A few weeks ago, a friend sent me a lead on a house on 51, near 54. This quiet cross street is quite tidy by Centro standards on the Calle 56 side — leading me to hope that the Calle 54 end will be next. It’s a potentially pretty ruin, well-proportioned and in walking distance to lots of things, but in crumbling, falling-down shape. The ceiling had ominous water stains.
I remember walking by it and thinking it seemed particularly fragile, but with one of the most romantic facades around. I also realized it’s smack-dab up against a large autobody shop that advertises all sorts of services on its wall. A potential noise and environmental hazard. Weighing the challenges, I took a pass.
Today, I see it’s under contract! I assume the owner got the $119,000 U.S. they asked. That’s bad news for me, who only saw economic sense in fixing up something that’s at $100 or lower and spending $100,000 to $150,000 to renovate. If I pour more than $250,000 into a property, it will be in a hard-to-sell price range to recoup my investment. Especially if the dollar falls any more against the peso.
Another favorite of mine has sold. Dubbed “Casa Mango” by its exclusive listing agent, this distinctively designed beauty near the Mormon compound was going to be a guest house, I’m told. It had a garage and a slim alleyway allowing workers’ passage from the street to the backyard.The owner was asking $249,000. Did they get what they asked?
“Casa De Los Sueños” also sold. An early example of Henry Ponce design, situated in Santa Ana’s art gallery neighborhood, this property had a lot going for it. The owners were asking $269,900, but with “make offer” stated in the listing. I wonder what they finally sold it for.
In May, a 9-meter-wide ruin in good shape sold within weeks of being listed. Facing south on Calle 37, where the Centro starts to become the hotel district, it was deep enough to buffer any traffic coming off the Paseo de Montejo. It had a garage, and its side of the street was a no-parking zone. The American buyer took it sight unseen, over the phone, after having an architect check it out for her. She possibly grabbed the last (desirable) ruin under $100,000.