The Market

A Bed-Stuy fixer-upper is on the market for a whopping $850,000

By Virginia K. Smith  | October 22, 2014 - 11:59AM

Whether they're history buffs, would-be flippers, or anyone else in search of a deal, a lot of people harbor fantasies about finding—and restoring—a historic Brooklyn townhouse of their very own. But just how much fixing up are you willing to do, and how much are you willing to pay up front for a building that'll require pricey renovations?

This "as-is" 1899 townhouse at 450 Decatur Street in Bed-Stuy recently caught our eye, both for its historical details—stained glass windows!—and what seems likely a surprisingly high price tag of $850,000, plus a sky-high monthly tax bill of $3,372. (For context, another multi-family house is on the market nearby at 135 Malcolm X Boulevard for $849,000 with monthly taxes of just $427, complete with new renovations, albeit with a more cookie-cutter design.) We've reached out to the building's listing broker for more information, but in the meantime, let's take a closer look at the place, starting with those stained glass details: 

The listing itself notes that "several of the original details were found hidden in [the] basement and behind panels such as a few of the stain glass windows you see in these photos," and, as with the rest of the house, they seem to need some pretty serious TLC. Check out the yard and one of the stairwells:

Another thing to keep in mind: the building is currently divided up into three apartments (with a tenant in one of them), meaning that a new owner could make an income off renting out the other levels. However, the building has a history of violations, including for lack of heat and hot water, according to a scan of real estate database Address Report. It's possible this points to a need for significant infrastructure updates.

As for the apartments themselves, it looks like they get great natural light, but even if you keep things in the current configuration, you'll likely want to redo the kitchens entirely. All of which means that you'll be sinking a lot more money into this place than the initial $850,000 price tag and the monthly tax bill (and could be a reason a buyer who went into contract on the place in June, per StreetEasy, seems to have backed out of the deal). But if you're in love with its potential and up to the challenge, just remember: tour the place with a contractor before you sign anything.


Flip or Flop update: Bed-Stuy brownstone in need of work sells for almost $1 million more than it fetched four months ago

One Bed-Stuy brownstone owner's tips for a kitchen overhaul

Curious about your townhouse's (maybe sordid) history? Call in a detective

This Brooklynite wants cheap rent—and he's willing to renovate for it

In the market for a fixer-upper? 4 must-dos before making an offer

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