After looking at more than 30 listings, Amy Ilias, the Executive Vice President of Art and Design for ABC Carpet & Home knew she could end her search when she found 207 President St. But after living there for 21 years, Amy and her partner, Jim, are selling their beloved Carroll Gardens townhouse. The impetus behind the change is because they bought a Victorian house upstate, but will also maintain a smaller apartment in the city. Below, she shares details of the Carroll Gardens townhouse, its renovation through the years, and the evolution of the neighborhood.
Amy was able to see the home before it was officially listed for sale. And while it was dated with blue shag wall-to-wall carpeting, plywood dividers, and yellow walls, she was inspired by the original marble mantels, detailed tin ceilings, crown moldings, and multiple fireplaces. “I saw tremendous potential, and I put in an offer in on the spot.”
Over the years, renovations included refinishing the original wide-plank floors, landscaping the backyard, and adding a Mitsubishi split system air-conditioner and deck. A laundry room is now in the basement, and the bathrooms and kitchen have been updated throughout. “I love the sense of happiness and peace that surrounds me the minute I walk through the door,” she says. “I can honestly say that every single time I walked through these doors I take a deep breath and am grateful to be home.”
Assuming a 20 percent down payment of $695,000, monthly payments are estimated at $15,103. This includes the mortgage payment ($14,202), and monthly taxes ($901). “This home is priced in line with others that have sold recently in the area and it is in move-in condition, which is also somewhat hard to find in the neighborhood,” says Lindsay Barton Barrett, the listing agent from Compass.
To help offset mortgage payments, the townhouse, which is currently divided into an owner’s triplex, also offers an income-producing 1-bedroom, 2-bathroom apartment below. Lindsay estimates that market rent for the unit “would be upwards of $3,000 a month and likely closer to $3,300.”
It’s not just the home that has seen change during the two decades years that Amy has lived there. Brooklyn and Carroll Gardens have also undergone dramatic changes during that time.
“The changes have been extreme,” she says. “When I first moved here apartments were very inexpensive and abundant. It was nearly impossible to get a cab to take you to Brooklyn.”
Located on a “brownstone block,” the neighborhood now offers plenty of esteemed restaurants, a marked change from the “no food scene” when Amy first arrived. Despite all the changes, it’s the parts that haven’t changed that Amy appreciates the most: “I love walking at dusk in the fall when the sky is cobalt and the branches are black silhouettes, and the smell of wood fire is in the air.” But now, she says, “It’s time to pass the torch to the next people lucky enough to cherish and steward this home.”