If you’re after the kind of sprawling, standalone, circa-1900 house of the type Ditmas Park is famous for, we’ve got three open houses worth checking out this weekend. None are actually technically in Ditmas Park, but they’re close by.

They all have porches, and one has a turret to boot!

Our fourth pick is different, and the location is rare. It’s on Concord Street in Downtown Brooklyn. It’s one of those now semi-forgotten streets that recall Brooklyn’s past as a sleepy village, now nestled between roaring bridge onramps and giant sprouting hotel towers.

The inside has been modernized, and still retains an original fireplace that looks to be from about the 1840s or ’50s.


824 East 17th Street in Fiske Terrace
Broker: Brooklyn Properties
Price: $1,849,000
Sunday 12:00-2:00
Photo by Brooklyn Properties (more…)

If you’re not into heavy brown wood moldings, take a look at today’s Open House Picks. They’re all 19th-century town houses with modern updates.

In Clinton Hill, a town house with an open plan and lots of exposed brick caught our eye. We don’t usually go for those two things, but it works well here. We also like the simple style of the bath, and the fireplace in the dining area.

A well-located house in Fort Greene with lots of curb appeal is fairly plain on the inside but has some nice recent updates, including a kitchen with stone counters and subway tile.

In Greenpoint, you’ll find a mix of original details and newer updates, including an opened-up parlor level and a bay window with plaster ornament. The exterior is Permastone and could probably use an upgrade.

A Gowanus interior is pretty plain but could be customized. It’s the relative bargain of the bunch, with an ask just over $1,000,000.

360 Grand Avenue

360 Grand Avenue in Clinton Hill
Broker: Stribling
Price: $1,990,000
Sunday 2:30-4:00
Photo by Stribling

Our picks for open houses to see this weekend offer a variety of styles but all appear to be in move-in condition. A rare Kensington listing offers early 20th century details and a recent renovation. A new-construction two-family town house in Gowanus (not Boerum Hill, as the listing says) has a contemporary but not ultra-modern look.

It features a semi-open plan and big windows throughout, with a view of the neo-Gothic St. Agnes chruch across the street. We’re not sure what the outside looks like but there is central air, so it’s not a Fedders.

For those in search of 19th century detail, we offer a neo-Grec with colorful decor and four floor-through apartments in Bed Stuy, or a late Victorian in Crown Heights configured as a triplex over a garden floor rental.

The latter was designed by Magnus Dahlander and Axel Hedman and built in 1894. It was a Building of the Day last year. It is landmarked.

287 Clifton Place

278 Clifton Place in Bed Stuy
Broker: Brown Harris Stevens
Price: $1,995,000
Sunday 2:00-4:00
Photo by Brown Harris Stevens

Looking for an updated house with details that isn’t a flip? Look no further than our four Open House Picks this week.

Two are in Carroll Gardens, including an Italianate brownstone and a Greek Revival brick that is probably a few decades older than the 1882 date given in the listing.  A bow-fronted house in Crown Heights offers a wood-burning fireplace, and a similar bow-fronted house dating from 1911 is on the market in Prospect Lefferts Gardens.

They all look to be in decent condition, and many have 20th century improvements as well as original details. The kitchens and baths in the PLG house could use an update, according to the listing. The Clinton Street brownstone has a ground-floor commercial space.

4109 Clinton street1

410 Clinton Street in Carroll Gardens
Broker: Vandenberg
Price: $3,200,000
Friday 12:00-1:30
Photo by Vandenberg (more…)

There wasn’t a ton of action on the Open House Picks that were on the market six months ago.

The standout pick of the bunch, a Park Slope brownstone that was chock full of details and nicely renovated, sold, but for nearly $300,000 below the asking price. The Gowanus house is in contract and the other two were taken off the market.

(The owners of the Williamsburg house changed their minds about selling two weeks in, according to the broker.)

We’re going to chalk up the sleepy results to the Thanksgiving holiday and the market lull that usually hits around this time. What do you think?


Open House Picks 11/21/14 [Brownstoner]

With the Memorial Day holiday coming up Monday, there aren’t a whole lot of open houses happening this weekend. But we did find a few worth a look that we haven’t covered before.

All of them are renovated and appear to be in move-in condition, going by the photos.

The neighborhoods they represent are more varied than usual and include a rare listing in Kensington as well as property in Greenpoint, both with a few original details. There’s also a Colonial Revival in Prospect Lefferts Gardens and a better-than-average flip in Bushwick.

Which one do you think offers the best value?

1111 Jefferson Avenue

1111 Jefferson Avenue in Bushwick
Broker: Corcoran
Price: $1,200,000
Sunday 2:00-3:00
Photo by Corcoran


All of our Open House Picks this week have curb appeal. Our Park Slope pick has a brownstone and ashlar Romanesque Revival-Queen Anne facade with an unusual cornice. All the others have handsome bow fronts.

Inside, they are all renovated, with varying levels of original detail left, except for our bargain pick in Crown Heights. That one needs renovation, according to the listing, but is priced accordingly.

Which one do you like best? Let us know if you check any out in person this weekend.


721 President Street in Park Slope
Broker: Corcoran
Price: $3,100,000
Sunday 2:00-1:30
Photo by Corcoran (more…)

All four of these Open House Picks sold, and they all sold under the asking price — unusual in this frenetic market. The biggest discount went to 171 Gates Avenue, a three-story, two-family house with lots of details in need of a renovation.

It went for $150,000 under the asking price. Still, in the grand scheme of things, the final sale prices weren’t anything to sneeze at — especially in Bushwick and South Slope, where both homes went for considerably more than a million.


Open House Picks 11/07/14 [Brownstoner]

Our two most expensive picks this week are fixer uppers. The one on 2nd Place is a riot of shag carpeting and wood panelling and may need facade work as well, going by the photos. Its redeeming feature is its location on a coveted Place block in Carroll Gardens, with an extra-deep front yard.

Our Bed Stuy pick has the profusion of details buyers of historic Brooklyn townhouses are looking for, although we’re not in love with all the updates. In Greenwood Heights, a similarly priced pick is in move-in condition but kind of plain. Which of the four do you think is the best value?

512 Decatur Street

512 Decatur Street in Bed Stuy
Broker: Corcoran
Price: $1,500,000
Sunday 12:00-1:00
Photo by Corcoran


Usually we see closed deals six months after an open house, particularly in this strong market. Some of these picks have moved more slowly than usual.

The house at 12 Berkeley Place has closed, the agent told us, but has not yet hit public records so we don’t know the price. The Greenpoint house is in contract, according to the broker.

The Crown Heights house at 1111 Park Place has been taken off the market. We reached out to the broker for more details but have not heard back.

The brownstone on Chauncey Street in Stuyvesant Heights went for $100,000 below asking.

OHP6ML5.8 Open House Picks 10/31/14 [Brownstoner]

Update: The agent for 1111 Park Place let us know the sale closed on January 29 for $1,405,000. However, the sale does not appear in public records.

Our Open House Picks for this weekend all have a lavish amount of detail on the parlor floors, including original mantels in all the parlors. Check out also the stunning dining room in our under-a-million-dollar listing in south Crown Heights: It has a coffered ceiling, original paneling with a fence and vine motif, and a built-in window seat.

355 Pacific Street

355 Pacific Street in Boerum Hill
Broker: Corcoran
Price: $4,595,000
Sunday 12:00-2:00
Photo by Corcoran (more…)