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The Real Deal Los Angeles

Buyers are going crazy over this rat-plagued bungalow

The need for an epic reno isn't enough to scare people away
March 02, 2019 04:00PM

The home in Old Towne, Orange (Credit: Pixabay)

In a housing market as hot as Southern California’s, there’s evidently little that will scare off potential buyers.

Proof: a 1920s bungalow in dire need of a comprehensive rehab and with an apocalyptic rat problem to boot in Orange, California got eight offers in under a week on the market, agents told the Orange County Register. As of Thursday, the home was reportedly in escrow.

The former owner was known to collect junk and managed to pack 11 dumpsters worth of possessions into the 1,140-square-foot home. The yard is overgrown and the interior fixtures, walls, and parquet wood floors are broken and covered with grime and rat feces. Pest control workers who came in to deal with the rat problem reportedly set 25 traps, but caught just one rodent.

The home could cost up to $275,000 and take a year to restore, according to Hugh Siler, a prominent local home restoration specialist.

The two-bedroom is asking just under $600,000 though, whereas most comparable properties are asking for prices in range of $1 million. An open house for the property last weekend drew around 200 people, according to listing agent Lisa Blanc of Seven Gables Real Estate.

Orange County’s median home price is around $719,000 and home sales have slowed over the last year, like most of Southern California. But the Old Towne district of Orange is one of the most desirable historic neighborhoods in the county. It has the second highest concentration of historic buildings in the state, including many homes in a variety of vintage styles.

The home’s 9,900-square-foot lot is also large enough to build an accessory dwelling unit. [Orange County Register] – Dennis Lynch