Real Estate

This Weekend’s Open House Picks


sun room house via mary kay gallagher
We’ve rounded up some of the more interesting open houses happening in and around Ditmas Park this Sunday. Any thoughts on these places?


50 Kenilworth Place, Apt 2L 
List Price: $98,000, $367 maintenance
Size: Studio, one bathroom
Details: This place near Brooklyn College and the Junction isn’t exactly roomy, but it could be a great opportunity for someone who lives light and plans to stick around a while. You’ll have wood floors and a separate kitchen (though whether you can turn all the way around in it remains to be seen), and there’s in-building laundry–plus, when was the last time you saw a place in Brooklyn in the five-digit range?
Open House: Sunday, June 1 from 12-2pm

1138 Ocean Avenue, Apt 5F
List Price: $699,000, $592 common charges
Size: Three beds, two baths
Details: Okay, here’s somewhere with a little more square footage–we don’t often see three bed condos or co-ops on the market around here! Enjoy cooking in your ginormous kitchen (really, just spread those ingredients as far across all your counter space as you possibly can) lounge on one of your two corner unit balconies, play in the building’s communal yard area or fitness center, catch the train easily at Newkirk Plaza, host holiday meals in your formal dining space, and give your in-unit washer and dryer a hug for preventing you ever having to drag 400 pounds of dirty clothes to a laundromat again.
Open House: Sunday, June 1 from 12:30-2pm


1709 Glenwood Road
List Price: $1,475,000
Size: Seven beds, 3.5 baths
Details: Nestled on a block just tucked in from Foster and Ocean Avenues and the B/Q tracks, this classic home could offer the perfect respite from city life. It’s got some fabulous original details and some mean wood paneling game, including a basement bar for when you need a little Don Draper time. Gorgeous and throwback-y as it is, though, it could clearly use some upgrades, and the listing says it needs TLC.
Open House: Sunday, June 1 from 12-1:30pm

91 Marlborough Road
List Price: $2,388,000
Size: Six beds, 3.5 baths
Details: This home just south of Church is super pricey, and also super cool. You’ve got some lovely wood columns inside and out, a wraparound porch, an incredible sunroom, stained glass windows, a turret–even the ironwork below the porch is stunning. Again, though, a look at the kitchen reveals some renovations are in order. Taking all that into account, do you think it will break the area record of $2.2M?
Open House: Sunday, June 1 from 2-4pm

Photo via Mary Kay Gallagher

Comment policy


  1. In before the deluge of “LOL that’s ridiculously overpriced!” comments. (I bet you someone will say that for the $98k apartment, too).

  2. If you want a place to live and can afford it, why not? It’s a good investment, especially if the price goes up.

  3. It’s not a good investment. It’s like giving up on ever being able to afford a decent place to live. No one truly wants to buy a studio, which means you’re never going to see big increases in value.

  4. I think that idea that a studio is a bad investment and no one really wants a studio is a bit out of date. Maybe you don’t want a studio, but there are plenty of single people who want a smaller, simpler, and perhaps,more affordable place. Google the tiny house movement that has been taking off. As far as investment, a studio is in contract on Brooklyn Hearth for 249k. I’ll take that return.

  5. I know all about tiny houses, and I have friends who own them. People who really, truly, and actually want that little space are a minority. And people who intend to be single their entire lives are a minority (go them, but that’s a fact). Forcing people into smaller and smaller spaces and selling them on the idea that “owning” a postage stamp is somehow a valuable life choice? It’s bullshit.

  6. In New York, particularly by a College, a studio is a fine investment. I just sold my upper Manhattan studio, which I bought in 2005 for 90k for 270k. After the mortgage was paid off, I moved in with my boyfriend and renting it out, making nearly 1k a month renting the place out. I did not buy the place as an investment, I bought it (and I imagine other parents have this idea) because between mortgage and maintenance, I was paying less than RENTING a studio. Oh, and if you’re going to say “it will take a long time to sell,” it was a well kept but outdated apartment and I had 3 at or above all cash offers within 24 hours of the open house. And above 180th street.

    There appears to be no such thing as a bad investment in New York. If you’ve only got 20k, I recommend you snatch that studio up.

  7. Oh, well if you’re in the 1% you can make a profit out of anything. But go ahead and try to find Brooklyn College students who can afford to rent a studio apartment all to themselves. I mean it – you just try it.

  8. Why would the 1% waste their time buying single studios when they could buy themselves any number of mansions for personal use or building complexes for profit? I’m with you in that I couldn’t live in it and it doesn’t represent what I want in a home, but we don’t get to make decisions about what everyone else wants. This seems like a viable option for someone in the 99% who’s more concerned with living in NYC than living indoors much of the time.

    Owning a modest place is one way for people who really love this area not to get pushed out, or to stop giving all their money to those sleazy 1% landlords. And even if students’ parents don’t have the disposable income to pay their rent on a studio, it seems very possible a faculty member or couple could afford it.

  9. To Guest who replied to Bexcellent:
    I am certainly *NOT* in the 1% (far from it as a matter of fact) but BUYING AN APARTMENT was one of the best financial decisions I ever made. Whether I bought or rented, I realized I was going to have to pay _something_ to keep a roof over my head. So I scrounged up every penny I had to come up with a 20% down payment.
    And this is the reason why I CANNOT UNDERSTAND these long-term renters who bitch about “getting priced out”. Had they bought a place 30 years ago (when prices must have been dirt cheap) – they would be done paying a mortgage and being priced out would be a moot point.

  10. There seems to be a trend of ..the home is going for a million plus, or the place is unlivable / needs a TON of work and it’s still overpriced.

  11. 30 years ago prices might have been dirt cheap but maybe renters’ incomes happened to be just as cheap if not more… Affordability depends on both quantities. Also 30 years ago you would have been paying 14% a year (!!!) on a mortgage, which I imagine would have been really tough on a lot of families.
    I almost always agree with you, but in this case I don’t think it’s obvious that buying a property would have been an option for most people…

  12. Your experience 30 years ago has zero relevance on what it’s like for young people today. You can’t buy before you’ve saved up some money, and either you went to college and have crushing student loans (and are now underemployed thanks to the trashed economy and slow recovery), or you didn’t go to college and don’t make a living wage. Or you’re part of the 1% and should just keep your mouth shut, because 99% of us don’t have that advantage. I would have bought a place straight out of college if I had the means – I’ve never WANTED to fork over all my money to a landlord. But I’ve never been able to save enough money to buy anything, not even with a graduate degree and several job changes that were theoretically big steps up. The salaries just aren’t there anymore.

  13. Being able to buy a place you don’t want to live in long-term, because you can just rent it later is a 1% option. It means you can move to your new place before you’ve sold your old place, because you have cash reserves. There’s a hint of “my parents bought it for me in college” there too.

    Moving costs money. Unless you plan to live in a studio for the rest of your life, or know you have the means to become a landlord for that studio in the future, it’s a waste of money.

  14. Nope. Do your homework. Grad students cannot afford to live without roommates either. Those that can, don’t go to CUNY.

  15. Ha. I didn’t realize I was being called part of the 1% because I bought a 90k studio. The only advantage I had to buy that place were parents that lived in far out Queens who let me live with them after college and save money from my 36k a year job at a nonprofit.

    I’m also not understanding how with my studio, with a 1970’s kitchen and pink tiled bathroom that I could never afford to renovate in Washington Heights is any different from any other studio in the city. The guy buying my apartment sold his studio in the west village for 600k.

    What’s the argument that is happening here? That people can’t afford to buy or that studios are a bad investment?

  16. There is no argument here. There is one or more guests arguing with every point of view offered. Congratulations on getting and selling your place. It is not easy, and unless you have done it, you really don’t know about it.

  17. I think the argument is a sort of indiscriminate raaaahhh you have something I don’t have, therefore you = bad and I will use a “1%” trope about you that doesn’t really work rahhhh

  18. Being a specialist in a smaller market is still a good business strategy. If there is a lower barrier of entry into investing in a smaller / cheaper place it could still be a good investment.

  19. I got a scholarship – otherwise I wouldn’t own a place today. However, just because half of my higher education as free and I chose a more practical university rather than the best one I was accepted to doesn’t make me a 1%er, and you dilute your point with that rhetoric,

  20. It’s true. The analogy I like to make is that my parents bought their modest NYC home with a down payment of around 1/4 of their income. No one who is middle class today can afford to buy anything for 1/4 of their income. Except maybe this studio.

  21. To Guest (who replied to me) –
    For what it’s worth, I was in GRADE SCHOOL 30 years ago. I bought my place TEN years ago (while the neighborhood was still sketchy) so i think what I have to say is *somewhat relevant*.
    I don’t have a trust fund, my parents didn’t help me out, I didn’t receive an inheritance from a dead relative. I emptied out every account I had to come up with the money for a down payment and it was _really scary_.
    Education and advanced degrees are fine and good….but absolutely USELESS if you’re studying something like….History. Especially if you’re digging yourself into a massive debt hole borrowing money to finance it.

  22. I disagree R-Squared.
    It might not be true for most of the U.S. but I really don’t think you can lose out on buying property in NYC. Unless you’re subsisting on ramen noodles, living with multiple roommates, not spending a PENNY on “fun” stuff (clothes, vacation, booze, restaurants, etc)….you don’t have an excuse to not be saving SOMETHING.
    So…maybe people will need to save longer, have to forgo fun stuff a little longer…but when a good deal like this studio comes along they’ll be able to jump on it. And have an asset to their name.

  23. Must be nice to think your life choices are the only valid life choices, and the only ones deserving of home ownership. 1% by proxy. Go away.

  24. You have no idea what life is like if you think that people who value their health more than eating Ramen noodles for 20 years are unworthy of ever getting their head above water. Savings? Yeah, I saved. And then life happens, and those savings need to be spent on, you know, life. Which is shitty and uncontrollable. Health problems, relationship breakups, loss of job, car trouble, family member in dire need – the list goes on and on.

    But yeah, you just go on crushing the world because we’re not eating enough Ramen noodles to be worth a secure home to live in.

  25. If you own property in NYC, you’re 1%. Perhaps not when you bought it, particular if it was decades ago, but you sure as hell are now.

  26. Says the person not citing any facts or things that need facts? What does this even mean?

  27. Tell me again how great it is when the entire city has been carved into microapartments that cost $500,000 each.

  28. And it must be nice to think your opinions and experiences are the only ones that matter! Congrats.

  29. The only way you can buy a place and then rent it out is by being in the 1%? There’s a hint of “my parents bought it for me in college” in every instance of someone buying a place and then renting it? Buying a studio and making a modest profit (or a large profit, in bexcellent’s case) on it just from selling because you were wise or lucky and bought before prices in a particular neighborhood exploded is a waste of money?

    Please quantitatively prove those things. In the meantime, here are some numbers:

    – When bexcellent sold for $270,000, she made a one time profit of less than $180,000, considering interest on a mortgage that would put the full price of the studio at over $90,000.

    – She made less than $120,000 in rent. That maximum would be if rent was $1,000/mo, not less than $1,000/mo as specified, for ten full years. The studio was only owned for some period between 2005 and 2014, which could possibly have spanned for over nine years, but not for a full ten, and the rent was not a full $1,000/mo. Bexcellent also could have lived in the studio for several of those years before moving in with her boyfriend and renting it out.

    – It is possible that in 2005, bexcellent was making a better wage than many jobs offer now. Maybe bexcellent’s parents had less to do with the purchase of the apartment than her potentially decent salary did. Keep in mind that to be decent, a wage does not have to be obscenely huge and worthy of hyperbolic scorn.

    As of 2012, $380,000 was the minimum yearly income for “the one percent” ( Even if bexcellent made a full $300,000 off of that studio, which I have shown is not possible, that alone would not cut it.

    Bexcellent is very fortunate. I’m a little envious over her original comment, and I wish I could have been in her position too. Maybe she is in the one percent, but you know what? Maybe she isn’t. And either way, she doesn’t deserve your presumptuous, abstract, and juvenile wrath.

  30. What skills does one get as a student in the humanities? Research skills, ability to think critically and evaluate arguments and different points of view, writing, some broad perspectives on the world beyond the latest fashionable trends – all of which can help one in pretty much any job. I agree that it is not worth going into huge amounts of debt for an MA or PhD (and any PhD program worth its salt will offer you full tuition and a stipend) in any field unless it leads directly to a job, but humanities degrees are very worthwhile.

  31. Actually, mathematically speaking, if you own a home in NYC you are part of the 30%.

  32. A studio is not a microapartment, and I’m assuming that inflation is not going to just stop cold in its tracks in 2014, and apparently neither are overvalued properties giving the attitudes represented here.

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