Saturday, February 25, 2012

Chew On This: 262 Prospect Place, #2

For those of you with your fingers stuffed in your ears, not ready to hear that $1.5M is the new pay-to-play price in Prospect Heights for a full townhouse, why not pick up 2/3's of one for 2/3's the price?

262 Prospect Place, #2 seems like it could be just the answer to the $1.5M landscape, but it's a listing that leaves most buyers with more questions than answers. Asking $864K, down from $898K, this co-op appears to be 2 of the 3 floors in this rowhouse building just off of Vanderbilt. Looks like a great alternative for those looking to bite off only what they can chew, right? Not so fast...

"Maintenance can be reduced significantly after closing," is not the first description you want to hear about a place, especially when the maintenance is over $2,100/month. That's an "I'll believe it when I see it" situation. They're going to have to give some serious clarity on that, which is probably why this seeming deal hasn't moved yet. If that caveat wasn't scary/confusing enough for ya, next they tell us, "4 coop apartments with abundant detail are being sold with the opportunity to combine them for one lucky buyer." 4 co-op apartments on two 17' x 45' floors? What the what? Hmmm, well if the buyer's so "lucky", why hasn't anyone bought it yet? How 'bout you guys combine 'em & drop the maintenance first, THEN we'll talk, ok?? Last time we checked, 2 bathrooms and 1 kitchen per floor does not make 2 co-ops per floor.

All this is very reminiscent of when 204 Washington Avenue didn't wanna deliver vacant after presenting the sale as such, then pretended like vacating the place would be a cinch for us after we bought. We said, "If vacating is so easy, you guys go ahead and do it..." and gave them a $200K+ offer differential with which to do so. And yet, to this day - almost 2 years later, those same tenants are still in there, even though it sold for less than our "delivered with tenants" price. Suffices to say, never let a seller or a listing agent do your due diligence for you. See if the sellers or agents on 262 Prospect Place will split the maintenance with you until it's "reduced significantly" as they claim. We doubt they'll put their money where their mouth is.

All that said, the place sure stages nicely:

But then we're told, "Kitchens and bathrooms need updating." You mean all 4 bathrooms? "There are presently four bedrooms, convertible to five and 4 bathrooms." Again, what? There already ARE 4 bathrooms. Are they encouraging a flop-house conversion? That sentence just simply isn't the best way to phrase it for an already confusing listing. "Another option is to purchase and re-sell individual units with renovation." If you're not dizzy already, you can enjoy the short walk to amazing dining options on Vanderbilt, if you're too tired to cook in your 2 kitchens after renovating your 4 bathrooms. This almost makes the price on another co-op 125 Eastern Parkway, #1A start to make sense again.

Pro's: location, price point (perhaps), yard & terrace, curb appeal, nice interior details

Con's: maintenance is bananas, 2 kitchens in 4 co-ops?, 4 bathrooms to renovate?, more questions than answers

Ideally: there's a scenario where this thing isn't as disastrous as it sounds.

1 comment:

  1. It's basically an all cash situation. And supposedly the underlying mortgage will be paid off soon hence the lowered maintenance. No lender is going to touch this? How does the coop board work in a place like this. The owner of the upper 2 floors has 66%.