The economy here in the Northwest is in the toilet along with the rest of the country. But real estate prices can still give you a good case of sticker shock.
This is our home circa 1937. Just before this picture was taken the house sold for around $800. In 1972, it sold for $5,000. I won’t tell you what it’s valued at today, but there are a few more zeros in the number. How does it get so high? Spec developers, that’s how.
A developer came along and bought the empty lot two doors down from us for $450,000. Within a year, he built a house that he listed for $1.45-million (please don’t get the idea that my house is worth that, because it isn’t)!!! He sold it to an employee of a certain software developer for what we believe to be (but are not certain) was close to the asking price.
So what do you get for a $1.45 million house? You get double the interior square footage but half the yard that we have. You get nice closets and bathrooms but a worse view than we have of Lake Washington. Oh, and you get an entertainment room and a fireplace but barely a view of the lake from your master bedroom. I just don’t get it. I wouldn’t trade my house for this one, but then again I like old houses and ours was built in 1906.
I have nothing against people earning a living and developers have to do that like all the rest of us. But this type of speculation hurts everyone except the developer (who pocketed a cool million–minus his building expenses) and the buyer, who clearly has the dough to swing this. I estimate that our taxes will increase around 20% from this sale (even though we own an old house). Please don’t tell me I should be happy because when I sell I’ll turn a tidy profit. For me to do that, I’ll have to move to Cour D’Alene, ID or Walla Walla!