Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Monkey See, Monkey Do: 174 Garfield Place

Everyone salivated last year over Cousin John's renovation of Jenna Lyons' home that listed with Sotheby's for $3.75M and closed for $4M.  Now the neighbor 2 doors down wants to get into the act.  174 Garfield Place wants $3.99M now for a freshly renovated 2-Family, hoping that a rising tide lifts all boats.  We never quite understood the "owner's triplex, garden rental" configuration - especially at these pricepoints.  What does someone with ~$4M (or financing thereof) want with a rental in the first place?  And isn't half the point of a townhouse that you finally get a little yard to yourself?  Don't get us wrong, they put a nifty lil' deck out on the back, but we don't think anyone in this price range really wants to share that space with some tenant:

The inside?  Well, you be the judge (and we're sure you will be)...

For the roughly quarter-million dollars in commission they're probably looking to charge, Sotheby's could rent furniture, hire stylists, and serve champagne at the open house.  Great way to spend a Sunday afternoon, in line, to voyeur over a listing that's more bark than it is bite from where we stand.

This wouldn't be the first time a flagship sale got the neighbors thinking, "Hey, I can do that too!" without accounting for some significant differences between their house and the flagship.  Lots of intangibles propelled the sale of 178 Garfield Place that this house can only hope to piggy-back on.  Jenna's sale is so burned into our brains, heck, we even typed "178 Garfield Place" on this post the first time around!  It just rolls off the tongue.  Many will probably say they're asking taste-maker prices for taste-faker quality.  But certainly there's a premium to be extracted here now above & beyond what would be there if Jenna's house hadn't exceeded its listing price.  If only because the "monkey see, monkey do" effect works on buyers just about equally as much as on seller's.

Pro's:  location, brand new renovation, south-facing yard, 2 doors from another $4M sale, AC & all new mechanicals

Con's:  A+ pricing for B+ aesthetic, who wants to bother with a garden rental for $4M?, they should probably stage this bad-boy for this much commission

Ideally:  we'd wanna put our own spin on a brownstone if we had even remotely this much cash, and Cousin John's obviously fit for just that job too!  But we're sure an end-user will slide right into this place, however pricing is anyone's guess.


  1. Is that a $30 IKEA lamp in the parlor? Sheesh.

    1. Good call, Jill. In the parlor and the kitchen, it appears.