House of the Day: 663 Rugby Road

After a fire gutted the single-family house at 663 Rugby Road last summer, the non-profit that owned it sold it to someone in December who did a quick renovation and put it on the market for $1,249,000. As a result, there’s not an original detail in sight. For that price in this area, we’d want a little more character. Think anyone will bite? There was an open house yesterday. Anyone go?
663 Rugby Road [Kestyn] GMAP P*Shark

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  • Black bathroom mold on the columns. Knock 10K off.

  • Seems like the best of both worlds…modern-ish inside with a nice looking house on the outside. Updated electricals, heating, etc. (Looks like the photo shows the house during renovation, so that would explain the unfinished columns.)

    Great location, not far from Cortelyou and very close to a convenient subway line for commuting into the city. Plus that new French place is opening up any day now.

  • Not worth anything close to asking price!

  • those bathromms are hideous.

  • The renovated house looks good from the outside. Workers put in a new driveway and walkway from the sidewalk to the front steps.

    However, the asking price seems a little high. On the other hand, another house on Rugby — about 750 — was renovated over a year ago and offered for roughly the same price. I don’t know the final sale price, however. It was in horrible condition. Floors were collapsing, walls were partially destroyed. Strange people had lived in it for years.

    That aside, the house at 663 Rugby is very close to Foster Avenue, which means there are some noise issues. It is also on the stretch of Rugby that has been the site of drug sales. Some of the finer residents of the apartment buildings on Rugby across Foster Avenue have discovered the benefits of completing drug transactions where no security cameras can record their activities. However, the increase in police foot patrols of the area has largely eliminated this nuisance.

  • OMG goodness gracious, this interior is NOT modern. I love a truly modern interior inside an older historic house. But this one is not an example of that. Not even close.

    There was a 2-story limestone in LM that was also gutted by fire and the new owners did a super upscale, loft-like interior renovation inside. The house was on the house tour last year. THAT was a modern interior. A renovation like that would have been amazing inside one of these woodframe Victorians. This seller didn’t invest to that degree in this house. The reno looks cheapy Home Depot. It looks like a mid-range condo in the ‘burbs inside.

  • This is absolutely great: “Plus that new French place is opening up any day now.”

    Hey, there’s going to be a new French restaurant nearby. Of course I’ll shell out $1.25 million for it.

  • I think some people say ‘modern’ when they mean ‘contemporary’. A reasonable misunderstanding.

    To architects and designers, ‘modern’ largely refers to modernism, which began around the turn of the last century and includes movements such as Arts and Crafts, Art Nouveau, Di Stijl, Bauhaus, and Art Deco.

    If there is any design reference in this renovation, it is seen in the attempt made in the kitchen to be contemporary, and is characterized by the granite counters and (invisible) stainless steel appliances. Contemporary refering to current trends and fashions.

  • It’s only in academia that “modernism” as a general era applies to arts & crafts, art nouveau, or deco. No interior designer or architect would use that term with a client as a visual reference. Art nouveau with its over-the-top romantic flourishes would be the polar opposite taste of a young couple walking in the door asking for a “modern” interior.

  • Rococo is the way to go. Sheath that house in gold and then it might be worth the price.

  • If it goes for that price, I’ll eat “The What’s” words.

    Not gonna happen.

  • 2:58 – Good point. Perhaps some Brownstoner readers will be able to express themselves more effectively as a result.

  • Regarding the snarky comment about the French bistro, surely amenities in a neighborhood affect a home’s value. Not that one French restaurant justifies any asking price under the sun, but crappy 600 square foot studios go for half a million in Park Slope and the price probably has little to do with the physical characteristics of the building. “Location, location, location,” right? You can’t discount a gentrifying neighborhood when figuring out how much you’d pay for a place.

  • “crappy 600 square foot studios go for half a million in Park Slope”

    Uhhh, no, actually they don’t.

  • Uhhh, I don’t think that’s actually the point 5:50, although congrats for winning a technicality.

    The point is, you can pay $700,000 to well over a million for a one or two bedroom in Park Slope that is probably no bigger than this house’s first floor. You could certainly spend about half a mil on a studio in parts of Manhattan. Why? Because of the location. Because of what’s in the neighborhood. Sometimes certain flaws about an apartment are overlooked precisely because of what’s in the neighborhood. Is it close to a subway? To restaurants? To good schools?

    Regardless of the asking price for this place, to discount the idea that it’s what’s in a neighborhood that ALSO affects a home’s value speaks of a general ignorance of real estate.

  • Some people say ‘Modern’ when they mean ‘newly renovated’

    And newly renovated is not necessarily nice.

  • “Some of the finer residents of the apartment buildings on Rugby across Foster Avenue have discovered the benefits of completing drug transactions where no security cameras can record their activities.”

    …drug deals go down everywhere around there…you people just dont want to open your eyes and realize that a few blocks from there is the straight up hood. Anyone who does nto post in this forum would be the first to tell you that.

  • Yeah, just like certain areas of 4th Avenue or Carrol Gardens or Cobble Hill. There’s hardly a neighborhood in NYC that isn’t a few blocks away from “straight up hood.”

  • The house is in a good neighborhood. It’s true, there are some drug sales in the area, but the 70th Precinct serves the area. The 70th is a precinct used for “training” which means there have been a large number of police on Rugby patrolling from the subway station at Avenue H to the subway stop at Newkirk Plaza (Foster Ave).

    Moreover, the chief of police, Joe Esposito, lives on one of the side streets off Rugby, just up the block from this house. It makes a difference.

  • There’s only one public school in this neighborhood — P.S. 217. Not bad. It offers a gifted program. The kids are okay and learning happens. Parental involvement is high and the staff cares. But the school does not lure people to the area like P.S. 321 in Park Slope. Maybe that’s good news. I’m not sure.

  • I would have to side with 6:21. I am a female and I have taken the train in that neighborhood numerous times and I had many young African American men telling me my “ass was hot”. I was intimidated, I would not want to have to deal with that every day when I spend so much on a home.

  • 6:01pm, the 1BR to 2BR coops and condos are not $700K to a million in Park Slope. You can easily get a cute historic 2BR brownstone coop on a prime street in Park Slope for $600K. With a new kitchen. We know someone who bought such a coop two weeks ago.

  • Who cares about details? I’d pay that much just to live in the neighborhood.

  • Again…not really the point, 8:16. The point is that people consider neighborhood features when pricing a home. That $600,000 2BR your friends bought would be a hell of a lot less in Kansas.

  • Yes, the point is that one (not even open yet) French restaurant does not make this house worth the asking price.

    As has been said, location, location, location…

  • I don’t understand, 8:39. I was responding to someone who claimed 1BR and 2BR places in Park Slope cost $700K to $1 million. I was simply disagreeing and pointing out the true price range which is lower. I know nothing about Kansas.

  • …sorry, but any place where Africans are telling my wife her ass is hot is a place where houses are $500K in a few years.

  • I went to the open house. The place is quite spacious inside and everything is new, but there’s no charm and no high end details that I’d expect from a house in this price range. Yes the bathrooms are small and unattractive. Not much of a master suite. Backyard is almost nonexistent due to garage. I just bought a house on the same block as this one so I hope they do get a good price, but in my opinion it’s not really worth what they are asking.
    And as a new Rugby Road resident, a new French restaurant DOES matter :)

  • To the woman who says African men are telling her “her ass is hot” – who the hell are you? a wuss from park slope. I live in this neighborhood – moved here 10 years ago from park slope and have travelled for Theater work late at night often and never been scared of African men. You need to move back to Kansas. I find it appalling you would be scared – put your ass against the door and don’t show it to everyone. Take some responsibility.

  • I don’t think that’s mold on the columns. Looks like they were scraping paint and that’s some of the residue.

  • I don’t know about $1.25 million, but for a family looking for space, a yard, off-street parking, and a serene, tree-lined block around the corner from express subway service, this could be the place.

    I’m amused that a new French restaurant seems to be such a big deal, considering how many good Pakastani, Afghan, Jamaican, Haitian restaurants are in the vicinity. Maybe it’s seen as a harbinger of yuppies to come, but otherwise it’s just another dining option in a neighborhood that already has plenty.

  • In all my life experience, rich white frat boys and jocks are far more likely to harrass women. Also latin and Italian men of any income harrass women as a common part of their culture. That behavior is hardly limited to black people. If I got comments from some black men yes I would be annoyed. But I’d logically be annoyed at society’s tolerance of such things from the male gender. I would not focus on the race. Which illustrates what racism is, of course. Someone who focuses solely on the race when the behavior is universal. If you assume your daughters are safe with white teenage frat boy jocks because they’re white – gee, good luck with that.

  • This house was a group home for teens run by a subsidiary of ACS. My friends parents, both Social Workers, were the house parents in this home in the early 90′s and they did a wonderful job with the teens. I hope that all of the teens who were burned out lastyear are now doing okay. We need more family settings as opposed to detention center-like homes for teens so that they will know what it’s like to live in a family environment and where they can be taught life skills necessary to survival once they age out of foster care. I know all too well what happens to kids who are no longer eligible for foster care and are literally cut off at age 18, many times without housing or jobs. That said, I think that the house will sell for close to asking. It has all new systems, lots of room on a big lot, nice clapboard siding and it’s on a nice block. Details can always be added and are easier and less expensive than updating mechanicals. The kitchen and baths, although a little low brow, can always be upgraded. I ‘d rather tackle a tacky kitchen than installing new heating, electrical, plumbing and insulation in an old house.

  • I agree with you B Square, but I think, for the price, people will not want to mess with even new kitchen or bath tile. They want move in ready. There were similar problems with the house on Ditmas Avenue that had been renovated by flippers after a fire. Very Home Depo-esque flip, yet high-end designer price. I was tempted by the light and space of the Ditmas House, the new mechanicals, move-in-condition, etc… I could even get past the lack of detail (although it wasn’t easy). The thing I couldn’t get my mind around, though, was nearly 1.6 million for 5 tacky baths and a hideous kitchen. I think this house will sell, eventually, near ask, but will sit until someone who’s been outbid a few times gets desperate.

  • Now that I’m pushing 40, I wouldn’t mind anyone from any race to tell me my ass is hot once in a while :)

    To the person who is baffled by the excitement around a new restaurant – I agree there are many options already but IMHO there are not many “nice” places very closeby. I don’t think I’m a snob as I enjoy eating at all kinds of establishments but like the option of somewhere nicer than the takeout joints and low-atmosphere options once in a while. Since I’m new to the ‘hood, I’d love some reco’s if I’m making too many assumptions on what’s available locally.

  • Does anyone know what is going on with this house? It supposedly sold in April or so but nobody has moved in, and it’s not back on the market either….?

  • OK so strangely enough, this question was answered for me shortly after my post when the open house sign went up outside 663 Rugby. Back on the market, I guess sale fell through. Neighborhood rumor has it that the previous buyer was filmmaker Morgan Spurlock.