Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Crown Heights Beauty Showing This Sunday: 291 New York Avenue

You know we love Crown Heights.  So you know we were all-in when 270 New York Avenue came out for $1.25M in this pretty little pocket of Crown Heights a few months back...

Now that 270's in contract with an asking price of $1.25M, another one comes out at 291 New York Avenue.  Not on everyone's radar, local broker Emmanuel Victor tells us he's showing it this Sunday, September 1st at 1:30pm.  With an asking price of $1.4M, we think they've got the price activity across the street in mind.  And without as much big broker REBNY competition on the scene as an Elliman listing, maybe a nice price can be struck for both sides.

With great original details and a large extension, the house is effectively used a 3-Fam plus basement with a pretty solid rent roll.

If you're diggin' the embellishments on the limestone exterior, the nice street just a block east of Nostrand, just off Eastern Parkway, then 291 might be worth a look.

Pro's:  curb appeal, great block, great details, fairly turnkey with flexibility on the rentals, not on everyone's radar

Con's:  deferred maintenance to do, it's not like it's cheap or anything, trade-off w/the big extension is not much backyard

Ideally:  we're not saying it's $1.4M, but there's a laundry list of neighborhoods in town where this identical house & situation soars over $1.7M

Monday, August 26, 2013

Crown Heights 8-Family In Contract: 597 Park Place

It was only on our radar for a few weeks before this Crown Heights 8-Family went in contract for its asking price of $1.6M.  597 Park Place is a 4-story 25' x 65' building on a 131' lot just off of the hub of Crown Heights, Franklin Avenue.  Chopped into eight 1BR apartments, many well under market, it's a decent look at size & upside in an area on the rise.  Especially in a climate where 8-Families like this can command more than twice this price just a few avenues over.  Totally decent 1BR rentals anyone?

This play is all about location & potential. Whether you count by gross rent multiple or cap rate, neither the as-is or pro-forma numbers provided will wow you.  But at even the most modest market rental numbers for these units, $1.6M is less than 10 times rent roll and a 6.5% cap rate.  With only 1 apartment currently rented above $1,150/month, you'd have great tenants tripping over themselves to nab one of these 1BR's for more than that.  Yet the price per square foot of $266 is competitive with anything else in a location of this caliber.  We've seen budget condos even further east than this selling at $488/sqft all-cash.

It reminds us of 489 Park Place, the 4-Family Prospect Heights side version of this house, which continues to look like a steal at $1.3M.  But our favorite $1.6M buy & hold in all of Brooklyn looks to be sold just a few blocks further than this on Park Place.  We'll find out soon...

Pro's:  size, location, upside potential, delivered with 2 vacancies

Con's:  not everyone's up for below market apts with rent regulation, apts only 1BR, as-is numbers are underwhelming

Ideally:  a perfectly situated buy & hold for the right buyer

Friday, August 23, 2013

Crown Heights' Most Affordable Condo: 1062 Bergen Street, #2A

At the open house for Crown Heights' more affordable condo, 1062 Bergen Street, #2A, listing agent Lou Belisario asked, "When's the last time you saw a listing with a '2' in front of it?"  And he wasn't talking $2M!  This tiny 2BR condo hit the market asking $285K, and we're told multiple cash offers are in to take it down quickly.  Small as it may be, you won't find a better value at this pricepoint, especially not steps away from the Connecticut Muffin on Nostrand.

At a not-so-whopping 583 square feet, the price certainly reflected that.  Throw in a few more years of tax abatement and low monthly fees, we figure this apartment easily goes over this asking price if the deal could be financed.  However, it's hard to turn down full asking price all-cash (even though handfuls of sellers are starting to!).  With a townhouse about to hit the market well over $2M even further east than this (we can't wait to hear the peanut gallery weigh in on that one!), getting a neat little space in the two-hundred thousands is a no-brainer in our book.  Maybe chase one upstairs for $350K if you missed this one?

Pro's:  price, nice condition, curb appeal of building, just off Nostrand, low fees & tax abatement

Con's:  super small, cash offers taking it down in a flash

Ideally:  a tiny, totally turnkey place like this doesn't come along everyday.  Luckily, however, a few more may be on the way...

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Bed-Stuy Foreclosure Gem Goes Today: 272 Jefferson Avenue

We constantly keep our ear to the streets for foreclosure opportunities, and many happen way behind the scenes.  But 272 Jefferson Avenue is the best-marketed foreclosure auction property we've ever seen!  With pictures and open houses before today's auction, many were lurking for this huge corner gem.

We're talking epic stained glass and wood interior in great condition...

Even with some of the interior in generic office-type condition, we're not deterred.  Windows galore on the corner.  Throw in a garage with a great Brooklyn mural on it...

Someone else can wax philosophical about the history of this house better than we ever could, but we're talking 4,900 sqft and an auction that was set with a "minimum bid" of $770K.  With recent Bed-Stuy closings such as 593 Jefferson Avenue, 7 Arlington Place, and 242 Decatur Street in the $1.7M-$1.8M range.. many suspected that 272 Jefferson Avenue bids would soar to twice that, including one owner who's about to list a Crown Heights gem for over $2M.  That owner was correct.  Some suspected the bids would go as high as even the $1.8M-$1.85M range.  We disgreed, and in fact we're told the winning bid today was $1.585M.  If you've got a better house under $1.6M in town in mind, we're all ears.  Until then, keep it BK to the Fullest.

Pro's:  amazing corner gem in Bed-Stuy, original details for days, best foreclosure access you can expect, not on everyone's radar still, great condition (considering), no "best & final" bologna - just auctioned openly in the light of day

Con's:  took cash to get it done, lots of upgrades to come, even value these days isn't quite "cheap"

Ideally:  when an undisputed flagship property sells at a less-than-flagship price, that's value!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Listings: Bushwick Single-Family - 65 Harman Street

New to the Listings section of the blog, it's 65 Harman Street.  This single family house in Bushwick just came out for $599K.  Now we rarely venture to Bushwick, but listing broker Lou Belisario has brought us value in Bushwick before, even if it's vinyl siding.  And we've shown you big players in brownstone Brooklyn heading to Bushwick for value, even if it's vinyl siding.  Besides, one broker told us he puts brick facades on these for $10K, so let's see the rest of the house...

It may not wow you, but we can't argue with 'em when the listing asks, "Why buy a condo for the same price?"  Even a modest renovation could touch this house up nice.  And when's the last time you got a yard in Brooklyn under $600K?

Whether you rent a 2BR floor for some income, or take the whole house on yourself, it looks like an opportunity for the right buyer.

Pro's:  pricepoint, totally turnkey, backyard, condo alternative

Con's:  vinyl siding, not everyone's favorite neighb', not everyone's taste, could use some upgrades

Ideally:  on the top of the shortlist for sub-$600K listings in Brooklyn

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Undercover Park Slope Gem: 740 Union Street

Our main-man Morgan "Million Dollar" Munsey is back at it again with a great undercover listing in PRIME Park Slope that you won't find on your Streeteasy, your New York Times, or your  That's right.  How can anyone buy something they don't even know is for sale?  Well, that's where we come in.  We rushed over to 740 Union Street the morning Morgan told us the house was available for $2.5M, and now we're told it takes about $2M to get it done.  Contact Morgan for more details.  Fresh off his record breaking sale in Stuyvesant Heights for $1.8M, we see no reason why 740 Union Street isn't worth $2M+ to a handful of buyers who may not even know it's available.  What do you think the big brokers would list a 4-story 3-Family Park Slope brownstone like this for??


Not the shiny pictures you were expecting for a location this prime and a $2M house?  Well, our iPhone quickies will have to suffice.  Hiring photographers is for the brokers getting paid tens of thousands to do it!

With original details intact like mantles and built-in cabinets...

A south-facing yard...

On a block with neighbors like these...

740 Union Street deserves a lot more attention than it's getting.  Smart people are saying there's "no more Moneyball in Brooklyn", but you'd be hard pressed to name a better house in Park Slope at this price.  The house will be delivered vacant and is move-in condition as-is, but even a mere $25K kitchen in here would put it on the next level...

Narrower houses around the corner in worse condition have sold for $2M this year, like 115 Lincoln Place.  740 Union Street probably isn't ripe for an extension, but some floor-to-ceiling windows on the back would be pretty sweet...

Can't wait to see what happens...

Pro's: prime Park Slope 3-Family delivered vacant, off-market deal, original details, totally decent condition, price expectation totally in line with the market

Con's:  $2M is no small amount of money, could use some upgrades, someone's gonna be kicking themselves when they miss this house

Ideally:  when a great play falls through the cracks, we're here to catch it!

Friday, August 16, 2013

Stuy Heights Record Breaker Just Closed: 593 Jefferson Avenue

Boy, what a difference a year makes.  In the time it took us to finally do a piece on one of our favorite Bed-Stuy experts, Morgan "Million Dollar" Munsey... a million barely even makes a dent over there now.  Just last year Morgan was lobbing up local gems in West Bed-Stuy for Platinum Members, like 153 Hancock Street for under a million.  Now, "deep" in Stuy Heights he closes a previous record breaker at 242 Decatur Street for $1.7M with Platinum Members.  Now he's broken his own record, closing 593 Jefferson Avenue for just over $1.8M!!  Any day now, he'll be Morgan "2 Million Dollar" Munsey!  With houses like these, we don't doubt it...

On Platinum Member radar before it came out, this house wouldn't be undersold.  When a house this gorgeous in Bed-Stuy lists for $1.425M, the lowest offer is $1.6M cash, and buyers from the city take it down for $1.8M... well, this ain't your grandad's Bed-Stuy - or even last year's Bed-Stuy - anymore!  If you were still sleeping on Bed-Stuy, maybe this is the wake-up call.  Luckily, the market inefficiencies still run rampant in this town, and Morgan has his finger on the pulse of all kinds of on and off-market activity.  Morgan's number is a must-have for anyone serious about vetting all the product in these neighborhoods to make the best move possible.  He's even bringing us a secret gem in Park Slope tomorrow! 

Pro's:  curb appeal, killer original details, still beats almost any house in Manhattan or the Slope

Con's:  not undercover or anything, soared over asking price, not the Bed-Stuy pricing of old

Ideally:  with houses like this soaring over $1.8M in Lefferts too, can't knock the hustle! 

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Closings of Note: Next-Wave Prices Abound

Wow, if Prospect Heights spent an extended stretch as "the poor man's Park Slope", it sure doesn't look that way now.  160 St. Marks Avenue, stunning as ever on the inside, on a great block - no doubt, is a 3-story brownstone that closes for $2.7M.  Even Park Slope's immaculate 4-story 777 Carroll Street barely got this much.  We can't imagine what 4-stories is worth over here now in prime Prospect Heights when marketed properly.  Oh yeah, we can.  Even a fixer-upper like 105 St. Marks Avenue got $3.1M!

Wow, was it just last year that people were sleeping on the Clinton Hill corner monster at 71 Irving Place well below $1M, and begging for the condo comps to justify it?  Nowadays, 71 Irving is coming along in its reno, and is proudly asking $2.5M in some circles.  And if you need condo comps, try 82 Irving Place, #1A closing just $5K under its asking price of $799K.

Clinton Hill securing $695/sqft for 2BR's with features like a glass balcony and 285 sqft private yard.

That Clinton Hill price per square foot even keeps up with some units in Prospect Heights' Newswalk building.  535 Dean Street #202 is a funky 2BR/2BR that trades for $936K in June.

In primetime Carroll Gardens, under-marketed properties can still sell for a relative value.  222 Carroll Street on a top-notch block between Court Street and Clinton lists for $2.3M and goes for $1.9M.  Just 16' wide, it makes you wonder why it was pulling teeth to get $1.65-$1.75MM offers on the 20' wide 116 1st Place.

One man's "Gowanus" is another man's BoCoca.  Did you miss 295 Bond Street when it fell from $1.5M to $1.3M during the market doldrums of 2010?  Well guess what happened when it listed for $1.8M this year?  It had a contract in under month and sold for $1.9M.

Did someone say over asking price in BoCoCa?  A prime brownstone like 321 Clinton Street wasn't always asking $4M, but by the time it did, it landed $4.25M.  'Cause what's a quarter-millie to a BoCoCa Boss??  Still beats any house in the West Village that's smaller and needs another million in work to make this nice.

You can still flee south to beautiful housing stock in Lefferts Gardens that still trades at a relative value.  But it's certainly not a secret anymore either.  A well-listed 3-story at 160 Maple Street asks $1.585M, has a contract in a week, and closes for $1.67M last month.  And who's going over asking price in Lefferts on this one?  None other than buyers from the West Village.  Platinum Members recently passed on an off-market 4-story over here for $1.7M that brokers refused to work on for fear that they'd earn "only" $17K on.  (Tough job, if you can get it.)  That house is still available, and still off the market, and a comp like this justifies that house all day.

But end users aren't the only ones going further out in Brooklyn.  In Crown Heights North, check 677 Lincoln Place, in what some would assume is (and still call) grimey, but with great rentals.  This 7,300 sqft 8-Family wanted $1.3M in 2010, people, and trades for $3M last month!  No wonder we're eager to scope an upcoming Prospect Heights 8-Family before it hits the market.

And over in Crown Heights South, 1219 Union Street was a monster 20-Family with tons of vacancies grossing over $300K/year.  With an asking price of $2.985M, it didn't last long barely on the market and easily fetched $3.3M last month.  No wonder the next-best 20-Family in town has offers $500K higher than this off-market!

These are the kinds of buy & hold transactions that make 308 Lincoln Road look like a steal.  This 6-Family in Lefferts reminded us of the 10-cap at 300 Lincoln Road from last year.  308 Lincoln listed for $1.2M and closed for $1M!