Monday, April 7, 2014

It's Not Easy Being Greene: 64 South Portland Avenue

It's easy to wanna live a block from Fort Greene Park in prime Fort Greene, but finding the right house is hard.  Even when money's no object, you've gotta play bidding war in this market well over asking price of $2.595M on fixer-upper gems like 252 Carlton Avenue.  I'm'a tell you like Kermit told me, "It's not that easy being green".

When you've got a park that only runs for 5 blocks, and only 2 or 3 of those blocks on one side of it are even considered that desirable, it's bound to be slim pickings, regardless of the market.  But with little to no product available in the most prime locations, even in the $3M-$4M range, something relatively turnkey under $2.5M actually spells value.  64 South Portland Avenue is a nifty 2-Family used as a 3 that came out last week just off the park.  It's got an owner's duplex, amazing rental income upstairs, and - our personal fave - a roof deck:

Lots of original mantles throughout, but not gonna wow you with historic grandeur.  They pulled off a huge extension that brings the house to 20' x 55', and still leaves a great backyard.  What it lacks it gobs of original character, it makes up for in restoration-style updates that aren't everyone's taste, but are a lot of money you don't have to spend right away if you don't want to...

The garden floor's got unfinished parts to it, like the floor that's down to the subfloor at times.  But that's a modest fix.  Cousin John said you could easily spend a millie on it doing a magazine-quality full scale renovation with all new mechanicals, fixtures, and finishes.  But you could also get it off the ground relatively easily and ride the working condition of the current renovation for years to come.  So while it's not the most grand of raw canvases you'll find in Fort Greene, the tweener status of the reno is a plus for the right buyer.  When the more stately houses over here fetch $3M+ and still need work, this could be a good look at a live-able house below that number.

Pro's: top notch block, huge extension with roof deck, pretty decent condition as-is, relative pricepoint, rental income is bananas over here

Con's:  pretty generic renovation with work left to be done, not the most grand house you'll find in the area, bound to go over asking price, competing with cash offers is tough

Ideally:  listing broker told us his mortgage guy says it can easily be financed at 25% loan to cost, making it one of the most affordable places out there for the 3-Family under $3M seekers.

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