More than a month after purchasing the duplex-turned-31-year DIY renovation-and-expansion-project that became the life’s work of its owner, former VA nurse Charles Fondow, buyer Nick Ugarov tells the Chronicle‘s Craig Hlavaty that he’s “still mulling over plans” for the 5-bedroom, 4-and-a-half-bath, 2-turret still-not-quite-finished home at 2309 Wichita St. near Dowling. Ugarov picked up the foreclosed deck-bedecked structure for $251,000, from a bank sale that closed on April 11th, according to MLS records. That’s $101K over the ridiculously low asking price the sales agent had placed on the property, a well-known and much-gawked-at oddity in Riverside Terrace that’s been described as a poor man’s version of the Winchester Mystery House.
Fondow’s ever-expanding dreams for the once-termite-ridden brick home — spurred by travels and studies of model structures in Russia and Green Bay, Wisconsin — were abruptly interrupted in early 2011, when he fell ill while on a cruise to Barbados. He passed away that March. Later that year, his abandoned housebuilding obsession went on the market for $325,000, but did not find a buyer. Later, the property went into foreclosure. It reappeared on the market in February of this year, with a vastly reduced asking price.
But the photos that accompanied the new listing made it clear that the house had weathered 3 years of just sitting there:
Some of these rooms had appeared far more pristine in the earlier listing:
Ugarov wasn’t the only prospective buyer for Fondow’s former home; MLS records indicate the property had been listed as “option pending” after an offer had been accepted at least once earlier. Ugarov’s real estate agent, Alfonso Parodi, tells Hlavaty that Ugarov owns “a handful of other unique homes in the area.”
- Spooky looking Houston mansion has found a buyer [Houston Chronicle]
- Previously on Swamplot: Wacky Wichita St. Mystery House Is Back on the Market, for a Low, Low Price; Wichita St. Mystery House Now in Foreclosure; Everything But the Turrets: The Riverside Terrace Estate Sale You’ve Sorta Been Waiting For; Wichita St. Mystery House Goes on the Market Today: Your First Peek Inside; Charles Fondow Leaves His Wichita St. Mystery House Unfinished