In reality, though, the house is slated to sit on a plot that is 20'x180'. As I pointed out previously, the lot is not actually 1618, but 1618 1. At some point, 1618 was subdivided. The builders, who have already gone to the Planning Commission for a variance to build the house as wide and as close to property lines as possible, are squeezing this house on a 20' wide lot. So not only is the "Fall In New England" backdrop unreal, but the scale of the house is also deceptive in the picture. By my calculations, I'm figuring a house like that sitting on a 20' wide lot would resemble something like the picture to the right and not the one above and to the left.
The tall thin house in New England is being offered in Salemtown by Crye-Leike for $299,000, and one of its amenities includes a "gated community." I don't see a gate or fence in the picture and the last time I checked, Salemtown is not a gated community, so I'm not sure whether the property will be gated or whether Crye-Leike has come up with a scheme to gate our neighborhood.
I am sure that Crye-Leike's Realtor, Terry Rymar, has earned somewhat of a reputation among some of us here for aggressively speculating properties and real estate prices. I'm not surprised that she is asking $299,000 for a tall, thin house. I have heard that Ms. Rymar has convinced some long time residents in older houses in need of some repair to put their houses on the market at prices comparable to and more than the newer in-fills that are being built around Salemtown and Germantown. I am told that her sales pitch is oversimplistic and often compares apples to oranges in the name of driving up the price (for instance, merely comparing the number of rooms between houses--in both new in-fills and older houses--without reference to the differences in condition of houses).
She dropped off a flier to all of the old house owners with these comments:
Property Owners in Germantown & Salemtown are currently in an advantageous position to sell their property. As the surge in renovation increases, the demand for property is escalating. "We are needing more properties to list for buyers to choose from." If you are ready to sell give us a call today!In some cases, those houses are in need of repair to the studs. In others, those houses can only be torn down. (One builder who wanted to buy a Crye-Leike offering that contained what were essentially shacks that could not be renovated told me that he was not going to pay Ms. Rymar's asking price of $150,000 to buy shacks to tear down and build something else).
I don't object to Ms. Rymar's wish to make money. As a property owner and neighborhood resident, I do object to sharkish behavior that artificially drives up real estate values in the short-term (which is the only term in which Ms. Rymar makes her money) and sacrifices slower, measured, and more natural long-term growth. One neighbor told me that she confronted Ms. Rymar and told her as much one day when the realtor was showing properties to potential buyers. I wish I could have been there just to witness that.
08/23/2005, 2:25 p.m. Update: The Metro Planning Department actually gives the 6th Ave. property 5 more feet in width than Crye-Leike gives itself. To the right I have revised my adjusted mock up of the house accordingly.