Fixer Upper or Money Pit?

I ran across this house listing in Foreclosure on the back side of Mount Kisco, closer to Armonk, a gorgeous gorgeous 1914 house left empty once the foreclosure proceedings became final. Looks like the roof has failed and much of the house interior needs to be gut renovated. Bank asking $1,450,000 which must be the amount of any outstanding debt.

But, still, it’s stunning.

Look at the trim work that must be original. Beautiful.

The kitchen , not exactly original, but in 1914, in a house of this size and grace, the kitchen would have been in a back corner for the staff only. If you look closely at this photo and peek from the kitchen through to what looks like a pantry, those cabinets could be original to 1914.

It’s on Tripp Street in Mount Kisco, in Bedford School District, and Tripp is a beautiful and old road, narrow, and dotted with some very old and sprawling historic homes.

Even though I’m no fan of parquet flooring, these floors cleaned up in this formal living room, I bet would look like 1914 all over again. The trim work is exquisite and it’s incredible (in a good way) all of it has been preserved for over 100 years. Says each owner understood the beauty and merit of leaving it untouched.

Then there’s a photo of what looks like a new bathroom – odd photo, and especially odd is how the toilet is on a step. Seems precarious to me, no matter which way you face to use it!

Anyway, I would definitely dive into this project if I were younger. It looks worth saving to me even though I’m sure it’d take a ton of money to update all the mechanicals, the electric, windows, and redo some of the rooms that look out of sync, like the ones with the faux beams.

This library tho – can’t you just smell the man’s pipe? Yeh, so the roof is outlived its use and has ruined much of the ceiling, but hey, it’s only money to fix it.

Who’s in? What shall we bid? I wonder what the bank would take.

21 thoughts on “Fixer Upper or Money Pit?

  1. Money pit and fixer upper. Why don’t you ask a realtor to show it to you so you can see first hand what it needs. Let’s say you put a half million in. Can the street/area carry a new high price value to flip it?

    1. I’m finding conflicting information on the foreclosure and the valuation of the house;
      Trulia says:

      N/A $1,450,000
      Listed By BankThis property was foreclosed and now the lender is selling it for $1,450,000. \

      Trulia’s Foreclosure Estimate predicts this property will sell for $2,258,100.
      03/07/2017 $2,700,000

      ForeclosedThe lender, CITIMORTGAGE, has taken ownership of this property through a foreclosure auction for the amount of $2,700,000. The lender may list it for sale as a foreclosure property in the future.
      09/13/2016 $4,036,698

      Foreclosure Auction The owner of this property has been served a Notice of Sale.

      Looks like the person who bought it for $2.7 is the one on whom the bank foreclosed?
      $1,450,000 Listed for sale

      $2,700,000 Sold

      $3,995,000 Posting removed

      $3,995,000 Listed for sale

      $4,975,000 Posting removed

      $4,975,000 Listed for sale

  2. I’m betting the owner who got foreclosed on starting the ask at $4.9. The sale of $2.7 could have been the back buyout.

    There’s no way that house, in its condition, could have commanded $4.9. Even in 2009 it wasn’t dressed up enough for $4.9. It would be interesting to walk through and ask what its street value is today. It is beautiful. I’m guessing money pit and not enough profit for an investor to fix and flip.

    1. Your theory makes sense. I don’t know how to unearth details about a foreclosure so I’ll have to guess as well.

      Agree that even when furniture was there and roof less tattered and lights up, this was NOT a house that would fetch $5m.

      1. Banks normally bid the amount of their mortgage loan at the foreclosure sale to protect their interest. In a lot of cases, it can be the only bid, so the bank gets title to their collateral which they can then sell to try to mitigate their loss.

  3. I don’t think that library you like is original. It’s pretty but too big for what would have been a mancave pipe room in 1914. The addition to the far right facing the phone (photo 1) looks to be an addition too. It begs the question of what is left that’s period.

    1. You might be right. The library does seem big. Maybe it was a family room at one point? It’s still pretty.

      Good question about what’s left that is original.

  4. Money Pit. Few people want the lifestyle from 1914. I don’t see how money can be made if you fix it up to flip. Fix it up and live in it for twenty years, maybe.

    To follow up on someone’s comment in an earlier post that I should rent a Class C, that’s what we are doing. I made an arrangement with a local RV dealer to let us do a short term lease. I didn’t want to go the Cruise America rental route. And we weren’t ready to buy. With the big RV rental agencies, you don’t know who has done what to the vehicle before. This RV dealer has been in biz for decades and makes all kinds of arrangements for folks just like us who want to roam, but not make it a permanent lifestyle.

  5. I know Tripp Street well and it is lovely but for today’s parents, it is in the middle of nowhere. To me that’s more the issue than the house size and condition. You’d be in the car all day every day taking kids t school and going to the market. IMHO It has no value other than it has historic bones.

    1. True. It is in the middle of nowhere but there are some huge houses on Sheather that might add value to this one on Tripp if redone. 99 Tripp is directly across the street from to the old Billy Rose property on Armonk Road and that’s a minus, if that property gets sold and carved into bits, Tripp could be an access road to some of the houses. All speculation mind you.

  6. It’s absolutely stunning. If you could get it for under $1m, maybe? You would need, very conservatively, $1m-1.5mm to bring it up to speed. Once the roof is compromised and there’s moisture infiltration, you have to go back to the studs. A moderately high end kitchen and bathrooms will set you back $250k alone. And I’m assuming it needs lots of mechanical and structural fixes above and beyond the roof. If I did it, I’d probably remove a wing, as they did to the Helmsley house, to reduce costs and because no one really wants 8,000sf any more.

    Having said that, it’s in a no-mans-land location which makes it best for a weekend/country house. So it would be a tough resale. I’d do it in my fantasy life where I have a 3 bedroom co-op on Central Park West and a cottage in Sconset but need a convenient family escape for weekends and holidays.

    1. It comes down to who the market is for this house. Few. Bedford real estate is still in implode mode. Big houses on lots of land don’t sell. Add, as you said, that Tripp is neither here nor there, it might be the whole reason the price is so low.
      Agree a wing should be taken off. I looked at land Google Earth and the pool looks very far away and there’s another water feature that is oddly situated too.
      My city friends who have weekend houses are either in nearby Greenwich or way up in NW CT. Not Mount Kisco!!

  7. Money pit. In terms of opportunity costs, it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. There must be other houses more worthwhile to renovate. Colonial revivals don’t command high prices today unless they have been brought up to date. And, what’s with the step in the bathroom? My first thought is that it has to be hiding something structural.
    I love old houses but this one seems like a white elephant to me.

    1. I suspect it’ll end up in the dumpster one day but I’d like to at least get my hands on that inner doorway and some of the trim molding. A relic of another time, going unloved and unwanted.

      Just saw MVY report wind gust at 63mph. You getting serious wind and ocean surging? We have such a mess here. Real deal snow amounts now, wind going sideways, roads closed for trees down, alerts to stay off roads – but thankfully no power outage to test my Kohler.

  8. The wind sounds like a train with no caboose. It just won’t end. Plenty of water everywhere. I’m fine. House is snug and warm. I have heat and power. Pray it continues as the winds are getting worse. The rain is playing second fiddle to the wind and storm surge.
    We’ve talked before about building in vulnerable waterfront areas. Maybe this time the message will get through. More people seem to have heeded advice to evacuate flood prone areas.
    Once the storm ends some time tomorrow I think there’ll be quite a bit of damage left behind.

    1. I read that ferry service has stopped. Those docks underwater will surely get hammered…nothing is more expensive than rebuilding a dock.

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