Monday, April 2, 2012

More Woodwork in Contract: 532 Putnam Avenue

Big mansions with killer original details and woodwork for days don't last that many days on the market. Especially when they're under $1M. 532 Putnam Avenue came out at the end of January for $975K and went in contract yesterday. This 4-story 3-Family "used as a 2" has all the original details intact, incredible upkeep, and some great renovations to modernize it just enough.

When's the last time you saw a house that shined like this?

The house is very reminiscent of the Crown Heights greats 931 St. Marks Avenue and 1142 Dean Street - 2-Family homes at similar price points and in similar condition that got swooped up quickly. But this Bed-Stuy beauty at 532 Putnam Ave still has it over even those houses, with all the wood details from the banisters to the built-in cabinets all in mint condition:

Granted, it's in Bed-Stuy, and you may not be ready for Bed-Stuy. But we can't help but get defensive about this fine neighborhood. It's not like someone came down from the heavens and christened Park Slope as the only neighborhood with tree-lined blocks and gorgeous houses from 1899. The city is full of them. And, according to Craig Wilder, a history professor at MIT featured in the documentary "My Brooklyn", red-lining after the Great Depression was a move by banks who were frazzled from bad loans (sound familiar?), which created a moratorium on lending that suffocated Bed-Stuy for generations. Now that red-lining has been outlawed and more equitable market forces can do their thing, Bed-Stuy - which still has a lot of catching up to do from the damage done - will continue this rebirth for generations to come.

It's hard to muster sympathy for Park Slope buyers getting mowed over by the feeding frenzy for ~$2M houses over there. Readers who can't even afford to live in Fort Greene have told us the schools there aren't good enough for their kids. Where this caviar taste on a codfish budget even comes from, we can't be sure. However, if you can even sniff those price-points, you're sitting pretty in the big picture in the first place. So pardon us if we can't share your grief over the market forces at work well above our pay-grade. As we like to point out, every single day a $1.5M+ condo (not a house, people, a condo!) sells in Manhattan. With the median price per square foot of condos in some parts of Brooklyn surpassing $925/sqft, getting a top notch house like 532 Putnam Avenue for $292/sqft is a deal all day. Either get with the numbers, or realize there's the same housing stock for half-off elsewhere. But something's gotta give. There's no such thing as a free lunch. When we come across a blog called "Save the Slope", we've really got to wonder what the Slope needs "saving" from. That's like wearing a t-shirt that says, "Free Warren Buffett"

Pro's: original details, mint condition woodwork for days, updated mechanicals, 7 fireplaces, backyard, relatively close to the train as Bed-Stuy goes, pretty far west as Bed-Stuy goes

Con's: some aren't ready for Bed-Stuy

Ideally: there's plenty more where this came from

1 comment:

  1. Your right BK... Bedford Stuyvesant was built around the same time as Park Slope (1870-1890s)with many of the same Architects and builders. In the 1920s the WASP moved away and new southern and eastern Europeans moved in soon followed by a huge black population from the South and Barbados in the 1930s.