Thursday, December 26, 2013

Brooklyn Heights Penthouse Co-op: 85 Livingston Street, #PHO

Today we're taking a look at a one-bedroom penthouse co-op in Brooklyn Heights, asking just $389K.  The last time you saw a property in Brooklyn Heights with a 3 in front of it, it was probably 3 million, not 300 thousand.  The listing broker at 85 Livingston Street, #PHO tells us this 600 sqft 1BR is on the 18th floor with great views.  The pricepoint jumps out at us, especially considering that 600 sqft 1BR's go for $550K+ in Crown Heights these days.  (In fact, Platinum Members are closing on one pre-market any day now!)  We usually lean towards townhouses over apartments, but this place screams value to us.  When it takes at least $389K down to compete for even fixer-upper townhomes as far out as Bed-Stuy, Crown Heights, Ditmas Park, and Prospect Lefferts Garden - a co-op for that price, just steps from the Brooklyn Promenade, looks like a steal.  With about $100K down, your mortgage would be barely $1,500/month at prevailing rates.  There are dozens of people with six-figure incomes who should be giving this place a look as at least a starter apartment.  Pay rent instead of a mortgage for a while, and you think someone ISN'T going to want a pied-a-terre like this for well over $500K in the next few years?  So what if the lobby feels more like the Upper East Side?

So is Brooklyn Heights itself.  Brownstones effortlessly command $3M-$6M over here, so the co-op play is looking pretty nice right about now.  The apartment's probably got more of an old-timey wood feel than the modern buyer is looking for, but at least it's turnkey, nice, and easily update-able...

Is it small?  Sure!  But not comparatively.  And the entry price is comparatively small to match.  The $800+/month in charges is no picnic, but the broker says it includes all taxes, maintenance, and utilities.  Whether you want to measure it by whole-dollar or price per square foot (under $700, btws!), we defy you to name a better value in a better location.  It's not for everyone, but this place is perfect for a few buyers who may not even know it's available.

Pro's:  pricepoint, location, turnkey, top floor, lots of light & views, size makes sense for a 1BR

Con's:  pretty high monthly charges, old-timey style not for everyone, smallish, the slippery slope to a 2BR is common anyone thinking about apartments

Ideally:  looks like a great starter apartment for a young professional or couple, or a nice pied-a-terre launchpad for dozens unfazed by the price

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