This week’s Fixer Upper special is a 2BR in The Versailles, which is located across the street from Traver’s Park (and the Sunday green market) in the Jackson Heights neighborhood of NYC. The exciting aspect about this handyman special is all that wasted space in the original floor plan—and the asking price a $485k, which is low for a two bedroom in this neighborhood. This home has “good bones” as they like to say in the home shows, with wide rooms, high ceilings, and original hardwood floors that look to be in excellent condition. Let’s take a look.
One glance at the original floor plan and you immediately see how what should be a wide open floor plan is bisected by a row of closets. We all love closet space, but simply moving them around in this fixer-upper is going to mean everything. A clever renovator can enlarge the master bedroom by adding a wall-length closet, then create another generous walk-in out of the alcove in the common living area.
And what about that kitchen? There’s not a lot to salvage from either the current kitchen or the bath, as both are crying out for a gut reno. While you’re at it, let’s open up that wall separating the kitchen to the living room—there’s no plumbing there, so it should be possible—and, BAM!, you’ve got the kind of open concept floor plan all the cool kids want today.
Such a renovation would immediately increase this home’s value, as co-op apartments with two bedrooms in this neighborhood are going for upwards of $600k. So at the very least there is about $125k of instant equity on the line, which will cover a renovation on this scale if we’re very careful with our spending on fixtures. As you know, I’m a big fan of IKEA kitchens, having used their boxes with custom doors in my recent kitchen renovation. A gut renovated kitchen and bath are going to run you about $70k and contractor and labor fees will eat up the rest, but in the end you will have a home built to your specifications and with fixtures that suit your taste.
From floor plans and photos available on Streeteasy, we see that this mid-century building, built in 1950, is pet-friendly and offers amenities like a common garden, laundry room, storage rental, and paid utilities (all but electric)—all at a maintenance that’s on the low side for the neighborhood. Investors will be happy to hear that subletting is allowed after two years, so there is an opportunity for future income as well as low flip tax of only $750 should you sell at that time.
I don’t know enough about this particular co-op to speculate on the strength of its finances; that’s something every prospective buyer always needs to do their due diligence on. Given all the pros, and at this price, this home is definitely worth your time to take a look.