Townhouses represent a unique housing option in New York City, the rare private home. They exist in all five boroughs, but some of the best examples in New York City are in Brooklyn. The Bedford Stuyvesant neighborhood has the largest inventory of intact Brownstones in the city, along with neighborhoods like Brooklyn Heights, Cobble Hill, Carroll Gardens, Fort Greene, Clinton Hill, Park Slope, Prospect Heights, and Crown Heights, which all have Landmarked Historic Districts. The quality of Brooklyn townhouses has been drawing buyers seeking greater value for their money to Brooklyn’s beautiful Brownstone neighborhoods since the 1980s and earlier. My team and I are specialists in helping our clients sell and acquire these special homes, advising clients on the value added and the unique requirements of dealing with properties in Landmarked Historic Districts, which often preserve quality of life in balance with restrictions on property use and modification. That experience is invaluable to them.
The term townhouse comes from the British describing a place that a person of means kept “in town”, while their primary residence was in the country. It is used today to describe a wide array of homes, often built in rows, but not just pied-à-terres for the wealthy. Many Brooklyn townhomes are frequently called Brownstones when clad in the familiar reddish-brown surfacing, which resembles the original very soft sandstone rock quarried from upstate and in New Jersey they originally wore. Brownstone was prone to spalling and deterioration and many today are replaced with tinted stuccos. Others may be clad in limestone or simple brick. Although more rare, some wood frame buildings still exist, and modern townhouses are also being built where zoning permits. They all comprise some of the most sought-after luxury homes in our market.