What’s Up with 135 Joralemon?

70540-2.jpgMost Brooklyn Heights residents are familiar with the saga of 135 Joralemon Street, aka "The Little House the Could".  The home was nearly destroyed by fire in early 2005. Local contractor Howard Haimes restored it and many neighbors attended its "coming out" showing during this year's BHA House Tour. 

It was originally listed for $5.95 million in the Spring but its price was cut to $5.75 million in September.  Now, Corcoran has it listed for $5.25 million.  
Is it too pricey even for a one-of-a-kind landmark? (Note: Brownstoner has a lively discussion on this subject as well.) 

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  • lady montague

    Corcoran’s description notwithstanding, this house was never a farmhouse (even if it it on the former Remsen farm land). It’s on a standard 25 foot lot. There are no houses in the Heights that pre-date the era when the farm lands were subdivided into 25×100 (approx) plots.

    Great house, but I think if it sells, the price will start no higher than with a 4. For a contractor who renovated this on spec, I don’t see the logic in letting it languish on the market with a price not supported by comps. The top-of-the-line brick/brownstone townhouses are not selling at these prices. This is a true single family and modest woodframes have their own charm for which some will pay a premium, but in the end size and location matter the most and this is not at the very top. Even under $4M the owner will have made out nicely.

  • Jazzy

    I’d rather buy four apartments.

  • Billy

    ironically, the neglect that this house withstood under its prior owner means that the interior were preserved remarkably well.
    The fire damaged the cellar and basement but the rest of the house was untouched. The mantles and wood trim and plaster and even the doors are all original. This house is for someone who loves houses. It is a famous house, the Greta Garbo of houses. If it could speak it would probably say “I vant to be alone”. But it needs a family in residence. I wish I could afford it. I would treat her very well.

  • Howard

    Yes, I, too, am pleased that it has been restored, or at least redone. But the price is silly and it should be lived in and not put on a pedestal.
    Greed is a terrible thing.

  • Billy

    greed is a terrible thing?
    That’s a little self-righteous and naive isn’t it?
    If you had spent the time and money to buy and
    then fix up the place wouldn’t you want top dollar?
    I find people that make dumb comments about greed
    second only in tediousness to people who talk about
    their antiques, or worse, their wine.

  • Artie

    Does the subway run under this house?

  • lady montague

    I’m not sure I would use the word “greed” but I do think most people disagree with the seller’s strategy. Just because you “want top dollar” doesn’t mean there aren’t better ways to actually maximize the sale price. An owner-occupant might put a house on the market with a sky-high price just to see who might bite, and if no one does, no big deal, he/she keeps living in the house. But he’s an investor, and I would think a rational investor would set at least a slightly more realistic price in order to get a deal done. My guess is that he’s going to end up at the same price if he started under $5M to begin with, and will have wasted 6-12 months of carrying and opportunity costs. In this market, I don’t think it’s a good tactic to start with a super-reach price, and with all the price drops, might actually do worse than if he had started with a realistic price.

  • John E. Donegan, Jr.

    This home is on a Beautiful Street in Brooklyn Heights. The fire brought life back to the restoration of 135 Joralemon Street! A strike of lighting recreated a long period of neglect
    of this fine home. The asking price is too high. When you can purchase a home threw Corcoran Real Estate Agent, Ellen Newman and Michael Rohrer for $4,000,000.00. The market is correcting itself. This specialty home did not sell nor would it of sold in a high market. Now the home is redone to specifics. The detailing is done to the T’s and I’s have been dotted. Howard Haimes has done an “OUTSTANDING” construction to restore this home to it’s original “GLORY!” There is no greed here but a balance sheet being push to the limit. The home is worth 2,900,000.00 in a “REALISTIC” market. This is a location in Brooklyn Heights not Columbia Heights with no Views of the Manhattan Skyline. It is Brooklyn Heights not like Developers trying to sell Condo’s on Livingston Street as Brooklyn Heights when their location is DOWNTOWN BROOKLYN BORO HALL!
    I agree with Billy the home needs some TLC!