Would you buy a used house from this man?

516 Round Hill Road

516 Round Hill Road

Well not necessarily the current owner, who finished the uncompleted project at 516 Round Hill Road, but the original builder, described back in 2008 in its original, $13.9 million listing as “Master Builder Dominick Devito”. Now, Dom is many things: funny, friendly, charming, but “Master Builder” is not a term that springs immediately to mind.

Dom’s also a convicted felon, and a repeated felon at that. In fact, in the middle of this construction Dom was convicted of mortgage fraud and sent back for a refresher course. Sadly for him, he was not returned to the relatively comfortable lodgings at Otisville, across the river, but was shipped instead to La Tuna federal prison, in the New Mexican desert on the Texas border, where conditions are harsher.

In any event, he’s back now, but no longer owns 516. Patriot Bank, which had loaned $6,000,000 ( cash, upfront, when only a hole in the ground existed. Draw your own conclusion about a loan officer who advanced such a large sum to a man with multiple criminal convictions on his record — the gentleman is no longer at Patriot, but he’s still in town, managing other people’s money – hmm), foreclosed, and finally resold it to the present owners for $3,000,000 in 2010. Patriot was lucky to get even that much: the building had sat empty, exposed to the weather ‚— no windows or doors, for instance — for several years, and more cautious builders might have shied away from such a potentially weakened house.

But these guys didn’t; they finished the place, eventually, and placed it on the market in 2013 at $8.9 million. No takers, so it’s been rented, on and off, ever since, with sporadic reappearances on the for sale lists. Today it was reduced to $6.7 million. Will that do it? Not close, in my opinion. Besides its iffy history of a house framed by a con man, and being left open to the weather for at least two (I remember 4) years, there’s the problem of the yard: despite its pictures, the yard is in fact a small scrap of land bulldozed together by Dom out of what were spolings from the foundation hole. After fifty feet or so, it falls off into the swamp below.

The location, a back lot waaay up Round Hill, doesn’t help, either.

I’d look for this place to still be on the market in late summer, and I’m not sure in what year that late summer will fall.