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Nervy flipper lists Bed-Stuy brownstone after 3 days, $5,000 -- and makes almost $1 million

Jennifer Karmon
June 16, 2014

If you live outside New York City -- and very possibly if you live in NYC too -- Bed-Stuy may be best known to you as the rough Brooklyn setting for "Everybody Hates Chris" and Spike Lee's legendary "Do the Right Thing."

But the neighborhood has been "gentrifying," and if you had any lingering doubt about its reversal of fortune, then one of the nerviest flips in Yahoo Homes' memory may finally convince you.

An investor closed his purchase of this Bedford-Stuyvesant brownstone for $1.2 million on Feb. 18.

Three days later, he listed it at $1.85 million, BrickUnderground first reported.

He just sold it for $2.1 million cash -- and BrickUnderground says he actually got an offer for even more, but preferred the local cash buyer. (Click here or on a photo to see a slideshow.)

Click a photo to go to a slideshow.
Click a photo to go to a slideshow.

The listing agent, Ban Leow of Halstead Property, told Yahoo Homes that the investor put about $5,000 into the brownstone, "including two chandeliers." On Leow's advice, the investor also knocked down a Sheetrock wall that had divided the parlor floor -- an improvement that let in more natural light -- Leow said.

"I created so much value, so quickly," the investor, Eric Mann, told the New York Daily News. The work exposed century-old moldings and mahogany panels, the newspaper said.

Plus, before Mann got to the house, "it smelled like a cat," he told the paper.

Bed-Stuy had a terrible reputation 10 to 15 years ago, so much so that "nobody dared" to buy there, Leow told Yahoo Homes. But in today's market, buyers are starting to appreciate its "immense collection of brownstones," "vibrant mix of people" and "community-based neighborhood."

Those who lived in the neighborhood before its fortunes rose "should be paid off for their investment," he said. "My job is just to bring everything up" to its fair level.

Bed-Stuy has "never been a very expensive neighborhood to purchase in," he noted, but as the area improves, block by painstaking block, property values will go up.

In Manhattan, the same brownstone would go for $30 million to $40 million, Leow added.

What do you think? Do you agree with Curbed New York that this is "the most egregious flip in history"?

Click here or on a photo to go to a slideshow of the audaciously flipped Bed-Stuy brownstone.