Friday, May 4, 2007

On sale in PLG: the allure of a $799,000 house (and a $299,000 2BR)

Some interesting properties newly on the market in the hood. There's this two-story townhouse on Sterling between Rogers and Nostrand, which is a bit east of what we normally think of as Lefferts Garden but it is, indeed, part of the landmarked district.

Corcoran has the listing for $799,000; if this was located .2 miles west and .3 miles south (putting it on Maple between Bedford and Rogers), it'd be a steal. As a comparison, check out this Brown Harris property on Midwood between Bedford and Rogers; it's also a two-floor townhouse but is listed at $925,000. The Brown Harris listing does have a garden -- and judging from the photos posted online, the Corcoran house looks as if it might not -- and the B-H listing might have some more original detail, but the Sterling St. one definitely appears to be in decent shape.

There's also this 3-bedroom Tudor on Chester Court listed for $697,000. Even more than the Corcoran house, this is a property that's going to be effected by its location. Chester ain't no Beekman, but it's sketchier than just about any Manor block on the other side of Flatbush. It also butts up against the subway tracks. Still, even for what appears to be a pump-and-dump property, there's a lot to like here: jacuzzi, finished basement, two fireplaces, backyard, exposed ceiling beams, wainscotting, parquet floors; if you told your average New Yorker you could get a single-family home that was a stone's throw from Prospect Park for under three-quarters of a million bucks, they'd assume you'd just been dropped off from a 1990s time machine. (An aside - and I know I'm about the billionth person to remark on this -- but it boggles my mind that some real estate companies are so lazy (or ignorant) as to not even bother to set up a functioning website. It's the equivalent of not bothering to clean up the dog crap in your front yard before you schedule a showing.)

Speaking of stupid web strategies, here's a $299,000, 2BR listing with virtually no information contained therein. I'm pretty sure it's 306 Lincoln Rd (between Rogers and Nostrand). It's these type of properties that are going to be the most interesting over the next year. A million bucks -- which is probably a good average for townhouses in the Manor proper -- is going to be too high for a lot of younger couples/families priced out of Park Slope (or Fort Greene, or Windsor Terrace, or virtually anyplace north of Brooklyn College), especially without the possibility of rental income to offset the mortgage. But a $299,000 2BR with 10% down comes out to a monthly mortgage of $1,662...and that's less than you're gonna pay in rent in most places in the city. When I moved to New York (in the early 1990s), I was paying almost a grand to live down in the Lower East Side, and that was when junkies were literally shooting up on the street. (I actually was only paying a grand until I discovered the apartment I was living in was stabilized; from that point on I paid $350. But you get the point.)

Anyone seen any of these places? Or have any thoughts? I'd especially love to hear from apartment hunters out there...

8 comments:

jd said...

The listing for the Tudor includes a street photo that is definitely the tudors on Rutland I. But the photo of the exterior of the house looks more like Chester. Sneaky. If it is Chester, the price seems a bit high.

Michael Kaplan said...

I had a look at some of those 2bdm units after their renovations had just been completed. I liked every much that they each had a full washer/dryer in the units, and they were rather sizeable. I wasn't crazy about the layout however: each apartment was very long, with a bedroom at each end, the living room itself being long and devoid of much character. I also wasn't impressed with some of the workmanship. The walls and floor felt rather thin, and I could just imagine hearing all kinds of noise through them. Had they retained some of the original prewar details, I might have been more interested.

Bob said...

FWIW PLG goes as far east as New york Ave. (although I suspect that some people on the Nostrand--New York blocks may never have heard of PLG). Nevertheless, Sterling III (i.e. Rogers--Nostrand) is very much in PLG and is a VERY nice block. The same applies to Lefferts III.

AdrianLesher said...

I hope that this is not just going to be a real estate blog. The original PlanetPlg was a true friend to the neighborhood, not just real estate porn.

One pretty utilitarian thing I liked on the old PlanetPlg was the collection of menus for restaurants in the neighborhood and those outside the neighborhood which delivered here.

Filipo said...

That menu page lives on:

http://www.planetplg.com/food-drink/

Anneke said...

I've wondered about what you will cover besides real estate too. While I'm curious about what's on the market, I guess I'd rather hear more about what's actually happening in the neighborhood, especially now that's it's warm and everyone's outside again. I keep checking back thinking the real estate stories are just a way to get your feet wet. What's going on with that art auction at K-dog? Some of the work in there really impressed me. Or what about some neighborhood characters, like the woman who sells hot sauce and nuts outside my building at 305 Ocean? Or how about actually looking at the schools in the neighborhood? Just some thoughts. Maybe I'm being lazy and should put some more time into my own blog.

Ed said...

Adrian - I find your comment to be a bit harsh! This new blogger is just getting his feet wet, and he already expresses himself in a manner that is head and shoulders above both Across the Park and the former Planet PLG. I agree that we need to help the new Planet PLG broaden its scope, but I for one very much appreciate that the topic of real estate isn't considered taboo here, and I don't urge the blogger to pander to special interests. After all, Real Estate IS and WILL CONTINUE TO BE a very important issue throughout the borough over the next decade. So let's not pretend we live in a bubble and limit ourselves to the discussion of Roti.

I would love to see this blog become a neighborhood resource that caters to EVERYONE. I predict one day soon it will be loaded with useful information, address a broad range of issues, and most of all, provide a forum for lively, respectful, uncensored, troll-free debates. Currently that option no longer exists in PLG.

Michael said...

we took a look the apartments several months ago. It looked nice but I thought it was too small for our needs. I was also concerned about some of the noise factor with the one of bedrooms being in the front. Nice price but we took a pass.