Someone grabbed a good one

10 West End Avenue

This house came on two years ago at $2.295 and eventually dropped to $1.350. It’s assessed at $1.703, so its last ask was a complete steal : half-acre lot, nicely renovated, what the hell do you want?  But I showed it to three clients, none of whom saw its potential.

Someone else  did, though, because it’s under contract today, no contingencies, and is closing next Tuesday.

I don’t fault my clients – a house has to work for them or why spend this kind of money? But jeeze, this one was a great deal.


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19 responses to “Someone grabbed a good one

  1. Island Surveyor

    Am I loosing my mind, or did you not spend months on this blog bad-mouthing the seller and his project on this one? Or was that across the street?

    For What it’s Worth(??), if readers may ask.

  2. Island Surveyor

    Maher Ave now has two doggy houses in estates for sale, so that prices on the street have rapidly gone from 3m (Susan Nova’s world) to 2m (Gideon’s world), now to maybe under 1. Welcome to my world.

    Seems like just yesterday I was asking how you could lose 2/3 of a real estate investment.

  3. Anonymous

    Am I mistaken? Isn’t this the house adjacent to the fire station, across from the Mobil station and near the sewage pump station?

  4. FlyAngler

    Chris – Value, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder. While you saw value with your lenses, your buyers did not. Conversely, when a house goes for a premium to assessment, someone saw value where you, more often than not, do not. Yes, I know you acknowledge the “rule” is not always a rule, but you do questions some buyer’s wisdom.

    Surveyor, the firm you questioned puts its equity, say 10% of the purchase price and borrows 90%. When the deal does not work out and the banks come knocking, the recourse might be handing the project to the banks and walking away. The same as jingle mail with home owners.

    If a fund does that enough times and walks away from enough projects where it financed 90% of the purchase at the peak of the market, it is easy for a large part of the equity value of the fund’s holdings to be wiped out. Thus, a wipeout of that magnitude is very possible.

    The wonders of leverage!

  5. Island Surveyor

    Now we’ve got it:

  6. Anonymous

    we saw this one and agreed with everything you said regarding the renovation, yard, etc…the biggest drawback we found was that the views out of all the bedroom windows upstairs were terrible. it looked out to parking lots and other not so nice lots. in summer it could be okay with tree leaves, but the rest of the year its a real bummer. that and really expensive taxes compared to other homes in its price bracket.

  7. gideon fountain

    I think most buyers were intimidated by this house’s condition. It wasn’t grubby or run-down, but it seemed to be one of those places where the (renovating) owner said “Architect? Who needs an architect?”

  8. shoeless

    In addition to the comments above, the house also lacked any type of neighborhood “feel”. Other problems with the house might have been overcome, but I can’t imagine everyone wants to be within walking distance for their propane exchange, etc.

  9. I thought the house was an excellent value. Then again, I am biased. The awful views from 2nd and 3rd floor will be blocked by big tall trees. Eventually the powder room will be relocated so the person at the kitchen sink will look out at the yard. The barn will stay for now for optional storage. If you know anyone who needs a good rental have them give me a call. It will be coming on after painting and other maintenance items are taken care of.

  10. shoeless

    I think it is perfect as a rental. I see the new owner viewed in that vein as well.

  11. RR

    Looks cheap in OG..walk to train, CVS, Chinese, Beach House…not bad.

  12. Mike E

    I am one of the clients who passed on this house. Getting value for $ is a major search criterion for me but a home is more than a simple investment. It has to feel right and you have to be comfortable living in it for 5-10 years. Unfortunately this one didn’t work. I do agree with Chris – someone got a great deal.

  13. foobar

    ps thanks for that list of “hundreds of foreclosures” Still waiting.

  14. shoeless


    Foreclosures up 7% on the quarter, 16% y-o-y.

    “highest quarterly total we’ve ever seen in our report” – RealtyTrac

  15. out looking in

    why all the fuss about picking the top and bottom of the market? See it in liquid financial markets all the time- it’s a mug’s game…it’s okay to sell when values STOP making sense to the high side and buy when prices APPEAR attractive to the downside. In illiquid markets it is almost always best to let the bottom form before buying…also, AFFORDABILITY may be more important than the absolute price bottom…if rates rise 200bps but prices are 3% lower, it may COST more to own if a large part of the house is being financed..