious draw-backs. We were shocked when even this 1BR + office garden apt fetched so close to its asking price. If that thing got $650K 2 years ago, who's selling one for that price or less now? In order to keep things in that price range, some trade-off has to be made between location, size, condition, maintenance, condo/co-op - something. Anybody got any ideas for our BoCoCa couple?

Back in Park Slope, back up in the $700K's range 310 2nd Street, #5D is our best look at a legitimate 2BR with nice upgrades, not too sterile of a feel, and a great terrace on the top floor:

The current list price of $759K doesn't sound too far off, especially considering how this stacks up to what else is out there and how much this unit was purchased for in 2007 during the last peak. Common charges of $500/month don't break the bank relatively either. And yet this find didn't even move the needle for the Park Slope couple in the $700K's, who we hear are ending up in a new construction right on 4th Avenue. 310 2nd Street is just off of 4th Avenue too. We like it for its townhouse feel. Amenities like a "gym, common courtyard and a private garage a few doors down" don't hurt either.

Oh, and did we mention the terraces?

The unit has "an elevator that brings you directly into your space" - kinda cool. How do we feel about that?

Pro's: top floor condo, outdoor terrace spaces, modern renovation, recent construction, best of breed

Con's: some may find the exterior and interior generic, pretty close to 4th Avenue, still not the biggest 2nd BR

Ideally: looks to us like a perfect trade-off for someone in this price range for lots of reasons.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Won't Last Long: 414 Adelphi Street

They've done it again. This team of legit brokers with Corcoran brings you what they can honestly say is "one of the best townhouses on the market in Brooklyn today!"

414 Adelphi Street in Fort Greene is a straight-forward 3-Family with nice pictures for $1.399M. Why settle for so-so in Clinton Hill at this price, when you can get into Fort Greene?

True, it's been on the market since September at $1.499M, but they just dropped price and slapped the nice pictures up there & they're having an open house on Sunday. We're not mad at 17.75' wide for something so turnkey and legitimately listed, so close to the train & the park in Fort Greene. So what if it's down the block from the housing projects that gave some pause on 472 Carlton? With all the madness in pricing going on, and uncover listings abound, it's nice to see such a clear play. Take the mantles, the owner's duplex with yard, updated kitchen, some original floors, and run!

Pro's: location, turnkey, real listing, price

Con's: 17.75' wide, some upgrades better than others, not everyone's favorite projects down the street

Ideally: we defy you to name a better buy at a better price within 20 blocks.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

More Mixed-Use on Court: 359 Court Street

Pricing's a funny thing. Walk a few blocks up Court Street from yesterday's pick on the edge of Carroll Gardens for $1.25M, and the price more than doubles. 359 Court Street, billed simply as "Great Location! Perfect for Investor!" (this agent obviously charges by the word), is a 3-Family plus store at President Street listed for $2.65M. Where's this pricing coming from? Are you paying for cashflow now? Some great potential down the road? At this price, neither.

If Sweet Melissa asked for over $2M and fetched $1.6M all cash instead, what hope does this have of going for $2.65M? We covered the pricing disparities between neighborhoods for the same cashflow on those buildings.

Wouldn't you much rather be at 603 Vanderbilt Avenue, with a NOI over $150K, a list price now dropped to $2.4M, and really get something like some lovely apartments?

Pardon us if the fish spot pics, no interior of the apartments, and no rent roll provided didn't get us itching to drop over $2M in Carroll Gardens...

They're not really making much of a case for the place as perfect for an investor. A real investor over here would want 364 Union Street for this same price or less.

Pro's: prime location, lots of rental income potential, not lots of inventory like this

Con's: where's the cashflow?, what are the apartments like?, where's this pricing coming from?

Ideally: we'd much rather be in Vanderbilt, or a prime multi-family right by the park in Park Slope for this same price.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

New Year, Same Haystack: 554 Court Street

554 Court Street is a little mystery-meat mixed-use building at the far southern tip of Carroll Gardens, by the BQE. It's still a "needle in a haystack" situation to come across this listing, that provides no address on Zillow. In fact, in addition to being able to e-mail this listing, post it to Facebook, or "Digg" it, there's even an icon for "StumbleUpon" - which more accurately captures the true nature of the Brooklyn real estate process:

We've been among the several moans and groans about the proximity to the BQE in this area. But that didn't stop 159 Nelson Street from fetching over $1.7M. Or even 536 Court Street from doing a sweet, modern conversion that fetched almost $1.7M.

Obviously, 554 Court Street won't be priced like Camp at almost $1.5M either, but what's stopping the top two apartments from getting nice rents and a hip commercial tenant coming in to this healthy 20' x 50'? And for a price that you might see on Myrtle Avenue in Clinton Hill for something this size?

As every corner of South Slope gets explored for prices that sometimes feel ahead of themselves, it makes sense to see 554 Court fetch somewhere near this asking price. Though still more evidence for why 258 Dekalb Avenue in Fort Greene was the next shoe to drop in this genre of mixed-use plays around (or on the edge of) upscale areas.

Others might shoot for a play on Smith Street; figuring, if you're already in for over $400K down, what's $75-100K more?

Pro's: location, price, size

Con's: edge of the neighborhood, a little more down payment might get a better place

Ideally: worth sizing up.