Jersey City has a fair amount of small, single-family rowhouses, in just about every neighborhood. With the budget we had, we knew we wouldn’t be looking at anything that didn’t need some work… but the first bunch of houses we looked at really needed help.
The house that had no kitchen had been in foreclosure the previous year and said it was bank-owned–we think whoever owned it took everything out that they could before they had to leave. It was the cheapest of the bunch but of course needed the most work. The house in the Heights has since been sold and torn down; a large two-family house with parking is going up in its place. There had been a good sized (if overgrown) backyard which has now been devoured by the house. The house in Lafayette was actually a two-family home (the ground floor was a studio apartment), but the renovations were so bad it was hard to swallow how much profit the owner was trying to make off of it–they wanted more than twice what they’d paid for it the year before. The place with the wood paneling had once been the same layout as the other Bergen Hill house, but the rooms had been divided into tiny, dark, closet-like spaces. The people that were renting there didn’t want to move and were obviously upset that it was for sale.