The Unglamorous Side of Investing: Structural Damage and Oil Leakage Creates Opportunity


We recently met up with Pure Properties for an inside look at the realities of real estate investing. Here we follow along as 93 Reservoir Avenue is transformed from a teardown into a modern two-family home.

93 reservoir jersey city featuredIn recent years, Jersey City Heights has experienced exponential growth in both property sales and rentals. Recognizing the value in this budding neighborhood, the Pure Properties team performed a market analysis studying important trends and indicators throughout the area.

Last month, Pure Properties released a quarterly report highlighting the trends of The Heights and seven other up and coming neighborhoods throughout Southern Hudson County. After a thorough analysis, the team distinguished The Heights as one of its key markets for investment.

Constantly in search of potential investment properties, Ezequiel “Zeke” Ortiz, Managing Director and Broker of Record for Pure Properties, has always kept a close eye on The Heights. When a brokerage first approached Zeke about a rundown property on Reservoir Avenue in Jersey City Heights, most prospective buyers had already turned away due to the home’s structural damage (including a hole in the roof), mold-filled spaces and an abandoned underground oil tank. Seeing the value behind the mold-ridden floors and unstable walls, Zeke decided to take a chance on this 25’ x 100’ lot.

Upon acquisition, Zeke immediately called upon the Dixon Projects team to revamp this haggard home before handing it off to the Dixon Leasing team. Initially, the team intended to knock down the property and build a better home in its place – not their usual tactic, but a seemingly good answer to the property’s many problems.

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However, the project took a left turn when the team suspected leakage from the underground oil tank. When the tank was removed, the team discovered roughly 20 gallons of oil had permeated the soil surrounding the home. Springing into action, they quickly remediated the issue by replacing all the contaminated soil with fresh, new soil, testing it along the way to ensure no oil was left behind.

This pricey setback, along with strict zoning guidelines, the team ultimately decided to keep the shell of the home allowing them to add an additional 100 square feet to the home, all while remaining within budget.

Five design schemes and several presentations later, the Dixon Projects team finalized a plan that would increase the value of this burdened home through reworked layouts, luxurious finishes and a higher quantity of bed/bath counts.

The Dixon Projects team transformed this home into a modern two-family with a neutral color palette and stunning features. Unit 1 boasts two bedrooms and one full bath across 1,312 square feet. Unit 2 is a duplex boasting five bedrooms and four full baths across 2,592 square feet, including a deck overlooking the private backyard.

Both units offer ample closet space in each bedroom, sunny, open living spaces, washers + dryers and modern kitchens outfitted with top-of-the-line stainless steel appliances, Ceasarstone countertops, and abundant cabinetry.

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An under-utilized hallway on Unit 2’s parlor floor was cleverly filled with built-in desks and shelving to optimize the space. All bathrooms are outfitted with polished fixtures, sleek vanities, and beautiful tile floors; however, the master bathroom in Unit 2 is where this home truly stuns.

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Striking tile work engulfs this bathroom from the bright white, patterned floor to the light gray subway tile used on the bottom half of the walls, on the face of the tub and from floor to ceiling in the shower. A double vanity allows for convenient mornings in this huge space.

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The team also created a private nook for the toilet where open shelves offer additional storage space. Inside the glass-enclosed shower, both a six-foot-long soaking tub and standing shower area, accompanied by a bench, create a luxurious, spa-like scene.

This home has shown success on the leasing front with Unit 2 renting before construction completion and Unit 1 attracting many potential tenants. Upon completion, Dixon Projects turned 93 Reservoir Avenue into one of the most stunning homes in all of Jersey City Heights. View more of its beauty here or schedule a tour with Dixon Leasing today.


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