There are Fixer Uppers and then there are Fixer Uppers!!!

I’ve always wanted a project or two in houses – I like to put my stamp on things – to wit, every house I’ve owned, I’ve bought one that needed work.

My first house on Chappy was merely a summer camp when I bought it- I added on to it, winterized it and redid the kitchen in what then was super cool – white melamine cabinets, Formica butcher block look counter tops and a red Kohler sink. Wow, did I ever think that was awesome. Don’t laugh, it was so in then. I was a trendsetter on Chappy, in my Frye boots and fringe leather vest.

My tastes have refined since 1976, thankfully, but I still enjoy the A to Z of renovating. It was a heck of a lot cheaper in 1976 than 2017 – I don’t think I spent more than $30k to redo my Chappy house, inside and out, but that was a ton of money then and as a lowly worker bee, I had to get my dad to cosign a loan note. I paid for the house without a mortgage (thanks to money from my grandparents) but I needed money to make the house a home.

I digress. I tripped across a listing in Bedford, on very pretty dirt road here, Succabone. I can remember back in the days living in the city, one older woman (probably my age!) told me laughingly that her daughter and son-in-law were moving to Bedford and bought a home on Succabone. Even local rock stars get a laugh over the street name:

309 Succabone, a little fixer upper! Built in 1910. On 17 acres. I’m sure once a stunning home. I bet there are photos of it in the historical society.

Turn of the century Stone Manor in need of total rehab. Fabulous wide footprint, 4 car garage, in ground pool 20×40 and pool house. Large kitchen, dining room, family room, 5 bedrooms and 4 baths on 17 acres.

As I said, the road is very rural and lovely, although one side of it backs up to 684 and that’s a huge problem. 309 is on that side of the street. Not a plus.

The gates are still intact…



From the photos, it looks like someone started to fix it up, or looted it – I’m not sure which. It’s obviously been left to fall down

The pool, almost ready for your Fourth of July guests.

A very pretty outbuilding that looks like it still has structural integrity.

Here’s the intriguing photo. Looks like very recent floor and joist work – even the saw horse is still there, looks brand new. There’s a backstory for sure but I don’t know what it is. An estate sale where the heirs couldn’t agree on selling?

This part hasn’t fallen down either but it is listing a tad…like the Titanic!

So the question becomes, at $729k, do you buy it and fix it up? Do you buy it and build something new? Does a builder buy it and split off the 17 acres and build three houses?

Or do you pass altogether? I’m torn. If I could see what the house looked like in 1910, I might try and rebuild it similarly, not Dick Cavett rabid style, but as much in its 1910 likeness as I could. The listing makes no mention of its historic nature so I guess it does not sit on any register or else the listing would say it can’t be torn down. I bet tho, once any permits ar drawn on this house, the Historical Society will be right there, telling any new owner what he or she can and can’t do. I’d want to know that BEFORE buying.

A mixed bag weather-wise here today. Cool and the sun trying to make a debut but struggling. Belmont on later today but with no chance of any Triple Crown victory, watching it might be kinda meh. I might just make a Belmont Breeze and call it a victory.

Have a great Saturday.

8 thoughts on “There are Fixer Uppers and then there are Fixer Uppers!!!

  1. wouldn’t the land alone be worth more than $750? is the property bank owned? i’d want to research that aspect before delving further.

    1. I’m not sure what the value of the land is, probably not a whole lot. It backs up to I-684 and who knows if there are wetlands. I assume the only redeemable land is the farthest away from the highway, closer to fronting Succabone so that limits the options of splitting the land.

      I didn’t look to see if the property is in foreclosure o short sale. But wouldn’t the listing mention it?

  2. You’ve been holding out on us. Where are the photos of that Chappaquiddick kitchen? They must exist. 🙂

    As for #309, I agree that the historical society will prohibit it being torn down. Buying the land would be like hitting a bees nest by accident.

    1. Ha ha. I DO have photos of my Chappy cottage kitchen. The question is in what box? Pre digital so those pix are holed up in the attic. One day I’ll Hunt for the Red October sink.

  3. I redid a kitchen in the 70s, too. White cabinets, yellow formica countertops and yellow & blue Mexican tile backsplash in the lace pattern. Stainless steel sink because I had a red Kohler sink installed in the bathroom.
    As for the Bedford fixer-upper, I wonder what Chip and Joanna could do to it. I like that they work on older houses.
    There’s a stone ‘castle’ on the south shore of MA which has been on the market for years. Price has dropped from 4.9 to 1.2. 10+ acres in a very nice town. There must be a story there as well.

    1. Great kitchens of the 70s should be a coffee table book. Our first house in Bedford had a 70s kitchen gone horribly wrong. Spanish tile countertops that were so wavy you couldn’t set a glass down. Spanish tile floors. It took $$$$ to jackhammer it all out. What a mess.

      Spanish tile has its place still and can be gorgeous in the right house.

  4. succabone road is haunted. the area around Baldwin and guards is off the paranormal chart.

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