Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Another Bed-Stuy House Breaks $2M: 160 Bainbridge Street

This just in, Bed-Stuy is up 55,000% in the past 120 years!  A house once conveyed for $4,000 in the 1890's was back on the market this year and crushing those old-timey numbers from 1894!

Back before Halloween, we tried to tolja' that some big contracts were brewing on townhomes in Brooklyn.  And yesterday we took a look at a really special one in an "emerging" neighborhood breezing past $2M in Lefferts Garden.  Today we look at another house that got over $2M in Bed-Stuy.  160 Bainbridge Street has been sell-curious for a while now.  We first saw the house over a year ago, and were sure it was a flagship stunner from day one.  Wood detail for days, all in great shape...

The house sure cleans up nice in pictures, and there are few upgrades, but it's not 100% mint either.  A few generic upgrades (although a great improvement over 40-60 year old deferred maintenance) and a few minor details like greenish paint and Home Expo looking jacuzzi take the presentation of the house down just a few notches for that right out the box end-user buyer.  But we're splitting hairs over A+ & A- at this point.

Prices have escalated so quickly that the seller's previous "F.U." number from last year had become market value by this year.  Listed for $1.99M in July, the house closed last month for $2.2M to a buyer from Park Slope with just over a million down.  And is it any surprise?  This house can keep up with any in Park Slope in terms of curb appeal and quality.  The developer who built it in 1892 started his career in Williamsburg (not known for its great architecture) on frame houses, then did lots of development in the "Eastern District" of Bed-Stuy & Lefferts in brick, limestone, and brownstone.  He passed away at his home on Fenimore Street in Lefferts in 1908.  Only generations later did you ballers deem these eastern neighborhoods quarantined ghettos forever.  Back then, you could cop these houses with $500 down on $4,000, now they'd rent for more than that in a month.  Times sure have changed.

So to recap, you think Park Slope is the only place in Brooklyn worth living, and this buyer from Park Slope just jumped ship for the Utica stop in Stuyvesant Heights in Bed-Stuy because....??  Maybe because this is a $3M+ house in Park Slope and they didn't want a mortgage over $7,000/month?  Maybe they couldn't afford over $2.2M and this is simply one of the best places in Brooklyn to spend it?  Or what boogie-man do you believe in??  Is this a lending bubble 'cause rates are so low?  Did cash-buyer hedge funds like Dixon run the prices up on you?  Or is this just supply and demand?  Where's a better $2.2M in town?

Perhaps this is why an even slicker renovation in west Bed-Stuy at 101 Hancock Street listed for $2.45M and is bound to wrap up over asking price soon...

If you missed why Bed-Stuy's flagships can command over $2M, you probably didn't know that Clinton Hill's flagships can command over $3M, like 384 Vanderbilt Avenue and 102 Gates.

And over in Park Slope, they're dropping almost $2M on condos like 272 St. Marks Avenue, #1R:

That condo closed last month to buyers from the West Village for $1.85M with some $500K down.  So that's the trickle-down economics of Brooklyn these days.  Buyers leave the West Village for a condo in Park Slope for $1.85M with $500K down, while another leaves Park Slope for a townhouse in Bed-Stuy for $2.2M with $1M down.  Call it a bubble if you wanna, but the money simply has nowhere else to go!

Pro's:  full-sized 2-Family with amazing details & killer curb appeal on a great block, flagship property, express train nearby

Con's:  certainly a lot of money, a few subpar upgrades, not totally mint, further out than people wanna go

Ideally:  Bed-Stuy wasn't a different planet from Park Slope over 100 years ago, and not all buyers think it is today either

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