Saturday, March 31, 2012

More in Contract in South Slope: 383 16th Street

You won't find it on StreetEasy, but 383 16th Street came & went in 6 weeks. This nifty little 2-Family in South Slope joins the likes of 144 16th Street (barely out for 2 months), 488 16th Street (closed for $980K last month), and 262 11th Street (sold 3 months ago for $1.075M) as value plays that didn't last long on the outer rim of one of the hottest markets in Brooklyn. And to think, these guys were lamenting Park Slope prices at "Pre-Lehman" proportions in Summer 2010, PRIOR to this latest outburst in Fall 2011 that continues today. Even when StreetEasy fails, Platinum Members had 383 16th Street on their radar from day 1 - no need for the Five-Man Search.

The location is super prime, even as South Slope goes. This little corridor right by the park, the F/G train station, and the best darn mini pies you ever had is so clutch. The listing for the house shows off a live-able, dated interior with some colorful touches that aren't hard to modify if they're not your style:

Really a spitting image of many of the 2-Family's over here.

We're not gonna Brownstoner 'em & beat on their taste. This place is ready to go on a lot of levels, and that's why it up & went so fast. Time is of the essence when something this good comes along.

Pro's: location, price point, viable interior

Con's: gone already, interior isn't everyone's taste, probably has other upgrades pending that are more than just cosmetic

Ideally: the next-best ones over here available at the moment are "meh", there's more value in another little nearby value corridor - in our opinion

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Pricing a Shell: 242 Cumberland Street

Once upon a time in 2004, the flagship Park Slope beauty that is now 178 Garfield Place - the home that everyone gushes over - that listed for $3.75M and just closed "for an even $4M" in a bidding war, was just a lowly shell for $1.3M. Granted, the house is on a great block. But with the help of Cousin John, now the place "twankles & glistens" on the cover of design magazines. Yet here we are in 2012, with some shells still out there for sale for ~$1.3M on some great blocks. What's the catch? Fixer-uppers on Garfield Place fetch $2M+ now, who hasn't swooped up these last remaining ~$1.3M shells?

242 Cumberland Street wants $1.35M on one of the quintessentially great blocks right off the park in Fort Greene. Amidst a backdrop of a handful of mediocre listings that want $2M+, 242 Cumberland looks like it could be a great canvas for someone to do their own renovation. It's vacant & it's not an SRO. Tenants & SRO-status held back another great shell on another great block in Park Slope, 135 St. Johns Place, which also started out at $1.3M. All we get is one glimpse inside of 242 Cumberland and a simple, straightfoward listing that reads like a telegraph:

"Location, Location, Location...
Design your own home just half a block from Fort Green Park. Bring your contractor and architect. Cash offers only please.

The agents are very honest & forthcoming about what a complete overhaul the place needs, quoting a renovation budget as high as $1M. If you're going to drop that kind of money, we'd wanna make sure to get the biggest canvas you can. 242 Cumberland may not make the cut. The owners picked it up this time last year at a foreclosure auction for $1.2M, and unfortunately that doesn't leave much room for them to profit, or a potential buyer to get any flexibility on this price. Our hunch is the right user is out there if the house were marketed a little better.

Pro's: killer location, only so many houses left over here, blank canvas

Con's: takes a ton of cash to buy, a ton of cash to renovate, small, a true shell, no price flexibility

Ideally: no house in a good location at this price in this market comes without some drawbacks, but those who can overcome the obstacles on the best ones will end up with great purchases

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

We're on Twitter!

After much prompting, we finally caved & joined Twitter! Went with "@BK2Fullest" because we're so late to the game that the other options were taken. Follow us, Tweet at us, re-Tweet us... or whatever it is people do with Twitter. We're sure we'll get the hang of it...

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Park Slope Under $2M: 635 10th Street

Make room for the next-best buy in the area. With all of the activity above $2M in Park Slope, this nice 4-story 2-Family on the block between 8th Avenue and the park won't last long. 635 10th Street came out last week, came out of the gates with an open house, and will have offers pouring in - so come correct. Elliman can move $2M in Clinton Hill - not once, but twice. And just closed north of $2M in North Slope - not once, but twice. And with the next-best buy at 233 Garfield Place sitting with an accepted offer after just 2 months, their latest price drop, and open house, don't sleep on 635 10th Street.

They don't say too much about it, only the important stuff. Anytime you can say "sconces", "moldings", "orginal", and "ceiling medallions" in the same sentence, a Brownstoner gets weak in the knees. They only gave us a few interior pics, but that's all they needed to:

Whether you call it "the poor man's" 233 Garfield, or "the rich man's" 27 7th Avenue, this is the next shoe to drop in the burning hot Park Slope market for big homes with original details. Although the house has been in the same family sitting on all equity for over 30 years, don't think that means there's room to low-ball. And if it goes above asking price, don't be surprised either. Remember, dinky condos sell for way more than this everyday in Manhattan. And Chris Rock reminds us that money is all relative.

Pro's: location, curb appeal, original details, yard, better than paying above $2M (although it might end up there)

Con's: "bring your architect", lots of work to be done yet

Ideally: get it while you can.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Topics: We Weren't Kidding About Condos

We barely cover condos. But when we told you that it's hard to find a decent 2BR around $700K in the best parts of Brooklyn, we weren't kidding. Whether it's one of the best condo values in Williamsburg in the past few months, a mediocre renovation just across 4th Avenue from North Slope, a more modern place with multiple decks just in from 4th Avenue in Park Slope, or a small renovation in Boerum Hill that barely lasted a month on the market - it's slim pickens around that price range. Now StreetEasy is out with a 6 month report that captures the data pretty effectively. Granted, it only covers properties on their site, but they've got most of the major brokers and many of the smaller ones for condos, so the numbers are comprehensive enough to break down. And the story is a familiar one:

(click image to enlarge)

While European debt fears had the stock market falling off the cliff for a few months starting in July & August of 2011, condos were taking off in a bullish direction. The number of price increases is up 57% in 6 months, 130% year over year. Likewise, the number of price cuts is down 29% in 6 months, 49% year over year. Supply is down even though new listings are up because contracts are up and any new product is being absorbed faster. And it's no coincidence that our readers can barely find a decent $700K 2BR, because that's now the median listing price among all Brooklyn condos (including studios and 1BR's). In Park Slope, the median listing price is an even-steeper $829K, up 12% since August 2011. And Williamsburg saw a more drastic 30% uptick in pricing over that 6 month period. In Williamsburg, the $897K median list price for condos is higher than Park Slope, even with 5 times the inventory, and a price per square foot that's closer to a Brooklyn Heights townhouse at almost $1,000/sqft. Good news for whoever locked up 37 Orient Avenue before it was too late, and bad news for anyone who thought prices there were coming down.

Again, we barely cover condos, but these numbers might serve as a little food for thought for those fretting over the price per square foot for townhouses in these same neighborhoods. The median list price was $700K in Williamsburg, back in August when Apple was trading below $400. Like Apple, this Brooklyn real estate story runs deeper than the Dow, the Euro, and the global equity markets - and has decoupled accordingly:

So with the median list price up 30% over 6 months, and Apple up 60% over the same time, searching for a condo (or townhouse) at last season's pricing is like putting a limit order in for some Apple stock at, say, 500 or less... a great price, if you can get it.

Friday, March 23, 2012

A 3-Family for $1.5M, Anyone?: 167 Wyckoff Street

A turnkey 3-Family in Boerum Hill for $1.5M? What's the catch?? Oh, that's right... it's directly across the street from the housing projects that the NYTimes says doesn't deter real estate values in the area. And, to their point, it's already in contract. 167 Wyckoff Street came out right after New Year's and lasted just over a month on the market before it went in contract. And the value here is clear. One floor of a townhouse over here doesn't last long for $700K, so don't sleep on anything decent with 3,000+ sqft for $1.5M.

The interior condition won't wow you, but it's no shell by any means:

It's refreshing to see something relatively affordable, in move-in condition, in a stretch west of the stadium where 4-story shells so rough that Corcoran won't even show pictures can easily fetch more than this $1.5M. Compare 167 Wyckoff Street & its price point to some of the plays in Park Slope and in South Slope that came out around the same time and are both in contract now as well. In this market, when you're looking in the best areas below $1.75M, you've gotta compromise a bit on someting - be it price, location, condition, or size. We wouldn't mind paying $500K less in a $2M neighborhood just because of the housing projects. And that's exactly what someone got a chance to do here on Wyckoff. Proximity to the projects didn't stop 291 Hoyt Street, which sold in a flash after listing with a similar discount. If that's not a dealbreaker for you, this is the hands-down best buy in this hood so far this year, besides that condo at 89 Dean. This reinforces why the better-situated 124 Wyckoff Street was the top buy in the area late last year after its price drop to $1.199M.

Pro's: price point, great neighborhood, close to the F train & everything everyone loves about Smith Street, move-in condition, great rental income potential

Con's: across the street from housing projects, interior is nothing special

Ideally: there's a few other places around here getting the same discount that are worth a look

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Birds of a Feather: 39 St. Felix Street

In a corner of Fort Greene that feels a little more like downtown than the all-residential blocks the area is known & loved for, 39 St. Felix Street has become the 3rd townhouse on the same block that wants $1.65M. We saw what $1.65M gets you in Park Slope in our last post. Now this listing joins the recently re-listed 54 St. Felix and the relatively new 59 St. Felix as alternative plays on the edge of Fort Greene.

39 Saint Felix Street could be interesting for someone. We've seen all kinds of odd places on this street, and a steal that went in a flash. While not remotely as picturesque of a block as those with the 20' wide townhouses set back from the street with a front yard, this 2-Family with a garage and a curb cut is close to Fort Greene Park and technically well-situated. BHS sure gives it a great shot with 2 open houses, nice pictures (an exterior look would be nice), a floorplan, and an accurate, compelling write-up. This kind of turnkey space at $1.65M certainly gives some of the other silliness in prime Fort Greene asking $2.4M a run for its money:

It's telling that a year & a half ago, seeing a renovated 2-Family come out on this block for under $1.65M seemed lofty, and now it almost feels like a value play compared to what else has gone on the past few months from Clinton Hill to Carroll Gardens and in between. It's almost like a fancy condo alternative for those who aren't married to the traditional brownstone with a deep yard (which trade at an insane premium over here now).

Pro's: two open houses, nice renovation, well located, flexible 2-car garage space, well-presented listing, price point isn't daunting at all for this market

Con's: this particular block is "meh", not a deep house or deep yard

Ideally: there's some value over here if the block isn't a dealbreaker. As these carriage-house looking 2-Families with garages on this block go, we'd still lean towards 54 St. Felix, but with an open house tomorrow and Sunday at 39 St. Felix, it's easy to find out what you think for yourself.

Monday, March 19, 2012

In Contract in Park Slope's "Up Market": 352 4th Street

When tiny places that need a ton of work for $1.8M are getting swooped up in bidding wars with over 30 appointments in the first weeks of the new year, it was clear to us that there's no time to waste on anything decent in Park Slope. The value for something small and turnkey under $1.5M in South Slope was quickly recognized too. Accordingly, many bidders swooped in on this tiny 2-Family for $1.65M that's not a total gut, 352 4th Street. Tons of people rushed to the open house the first weekend it came out, and even the canceling of some later open houses and taking it off the market while issues with a tenant were resolved couldn't stop this thing from quickly going into contract.

As 17' wide 3-story 2-Family's in PS 321 go, compare this to 411 8th Street, which just sold for $1.61M after going in contract around December. That was a more turnkey-looking single family, south-facing, which listed for $1.895M in May 2011, and only lasted a few months longer after it dropped to $1.795M in September. If you had a time machine, obviously you'd much rather have snatched up the nicer 411 8th Street for the same price that 352 4th Street got. However, there is no such thing as a time machine, and in an "up market" something worse can fetch this same price just 2 months later. Accordingly, another small 2-Family with a modest renovation like 296 8th Street, that came out around the same time as 4th Street, didn't last long either. Compared to another skinny place like 710 President Street going into contract with a list price of $1.75M, we're talking about the hands-down best things under that price in Park Slope in the past few months. And in an up market, you can only expect that sellers will expect more for the next one.

Pro's: one of the best $1.65M's in the area, some original details, not a total gut, great location, curb appeal

Con's: 17' wide, gone already, lots of competition for it, notoriously sketchy listing agents, mild tenant drama, work to be done

Ideally: you can't fight the up market. The latest 3-story fixer-upper wants $1.8M now.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Turnkey & In Contract in South Slope: 144 16th Street

"Artfully renovated from top-to-bottom," this nifty little 2-Family has been on Platinum Member radar since day 1, 2 months ago. Not that it's hard to find otherwise; Corcoran doesn't play. The list price of $1.45M on 144 16th Street actually didn't sound that bad considering what small fixer-uppers go for over here. To get a renovation with all the neat finishes done already, you'd be in for this much anyways, so why not leverage 5:1? It'd take about that much to get this tiny little guy caught up to 144 16th Street, so it's not even worth trying to "cut out the middle man".

"Outdoors are easily accessible through a glass door off the living room that opens to a private deck with stairs leading down to the huge, 64 foot deep yard where you can garden till your hearts content!" A picture of that would be nice, but they didn't need it. The yard is 50' deep on the floorplan, but who's counting? With a deck over it on one floor and a little balcony on another, they're making the most of it. And the rest of the finishes make for a nice use of this little <2,000 sqft space:

There's an appetite for this all day long.

Pro's: neat renovation, totally turnkey, huge backyard, deck & balcony, "double duplex"

Con's: close to the highway, the very back edge of Park Slope, small

Ideally: what do you expect? This is kind of spot-on for this area & this market right now. We'd rather skip over to Windsor Terrace for a place that's much larger and closer to the Park, but that's just us.

Friday, March 16, 2012

How the East Was Won: 564-566 Sterling Place

You already know that Brooklyn real estate is the Wild West. And we know how the west was won in Brooklyn. But now the value hunt is moving east. Savvy buyers looking ahead of the curve know that they can get 20% more space for 30% less money just a few blocks east of where people are still whining about the new price points.

Literally just a few doors east of Classon, surrounded by hipsters pouring out of the trains at the Brooklyn Museum and at Franklin Avenue who are looking for decent rentals, came 564-566 Sterling Place for $2.05M. This is technically "Crown Heights", but it does everything "Prospect Heights" can do too. Can you say "upside"? These buildings quickly closed at a significant discount off of even that price, and a quick, effective project was underway. That price point for two hefty, vacant, adjacent, free market buildings with plans to expand is a huge upgrade from the ratty places with rent control suffocating the rent roll that pawn themselves off as $2M+ properties in Park Slope.

Now 564-566 Sterling already has their My Space NYC banner up for "luxury" 2BR rentals that will probably make great condo conversions some day (whenever the owner pleases) too.

But don't take our word for it. Grab a coffee at Glass Shop one afternoon, or a creative slice at Pete Zaaz and see who your tenants are.

The march east is on, and if you're still figuring out how the west was won, at least have a little fun while you're at it:

Pro's: vacant, curb appeal, huge, expandable, adjacent buildings, great price, budding location, ahead of the curve, rent now/sell later

Con's: big project to take on, if it doesn't say "Park Slope" on it some people aren't ready

Ideally: a great project from what we can tell, and there's more opportunity over here for those who know where to look.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

4-Family Monster in Bed-Stuy: 258 Jefferson Avenue

Bored to tears with mediocre listings with lofty prices in South Slope, we're back on our Bed-Stuy steez. 258 Jefferson Avenue is a huge 5-story, 4-Family that's 20' x 46' with high ceilings and a painted-white brownstone exterior. Where else but Bed-Stuy can you find a turnkey place this huge with some original details for $1.1M? The price may still be a tad steep, but this is a great FHA candidate with the 4-Family loan limit being so high, along with the potential rental income on this place. Once upon a time it was an 8-Family, converted to a 4 now. We'd love to get this bad-boy for 3.5% down, especially anywhere under $1M.

Don't let the dinky kitchenette fool ya:

This place is so much fun, even your hipster tenants chuckle over a few glasses of water like it's a wine-tasting happy hour:

Do something nifty with the fountain-job in the front for even more flair:

This is worth a look to us on value alone, as a home or an investment - or both!

Pro's: size, curb appeal, turnkey, original details, close to the train as Bed-Stuy goes, rental income potential, FHA all day

Con's: generic upgrades, people aren't ready for Bed-Stuy

Ideally: we'd rather be here than Greenwood, but that's just us.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Interesting Pick-Up in Clinton Hill: 407 Classon Avenue

Right on the Bed-Stuy edge of Clinton Hill, 407 Classon Avenue came out for $470K back in August 2011 and went in contract in a few months. This 20' x 40' semi-attached legal 2-Family just fetched $505K on 2/14/2012. With a listing that lures buyers with, "Just Imagine Yourself Snuggled Up To 3 Roaring Fire Places!!" it seems fitting to close on Valentine's Day.

Going east is where the value is with 15 multi-family properties recorded last week in Crown Heights and Bed-Stuy with sales prices below $750K, including many under $500K. Like most of those, 407 Classon needed lots of updating, but it's interesting to see it go for even a little above asking price.

It won't win any beauty contests, but at least we get a peak inside. $500K still gets you some great shells in certain areas, some way better than this.

Pro's: close to everything that Pratt-ified Clinton Hill has to offer, on the edge of Clinton Hill for Bed-Stuy prices

Con's: needs renovation, not the best block, neighboring exterior isn't in the best shape either

Ideally: there are plenty of buys more attractive than this for those with the pockets for cash purchases and renovations

Sunday, March 11, 2012

The $700K Condo Game: 89 Dean Street, #2

We've chased a few of the $700K 2BR condos around the outskirts of the best neighborhoods before, but this one is in a location that's way more prime. In Boerum Hill, around the corner from the F train at Bergen Street, comes 89 Dean Street, #2. Just off of Smith Street, this brownstone might look a little gnarly on the outside, and the common hallway space inside doesn't help either, but it makes for a great condo in a great location with really low fees. You can find monthly fees on condos and co-ops this size running from $500/month to as high as $1,500/month. $150/month is comparatively nothing.

We were surprised to see when the garden apartment in this building listed for $699K in a more depressed market in 2009 and quickly fetched $650K. In today's market, the apartment above listing for the same price sounds like a steal. This is, in our opinion, the hands-down best condo for sale right now for this price in Brooklyn.

With dinky rentals over here fetching upwards of $3,000/month, a place that could cost less than that a month to own is pretty compelling. You get a little exposed brick, a wood burning fireplace, a washer/dryer in a closet in the unit, and 2 legit bedrooms that do the trick. When the weather's nice enough to have your windows up, you can hear the sweet sounds of live music coming from Bar Tabac faintly humming across the corner a few doors down. If you think there's a better condo in town, please tell us!

Pro's: location, renovated, 2 legit bedrooms, condo (not a co-op), no absurd maintenance charges

Con's: grimey common space, right next to school yard with children screaming bloody murder all day

Ideally: get it while you still can.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Undercover with Potential Value: 184 Lefferts Place

Leave it to Corcoran to run laps around other companies' listings - even posthumously. 184 Lefferts Place is back out on the market for $1M, but you wouldn't know it from its undercover listing with only 1 picture of the exterior. Yes, that's right, Corcoran's listing from 2005-2006 tells you a lot more than the listing from this week. It's kind of like if your wife's ex-boyfriend knew more about your wife and got along with her better than you - the husband - did. Grainy pics from 6+ years ago are still better than no pics:

This skinny 3-Family is just under 17' wide over 5 stories. Some nice mantles, some dated interior, on a block with lots of huge buildings with these little bay windows sticking out. Probably was a little over-priced when it was purchased for $970K in 2006, and now this $1M price in what looks like a distressed situation sure sounds like a deal in this market. If it was "PRICED TO SELL" 6 years ago, and again now, that might be cause for concern, but it could just be a function of poor timing in this market. They couldn't have listed it more poorly if they tried. Feels like hot potato, but it's definitely worth checking out. All the $1M and below listings on Lefferts Place on the other side of Classon sold already.

Pro's: right by the train, basically Clinton Hill at Bed-Stuy prices, quiet block considering how centralized the location is

Con's: 2-bit listing, feels like a hot potato, what's the condition now?

Ideally: worth a look. Who would know about this listing if it wasn't for BK to the Fullest?

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Great Fixer-Upper on a Great Block: 1184 Dean Street

Just down the block from a renovated flip with an open house last weekend, comes another large 2-Family in Crown Heights, 1184 Dean Street. There are some monsters on this block. This 20' x 50' barrel front building on a 114' lot is now a legal 2-Family, not a "Single Family Detached" as the dinky listing claims. The pictures show some potentially original wood and some dated clutter:

We would've tidied up a bit before snapping these pics, but at least they're not asking $2M+ like the cluttered, over-priced 486 Warren Street. It looks like this would've been a flip just like the one down the street, but something happened along the ways. Can't tell what that was, but it's worth a look, especially if there's price flexibility as the cost basis would imply.

Pro's: curb appeal?, size, huge yard, value, great block that's a sleeping giant

Con's: sub-par listing, lots of renovation to do, closest train being across Atlantic is kinda lame

Ideally: looks like a ton of value to us, with smaller places on worse blocks getting this price.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Sold Listing in South Slope Still "Active": 262 11th Street

We feel like a broken record, but we have to say it again. It's hard enough to FIND these frikkin' under-cover listings for $1M+ houses in the first place, the LEAST you joker brokers could do is keep them updated. Alas, that's too much to expect from folks cashing $50K+ commission checks. 262 11th Street in South Slope looks like another great tiny 2-Family opportunity at its list price of $1.1M. The listing says it's "Active", but it was actually in contract for a while and closed on 12/13/11 for $1.075M. Thanks for nothing, Lolita.

We've seen this foolishness before. If a restaurant stops serving a dish, they usually take it off the menu. Why that same gesture becomes too much to ask when the price point steps up across $1M is beyond us. Somebody got themselves a nice little house in this market, though:

You figure if they update the kitchens and baths and spruce up the paved backyard with a better configuration, or restore the grass, a back deck maybe... there's lot of directions one could go with the money you save on the purchase price compared to what else goes on along these blocks these days.

Pro's: price point, location, some details worth saving, spend savings on the upgrades

Con's: 16' wide, small, gone

Ideally: if you sold the dang thing and wanna show off, just say so. But don't tease us with places that are gone already

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Topics: Fear Not the Brownstone

We're not sure what the stages of grief are over the prices for brownstones & townhouses in some of these top neighborhoods in Brooklyn, but they range anywhere from shock, denial, regret, to downright fear of how high they'll go on the next spot. We can't imagine what draws twice as many readers as the next-most popular post to our detailed analysis of the $1.5M townhouse market (or lack thereof) in Park Slope. But we thought we'd offer a little consolation in the form of perspective. So what if only 10 townhouses closed for $1.5M or less over those 6 months in Park Slope and Jenna Lyons' house is bound to sell for over $4M? Have you been to Manhattan recently?

In Manhattan, in the past 6 months, 180 condos sold between $1.5M and $4M. And that's condos, people. No brownstone, no front yard, no back yard, rarely more than one floor, no rental income, and maintenance fees or common charges that are through the roof. Places like this lovely condo in contract with a $2.4M list price, just over 1,300 sqft, and over $1,500/month in maintenance. Of those 180 condos that closed in Manhattan between $1.5M - $4M, the median price per square foot was $1,371/sqft (compared to less than $700/sqft in Park Slope). The median size was 1,496 sqft and the median price was $2M. You're still getting twice the HOUSE in Park Slope as you are CONDO in Manhattan. Not to mention that we're talking about 180 condos (granted, over a much larger area) vs. only 36 townhouses (if we're talking about just Park Slope), but clearly $2M is a price point people aren't blushing at. Who wouldn't much rather have the original details in this huge brownstone (currently pink) at 233 Garfield Place, just up from Jenna's, now down to $2.25M?

Co-ops are just as bad. In Manhattan, 156 co-ops closed in the past 6 months between $1.5M and $4M, with a median price per square foot of $1,156/sqft. Those are priced cheaper because they end up costing you more in maintenance that can easily run over $3,000/month, like on this sponsor unit in contract on the Upper West Side with a list price of $2.35M and maintenance of $3,555/month. (Which, p.s., by the way, is the mortgage payment on over $700,000 at 4% over 30 years, so your $2.35M purchase actually feels like $3M+ in terms of your out of pocket month-to-month, which still buys you a heck of a brownstone anywhere you want in Brooklyn. Let me repeat that, people are paying more in monthly maintenance to be near Central Park than the mortgage on value condos down the hill from Prospect Park.) And that unit doesn't even need co-op board approval. Can you imagine having to lay all your financial guts out on the table & formally beg your future neighbors for the privilege of paying $3,555/month down the drain for a doorman and an elevator attendant? Forget the character of George Costanza getting grilled by the co-op board, even real-life $800 millionaire Jerry Seinfeld endured his co-op slapping a $500/day fine for anyone whose renovation goes over schedule after the renovation for his $4M+ apartment (and that's 1998 prices, people!) went longer than some neighbors could bear. Jerry slays the application process in his typical fashion.

Afterall, besides the lack of hassle and the superior financial sense that houses make over apartments, isn't that part of what people are paying for in a brownstone too, their own space? A yard as deep as 60-80' sometimes? Not living in a dormitory for millionaires? So don't fret about the prices going up 10 or 20%. Brownstones still win out over apartments most everyday of the week. So don't cringe when you hear $2M+ for a brownstone in Park Slope because it's still a slam dunk over a condo on the UWS. Brooklyn brownstones: "They're real and they're spectacular."

Friday, March 2, 2012

Open House in Crown Heights: 1139 Dean Street

After posting 53 Decatur Street earlier this week, it quickly became one of the most highly-read posts this week. We're not even sure why, but we do know that there's an appetite for even these Home Depot type quality of renovations and buyers waiting to snatch them up. Cue 1139 Dean Street. Pictures were just posted for this new listing in Crown Heights. A 2-Family for $1.149M on the edge of a nicer neighborhood sounds about right to us. Granted, there are 3 other properties for sale on this block for less, some of them bigger and nicer. But compared to what this gets you in South Slope, we see this being worth a look for some.

Another dusted-off flip, they picked this bad-boy up in September 2011 for $225K and with another $300K+ in mortgage (presumably for construction loan) did the flip-a-roo. They've got an open house on Sunday for you to go check it out. They sprayed the red paint off to the expose the brownstone. We would've mopped the dust off the floors before taking the $1M+ listing pictures, but that's just us:

They threw the sky-light in there, which is a nice touch that isn't expensive at all (especially when you're already re-doing the roof):

But we do appreciate the simple renovation, people can elaborate as needed. The 60' yard is a nice touch for sure too. And we always love the realtors doing their job like telling us important info on rentals such as, "The upper duplex has three real bedrooms and 1.5 baths which will easily bring in $3800/month." This may ultimately be a little more than the market's quite ready to bear east of Bedford, but it stacks up nicely to the tiny fixer-uppers you see in South Slope and Windsor Terrace going for more than this. And with jokers like 463 St. Johns Place just relisting for $1.3M, you can see what pricing is really about over here.

Pro's: totally turnkey, exposed brick is okay, new renovation, price point

Con's: renovation is generic to most, walking across Atlantic Ave for the train, more places to see on this block, are you ready to be this far east?

Ideally: this gets very interesting anywhere below $1M, which should still be a nice profit for the developer.