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Should Brooklyn House of Horrors Come With a Discount?

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The listing for the lovely old red-brick townhouse at 21 Howard Street in Windsor Terrace is not short on brokerbabble. The writeup mentions the parquet floors, beamed ceilings, stained glass windows, decorative fireplace, Silestone counters, tumbled marble backsplash and much more. What it doesn't mention, the Times points out, is the gruesome crime that took place there four months ago, when the owners were stabbed (one fatally) by their 31-year-old son, Ryan Devaney, who then tried to kill himself by jumping in front of a G train. Should it? Not if the brokers are actually interested in selling the place, but buyers seem aware of the building's history and bad vibes. The Devaney's next-door neighbor asks the NYT, "In the cold world of New York City real estate, does that matter?" The short answer: maybe.
Ryan Devaney is awaiting trial, and his father, Raymond, has moved out. The house was listed for $1.499 million in February, but it's already been reduced to $1.299 million after two price cuts. The block, lined with these single-family houses, is one of Windsor Terrace's best, but the asking price may have been high to start. Three houses on Howard Place have sold in the past five years for an average of $1.23 million. Will the recent tragic events drag the price down more? One couple told their broker they'd pay $700,000, plus they'd burn sage all around the house to purify it. Serious superstition, or serious bargaining?


· Listing: 21 Howard Place [Corcoran]
· Nice Home, Nice Block, Grisly Past [NYT]