Friday, November 22, 2013

New Home

To no one else's surprise but completely to my own, I appear to be in contract to buy a house.

If you've been here a while, you know I've been looking for the right spot for years. I've found it a few times, but for one reason or another, either didn't bid or didn't get it.

I scrolled past the house I am buying for a couple of days before I realized it wasn't in an inconvenient area, but was only half a mile from the Journal Square PATH station.

Which is currently getting some big new high rises and development where the Tube Bar used to be.

I was aiming for the area by Liberty State Park, which I am sure is the next hot spot. You can get big lofts over there. But you have to take a bus or the trolley to the train. I really wanted a cute tin-row house there, but ultimately blanched at the cost. It was $320,000 and needed a lot of work inside, and much of the original detail was missing. I looked at its twin down the block, and that had been horrifyingly modernized. But it was cheap.

There are $75k-$195k houses up on Astor near there, incredible houses. Again, not on the train.

Ultimately, I don't know what the train is worth. But the house I offered on is close enough to the train and the area JC is developing that it seemed worth paying a bit more.

Too bad it's on a hideously ugly block. But the insides are amazing. And it's a legal two-family, so there are two apartments.

The house was owned by a Ukranian carpenter at a pencil factory. He and his wife and two kids, including Stella, came over in 1934, via Buffalo. Another kid came along too. The carpenter appeared to have been the one working on the house as the kitchen appliances haven't been touched since the seventies, and still have the manuals in them. I was looking all this up the night before I bid, and I was a little spooked when I realized the reason they are selling the house now, because Stella died, is Stella died on my birthday.

There was a bidding war. I didn't bid highest, but I bid my max and sensibly. And that appears to have worked.

But in any real estate transaction, there are plenty of ways things can go wrong. My lawyer is on-board, but all kinds of fun things can come up. Like termites.

But looking at the place, I think I would know already if there were termites.


Anonymous said...

Well, congratulations. Hope you get it.Kinda unusual to see woodwork like that not under 30 coats of paint. And hey, maybe it'll need some tile work. Don in AL.

Marie Javins said...

This place is full of original woodwork. My theory is the Ukranian carpenter stripped it decades ago. It would have been originally painted since this place was built in 1898, and they didn't show wood grain back then unless they were really fancy people. I haven't figured out yet what year Mr. Carpenter moved in. He arrived in the USA in 1934 and he died forty years later. He owned both this house and the house next door.

Apparently whoever bought the next door house last year painted the wood. Eeek.

The kitchens both have vinyl peel-and-stick tiles. There's my calling!