Flipping out in Bed Stuy


Turns out that George Chappell flip at 271 Jefferson Avenue we wrote about Friday wasn’t an anomaly. This area of Bed Stuy is, architecturally speaking, one of the finest in the borough, with buildings by noted architects Montrose Morris, Amzi Hill, Chappell and others. Developers are snapping up elaborate (or formerly so) houses in the proposed Bedford Historic District for middling prices and turning them around for more than a million dollars, doubling their money — sometimes in only a month, leading us to wonder if they did any work. Take 221 Jefferson Avenue, for example (pictured above). We passed up covering this house earlier because the listing has no interior photos. But then we saw a post about it over at BK to the Fullest. Turns out a rehab company bought it last month for $500,000 and now it’s back on the market for $1.2 million. Don’t be so sure they won’t get their price. Brownstoner HOTD 106 Hancock Street was also flipped and is already in contract after only a month, as BK to the Fullest pointed out. (It was asking $1.1 million.) All this leaves us with several questions: Did these houses not qualify for mortgages, thus keeping the (all-cash) price low? Or do sellers not know what their houses are worth, perhaps because the market is moving so quickly? If so, how long can this go on before sellers raise prices and cut out the flippers? Does anyone have any insight?
Bed-Stuy Flip (Again): 221 Jefferson Avenue [BK to the Fullest]
George Chappell House Survives Flip, Sells for $1.2M [Brownstoner]
House of the Day: 106 Hancock Street [Brownstoner]
Photo by Christopher Bride, PropertyShark

 

54 Comment

  • daveinbedstuy

    I apparently sold mine a few months too early and a few hundred thousand too low!!! LOL

  • So how long before Bed Stuy looks like Park Slope? The pace of all this is shocking.

  • daveinbedstuy

    The pace is rather shocking. Chalk it up to very little inventory on the market, anywhere and of any quality. That and historically low interest rates.

  • stuyheightsarch

    Southern Bedford Stuyvesant is seeing prices rise at a alarming rate. Two years ago you could have picked up most prime homes for 650k and now homes are asking and selling for over a million. I think most white people are not scared of this neighborhood anymore and that has a lot to do with the prices coming up. We always had people like Dave and Europeans that moved here but now your getting the priced out Downtown Brooklyn crowed. Also Brownstones are RARE! There are but so many to go around. Condos and Co-ops are a dime of dozen but Bedford Stuyvesant and Crown Height (that has also seen price jumps) are the last brownstone neighborhoods in New York City. When me and MM give tours it is funny how many older Manhattanites get on the phone telling there kids/family about what you can get out here. One lady last year could not get over the concept that a limestone was just 1 million. She kept asking me per floor and I had to keep telling her no for the entire house. I think this went on 4 times with the same lady.

  • stuyheightsarch

    Southern Bedford Stuyvesant is seeing prices rise at a alarming rate. Two years ago you could have picked up most prime homes for 650k and now homes are asking and selling for over a million. I think most white people are not scared of this neighborhood anymore and that has a lot to do with the prices coming up. We always had people like Dave and Europeans that moved here but now your getting the priced out Downtown Brooklyn crowed. Also Brownstones are RARE! There are but so many to go around. Condos and Co-ops are a dime of dozen but Bedford Stuyvesant and Crown Height (that has also seen price jumps) are the last brownstone neighborhoods in New York City. When me and MM give tours it is funny how many older Manhattanites get on the phone telling there kids/family about what you can get out here. One lady last year could not get over the concept that a limestone was just 1 million. She kept asking me per floor and I had to keep telling her no for the entire house. I think this went on 4 times with the same lady.

  • daveinbedstuy

    “When MM and I give house tours…”

  • daveinbedstuy

    “When MM and I give house tours…”

  • daveinbedstuy

    The What would be surprised as well as BHO, who seems to have disappeared from here.

  • expert_textpert

    “When MM and I give house tours…”

    Pedant
    - signed Ftank

  • expert_textpert

    “When MM and I give house tours…”

    Pedant
    - signed Ftank

  • It is disappointing to see BK to the Fullest not doing a proper due diligence as they are comparing apples and oranges here.

    My view on both homes, 106 Hancock and 221 Jefferson:

    - 106 Hancock is 5 stories and 5 family home; beautiful place and in move condition; fully rented; CoA; and will be delivered vacant if needed. Is in contract for $1M.

    - 221 Jefferson is 4 stories and legal 2 family (I believe it is illegally used as 4 family now); needs approximately $250k in renos; not sure about CoA; and will be delivered vacant.

    So yes, places in this area are breaking the $1M mark; however, only a limited few have been sold in the $1M to $1.2M but these were exceptionally well renovated brownstowns. If it is going to cost $1.4M to have the place in move-in condition in this area; then I would suggest looking somewhere in Clinton Hill.

  • catboot

    “troglodyte”
    love that word!

    From what I saw tell when we were looking for a place, most of the filps are utter disasters, from “hey, let’s put a bathroom in the kitchen, won’t the be swell!” to simply painting over peeling paint and calling it “renovated.”

  • Cate

    Whoops, brooklyn72, we meant to say 106 Hancock is in contract after only a month and that the ask was $1.1 million. BK to the Fullest did not say it is in contract for $1.1 million. That was our mistake. Now corrected. Thanks! BTW, in case anyone has noticed, we’re having server problems this morning and hope to fix soon.

  • expert_textpert

    I have other names for you dibs, but I’m a lady and don’t utter such obscenities.

  • BedStuy has definitely come a long way from my childhood where there were shootings practically daily, but when many of the residents here discuss its changes its relative to an extreme of our own experiences. Meaning we’ve gone from daily gun violence to maybe once or twice a week and from no police protection to an increase in their visual presence (which I’ve recently discovered has historically been a problem in this neighborhood since the late 1800′s as it was considered a suburb). 271 Jefferson I believe originally sold for around $600,000 initially and had some work put into it. This property also had a lot of beautiful details both on the inside and out + being a corner lot has a lot more natural light than a typical brownstone – with these things in mind I think the flip value was appropriate. Whereas 221 Jefferson in its description warns us of the lack of interior historic beauty as well as informing us the property will require “cosmetic work”. I’m a bit skeptical of the value attached to this property when the interior photos have obviously been kept from us for that lack of interior ‘value’. Even with the lack of townhouse inventory I believe this property may be inappropriately priced attempting to piggy back off the grandeur of properties like 271 Jefferson. No one in their right might wants to pay for an overpriced project that their going to have to continue to work after closing. When you enter this price realm there are certain expectations that come with that especially in a situation like this where the neighborhood though improving still has a lot of negative aspects that aren’t so family friendly so given that for a million dollars with these type negative factors of the area the house better at least be spectacular! – Like ’271 Jefferson’

  • BedStuy has definitely come a long way from my childhood where there were shootings practically daily, but when many of the residents here discuss its changes its relative to an extreme of our own experiences. Meaning we’ve gone from daily gun violence to maybe once or twice a week and from no police protection to an increase in their visual presence (which I’ve recently discovered has historically been a problem in this neighborhood since the late 1800′s as it was considered a suburb). 271 Jefferson I believe originally sold for around $600,000 initially and had some work put into it. This property also had a lot of beautiful details both on the inside and out + being a corner lot has a lot more natural light than a typical brownstone – with these things in mind I think the flip value was appropriate. Whereas 221 Jefferson in its description warns us of the lack of interior historic beauty as well as informing us the property will require “cosmetic work”. I’m a bit skeptical of the value attached to this property when the interior photos have obviously been kept from us for that lack of interior ‘value’. Even with the lack of townhouse inventory I believe this property may be inappropriately priced attempting to piggy back off the grandeur of properties like 271 Jefferson. No one in their right might wants to pay for an overpriced project that their going to have to continue to work after closing. When you enter this price realm there are certain expectations that come with that especially in a situation like this where the neighborhood though improving still has a lot of negative aspects that aren’t so family friendly so given that for a million dollars with these type negative factors of the area the house better at least be spectacular! – Like ’271 Jefferson’

  • expert_textpert

    I think you can still find some “deals” in Bed Stuy. But they’re not going to be glamorous.

  • expert_textpert

    I think you can still find some “deals” in Bed Stuy. But they’re not going to be glamorous.

  • daveinbedstuy

    I hope you’re not talking about a Bay Ridge definition of “glamorous?”

  • expert_textpert

    “I hope you’re not talking about a Bay Ridge definition of “glamorous?”

    South Brooklyn glamor = we make your dreams come true.

  • we make your dreams come true – now that reference was funny!

  • Note to African-American residents of Bed Stuy; of every age, persuasion, income level, and taste level – We have failed in our mission. White people are no longer afraid of us.

    It used to be that even a group of elderly church ladies in fancy hats could send your average white person into a purse clutching fear frenzy, but no more!

    Now, even wandering groups of teenage boys with their pants around their knees are no longer a reason to not buy a house or rent an apartment here. What happened to the fear of a black planet?

    Could it be that some of the city’s finest rowhouse stock is here? That the same house a famous 19th century architect built in Park Slope was built here first, and there’s a whole row of them, barely touched by time, because poverty is the great protector of period detail? Who knew?

    Who knew that the A train at Nostrand could get you to lower Manhattan in 20 minutes or less, and midtown in half an hour? It’s not fair. Ok, who told?

    On a more serious note, well, I guess the jig is up. Bed Stuy has been officially “discovered.” Now all we have to do is persuade people to stop selling to every sleazebag who offers you some pitifully low price for your building. Just because your parents paid only $30K in 1969, and he’s offering half a million dollars does not mean you should take it. Your parents also put up with redlining, poor policing, hardly any city services, and they had to work two jobs to pay the extortionarily high mortgage rates that private lenders charged because no commercial bank would touch the house. Honor their sacrifice by selling to someone who is worthy of that effort.

    If you want to sell, at least sell to someone who wants to make this community their home, and is as eager as your parents were to put down roots. We are all, black, white, and otherwise, all only stewards of these historic properties. Neighborhoods change, but we are all, to some extent, agents of change. Make it worth something, and I don’t just mean money.

  • East New York

    “Note to African-American residents of Bed Stuy; of every age, persuasion, income level, and taste level – We have failed in our mission. White people are no longer afraid of us.”

    There goes the neighborhood.

  • East New York

    “Note to African-American residents of Bed Stuy; of every age, persuasion, income level, and taste level – We have failed in our mission. White people are no longer afraid of us.”

    There goes the neighborhood.

  • daveinbedstuy

    I just left so the whole “white flight” thing has begun all over again!!!! it was those Italians and their restaurants that made me decide to move!!!

  • “Bedford Stuyvesant and Crown Heights . . . are the last brownstone neighborhoods in New York City.”

    Actually Sunset Park is the last brownstone neighborhood. Also the biggest. Not an NYC historic district, but still a National Landmark District due, in part, to the intact rows of brownstones and limestones.

  • expert_textpert

    “It used to be that even a group of elderly church ladies in fancy hats could send your average white person into a purse clutching fear frenzy, but no more!”

    Church goers still scare the bejesus out of me.

  • daveinbedstuy

    Yeah and they are an unruly mob at Peaches on a Sunday.

  • expert_textpert

    MM, can you pleeease STOP hyping Bed Stuy and Crown Heights. You’ve been talking up the great architecture there for years and enough is enough.
    It’s really not that great. The nabes are awful. People should stay away.

    signed
    - wanter of a Crown Heights townhouse chock full of details so badly.

  • orangejulian

    Amen, MM! I just bought my house in bed stuy two and a half months ago and I get about one note or card a week on my gate offering cash for my house. No thank you, masada homes or exit realty. I love my house and I love my neighborhood.

  • orangejulian

    Amen, MM! I just bought my house in bed stuy two and a half months ago and I get about one note or card a week on my gate offering cash for my house. No thank you, masada homes or exit realty. I love my house and I love my neighborhood.

  • stuyheightsarch

    massada homes are the worse… They always sell very cheap looking homes. The architect should have his hands cut off for designing sure CRAP! I love what they call “renovated” It is always really bad and they should be ashamed of themselves. Also I would have to disagree with the statement of sunset park being a brownstone neighborhood. It is more of a townhouse neighborhood like Windsor Terrace but not brownstone neighborhood. There are a few brownstones there but it more still expensive than Bedford Stuyvesant and Crowns Heights North

  • stuyheightsarch

    221 Jefferson was designed in 1883 by prolific Manhattan architect John Prague who has over 200 buildings on the UWS alone. To find a Prague house under 7 million is rare in NYC. It looks like his only Brooklyn work is in Bedford Stuyvesant in Brooklyn still trying to find other neighborhoods. I Think I have seen a house on St. Marks Ave in CHN that looks like it could have been done by Prague. Prague is more famous for Judson Memorial Church, Russian Tea Room and The Brockholst, once referred to as “a poor man’s Dakota” just to name a few…

    • Hey Had a question, I tried to research this particular street as my family owns a brownstone a few doors down. I’m curious as to how you were able to pin point the Architect? My research took me as far as being able to narrow down the year it was built being btwn 1881-1886. The house was built in the exact same style just the opposite side of the street.

  • I’m going to go the other direction as Montrose here and say: black homeowners don’t be swayed by consideration for what will be your former neighbors or neighborhood: sell for top dollar so your family can be rewarded for all the blood, sweat and (cliche). Avail yourself of wealth creation-through-real estate which – until a couple decades ago – was literally impossible for homeowners in black neighborhoods. Pay as little taxes as possible, create trusts for you family or whatever and cash out. Wash, rinse, repeat, because the other guys have a massive head start.

  • LaLa, you are right, of course, selling high and investing well is good advice to anyone, and people should be able to reap the rewards of good fortune.

    But I would hate to see Bed Stuy become Park Slope. Fortunately, there is a large invested African American population of home owners here who aren’t going to sell out to anyone. They are the ones currently fighting very hard for landmarking, and want to be here to enjoy the efforts of their hard work. They are both older and younger people, both the old guard and the newbies.

  • LaLa, you are right, of course, selling high and investing well is good advice to anyone, and people should be able to reap the rewards of good fortune.

    But I would hate to see Bed Stuy become Park Slope. Fortunately, there is a large invested African American population of home owners here who aren’t going to sell out to anyone. They are the ones currently fighting very hard for landmarking, and want to be here to enjoy the efforts of their hard work. They are both older and younger people, both the old guard and the newbies.

  • expert_textpert

    “But I would hate to see Bed Stuy become Park Slope.”

    What’s wrong with Park Slope? [Sarcasm]
    Cue 11217

  • daveinbedstuy

    The sidewalks in Park Slope are in terrible shape.

  • expert_textpert

    “The sidewalks in Park Slope are in terrible shape.”

    re-write:
    The personalities in Park Slope are in terrible shape.

  • expert_textpert

    “The sidewalks in Park Slope are in terrible shape.”

    re-write:
    The personalities in Park Slope are in terrible shape.

  • Like it or not, Amzi, Sunset Park is a brownstone neighborhood. Also, I do not think any brownstone/limestone in the brownstone heart (between 4th & 7th Avenues, from 43rd to 63rd Streets) has reached $1M yet. Across 7th Ave yes, because that’s Chinatown and desirable to the Chinese, who do terrible things for the landscape . . . The mostly intact streets of brownstones and limestones in the two-miles stretch from 43rd to 63rd, 4th to 7th Aves, are beautiful, tree-lined, and under $850K. Walk, bike, or drive around there sometime. Pick up a beauty for less, sometimes much less, than $850K.

  • orangejulian

    MM, the proposed Bedford district for landmarking should include my block and the blocks around it. How do I propose? When is the next meeting?

  • Orangejulian, Hopefully Amzi can answer the question as to when the next meetings are. He’s the one who tells me.

    What block are you on?

  • Orangejulian, Hopefully Amzi can answer the question as to when the next meetings are. He’s the one who tells me.

    What block are you on?

  • Well, BSM, as you know, we try to arrange for the crazy people to come by on every tour. But in spite of their best efforts, we have failed. People love it here.