The most viewed home on Realtor.com last week was a small home, formerly a hunting lodge, in the middle of one of America’s poorer cities. 401 West Whitaker Blvd., Huntington, West Virginia, is a wreck and has been unoccupied for years.
The house is on the market for $149,900. Other than the fact that the house is falling down, the price is inexpensive. The house is 5,347 square feet, just slightly smaller than many mini-mansions. It has five bedrooms and four full and two half baths. The house sits on 1.4 acres.
Huntington has a population of 49,138. It was once a key city in the railroad system of West Virginia. Most of the freight carried on the system was coal. Like most cities that had to do with manufacturing or the old industrial economy, Huntington has been shrinking since the 1960s. Its population in 1950 was 86,353. The Census estimate of its population in 2015 was 48,638.
Median household income in Huntington is $23,234. That is less than half the national average. Just below a quarter of the residents live below the poverty level. Nearly 90% of residents are white.
The description of the home by the seller is not very encouraging. Realtor.com reports:
Listing agent Preston Cole said this former hunting lodge turned into a single-family home has been vacant for nearly a decade. It’s in disrepair, but the condition hasn’t dimmed interest from buyers. Cole said he received eight offers on the home, and it’s “more than likely” the place will sell for over asking. He was hesitant to put a dollar figure next to the required restoration, but said a buyer will have to start with the old slate roof—it’s leaking.
Is the home really so cheap? Not by the standard of homes listed for sale in the neighborhood, which is $39,900. So, the house is both dilapidated and expensive.
YELLOWWOOD AKA WHITAKER HILL LOG AND STONE HOME WHITAKER ESTATE BUILT IN 1897 AND 1907, ARCHITECTS J.B. STEWART AND EDWIN. HAGER. MASTERPIECE OF THE AESTHETIC MOVEMENT AND THE ARTS AND CRAFTS STYLE OF ARCHITECTURE. SITUATED ON 1.4 ACRE LOT OFFERING A DETACHED 3 CAR GARAGE APARTMENT. SURE IT NEEDS LOVE AND IS BEING SOLD AS IS CONDITION, SPECIAL WARRANTY DEED. 1,000 or 1%, whichever is greater, min. EM Deposit w/offer required. Subject to Bank Addendum sold as is condition. Comments: PLEASE NOTE: Offers received within the first 5 days of listing will not receive a seller response until the property has been listed for 5 consecutive days. Multiple offers occurs seller can counter back highest and best offers, Seller has right to reject any and all offers. Seller requires proof of certified Earnest Money deposit and poof of funds, with offer. Earnest money deposit to be held by Listing Broker or Title Co., no exceptions.
A lot of conditions for a home that is unlikely to find a buyer soon.