This is 146 S. Avenue 53, in Los Angeles (Highland Park area). First, the front:
Built in 1904, this 1500 sq. ft. Craftsman home officially has three bedrooms and two bathrooms. At the moment, both bathrooms are 3/4, and look like this:
It has a massive living room with a fireplace:
as well as a ridiculously large lot (8400 square feet), the back portion of which doubles as parking for at least six vehicles (yes, it's all paved):
It's going for $219k, is less than 5 miles from where I work, and is in a relatively safe neighborhood. Plus, it has this cute upstairs bedroom (converted attic space) that would be perfect as a guest room.
"But wait," you cry. "This seems too good to be true! What's wrong with it?" Well, other than it being in Los Angeles, plenty. For starters, some genius divided the house into a duplex (in the first photo, you may be able to see two separate front doors). At least one wall would need to come down to make it a single-family dwelling.
On top of that, it's got a substantial amount of work done on it without a permit. How substantial, you ask? Take a look at this photo of the original kitchen:
See the glass? That used to be the exterior window. Everything past that door is unauthorized building. There's an entire back half, including *three* extra bedrooms and a separate den/living room (the back room you see through the window) that's been slapped together with plywood.
Major portions of it, if not all of it, would have to come down before the city signs off on the violations, and all violations have to be signed off before I can get the Cal-HFA loan.
I'm trying to get ahold of the last inspector in the house, to learn the minimum amount of work it would take to get this site Cal-HFA legal, and then figure out if I can afford to risk that much work without a guarantee that I'll get the house. Wish me luck.
BTW, if anyone reading this has connections with LA Building and Safety, or has tips on how to satisfy inspectors, I could use all the help I can get.