Tuesday, November 4, 2008

At this price, it's almost a buildable lot!

18526 Chagrin

I like to pay attention to what duplexes are available in Shaker Heights. They tend to be at least as interesting as the single family homes, if not moreso. Many of them have a surprising number of original fixtures - I came across one just a month or two ago that had not one, but two completely original 1920s kitchens, complete with tile countertops, wall-mounted faucets, built in cabinets and ironing board, and a massive ventilation hood for the stove. They also tend to be much cheaper than comparable single family homes, because the city's standards for rental properties are even higher, and because many people don't even think about the potential of the two family home.

I have not personally seen 18526 Chagrin Road, but it seems to have quite a bit of potential. Emphasis on the potential. The lot is a third of an acre, about twice the size of most of the duplexes in the city. This Victorian was almost definitely built as a single family home. From what I can see, the windows have probably been replaced and it's covered either with vinyl or aluminum siding. Still, at the price point, it could be a great rehab.

The only issue that I can see being a problem in the future is that it shares a single-width driveway with the next door neighbor.


Jenny Kerr said...

our home had been seperated into a duplex god knows when. I felt they were both very akward units and that was probably why they couldn't keep them rented and sold the house so cheap. The door on the only bathroom in the upstairs unit won't close, it hit's the sink. lol so I mean who wants to live in a home where you can't poop in private? We have seen a lot of gorgeous duplexes that are WAY undervalued because, well I guess people are afraid to knock the wall back out or something. For a weeks worth of work people could have gorgeous homes for less than half the price but everyone wants instant gratification now-a-days. Most of my friends had new construction homes bought for them by parents when they got married and most of my husband's friends did the same but for some reason the parents had them built instead of buying already built. We are one of the few couples that we know who did not have their home provided by someone else. LOL. You can't expect people to pay for a house to renovate when they won't even paint their own walls. LOL.

Christopher Busta-Peck said...



I gravitated towards duplexes because I'm always looking for a good bargain (funny how that causes me to end up with more junk than if I'd just paid full price), and the duplexes, on the exterior, were more visually interesting than the single family homes with comparable square footage at the same price point.

With most houses, there are going to be many things that you want to change - I didn't see the point of paying a premium for a house that someone else had already fixed up, according to their taste - as I'd probably hate it and want to change it.

It's bizarre, really. I was looking far outside my budget, just for amusement purposes, and I slowly came to realize that there wasn't much difference between the houses listed in Shaker Heights at $200K and $295K, except for the amount that they'd been uglified. (Seriously, above a certain price point, all the kitchens look ugly in pretty much the same respect, and they never have anything to do with the style of the house).

It's all a matter of priorities, I guess. I'd be perfectly happy to live in a doublewide for a couple years, if that was what it took to get the early 19th century Maryland farmhouse of my dreams habitable on budget.