We may still be just the second most expensive city in the entire country but hey, you know what? Brooklyn's doing ok. And, per a not-particularly-timely report from Fox Business, real estate here is not just "hotter than Manhattan," it's actually "the new Manhattan."
Everyone loves real-estate porn. For a few reasons, really. Obviously, we all love getting to look inside other people's homes and see how they really live. Or, at least, see how they want us to think that they really live, which can be just as revealing in its own way. The point is, we're all voyeurs. And then, of course, we also like to judge other people for how they live. And who is more fun to judge than obscenely wealthy people? No one. So when the Wall Street Journal picked an almost $5 million Clinton Hill home for it's "House of the Day" feature, I was super excited to see what decadence lay inside.
Danielle Haun and her boyfriend, John Kroeger, share a first-floor apartment in Bed-Stuy and are eager to celebrate its modest luxuries: the back patio; the hallway where they stash their bikes; the dishwasher. After living in a string of "crappy New York apartments," Danielle understands the value of such niceties. John too — when he fell victim to the Great Recession and lost his job, he spent a month biking to Brooklyn from Ohio. Now the couple live in relative comfort — Danielle works at NYU Medical Center and John owns the scented candle company Good Candle — and they can't wait for summer to take full advantage of the backyard. But until then, they're just glad they're not stuck hand-washing dishes anymore.
The obvious answer here being 'no.' What is this, Europe? Feudal Japan? Upstate New York? If you want to be all lordly or whatever, fine, live your life, but know that there are plenty of websites devoted exclusively to the sale of real life castles. And that if someone tries to convince you that their $1.3 million Crown Heights spread qualifies as one of them, well, it may not live up to your expectations.
Is such a distinction even possible? There are so many shitty rooms! Everywhere! For so much money! That people actually then agree pay, thus validating and perpetuating everything that is despicable about New York real estate! You could laugh until you cried, really. Or, you could turn this fucking horror show into a Tumblr. The creator of The Worst Room chose the latter.
Lemonade are an electronic three-piece from San Francisco consisting of Callan Clendenin, Ben Steidel, and Alex Pasternak. And from the moment you walk into their Williamsburg loft, one thing is clear: these boys are from California. The open spread is convivially worn and one of the walls bears a floor-to-ceiling mural of the California coast. Yet, despite their visible fondness for home, the three friends were eager to leave the west coast for the promise of Brooklyn's young, dynamic music community. In the ensuing years, their space has transformed into a "flop house for musicians," becoming a temporary home for artists of all stripes, including the Twitter phenomenon and inventor of seapunk, Lil Internet. Ben, Callan, and Alex were kind enough to show us around and dish on the perks — and the pitfalls — of being bandmates in Williamsburg.
Alex Ross Perry lives in a cozy Park Slope apartment that's littered with film posters, film books, film props…did we mention that Perry was a filmmaker? He just wrapped a web series for HBO and is working on an independent feature due out this fall. As such, his apartment has the bustling, shopworn look of a creative New York workspace. And it is indeed a workspace: the office is basically a partitioned corner in the bedroom.
Perry made the leap from the East Village to Brooklyn in 2007 and hasn’t looked back. He showed us around and told us why.
Michael Angelakos, the lead singer of Passion Pit, shares a historic Brooklyn Heights apartment with his wife, Kristy, who works as a food writer. Their home is tasteful and refined, replete with working fireplaces and a spacious, sumptuous kitchen. Equally sumptuous is the sound system in the living room: a record player, amplifier, and speaker setup that Angelakos has been building for years. An extensive collection of vinyl LP's — many of them rare, original-print opera recordings — shares a bookcase with a small library of food literature. Their singular passions are visible throughout the apartment, but what's most striking is the orderliness of it all. This isn't the bohemian crash pad of a decadent young rock star but the carefully maintained domicile of mature individuals. Which is no small accomplishment, considering Angelakos is just 25 years old and fronts one of the biggest bands around. But when they first moved to New York, the couple lived over a restaurant and had to kill nearly twenty mice in a single month; after an ordeal like that, who can blame them for sweeping? Michael and Kristy spoke with us about Boston, concierge service, and still owning a teddy bear.
I guess the real question is should anyone care that Lena Dunham might move to Williamsburg. To which the answer obviously is, yes. Some people should care. Her mom. Her dad. Her friends. That guy from fun., because she dates him. He should care. Her dog. Should anyone else care?
In the fantasy New York apartment checklist that we all have in our heads, there are a few universal, non-negotiable requirements. There has to be a view. There has to be good light. Obviously, an outdoor space is a must. And, as long as we acknowledge that we're just talking fantasy here, wouldn't an elevator that opens right into the apartment be a pretty great thing to have? So, when I arrived at the Bedford-Stuyvesant apartment which designer Rachel Doriss and music producer Joel Hamilton call home, I found myself happily ticking off all the boxes on my fantasy apartment checklist, and marveling at the beautiful space that the couple live in with their young daughter, Coco.
Granted, in a lot of neighborhoods, a $3 million asking price for a loft wouldn't really raise any eyebrows. But in Greenpoint — which, in spite of rapidly rising prices, hasn't seen a higher-priced real estate deal than last year's $2.5 million sale of an actual 3-story house — the sale would be record-breaking, in a big way.
Remember how just a few years ago the economy was terrible and the housing market went bust and all of our rents were suddenly really, really low? Well, maybe not that last part. I don't think anyone could claim with a straight face that rents have been anything resembling "low" for the last...oh, fifteen years or so. But around about 2009, there certainly was a lot of attention paid to the fact that many of those huge glass condos built in Williamsburg were standing empty and unloved. What had once seemed like a surefire real estate bet became a huge disaster not only for builders, but also for the banks that financed the construction. Don't cry too much for them though, because it looks like everything is going to turn out just fine. For the bankers and builders and realtors anyway. For renters and buyers? Not so much!
In a sense, Pete Feigenbaum is the quintessential New York millenial. He lives in a chic neighborhood — Williamsburg — plays in a cool band — Dinowalrus - and is in graduate school at an elite university — Columbia. Yet despite his Times-baiting persona, he's humble, genial, and keeps his apartment modestly quirky.
His room's littered with paraphernalia from his dual lives as a musician and a student: electric guitars and miniature housing models; vinyl records and architecture textbooks. After inviting us inside with a reference to the seminal punk documentary The Decline of Western Civilization, he went on to lament the structural integrity of the apartment's doors. Welcome, readers, to the 21st century.
You know, overwrought, self-effacing preciousness on Craigslist aside, and preposterous trends surrounding Girls notwithstanding, this could just be a whole post about how it's totally normal, apparently, for a single room in a "livable and trendy but trashy-enough-to complain-about-apartment" to cost $1,500 to live in every month, just because it's in Williamsburg, in 2013. Everything about this is deeply obscene, and I will never get over it.
"We did everything backwards," Jesse Armstrong tells me as we walk through the immaculately renovated 1901 townhouse that she bought with her husband Thom 7 years ago. At the time, the two weren't married, and were just in their mid-20s. But Jesse had been living in a condo in South Slope, "one of those new buildings with no detail whatsoever," and wanted "a project and a dining room" and certainly found one on a recently landmarked street in Crown Heights. So Thom and Jesse bought the townhouse together (the "pocket doors are what sold it to me," says Thom) and set to work restoring elements that had been the victims of a bad '70s renovation, and married a few years later. Their home is a beautiful combination of modern design sensibility and period detail including incredible fireplaces and the house's original inlaid mirrors, and is the perfect place to entertain—which they do often—or just hang out with their two small dogs.
Remember how great living in a dorm was? Sure you do! It was the best thing ever to live in super-close quarters with a ton of other people, some of whom you liked knowing and some of whom you would consciously avoid at all costs and some of whom were kleptomaniacs who would go into your room when you were in a writing workshop and steal all your pot. Those were the days. Don't you just want to go right back to that special time of forced social interaction and awkward avoidance of eye contact? Well, ok, good for you. Cool even. And as long as you can afford to spend $2,600/month in rent for a fucking studio, a return to dorm life can be yours!
After spending the past three years meticulously renovating the historic Williamsburg Savings Bank building, developer Juan Figueroa is reportedly moving forward with plans to build a 40-story "boutique hotel" on the adjacent lot. "It's going to be the hottest hotel in Brooklyn — no question in my mind," CBRE director Edward Eschmann told The Real Deal.
So, we can all relax a little. But only a little! After that dream-crushing 17 percent rent spike in February, a new MNS real estate report indicates that average rents in the neighborhood evened out over the past month, dropping down 12 percent from what was deemed an "abnormal" high.
Some of the above mentioned hoods will never "come up" in time for most qualified…
If you wanna buy cheap, I'd suggest you buy in parts of Brownsville , ENY…
Cheap money refers to interest rates being low right now. A 30yr fixed loan is…