Price Drops Out from Under Local Foreclosure

I like to house shop just for fun, not because we are necessarily ever going to move again. I find it interesting. But rather than look at houses for how tony they are or whether they have an “updated” kitchen, I like to look at houses as signs of the economy. And my house of the week for interesting sign of the weak local housing market is this one at 1143 Narraganset Boulevard in Cranston. According to, this house just sold in August 2007 for $423,000. Now it is on the market for $259,000. If you type in anti-spam word on the Zillow page, you can see the sales history and also learn that on 04/04/06, it sold for $520,000 — more than twice what it’s on the market for now. You can also learn that on 11/29/2004, it sold for $480,000. That’s right. And now it’s on the market for $259,000. It needs a new roof and it’s in foreclosure.

It’s a nice-looking house, though — beautiful stone facade on the lower level, and a spacious refinished wraparound porch. And seems like quite a bargan for $259,000, though the taxes are based on a much higher assessed value — $4,931 for the year according to the Projo ad. But this is no market to be taking chances or trying to flip real estate. You’d have to really want to live there.


3 thoughts on “Price Drops Out from Under Local Foreclosure

  1. Kiersten:

    That’s a prime area for fast-moving real estate. You can imagine that one owner after another bought the place thinking they would be the lucky ones to cash in on the promised increase in value — one that never materialized.

    And with a roughly $320,000 assessed value (that’s how you get $4,930+ in taxes), it’s a house to stay away from, anyway. That kind of margin between sale and city assessment is a bad sign. I’d guess it has more than just a roof that needs to be replaced (although for a place like that, the roof would be pricey enough) — a poor market doesn’t explain it all.

  2. Yeah, my guess is there may be some interior damage already if the roof is in really bad shape. Plus one of the chimneys looked like it needed work.

  3. But is it not sad that an overinflated housing market past, present and future, does not allow people to find places to live and enjoy, not just occupy. In Abuquerque recentlyish developer, obviously neding cash flow, auctioned 30 of his new homes. The median price for these nice new homes should have been in the $360,000 range. At auction the home brought an average of $210,000
    and he is out $150,000 on each new home, a hefty sum for 30 of these homes. And this happened in a “hot” market with an exploding population of mostly new arrivals from other states.

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