We Bought a Crack House

It was a crumbling Parkdale rooming house, populated by drug users and squatters and available on the cheap. We were cash-strapped, desperate to move and hemmed in by a hot market. Five years, three contractors and $1.1 million later, our home reno nightmare is finally over.

Come on, this story has/is happening loser to home, say in Bayview/HP (your fav) or East Palo Alto or West Oakland (your other fav)…

“Cash-strapped” is coming up with $1.1 mil…Even over a 5 year period, that is a lot for money (at least for me).

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No doubt finding anything half decent these days at under 1M is hard… I know, I have been looking!!! You def don’t want to be a millennial or someone starting out looking for their first home around here. You simply can’t compete with the deep pockets around here…

You can get this one under 1M.


I wonder how many of the deep pockets are parents helping kids buy their first home. I know quite a few families where it has happened or will happen after the kids finish college.

Are you finally selling your townhouse? June is still a good time to sell

yes,its on the market now.

Not hard at all! I just got 2 in the east bay for under a million. They are worth more than a mil after I’m done renovating them. And no, the Reno cost will not be anywhere close to that article. What was it 560k? That’s the construction cost of a new home 2 times over!!!

Yeah, I stand corrected if you are talking East Bay or even my fav home away from home, Fremont. I was thinking more like the Fab 7x7 and SFHs. Nothing is under 1M, unless a teardown…

Not so! You just have to look for houses in Portola, excelsior, Bayview, etc…

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What’s the cost to construct a new house from vacant land? Assume for mass market consumption, i.e., for sale to mainstream homebuyers?

I would say $300k should be sufficient. Definitely no more than $400k.

If you can build a new 2000 SqFt house for 300k, I can buy a rundown house and flip.

I guess you only count material and labor. There’re other costs for design, architecture, permit. Also inspections may slow down the process.

I heard that people in PA spend 900k to build a 3000 SqFt house

That’s because you are looking at the most expensive neighborhood in the entire Bay Area. I bet you need to spend only 200k to build a modest house in Vallejo.

My husband and I almost bought this home’s equivalent in Los Altos. In retrospect, maybe we should have but it has been 3 years and when I drove by recently, the owners were still fixing it up. They started 6 months after buying it!


Yeah… Sometimes it’s better to buy something that doesn’t have this kind of a headache and get on with your life.

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Buying a crack house will really test buyers’ marriage. Buyers are lucky their marriage survived.


Buying a junk house is rarely worth fixing…50% remodel or more …best to teardown…Have to upgrade everything to code anyway…

Oh this is in Toronto? That means it’s just Canadian money, not real. Monopoly :stuck_out_tongue:

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