Newmans Own

Tempted by Foreclosure

Assured by our reader lorikay4, I’m not going to be scared off by asbestos shingles. (“Not a big deal as long as the shingles are painted,” lorikay4 says. “Unless you are planning on scraping the paint off and … inhaling the dust, I think you’ll be fine.”) Still, I may follow my mother’s advice and wear an asbestos mask when I go to see this house  in American University Park. (“Good ventilation is your friend,” the respirator’s ad reads. I couldn’t agree more.)

I have to admit that Michael and I have both taken a quick look at this property from the outside, and I’m sensing we’re going to be divided on this one. While we agree that it’s in a great location, I was a little taken aback by the condition. This is a bank-owned property, so I know I shouldn’t be so surprised that it doesn’t “show well,” to use a Realtor’s term. But the electrical tape holding together boards on the front porch was a bit much. (I think it was just stuck there. But the color was suspicious. —Michael.) But Michael says the backyard is pretty big, that there’s a sizable addition, and a kitchen reminiscent of the one we had in L.A. (And I’m the nostalgic one?) But the location is just too good to leave this one un-investigated. Also, from what I’ve been hearing, there are lots of contractors out there looking for work, so maybe we could get a good deal on the renovations? (Leave your estimates in the Fray.—Michael)

It’s hard to believe, though, that the asking price of this house is $629,900. That does not feel like a bargain. It is, though, if you look at the tax assessment: $786,800. Of course assessments are derived in part from recent sales of nearby  and similar homes. Still, this high assessment could become a problem if the bank thinks it’s already offering enough of a discount.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. First I have to get that mask.