How Much House Does $650K Buy in NJ? Try One Destroyed by Fire
MIDDLETOWN — A township home ravaged by fire more than a year ago is boarded up, unlivable — and up for sale at $650,000, asking price.
“Incredible Building opportunity in the Oak Hill section of Middletown,” according to the listing.
It's been posted since December by Monmouth Ocean Regional Realtors and Vincent Tozzo with Century 21 Thompson and Co.
The two-story home at 58 Fish Hawk Drive in the Bamm Hollow neighborhood caught fire on Nov. 19, 2020, as previously reported by the Middletown Township Fire Department and Lincroft Fire Company.
About 55 firefighters from five of Middletown’s fire companies responded to the fire at the 4-bedroom, 3-bathroom house, on just over a half-acre of property.
Before the fire, the property’s 2020 tax assessment was $489,500, according to public records.
A year after the blaze, in November, the property was sold for $250,000 according to Zillow.
It was listed “as-is” a month later and has been on the market for nearly 80 days.
“Located in a quiet prestige neighborhood. Design and build the home you have always dreamed of ! Structure on land is not livable home has extensive fire damage in need of a complete renovation or tear down and rebuild. Lot size is 140x175. The sky is the limit with the opportunities to customize every detail while building the home you always imagined.”
“If it were literally on fire the price reduction would prob only be like $10K, ”an editor with NJ Monitor quipped on Twitter.
By comparison, at least three livable 4-bedroom, 3-bathroom homes in Middletown were listed between $700,000 and $950,000 as of Tuesday.
Running the numbers: Demo and rebuild In NJ
The rough average cost to tear down and rebuild a house is $125,000 to $450,000, according to homeguide.com.
A chart at the website says a home between 2,500 - 3,000 square feet would cost between $10,000 to $30,000 for disposal, clean-up and basic site grading.
An online calculator helps users make more detailed estimates.
"Fire sales" in Berkeley Heights, Englewood
In another popular community, Union County’s Berkeley Heights, a severely fire-damaged single-family home has been listed at $450,000.
The property at 41 Putnam Ave. is billed as another “Great Opportunity to build your dream house,” in a listing at Compass by agent Gonzalo Alvez of Signature Realty NJ.
The entire 3-bedroom, 1-bathroom home would need to be either demolished or gutted and renovated.
“Fire damaged property can be knocked down for a complete new build or you can do a total renovation and add-a-level on the existing foundation,” according to the Berkley Heights listing.
A third, severely fire-damaged property in Bergen County’s Englewood was listed in June 2021 with a disclaimer saying "enter at your own risk."
By December, that fire-ravaged house listed by EXP Realty had sold for $250,000.