Open House Agenda: Four Apartments to See This Weekend
By Donna M. Airoldi on February 7, 2014 7:47am
BROOKLYN — With real estate prices soaring in Brooklyn, it’s easy to feel like you missed the boat in an area that has become “hot." Not true. Here are four apartments still considered relatively good deals in popular Brooklyn neighborhoods.
1701 Albemarle Road, Apt. C8, Ditmas Park
1 Bedroom/1 Bath
Approximately 950 square feet
Maintenance: $511.70 per month
Open House: Sunday, Feb. 9, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Lowdown: The large-sized one-bedroom in Ditmas Park is located in Berkley Square, one of the most sought-after buildings in the neighborhood, said DeAnna Lenhart of Brooklyn Hearth Realty.
The pre-war building, which takes up an entire block with 84 "incredibly large" units, has low maintenance and "outstanding financials," Lenhart said. "The underlying mortgage has been paid off, and there’s a huge reserve fund and no assessments.”
Unit C8 has been completely renovated and includes all new moldings and skim-coated walls. The kitchen overlooks the historic Knickerbocker Field Club — a private tennis organization with five clay courts. There’s a short waiting list for parking ($75 per month) in the electric-gated lot next door.
The area's prices are on the upswing. When Lenhart moved into the neighborhood 10 years ago she bought a one-bedroom for $127,000. By the end of 2009, the average price for one-bedrooms was from $200,000 to $280,000, she said. She recently sold a 750-square-foot one-bedroom at nearby 415 Argyle Road for $400,000.
Location: The surrounding area — especially Church Avenue between 18th Street and Coney Island Avenue — is in transition. Nine Chains, a new bakery cafe from the owners of the acclaimed Farm on Adderley on nearby Cortelyou Road, opened on Church Avenue near Westminster Road in January. Wheated and The Dogwood restaurants debuted last year, joining Lark coffee and Am Thai. There are also excellent Caribbean, Bangladeshi and Mexican restaurants.
The Prospect Park Parade Ground, where there are weekly soccer matches and now food trucks, too, is two blocks north.
The B and Q trains at Church Avenue are one block away. The B35 bus is also on Church Avenue, and the B103 — which after one more stop in neighboring Kensington runs express to downtown Brooklyn — is on Coney Island Avenue.
Why put it on your open house calendar? “This is the one building that has it all: low maintenance, pre-war, dog-friendly, parking and a doorman,” Lenhart said. “And it’s a good bargain, especially when you compare it to some of the other popular Brooklyn neighborhoods."
185 Clinton Ave., Apt. 1E, Clinton Hill
2 Bedrooms/1 Bath
800 square feet
Maintenance: $750 per month
Open House: Sunday, Feb. 9, 1-2:30 p.m.
Lowdown: The Clinton Hill Co-ops are some of the most popular buildings in the Fort Greene/Clinton Hill area, said Louis Belisario of Fillmore Realty, who shares the listing with Gina D’Onofrio.
“There’s a minimum of just 10 percent down; it’s pet friendly; there’s 24-hour security and a gated entry, so no one can just roam in; and many of the units have views of the Manhattan and Brooklyn skylines,” he said. “It’s a great bargain if you want to get into the community.”
The apartment, which overlooks a courtyard, was renovated about six years ago and is in move-in condition. “It has tons of closets, and the L-shaped living room is large enough for a dining area,” Belisario said, adding that the sellers, who bought it in 2008, removed a wall near the front of the unit to make a home-office nook and added storage space.
Location: The apartment is one block from the Clinton Hill Historic District, with brownstones and Victorian mansions along tree-lined streets. It’s three blocks from Pratt Institute and five from Fort Greene Park. Myrtle Avenue, with multiple shops and restaurants — including the new Tipsy wine shop — is at the corner. On weekends, the Brooklyn Flea is about four blocks away on Lafayette Avenue.
The Clinton-Washington Avenues G train station is three blocks away, and the C train is six blocks away.
Why put it on your open house calendar? “It’s an awesome unit at a great per-square-foot price. We don’t expect it to last long,” Belisario said. “A unit upstairs listed at $365,000 and sold for over $400,000. We’ve had bidding wars on every unit in the Clinton Hill Co-ops that has hit the market.”
140 E. Second St., Apt. 2C, Windsor Terrace
2 Bedrooms/1 Bath
1,039 square feet
Maintenance: $671 per month
Open House: Saturday, Feb. 8, 1-5 p.m.; Sunday, Feb. 9, noon-3 p.m.
Lowdown: Owner Keena Hammond moved into this pre-war two-bedroom corner unit near historic Green-Wood Cemetery as a renter in 1999, then purchased it in 2005.
“In 2006, I gut-renovated the kitchen, which was originally half the size. I took out a wall and added new cabinetry, plumbing for a dishwasher, granite countertops and a bar storage island built to match the cabinetry,” Hammond said, adding that she also combined four closets — two in each bedroom — into one large walk-in closet in the master bedroom, plus refinished the hardwood floors.
She redid the bathroom about three years ago, doubling the shower space by removing a linen closet and adding custom cabinetry for storage.
"Every space has been revamped for efficiency,” she said. “The apartment is also very quiet. My only real neighbor is in the corner by the dining area.”
Hammond, a former board president of the 114-unit co-op — which has a porter and live-in super — said during the past five years they’ve added a play room, bike room and redid the laundry room.
Location: The neighborhood — where Windsor Terrace meets Kensington — has changed significantly in recent years, especially along Fort Hamilton Parkway. On the block around the corner from the unit, for instance, additions include the Mediterranean café Hummus Garden, Thai Tony’s, Steeplechase Coffee and Brancaccio’s Food Shop. A new brick-oven pizza place is scheduled to open soon, and a Park Slope style food co-op is also in the works.
The apartment is between the Fort Hamilton and Church Avenue stations for the F and G trains. Nearby bus lines include the B16, B35, B67, B69 and B103.
Why put it on your open house calendar? “There are very few two-bedrooms in the neighborhood," Hammond said. "They rarely come on the market." Park Slope is nearby, she added, "but the parking is easier here."
129 Meserole St., Apt. 2B, Williamsburg
1 Bedroom/1 Bath
654 square feet
Common Charges: $252 per month
Real Estate Taxes: $5.95 per month
Open House: Sunday, Feb. 9, 1-2 p.m.
Lowdown: Sunday’s open house for this 4-year-old one-bedroom in east Williamsburg is its first and most likely last.
“People are going crazy over [this listing],” said broker Jane Moriarity of Brick&Mortar. “My inbox is full. My voicemail is full. People have been trying to put in offers site unseen.”
The sellers bought the south-facing unit from the developer and “it’s a good deal because of the modern amenities — it comes with a dishwasher, laundry, a soaking tub, high ceilings and a balcony — and the owners kept it well-maintained,” Moriarity said, adding that the bedroom is a great size and the closet space is designed for maximum storage.
Though it could have been listed at a higher price, “it’s a walk-up and there’s no parking, so we took that into consideration,” she said. There are 10 years left on its 15-year tax abatement.
The second-floor unit overlooks Meserole Street, but people tested it for noise, and they were surprised by how quiet it is, Moriarity added.
Location: The apartment is between Manhattan and Graham avenues, about three blocks from the Montrose L train station and four from the Broadway G stop. It’s east of prime Williamsburg, but the area keeps developing with new shops and restaurants.
“The Bedford Avenue station is so crowded, but when you get on at Montrose, you don’t have to worry about getting a seat or having to wait for another train,” Moriarity said.
Why put it on your open house calendar? “There’s nothing else that large at that price at that quality in the neighborhood for sale,” Moriarity said. “It would really be great for an investor. What you can get in rent would be a good deal of money for that area."