Townhouse pick of the week

Ahead of the L train shutdown, would you buy an East Williamsburg rental building?

By Virginia K. Smith | December 21, 2016 - 2:59PM 

As the North Brooklyn real estate market braces for the effects of the L train shutdown, some experts have told us to expect multi-family property owners to put their places on the market ASAP, the better to get out of the game before rents presumably drop. But if you're willing to risk a couple of possibly rough years for a shot at lucrative Brooklyn landlording, this 10-unit, $4.595 million property in East Williamsburg might be the ideal investment option.

The property consists of two townhouses near the Grand Street L station (and about a 10-minute walk from the G at Metropolitan). The listing notes that all 10 of the apartments are currently occupied, and only two of them are rent-stabilized. All the market-rate units have been recently renovated, with finishes that look slightly higher-end than a lot of the cookie-cutter upgrades one sees in the Brooklyn rental market.

There's laundry and storage in the basement, as well as a backyard patio. The mechanicals have all been recently been updated, and the roof is brand new, too.

The breakdown of apartments is as follows: one two-bedroom, five one-and-a-half-bedrooms, and four one-bedroom apartments. It's up to you to do the math on whether the rents will collectively cover an estimated $16,500 monthly mortgage payment, but even if not, you've got other options: The listing also notes that the broker is representing two other investment properties currently for sale in the area (one is a seven-unit building for $4.75 million, the other, a six-unit building for $2.25 million).

Keep in mind that this particular part of East Williamsburg might be more affected by the L train shutdown than other areas of Williamsburg and Bushwick, as it's fairly isolated from other transit options like the JMZ. But if you're a deep-pocketed investor who can weather the storm when the train shuts down in 2019, now may be the ideal time to get into the market.


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