This 41-Room Castle Is For Sale at $100,000

There must be something very wrong with the mansion for sale at 615 Columbia St., Elmira, New York. Built in 1876, it spans 8,284-square-feet and is for sale for $99,990. That is a ridiculously low $12 per square foot. It sits on a lot that covers 0.47 acre. The price is based on the fact that the house is a mess and will require a large investment to be livable for most people.

Realtor.com describes the house this way:

The mansard-roofed mansion is filled with original woodwork, multiple fireplaces, stained glass, and a curved staircase. A restoration effort will need to be completed by the new owner. It does have new electric service, and some of the rooms have been gutted in preparation for a massive glow-up.

Some of the work to rebuild the house already has been done. It has new electric wiring and a new rubber roof. It has two relatively new boilers. However, a number of rooms have been gutted. The house at 615 Columbia Street is “not currently habitable.” The value of the house actually has dropped recently. It was sold in September 2005 for $157,500.

Even with a price of $99,900, the house is relatively expensive by neighborhood standards. The most expensive house in the neighborhood has an estimated value of $70,800. The least expensive has an estimated value of $43,500. No house in the area is larger than 3,000 square feet. Most are much smaller.

Elmira is located near the southern border of Pennsylvania, West of Binghamton, and 615 Columbia Street is at the center of the city.

Elmira has 27,054 residents, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Its population is dropping, down over 7% in the past decade. Seventy-three percent of the population is white. Another 15% of residents are Black.

Elmira is extremely poor by national standards. Its median household income is $36,909, about $30,000 below the national number. The poverty rate is a remarkably high 26.2%, which is well over twice that national figure.

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