Syracuse’s Historic Fixer-Uppers: Dream Homes or Financial Nightmares?

Syracuse's Historic Fixer-Uppers: Dream Homes or Financial Nightmares?

Looking for a real estate steal? Well, look no further than upstate Syracuse, where a century-plus-old gem is up for grabs at an unbelievable price of just $4,000.

But as with any deal, there is a reason why it is unbelievable — it comes with a catch.

Sure, this historic beauty boasts tin ceilings, charming fireplaces, and even a vintage clawfoot bathtub, according to the listing. But before you start planning your dream renovation, here’s the lowdown: the property has seen better days, with major water damage that’ll require some serious TLC — and a cool $136,000 to make that happen.

The home occupies over 2,600 square feet. And that’s not all — prospective buyers also have to come prepared with proof of funds totaling $140,000 because this fixer-upper won’t come cheap.

Don’t let the damage scare you off just yet. A recent Instagram reel from the esteemed SyracuseHistory account reveals that underneath the wear and tear, this home, located at 106 Merriman Ave., still boasts major potential.

Occupying more than 2,600 square feet, the Victorian-style property boasts four bedrooms and two baths. Built in 1894, the home also comes with a fenced backyard and currently stands as a two-family dwelling that can be converted into a single-family spread.

Original features such as the fireplace mantles, carved ceilings, and wallpaper are still intact. The home comes with a driveway and a garage. Over its century-plus existence, the house sheltered numerous families, with its latest inhabitant being a man named Arthur Grummons.

Hailing from Cortland, NY, Arthur made Syracuse his lifelong abode. A self-employed entrepreneur, he owned Grummons Service, and his tenure as a World War II veteran added to his distinguished resume. Notably, his business venture, Grummons Gas/Service Station, stood proudly near the intersection of Merriman and Congress.

Inside Edition correspondent, Les Trent, commented on social media that he would gladly take the deal. “This is spectacular! I would preserve much of the wallpaper and tiles, even the old bathroom fixtures,” Trent said. “I’d open up and rehab all the fireplaces, polish the banister, take out the drop ceilings, and call this home!”

“It’s not the first time that a damaged historic home has been up for grabs in the city of Syracuse. In 2022, a residence in the same area asked only $12,000, but with renovation costs estimated to be about $88,000, the listing noted.

The Greater Syracuse Land Bank, a nonprofit dedicated to revitalizing abandoned properties, offers these homes for sale. Many of them require substantial proof of funds from potential buyers.


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