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This Old Crack House

From log house to farmhouse. Farmhouse to townhouse. Townhouse to apartment house. Apartment house to crack house. Crack house to our house. Our house to our home.

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Saturday, July 30, 2005

Daytons best kept secret

Real estate values here are Dayton's best kept secret. We aren't exactly the most desirable city to live in. The schools are pretty bad at the moment and our local government has become a huge social service for the poor and indigent, (that is my opinion only) but the upside of that is that the city provides a good assortment of free entertainment in the downtown area. The city is involved with taking the old warehouses and turning them into loft condominiums. Average price of these places is about $250,000 for 2000 sq. ft with a nice hefty $160 monthly condo fee attached. About half a mile out there are a few historic districts and house prices in these sections are above the average. A mile out and you hit some blighted neighborhoods. In Walnut Hills where I am, we are one of those transition neighborhoods. It is located about 1 1/2 miles from the city center. We have some problem properties but very few. You can buy a fixer upper at sheriff sale for around $40,000. These are generally mortgage forclosures that have been trashed by the previous owners. You can get a property that needs a little work for $70,000 or a decent home for $85,000 to $90,000. The average size house is about 1700 sq. ft. of living space. The average replacement cost of these homes is about $185,000.

To put things in perspective. The old "crackhouse" has 3970 sq. ft of living space (not including the 3rd floor or the 5 rooms in the basement) and cost us less than 6 figures to buy. In fact we paid considerably less for it than the PO did in 1988 (it was pretty bad). To replace this house would cost close to $500,000. If it were located anywhere in the suburbs it would cost close to that to buy it in a finished condition. Not within city limits though. There are turn of the century mansions in this city that sell for $225,000 that would carry a $1.5 million price tag anywhere else. Some of them are quite impressive!

If that real estate bubble that I have heard about pops it won't shake this place at all where prices are concerned (well, maybe those overpriced downtown condos). So houseblog readers out there should seriously think about packing up all your worldly belongings and hiking it over here to Dayton,Ohio. We have more old houses than we have people to live in them. I'm serious!

"This has been a public service announcement for the City of Dayton. Home of the Wright Brothers and the city that holds the record for the most patents issued."

Maybe tomorrow I will tell you how excited I am about stripping paint from woodwork this weekend.......... then again, maybe I won't. Oh, I'm sooo excited......


At 7/31/2005 12:32 PM, Blogger Greg said...

What you describe is pretty much where Eureka was at 5 years ago. I bought my first house here 5 years ago for $52,000. We are in full bubble mode right now. The sister house to my current house (same stained glass window and built 2 years later) just went on the market for $750,000! Granted, it is on a little bit nicer street, surrounded by Grand Old Ladies, but still, it is not that much nicer of a neighborhood. I doubt they’ll get that much. I heard the worst place in the country is San Diego where a 525 sq ft Condo starts at $200,000!!!

At 7/31/2005 12:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We're in a similar situation in that the replacement value on the house is significantly higher than what we paid 18 months ago. It makes for higher insurance than you would think, but lower property taxes.

At 7/31/2005 8:17 PM, Blogger Jocelyn said...

Here in Chicago, an average 2BR 1200 sq/ft condo conversion in our neighborhood, which is considered "transitional" to some and far north of downtown Chicago, goes for around $300K. It's really hard for a middle class person to buy anything. I know many people that just can't afford to buy in the city or near the lake. Most people move out of the city when they get ready to have kids etc...because the schools are not good here and you need to send your kids to a private school if you have any compassion for them.

We are lucky because Steve got a fixer-upper before prices went so crazy and got just in time. Now, we probably could not afford this place.

At 7/10/2008 10:14 AM, Blogger Christopher Busta-Peck said...

I hear you.

This is why my wife and I plan to move back to the Cleveland area. We can get a huge house, in an area with great schools, on one income. Look for the blog in coming months.

If people on the east coast ever realized what a great deal homes are in Ohio, they'd start commuting from there.


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