I’ll be back, so play nice while I’m out. One house I do want to see is 22 Perkins Road. It’s a gorgeous old house that was purchased for $5 million in 2003, had a lot of money put into it, and then returned to the market in 2011 asking $7.350. Dumb price.
Two brokers, three years and a few price cuts later, it’s down to $4.550. I liked it at its last price of $5.295 million, but not enough to recommend it to clients. We’ll see what it looks like now; sometimes, a few million shaved off a price makes a so-so house look beautiful. Beer goggles for the wallet, or something.
UPDATE: I see a lot of readers have already chime in on this property, all with points I agree with. The exterior’s rough: new cedar roof over the main structure, new copper, etc., but the roof over the (3 car-big) garage is failing. A lot of the railings, columns and so forth look as though they’re rotting. Windows are sort of hodgepodge, many are fairly new, some possibly date back to 1949, when this house was built. The “new” windows are Marvin, a good brand, but have those damn exterior storm panes on the outside, which means you can’t pull them off to wash them unless you climb a ladder. Further, the seals on those storm panes appear to have gone bad, allowing moisture to get in, so many of the windows are fogged. Marvins are two-piece sets, so the “seal” I’m referring to is really just weather striping around the frame, which can be easily replaced. The question I have is why haven’t they been replaced? At this price, and especially at its original price, buyers feel entitled to clear windows. Same goes for the terrace: it needs to be pulled up, stone dust re leveled and supplemented and laid back down. Not a very expensive job, but I’d have suggested to the owner that he do it before trying to sell. Little defects add up to an impression, fair or not, of general neglect.
Inside the ceilings, as noted, are low: 8′, I’d guess. That doesn’t bother me, because I grew up in a house with low ceilings (also built in this immediate post-war era, coincidentally); others may feel cramped. The downstairs layout is fabulous, though. Great entertaining space, with very well proportioned rooms that flow together. I could se hosting 100 people here effortlessly (in terms of space – the caterer would have to deal with the other stuff). Kitchen is serviceable but you’d almost certainly want to do it again – as one reader points out, at this price range, what’s a kitchen?
Upstairs is a little quirky: great master bedroom suite (although whoever painted the ceiling missed a few spots) modern bath (all the bathrooms are in excellent shape and could be left exactly as they are) huge closet space, a private study and views over that beautiful back yard. It’s a bit of a hike to the other two bedrooms on this floor, and there are two more bedrooms on the third. So it’s broken up a little, but perfectly useful.
All in all, I really like this house, and I love its 3 acres and its location on Perkins, which is lightly trafficked and a short hop to town. At, say, $3.5 million, it would be a steal. At its current price, I’m less enthusiastic. It’s a winner, but needs work. Totally redone, I could see it selling for $6 million, so there’s room to put some real money into this and bring it back.