KNOW ANYBODY WHO WANTS TO RENT a 5BR, 3 BATH TOWNHOUSE in Cobble Hill? A truly special four-story house, on a coveted park block, with great light, two working fireplaces, a high-end kitchen, wood floors, lots of original detail, and a delightful garden?
That would be mine. It’s been vacant for two whole weeks, and I’m getting nervous.
Sure, I was smug a few months back, sitting pretty with my rental property 100% occupied, crowing about the strength of the rental market. That was when I thought I could, as usual, segue easily from tenant to tenant. That was before this damn recession affected me personally.
I even had the nerve to start a blog subtitled “Old Houses for Fun and Profit.” Well, forget the profit. With the Cobble Hill house unrented, my monthly income is suddenly halved, and there’s no fun in that, either.
I thought I was doing everything possible to rent the place, listing it with several brokers and painting the house top to bottom. But I haven’t tried blogging about it until now.
So: if you are (or know someone who is) a large, solvent family in need of an extraordinary dwelling in a prime Brooklyn neighborhood to the tune of $8,000/month — a lot of money, granted, but it’s also a lot of house — e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org without delay, and save a hefty broker’s fee.
THE LORE OF VERANDAH PLACE
A few quirky tidbits about the house and its location:
- The house is pre-Civil War, built in the 1850s.
- It has more original interior detail than any other on the block (and I’ve been in most of them). That includes 4 marble mantels, parquet floors on the parlor floor, cove moldings on the parlor floor, and the staircase/balusters. The ornate fixture in the front entry hall was once a gas fixture and is original to the house.
- Legend has it that the house is part of a row of five, all built by one gentleman on Warren Street for his five daughters and their families. These were not carriage houses, though there are several on the block; they were always one-family houses.
- The house is backwards! (That may be true of the whole row of five.) What is now the front facade of the house was originally the rear facade; that’s why the front is unimpressive. If you stand in the garden and look up, you see its full size.
- The house is backwards probably because access was from Warren or Henry Street. There must have been an opening or possibly a road that ran through what is now the back garden in the 19th century.
- The rear parlor (living room) was originally the front parlor. We opened up the hallway and inserted the columns (which are salvaged porch columns) in the late 1980s, shortly after we bought the house.
- We also raised the ceilings on the top floor in the two back bedrooms (when we bought the house, those two rooms were an attic you couldn’t stand up in) and added the three arched windows.
- The kitchen dates from 2000. Cabinetry is custom maple, and the appliances are all status symbols (Viking, Bosch, Sub-Zero, etc.)
- Cobble Hill Park became a park in the 1950s. Prior to that there was a church there, and Verandah Place was gated. The church was torn down, and a supermarket was set to go up in its place. The community objected, and the park was created. It was renovated in 1989.