House Gutted By Fire Listed for $399,000

The housing market has proven to be competitive between buyers and sellers, but a house that has been majorly damaged from a fire is currently on the market for $399,000 in Melrose, Massachusetts.

"This home suffered a fire that damaged the front facade," the house's listing on realtor.com read, with a call to contractors. "House is in need of a complete renovation or potential tear down and rebuild. Buyer to do due diligence. House being sold as is."

Photos of the house on the listing's website show a scorched front with boarded-up windows. Posts near the door are blackened and the parts of the siding are peeling away from the house.

Burned House
A house in Massachusetts that suffered fire damage is currently on the market to be sold as it is with an asking price of $399,000. This picture shows burned houses in a Greek village after an overnight fire. LOUISA GOULIAMAKI/Getty Images

The listing boasts "great potential to build a new and adorable home in desirable Melrose," which is described as a town with a "thriving downtown" and "excellent schools."

The Warren Group, which is an organization that provides real estate and transaction data, reported that in August, there were 6,318 home sales throughout the state of Massachusetts. The median home price for a single-family home was listed at $535,000, which is a jump from August 2020's median price at $480,000.

The Warren Group sent data to Newsweek, which showed the median sale price of single-family homes in Melrose, as of August 2021, was $769,900

CEO of the Warren Group Tim Warren told Newsweek that when he looked at the house's tax assessment information, there was more value placed into the land rather than the structure of the house itself.

"The value of what's there is mostly in the land," he said. "That's not unusual. The value of everything has been increasing, and it isn't unusual that someone might pay the asking price just to have the land."

Warren said the value of homes and properties increased across the country, not just in Melrose or Massachusetts.

According to RealEstate By Boston.com and Globe.com, another home with damages that resulted from a fire sold in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts for $580,000, more than the $499,900 asking price.

This is not the first piece of property that has people skeptical about the listing price based on what the house offers.

Newsweek reported that a TikToker uploaded a video walk-through of a new house that is on the market for half a million dollars. The inspector said the house was in good condition overall but pointed out a few aspects of the house.

He put a plug into a socket and shook it, showing that the outlet was loose. The inspector also showed a shower stall and commented on it, saying he didn't think he's ever seen that much caulk around the showerhead.

Moving on to the house's exterior, he pointed out that the porch was warped and a hose was not attached to the house.

Another Newsweek article reported on a TikToker who shared videos on why it was important to visit a New York City apartment in person. One video is a walkthrough of an apartment where it shows a bedroom that cannot fit a bed. The light was not working and some parts of the floor were sagging.

Newsweek has reached out to the real estate agent presenting the house, as well as a representative from the Massachusetts Association of REALTORS for further comment but did not hear back by press time.

Updated 10/01/2021, 2:43 p.m. ET: This story has been updated with a statement from Warren Group CEO Tim Warren.