To all those people who own houses: How did you do it? How were you able to buy your first one? (If you wish to remain anonymous, I am OK with that. Use a fake name if you leave a comment.)
The house you see above is for sale in our neighborhood. It was listed at 700 thousand dollars. The advertisement read: “Needs to be gutted and entirely redone.” Don’t worry, even if I had the money I wouldn’t buy this house. But every time I see something like this, I can’t help be become more and more discouraged about ever being able to afford a place of our own. Here’s our dilemma: If Tobyjoe wants to keep his job (which he really likes) it means we have to live in or near New York City. We can’t afford to live in Brooklyn. In order to do so I would have to get a job making at least 65,000 dollars a year and we’d have to pay someone to raise our kid. (Call me old fashioned, but I don’t feel right about working 60+ hour weeks just so I can pay someone to raise my son.) We certainly can’t afford Manhattan. Upstate New York is an option but we’d have to go pretty far out to afford anything. And if we do that we run the risk of raising a child who never sees his father because he’s commuting all the time. Jersey is an option we’re looking into, but houses are still quite pricey and taxes are high.
I took a walk today to get some decaf coffee from my new favorite bistro, which is located on Driggs right before Driggs crosses Manhattan Avenue. I took my camera with me to try and capture the number of massive developments going up in a very small area.
(Descriptions are above each picture.)
A sliver from a map of Greenpoint. The red stars represent buildings that are already occupied or buildings currently being erected. The yellowish stars are those to come. (Meaning, they are currently applying for permits, being bulldozed, etc.)
See number 1 on the map above. The building shown below is the most perplexing of all. The top floors not only have a view of BQE traffic but its inhabitants get to inhale the toxic fumes from it as well. The bottom floors get to see underneath the BQE where the car service guys hang out 24/7, the crackheads get their fix on, and the trash piles up like filthy tumbleweeds.
Pricing: Here is the building. Cheapest unit is listed for $249.000, most expensive is $389.000.
See number 2 on the map above. OK, so the building below is one of the first and it’s pretty tame considering. We were kind of intrigued by this one at one point because the roof deck looks amazing. Plus, I think at the time we moved in it was still affordable.
See numbers 3 and 4 on the map above. I have a huge crush on the one on the right. (Yes, you may not be able to see it here, but these are two separate buildings.) Anyway, I dreamed of having a place there because it overlooks the park. There isn’t a chance in hell that the city will give up that view to another developer, which also explains why the prices in this building were so high. (I used “were” here because they sold out in seconds so I’ve been told.)
Pricing: 297 Driggs Avenue: The building features one-bedroom units starting at $569,000 and two-bedrooms with private outdoor space going for up to $1.1 million. Twelve of the 14 apartments will have balconies overlooking McCarren Park.
See number 5 on the map above. They put up permits recently and the businesses that were once there have moved out. So now the folks who purchased a place in either of the two buildings I showed previously will lose their back views.
See number 6 on the map above. This building is pretty modest. They also have killer roof decks. They sit directly across from the park. I envy a lot of these people for that very reason.
See number 7 on the map above. Going up on Eckford and Manhattan Avenue. Found this blurb about pricing:
Pricing: “The 32-unit luxury building by Tahoe Development contains 28 two-bedroom rentals going for $2,500 a month, and four duplex penthouse condos asking $1.2 million each. Occupancy is scheduled for fall 2006, the Post reported.” (The Real Deal.)
See number 8 on the map above. Lots of windows on these guys. They kind of look like beach condos to me. Not sure why.
Pricing: “49-61 Engert Avenue: Traditional two-bedroom units from $649,000, two-bedroom garden duplexes from $725,000 and three-bedroom penthouse units starting at $955,000. Slated for occupancy in December, the building has already sold 19 of its 24 units.”
See number 9 on the map above. To be honest, I didn’t’ even know these were being built. There are so many of them, I must have gotten them confused with another.
See number 10 on the map above. Again, didn’t know about these and they are a few blocks from where I live.
See numbers 11 and 12 on the map above. I didn’t walk all the way over to these two. They are monsters overlooking McCarren Park. They are a bloody fortune so I’ve been told. Last Thursday, someone had rented a giant spotlight to lure the eye of the masses – the rich masses of course.
See number 13 on the map above. This is a 13-story condo being erected in our back yard. Our evening sunsets are a thing of the past. I don’t know who would want to buy a place that costs so much and has a view of the BQE on ramp. No idea how much these will run. The space is entirely too new.
See number 14 on the map above. Not a great shot because (as you can see) I was in the middle of the one of the deadliest streets in Brooklyn. But these monsters are going up on the other side of the BQE.
If anyone out there knows the exact prices of the condos shown above, please do share them.
I will try and find the information out on my own, but I get a little overwhelmed with this sort of thing. I am not even sure where or how to begin looking for that type of information. (I found some, not all, but some.)