In November 2010 my fiance purchased a new construction duplex 1200 sq. ft. condo in North Williamsburg from a bankrupt sponsor. Needless to say the deal was quick and the price was right, also Williamsburg was really up and coming. By 2014 when we thought about selling the streets surrounding us were bustling with new businesses, coffee shops, bars, and several other condo buildings either recently completed or in construction. The price of the condo had nearly doubled. My fiance had won the real estate lottery, the things real estate dreams are made of! So we thought if he had been lucky once why not take that profit move to the next up and coming area of Brooklyn and do it again. But this time we were setting our sights on something even bigger and better… a Brownstone!
We listed the condo on N11th Street in the late Spring of 2014. Within 3 days we were receiving offers and within 7 days we had accepted one for over asking price. We thought “wow this whole things is going to be a breeze”. We wanted to have a quick closing so we could get our money and use it to put a down payment on a Brownstone in Bed-Stuy. We already had one picked out on Quincy Street close to the J train. We had architects view it and we were brainstorming idea for renovating. However the real estate gods had a different plan for us. The closing on the condo was significantly delayed. We were selling our condo to an international male ballerina so he was often out of the country and communication was slow going from us to our broker to his broker to him and also dealing with the condo board and management company. With all the delays were concerned about being priced out of the area of Bed-Stuy we wanted to buy in.
We ran into communication issues with the seller of the Brownstone on Quincy too. We thought we had a deal and he understood we were waiting for money and he was going to accept a significantly smaller amount of money upon going into contract. Later he claimed he had no idea about this deal and he thought it was crazy. The Quincy Street seller fired his broker and took his place off the market for a few weeks. This was the first of many instances where we have had to learn to move on (but more on that later). We lost out on that first Brownstone but three months later we finally closed on our condo in mid-September. Yes, mid-September, remember when I said we accepted an offer at the end of spring and we were hoping for a quick 30 day closing. Yeah that didn’t happen. This is NYC real estate, how could we be so naive?
We had to get a small rental in the mean time so we had some place to live after we closed on the condo. Since we were anticipating closing in summer we got a rental for Aug 1st. Finding the rental was easy and smooth but we didn’t end up moving until September so we were kicking ourselves for paying that extra month of rent. Also we were debating doing a sublet but thankfully the best decision we have made to date was not getting a sublet and signing a full year lease because it’s January 2015 and we still have not closed on a brownstone! Did I mention we closed in September and we had a big pile of cash. I think I did. Yeah, and here it is 2015 and some days it doesn’t feel like we are any closer. We are however in contract to buy a place, so at least that is progress, although it is not going smoothly. Patience and positive thoughts!