What will $11 mil get me in Brooklyn?

It’s a question that probably doesn’t get asked very often, but here’s an answer ready for it: the locally revered landmark “Gingerbread House” at 8820 Narrows Avenue in Bay Ridge, about a mile south of Brooklyn Row House. Not for nothing but this is a bargain compared to the unanswered 2009 asking price of $12 million. Nevertheless, it’s quite a bit more than the “under $1 milliion” that the current owners paid for it in 1985, which should give an indication of property valuations in this neck of Brooklyn over the past 20 years.


The house was built in 1917, I’m told originally as a companion home to a much larger house across the street which was razed years ago. It reportedly sits on between 0.46 to 10 acres, depending on what real estate source you reference. It has six bedrooms and 3.5 baths spread across its 5,743 square feet of interior space. It has its own bowling alley and a two-car garage, alledgedly with turntables for the cars. You enter the garage through a rough-hewn rock archway and the garage contains a turntable for the cars. Not too shabby.

The house’s style is officially termed “Arts and Crafts” but I’d call it Black Forest Fairy Tale.

I’m not saying this is a great deal because I can think of lots better things I’d spend $11 million on, especially as its estimated market value was “only” $5 million back in 2007 and Zillow currently values it under $4 mil. You could buy a much larger and more garishly-appointed modern McMansion for $11 million but you won’t get intricate, hand-carved detail like this.


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Welcome to Brooklyn Row House

This blog is about the challenges of renovating an old (1903) Brooklyn, New York row house.

My last major renovation project was the master bedroom, most of which is about finish carpentry. You’ll find other completed home improvement projects in the Projects submenu at the top of this page.

I’m not a professional builder and don’t pretend to be. I’m just an experienced amateur raised in a family of committed DIYers. I try to closely follow local and national building codes but don’t mistake anything on this site to be professional or even accurate advice! Your mileage may and definitely will vary.

This is the third iteration of BrooklynRowHouse.com, from scratch-built to Drupal and now Wordpress. I hope you enjoy your time here.