Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Buy & Hold 8-Family Closed Last Week Over Asking Price: 245 Martense Street

Maybe you were too chicken to venture out to Church Avenue on the 2/5 trains when this gem was asking $859K in 2012, but we weren't.  We'd been hoofing it out to Church Ave since 2003.  Picked up for $869K just before the clock struck 2013, 245 Martense Street hit the open market this year for $2.4M, and closed last week way over asking price at $2.72M.  This 8-Family cash cow features original details, new upgrades, lots of free market apartments and stabilized apartments in line with or exceeding market rents.  No wonder it was perfect for buyers looking for solid return, capital preservation, and/or 1031 action.  No wonder this place made it to the top of Loopnet's most popular listings in Brooklyn on the open market...

Pre-market, the biggest commercial brokers told us to take offers we had in the $2.3-$2.4M range, saying they'd charge us 6 figures in commission and not net us anymore money.  But the building, affectionately known as "The Old Man", wouldn't stop there.

Sleep on Brooklyn at your own peril, but they still won't believe it until it happens a dozen more times.  Nobody thought $2,000+ 2BR's were coming to Lefferts, but we knew any deal around the corner from the 2/5 with legit BR's all over the place was poised to tick up, rent regulated or not.  We tried to tolja' back in June it was going down over ask; now it has.  And the hunt begins for the next project.

"But where is the next hot neighborhood in Brooklyn??" they always ask us.

Oh, silly!  It's not that simple.  It never has been.  You can overpay in any neighborhood, good or bad.  You can also underpay in any neighborhood, good or bad.  The trajectory of each building is case-by-case and not told by its zip code alone.  But they don't hear us though.

As even the Park Slope-mobile parks over in Crown Heights...

And Park Slope cats get houses boudgier than Fort Greene's people, on a block where investors are bidding $2M+ for a tear down frame house...

And $3M sales (not asking prices) are popping up in Bed-Stuy, where $900K scared people just 3-4 years ago.  And the word "gentrification" is even starting to sound too subtle...

Wu-Tang's "Cash Rule Everything Around Me" feels as poignant as ever.  Or just a good punchline...

We'll keep trying to breakdown the nuanced trends that conk trained eyes over the head, while Brooklyn keeps singing, "If you don't know me by now..."

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Another First Hits the Open Market: 431 Prospect Place

On since May, this neat little 2-Family in Prospect Heights ripe for an end-user hit the open market last month and has an open house this week.  431 Prospect Place was a member of the coveted #notonstreeteasy club until just a few weeks ago.  Given what else is going on in the market, this totally turnkey upper duplex and garden rental 3-story on an extra deep lot is worth a look at the asking price of $2.35M.  While the "My First Sony" nay-sayers will be quick to point out the 17' width, that didn't stop our last look at 17' wide from fetching $3.2M in south Slope in a bidding war that even TV personalities couldn't keep up with.

But what the "My First Sony" buyers don't always factor in is that interior staircases and 2 entrances on these "narrow" 2-Fam's mean a net width in the rooms the same as a 20'-wider.  Either way, that didn't stop Clinton Hill's less-than-15'-wider 368 Grand Avenue for closing over $2.3M last year.

And 16' width didn't stop even Bed-Stuy's 22 Arlington Place from fetching over $2.2M last year either.  Granted, these are both 4-stories, but we're just saying.  431 Prospect Place is asking almost $1,000/ft, but on a whole-dollar level, we certainly can't blame them.  Nice original detail throughout:

A recent renovation may not be everyone's taste, but certainly gets the job done and lets buyers hit the ground running...

The 127' lot and modest deck off the parlor don't hurt either...

The gripes are built-in, but the pluses are there.  Especially since people paid almost this much for total shells in a need of a gut around the corner even 2 years ago.  If you want more than a duplex condo and you wanna be west of Franklin and you don't need Corcoran to blind you with staging and retouching and tuck you in at night with 6% commission, this is a good end user play at the right price.  With an open house tomorrow, it's even easier to see for yourself.   Platinum Members toured one even juicier than this in Clinton Hill for $2.2M and a 4-Family in Clinton Hill for $2.35M both off market this month.  #notonstreeteasy can't stop, won't stop!

Pro's:  cute curb appeal, totally turnkey & mortgageable, nice Prospect Heights side end-user play, condo alternative with rental income for many buyers, extra deep lot, original details, west of Franklin

Con's:  next to a large apartment building, not the most recent or hip renovation, 17' wide, won't stun you with staging, 1990's renovation at 2015 pricing, feels a tad high on price perhaps

Ideally:  if you won't go to Crown Heights proper for $1.8M and you don't want a condo in more prime Prospect Heights for $1.8M+, and you can afford over $2M, you should give this a shot

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Stylish Reno in South Slope Flies Off the Shelf: 468 11th Street

Listed for $2.95M at the beginning of the summer, South Slope's 468 11th Street had a few well-attended open houses and multiple offers right away.  This stylish little 17' wide 3-story 2-Family had lots of orginals details and cute updates that made it totally digestible for the retail market...

Little touches like the working fireplace, the small extension with two exposures, the skylights, the bountiful penny tile, the zoned heat and A/C, and inventive use of spaces made it a special house.  Goes to show that style trumps hefty budget any day.

One of our faves was the buddha crown molding...

Ikea, penny tile, original details and a little style go along way for this clean and sleek look that gives that warm fuzzy feeling of lived in even better than staging.  We saw your boy MNBC's Chris Hayes at one of the open houses, and he later told us at the tiki bar that he was outbid on this house.

When a dude with his own national TV show is getting outbid on tiny 2-Fam's in South Slope, you know this market isn't for the weak of heart (or wallet).  Many thought the asking price of $2.95M was asking to be underbid in the $2.6M-$2.7M range, but a contract was out in a few weeks and just a month later it closed in July for $3.2M.  That's right.  What the big 4-stories on more coveted blocks used to close for not long ago, the modest but stylish renos that get it right are now commanding.  No wonder offers over ask came in for a similar (down to the extension) pre-styled 2-Family at 155 Nelson Street in Carroll Gardens.  We were in a wider 2-Family off-market in Clinton Hill styled almost this nice on the duplex asking "only" $2.2M on the same block where Platinum Members copped an off-market deal last year for even higher.  468 11th Street sold for just over $1.3M in 2011, but when you make a product that people gotta have they'll pay up for it.  As in, over $1,200/sqft for a townhouse.  We'd much rather have a 5-story like 242 Gates Avenue for $3M, but that one's long gone.  The developers of 468 11th Street knocked it out of the park without over doing it at all and ya gotta tip your hat.  And don't expect to find a steal lurking - even when for sale by owner - when the TV folks are getting boxed out of the paint in South Slope.

Pro's:  great unique renovation, no big broker's commission needed, style for days, nice backyard, extension, basically and owner's triplex with a studio on the garden, AC, working fireplace, width isn't a deal breaker with interior staircase when the hallway isn't eating things up

Con's:  flew way over asking price and many people's budget, kinda budgety reno feel at times, not brand spanking new, already starting to show a little wear 

Ideally:  ultimately, ya can't hate on this one, not one bit.  Proof's in the pudding