19 Comment

  • How could you leave out photo #30? No need to start from scratch building a new Wasp’s nest… this one comes pre-installed!

  • BYOH.. Bring Your Own Hardhat

  • Not to worry, they left an umbrella in the dining room.

  • I can’t say anything too snarky about that one – the listing agent clearly presents it as a handyman’s special and then does a thorough and honest job of illustrating the home’s condition warts and all. It’s only $75K – $100K away from being a really nice mid-century home.

  • Disclosure, disclosure, disclosure.

  • Kind of heartbreaking to look at the photos. Judging from the toilet, it looks like the current owners are probably elderly. Looks like a long time family home judging from the old swingset in back. Old age and the financial stress of retirement probably got to be too much for the owners to continue to keep up the house. It happens too much and is hard to watch.

  • Old School: I agree with you. Just wasn’t able to keep up with repairs. I wonder if any of the damage was from Ike though? If someone was able and willing to invest some big bucks in repairs and updating, this can be a nice home. But in addition to buying the property, you must have deep pockets to make it habitable.

  • Hey, if there’s ever an intruder, you can duel with those swords that are hanging on that crest on the patio!

  • I would have to disagree, there are too many kids things laying around. Looks abandoned. I agree with disclosures of condition on the agent’s part, but over-illustration takes place on this one.

  • On the money, Old School – over 65 exemption and have owned the house since before 1988. This is rampant in the Heights because elderly can’t keep up with the property taxes.

  • Tear it down and put up a faux stucco and stone palace. It’s the Houston way!

  • Just where I’d suspect to find active White Anglo-Saxon Protestants…in the sunroom :)

    /got nuffin’ :P

  • How can this be “rampant” in the Heights, Hellsing?

    Are old folks in the Heights not getting the same large exemptions everyone one else over 65 years old gets?

    Are those 65+ in the Heights not aware that just by filling out a simple form they can have their tax bill deferred until they die or move out? There’s no need to pay the tax man at all if you can’t afford it.

    There’s always a catch though: 1. if you still have a mortgage, you lender will not allow your taxes to go unpaid; and 2. the tax man is going to charge you 8% a year on the amount deferred and he’ll have a lien on your house when you die.

  • A social security check of under $1000 and a lot worth over $150K doesn’t jive sometimes. Not all of the old “eyesore bungalows” are inhabited by crackheads and lazy tenants. And the lein is exactly why many people pay it and eat ketchup soup – they want to leave the property to their kids free and clear. They stay because their lives of 50+ years are wrapped up in those dilapidated walls.

    Not a Heights story, but a close friend’s father lives on a huge corner lot in West U. House value – $35K; lot value – almost $900K. His taxes with homestead and over 65 exemption are over $12K a year. Updating is out of the question – repairs are made on an as-needed basis. Yeah, cry my friend a river for what she’ll eventually inherit, but she’s a realist and knows she won’t be able to afford to keep the house she grew up in and loves.

  • The tragedy is staying in a dilapidated house and eating ketchup, rather than selling and moving to a nice condo with no maintenance. It’s sad that people get so tied to their houses that they would forgo basic necessities. I love my house, but when I get old I plan to sell.

  • I grew up near this home, and for that price it might be a good deal, no matter how much the repairs may be.

  • I’ve bought and fixed up a lot of places like this. The problem isn’t the repairs (they’re easy), it’s getting a loan on a property that needs work. The bank will say “Can’t lend, hole in the roof” and you’ll say “I’m going to fix it after I close, duh, I’m not going to keep the hole there. And the house is priced more than accordingly”
    I bought an apt building a few years ago that had no roof over two units. You can normally save about 3x the cost of a repair from the purchase price so the more repairs, the more savings. Luckily that building was a seller finance deal so it didn’t matter. As soon as we closed, I replaced the roof. Cost was about $8k and I saved about $25k from what the building would have been with a good roof (actually it was discounted a bit more since the financials were not what they should be with two [obviously] empty units).
    Sadly I sold that building soon after it was fixed up and stabilized. The guy that bought it got a nice ‘fixed’ income property and I got to move on to the next project with a few bucks in my pocket.

  • (sorry, from above..
    Summary: If a place needs some work, big deal. If you like the property and *the work needed is reflected in the price*, it shouldn’t be something to keep someone away.)

  • Agreed, Mel – I can also do what I want with my property because I have no children I’m trying to please by keeping their inheritance intact.