May 5, 2014

The Dollar House of the Day: 257 Florida Street

This is the inaugural post in a new series I’ll be doing that highlights the remaining homestead eligible houses in Buffalo. These homes require a full rehabilitation, but they can be purchased from the city for just a dollar. Check out this post for the full background information on the program.
The two-family home is listed at 2641 square feet and has three bedrooms in each unit. Although currently clad in some ugly vinyl siding the clapboard below is likely in great condition and probably only needs minor attention. There seems to be a foundation issue on the east side of the house evidenced by the “sinking” wall, but it can certainly be fixed. The home has owned by the City of Buffalo since 2009 when the owner decided to abandon the property and move out of the area according to neighbors.
257 Florida Street is possibly the best remaining option on the homestead list due to its location within the Hamlin Park historic district. As a result any repairs are eligible for state and federal historic tax credits. For example, if you live in one unit that portion of the house would be eligible for the NYS 20% homeowner program and the rental portion would be eligible for the same 20%, with an additional 20% from the federal government.
If the total project cost is $50,000 and split evenly between the homeowner portion and the rental portion you would see $15,000 of that back in tax credits. The state portion of the credits will be refundable for projects completed in 2015 and beyond. Assuming you could pull down $750 per month from the rental portion and the $15,000 in historic tax credits, the $50,000 rehab pays for itself in just four years. Utilizing the homestead program requires residency for three years and the historic tax credit program has a five-year recapture period in which the property cannot be transferred without losing the credits.
I haven’t been able to access the interior of the home, but this Trulia listing from a few years ago gives you a good idea of how it lays out and the interior features. Check out those leaded glass French doors and all the original wood floors, fireplaces, and period kitchen. Removing the vinyl and giving it a good painting alone would go a long way to making this a gem on the block.
Just one of the greater interior features in this massive double.
I can attest to the quality of the street as well since I’m rehabbing my very own dollar house just a few doors down. Every one of my neighbors has been fantastic and supportive. Many of the properties are owner-occupied and have been in these families for decades. If you’re in the market for a rehab project, you want a quality neighborhood on the rise, and you need something that can make you money in addition to being a great home, seriously consider 257 Florida Street. Get in touch for additional information, 

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