Friday, May 29, 2015

East Harlem 3-Family with Parking In Contract: 225 East 110th Street

The hustle in Brooklyn is getting harder by the day, so Upper East Side inclined buyers are looking at East Harlem alongside places like Crown Heights for income producing properties with owner's duplexes and backyards.  Head on over to East 110th Street, AKA Tito Puente Way...

Where new construction 3-Family buildings with 2 parking spaces have cracked the code for legit 3BR lay-outs, where you can gross over $3,000/floor if you play it right.

But don't try this on StreetEasy!  Available only on, 225 East 110th Street is a totally turnkey 20' wide house with lots of upgrades to optimize rental income.  It went in contract today for $1.9M.  We were raised on this house as the quintessential 3-Family owner-occupied money maker.  The parking space and air-rights are just bonus.  Between the 6 train at 110th Street and the some-day-it'll-be-here 2nd Avenue subway line, this block has been an interesting alternative to Brooklyn, the Upper East Side, the Upper West Side, and more expensive stretches of Harlem for buyers & renters alike.  This is East Harlem's answer to the new construction houses at Atlantic Commons, like 460 Carlton Avenue...

...where Platinum Members have an off-market deal in contract for a new pricepoint as well.  In Harlem, a finished basement, backyard, nice roof, 2 parking spaces, under $2M??  It was a HomeCanvasr hole in one.  Sure, it doesn't have original details, but it doesn't have original drama either.  No asbestos, no lead paint or pipes, no mold, no termites - and all the other things every one of these old houses has that even a 5th grader could tell you are icky.  Some owners on the block have already reconfigured even fancier iterations of these houses with modern owner's duplexes, etc.  And the parking space is an equalizer for those who think this is too far off the beaten path.

Cheaper than what else you'd find this nice across 110th Street, and neck & neck with its Atlantic Commons counterparts, 225 East 110th Street brings it full circle for us.

Pro's:  owner-occupiers dream with huge rental income potential, totally turnkey with recent updates, nice backyard, parking, grosses over $10K/month, low expenses, no money wasted on big broker commission

Con's:  a little on the generic side, these used to be $1.5M-$1.6M back in the day, sold to the first buyer who saw it

Ideally:  a great deal for buyer and seller that happened only on

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Holes in the Ground in Crown Heights

In case you've been living under a rock for the past few years, Brooklyn's hottest cross-over neighborhood "Pro-Crow" is literally on fire, and we don't just mean the corner of Washington Ave & St. Johns...

Which is now just a hole in the ground poised for a mixed-use project to come with apartments above.

Down the street, another hole in the ground is 564-570 St. Johns Place, which we tolja' sold for $177/bsf last year, no longer just a decaying garage...

It too is another hole in the ground ready for its tens of thousands of prime buildable square feet to be built.  You thought $48M was a big number for the fully-rented 500 Sterling Place with it's neighborhood-shattering rental numbers, try $24M for a piece of dirt at 564-570.  But pieces of dirt don't last forever.

Not quite matchy-matchy with what's across the street?  Who cares?

"Oh, but that pesky S train track is right there!"  Who cares?

This is the same block as Crown Heights' beloved once-outpost Franklin Park, people!

Which requires just once glance at practically any time of day to know that the hipster blessing have been received in this nabe.  No wonder everyone else on the block is getting into the act.  Like the now-unified front across the street...

Even the 20' wide dirt next door at 615 St. Johns Place sold for over a million last year and has its plans underway...

No wonder the commercial on Franklin continues to turn over...

No wonder owners on this same St. Johns block held out for every last penny on a 6-Family delivered vacant at 557 St. Johns.  No wonder 2 more projects on the same block as 790 Classon Avenue around the corner are following the same play book of gutting and building up and building back.

In the field of dreams of post-Slope Brooklyn, if you build it, they will come.  Then when they come, you can build some more.  And that fire?  It'll have its day in the sun too...

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Closings of Note: Tell It Like It Is

It's still not a game out in here in Brooklyn as prices continue to go to higher heights.  But don't take our word for it.  Let's sit back & relax, and let the market "tell it like it is."  With $2M being surpassed for the finest 4-stories from West Bed-Stuy to Stuyvesant Heights, brace yourself for a deceptively 4-story 17' wider with a $1.9M handle on it like 340 Putnam Avenue.  Closed in March.  Manhattan buyer, for the win!  No wonder off-market bids came in at $2M for a 20' wider around the corner a few weeks ago.

With ~$2M townhomes becoming more than just the outlier in Bed-Stuy, no wonder mortgageable Clinton Hill homes, no matter how generic, can shoot over asking price.  422 Grand Avenue closed in March for $2.5M with 50% down to buyers from Boerum Hill.

Available on first, this nifty renovated 3-story at 73 Chauncey Street closed for $1.495M to a buyer from Manhattan in March.

As seen first on last summer, 99 Kane Street was a great 5-story 2-Family house on the edge of Carroll Gardens with amazing views of the harbor.  It wanted just over $3M, and came down a little after listing publicly.  It closed for $2.8M last month to buyers from Brooklyn Heights

As seen only on, 658 Dean Street in Prospect Heights sold for $1.83M last month after their latest price drop to $1.9M in February.  Not a bad look for a turnkey place with a nice yard in a neighborhood that's been neck & neck with Park Slope for a while.

71 Bleecker Street in Bushwick got the green light from our main Bushwick expert.  Platinum Members pushed an accepted offer & contract at $870K to the brink and got scooped the next week by a much higher offer.  This neat little 2-Family closed last week for $970K.

BoCoCa's 465 Warren Street closed for $400K in March (with some additional costs you won't find as easily) and now will gladly sell to you for $2.3M with an open house this Friday.  Probably goes for even less without a big broker on the scene.  We've got an even more diesel place coming to market soon in South Slope around this price with no big broker on the scene.

373 5th Street in Park Slope was a no-brainer even with issues and requiring a cash buyer.  It closed in March for $1.525M.  Now that same price is coming in even further down in South Slope on an off-market cash deal.

292 16th Street in South Slope ('cause who wants to really call it Greenwood already if they don't have to?) even this small frame house only 25' deep closes for $1.225M in March.  Over $750/sqft for a house that'll probably undergo everything to max it out.  Today we're checking out a new project nearby coming soon to that wants as much as $2.35M for a totally renovated finished product.

Speaking of $1.2M in Park Slope...  on asking $1.25M months before it hit the open market with a big broker, the North Slope 2/2 condo at 392 Bergen Street, #2 sold for $1.36M last month.  And on the BoCoCa side, another Bergen Street 2/2 condo closed for $1.45M to buyers from Manhattan.

This frame house in Lefferts on a huge lot at 194 Hawthorne Street closed for $1.4M in March.  16 residential units is what's next.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Another Experience: 420 Franklin Avenue, #1

Available only on, it's a Clinton Hill / Bed-Stuy duplex condo with private backyard asking $1M.  420 Franklin Avenue, #1 is a 2BR/2 bath garden floor condo with finished basement and laundry in the unit, grossing almost 1,500 square feet and almost 700 square feet of private outdoor space.  We were impressed when we first saw it a few weeks ago...

Totally renovated and first rolled out the door last year, the owners have made some tasteful additions since; including taking out some heinous accent tile the developer put in the bathroom, and adding some custom made bookshelves fashioned out of plumbing pipes...

Just in the time for the warm weather, wall AC units in every room.  With relatively low common charges under $400/month, this apartment works as a Franklin Avenue townhouse alternative for those who can't handle fixer-uppers in the $1.35M-$1.8M range.  And you still net the backyard action that townhomes are loved for...

With $700K 1BR's flying off the shelves heading towards Franklin, this is a much larger piece for not that much more money.  We'd rent the finished basement as a legit bedroom ourselves, but whether you count it or not, it makes a great man-cave is nothing else.  Not to mention the laundry...

Some people tell us "a condo that nice for 'only' a million is a no-brainer".  The peanut gallery will obviously point out the owner's cost basis, but the market is the market.  Apple's gone up 25% since last September...

Why can't one of Brooklyn's Finest condos?  For those who want townhouse feel on Franklin Avenue at a relatively affordable slice, this is the move.  But we'll see what the market has to say.  With an open house coming up, it's easy to find out for yourself.

Pro's:  true 2 bedroom & 2 bathroom duplex with laundry, AC, and private backyard, low common charges, ON Franklin Avenue, great Bed-Stuy/Clinton Hill/ Crown Heights tweener play, no big broker commission on the scene, nice owner updates since purchase, shows great, not a huge multi-unit

Con's:  not a garden/parlor duplex, finished basement isn't true square-footage in everyone's book, more expedient than grand, uptick since last season 

Ideally:  if you can find a better 2/2 with private yard, buy it!

Friday, May 8, 2015

Good, Better, Best: 475 Sterling Place, #2E

The old adage, "Good, better, best.  Never let it rest.  Until your good is your better and your better is your best" rings true in this seemingly-endless bull market in Brooklyn property.  Not long ago we documented the $700K condo game a few times, back when $700K got you a 2BR in neighborhoods like prime Boerum Hill, prime Park Slope, more Park Slope, even more Park Slope.  Until finally the $700K condo game came to the Prospect Heights/Crown Heights border for a new construction 2BR.  But back then we were still selling townhome beauties in Crown Heights in the $700K's too, like 894 Sterling Place.

The rising tide has continued to lift all boats.

Nowadays the 1BR's are feeling the uptick.  475 Sterling Place, #2E hit the market for $699K, and in the time it took for the "Just Listed" post cards to arrive via snail mail, this condo is already in contract within a week.

At almost $1,000/sqft, it is no joke in Crown Heights these days!  The pricepoint makes it more palatable, but you can clearly see that the good is now better, and the better is now best in Brooklyn's unstoppable real estate market.  475 Sterling's 2BR's went from $775K, to $815K, to $850K to $995K, to $1.025M like #3C that closed last month.  No wonder Platinum Members pounced pre-market on a 1BR here at the end of 2013 for $550K.  First the 2BR condos on Sterling & Washington start selling for the price of townhomes on Sterling & Nostrand.  Then the 1BR's on Sterling & Washington start fetching that price.  We can only imagine what the townhomes are worth today.  And it puts the $48M sale of 500 Sterling Place across the street (which we tolja' 'bout in February) in perspective at just over $600K/unit.

Coming up on, we've got a 2BR/2 bath duplex with private backyard on Franklin Avenue asking $1M as this condo goes for re-sale.  Price sounds right in line with the market to us.  (Did we mention the backyard??)

Pro's:  new construction condo in prime Pro/Cro with roof, gym, parking, floor to ceiling windows with great light, relatively low common charges, under $800K perhaps?

Con's:  little on the generic side, pricey ppsf, is this really what 1BR's cost now

Ideally:  a great little place in Pro-Cro pocket still on the rise that rolled right out the door in a flash

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Bed-Stuy Mixed-Use Available Only on HomeCanvasr: Gates Avenue & Nostrand Avenue

Available only on, it's a mixed-use property in Bed-Stuy that's asking $1.25M.  This building has 2 turnkey apartments and a commercial space currently used as a trendy gallery.  One of the apartments is a true 2BR with a balcony over-looking the garden...

The other apartment is a 1BR plus office.  Market rents between $1,750-$2,000/floor for the apartments, and the gallery on the ground floor is pretty sick...

With a new roof, tenants paying their own heat & hot water for each unit, and the gallery doing some landscaping & coy pond to come in the backyard, this building is optimized for hipster "set it & forget it" status.  Low ball cash offers under $1M were already shot down, and the owner wants a high number in this frothy market, but who can blame 'em?  We've got another one off-market on the corner at this same pricepoint in Bed-Stuy with 2 garages.

Pro's:  totally turnkey, Nostrand isn't too far anymore, lots of amenities nearby on Bedford, tenants pay all utilities, almost fully optimized, full sized 20' wide, no big broker commission on the scene

Con's:  not much value-add left at these levels, 3-stories not 4, won't settle for $1M anymore

Ideally:  if you want an easily finance-able buy & hold or a live-in investment at a relatively low pricepoint for the area, this could be the one