New York Times "Discovers' Crown Heights - Now It's Official — Brooklynian

New York Times "Discovers' Crown Heights - Now It's Official

The real story in this story is the lack of ownership housing.  Most of 1,200 plus units being built in CH are rental.  No discussion of why that is in the NY TImes, as it might be "controversial".  When I sold two bedroom condos on Bedford Avenue in 2000 for $94,000, the market yawned.  Now that I'm selling the same units for $ 599K, everyone is paying attention.  

The good news, the person getting rich isn't the developer, but the person with a moderate income who had the guts to buy on Bedford Avenue in 2000.  Which is why condos and coops are much cooler than rentals.  With rentals only the developer gets rich.  

Unlike the last several rounds of real estate development in NYC, this round is heavily weighted toward rentals.  Why is that?  Your thoughts are welcome.


  • As you are aware, rentals are a good fit for people who do not want risk, and don't plan on staying in the neighborhood very long.

    That description may match many members of today's increasingly mobile and disposable workforce.

    However, if you plan to stay in a neighborhood, I agree Capt Planet and the guy in this video.

    While he seems to be targeting one group (blacks) with his video, his advice should be listened to by anyone who has the means to buy and maintain a home, and plans to stay in the area for a while:

    A lot of us who moved to the area in 2004 weren't sure we were going to stay, but are reaping huge rewards from taking a bet. I can't imagine the next decade will be as profitable as the last, but renting seems like a lousy alternative....
  • Of the initial purchasers in the 81 subsidized condos developed by BEC New Communities in Crown Heights, everyone was black.  They all purchased with 5% down mortgages and financed the closing costs.  That means for a two bedroom, inital owners had only to come up with $4,700.  Needless to say they are now sitting on a lot of equity, which gives them options not available to those who remained renters.  
    Even if the market flattens out, when you purchase with a 30 year mortgage, you'll be accumulating equity with every mortgage payment as your principal declines.
    Perhaps most importantly you'll be investing in a community. As an owner, you'll be more inclined to protect your investment by getting involved in your block association, a community group, report crime when you see it, call 311 when you see a pot hole or a broken street light.
    None of this applies as much to renters.  Which is why I'm concerned when I see so much rental development in our community.
  • edited July 2014
    Perhaps because I don't make living from commissions on sales, I am not as bothered by transient renters.

    I just hope they somehow get similar wealth. Maybe a REIT will do it for them

    BTW, if the rental market tanks, the developers can change their mind and go condo.
  • edited July 2014
    From what I read on these boards the people on here are quite interested in keeping the neighborhood on the upswing. Maybe we're in the minority but I think we're all proud to be part of this area. I've been in business here for 22 years and most of my clients live here and have been here for over 30 years.So even though co-ops and condos help build wealth I don' t know that they make people more attuned to keeping the neighborhood moving forward than the renters.
  • Most times when someone "transitions", a broker earns a commission.  So being "anti-transient" is bad for the brokerage business.  It's really renting that I'm opposed to.  In a capitalist system, accumulating capital gives one standing in the community and options that renters just can't have.  Of course one could argue that capitalist is bad, just like one might argue that state socialism is bad.  
    That's a whole other discussion.  Personally I'm a big fan of worker owned coops.  
    Little known fact: BEC New Communities was founded by Brooklyn Ecumenical COOPERATIVES, because the founder, Dick Harmon, wanted to start worker owned coops.  That was in the 70's.  Now I hear that Cuba is turning to worker owned coops as an alternative to state socialism.  Who knows, maybe coops are finally catching on.
  • I live in a building that went coop in the 1980s, because the city took ownership of it and then sold it to tenants.

    Those that bought in the original offering didn't intend to become wealthy, but now are.

    ...they are also very old.
This discussion has been closed.