Sunday, July 8, 2012

Real Estate Bits and Pieces

Let's be grateful for Boston's preserved and legally protected historic neighborhoods. We'd better advocate for more neighborhoods to get such protection. Otherwise we'll be upset after seeing more abominations like The Saddest House in New York City. Warning: this is painful, especially since the house formerly belonged to a dedicated and admired preservationist.

I found that story on an excellent blog, Hooked on Houses, which has an extensive collection of celebrity houses, movie and TV houses, and — best of all — bad MLS photos. I've included a few bad photos I've found recently at the end of this post.

Here are the three most expensive properties for sale in Back Bay and Beacon Hill. Notice how all of them are dripping with detail. The most expensive houses and condos in these neighborhoods usually are well preserned. When are contractors and developers for more affordable properties going to learn that people who love the preserved streetscapes of these neighborhoods would like to see some of that period charm continue inside?  I think the answer is: "Not until every shred of original detail is gone — because then they can make more money from a discerning clientele with their feeble efforts to put some back."

I used to work in 306 Dartmouth Street when I first moved here after college. I had a key to the back door, and sometimes had the whole place to myself on a Sunday. If that's not enough to turn a kid into a preservationist, nothing is. Here's the staircase:
This 15,000 square-foot house at 211 Commonwealth Avenue was bought in the 1980s ago, when preservation was more popular and far fewer properties had been gut-renovated. Those may have been the first bad days of exposed brick and recessed lighting, but lots of gorgeous old houses still remained intact. I heard that this house had been purchased and kept pristine as a family investment rather than a house to be lived in. A very intelligent and far-sighted idea. I hope they have stipulations that whoever plunks down $17,900,000 for it can't rip out all this woodwork and open this room to the kitchen, adding a breakfast bar:

The townhouse below, at 74 Beacon Street, has been on the market since the beginning of recorded time (that's 2008 in real-estate history). I can't understand why, since it's been luxury-renovated enough to make it seem new and shiny, earning its $13,950,000 price tag. And it's got a heated, infinity-edge pool on the roof. Maybe nine bathrooms is the sticking point. That makes me laugh, anyway. Well, it's perfect for a family that likes to primp or has serious digestive issues:
It always amuses me to see what kinds of photos realtors think will help sell houses. I've seen enough photos of toilets, Home Depot light fixtures, and expanses of wall-to-wall and sheetrock to fill an infinity-edge lap pool. I'm talking about houses in a more reasonable price range, of course. Take this irresistible patch of sod. Or don't:

This is not a restaurant and
someone has a drinking problem.

This guy had better stay put if I buy this place.
This is RE marketing targeted to cats, or at least I hope so.

Magnificent gardening! This was the only outdoor photo.

1 comment:

  1. Oh...that house, it just made me cringe! And thanks for reminding me to subscribe to Scouting NY again, somehow it wasn't on my Reader any more...


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