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Saturday, November 12, 2016

Fixer Upper Friday: Dunolly 2BR Reconfiguration

Hey, I'm back with another installment of Fixer Upper Friday. Today I'm looking at a 2 BR at 34-21 78th Street, 2J, in Jackson Heights that caught my eye. The home, which just hit the market asking $450k, is located in the Dunolly Gardens, a massive six-building co-op that actually takes up an entire city block. Other 1100 sq ft 2BRs in the building, like this one in the E line, have been selling for as high as $615k, thanks to a coveted second bath. Looking at our floor plan, a clever reconfiguration has the potential to not only open up the kitchen but also add a second bathroom, creating a valuable master suite. Let's take a look!

The first thing that strikes me about this floor plan is that we have a tiny tiny kitchen and a lot of wasted space around the entrance to the master bedroom. In this 1100 sq ft home there's an overabundance of closet space, including two enormous walk ins. Don't get me wrong; I'm all for closet space, but not at the expense of a functional kitchen.

The second thing that strikes me is that the kitchen is prime for opening up. If that wall is not load-bearing and if the co-op board approves the plan, the purchaser of this home has an opportunity to open up the kitchen to the living room and add utility with a large island. 
I'd locate most of the appliances along the back wall and put the sink in the island. I'd center a pro range with decorative hood on the back wall and make it a focal point. These small changes alone will make an enormous difference to the flow. Visually, the living space will become one generous 20' x 20' room — impressive. Now, about that second bath.

Let's first locate a good size coat closet to the right of the entryway. Now, if the co-op board approves the plan, you can annex the closet adjacent to the existing bath, relocate a few doorways and voila! — generous master suite. 

Two bedroom, two bath homes are selling for up to $750k in this neighborhood — and an open kitchen is hard to find. The value these changes bring and the instant equity will more than pay for your renovation of kitchen, bath and reconfigured floorplan, which will run the purchaser $100-$150k. 

I don't know enough about this co-op to speculate on the strength of its finances; that's something a prospective buyer will need to look into. The maintenance is equivalent to other similar size co-ops in the neighborhood. The ad says there's laundry and storage in the basement and a live-in super, plus this is a pet-friendly building. I'd say there's real potential here or at the very least good reason to do some investigating if you're in the market for a fixer upper.