House of the Day: 1907 Ditmas Avenue

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This monster of a home (5,500 square feet) at 1907 Ditmas Avenue in Ditmas Park looks pretty sweet to us: Lots of well-preserved detail, large rooms, big corner lot. Whether it’s worth the $1,700,000 remains to be seen. One thing’s for sure, though—Even if it doesn’t go for the asking price, the folks who bought it for $848,500 in 2003 stand to make a pretty penny!
1907 Ditmas Avenue [Mary Kay Gallagher] GMAP P*Shark

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  • Have no idea about the asking price, but I like that house.

  • That seems positively cheap for such a huge, beautiful house. I would love to own it! Lucky people who finally get it..

  • Not a bad location, either. Close to the B and Q trains at Newkirk. The neighborhood is not nearly as gentrified as areas of brownstone Brooklyn, but it’s happening out there. We just bought here last month and have been pleasantly surprised by the new things that have been opening up in just a short amount of time.

  • Why are they selling?

  • I’ve never even been to Ditmas Park. Sorry for sounding ignorant, but does anyone have any insight into the area? Commute to Manhattan? Restaurants?

  • It’s central Brooklyn, nice houses but the commute is shitty.

  • Holy 100 year old McMansion Batman!

  • couldn’t even imagine what it would cost to heet or cool this house.
    i wonder if in these days of $110 oil houses like these lose their appeal?

  • I’d rather buy a place in scarsdale or long island for half the price. Property taxes are higher, but mortgage taxes, income taxes are lower, there are more services, and it is much faster to midtown.
    b.u.b.b.l.e.

  • For half the price you get to live in Hempstead and have to have at least one car to get around. Bubblehead.

  • It’s about 35 minutes to downtown (switch at Atlantic for the 4 or 5) or 45 minutes to midtown, including the walk from Ditmas and 19th to Newkirk Plaza.

    Lots of good cheap food (West Indian, Pakistani) but not much of the yuppie-approved fancy stuff.

    Heating bills are brutal, but with all the mature trees, and fully detached houses with windows everywhere, you’ll use your A/C a lot less than you would in a brownstone rowhouse.

  • To all of you that think that commute from Ditmas park is shitty, think again you have no clue!
    I live there, commute to Manhattan is easy.
    Q train is few blocks away from any part of Ditmas park.
    Commuting to Park Slope is: either take the bus 7 min. or use your bike, 10 min.
    Walking to Park slope is 15 min. I do it often.
    Shopping in Newkirk ave, or Cortelyou rd., you have very good cafees and nice supermarket, organic food market, as well as very good resturants.
    Upcoming is an 80 luxury condo on the corner of Hinckley and Coney Island Ave, as well as few small developments inside.
    I own few townhouses around Park Slope and Prospect hights I have no desire to live there, I live in Ditmas Park
    in my BIGGGGGGGGG Victorian with a huge lot and a big yard and my private driveway.
    I walk to prospect park, it takes my 7 min. like walking from 4th Ave up the hill to the park, same distance.
    I don’t need to move my car every morning like a zombie.
    If I need to go to Center Slope is either my bike or bus or my moped, Or 15 min walk.
    It’s like living in the city and the country together.
    No wonder some people who had a bit of a brain sold the condos in the slope and moved here to the victorians. Same price!
    Inventory here is pretty limited, if you can grab a Victorian before it is too late do it now.

  • Heating bills in my Victorian are the same
    as my townhouses in Park Slope. May be a tiny bit more.
    Cooling bills are significanly lower since I have 6 x 50 feet trees overshadwoing my house.
    I installed ceiling fans all over and unless
    it is over 90 degrees outside I don’t use A/C.
    It takes 30000 BTU to cool off the whole house.
    6 window A/C of 5000BTU each.

  • 4:09 I commuted from the Kings Hwy stop on that line for four years. Trust me, it’s a shitty commute.

  • 4:05 must be a blast as parties.

  • Is this house cheap? Maybe it’s the neighbors. Directly across Ditmas Ave at 1902 is the home of Al Sharpton. These days, just his wife, however. He ditched her a year or two ago for one of his staff workers.

  • Eh, no worse a commute than coming from some parts of Fort Greene, Sunset Park or other up and coming areas of Brooklyn. I commute via the B from Newkirk and it takes me about 30 minutes to Penn Station.

    As for heating and cooling, since you won’t need a car to get in and out of Manhattan and since you won’t have to spend money on a LIRR or MetroNorth monthly pass, it’s about even.

  • 4:05 has it exactly right. We moved here from a two and a half bedroom rental in the South Slope and now have six bedrooms and are 1/2 hour from work in Soho on the B train. I have plenty of friends in the suburbs and believe me, this is nothing like them. It’s a real community here and people don’t move here because they’re fleeing the urban experience — they just want more space for their families. Sure, we could use a few more restaurants but they’re opening more all the time and if you have kids, how many times are you going to eat out anyway? I grew up in, and then lived in, Manhattan and then all over Park Slope and this is my favorite neighborhood so far. And this time of year, when everyone’s magnolia and cherry trees are in bloom, I walk my dog around here and am just plain happy.

    And no, haters, I’m not a broker.

  • great neighborhood. one problem with it, now all the yuppies are starting to move out there so in 3 more years the neighborhood will probably suck!! filled with strollers and some yuppie filled restaurants. do us all a favor and stay in the slope or neighborhoods where the yups are. lets not ruin another brooklyn neighborhood….really.

  • Oh my god!!!!! strollers in a neighborhood filled with 4000+sq ft mansions…the horror

  • obviously a pusher!! Just want to keep some different flavors in different neighborhoods. soon bklyn will all be the same as the slope. no variety because the yuppies are taking over….aaaahhhhhh

  • If you know you are a yuppie and want to move to this neigborhood, better to save 100G and buy this house…
    http://www.corcoran.com/property/listing.aspx?Region=NYC&ListingID=1242120&ohDat=4/20/2008%2012:00:00%20AM;

  • the yuppies are you with children. who are you trying to kid?

  • Brenda from Flatbush

    We have a mere 3,000-sq-foot Victorian wood house in Flatbush, and winter gas bills are brutal…but in summer, with cross-ventilation in every room, it’s heaven; A/C is really needed only on top floor. (Spouse disagrees, but what the heck.) However, if I had $1.7 million to spend on a house, I wouldn’t be worrying about how to afford my gas bills!
    I hope we do get more big families moving or getting born in these big old houses; they were made to house big happy clans, and there’s plenty of space on the porch for all the debris of childhood.

  • gas bills were $1250 for two months in both Nov./Dec. & Jan/Feb. Never put the thermostat above 68 degrees too. Factor that in, folks!

  • These houses are surrounded on all sides by fairly dangerous neighborhoods. If you really want a historic old manse like this buy it in the burbs, it will be cheaper there and you won’t be waking up nearly as often with unvited guests in your parlor from down the street, seriously!

  • 7:58,

    Get a life. Ditmas Park is in Flatbush, surrounded by PLG, LG, Midwood, Kensington and Prospect Park. The only uninvited guests that I’ve had, in my five years out here, was my mother-in-law. When she showed up on the porch, I kind of wish there was a fairly dangerous neighbor from down the street to take care of her for me. Seriously.

  • That house is so beautiful I’m half considering trading in my Boerum Hill brownstone for it. But what would I do with NINE bedrooms? Who needs nine bedrooms?

  • that house is a better buy then most of crappy brownstones that need all that work for the same price. I like it

  • 8:29 thanks for the laugh, I needed it

  • Yeah, and ten years ago that nice brownstone on a street off of Fifth Avenue was also surrounded by fairly dangerous blocks. 9th Street and 4th Avenue anyone? Not so nice and you wouldn’t have wanted to get off the subway alone at night.

    But man oh man do I wish I had bought a place near there ten years ago. Same thing is happening here. The neighborhood is gentrifying.

  • Corcoran Agent @ 5:02, the house that you have for sale is nice, but this house has the potential to be soooo much better than your listing.

    And to “But what would I do with NINE bedrooms? Who needs nine bedrooms?” @ 8:55

    Let’s see. Nine Bedrooms. Three kids, one husband. First, I’d get another husband. Each of my husbands could then have either of the two master bedrooms and the kids could have two bedrooms each. I’d keep the last bedroom for myself. I would visit my husbands on alternating nights, resting on Sunday. There. Problem solved ;)

  • BTW,

    Had to wait for husband #1 to go to bed
    before I made the previous post.

  • it the house in a landmarked area? I worry that some crazy cult will buy it and install florescent lighting fixtures or some dumbass will slap synthetic stucco on it or an evil speculator will just tear it down and put up a ginormous fedders box…

  • Zoning changes which are about to happen will put the kabosh on apt buildings. This building is in Ditmas Park proper, and therefore landmarked.

    Other areas are working hard toward landmarking.

  • Zoning changes which are about to happen will put the kabosh on apt buildings. This building is in Ditmas Park proper, and therefore landmarked.

    Other areas are working hard toward landmarking.

  • Did anyone else notice from the map how green this section of Brooklyn is?

  • I feel EXTREMELY shocked that Al Sharpton lives nearby, potentially. Do you mean to say that they allow Negroes in these mansions? I’m terrified enough, thinking of the “elements” that 7:58 referred to, since I’m positively certain that by “fairly dangerous” he means “fairly black,” and that by “uninvited guests,” well, who can imagine–perhaps those black ladies trying to persuade people to join the Jehovah’s witnesses, or even worse, some Negro man trying to invite me to “hook up” with him? I am shocked, terrified, anguished, and desolate. What will I do with my money? Park Slope has too many “elements”–a 7 day a week lesbian bar, and another place, Excelsior, where I hear Daveinbedstuy, Biff, and their “ilk,” if you know what I mean–congregate.

    Oh, for the vanished Brownstone lifestyles of Yesteryear!

  • I feel EXTREMELY shocked that Al Sharpton lives nearby, potentially. Do you mean to say that they allow Negroes in these mansions? I’m terrified enough, thinking of the “elements” that 7:58 referred to, since I’m positively certain that by “fairly dangerous” he means “fairly black,” and that by “uninvited guests,” well, who can imagine–perhaps those black ladies trying to persuade people to join the Jehovah’s witnesses, or even worse, some Negro man trying to invite me to “hook up” with him? I am shocked, terrified, anguished, and desolate. What will I do with my money? Park Slope has too many “elements”–a 7 day a week lesbian bar, and another place, Excelsior, where I hear Daveinbedstuy, Biff, and their “ilk,” if you know what I mean–congregate.

    Oh, for the vanished Brownstone lifestyles of Yesteryear!

  • I love this house – and Ditmas Park – but who needs nine bedrooms? Or the hefty price tag? I’d love to shed my 2 cramped 2 bedroom Slope coop, but I don’t need a mansion. Or a fixer-upper. I wish there was a little more variety in the housing stock. SOmething a little smaller (and cheaper) that didn’t need total rehab. Dare to dream.

  • It’s a beautiful house. A family who need home offices and want a formally designated guestroom or in-laws suite can easily use 9 bedrooms. But I can’t believe some people are saying it costs the same to heat an attached brownstone than it costs to heat this place. Or that it’s 30 minutes to Penn Station.

    Ditmas is great. But if it’s so great why do you need to lie to make it appealing? Why encourage somebody to stretch to buy this place and then watch them overwhelmed by their heating bills in Winter? It’s cruel to only think of your own property values. The people who buy this place should require the seller give them copies of the heating bills from the last couple Winters. Remember we had very mild Winters the last couple years so it’s double the cost in a bad Winter.

    As for the commute, it’s 30 minutes to Penn Station from PS/PH/PLG stops on the B/Q so how is it also 30 minutes from several stops further out in Ditmas?

  • Regarding the commute issue, I timed the ride from the B at Newkirk many times recently before signing a contract to buy a house in Ditmas Park West. The commute to my office (corner of Broadway and Lafayette) was about 30 minutes door to door (i.e. including a several minute walk to and from the subway on each end) assuming the train came reasonably promptly. We found that this was equivalent to the commute from just about any other hood in BK where it was still possible to buy a house in the million and under range (and a number of hoods where it wasn’t).

    As for crime, I don’t think the safety situation in Ditmas Park is any worst (and may be better) than Prospect Heights, Clinton Hill, or many other gentrifying neighborhoods throughout BK that are more costly to live in. If you want to live in a crime-free neighborhood, by all means move to the suburbs, but you’re not going to find it in Brooklyn.

    I can’t speak to the heating issue since we haven’t moved into our house yet. But I do think it’s very variable depending on type of siding, insulation (or lack thereof), weatherproofing, type of windows, gas or oil, efficiency of boiler, etc. The gas costs that the current owners of our house are paying were equivalent to the gas costs of some of the row houses we looked at. Nevertheless, our house is much smaller than the HOTD so I would definitely scrutinize the heating costs before jumping in.

  • I live near the Cortelyou Rd station (2 minute walk), and it is 24 minutes from my front door to Union Square.

    Also my gas bill is $230 per month on the level billing plan, whatever that comes to overall… Although my house is not nearly as large as this one.

  • Commute is a non-issue. The stops out here are closer together than PPS, PLG and PH. which means less of a walk to the station. Also, Newkirk and Church Avenue are both express stops. If you time it, you can board the local train at Beverley or Cortelyou and arrive at Church Ave with the express where you change over.

    Yes, I pay a little more than my friends in Brownstones for heat about 10% more but I don’t circle my block looking for parking, neither do my guests nor do I pay monthly storage facility rental fees to hold stuff that I don’t have room for in my house.

    I would have more than doubled my commuting time – but didn’t have to, just for the joy of coming home and letting my kids run barefoot in a huge grassy back yard complete with swing set and jungle gym or just to sit on the front porch catching a cool summer breeze under a 100 year old London Plane. Some people have the need to roll out of bed into their favorite restaurant or to be up the block from their favorite bar. It is all a matter of what is important to you.

  • Commute is a non-issue. The stops out here are closer together than PPS, PLG and PH. which means less of a walk to the station. Also, Newkirk and Church Avenue are both express stops. If you time it, you can board the local train at Beverley or Cortelyou and arrive at Church Ave with the express where you change over.

    Yes, I pay a little more than my friends in Brownstones for heat about 10% more but I don’t circle my block looking for parking, neither do my guests nor do I pay monthly storage facility rental fees to hold stuff that I don’t have room for in my house.

    I would have more than doubled my commuting time – but didn’t have to, just for the joy of coming home and letting my kids run barefoot in a huge grassy back yard complete with swing set and jungle gym or just to sit on the front porch catching a cool summer breeze under a 100 year old London Plane. Some people have the need to roll out of bed into their favorite restaurant or to be up the block from their favorite bar. It is all a matter of what is important to you.

  • You can still roll out of bed into some pretty damn good restaurants in Ditmas Park. Bars, not so much, but that will change soon enough.