Real Estate Market


This four-story Queen Anne in Cobble Hill is absolutely gorgeous as far as we can see: Center stair, marble fireplaces, pristine moldings. The only problem? The house is 14 feet wide. This makes the asking price of $2.1 million an expensive $900 per square foot. Even in these times of $8.5 million brownstones in neighboring Brooklyn Heights this seems very pricey. Then again, as some of our readers constantly remind us, price per square foot is not the fairest measure when evaluating these singly family homes. If you walk in and fall in love, a few hundred square feet here or there is not going to make the difference.
Tompkins Place Townhouse [Brown Harris Stevens]


This three-story bay front brick house in Windsor Terrace is a new listing from Aguayo & Huebener. Postives include an attractive facade, 55-foot depth, and move-in condition. Negatives include a fairly sunken basement level, charmless renovation, and an apparent lack of historic interior details. But what do you want for under a million bucks within a few blocks of the park? We just don’t understand why owners persist in doing such cheap-ass renovations…We have to believe that they are only short-changing themselves when it comes to resale.
Beautiful Bay Front Brick [Aguayo & Huebener]


We like to support the for-sale-by-owner crowd when we can, so we were pleased to see this attractive Lower Slope three-story brick on Craigslist yesterday. Currently configured as three full-floor market-rate rentals, the house generates $55,000 a year in income (not sure if that is before or after expenses). That makes the asking “yield” a fairly paltry 4.4%. The property is allegedly in very good condition, though, with a new roof and new heating system. If interested, you can call Valentino at 718-596-0261 until 10 pm.
106 15th Street [Craigslist]


The purchase of 212 Columbia Heights by hedge fund manager Marek Fludzinski and his literary agent wife Nina Collins has “raised the bar” in Brooklyn, according to New York Times article this weekend. The house sold for its asking price of $8.5 million–not a bad return for the sellers who had picked it up in 1972 for $55,000. The stratospheric price has paved the way for two other new listings: The 10,000 square foot house at 82 Remsen is on the market for $10 million and 8 Montague is asking $12 million. We think Manhattan-level prices are defensible for Brooklyn Heights, given the neighborhood’s architecture and history as well as its proximity to Manhattan, but, with the possible exception of Park Slope, we don’t think the rest of Brownstone Brooklyn is in imminent danger of being overrun by hedge fund managers.
$8.5 Million Deal Raises Bar in Brooklyn [NY Times]


After our rant earlier in the week about the eyesores going up on Williamsburg’s South Side, we were happy to find this listing of a nice, basic 4-story house that still retains its original character (though we could do without the awning over the front door)–eventhough it’s on the North Side, just a few blocks from the Bedford L. Though they tend to get overwhelmed by their vinyl-sided brethren, there actually are a decent number of old brick rowhouses on or near Bedford Avenue. We have noticed that a lot of the older houses in this neighborhood have a much shallower floor plate than those in the true brownstone neighborhoods further South, so it’s hard to know what to make of the $1.2 million asking price. We also are not familiar with the broker First Key Realty. Does anyone have any info or comps for this place?
North Side 4-Family [Craigslist]


When our 2-year-old unexpectedly fell asleep while we were running an errand in Bed Stuy on Sunday afternoon, we found ourself with some extra time to drive around and explore the nabe. It’s amazing how dramatically the landscape can change block to block. This 3-story, 2,400 square foot listing from Brooklyn Properties looks like it is on one of the nice blocks. It also appears that much of the original detail remains intact, albeit in need of some TLC. The 3-story house is not particularly cheap at $215 a foot; on the other hand, you just don’t find older houses on the market for much less than this. What do you think? Is this a buy at $515,000?
Listing #166 [Brooklyn Properties]


We sure can pick ’em! We just heard from a reader about how the open house at 142 Bergen (last Wednesday’s House of the Day) yesterday went horribly wrong:

How’s this for an open house? We’re looking around the place–needs work, cosmetic and otherwise. We go into the kid’s room. I notice a huge crack in the ceiling and point it out to one of the brokers and she says it’s only minor thing, insisting the place is in good shape. So we proceed to the upper floor when we hear a loud crash! The ceiling caved in! It was ridiculously embarrassing and damn hazardous. We were with our 8 month old and had just been in the kid’s room–could have caved in on us. Scary. Scary still was the debris fell directly onto the kid’s beds. Covered the room in dust, debris, and who knows what else and left a gaping hole in the ceiling. This was a jammed packed open house and you can only imagine the impact this had on the buying frenzy…no pun intended. People were stunned at first then sort of giggling – everyone quickly recalculating their offer. Needless to say everyone got the hell out of there. The brokers were hilariously embarrassed. At the point $1.5 seems rather unlikely.
142 Bergen Street [Douglas Elliman]