Sunday, October 7, 2012

In Contract "Deep" in Bed-Stuy: 296 Halsey Street

Would-be buyers are constantly telling us about these amazingly precise imaginary boundaries they won't go past in certain neighborhoods.  Some avoid PS 282 in Park Slope like the plague, some won't go past Underhill in Prospect Heights, some won't go east of Hoyt in BoCoCa, some won't go past Bedford in Crown Heights, and some won't go past Nostrand in Bed-Stuy.  If you can actually afford to be that picky, have at it.  But don't expect to find value on the best blocks of the prime neighb's.  While some are Goldilockin' it, others are picking up the next-best buys in all of Brooklyn. 

Cue the lovely 296 Halsey Street, in what some have called "deep" Bed-Stuy.  This 4-story 18' x 40' brownstone on a great block is one train stop further than homes selling for much more, and not far from the train at all.  Believe us, Bed-Stuy goes much, much deeper.  It's certainly a turnkey-looking 3-Family, which has lots of value for users.  It's a little hard to pass off 6' & 7' wide spaces as true "bedrooms" as their floorplan calls for.   And those rental units sound like they're not as extensively renovated as what's photographed.  But a $920K asking price for a renovated piece that cleans up this nice ain't shabby at all.  Still beats a condo any day of the week in our book.  Out for just about 6 weeks, this house recently went in contract as ~$1M doesn't seem like a steep purchase price anymore for anything that cleans up this nice:

Not much original detail to speak of, but they left the exposed brick and the wood around the mantle.  Call the renovation generic if you will, but at least it's renovated.  What it lacks in character, it makes up for in turnkey-ness and AC units and recessed lights.  Not our style, per se, but if you can offer a Brown Harris customer a few clean white boxes inside a brownstone exterior for under a millie, you're cookin'.

When you can't even get a shell in Clinton Hill anymore for this price, there's value all day in the "sweat equity" of sitting on the train 5 minutes longer and waiting a couple of years for the neighborhood to get as hip as the neighb' you're priced out of.  Oh, and did we mention?  A yard!

We get e-mails all the time asking where in Prospect Heights a turnkey house with a garage can be purchased for $1M cash (and not a penny more).  The answer?  Bed-Stuy.

Pro's:  curb appeal, turnkey, backyard, rental income potential, this will be worth $1.2M by the time many realize it actually might've been worth $920K afterall

Con's:  in contract already, not true 2BR's on the 18' wide floor plate, generic renovation to many, BHS listings are no secret

Ideally:  looks like a great buy for an end user, or choose a canvas with more detail to put your own spin on.  Or pay twice as much for worse product in a better neighborhood.

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