Tag Archives: Lucas Point

Is the price you paid for a house irrelevant to its resale price?

15 North Crossway

15 North Crossway

Back in the good old days, when real estate prices were zooming skyward with seemingly no ceiling, I’d have argued that it was not. Excepting those buyers who tried to flip their purchases for a hefty profit within months, who cared what someone paid for his house four years before?

And that’s still true today, sort of, only in reverse. Market value is what a ready, willing and able buyer will pay you today, not what you paid for it in 2005 (I’ll post later today Alan Greenspan’s observation that anyone who bought a house after 2005 [corrected] is probably underwater, but that’s another story). But I still like to know what a buyer paid for his house, if only to gauge what they think their rate of appreciation should be. This new listing, for instance, was bought new in 2002 for $3.925 million and is listed today for $7.195. That really is irrelevant because it’s price depends on what other homes in Lucas Point are selling for these days, not what they sold for in 2002. But it’s interesting, all the same.

One observation about this listing: it shows the roof insulation as “R-10” and wall insulation as “R-30”. That’s probably a typo, as an R-10 rating can be achieved by laying out a thin blanket of mouse hair and newspaper, but even if it’s the walls that sport the R-10, that’s not much for a house near the water. By contracts, the new house at 38 French Road has R-59 in its attic and R-27 in the walls. That’s exceptional, like the rest of the house, but the new construction on Shore Road asking about this one’s price has R-38 attic, R19 in the walls. Just saying.

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