The Cool House: real estate
Showing posts with label real estate. Show all posts
Showing posts with label real estate. Show all posts

Monday, March 10, 2008

We have a winner

and it's me. Yippee.
Actually it's The Cool House whose charms were appreciated. It won the Housetribe House of the Week competition.
Housetribe is a relatively new community-based website all about houses; whether it's searching their database to buy, sell or rent property, or showing off your own home or, what most people probably do, gawping at other people's houses, pop over to Housetribes, you're bound to find something interesting.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

One small village, one big price difference

Two houses went on the market yesterday: one to the left us and one to the right. The first is a 1955 farm ranch that looks, apart from the new (2007) roof, as if it hasn't been touched since it was built in 1955. The second was the gardener's cottage to the Ferguson Estate and was completely redone and extended vertically in 2006. It's asking price of $1,750,000 reflects all the work that has been undertaken to turn the former cottage into an Italian-inspired villa. Even so it only has has three bedrooms, which may put off a lot of potential buyers and this house is situated right on the edge of the property line, backing up to a steep hill. You are literally 3' away from the road, so imagine the potential noise of trucks and schools buses making the incline all day long.
The price of the fixer-upper (that's Great Opportunity! in realtor-speak) is $799,000. Almost a million less than the renovated home. You do get a full, flat acre and 5 bedrooms but farm ranches aren't a popular style these days. My best guess is that this would be the value of the land only, and we're looking at another teardown. And at that price, in this village, it's a bargain.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Rude Awakening

I was woken at 7:59 AM this morning by landscapers. Leaf blowing landscapers. On a Sunday morning. The last Sunday in December for goodness' sake. Why? What is so damn important that they had to remove every leaf on the property while many people were still in dream land? I think it may have something to do with someone being desperate to sell their house.
Full disclosure: I had been up at 4:40 with the cats and had gone back to bed so I may have been a tad more grumpy than normal. But still. I wouldn't normally still be asleep at this time but today I was in the middle of a dream where I was accompanying a famous person who had undergone a face-lift to an auction of antique objets d'art of a questionable nature where I had been given a handwritten children's book of breath-taking beauty by a small boy who asked me to find it a home in a library so all the children could read it. Yes, it was that fast-paced. This dream had it all, drama, pathos, scandal (there was a sub-plot involving the neighbors' affairs and pornography and another involving a second book) and love. In great detail. A whole novel or screenplay and I didn't get to dream it through.
I know I have been guilty of making too much noise too early but at least I can plead ignorance. This past fall, though, all residents received a letter from the Village stating what we may or may not do to our properties and landscaping on Sunday was a definite no-no. I don't care about code violations but I didn't want to experience my own Porlock moment on the last Sunday of 2007.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Beach Condo

This was the view that greeted us when we walked into our friends' apartment in the Hamptons yesterday. Except that the pool was closed it was drizzling and the waves were 10' high. It was still spectacular, and much closer than it seems on this photo.
We'd gone out to have lunch and drive around Amagansett and see other houses designed by the architect responsible for our house, Andrew Geller. It was only when we reached Southampton that I realised I'd left this list behind. Again. It wasn't as big as a disappointment as it might have been, the visibility was so poor we wouldn't have seen much anyway.
So we hung out with our friends, and friends of theirs, had brunch at Babette's and went bowling in East Hampton. A really enjoyable way to spend the Xmas to New Year's void. And not a paint can, hammer or screwdriver in sight. Perfect.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Neighborhood changes

sunset Huntington Bay
There are seven houses on the left hand side as you go from the corner of the road to the Sound. *Three of them are for sale and one is under construction. On the other side of the street there are only four houses but one of these is also for sale. Four houses on the market and five new sets of neighbors - that's called a state of flux.

I hope we don't have to sell our house anytime soon. Apart from the competition, it looks like there is something wrong with this part of the Village when in fact it is gorgeous. I'm biased but I think it's the best part, which is another reason I wouldn't want to leave. But it is disconcerting to find that 1/2 of the properties on a small part of the road are on the market and they aren't moving quickly either. It kind of reminds me of London in the 80s. Not a great feeling.

I don't know why people aren't lining up to live here, it's very quiet, incredibly green, there's the beach and the sunsets are spectacular. And of course the people, those who are left, are very friendly indeed. Come and check it out, I'm sure you'll love it, too.
*second one for sale
*third one, waterfront property

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Auguste Heckscher's Winter Cottage Sold

Just gone "Under Contract" after months and months on the market, industrialist and real estate magnet Auguste Heckscher's winter cottage in Huntington Bay is a gem.
For all lovers of old houses here's a chance to peek at the original detail work. Check out the bridal staircase in the front entry of this piece of Huntington Bay history before it disappears from the listings.
A little extra family history is available courtesy of the NY TImes February 7, 1907.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

How $$$$$ much?

Here's a little segment I'll be calling "You have to be freakin' kidding me", subtitled "Denial: How some sellers are bucking the downturn in the housing market".
This pretty gatehouse went on the market this week. It's an "exclusive" which I've learnt means "Anyone else would be embarrassed to ask this much for this house, so let's keep it our little secret". People who really want to sell list their houses on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) of Long Island so they can reach as many potential buyers as possible.
So anyway, it's gorgeous, but is it $3,000,000 gorgeous? $3,000,000 is a staggering amount for a house that is on a busy road. Right on the road- you can see it in the photo. It is technically a waterfront property but you have to dodge the traffic on that road to get to the water. And there's a lot of inventory in the Village right now. Although it isn't the most expensive or even the most ridiculously priced, the square footage per dollar ratio is pretty high. Zillow has it valued at $1,053,332, although their values don't necessarily sync with the real estate prices here. I mustn't forget either that the real estate market is local and the value of any house is what the buyer pays for it. So maybe while other sellers are dropping the asking price, this one is correctly positioned to attract buyers. Good Luck to them. I'll let you know if it sells.
And I have to give them props for going for the straight $3 million. None of that messing people around with a faux-bargain $2,999,000. Kudos.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Name That Room

One of the differences between Europe and America is what we call the rooms in our houses. Actually, the first difference is that Europeans call it a house, Americans call it a home, but further than that we (I am a European living in the US) tend to have fewer rooms and less creative names for them. For example in Belgium the typical house has a living room, a dining room (or a large living/dining room), a kitchen, a bathroom, a shower room and three or four bedrooms. Some houses may have an office, basement or rarely a playroom but generally you know what your getting.
When we first looked at property here we were confronted with terms like EIK. I phoned my American friend but she was no help, apparently they either don't have eat in kitchens on Cape Cod or this abbreviation gained popularity only after she left the US. And I still don't know what the difference is between an EIK and a kitchen with a breakfast nook. I was familiar with the term "den" from American TV shows but I thought it had to be practically windowless and have knotty pine paneling and I never knew what you were supposed to do there that you couldn't do in a living room.
Then there's the Great Room. I call the room in the middle of my house the great room because it has a great big ceiling but the previous owner called it the living room. The room where we do most of our "living" ie vegging in front of the TV, she called the den but it is full of light. Our neighbors watch TV in the Media Room; it's dark and windowless but please don't call it a den. I'm confused.
This posting was inspired by an email from Dream Home Source that features a room I had never heard of before: The Gathering Room. I have an idea that each morning the family gathers in The Gathering Room and picks out a room that they will occupy for the rest of the day so that they do not have to interact with the other family members. Although it has its attractions this doesn't win the prize for the oddest named room. In my opinion that goes to Home Plan 18913 that has a something called "Future Quarters". Any clue, anyone?
I love Dream Home Source. One of the search options you can use is "Secret Room". Isn't that the best? And one last question: if you have a Media Room, an Exercise Room and a Billiards Room, what the hell do you need a Bonus Room for?