John Nugent spared no expense customizing his Andover, Mass., home for his family. For his sports-loving children, he built a full-size indoor basketball court with a scoreboard, a 30-second shot clock and three rows of bleachers. Downstairs, there’s a bowling alley with a vintage scoring machine, and an indoor pool with a water slide. On a wall near the pool, there is a mural with images of Mr. Nugent’s children, along with the family’s dogs, cats, bird and pet rabbit.
Then the children grew up and moved out, and Mr. Nugent no longer needs as much space. The 56-year-old CEO of software company Visibility Corp. has been trying to sell his roughly 20,000-square-foot home—which also has a batting cage and pitching machine, an outdoor putting green and two locker rooms—for the past few years. The house cost about $6 million to build, Mr. Nugent said, so he put it on the market for $6.5 million—far more than most homes in this Boston suburb, where a house priced over $3 million is unusual. He is now trying to sell the property in a sealed-bid auction through the firm Madison Hawk Partners.
It’s a long-held real estate dictum that giving a home too many unusual features can damage its resale value. Despite that, many owners in recent years have only grown more focused on making their homes unique, real-estate experts said. Some owners spend years, and millions of dollars, creating a dream home suited to their specific tastes—without worrying about whether the resulting home will fit anyone else’s. The phenomenon holds especially true in areas of the country where real-estate prices are booming, making owners more confident their homes will sell no matter what.
Veterans say the emphasis on customization, which grew during the boom times of the 1990s and 2000s, has now picked up again after the economic downturn. It has been facilitated by the Internet, which gives owners access to lots of unconventional ideas with a few clicks.
“People see all the unique things that are being done, and it inspires them to want something unique,” said Peter Archer of Pennsylvania-based Archer & Buchanan Architecture, who recently designed a “Hobbit house” on a client’s property to hold a collection of J.R.R. Tolkien memorabilia.
The whole article is fun, but don’t miss the bit on Miss Cassidy George, a 19-year-old brat whose Wall Street daddy bought her a $2.775 million apartment in the Bowery so she could paint it all black and vandalized. Miss George, who identifies herself as a “punk rebel” – hahahahah -claims she’s not worried about what she’s done to its resale value and of course, why should she? It’s Daddy’s money. At least Steve Cohen spent his own money building his 40,000 sq.ft. Crown Lane home.