House of the Day: 326A Decatur Street


The house at 326A isn’t your run-of-the-mill brownstone. It and its two neighbors, built by John C. Bushfield in the Renaissance Revival Style in 1886, are clad in marble. The insides are eye-catching too, with low marble mantels, stained glass, and original wood work. But it’s going to need some work; currently set up as a four family, according to the floor plan, it would probably be easy to reconfigure as an owner’s triplex over a garden rental. Our own Montrose Morris noted that these are most likely the only marble houses in Brooklyn. For $1,250,000, what do you think of it?
326A Decatur Street [Evans & Nye] GMAP P*Shark

24 Comment

  • what a beautiful day in the stock market today…won’t you be my margin clerk…

    • People who invest intelligently really don’t care about this sort of noise.

      • What about people who “invest” in 1 mil plus bed stuy brownstones?

        • Isn’t that just it though? It is “investing” with quotations because if someone is looking for a house to raise their family in and are comfortable with the location they should be unconcerned with the value of the house on a short term basis.

          • no, that’s just something the brokers say.
            and when the market here crashes the damage will be long term. and there’s mucho flippo going on in this market, not just families nesting in risky hoods (btw, if $ no object why pioneer in high crime zones?). short term preoccupation indeed.

          • I disagree with your basic premise. I know there are flippers in this market and they are taking economic risks – it is in their interest to calculate that risk and be comfortable with the level of said risk. Then there are families looking for a house. Money is very much an object and $1 million does not buy a lot of house in NYC these days. If money was no object the same families buying in Bed Stuy, Crown Heights, etc. would probably buy in the Heights, Park Slope, BoCoCa (I don’t care how much they mgiht protest that statement is not true – it is).

          • “Money is very much an object and $1 million does not buy a lot of house in NYC these days.” – You dooo agree.
            These families are banking on short term (“low inventory, low rates, hurry up and buy buy buy before we’re priced out!”) AND long term appreciation (“RE only goes up”). It’s the only thing that makes them feel comfortable about plowing 50% down or all cash (retirement cash out, personal loan, etc) in the hood. Short term shocks will most definitely have their attention (I don’t care how much they mgiht protest that statement is not true – it is).

          • I do not agree that money is no object. I cannot comment on whether people are buying now because now is when they need more space or whether they think they need to buy now before they are priced out. Speaking personally, I bought a 2BR in Carroll Gardens in 2012 for what now looks like a good price. It will suffice for the next couple of years and then I will need more space. I’d love to stay in the neighborhood but won’t be able to afford it, so I’ll need to look elsewhere. I hope to find a home I can afford and will be a good fit for my family and I will not be concerned with short-term price swings. I also do not believe the market will move higher in the next couple of years. I see prices remaining stable as an influx of inventory and higher interest rates counterbalance general appreciation of housing stock.

          • Interesting thoughts here. Don’t think that the rate rise will directly stem the buying. Recall that a mortgage rate in the 5′s and 6′s was a good deal up until the 2008 crash. I *do* think that a recession (caused by a premature rate increase) could do it though…

            Though it seems like a geographically remote effect, I think a euro meltdown is a serious consideration also.

            But I suspect that the buyers – at the moment – are real. Brooklyn is experiencing positive population growth for the first time in decades. And buying has been suppressed ever since Lehman went under – until recently. Also realize that flippers really want to buy houses all cash for $200k – $500k – depending on size, location, condtion, etc. The rest of the appreciation is coming from finding end buyers to provide the comps.

            +The composition of these neighborhoods are changing – from deep working class (etc) to migrating professionals – further changing the standard of “affordability”…

            Seems to me that things started to turn around with the stabilization of Manhattan residential RE markets around 2011…

          • that’s just it $ is the object so people really don’t want to have a 2 parent commute from the burbs and also have to fork over hundreds even a thousand dollars a month on taxes anymore to be in the burbs. so they pay a “premium on a place in say bed stuy that may or may not be a multi family (supplemental income) and taxes are way cheaper. so it is the $ that has people buying in place like bed stuy it’s not just flippers. the flippers bot the 500 and 600′s take a walk down stuyvecent avenue families that live in the stuy east are everywhere – they aren’t flipping.they are invested in the neighborhood.

          • At my income level suburban property taxes are less than the NYC income taxes (plus the small NYC property taxes) I pay.

          • well said. i think the 2 person commute is expensive, and doesn’t sit well with parents emotionally. this is a huge factor in the growth of brooklyn real estate.

          • A two-person commute isn’t expensive, say 230 bucks each for a month, but the idea that both of you are out in the city all day isn’t great. I would have been less inclined to move to the burbs if my wife was working.

  • Not the only marble facades. Am (reasonably) sure that 192 President Street and the two houses around it on President btw. Henry and Clinton all have marble facades.

    • Yes, I corroborate that. there are some marble row houses in Carroll Gardens. You would think that marble would hold up well, but they have deteriorated almost as much as brownstone. It is limestone that ages the best.

  • wow… floorplan is a bit of a bummer, but otherwise I love it.