Monday, November 3, 2008

Another house we didn't buy

The following duplex, 14170 Onaway / 14201 Becket was our first choice for quite a while. It is a large house, (4000 square feet), on a large lot (.43 acres), with decent exterior lines and reasonable potential. Though it does not appear to presently be on the market, it is still bank owned, and I suspect it could be purchased for somewhere in the neighborhood of $20,000-$30,000 - it was last listed at $57,900, and has been on the market for two years.

While there is definitely quite a bit of interior wear and tear, the only truly major issue I saw was the lack of copper plumbing in the basement. Neither kitchen is currently functional, though it wouldn't take much work to get it there. I think that it makes most sense if rehabbed into a single family dwelling, especially for someone who could do a lot of the work themselves.

Some downsides:
It has been cursed with the cheapest, most poorly fitted replacement windows that I've ever seen.

14170 Onaway
The house

Yard, Onaway side
The yard

Bathroom window, Onaway side
A sample window

Screened-in porch
Screened-in porch

Roof details
The lack of a downspout on this gutter has caused some water backup issues, with leaks damaging the plaster in the room below. This doesn't appear to be serious, and I believe that installing a downspout would remedy most of the problem.

Central hall and living room - Becket side
Living room and central hall

Fireplace - Becket side

Entryway, Becket side

Bedroom  with closet
A bedroom. Virtually all of the doors are original and unpainted.

If this isn't enough, check out some more photos of this house.


Jennifer said...

VEry cool! I drive by some of the houses we looked at sometimes.

Jenny Kerr said...

absolutely gorgeous!

Christopher Busta-Peck said...


In my opinion, two family homes are some of the most undervalued properties in Shaker Heights. Many of them were constructed in the 1920s, and were designed in such a way that they don't look like duplexes from the street. They usually have an entry hall with a door for the first floor and a door for the second floor tenants. If you took off these two doors, you wouldn't need to do anything further to make the space behave like a single family home. Many also have a back staircase, which could be opened up in a similar manner, by removing the doors with deadbolts.

The reason why they are such a good deal is twofold. First, many individuals purchased these homes as investment properties, paying over-inflated values, and were eventually foreclosed upon. Second, with the work that some of these properties would need to meet city requirements of rental properties (which are much higher than those for normal residences) and the rents that could be realized, it would be somewhere between difficult and impossible to make money renting them out.