House of the Day: 212 Midwood Street

The interior of this brownstone at 212 Midwood Street in Prospect Lefferts Gardens has been beautifully renovated. The big question, then, is whether that’s enough to compensate for the fact that the house has only two above-ground floors (plus an English basement). The asking price is $979,000, which would fly if there were another floor, but we’re not optimistic given its actual size. Thoughts?
212 Midwood Street [Corcoran] GMAP P*Shark

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  • Gorgeous house, but I too am skeptical they’ll get that price.

  • Gorgeous house, but I too am skeptical they’ll get that price.

    Posted by: Miss Muffett at June 24, 2009 1:25 PM


  • It looks like they’ve used engineered flooring. that is not my idea of “RESTORATION PERFECTION”

  • This is on one of the nicest Lefferts Manor blocks (but I’m favorably inclined here even beyond my normal PLG boosterism because I live on this block). IIRC other similar two story houses have sold for more, but I can’t really say what anything is worth ANYWHERE post-bust. It’s a house (and block, and neighborhood) you could happily spend your entire life in.

  • Only one full bathroom could be considered a drawback to many.

  • They had no takers at $799K. So they spruced it up and tacked on a very un-crashlike $180K to the pricetag.
    Nice block and nice house.
    But I’m not seeing that as being a winning strategy.

  • Super Clean. The place is spotless. I would want another floor though. I’m not an expert on PLG so I will refrain from quoting a price.

  • This place is in perfect move-in condition with plenty of space for one family in an area that does not allow renting. If the price is good, I bet it will sell quickly.

  • mopar, how can an area not allow renting??? i think I may have heard someone allude to this once before.

  • I like the kitchen. But this is the same price as larger, equally renovated houses in Lefferts Manor have recently sold for. I bet it goes for 10% less than the asking.

  • DIBS, all Lefferts Manor houses have a codicile to the lease that makes them single family only–you can rent the whole house, but not an apartment in it.

  • DIBS,

    Lefferts Manor has had a single family covenant since the area was subdivided by the Lefferts family in 1893; it’s also had R2 (single family) zoning since 1960. You CAN rent out a whole house, but you can’t divide it up into apartments and rent one (or more) of them. AFAIK LM is the only part of brownstone Brooklyn that has such restrictions, but many (non-brownstone) neighborhoods have R2 or other single-family zoning.

  • Is AFAIK really that much easier to type than as far as I know?

    I hate these friggin’ abbreviations. I know it takes me twice as long to read it.

  • You could rent out this house for like $8,000/mo — totally the going price in the neighborhood. Then you’d be rolling in cash.

  • Yes tybur6, it IS much easier to type, especially for someone like me who missed typing in Jr. high school and had limited and rudimentary typing/keyboarding skills.

    YRMV :-)

  • Can we talk PLG? The few historic blocks are nice, but there is NO infrastructure to speak of. Seems to me, though I’d be happy to hear otherwise, that if you’re going for PLG, you might as well move further out to Ditmas or even Midwood to get a bigger bang for your buck. There’s also more by way of urban pleasures in Ditmas. PLG, sandwiched between Flatbush and Rogers, seems like the worst of both worlds.

  • You MIGHT be able to rent the whole house for that amount but the population of people looking for such a rental is probably pretty limited–you might wait a long time for a tenant.

  • Bob Marvin!! You bastard! You know I can resist looking up what these stupid abbreviations mean!

  • A million bucks sure doesn’t buy you much……
    No crown mouldings and mirror-like kitchen cabinets.

  • Can anyone ID the tub? I love it and want to put in my renovation file, in case we ever find the right house or the bag of dough we are missing in order to buy it. Thanks!

  • It’s not certain that you get bigger bang for your buck in Ditmas–a more subjective choice than that. Ditmas Park frame houses are beautiful but tend to have very small rooms. That’s the reason we ended up in PLG/LM after looking at many frame houses further south. That was MANY years ago, but the nature of the houses hasn’t changed.

    Also, although the upkeep of ANY old house can be a challenge, I, for one, find the though of maintaining a frame house really scary. That doesn’t mean that I don’t admire frame houses though. I wish I had a porch.

  • WTF, ty?

    “I hate these friggin’ abbreviations.”

    Hell, it’s just as easy, maybe easier, to type ‘freaking’…


  • lucybb…there may be a link on the remodelista site to a tub like that. See yesterday’s Closing Bell or whatever the last on of the day is where they highlighted the industrial kitchen in the links

  • lucybb,

    I can’t tell if the tub is the c.1910 original or new. I’ve seen old tubs that look like that. They basically substitute a solid base for the feet on a claw-foot tub.

  • That tub looks a lot like the “Palais Pedestal Soaking Tub” from Restoration Hardware.

  • Thanks DIBS. Remodelista had a 10 easy pieces on white freestanding tubs and this one looks a lot like the Palais Pedestal Soaking Tub from Restoration Hardware, for 4k including the shower converter, which I would want. But this is making me see my husband’s point about the difficulty in sticking to a budget during a renovation bc I am seriously lusting after a tub like this but that price won’t square too well with my 12k bathroom budget… Looks like the washstand is from Restoration Hardware too–for another 1k. Well, one can dream.

  • So I guess R2 zoning limits each house to only ONE illegal basement apt. LOL.

  • LOL indeed–R2 zoning has no effect on ILLEGAL apartments, UNLESS you get caught.

  • The 4 bedrooms on the second floor could each be divided in half, the basement could be broken up too… If you installed a few more showers, this place could also be a really great Erotic Massage Parlor. The front parlor would be the reception and “selection” area and rear parlor would be where the girls would sleep.

    If you could average 50 customers a day, and net, let’s say, $50 a tug… you could have most of the purchase price paid for in a year!

    Though the extra plumbing work would set you back a bit.

  • “You could rent out this house for like $8,000/mo — totally the going price in the neighborhood. Then you’d be rolling in cash.”

    Currently you can rent a 5 bedroom brownstone on President street and 8th ave for $6,800 and a 4 bedroom brownstone on Lincoln Place for $7,500, so I find it highly unlikely that a house in PLG that is half the size would rent for anywhere near that much. Perhaps 4K?

  • Lucyb, don’t worry. This tub will be out of fashion in the blink of an eye, just like vessel sinks. Unless you plan to remodel every ten years.

  • Snark, are you a “RH Queen?” I got all my faucets and accessories there. Bistro Collection, polished nickel.

  • Everyone… FYI, I was being facetious. I know there is NO POSSIBLE WAY you could cover your nut by renting this place out… never mind making a profit.

    Does this place have a roof deck? That would be a nice addition. You could do a little gardening up there and install a water slide down to your pool in the back yard!!

  • “FYI”?

    tybur6, I’m shocked, SHOCKED, that there are “friggin’ abbreviations” being used here 😉

  • I like the idea of the ladies of the night from the erotic massage palor travelling down water slide to their illegal basement apartment.

  • Hee hee. Thanks for noticing Bob. I’m trying to join in the game.

    By the way, I’ve thought a little more about my brothel… err… massage parlor idea and I think I want to do it. Anyone want to be an investor?

  • parlor, not palor though living in the basement doesn’t earn you much of a tan.

  • > Snark, are you a “RH Queen?”

    Well, I don’t know about that, but the bf did buy his bathroom hardware there. The Spritz Collection in satin stainless steel.

  • lucybb:
    there are soaking tubs for alot less.
    I’m partial to Kohler’s Tea for Two (built in) about $1,500..and it’s cast iron.

  • By the way, for any potential investors in my proposed business idea… don’t get any ideas about fancy shmancy soaking tubs an what not. Basic fiberglass shower units will be perfectly adequate for our purposes.

  • They did a lot more than sprucing up on this place. They spent months stripping and refinishing the woodwork. The place was done top to bottom. I saw it before they started the reno. I can’t believe it’s the same house! Two story houses are all going into contract pretty fast in this area (except the over priced on on Maple Street). I was shocked at how fast a two story on Rutland went into contract recently.

  • Brownstoner, You have an old picture of the house posted. The windows and door are black now.

  • Finally, This house has plaster tray ceilings. The is no missing moulding!!

  • tybur6,

    A brothel… err… massage parlor, in LEFFERTS MANOR??

    Even more SHOCKING than your use of abbreviations!

    AFAIK our restrictive covenant bans ANY commercial use

    There have to be STANDARDS–I’m sure James Lefferts would be turning in his grave if he knew of this.

    And the old queen not yet 109 years dead! :-)

  • And the old queen not yet 109 years dead! :-)

    This is PLG: you mean Rita Marley is dead!?

  • I like this place although needs an extra bathroom and a 1/2 bath on the first floor.

    Seems like the price is too high for the area though – even at the peak it was barely breaking a million for larger places (not in as nice condition though).

    DIBS, don’t know if those floors are engineered but they do look like the solid oak tongue and groove flooring I had laid a few years back.

  • tybur6, I’m in!

    Do you want the money in a suitcase as per usual protocol or should I Western Union it to your office in Nigeria?

  • Tyburg6, are you cribbing ideas from “This Old Whore House” videos posted in the Open Thread a few days back? Handy tips in there for the shower and other mods.

  • Ditmas Park and Midwood don’t border Prospect Park. And you have to spend at least another ten minutes on the train to get there.

  • Chicken,
    At the peak houses just like this were selling for 1.1 mil. This one should do fine given that almost all the other two story houses in the Manor are in contract. The Manor has a market all its own!

  • I’m not that impressed with the renovation. It looks like a lot of the original detail has been lost. There have been other LM houses this size that have sold for more, but they had considerably more detail. I’m happy to see they still have the tiny 4th bedroom and the pass through closet on the top floor, though!