Brownstone Brooklyn: Cobble Hill Townhomes–Time Lapse Video

On October 17th we hosted an on-line Virtual Open House for our under-construction townhouse development at the corner of Strong Place and Kane Street in beautiful Cobble Hill. Donald shared his insights regarding building ground-up in landmark districts, construction progress photos showing the quality and care that is going into this product and let those in attendance know why this project will be superior to what might be alternatively available in the marketplace.

Donald also debuted our time-lapse video “Behind the Construction Fence: Strong Place Townhomes” during the on-line tour. The video chronicles the first 6 months of construction in about 60 seconds. It’s pretty cool. Check it out if you have a minute – literally.

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Join Team Brennan!

Who We Are:
A boutique brokerage focusing on neighborhoods in and adjacent to brownstone
Brooklyn’s historic districts.

What We Sell, Buy And Rent:

Housing border

 

How We Are Successful:
We embrace all social and business networking tools to leverage our established brand.

 

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How We Can Help YOU Be Successful:
No desk fee
No advertising costs
Assistance establishing your own real estate identity
Access to full marketing and administrative support
In-house public relations and graphic design team
Formal sales education
On-site training
Field exposure with our head of sales
Utilizing our own customized client-maintenance and referral system

Contact:
Donald Brennan, Licensed Broker and Owner
(917) 568-6525 dbrennan@brennanrealtyservices.com
Stay in touch:
Twitter: @dbrennan; Vine: @dbrennan; about.me/donaldbrennan; Vimeo: Brennan Realty

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Spring Cocktail Party At Superfine In DUMBO

BKS fundraiserLast night we were honored to be a part of the first annual Spring Cocktail party for the Brooklyn Kindergarten Society.
The organization has been around since 1891 and helps to serve underprivileged children in local public schools. James Matison, the executive director said a few words thanking the key donors including, Donald. There were so many amazing people who attended and all with the same goal– committed to helping the Brooklyn communities achieve better opportunities for their children’s education.
We are always looking to get involved in our Brooklyn neighborhoods. If you have any events or sponsorship opportunities that we might be interested in, please email Sabrina@brennanrealtyservices.com.

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Brooklyn Kindergarten Society Fundraiser!

120th-anniversaryOn May 13, the Brooklyn Kindergarten Society’s Annual Spring Cocktail Party will be held at Superfine in DUMBO. All proceeds from this event go to helping children in poorer Brooklyn neighborhoods obtain a strong educational foundation for their future. Brennan Realty Services is sponsoring this event because of our commitment to service in the communities we work and live in. Join us as we help to make strides in today’s educational system. To donate, please click here.

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My 2 Cents: Bubble, Bubble, Toil and Trouble?

Note: This update went out to our exclusive clients the week of May 7th. If you would like to be put on our exclusive distribution list, please send me an email:dbrennan@brennanrealtyservices.com

If you follow the national housing market you are bound to come across data and opinion generated by Robert Shiller (co-author of the S&P/ Case-Shiller Housing Indices).   In a recent piece for the Financial Times titled The Property Predicament he questions the societal benefit of the dramatic increase in home prices.  The theme is one he has based his newest book on – Finance and the Good Society. Here is a passage from the FT piece:

“Note that in the latest bubble home prices in the US and the UK rose rapidly relative to the cost of renting. It was not a rental boom. It was thus financial in origin, not caused by a rise in the real scarcity value of housing services that people want to consume. It was instead a change in the investment demand for ownership of a claim on a stable flow of rents.  Before we can answer what would be the effects of large future home price increases relative to rents, we would have to ask why those increases would be happening. Let us consider why they increased the last time, in the early 2000s. The reasons are basically the same in both the US and the UK.  Price increases were related to a loosening of credit standards (continued…)

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My 2 Cents: Heading in Different Directions on the Same One Way Block

Note: This update went out to our exclusive clients the week of March 12th. If you would like to be put on our exclusive distribution list, please send me an email:dbrennan@brennanrealtyservices.com

It’s hardly ever an apples to apples comparison when it comes to Brooklyn brownstones. But in the case of two nearly adjacent properties on Garden Place in Brooklyn Heights you would think you would have the chance to net out the typical handful of variables and end up with identical fruit. Not the case however with 26 Garden Place and 36 Garden Place. 36 Garden has only been on the market for a few weeks so it is too early to say how the market will view the opportunity but its asking price of $10,000,000, or $1,820 per sq ft, is in stark contrast to 26 Garden at $4,950,000, or $1,100 per sq ft. I have not been inside both properties but according to the broker blurbs both homes have been renovated and have at least grade-A kitchens. What gives? 26 Garden set out a little over a year ago to test the higher end of the price range but has had to retreat in search of a price floor that will attract attention. Five houses north on the same side of the street 36 Garden is in search of a hyper local record, on a dollar per square foot basis anyway. “Unique” and “rare” they are indeed as no one is making anymore brownstones and demand is stable, and possibly increasing, so we will have to wait and see who is headed in the right direction.

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My 2 Cents: An Elegant Solution – The Lamb Institute in Thirds

Note: This update went out to our exclusive clients the week of February 20th. If you would like to be put on our exclusive distribution list, please send me an email:dbrennan@brennanrealtyservices.com

355 Henry Street (aka one-third of the Lamb Institute, 110 Amity Street) was recently brought to market as a single-family home – not quite a townhouse, but vertical townhouse type living nonetheless. The division of the entire building into three townhouse type properties is an elegant solution that eluded many that had previously tried and failed over the past 6 years to redevelop the property. Today it was reported that 355 Henry is in contract. The 4-story 3,200 sq ft recently rehabilitated property is listed at $3,850,000, or $1,200 per sq ft. While the home appears to be configured appropriately for “family” use the property has no yard and the entrance is on the rear of the building. And while it has three exposures its corner location on Amity and Henry Streets is not 100% residential. These less than favorable attributes do not appear to have negatively impacted the sellers ability to achieve what may work out to be a strong sale price. More evidence that the local townhouse market is out of balance with demand continuing to exceed supply.

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My 2 Cents: The je ne sais quoi of Sackett Street

Note: This update went out to our exclusive clients the week of February 11th. If you would like to be put on our exclusive distribution list, please send me an email:dbrennan@brennanrealtyservices.com

473 Sackett Street is in contract after only 25 days on the market. Seems like only yesterday I was tweeting about my visit during the broker preview on 1/25. Property showed very well – ie no clutter, well lit naturally and artificially and was decorated tastefully. The asking price is $1,695,000, or $807 per sq ft for this 3 story 2,100 sq ft 2-family (20’ x 35’ x 3 floors). The comment I made on Browstoner the following day, 1/25, sums up my view on price – “asking is a slight premium over 452 Sackett on a per sq ft basis, which sold last year. I would say this property is in better condition than 452(I’ve looked at both properties). The gross asking price on this is in the same ballpark as 70 2nd Street, on market this time last year – had multiple offers and traded above ask. In case anyone forgot.” The takeaway: Limited supply still supporting appropriately priced properties. Tweet from the broker preview – “Just walked through 473 Sackett Street. Tastefully decorated and thoughtfully rehabilitated. 2bd duplex over 1bd garden rental.”

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Where do buyers go to start their search?

Third party listing sites of course!

Streeteasy, New York Times Real Estate section, and Trulia to name a few.

Take a look at this chart below. Streeteasy, one the most popular listing sites in NYC, gets significantly more page views then even the city’s biggest brokerages. As you can see using a bigger brokerage doesn’t mean more people will see your property.

Source: Alexa.com, the Web Information Company.”

Today it’s so important to have a real understanding of the relationship between online exposure and sales; we recognize the changing face of real estate brokerage, and know that the process of looking for a home begins on the internet.

We list all of our properties on Streeteasy, The New York Times, and of course of our own user-friendly and innovative website. We were the first brokerage in NYC to allow users of our site to share listings via Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

As a seller why go with the status quo? You can do so much better by using Brennan Realty to market your property.

Here are a few testimonials from some of our satisfied clients:

“Donald, Betsy and everyone at Brennan Realty give life and validation to the theory that bigger is not always better.”

“It was so refreshing, after some inconsistent and occasionally mind-numbing experiences with other firms, to work with a group of dedicated, diligent professionals who just get it.” 

“…support started long before the apartment was put on the market and lasted right up through and beyond the close.”

“I can’t say enough about the advantages of going with this boutique firm over one of the bigger ones. There is such a difference when you feel like the #1 priority. Every question is answered in minutes, not days, and every concern was treated with respect, patience and understanding.”

“In such a difficult market, I never imagined we’d be in contract in less than a month, but we had multiple offers over asking price. From the smallest studio to the biggest house, I would recommend Brennan Realty to anyone and everyone.”

Read more about what our clients are saying by visiting our testimonial page: click here.

Contact us today for a free property valuation!

Donald Brennan, Principal and Licensed Broker
dbrennan@brennanrealtyservices.com cell: 917-568-6525

Betsy Hoffman, Licensed Salesperson
bhoffman@brennanrealtyservices.com cell: 917-622-3879

Take a look at some samples of our marketing materials:
1. Two-family custom town home, Cobble Hill
2. One bedroom condo, Fort Greene
3. Classic 6, Park Slope

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My 2 Cents: The Curious Case of 319 DeGraw Street, Cobble Hill

Note: This update went out to our exclusive clients the week of February 6th. If you would like to be put on our exclusive distribution list, please send me an email:dbrennan@brennanrealestate.com.

This townhouse + vacant adjacent lot combo was brought to market in July of 2011. The then listing broker priced it at $3.2M, or $1,070 per sq ft, if applying solely the house square footage of 3,000 sq ft to the asking price. If you back out approx $600,000 ($175 per buildable square foot (price of land in that neighborhood) x 3,400 sq ft (allowable building square footage on vacant lot) you are left with $2.6M, or $866 per sq ft. The average comparable home price for closed deals in that location is approx $700 per sq ft (as of late fall 2011). So the original listing price overshot the market by about 20%. That makes it easy to understand why it lingered when other properties were in contract within a matter of days of being listed. So after a broker switch in November 2011 the property (house + lot) is now listed at $2.6M, or $866 per sq ft. And if you reduce $2.6M by the same $600,000 used above to approximate the value of the vacant lot you have an asking price of $2M, or $670 per sq ft, which is 5% below the average comparable. The property has been on the market a total of 218 days from its original listing date and 85 days since its last price adjustment. Average days on the market for the comparable set is 57.

What gives? The property was obviously not priced appropriately from the start. In this day and age of greater transparency, properties that are priced inappropriately have the potential to be deemed undesirable by the entire buyer pool if interest is not immediate for reasons other than price. More days on the market have always resulted in discounts to the original asking price but now the “undesirable” stigma may be putting more downward pressure on the perceived discount.

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