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St. Johns Place Fixer-upper asks $150K!

40 St. Johns has had a rough time of it for several decades now.  The 3,000 square foot house (not including attic) started out as a single family residence but has probably been a rooming house since the 1940s.  The once elegant Victorian shows signs of substantial abuse and disinvestment. Every room is in poor condition. The scope of work to bring this grand house back to livability will be a major lift, likely including major exterior work, removal and replacement of wall surfaces, new electrical, new plumbing. and untold surprises.

That said, this house will very likely sell quickly and possibly over the asking price. St Johns and the surrounding neighborhood is hot and getting hotter.  Zillow estimates this house as the only one under $200K with most substantially over that mark.  Recently renovated houses in the neighborhood are estimated at substantially over $300K.  Just a decade ago houses in this neighborhood were commonly valued at less that $50K, if they could sell at all.  My how times have changed.

Here is the realtor’s pitch:

Grand Allentown Victorian that needs complete renovation – property is sold “as-is”. Current zoning is Hotel and it was previously a rooming house but no certificate of occupancy or license for multi-tenant occupancy will be provided. Best use is as a single family. Could be 4-5 bdrm 2+ bath home with grand 1st floor rooms. Attic has tremendous potential for additional space, but it is not currently legally habitable space. Room sizes not specified due to extent of renovation required. Stated S/F is for 1st & 2nd floor only. Age is estimate. Cash only sale.

As beat up as the house is it still has lots of original detail including some great hallway spindle work, a wonderful main stair, lots or original wood trim work and two fire places.  It looks like the kitchen has an original tin ceiling. Taxes are listed at $2,434.

So, are you up for the challenge?  Don’t wait too long.  This one won’t last long on the market.









Written by David Steele

David Steele

Architect ( a real one, not just the armchair type), author of "Buffalo, Architecture in the American Forgotten Land" ( ), lover of great spaces, hater of sprawl and waste,
advocate for a better way of doing things.

View All Articles by David Steele
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