Thursday, August 13, 2009

apples to oranges

I had a long drawn out story prepared, about why I had these photos of a Mission Hills, KS house {that's currently on the market for 600k} Basically, an old friend sent it - who's thinking of moving back to the states. We chatted about what a cultural change it would be for her family, I gave her the 'Are ya sure about this? ' talk, and then she sent me the link to this house:
Now I realize, six hundred thousand, is not a 'cheap' house, to most. This isn't what, this, is about. No matter how long I live in California, and how jaded I get ~ it never ceases to amaze me the huge difference between real estate in California and the Mid-West. What your dollar gets you. Or doesn't.
600k in a lovely Mid-Western city gets you a 3 story, English Tudor house with a slate roof, in a prestigious neighborhood and a public school system, that beats most private schools in the nation.
Sure it needs some TLC but that's the fun part. This house is a handsome old fellow, simply in need of a bit of work~ and at a certain age, in L.A., that's de rigueur. My friend and her husband, lovingly referred to it as the "Hogwarts House".
Forget the green. go past the green. look at those WINDOWS. For that matter, that whole landing is marvelous. {even if the radiator covers are history }
I wish there were photos of the Master bedroom {it's 17 x 21 with a fireplace} or any of the bedrooms for that matter. I have a feeling they may not be feeling very photogenic at this point in life.
Built in 1918, the house has been in the same family since 1942. bless its heart.
The formal living room.
My guess is the wood paneling is walnut. I can just hear it crying out to be restored. Love, the leaded glass windows and that fireplace. The screen~ I'm glad nobody has replaced it over the years.
how great is this, they have original photos of the house when it was new....
Look at this gazebo in the backyard.
A yard? Houses near the beach don't come with those. Tack on a mil. for a yard this big.
I thought I might intice them with beach living, so I went about looking for the comps in my neck of the woods. Nothing close to the beach for that price. But I found this, just West of the 405 freeway.
for 600k, in Torrance, CA {near a mall, not a beach} you can find a gem like this.
the formal living room.
emerald green walls don't look so bad anymore, do they.
{does this look like it was taken in 1964?}
oh wait, maybe this is the "formal living room"
Bricks for Marble.
So props for having two fireplaces. { that floor looks suspiciously photo-shopped }
back yard. Four car, side by side parking.
Whatever. Why did they even include this shot.
In the end, still planning the move and excited with their decision, my friends have decided that the undertaking of the old Hogwarts house would require too much of them. And I've quit trying to persuade them to move to the beach.


Sarah's Fab Day said...

Love this post. I live in the Phoenix, land of suburbia and cookie cutter homes and my sister lives very close to the home you've shown. When I go to visit her I often fantasize about living there and getting to live in an old gorgeous home, then reality hits. Their snow and cold weather makes me crazy and suddenly the desert doesn't seem so bad. But I do waver those homes are very pretty, pretty enough to want to escape the warm weather.

Anonymous said...

such a great post! love the emerald green walls. ;)

Mrs. Blandings said...

Oh that is a good one - I hope she finds caring owners. Hey! How about you! That's a great idea! Dinner at the Shacks when you move in.

Ann Shumbo said...


I want to move into this house and fix it up. Why can't we get a house like that in LA for $600K. I live in a beach shack that's worth 3 million that would cost about 200 K back East UGH! Makes you want to move to have a great yard, house, oooooo my head is spinning and when I saw those windows -- I have always wanted a window seat - I would read my books there on a rainy day! Let me know if they buy it and fix it up - I want the pictures. :)

MaryBeth said...

I think it is amazing. I don't think it looks like it needs too much work but it is hard to tell from photos. Like you said in the right neighborhood near me it could be a couple million. Someone needs to buy it and love it again. MB

Yolksy said...

This home is absolutely gorgeous! What a great post! I live in Venice, but am from Iowa and everytime I go home I am amazed at all the beautiful homes with huge yards and I start to teeter:-) I can't wait to see this home renovated! Best of luck to her!

Jessie said...

Hooray for Kansas City charm and midwestern homeprices. :) When we moved here to KC from San Diego, we thought we'd died and gone to property heaven.

(Still miss the beach, though.)

SGM said...

Eek, you are giving me a panic attack! Now I know that it's out there, I want it. SIGH.

Devon said...

Shocking, isn't it? Seattle is the same way. Completely unaffordable for most.

I've lived in both Seattle and Kansas and can tell you that the disparity between housing prices is amazing. I can't speak as to the salary disparities, however, perhaps that makes things more equal?

Regardless, I want that house. In Seattle, please. For $600k. ;)

Chic Coles (Cole Design) said...

Interesting to see what 600k will buy! I would take the house with the yard in the mid-west, but my problem is I love the beach. Maybe I would put a pool in my big backyard...

Semigloss Chic said...

For a regular little old house, that's a reasonable price here in DC. For this, it would be an absolute steal. Could you imagine standing in front of those windows everyday. I think I'd died and gone to heaven.

annechovie said...

Wow, that old home is amazing and it'd be cool to see someone "lighten" it up without stripping the charm. It's amazing to me the disparity in prices and what you can get for the money! The house is awesome, but I'd still trade square footage in for sunny weather and proximity to the beach any day.

KATIE said...

Great post! Amazing how different real estate is in CA. Love the contrast between the two houses. So funny!The Hogwarts House is a stunner.

Anonymous said...

oh my gosh! what a house! In South Florida that is considered a great price...maybe we should move...they have a beach there right?

Pigtown-Design said...

There's a great column in the NY Times that compares what a set amount will buy across the country. It's so interesting.

Cote de Texas said...

I actually love the green though I wouldn't live with it. but megan - this house is so fabulous for 6????? I mean that is crazy. it's gorgeous. did you notice the ceiling in the original pictures? what a house!!!!!!! love this!

Anonymous said...

My husband and I were at Coronado Beach a couple of weeks ago pondering why we live in Houston, Texas. Seriously, I think it's worth every penny you pay to live where you do. Now I love that old house for sure. But you can't really compare it to the fabulosity that is California!
Sally Wheat

Tracy @ comfortandluxury said...

What a fantastic house. You had me at the first photo.

Karena said...

This is great, yes, sigh, home sweet home is Kansas City. I miss San Diego, and I had a beautiful condominium there. There is a charm and ambiance here in KC that is difficult to explain until you visit.

beachbungalow8 said...

There are so many 'secret's out there in the Midwest. I know part of what we pay for is the geography and weather here. But this place is a steal!

Even if you were to put a million into it {you know you're a Californian when you casually toss a number like that around} Your comps in this area would be a 'liveable teardown'.

I'm hoping one of my KC readers will find out the history on this old lovely, and get back to me on it.

Anonymous said...

I just looked this up and the price on this house has dropped to $545k.

Anonymous said...

I grew up on the street this house backs up to, Pembroke Lane, and the house's back looks like a front so you can't tell which is which really! I also started my family in a second house on Pembroke Lane..I still think it is one of the greatest streets in the world. The little "cottagey" thing you showed, was actually part of the look out for the Underground Railroad! It was an important stop because it is on the state line... so more historical charm oozing from the place. It could be wonderful...for another mil or two in rennovation!

Beth said...

It is really interesting -- and sometimes heart-stopping -- to compare real estate prices across the U.S. I have lived in the Midwest, in NYC, and now in Maine. In Michigan, I bought a house -- very cute small house built in 1924 -- for $30k. (That is not a typo.) Today it would sell for about $80k. In Maine, $600k would buy a nice big house, probably on 1 acre or more, and it might even be by the ocean. In NYC, I don't know if you could even get a studio apt for that price now.

Blushing hostess said...

Oh, that was good.

Your perspective: Priceless.

Windlost said...

Too funny. I feel the same way as Calgary is one of Canada's most expensive cities due to our oil boom (we are Canada's Texas) and $500k buys you a box house with no trees for 5 miles and another house about 1 ft away. It is deplorable. Worse in California apparently. In my parents home town, a gorgeous New Englandy-town in Eastern Canada, you can get an old inn with 16 bedrooms, 5 acres, and river views for $180k. Serious. We are saving and saving and thinking of retiring in 10 years to open a B&B there. Can you imagine?!

Oh well, I bet very little beats California...!

xo Terri

Anonymous said...

Oh my goodness! What a beautiful house. (The KS one, of course.)
Thanks for making me remember what I like about being a Midwesterner. Sometimes, I take my relatively large garden for granted. But not today!

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