Brooklyn Boro

Full House: Brooklyn open houses are packed now that it’s spring

Eye On Real Estate

April 8, 2015 By Lore Croghan Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Of course, that's the Lower Manhattan skyline you're seeing through the windows at this One Brooklyn Bridge Park condo. Photo courtesy of Corcoran Group
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Spring has sprung — finally — and open houses throughout B’KLYN are exponentially busier than they were just a couple weeks ago.

“I’ve been seeing this in every Brownstone Brooklyn neighborhood and Williamsburg, starting in mid-March,” said Deborah Rieders, associate broker at Corcoran Group. “In the winter, there would be 20 sign-ins at an open house. Now there are 60.”

Since each person who signs in often comes with a spouse and/or relatives, that means around 100 people pouring into a property during the one-to-two-hour showings.

News for those who live, work and play in Brooklyn and beyond

* On Sunday, March 29, Rieders had nearly 50 sign-ins at her open house for Unit 602 at 100 Congress St., a two-bedroom condo with an asking price of $1.25 million.

She’d been keeping the Cobble Hill apartment off the market until the weather improved because one of its selling points is a private rooftop cabana, which is furnished and has a pergola and plantings.

“It’s like an outdoor living room,” she said.

Also, the apartment, which has views of the East River and the Manhattan skyline, has an indoor deeded parking space.

City Finance Department records identify the current owners as Keith Haluska and Emily Martin, who bought the condo and parking space for $845,147 in 2011.

* Nearby, on the Brooklyn Heights waterfront, Rieders held an open house for brokers on March 24 at Unit 205 of One Brooklyn Bridge Park, AKA 360 Furman St., which has an asking price of $5,995,000.

Because the four-bedroom condo has up-close views of both Brooklyn Bridge Park and the river, spring felt like the right time for a marketing relaunch. The apartment had been on the market since the depths of winter.

“People are thinking about going outside again,” she said.

Guests watched the sunset from the condo’s wraparound terrace while sipping a part sangria, part margarita drink. A chef showed off the professional-caliber kitchen with a cooking demonstration featuring tapas and ceviche.

Since the event, which 45 brokers and their clients attended, quite a few showings of the apartment have been booked, Rieders said.

According to Finance Department records, the condo’s current owners are William and Kathleen Reiland, who bought it for $3,650,867 in 2011.

By the way, the couple sold their townhouse at nearby 40 Willow Place for $7.3 million in 2012 — which according to the city tax assessor’s office had a higher assessed market value than 70 Willow St., the Brooklyn Heights house that sold for a borough record-breaking price of $12 million, the New York Observer reported.

Fast And Furious, from Clinton Hill to Bushwick

We find it instructive to take the temperature of home sales from time to time. It’s an interesting indicator of prosperity in New York City, where only one-third of the households are owner-occupied and two-thirds are renter-occupied. That’s the reverse of the nationwide homeowners-to-renters ratio.

This was a depressing task for a long time after the 2008 financial downturn, when home sales sagged in many Brooklyn neighborhoods, and foreclosures were bedeviling. We’re glad it’s 2015, and B’KLYN’s residential markets have bounced back.

So. More anecdotes:

* There were multiple offers for Unit 2 of 135 Clinton Ave. — and after the two-bedroom Clinton Hill co-op was on the market for just one week, an offer was accepted, Rieders said. In two weeks, there was a signed contract.

The asking price was $1.25 million for the parlor-floor apartment in the 25-foot-wide, century-old rowhouse. A Sunday open house drew 35 sign-ins though it had snowed a couple days earlier.

Finance Department records indicate that the current owner of the co-op is Charissa Melnik, who bought it with Nathaniel Cabot for $675,000 in 2006.

* There was messy mid-March snow and rain during a Sunday open house for 175 Eckford St., but the event nevertheless drew 30 sign-ins. The Greenpoint townhouse, with an asking price of $2.5 million,  drew multiple offers. In just two weeks, a sale contract was signed, Rieders said.

Finance Department records indicate the current owners are Jonathan Bauer and Jill Magid, who purchased the property for $612,000 in 2011.

Rieders’ colleague, Corcoran salesperson Mark Martov, has also seen his share of frenetic open houses.

* Clearly, house-hunters in Bushwick wanted it to be spring even when the weather didn’t cooperate.

Martov had to clean snow off the front steps to let people into his Sunday open house at 33 Woodbine St. The house, which is currently set up as a three-family property, had an asking price of $799,000.

He lost track of how many showed up after the number hit 40; there were so many attendees he couldn’t get them all signed in, he said.

Two weeks after he put the house on the market, it was in contract.

The person who made the winning offer was especially aggressive: “She offered to close in two weeks,” Martov said. “It was like out of a movie.”

She plans to have rental tenants for one to two years, then use available air rights to enlarge the house and turn it into a residential condo building.

Setting the asking price at less than $1 million stoked prospective purchasers’ interest, he said.

Finance Department records identify the current owner as an LLC with Yehoshua Allswang as managing member. The LLC had bought the house for $550,000 last November.

* Around the corner at 1090 Bushwick Ave., Martov held a group showing instead of an advertised open house — and that was all it took to sell the property.

The asking price for the two-family house was $999,000.

Martov listed 1090 Bushwick on a Wednesday. Over the next couple days, he told people who made requests to see the property that they could visit it that Sunday between 1:30 and 3 p.m.

More than 30 people showed up for the viewing. Two people made purchase offers on the spot. That evening, a third offer came in.

There were bidding wars for the property. The following week, a sale contract was signed at “significantly” more than $1 million, Martov said.

The purchaser plans to live in one unit of the house and rent out the other.

Finance Department records indicate the current owner of 1090 Bushwick is O& B Properties. Itamar Bruhim signed a mortgage and a zoning lot description on the company’s behalf, the records show.

O&B Properties had paid $250,000 for the house last July.

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