Saturday, December 8, 2012

The Markup of Marketing: 131A Cambridge Place

Just over 6 months ago, we asked if there was value left in prime Clinton Hill when an undermarketed house at 135 Cambridge Place was available for well under $1.5M.  A savvy reader picked this bad-boy up for the extremely discounted price of $890K just two months ago.  Well, if you didn't like a 15' wide house in estate condition at those prices, then you really don't wanna know what their almost-identical neighbor wants now.

131A Cambridge Place is an "estate condition" 2-Family used as a 1, asking just under $2M.  Never mind that the neighbor just sold well under a million, the Minsk man is out for every dollar that shiny pictures and thorough marketing can get.  No stranger to the markup of marketing, he dangled the nearby gem at 338 Clinton Avenue for $2.6M immediately after it closed just under $2M.  Now, armed with fancy pictures of just the staircase, mantles, and backyard, we wonder if $2M is really the pay-to-play price on this block now for a 15-footer in estate condition.

There's an off-market fixer-upper around the corner that Platinum Members are scoping for this price, but it's a way larger piece.  There are a handful of easy to find places we'd rather get you into as a fixer-upper at these levels.  This is simply not it.  The misty, over-exposed pics of the backyard sure help, but as they say in Spanish, "Aunque la mona se vista de seda, mona se queda."

Not that they're not at least pitching their product with all the pomp & circumstance one could muster.  There is the "stunning Dutch-style gable topped by a classical shell pediment projecting above the slate mansard roof" - if you go for that kind of thing.  All in all, the buyer of 135 Cambridge must be patting himself on the back.  And this makes 368 Grand Avenue look like a frikkin' steal.

Pro's:  it is an 1890's townhouse on a nice block with original details and a yard, marketed clearly

Con's:  pricepoint, fixer-upper in estate condition, 15' wide, 135 Cambridge was the move

Ideally:  run, don't walk, to better fixer-uppers at this pricepoint.

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