Thursday, December 12, 2013

Closings of Note: A Year's Worth of Deals Wrapping Up, Pt. II

Deals as long as a year in the making continue to roll in, on and off market.  Some are Platinum Member success stories, some are frustrating broker fails.  388 Washington Avenue was a huge play in prime Clinton Hill listed without any real fanfare, with a broker you probably haven't heard of.  Which is why it dropped from $3.5M to accept an offer of $2.65M.  When that offer backed out, they were down to an offer of $2.4M and heading to contract.  In reality, no one cares who the broker is, they just want the best house for the best price.  But if your broker's asleep at the wheel, it will certainly affect your bottom line if you're a seller.  We put the bat signal out after hearing they were down to $2.4M.  Then, after chasing away cash offers of $2.4M and higher, the broker tells us this week, "There were things that came up after contracts were signed.  Things had to be renegotiated in order to close."  'Cause what's a $100K off in this market?  The house closed for $2.3M in October.  Changing your tune after contracts are signed and not having a broker who can advocate for ya?  That's a page right out of the 96 St. Marks Avenue developers' play-book!  The next time you see this property, we bet it won't be an underground listing.

Good news is that not all bumpy contracts are created equal.  Platinum Members held onto this deal in Ditmas at 136 Argyle Road since January/February through all kinds of turbulence, finally closing this week for a price that only got better & better by the day.  Houses smaller than this now command $1.5M+, and the next one of these coming out soon wants more than this - and for good reason!

Also in the Ditmas area, when a commercial broker gets a Victorian with original details and gives you nothing but an areal view, the house is bound to sell for less than it should!  991 Ocean Avenue was asking $1.4M, but sold for $1.25M last month.

When we heard back in June that this 8-Family in "Navy Yard" at 54 Cumberland Street wanted $3M, we thought the price sounded lofty.  However, the rent roll was impressive (if real), and once the right brokers got their hands on it, they secured an all-cash deal with a 10 day closing at $2.9M.  Put that in your comps pipe and smoke it!  $500/sqft and 14 times rent roll for a neighborhood people pretend is in a different continent from Fort Greene, but isn't.  A better 8-Family than this looking to trade off market should soar above their asking price with comps like this.

Even if you've got your finger on the pulse of Brooklyn real estate, it doesn't mean you understand what you're seeing.  One of the most connected people in the business asked us this week if the Platinum Member take-down at 238 Gates Avenue for $1.3M means that Clinton Hill prices are down now in comparison to the $1.7M-$1.85M that's being achieved on top-notch Stuyvesant Heights product.  Is Clinton Hill down?  Au contraire!  No matter what neighborhood the house is in, the price will fall if no one knows it's for sale.  (See 388 Washington Avenue above...)  But if you get shiny pics and the right peddling, anything's possible.  This gnarly piece at 17 Irving Place in Clinton Hill goes for $2M.  An estate sale around the corner is in contract for over $2M, but you won't see that closing for a while yet.  Even though it's basically off-market, once the big brokers get their hands on it, it's game over.

"The BQE is right around the corner" rolled off the tongue from 2008 to 2012 when this house at 31 Cheever Place in Cobble Hill wanted $1.75M.  In today's market, buyers from Brooklyn Heights took it down for $2.5M.

Speaking of buyers from Brooklyn Heights, some took down this Crown Heights 2-Family at 908 St. Johns Place for $1.065M.  This week we also showed you the house next door at 910 St. Johns Place traded for almost $100K less.

Do you like BoCoCa but don't wanna be as close to the BQE as Cheever Place?  Well then, for smaller product it's going to cost you the same price if it's an on-market deal.  The 3-story, 16' wide 414 Sackett Street closes for $2.5M last month to buyers from the Upper West Side.

It won't win any beauty contests, but it IS in Park Slope.  Listed for $2.7M since February, 312 7th Street dropped to $2.5M in June, and closed for $2.275M last month.  When the buyer told us 2 years ago they wanted a fixer-upper in Park Slope for a million, we had our doubts.  Then they upped their budget to $2M this year and we still thought they were dreaming.  But we'll be darned if they didn't take down a nifty little under-marketed spot, and the "meh" rentals are already up.

Over in Boerum Hill, this row of new construction buildings started rolling out, including 301A State Street that sold for $3.4M!

Just down the street, it was hard to hate on 471 State Street in March with its asking price of $2.4M.  They were in contract within 6 weeks and closed for $2.755M in August to a buyer from Manhattan.

Since February, we'd been stalking the vacant lot on the Prospect Heights side of Crown Heights at 529 Park Place as it head to foreclosure auction.  The buyers picked it up in the summer and wanted to flip it for $700K, even listed it for $800K, and got their $700K last month.  Not the most impressive flip ever, but can't scoff at the upside.

Just around the corner, whether you call it Crown Heights or Prospect Heights, the yard is definitely the main selling point of this for sale by owner condo at 651 Washington Avenue, #1.  They were asking $850K in the summer for this triplex, raised their price to $900K, then closed for $850K.

And what month in Brooklyn would be complete without another $900+/sqft condo comp in Prospect Heights?  While developers still underwrite these at $800/sqft or less - to our bemusement - 338 Prospect Place, #2A lasts a month on the market with a list price of $629K, and closes for $698K.  They couldn't get $525K in 2009, but that's back when the Dow was half what it is now and the sky was falling down.  We told you the $700K condo game was tricky!  If you're keeping score at home, that's $930/sqft for a 2BR that's less than 800/sqft, with a kitchen the size of a closet, and $850/month in taxes & common charges.

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