26 Circle Drive has an interesting history. Marshall Heaven, a good builder here in town, owned the land in 2006 but must have changed his mind about building on it because he offered it for sale for $850,000 in November ’06. In July, ’07 the present builder bought it for $712,000 and then he, too must have gotten cold feet because he put it back on in January of this year for $890,000. No third builder could be found so construction on the house began early this year. And now it’s finished.
I toured it today. It’s, okay, as spec houses in this price range ($2.1 million) go, and has a very large back yard (with a drain smack in the middle of it, suggesting the presence of water – then again, drains are supposed to take care of that sort of thing). I think it’s a pre-fab but I don’t have a problem with that. Nice trim work and floors, a cheesy, to my taste, Palladium window in front and a fair bit of noise from I-95; Circle Drive is, as they say, “convenient to transportation”. I wish the builder had spent the extra money to run some steel I-beams in the basement instead of using pillars which break up what would otherwise be a ton of usable space and I have a prejudice against acrylic bathtubs – no particular reason, I just prefer porcelain. All that said, the biggest impression I took away from this house was how the market has changed. Its price just a year ago or maybe two, wouldn’t have seemed outrageous. But as I drove around the neighborhood I noticed at least four more houses under construction all or most of which, I imagine, are spec houses. If so, then there is a lot of competition to this house about to come on the market and a careful shopper can probably find the one builder in the most trouble and get a house here for a really low price. And if that happens, just to reopen the debate we’ve all so enjoyed here on these pages, the other 4 house’s prices will have to chase it downward.
Or that’s what I think. Your opinion may differ.