In his new âMy 2 Centsâ column, Donald Brennan presents unbiased, hands-on evaluations of properties on the market that heâs visited and examined inside and out. Hereâs the third article in the series. Watch for more coming soon!
Solid townhouse in need of updating.
I looked at 55 Dean Street with a buyer client of mine in November 2010, just after the property came to market with an asking price of $2.1 million.Â This four-story, three-family brick townhouseâowned by the same family for 60 yearsâis now listed at $1.9 million, or $625 per square foot.
Architecture/AppearanceâReportedly built in 1899, the property is a four-story brick townhouse measuring 20â wide by 38â deep. Â The building looks structurally sound and well-maintained, but lacks in original detail. The property consists of a two-bedroom lower duplex with a garden and two roomy one-bedroom floor-through apartments on the third and fourth floors.Â There is no interior stair connecting the lower duplex floors, so the main common stair is shared by all unit occupants. Kitchens and baths are clean and functional and comparable to market alternatives of similar ageâbut they are dated. The basement is neat and dry, and has adequate headroom.
Local Externalities â The property is located on Dean Street between Boerum Place and Smith Street in Cobble Hill. Since it is not situated in the landmark portion of the neighborhood, the housing stock on the street is quite varied in design, bulk and vintageâfrom quaint, century-old townhouses like number 55 to new, large, bulky condos. While there are some charming wood shingled and/or paneled homes just east of this property, a new condo development just came on the market three doors west of it.Â There appear to be at least two developable lots on this block.Â This part of Dean Street is residential in nature, but itâs often used by cars heading east as an alternate to Atlantic Avenue. The location does offer a distinct advantage, however, especially if you love dining outâyou can walk to the numerous restaurants just around the corner on Smith Street.
RehabilitationâThe building sits on a 100â deep lot, potentially allowing for the addition of an extension or the sale of air rights.Â The building is being marketed as an owner-occupied three-family, which would be a good short term solution at the right price.Â Most buyers, however, would want to update the dated bathrooms and kitchens, which could add significant cost depending on the extent and quality of the upgrades. The rest of the interior could be improved with simple cosmetic changes like fresh paint or wallpaper. The suggested alternative scenario is a conversion to an ownerâs triplexâbut that would be costly and push your all-in investment over $2.5 million, or $825 per square foot.
Marketing âThe property is being marketed on several listing sites including The New York Times and StreetEasy, as well as the listing brokerâs site. A detailed floorplan and photos of some rooms are provided, but there are no photos of the backyard/garden area or the living room.
If you are in the market to buy and would like to learn about myÂ buy-side services please give me a call or send me an email. If youâre thinking of selling your home and would like to learn more about myÂ sell-side servicesâplus receive a complimentary comparable market analysis–please also contact me.
Donald Brennan Â Â 917-568-6525 Â firstname.lastname@example.org