After writing about community gardens this morning I decided that I would go visit a few of them on the West Side. While photographing a house being worked on at the corner of Bremen and Rhode Island (see photo below – right), I overheard a couple of workers a couple of doors down talking to a parrot on the front porch. My curiosity got the best of me so I decided to walk over to witness the interaction first hand. Before I even got to the house a buddy of mine by the name of Jim Celotto (a local muralist) walked out of his house (lead photo) and asked me what I knew about the organized mural scene in Buffalo. As we discussed murals and public art, the topic turned to the houses in the neighborhood and Jim told me that he was in the process of selling his house… for $15,000.
After looking at the front of the house I was dumbfounded at learning the price. I asked him why the price was so low and he told me that it was pretty much a gut job. But after walking inside I realized that Jim had already done the work of tearing down the walls. That meant that a future owner would have a clean slate starting from scratch on the first floor. The exterior of the house still has a lot of character. The molding and the architectural details are intact. As for the interior, the second floor is, for the most part, loosely finished, but in need of some love. The wood floors look like they are in good shape, the wainscoting is still there, the built-in kitchen cabinetry looks good, there’s a full unfinished attic… the place needs a new roof, but Jim told me that the guy who lives across the street just added a new metal roof (see photo below – left) and the roofer quoted Jim $6000 for a tear-off and replacement metal roof.
The original part of the house was built in 1851 and the front of the house was added around the turn of the century. The house is located one block from Five Points Bakery and is smack dab in the middle of a bunch of other houses that are being renovated. Left Bank Restaurant is within walking distance. The neighborhood is on the rebound and there are opportunities such as this for anyone who has a good contractor or who would like to do the work him or herself. I am of the belief that deals like this won’t be along for long – to me it’s incredible that a house like this could be purchased for $15,000. This one can easily be a single or a double. In the end it’s a completely customizable house with an option of retaining much of the original character.
If you’re interested in learning more about this 377 Rhode Island, contact Jim at email@example.com.
Below is the corner of Rhode Island and Bremen – work underway…