Tuesday, July 31, 2012

More Undercover Park Slope: 439 Bergen Street

On Platinum Member radar since it came out in April, 439 Bergen Street wasn't on your StreetEasy or your New York Times.  Park Slope unicorn hunters, behold! 

"A not-SRO 3-Family in Park Slope for $995K?!?!?" you say?  That's right.  You're getting flashbacks of 135 St. Johns Place, aren't you?  You're looking for the catch.  Ok, well, long story short, it's only 40' deep or less, it's not the best block in the world, it just sold for $200K+ above asking, and it took all cash.  These drawbacks aren't the end of the world, mind you.  The building has plenty of FAR to go if you wanna expand it.  This short block being right next to the stadium freaks many out, but even the most casual real estate observers commented this weekend that, "$1.2M doesn't seem high at all."

These small brokers were bombarded with 20 calls a day when the listing for this estate sale (or some other court ordered sale) came out.  The poor "For Sale" sign is still sitting on the ground in front of the house:

The interior?  Nothing special, not a disaster, but this is bound to be a gut project for someone.

Buyers came in swinging.  We were quickly told the number to beat was $1.2M.  Some wanted to go as high as $1.25M financed, but the listing agents were insisting on only all-cash offers to speed up & facilitate the sale.  One would-be buyer taunted that the $50K difference the sell side was essentially turning down was the cost of a nice car.  But we've seen over and over how cash offers can win the day even when the bid is lower.  Like the jokers at 96 St. Marks Avenue whose faux-cash offer of $999K (that closed financed 6 months after they were supposed to do a "30-day cash closing") beat our $1.1M bid, and now their passive house is ready for market:

Their website even brags, "A typical building retrofit takes about eight months; 96 St. Marks will be completed within a year."  That's funny, because a typical "30-day cash closing" takes 30 days and happens in cash.  So why the 6 months and financing, guys?  They may have "the first passive house condos in the U.S.", but it wouldn't be the first passive broker who dropped the ball in Brooklyn.  Even these Macon Realty brokers at 439 Bergen Street apparently gave the deal to someone besides the person who thought they had the high bid, for the same price.  AND a court had to approve the sale, to boot.  Go figure.  Just another day in bootleg Brooklyn real estate.

While proximity to the new stadium has been a deal breaker for many at places this close like 414 Dean, we think that ultimately the pro's of this location outweigh the con's.  We've got calls in to the urban planner at the City Council's local office for the district that Barclays Center is in, regarding the pedestrian overpasses (covered here) that we think will be necessary to allow automobiles and pedestrians to flow somewhat civilly around the stadium.  Why even the new signage for Barclays Center in the Atlantic subway points people to exit at one of the furthest intersections from the stadium also disappoints and confuses us.

However, for all our stadium worries and angst, it somehow melts away when we ran into Jay-Z lastnight on 15th Street and started gushing to him about his upcoming concerts at the stadium and his Nets.  We're sure someone equally as star-struck by Park Slope won't mind having the stadium around the corner from them at this house.

Pro's:  pricepoint, plenty of FAR, centralized location

Con's:  took all cash, went quickly & sketchily, went well above ask, lots of work to do, some griped about the block

Ideally:  there's no time to waste when an undercover steal like this pops up

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