Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Bed-Stuy Under $600K In Contract: 298 Herkimer Street

A reader wrote us and asked, "Do you know about any fixer-upper's in the good parts of Bed-Stuy in the $500K-$600K range?"

We said, "Don't see those often anymore.  They're getting harder and harder to come by."

The reader said, "Oh, well I see lots of them."

We said, "So what are you asking us for?"

Then came 298 Herkimer Street - a true-blue sub-$600K fixer-upper in a decent spot in Bed-Stuy from day 1.  We told Platinum Members that it was the poor man's 22 Arlington Place the day we saw it.  A few original details on 3 stories asking $579K.  They preferred a cash offer because it's hard to finance a house that needs as much work as this.  Original medallions & mantles everywhere, some interesting color choices (something we saw in a similar house for twice the price), but besides a few live-able spots, pretty much a gut by many accounts.

Perhaps a better bargain than, say, an 845 Prospect Place, but not 1148 Sterling Place.  The pricepoint on Herkimer with a high $500K-handle on it will catch many people's eyes, but you factor in the true cost to get it off the ground, and there are houses twice this price that are easier to work with for some buyers.  Which is why you may see a swift flip here as someone could do just enough to get it appraisable to unlock a ton of mortgageable equity.  We were on it for the first round of cash offers below asking price months ago, and when it bubbled back up again.  Broker says it's firmly in contract now, and it's bound to be a nice buy no matter how you slice it.

Pro's: canvas with original details delivered vacant under $600K, lots of equity to unlock when mortgageable, tweener streets like these get overlooked sometimes

Con's:  half-painted facade, gone already, took cash to do the deal, needs lots of work, only 3 stories, not the most amazing block

Ideally:  whether you're bullish or bearish on the Brooklyn market, is there a resale scenario in the short or long term where this isn't a good buy under $600K today?

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