$700,000 Homes in Ohio, New York and Minnesota

Oct 26, 2022 · 69 comments
Alyson Reed (WASHINGTON Dc)
Why do people insist on painting over stonework on fireplaces and knotty pine paneling, as in the MN house. Once there is paint on these surfaces, it can never be stripped away. If you don't like these original features of the house, then please don't buy it. Thank you.
lina (cape cod)
I love the art in the Buffalo house - where can I find that Oct. picture?? The Ohio house has zero personality.
Jonathan (Buffalo)
@lina The artist of the Oct. painting, as well as many others in the house, is Richard Huntington. http://richardhuntington.weebly.com/
lina (cape cod)
@Jonathan Thank you so much!
Gardengirl (Maryland)
Where’s the kitchen sink in the Buffalo home??? It’s not pictured but is seemingly pretty far away from the fridge and the stove.
MadridMan (Espana)
In the Buffalo home’s kitchen, how does one clean up cooking oil that has spluttered on the bricks?
Diane M (Scarsdale)
They ruined the Ohio house, stripping all the charm out with renovations. The Buffalo house and the MCM are both warm and charming in their own ways.
Laura (ESVA)
After seeing the atrocities committed on the Columbus house, I was holding my breath before scrolling through the Buffalo Victorian. Luckily there’s nothing there that can’t be undone pretty easily, although it’d be a challenge to find beautiful, period tile for the fireplaces.
ecamp (Montclair, NJ)
Disappointed in the Ohio house. I am generally not a Victorian house person, but loved the house in Buffalo except……. no garage, in Buffalo with all that snow. Minn house was nice. I would paint the outside a different color and did not notice if it had a garage, another place where it is a must.
HT (Ohio)
The Buffalo house is gorgeous. The color scheme is beautiful and very well done, with some risky notes that work, like the green accent wall in the bedroom. I would not be surprised if the owners are professional artists.
Leslie (Los Angeles)
I enjoy reading this section. It would helpful if the article would include utilities costs, in addition to square footage and taxes.
Laine (Lockeport Nova Scotia)
Must have been a sale on cowhide rugs. There is no place to hang coats, winter boots at the Ohio house front entrance.
Electra (Vermont)
Love the Ohio and NY homes inside and out. While I like mid-century modern homes, the Minnesota house has zero curb appeal though the interior was nice.
Michelle (Richmond)
So happy to see the photos of Buffalo with color after all that bland in Ohio. Both Buffalo and Minn houses have some sense of fun and history. The remodel in Ohio comes across as souless.
SoCal Gal (Hermosa Beach)
For once I like all the homes. Grew up in cold climates (Buffalo and Chicago, college in Minnesota) and am retired museum staffer with background in design and architecture. The two older homes are very nicely done; guessing that the Ohio home is staged, but the bones are good and the light (some might say sterile) colors beautifully display the interior features. Buffalo, wow, what personality, and decent upgrades. As for Golden Valley (upscale Minneapolis suburb), this mid-century home is not the mini- or mega-mansion like those built today, but it is beautifully done, and the authentic mid-century furniture and other fixtures are perfect. And, despite the cold, a home like this comes with a feature even SoCal owners envy: a finished, daylight basement!
Brian Z (Fairfield, CT)
Three homes for families with older children. The Ohio house's kitchen lacked storage space but is tasteful and not over the top. The level backyard is a good space but I'm put off by the pond. Buffalo house appears to be in a neighborhood with tree lined street and other well maintained older homes. Kitchen space is more than ample. The upper floor has possibilities not seen in the other two homes. I like it the best of the three this week. The Minnesota home becomes mid century with the furnishings some of which are quite attractive to me. Downstairs is where the radiant heating is located I believe. I wish another older Minnesota home could have been found.
Kroobey (West Coat)
Lots to like. Columbus has a lot of space, the district is good and the city, unknown to some, has tons to offer. The sterile interior can be reversed and if the renovation meant new writing etc., I’d go for it. Golden Valley looks drab but again, floor space, paint and and the Minneapolis St. Paul area is a cultural crown jewel. Lakes and trails everywhere, fine road network. Homes in next door Edina (the lister) go for triple. Both are areas where, in general, people don’t bring up politics in conversation until they know each other. Another plus. I won’t address beautiful Buffalo. It’s the only one under contract.
mz33 (Columbus, OH)
@Kroobey Yeah, they painted the trim to fade into the walls, rather than either stripping it or painting it in a contrasting color, and no window treatments. Either/both of those thing could make a huge difference. But it looks like they are trying to emphasize the modern, minimalist vibe in a stately older home.
The Columbus home looks like a flip, I know homes are cleaned up and staged usually, but this one doesn't look like anyone has lived in it post renovation. Lots of Ikea elements. Too bad that instead of this sterile renovation they did not go for restoring it.
B. (Brooklyn)
I'll say, the Columbus house was "extensively renovated." Too bad. It probably had been beautiful. Now, the Buffalo house is the real deal. Of course, you've got to go onto Google Maps to see what surrounds it.
Geoffrey (NC)
The designers of the Columbus remodel neglected to include a corner where one could huddle, seeking escape from the relentless sterility of an extreme HGTV environment.
Don Wiss (Brooklyn, NY)
I have learned how to see old Street View pictures of houses. The Columbus one being of interest here. When you're in Street View mode in Google Maps, if a clock icon is displayed under the address at the top-left of the map, then historical street view imagery is available there. Click the down arrow under the clock to expand the dates when imagery is available. You can click the different dates on the timeline to preview the imagery. Click on the preview to see large picture. Here's 2007: https://www.google.com/maps/place/37+Governors+Pl,+Columbus,+OH+43203/@39.9668561,-82.9684939,3a,75y,271.61h,90t/data=!3m7!1e1!3m5!1sT4oKpNhXzM5QpgPuNQdBhw!2e0!5s20070701T000000!7i3328!8i1664!4m6!3m5!1s0x883888e6de45f743:0x2b05b84de6061ae8!8m2!3d39.9668482!4d-82.9687428!16s%2Fg%2F11c0_pqgn0 Yes, the facade was altered.
Kas (Columbus, OH)
@Don Wiss when will the tyranny of light houses with black windows end? So many in Columbus (everywhere?) nowadays!
The Poet McTeagle (California)
@Don Wiss Thanks. Very interesting to see what it looked like before they did what they did. Perhaps there was rot in the original--looks like they fixed it as cheaply as possible, instead of a true restoration.
Graham DeShazo (Tokyo Japan)
There must have been a sale on industrial paint for the Minnesota home. The house itself isn't bad, (although I'm not much a fan of Ranch homes having grown up in one), but UPS brown is a go-to or at least would fill my first month if ownership with a paint job.
Kroobey (West Coat)
Yes, but you get Minneapolis St. Paul, all the lakes and parks, cultural crown jewel of the Upper Midwest - lots of square footage, paint, and the price point. Ranch house isn’t one size fits all. I lived in one in next door Edina as a teen.
HOOVER (Detroit)
Oh that Buffalo house, so much personality! I just love it. The Columbus house is super boring and sterile. Nothing homey or welcoming at all what a shame. I'd love to see the before pictures of it. Golden Valley the outside is blah but at least inside it has good things going on.
Kroobey (West Coat)
Buffalo is a bargain, and the only one under contract.
Joanne Weaver (Central PA)
@Kroobey According to Zillow the one next door is for sale. Same price range, different vibe.
Jack Wolbert (Brussels)
The interior of the house in Columbus could be used as a set for a morgue or a Dexter movie. My favorite is the Buffalo house, with all of its quirky details (including the somewhat outdated kitchen). The Minnessota home is « nice », but the climate would not suit me.
B. (Brooklyn)
The Buffalo kitchen is beautiful! And I don't usually say that sort of thing.
MP (New England)
Three homes close to their respective downtowns. Columbus has a tortured history (10 owners, including a bank, in 22 years) and while I like Ikea, the current reno relied heavily on it. Why does it get a 15 year tax abatement? Buffalo playfully exhibits its heritage, I don't even mind the windowless 8-story monolith behind it - plant a tree or two. Golden Valley is overselling its mid-mod credentials, but the manicured neighborhood, peppered with more interesting styles from various eras, has extensive tree canopy and allegedly a new light rail station along the region's blue line extension.
Mike (Ohio)
@MP The abatement is likely an incentive for revitalization of property in the area. It is a pretty tough area of Columbus that has needed attention for some time.
Joanne Weaver (Central PA)
Two of these houses are over 100 years old. Why are some readers assuming that they were maintained in unchanged, pristine, museum quality condition until the last owners got their grubby hands on them? Walls go up. Walls come down. Wood is painted. Wood is stripped. Grey is in. Grey is out. (Please...grey is out.) Whether or not we agree with the ascetics, these changes are what makes a house a home for those living in it. Most of us don't want to live in rooms guarded by velvet ropes.
Kroobey (West Coat)
This is the Real Estate section: admission free, no reservation required, armchair experts from Maine weigh in on Alabama and the reverse holds true. As it probably should be. Fasten your seatbelt for takeoff and enjoy.
Liberal In a Red State (Indiana)
The Buffalo house is charming and a little quirky. It appears there is an open parking area in front of the house, but no garage. You'd get a lot of exercise digging your car out of the snow all winter. The Minnesota house does have a garage and a cool vibe inside, but absolutely no curb appeal.
Monica Carol (NYC)
@Liberal In a Red State I noticed the apparent lack of garage for the Buffalo house, too. (Though possibly there is an alley behind the houses in that row from which they access garages in the rear of their back yards). In any case, I believe shoveling or plowing in that front parking area would be tricky, with the cobblestones.
CBruckman (Ashevillle, NC)
I imagine that the Columbas home was magnificent when it was first built. The original house must have had oodles of character; the renovation does not.
Mark (Cascadia)
The Columbus house was ruined. The kitchen, with its open shelves, is especially heinous. On the other hand, the Buffalo home was nicely updated.
Stephanie (California)
Cold, colder, coldest. And what is with that floor in the first interior picture of the Columbus house?
B. (Brooklyn)
I think it's a skinny brown rug.
JoanP (Chicago)
@Stephanie - Not sure what you mean by "what is with that floor"? If you're referring to the seemingly odd placement of the vents, that's likely due to the removal of walls.
MP (New England)
It appears to be a Koldby cowhide rug from Ikea. The vents are there to catch crumbs and heels, of course Wall removal made this space more lobby than foyer.
MJM (Canada)
House in Columbus - they took a cosy home, knocked out all the walls and painted everything beigey-white. Really sad. Didn’t the pandemic lock-down teach us the value of walls and privacy?
tracy fleming (Ohio, US)
It is a constant here in Central Ohio. They remove character and beauty from almost everything.
Don Wiss (Brooklyn, NY)
@MJM I agree. The facade is also strange. Besides being gray, white and black (today's colors), it seems detail was stripped off. It appears to have been simplified, in an attempt to make it modern. I wish there was a way to see the listing pictures from before it was altered. The Buffalo house is clearly the one I like. It oozes with curb appeal.
Sean (Amsterdam)
That Columbus house shows what happens when people want a modern home with a old-fashioned exterior. They ruin it. This happens with Victorians in San Francisco constantly. People keep the exterior, then gut the house, removing all the period details that can never be replaced. Also - why would you put a clear glass window in the shower AT CROTCH LEVEL? Ew.
Mary (Somewhere in the boonies)
@Sean I agree. I lived in Worthington, next city up from Columbus, and I loved all the old homes. This one is beautiful, on the outside, but I found it off-putting that the interior belongs in an entirely different house.
Colleen Newman (Kansas)
@Sean I was put off by that window in the shower, too. Might be OK in summer, but as soon as the leaves fall off the trees, yikes!! Nobody wants to see that!
Joanne Weaver (Central PA)
I have not lived in Buffalo for decades (and decades) but Irving Place and Park Street, one block over, remain two of my favorite places in the city. I always schedule a walk around when I visit. Buffalo has many beautiful residential areas and these are two of the most beautiful.
chrisinroch (Rochester ny)
@Joanne Weaver I agree! At one time Buffalo was America's most populated city, and one the wealthiest. In the mid-1800's a network of parks and avenues were designed by Frederick Law Olmstead, of NYC Central Park fame, including the Allentown neighborhood, where this house is. Buffalo declined in the mid-late 1900s due to loss of industry, but there is revitalization happening. Similar to Rochester, housing prices have always been much lower than other parts of the country.
RJ (Chicago)
@Joanne Weaver Same, haven't lived there in decades, but there are parts of that city that are absolutely gorgeous. Richmond Ave has same spectacular old Victorians.
sconly (Brunswick, Maine)
The Ohio house is another example of a formerly attractive house that has been "updated" to remove all character. The goal is apparently to look like every other updated house: perfect for people with no personality. The Victorian is very nice: no doubt not for everyone, which is the way it should be.
lars (France)
@sconly I absolutely agree. I'm always curious, with these renovations (or in this case, macerations), as to when this stark blandness will be outdated. The Victorian has at least kept some of its original charm accented by interesting new quirks — I rather like the coffered, colored kitchen ceiling, for example. BTW NYT, those are primary AND secondary colors…
Peter (Texas)
@sconly - The current style is to have no character at all, just like our politicians.
While I enjoy these photos of homes from all around the country indexed by price, what is sorely missing is the occasional feature on homes with disabled access ( elevators, access from street, ADA bathrooms and kitchens) since most of these picturesque and often beautifully restored homes do not appear to be accessible to people with physical limitations.
CarnW (Switzerland)
The Buffalo house is charming although I know nothing about the neighborhood it's in. We love upstate New York and yes, know about the cold winters, but we'd rather have them than a long, hot summer. The Minnesota house looks very comfortable and as a one-level, it's a good choice for downsizers or anyone with arthritis. However, given the area's mosquito rich environment in summer, we'd turn that patio into a large screened porch or three-season sunroom.
CarnW (Switzerland)
@CarnW I mean "mostly" one level in the Minnesota home -- I know it has a lower level den.
nickdastardly (Tampa)
@CarnW Biggest mosquitos I ever saw were in Minnesota. I imagine Alaska tops that though. And I’d take a Florida summer over a Buffalo winter anyway. It’s not the heat, it’s the hurricanes that are a problem.
Stacey (Plymouth, MN)
@CarnW mosquitos are less of an issue in the city limits now as we have terrific management spraying. As you head out to county and state parks you will have to cover up but, over my past 23 years here, we are finding comfy, mosquito-free, gorgeous long evenings on our screen free patios.
Ed (Reality)
Glad to see nice homes at reasonable prices ($200 @ sqft range) in what appear to be decent neighborhoods. Kudos to the Buffalo house for not whitewashing a charming period interior.
vickie (San Francisco/ Columbus)
The Columbus home was bought for 180,000 in May 2020. Subsequently listed at 1.1 in July 2021, then relisted, relisted, relisted etc and is now essentially 710,000. still no takers.
Kas (Columbus, OH)
@vickie That house is in an area called Old Town East. It has tons of old houses like this, many of them dilapidated. In the last few years people have started buying them cheap and renovating them. Some people restore them to their former glory and others do this (strip out everything and make it white). Either way, the area is not considered "good" - Broad St is a major street with nothing interesting on it. The neighborhood has terrible schools and is a bit of a desert in terms of supermarkets/pharmacies/other conveniences. I'm not surprised a home meant for a family is not flying off the shelves.
vickie (San Francisco/ Columbus)
@Kas absolutely right on the area as well as destroying the character of this Columbus home. NOTHING is in walking distance. Who wants to live downtown and still have to drive everywhere. If I was in the market for a Victorian home, I am headed towards friendly Victorian Village. And I want wood, and carved staircases, and a clawfoot tub. When I see those soon to be dated gray floors I move on. I want something that screams 1880 with new wiring, timeless. I am so tired of gray.
Jt (Westerville)
@Kas And right next door to what looks like an apartment building. In that area? No, thanks!
Frances (Maher)
All of these are gorgeous and I would happily live in any of them. Elegant but cozy, and didn't strip out all the period details. If I had to choose, the Buffalo house wins by a nose. Whoever buys each of these houses, I wish them years of happy memories.
Sharon (L.A.)
All very nice and very different Sometimes makes me want to sell my house and move…you do get more for your money. But then, winter. I’ll stick around.
Erik in Portland (Portland, Oregon)
@Sharon Winter is magnificent! Particularly in Minneapolis/St. Paul where people enjoy it with relish.
Sharon (L.A.)
@Erik in Portland i grew up in chicago, so….and have tahoe and mammoth just up the road.
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