|Spec house du jour|
|Each day, as I drive to and from work, about 1+1/2 miles from my home,
I drive past an unsold spec house (See pictures, left and below,
and here), rotting on its still unlandscaped lot.
I forget how long it's been there, but it has been at least over a year. Asking price (31Jan04): US$700,000.|
|A "spec house" is a house built on speculation, i.e.,
without a buyer, in hopes someone will turn up who will buy it. This particular spec house sits on a
lot that slopes down from the street (picture at left does not show this! Is the house damp inside? Does the basement have a water problem?...).
And the driveway enters a busy road on a curve, so it is risky to pull out of the driveway.|
|As I drive by the house twice each day, I often wonder if the price has been reduced.
Each day the house goes unsold, I am reassured that the seller has earned a little more [negative] return on their
bad investment (but I know somebody will come along some day and buy it -- e.g., my parents might have...).
I also look at the half-boarded up hole in the side wall of the room with the sky lights (the hole is
probably for a fireplace that has not yet been built?), and I think how one could crawl inside,
and either, if one was homeless, sleep there, or else do some vandalism (but sheer passage of unoccupied time
is already taking its toll without anyone having to break any laws to help the house fall into
disrepair...). [Note (06Mar04): It looks like the hole is now completely covered by a sheet of
|Driving past the place on February 7th (2004),
I verified that I had indeed previously seen a red-on-black block-lettered "PRIVATE PROPERTY NO TRESPASSING" sign on the front door
(it's still there, as of 30May04).|
|In general, I find speculation tawdry. But this particular spec house
looks like it was put up as cheaply as possible, on a particularly undesirable piece
of property, i.e., the lot owner tried to spend as little as they could to unload
at a profit land that should not be built on. The house has not sold quickly.
[I can't verify this, but I seem to remember that the side room with the skylights was added
some time after the house was originally built -- as if it was hoped this addition might help the house
"move". 25May04: A second story is currently being added to that addition with the skylights and unfinished
chimney hole. 26Nov04: The shingles have been painted yellow, and some other changes -- drive by and:
See for yourself!]|
|Maybe there was some way to use the lot felicitously? --If there was,
the owner didn't go to the expense or make the
effort....[Please see: fn.86]|
|May 2005 update: The latest attempt to make this house
look more appealing without facing up to the "deep" problems with it is they are using up the front yard for a "grand" circular driveway
in front of the house, tangent to the front door and to the original driveway from the street. The main
problem with this enhancement is that there is not much space, so that the radius of the circle is so small ("tight") that it looks doubtful
any real automobile [as opposed to a child's "push pedal kiddy car"...] could actually drive around the circle.
25 Sep 2005: They had another "Open House".
07 May 2006: It still hasn't sold....|
|12 May 2007: I drove by the house this day and it looks like it finally has sold
and somebody is living there. I wish the new owners all the best, and that the house
brings them much pleasure!|