Real Estate Market

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BOERUM HILL $617,700
560 State St.
Prewar two-bedroom, 11/2-bath duplex condo, 1,000 square feet, with marble baths, stainless-steel kitchen, granite countertops, dining area and central AC; Times Plaza Condo building features common courtyard and laundry. Common charges $355, taxes $546. Asking price $617,700, on market two weeks. (Brokers: Anthony Peters and Judy Ferrigno, Halstead Property)

CLINTON HILL $1,300,000
77 St. James Place
Two-family brownstone, 3,200 square feet, with two-bedroom, one-bath duplex over two-bedroom, one-bath duplex, property features two wood-burning fireplaces and inlaid hardwood floors and is on a 2,000-square-foot lot with garden. Taxes $3,100. Asking price $1,325,000, on market 45 days. (Broker: Merele Williams Adkins and Anthony Morris, the Corcoran Group)

CLINTON HILL $610,000
233 Greene Ave.
Two-bedroom, one-bath condo in landmark building, 1,170 square feet, with exposed brick, modern eat-in kitchen, dishwasher, washer/dryer, hardwood floors and N/S/W exposures; building is pet-friendly and features garden. Common charges $530, taxes $33. Asking price $599,000, on market 11 days. (Broker: Rodolfo Lucchese, the Corcoran Group)

KENSINGTON $395,000
303 Beverley Road
Two-bedroom, 11/2-bath corner co-op, 1,320 square feet, with home office/den, parquet floors, renovated kitchen, recessed lighting and Manhattan skyline views. Maintenance $688, 56 percent tax-deductible. Asking price $389,000, on market two weeks. (Brokers: Mitchell Wexler and Zarah Zoudi, the Corcoran Group)

PROSPECT HEIGHTS $705,000
657 Prospect Place
Two-family brownstone, set up as a three-family, on an 181/2-by-90-foot lot, with three-bedroom, two-bath ground-floor duplex with dining room, eat-in kitchen and garden under two-bedroom, one-bath unit with eat-in kitchen; property features basement with two bedrooms, one bath and kitchen, updated roof, front yard and carport. Taxes $1,300. Asking price $750,000, on market three days. (Broker: Juan Carlos Bastidas, Fillmore Real Estate)

Just Sold! [NY Post]

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When you’re in the middle of your own renovation challenges and feeling overwhelmed by the scale and expense of things, it’s always comforting to see that other people are in up to their eyeballs as well. Actaully, Crystal and Walston Bobb-Semple have a much greater challenge than most, as they are trying to renovate their 4,000-square-foot, Civil War-era house on MacDonough Street in Bed Stuy by themselves over time while living in the house. This pure real estate porn, with details galore and friendly tour guides. We take our hats off to these guys for taking on the challenge. We can’t imagine how long it’s going to take though! Has anyone ever been inside this place? What’s the rest of the block like?
Home with Charm and Challenges [NY Times]

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When we last checked in with 425 Franklin Avenue in Bed Stuy (not Clinton Hill, dude!), it was early October and the psychology surrounding the market was not quite as negative as it is now. Back then the owners were still hoping to get $925,000 for this place. At some point recently, however, they woke up and decided to cut the asking price to $865,000. Frankly, we really like the look of this place but we’re not sure that, at only 2,100 square feet, it’ll be able to fetch quite this much. Maybe. Decide for yourself this weekend at the open house on Sunday from 2:30 to 3:30.
425 Franklin Avenue [Corcoran] GMAP
Open House Picks [Brownstoner]

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BROOKLYN HEIGHTS $250,000
60 Remsen Street
500-sq.-ft. studio co-op in a postwar building; 24-hr. doormen; kitchen with two doorways, sleeping alcove, parquet floors; maintenance $673, 36% taxdeductible; listed at $230,000 (multiple bids), 1 week on market (broker: Orrichio Anderson Realty)

PARK SLOPE $825,000
361 12th Street
2-bedroom, 1.5-bath, 1,300-sq.-ft. duplex condo in a prewar building; renovated kitchen, exposed brick walls, fireplace, arched windows, high ceilings; private 700-sq.-ft. garden; common charge $322, 100% tax-abated; listed at &879,000, 3 weeks on market (broker: Betancourt & Associates)

WINDSOR TERRACE $400,000
30 Ocean Parkway
1-bedroom, 1-bath, 900-sq.-ft. co-op in a renovated Art Deco building; entry foyer, renovated eat-in kitchen, windowed bath; maintenance $516, 50% tax-deductible; listed at $395,000 (multiple bids), 3 weeks on market (broker: Brooklyn Bridge Realty)

From the print edition of today’s NY Times.

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We’re not sure where exactly in Crown Heights this is, but the house certainly looks interesting at only $629,000. The 1899 2-family, 4-story townhouse has a great looking wooden porch as well as a 3-car garage. From the picture on the Eva Daniels site, there appear to be some very nice original parquet floors, moldings and doors too. This should move fast, don’t you think?
Crown Heights 2 Family [Eva Daniels]

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November 16, 2005, Wall Street Journal — Obtaining a mortgage loan used to be an ordeal that involved retrieving reams of tax returns, pay stubs and bank statements. Now, some critics contend, it is becoming a bit too easy, putting everyone from homeowners to certain bond investors at risk. Mortgage lenders have grown much less demanding about the amount of proof borrowers must provide about their earnings and assets. The result is a sharp rise in loans known in the trade as “low-doc” or “no-doc.” These loans, which typically carry slightly higher interest rates, allow borrowers to skip some or all of the traditional requirements for verifying income and assets. The danger is that these loans may allow some borrowers to exaggerate their financial strength and buy houses they really can’t afford. If so, defaults are likely to rise, hurting homeowners, investors in shares of mortgage lenders and holders of securities backed by pools of mortgages.
Is Getta a Home Loan Becoming Too Easy? [Wall Street Journal]

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Most New Yorkers are pretty used to tales of landlords evicting tenants in the pursuit of profit maximization. But even the most hardened free-marketeer must have raised his eyebrows at yesterday’s report of two elederly sisters being kicked out of the Cobble Hill townhouse where they grew up by their nephew, Joseph DeLeonibus. Adding another layer of intrigue was the listing for the Cheever Place property on Corcoran: “House is being offered for $999,999, without seeing it, without inspecting it, must close in 30 days, must be all cash and must take tenants in place.” Sounds a little desperate to us. There must be more to the story.
Hit the Bricks, Granny! [NY Daily News]

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November 15, 2005, Wall Street Journal — The pace of U.S. home sales is showing further signs of slowing, amid a widening gap between sellers’ asking prices and the amount skittish buyers are prepared to offer, according to an industry survey, real-estate brokerage firms and housing economists. Rising mortgage rates, higher energy costs, widespread talk about the risk of a “bubble” in housing and a surge in the number of homes on the market are among the factors behind the apparent slowdown. They have combined to make home shoppers more cautious, economists and real-estate brokers say. Buyers are taking their time to look for bargains, while many sellers have put unrealistically high price tags on their homes. That leads to a standoff, causing the number of sales to drop — a classic ending to a period of unusually rapid house-price increases.
Housing Shows Further Signs of Cooling [Wall Street Journal]