2020 has been an eventful year. A global pandemic; racial movements; and a U.S. presidential election. Yet, despite this unexpected time in history, I decided to buy a house. And not just any house. I decided to buy a very big one – one that looks like a castle.
I had been looking for homes on the West Side of Buffalo for over a year. The area became overpriced in the late 2010s, with houses going for double or triple their worth. Because most homes were built in the late 1800s/early 1900s, they came with issues that were appropriate to that era: lead water pipes to the street, knob and tube electrical, old roofing, and no driveways. I very nearly bought a home on Massachusetts Avenue with all of these issues but backed out of the deal.
When I expanded my search, 5583 Truscott Terrace started out as a joke. I would have never even considered it. It was listed at slightly beyond my price range and it was a big house for someone without a family. It was more than just big – it was massive. But I was persuaded to look at it. I brought a few folks along and we just fell in love with the place. The property was everything I could want and the home was on a dead-end street. It was down the block from Lake Erie and within 20 minutes of the city. Despite being nearly a century old, the home was in very good condition.
I brought in my same inspector from the previous Massachusetts Avenue deal and I awaited some kind of terrible news. There were a few raised eyebrows – both fireplaces had cracks in them, the poolhouse had a recalled electrical box because it caused fires, and there was some repainting on the ceiling that indicated leaks on two floors. The largest concern was the front bay window – due to shrubs being planted too close to the window, causing the snow and ice that had melted to form a big crack, which was causing some of the masonry to peel away and some water damage. But overall, the house was in amazing condition and was built like a bomb shelter.
So my agent and I pursued the opportunity. Financially, we thought we could make an offer for less than the asking: there was a pandemic, the home had been on the market for quite some time and was vacant for 3 years, and, because of its unique layout (kitchen on 1st floor; bedrooms on 3rd), it needed a unique buyer. I needed to dip into my 401K to close, but I ended up getting the home for a ‘COVID steal of a deal’. Nearly a year later, I am still super excited that I decided to take the leap. Although there have been some big projects, my goal has been to work on one at a time. Every effort has been well worth it so far and every day I wake up more in love with this home.