Going, Going, almost...

While out walking the Artspace neighborhood this morning, I grabbed a photo series over at 94 Northampton, one block away.
94 Northampton - Buffalo, NY
Here's the slide show - 94 Northampton - and links to my earlier posts - Going, Going... If the place is worth saving...what's the next step?
ArtspaceBAVPAWoodlawn Row Housesfaqmy flickr
the creativity exchangetop ten or eleven


Anonymous said...

first step is a tarp over the hole in the roof ASAP!

this is a very cool house inside and out, with an amazing house across holland superbly taken care of. Also other "grand houses" on that block have been getting some love as of late.

Anonymous said...

How does an individual untangle the red tape of city ownership, secure the deed and afford to renovate this house?

Unless you are blessed with having a spare $100,000 and are extremely handy; how the hell do you save such a house?

Anonymous said...

I don't think that acquiring the house is that difficult - I imagine that you might get some help in untangling the bureacracy from websites like this one.
The bigger problem is getting some cash together to stabilize and fix it. I am working on a similar problematic beauty in Bflo right now. It hasn't been easy, and in my case, it's costing more then $100,000, which is hardly a "spare" amount, more like a "scare" amount. But it can be done, and like most challenges in life, the hard work is pretty rewarding.
I would try to get together some cost estimates on stabilizing it. How much will the roof cost? Does it have furnaces, electric, and plumbing? If these systems aren't in place, add demo, framing, and drywall costs. If you have a clearer idea of the costs on securing and remodeling it would be easier to get help with getting some money together. I imagine a blog post on this very site detailing the necessary investment might get a little interest, advice and encouragement. You might be surprised.
If the structure and systems are in good shape, it could be cost less then $100,000. There will be all sorts of expenses and frustrations, but I think this house would be worth it.

b said...

Unless you are blessed with having a spare $100,000 and are extremely handy; how the hell do you save such a house?

Illustrates why it’s short sighted for people to demonize You Know Who for loaning money during the 90s to somebody trying to fix up some other endangered houses in Buffalo. Granted those houses weren’t saved and likely the loan recipient chose impractical houses and didn’t do proper upkeep for which he was rightly punished by a housing judge. But without willingness of people to take chances with their money for efforts like this, there’s much less opportunities for successes. If they’ve read the recent personal attacks, anybody approached to help fund efforts for this house or others like it might get even colder feet than otherwise.

Anonymous said...

this house needs to be saved, but if anybody (running for office or not) offers you a loan at 12-14% interest, don't do it.

b said...

Anon 5:21, if a loan isn’t secured by anything with market value (and a house in this case, or multiple houses in that other case, which nobody wants to buy at any price fits the description of “no market value” to put it kindly – “negative market value” is probably more like it)…

…then yeah, isn’t it logical to expect the rate would need to be high in order to justify the risk?

We need to live in the real world, don't we?

I'm no expert to know what's a usual rate is for a loan essentially unsecured like that one was, but as a rough comparison, anybody who wants to invest some money in the residential mortgage market with much lower risk can use a reputable no-load Ginnie Mae fund (an aggregate of thousands of mortgages) whose average annual return since 1980 inception is 8.5%. Ref: http://tinyurl.com/2rec5l

Extra points in exchange for going from practically no risk to a huge risk is just how life is and always has been. In fact, hindsight in the Clarence business man's situation tells us the 12-14% rate still wasn’t enough to justify the risk he accepted, was it?

Hopefully somebody will take a chance on this Northampton house and put some money at risk to fund its rehab and then live in it or hope it then attracts a buyer or long term stream of reliable tenants for positive cash flow. But you do agree all that happening isn't the most likey outcome, right?

And I don’t mean to insult this house or any of its fans by saying its market value is apparently zero or negative - but what else would you realistically say at this time?

In the real world, hope is not a plan – and it’s also not collateral.

George Thomas Apfel said...

I admired this house while with David on his tour during Buffalo Old Home Week in July...took pictures as well. I would love to fix this place up...and I have the skills to do a lot of the work myself. And with Buffalo ReUse moving in up the street I'll have a source of materials--and some helpers too as I'm a volunteer for ReUse. Plus I have a personal attachment to this neighborhood, I was born and lived on Ellicott the first years of my life.

Without even seeing the inside, I'm sure all new mechanicals will be needed, and that hole in the roof means some major water damage. Still--this one's a gem, worth the effort...and the investment.

Anonymous said...

Okay guys, let's keep thinking this one through. A solid new roof costs about 20k. Demo about 5k, framing 10K, plumbing 15k, furnaces 12k, electric 20k, and drywall 20K, there's your 100K total. Rule #1 - it'll go overbudget. I'm ballparking around 3500/4000 sf, and that's not counting kitchens, baths, flooring or lighting. It's a lot to spend, but at least this is a pocket of the city that's struggling to come back. ArtSpace and Reuse are healthy developments. There are other owner occupants. Can we turn this into 2 units and find 2 interested parties with 50K each and a deep well of fortitude?
One problem with B-lo is that the renovated value of the property is often not worth the amount of capital it takes to fix it - although this might not be the case here.
David, I think it would be interesting to list more details of the conditions of these houses and what it would actually cost to save them.

Anonymous said...

this actually is already a triple. Even the third floor is built out with kitchen//bath etc.

Sweat Equity is needed to make a lot of these more financially sound investments.