William Saroyan House To Be Sold At Auction

William Saroyan House To Be Sold At Auction

The central Fresno house that famed Armenian-American author William Saroyan lived in for the last 17 years of his life is in foreclosure and headed to auction in May. 
The simple stucco tract home at 2729 W. Griffith Way, just west of Cooper Middle School, has had three different owners since Saroyan's death in 1981 and has fallen into foreclosure twice, according to Fresno County public property records. 

Neighbor Ernie Baca said the house has been used as a rental for years and attracted squatters. Today, the home, which bears a plaque honoring the Oscar and Pulitzer Prize winning author, is empty with some windows boarded up and foreclosure notices hanging on the screen door. 

Documents show Saroyan's home was purchased by the current owners in 2006. Baca says since then the place has slowly deteriorated. He says a new tenant moved in every year and now squatters are taking over. For a place on the city of Fresno's historic registry, there was hope better care would be taken. 

The small, 114 square meters house was built in 1964. It has three bedrooms and one bathroom. When Saroyan owned it and the house just west of it, fruit trees and weeds grew around the property. 

Saroyan would pay Baca US$ 30 to water the trees and the weeds when he was away, Baca said with a chuckle. The house was rough like Saroyan who was scruffy with a long mustache, he said. 

The Saroyan house is on the local register of historic resources. The plaque, which lists 10 pieces of Saroyan's work written while living in the house, was installed in 1989. 

NBS Default Services, LLC, of Long Beach is handling the foreclosure. The house is scheduled to be auctioned off at 10 a.m. May 5 at the Fresno County Courthouse.