Wednesday, May 31, 2006

$1.3 Million

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We bought this, our second home, almost three years ago. It's a lovely home in a wonderful neighborhood.

Although my home is an older one (circa 1987), the neighborhood is still developing, and whenever I walk the dog I check out the progress.

Since the time we'd moved in, there'd been an empty lot behind us. I used to tell our friends and family about it and say, "You want to buy the lot? We can knock down our back fence and have a communal yard." "How much is it?" "Oh, probably $750, 000." "That's with the house, right?" "Nope...just the lot."

Well, the lot never did get sold, nor did several lots on the next street. So the builder did the next best thing: he started building. I guess he follows the motto: "Build it and they will come...and buy."

When we left last summer for our road trip to Florida, they'd fenced off the lot behind us; when we got home 12 days later, they'd already dug a hole. So, summer, fall, winter and spring, we watched this house slowly but surely go up.

An elegant, custom home if ever there was one. The builder now is offering "Open House" so I and my hubby went in last weekend -- separately. That way we'd see the home independent of each other and form our own opinions.

Okay, it's a nice house -- nice rooms, nice high ceilings, some equally nice finishing touches. But please tell me: WHAT THE HECK MAKES IT COME WITH A $1.3 MILLION DOLLAR PRICE TAG? Wouldn't someone want to design their own custom home for that kind of money?

I can maybe scrounge up the .3 part, but 1 million? Nuh-uh.

Perhaps the only nice thing about having this piece of real estate literally in my backyard is that my house just increased in value multifold. (but probably so did our property tax --*sigh*) The price tag on our home was nowhere close to that number, and even though we've made some wonderful upgrades, it's still nowhere close to the price of my neighboring home.

But as in everything, there's a lesson to be learned here too. Buy a smaller property, even an older property, in a nice neighborhood. Make your smaller house a home...and it'll soon become your castle.


Hope you all have a wonderful Shavuot and a good Shabbos.


David_on_the_Lake said...

Pearl...We live in a crazy time..where beautiful is synonimous with BIG...
All over Lakewood..developers are putting up BIG houses..BIG UGLEEE houses...with no charm whatsoever.
And then you pass a small charming house with beautiful gardening..the kind of house you can call "home"..the kind of domain that puts you at eas the moment u pull up into the driveway.

Ezzie said...

Heh - I always tell my in-laws that if they want to move to Israel, they should sell their house in Monsey, buy one in Cleveland that's bigger, and take the 1/2 million that's left and invest it. After a few years, they should be able to live off the interest.

(Cleveland: Basement, 1st floor, 2nd floor, attic, front yard, backyard, full driveway, separate 2-car garage, etc... about $120K. What a joke. And if you want to visit PT, Milwaukee is about the same.)

Neil said...

I have a feeling that you're soon going to be a millionaire soon with this property --

cruisin-mom said...

Hang in there, Pearl...Neil's'll soon be a millionaire too!

torontopearl said...

David, in Toronto, we refer to those houses as MONSTER HOMES--large and often ugly, as you say. They take over these quiet, residential streets.
I much prefer the latter home you describe.

Ezzie, that real estate madness exists in the U.S. and in certain Canadian cities. Hope your in-laws follow your theory: it's a good one.

Neil, if my house will be worth a million, I still have a LLLLLLOOOOOOONNNNNNNNGGGGGGG way to go. But truth is, I'm already a millionaire with my family.

CM, see my response to Neil. Not sure I want to even have my house worth that much or anywhere close to it. I still couldn't afford to live where I'd want to just because prices are wacko.

tuesdaywishes said...

It's better to be the cheapest house on an expensive block than the most expensive house on a cheap block.

Then there's being the least frum house on a frummy block, or...