A single family home in the Gravesend section of Brooklyn can be yours for a mere half-million dollars. Feast your eyes on your future castle:
No photo can do even the nicest house justice, so here's a side view:
One door, one window, aluminium siding, all with a snug 12' x 26' layout. Even by New York standards, this is a hell of a lot smaller than any apartment. But the upside is that, according to realtor Anthony Mussolino, the driveway can hold not one, not two, but six cars:
Question for the jury: How many people living in a 90 year-old shack are likely to own six cars? On the other hand, if you charge your neighbors to park on your property, you could immediately start to recoup your half-mill. (Upside for the ladies: it has a nice garden!)
Coming as it does with "gas and hot water," this chalet, Mussolino assures us, is "better than a condo," without offering any evidence of said claim. (There's nothing in the house's description about a bathroom or kitchen.) At least some condos have doormen. This dump could be advertised as "Break-in Ready."
Mussolino admits the ol' place "needs some work" -- what 1920s-era house doesn't? -- but explains its interesting history as "a flop house for pets, mainly pit bulls." Ever wonder where that painting "Dogs Playing Poker" originated? Now you can live there!
Now, any potential homeowner would be remiss without checking out the neighborhood. According the realty's own web site, an average of nine crimes a day, ranging from sex assault to robbery, happen nearby. But hey, it's New York!
And good news for you nature-lovers. It's only steps away from Coney Island Creek, which has a fascinating history:
From the 1890s to the 1950s, Brooklyn Borough Gas produced gas beside Coney Island Creek leeching pollution into it. People would bring their boats here to clean them with the corrosive sludge from the bottom of the creek. When the Verrazano Bridge was being built in the early sixties, excavated debris from the construction was dumped in the Creek. [...] These days, the creek is so polluted that the city is wary of moving [sunken ships] for fear of unleashing dormant toxins in the sludge around them.
Keeps on sounding better and better, doesn't it? And yet the house has been on the market for about eight months with no takers, even as its web page boasting 1,613 views at last count, and an estimated monthly mortgage of only $2,188. Perhaps if Mussolino throws in a hazmat suit, a crocodile-filled moat, and an Uzi he might get some action.
For a comparison, let's see what $499,000 will buy you in Costa Rica:
If I had that kind of dough to drop on a house, guess where I'd live. Hint: The place with toucans in the back yard rather than two cans in the cupboard.