Co-op of the Day: 90 Sterling Place, #2

This new listing at 90 Sterling Place just hit the market with an asking price of $985,000. It’s a floor-through apartment in a North Slope brownstone that manages to pack in three bedrooms — a sub-optimal configuration in our opinion but, given prices these days, a practical move. It’s got some nice original details (most notably a pair of marble fireplaces) but has undergone a renovation that leaves us a little limp.

Nothing major to complain about — just a bunch of small decisions not totally gelling, such as the recessed lighting in the kitchen, the exposed brick in the dining area, and the lack of crown molding in the living room. The place appears to be in good shape, though, and you gotta love the location.

90 Sterling Place, #2 [Brown Harris Stevens] GMAP

14 Comment

  • Front bedroom technically not up to code………..but who cares.

  • I think the design decisions work pretty nicely. It’s not a historic restoration, but the spaces are nice. I think the layout is quite workable too. I would use that front bedroom as an office rather than a bedroom. It’s a lot to pay for a condo though!

  • That’s a very, very tiny third bedroom, and with the door placement and the closet carved out, you’d have a tough time making a bed work in there. The space works better than I thought it would from the description, and that’s a great location. But workable as a three bedroom? Not really. You could only stick a young kid in there, and I doubt you’d want them on the other side of the apartment from the master and that close to the living area.

  • There’s nothing sub-optimal about this layout…the rooms generally follow the original room layouts from when if it was built over 100 years ago, save for the kitchen being moved from the smaller back bedroom (all the units I have seen like this had the kitchen originally where the smaller rear bedroom is now), which is a good change, because it moves the kitchen nearer to the living and dining rooms, where modern life generally prefers it. It is also nice that they managed to as a second bathroom.

    It is a brownstone, folks, so some rooms will be two windows wide, and some one window wide. It seems silly to complain about this now, over one hundred years later. The smaller rooms work extremely well for kids rooms, guest rooms, offices, sewing rooms, or extra room for anything else, etc., especially the one in the rear where it makes for more quiet sleeping. The ones off the living room make for great offices, and can be kept as a room that can be fully closed off with as small door as this one is, can be opened more to the living room with pocket doors or French doors, or opened up completely for a larger living room. The one I bought originally had lovely wide solid oak pocket doors separating this room from the living room, which had alas been removed and replaced by French doors in my unit at some point.

    This layout is very sought after…after looking at a bunch of smaller 700-800 ft floor-thru apartments in cut up single family brownstones, I was thrilled then I first saw one of these with so much more space (through I wasn’t thrilled by the kitchen being in the original location in the back, and a small internal bedroom where the kitchen is now., in that first one. I saw). I eventually bought one where the kitchen had been moved toward the dining room, as here, and loved having an office, a small guest room, AND a dining room. I found they were very sought after when I went to sell, too. Those who are looking for apartments with brownstone charm with quite a bit more space than average for them love these….and they often have lower maintenances charges due to lack of staff, elevators, and management company fees to pay for, than an apartment this size in a larger building usually has.

  • Does buying even really makes sense with a place like this? With 20% down you pay just over $5K per month. Is it really difficult to find a floor-through, even in this location, for $5K? Just curious. I think this is a great apartment, although I do think it can accommodate only than three people.

    • anonlurker

      most people bank on appreciation or just want to feel warm and cuddly from owning. this apartment is a fine layout although it needs a lot of cosmetic adjustment and who knows what the bathrooms are like. no washer/dryer? it looks like an HGTV/Home Depot special. For 1 million that sucks in my opinion. Great area, block, yadda yadda, but such a bleh apt.

    • I have friends (two roommates) who live in an apartment with the identical layout and size as this one just a few blocks down, on prime Garfield Place off 6th Avenue, and they are paying only $3,700/mo. with heat and hot water included. Moved there last September. They use it as a two bedroom plus home office/guest room, works really well.

  • mildredfierce

    Three TINY bedrooms. If I had a million clams to throw around, I would throw them elsewhere.

  • If this had three good sized rooms, it would be 200K more. I think for family that needs defined rooms this is a pretty workable layout. One room is small, one is average, and one is tiny. I’m guess this is on the second floor so not a killer in terms of stairs. Good location. Lack of amenities is average for brownstone brooklyn. Maintenance is decent. School is premier but again I think the price reflects these shortcomings.

  • I don’t think most of you know what you are looking at. The location is prime, the size large, the number of rooms and space tremendous. Those who say it is cosmetically boring are reacting to the white paint and furniture choices and not great photographs….it has two lovely fireplaces that would look great against darker painted walls, it has lovely original floors, it has its window moldings still, it has a nicely renovated kitchen (even if Ikea or similar style), it says it was completely renovated, so I would presume the baths are in at least as good shape, the extra half-bath is a great find for many. I don’t love exposed brick walls, but many do. In better decorated and furnished condition, with pictures reflecting that, this would go for quite a bit over 1 mil, and may anyway.

  • Most buyers have a mortgage, and when comparing to rental prices, they take into account the sizable tax savings from deducting the mortgage interest, and the portion of the maintenance that goes toward real state taxes and any underlying building mortgage interest…only then are you comparing apples to apples. You may have some repair costs to the internal part of your home in a coop that you wouldn’t have in a rental (though far less than you would in a house, as you split building repairs with the other units, and often you have enough in reserve to building repairs without any additional outlay of funds). But you usually don’t buy until you want to be able to pay to have things in your place the way you want them, and are happy to be able to make repairs and changes that you want that your landlord wouldn’t. Another reason to buy is that you lock in your costs…except for the maintenance, which goes up as costs do. But the mortgage is far bigger for most people, and it you get a fixed rate mortgage, you’ve locked that cost down. And it doesn’t go up an outrageous amount just because your landlord decides the market says he can get a lot more profit. And, having had to leave the last coop I rented because the landlord wanted it back, well, that was not a problem I ever had, being forced to move, when I owned my coop.