Classic Homes Are Selling at a Premium Again This Year, Especially in Lindley Park and Fisher Park

609 magnolia street.jpg
609 Magnolia Street in Fisher Park: Sale price, $350,000; asking price, $339,900; for sale, 4 days.

There aren’t enough older homes for sale in Lindley Park and Fisher Park to go around. Since March 1, at least 20 classic homes in Greensboro have sold at a premium to their asking prices. Five have been in Lindley Park and three have been in Fisher Park. The other 12 have been scattered around town.

Houses in both neighborhoods have been selling fast. A total of nine pre-1940 Lindley Park houses have sold since March 1; six were on the market a week or less when their owners accepted offers. In Fisher Park, an amazing 13 classic houses have sold. Four owners accepted offers within a week and four more, within a month.

The pace is holding up, too, in Fisher Park, at least. There are seven pending sales in Fisher Park right now; three of the offers were accepted within a week of listing and two more were accepted within a month. The Lindley Park market is all but exhausted at the moment. Only one house has a pending sale; its owner accepted an offer the day it went up for sale. There are only two other older homes for sale in the neighborhood — one that’s been on the market for two weeks and a single-family home divided into two apartments, which has been on the market for six weeks. Demand has been slow for that type of property.

In many cases, of course, the premium is just a token amount. But anytime you get more than you’re asking, you’re doing awfully well. Among the other classic houses that have sold at prices above their asking prices:

  • The College Hill and Dunleith historic districts have had one each. As in Fisher Park, the supply of houses for sale has been up compared to 2017, and many sales have come quickly, especially among the more expensive properties.
  • Two have been classic Mid-Century Modern homes, one in Hamilton Lakes for $444,000 (plus-$5,000) and one in O.Henry Oaks for $95,000 (plus-$5,100).
  • There has been one house in Guilford County outside Greensboro that sold at a premium, a restored 1902 farmhouse in Whitsett that went for an absurdly low $262,000 in a foreclosure sale (previous sale: $425,000). The asking price had been $259,900.
  • Absent from the list of neighborhoods with classic houses selling at a premium: Irving Park and Sedgefield. Especially for the most expensive older homes in those highest-of-high-end neighborhoods, demand just isn’t there.

Overall, it’s a pattern much like what we saw last year: Strong demand for classic homes, even though the number of homes for sale in many older neighborhoods has been higher in 2018.

Some of the highlights among houses that have sold at a premium recently:

317 E. Hendrix Street, Fisher Park

317 e. hendrix street.jpg
  • Sale price: $228,000
  • Asking price: $199,900
  • Days for sale before accepting an offer: 6

105 W. Hendrix Street, Fisher Park

105 w. hendrix street.jpg

  • Sale price: $190,000
  • Asking price: $185,000
  • Days for sale before accepting an offer: 5
  • Note: What is it about Hendrix Street?

128 Northridge Street, Lindley Park

128 northridge street.jpg

  • Sale price: $155,000
  • Asking price: $152,000
  • Days for sale before accepting offer: 1
  • Note: And then right next door, there’s …

130 Northridge Street, Lindley Park

130 northridge street.jpg

  • Sale price: $186,000
  • Asking price: $185,000
  • Days for sale before accepting offer: 5
  • Note: If you want to live on Northridge Street, get in line.

615 Percy Street, Dunleith

615 percy street.jpg

  • Sale Price: $249,000
  • Asking Price: $247,000
  • Days for sale before accepting an offer: 2
  • Note: Built in 1906

1504 Northfield Street, Westerwood

1504 northfield street.jpg

  • Sale price: $280,000
  • Asking price: $270,000
  • Days for sale before accepting an offer: 3
  • Note: For sale by owner

605 Kemp Road West, Hamilton Lakes

605 kemp road west.jpg

  • Sale price: $444,000
  • Asking price: $439,000
  • Days for sale before accepting an offer: 3
  • Note: It’s not for everyone, but Mid-Century Modern has an enduring appeal. And there aren’t that many of them in Greensboro and Guilford County.

1611 Longfellow, O.Henry Oaks

1611 longfellow street.jpg

  • Sale price: $95,000
  • Asking price: $89,900
  • Days for sale before accepting an offer: 7
  • Note: Mid-Century Modern wasn’t just for the ritzy neighborhoods.

1502 Upland Street, Cone Mill

1502 upland drive.jpg

  • Sale price: $90,500
  • Asking price: $85,000
  • Days for sale before accepting an offer: 2
  • Note: Built and originally owned by Cone Mills

7204 Whitsett Park Road, Whitsett

7204 whitsett park road.jpg

  • Sale price: $262,000
  • Asking price: $259,900
  • Days for sale before accepting an offer: 18
  • Note: Built in 1902. This could be the bargain of the year — it sold for $425,000 in 2010. But this time it was a foreclosure sale.

107 S. Mendenhall Street, College Hill

107 s. mendenhall street.jpg

  • Sale price: $370,000
  • Asking price: $369,900
  • Days for sale before accepting an offer: 19
  • Note: For sale by owner. OK, it’s only $100, but a hundred bucks is a hundred bucks.

Want an Old House, To Go? A 1929 Cedar Street Foursquare Needs to be Moved, or It Will Be Torn Down

429 n. cedar street.jpg
429 S. Cedar Street: Take it away, and it’s yours.

From Benjamin Briggs of Preservation Greensboro:

The foursquare house at 429 North Cedar Street is available to someone who might want to move it. The structure has been relocated once before. It sits on a cinderblock foundation. Many original architectural features have been lost, but they can be re-created or re-imagined.

This would be a perfect opportunity for someone with an empty lot planning to build a new home or perhaps someone looking for an investment property. The house must be moved, and no supplementary grants have been identified to assist on relocation expenses or permits. Interested parties should be prepared to gather quotes/estimates to suit their budget and present a timeline by August 1 that includes removal of the house by September 1, 2018. Interested parties should contact Preservation Greensboro staff via email.

County property records show the house having four bedrooms and two bathrooms. It’s 2,347 square feet and was built in 1929. The tax appraisal of the house alone (without the land or outbuilding) is $68,900.

Classic House of the Week: 906 Olive Street and the Auction That Just Won’t End

906 olive street.jpg

Update: Another upset bid was filed July 17; I think it’s the 10th, but I could have missed one or two. The current bid is $252,000. The outbid period will end on July 27, unless another upset bid is filed by then.

906 Olive Street is a nice little Fisher Park house. Built in 1938, it has four bedrooms, two bathrooms, 1,938 square feet. It has a smallish front porch, gray shingle siding and a couple trees in the front yard. It’s a little on the modest side for Fisher Park. There have been a few more or less similar houses for sale in the neighborhood recently. It’s in foreclosure, also like a few others recently. Nice but not especially remarkable.

Except: It went up for auction on June 6, and, three weeks later, the auction is still going on. A bid was accepted on the 6th, and that’s usually how these things end (if anyone bothers to bid at all). Under North Carolina law, though, for the next 10 days, anyone with enough money can come along and make an upset bid at least five percent above the previous bid. So far, six upset bids have been filed. Each bid resets the 10-day clock. The latest bid was on June 22, so this thing will drag on into July (weekend days do count in the 10 days, but if the 10th day falls on a weekend or holiday, the upset period is extended to the next business day).

It’s easy to see why the bidders are scrambling. 908 Olive was last sold in 2006 for  $276,500. The would-be winning bid on June 6 was only $142,802, a terrific bargain for a nice little house in Fisher Park. A bargain too good to be true, as it turned out. The first upset bid was $150,000. The latest, by the original high bidder, is $191,467.50 ($99/square foot), still a very good price but not quite the steal it might have been.

If you’d like to take a shot at this one yourself, your bid will have to be at least $201,040.88, according to the court file. Roll on down to the Clerk of Court’s office (before anyone else does) with a certified check for five percent of your bid, and you’re in the game.  If you’re successful, though, be ready to pay the other 95 percent within 30 days. The court doesn’t wait around for mortgage applications to be approved.

Edgewood: Any day now

Edgewood 20180516_153034.jpgBB&T is readying Edgewood for sale. Crews have been trimming shrubs and undergrowth from the property this week, and some trees have been taken down or trimmed. And now a real estate agent’s sign has appeared at the curb of 111 Arden Place.

The stone mansion and 2.5-acre site in Sunset Hills date back to 1915. BB&T, apparently one of multiple lenders with money in the property, bought Edgewood in a foreclosure auction in January. The bank spent $770,000 to get it. Anyone who wants to save it is probably going to have to outbid developers who would tear the house down and squeeze in as many big, expensive new houses as they can. And in one of Greensboro’s most popular neighborhoods, no less. Once “For Sale” replaces “Coming Soon,” the outcome may not be far off.

Greensboro’s Views Reflect National Shift Toward Walkable, Mixed-Use Neighborhoods

NAR GSO survey 2018.png

Greensboro’s older neighborhoods are very popular. That’s easy to see from the prices their homes sell for and, in many cases, how quickly they sell. As part of its update of the city’s comprehensive plan, the Greensboro Planning Department commissioned a survey that at least partly tells why: A lot of people like walkable, mixed-use neighborhoods. That description that matches Fisher Park, College Hill, Lindley Park, Sunset Hills, the Asheboro Community, Glenwood and other older neighborhoods where stores, churches, parks, apartments, etc., exist amid the houses.

Background on the survey from Sue Schwartz, city planning director:

The National Association of Realtors conducts a biannual Community and Transportation Preference Survey in the 50 largest U.S. cities, most recently in 2017. Recently, the surveys have shown a strong shift favoring walkable, mixed-use communities. To see whether that’s true here, the Planning Department teamed with Nick Scarci of the Greater Greensboro Realtors Association and received a grant from NAR to conduct the same survey on the local level (methodology below).  This is the first time the NAR has done a survey for an individual city, so way to go, Sue Schwartz.

Walkable Neighborhoods and Quality of Life

If you love colorful charts and graphs, click here to see the results (PDF). Some notable findings:

  • In general, people in Greensboro are very satisfied with their quality of life. The vast majority (9 in 10) of residents are either very or somewhat satisfied, with nearly half of all residents saying they are very satisfied.
    • These satisfaction numbers are higher than for Americans in the top 50 MSAs, especially when it comes to being very satisfied: 46 percent are very satisfied in Greensboro compared to 37 percent in metropolitan areas throughout the country.
  • The more walkable the neighborhood, the more satisfied residents are with their quality of life (see chart above).
  • Over half of Greensboro residents prefer homes in walkable neighborhoods with small yards.
  • Three-quarters of Greensboro residents live in houses – attached or detached – compared to two-thirds in the top 50 MSAs.

[Editorial comment: Greensboro’s home-ownership rate of 50 percent is well below the national average of 63 percent, suggesting more renters in Greensboro than other cities rent houses rather than apartments. And that probably makes buying a less expensive or starter home here even more difficult than it tends to be anyway.]

  • While Greensboro residents echo the national results in their top priorities, certain elements are much more important to people here.
    • Two-thirds say sidewalks and places to take walks are very important in deciding where to live, compared to half of national respondents.
    • Being close to highways and within a short commute to work is also very important to over half of Greensboro residents.
  • Older Greensboro residents (Gen Xers and Boomers) are more likely to prefer homes with smaller yards and more walkable neighborhoods.
  • Millennials are split in their preference between such neighborhoods and those with larger yards and more driving.
  • Women and those without kids at home are more likely to prefer small yards in walkable neighborhoods. Men and those with kids at home are split.
  • There are also a lot of good data about transportation, mass transit, etc., which is another matter entirely.

American Strategies, the firm that does the national survey, conducted Greensboro’s. It was done from November 13-20, 2017, and reached 410 adult residents of Greensboro, ages 18 or older. The city’s Planning Department will use the data in the update of Connections 2015, Greensboro’s comprehensive plan.

Update on 111 Arden Place: BB&T Is Preparing to Put Edgewood Up For Sale

111 arden place pgi photo.jpg

Information from attorney Craig Taylor, immediate past president of Preservation Greensboro:

“On Monday I spoke to a person in BB&T’s bank-owned properties group about 111 Arden Place. As I suspected, the house was involved in a complicated legal situation, and BB&T has been working to satisfy all the creditors who had lien rights on the house. Apparently that process is almost complete.

“In the next week or so, the property will be transferred into the inventory of the asset resolution group. This group will engage a local real estate agent and other professionals to inspect the property and determine a marketing plan. The BB&T representative said they are very aware of the high profile nature of this property and that they already have a significant list of BB&T clients who want to be notified when the house goes on the market. She was not in a position to comment on how they would market the property since the process has not fully begun.”

If you’re coming in late on this, Edgewood is a 5,200 square-foot stone mansion, built in 1915 on 2.26 acres in Sunset Hills. BB&T bought it in a foreclosure auction in January for $770,000. The tax value of the property is just over $1 million. In 1999, the last time it was sold before foreclosure last year, the price was $845,000. It apparently needs a lot of work.

If you’re interested in buying Edgewood, get ready to move fast.

Housing Summit 2018: Housing Builds Our Economy

housing coalition graphic 2018 event

From the Greensboro Housing Coalition:

Deteriorating neighborhoods and lack of affordable stable housing negatively impact education, economic development, and the quality of life we all want. About one in every four Greensboro households is struggling to have a place to live. Some are on the streets, some in homeless shelters. More are “staying” in crowded spaces with friends or relatives. Most of those struggling households that do have homes are paying more than a third of their meager incomes to rent places that sometimes make them sick.

Our annual housing summit builds momentum around the vision of safe affordable housing. We come together annually to educate and inspire. And we challenge each other to substantially increase housing options (policy changes and increased resources for repairing and building different kinds of apartments and houses), to support people accessing and maintaining housing (such as tenant education and rental assistance), and to promote collaboration among leadership. We all come together to transform community knowledge and attitudes to support affordable housing.

This year’s speakers:

  • Gov. Parris Glendening, president of Smart Growth America’s Leadership Institute and the Governors’ Institute on Community Design, and former governor of Maryland;
  • Hershel Lipow, community relations expert in the Compliance and Community Affairs Department of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency; and
  • Dr. Jeremy Bray, chair of the Department of Economics at the UNCG Bryan School of Business and Economics.
  • The moderator will be Jeff Thigpen, Guilford County register of deeds.

The summit brings together the Greensboro Housing Coalition, City of Greensboro, HUD, Community Foundation of Greater Greensboro and other organizations.

Click here for more information or to register.

On March 1, Come Meet the Designers Who Will Give Hillside Mansion Its Ultimate Makeover

301 Fisher Park Circle PGI cropped.jpg
Twenty-five designers will converge on Hillside, the Julian Price House, in March to turn it into a designer showhouse.

Meet the Designers
Hillside Mansion, 301 Fisher Park Circle
Thursday, March 1, 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Tickets, $50

The Julian Price House is almost all the way home on its long journey from being featured on “Hoarders” to becoming a Designer Showhouse for three weeks in April.  Once threatened with destruction, historic Hillside will receive a luxurious makeover in March by 25 designers from New York, Dallas and other cities, including Greensboro.

You’re invited to celebrate this milestone, meet some of the designers and hear first-hand about their plans. The home will host a “Meet the Designers” event Thursday March 1, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Ticket sales will benefit Preservation Greensboro.

Tickets are $50. A limited number are still available. Click here to buy tickets and for more information.

711 Sunset Drive: The Joseph & Kathleen Bryan House Is For Sale for the First Time Since It Was New in 1935

711 sunset drive.jpg

Update March 12, 2018: The house was on the market for four days before an offer of $1.655 million was accepted. The sale closed March 12, 2018. 

Joseph and Kathleen Bryan bought a brand-new home in Irving Park in 1935, and now it’s on the market for the first time in 83 years. The 6,000 square-foot house was listed today at $1.675 million.

Bryan left the home to the Joseph M. Bryan Foundation when he died in 1995. The foundation leased it to UNCG for use as the chancellor’s residence until the university recently bought the new guy a McMansion at 15 Clubview Court near the Starmount Forest Country Club.

The Bryan home sits on almost an acre of prime Irving Park real estate (the tax value of the land alone is $650,000).  It has four bedrooms and five and a half bathrooms. To serve as the chancellor’s residence, the kitchen was renovated with entertaining in mind. A 20-by-27 foot great room and a 16-by-28 living room can hold quite a crowd, as can the large backyard patio. The wine cellar is pretty spacious as well. The property also includes a three-car garage.

The house was designed by Charles C. Hartmann, whose many Greensboro projects include about 20 homes, the Jefferson-Standard Building, the F.W. Woolworth store that now houses the International Civil Rights Museum and Dudley High School.

Agency listing

711 sunset drive long view.jpg

711 sunset drive entrance.jpg

711 sunset drive foyer 1.jpg

711 sunset drive LR.jpg

711 sunset drive GR 1.jpg

711 sunset drive GR 2.jpg

711 sunset drive K.jpg

711 sunset drive K 2.jpg

711 sunset drive bathroom.jpg

711 sunset drive basement.jpg

711 sunset drive wine cellar.jpg

711 sunset drive backyard.jpg

711 sunset drive patio.jpg

711 sunset drive guest house.jpg

711 sunset drive back view.jpg

 

 

Following up on 111 Arden Place: BB&T Has Bought the Property at Auction

111 arden place pgi photo
Photo courtesy of Preservation Greensboro

BB&T has bought Edgewood, the mansion and 2.26-acre property at 111 Arden Place. It paid $770,000 in an auction at the Guilford County Courthouse on Tuesday. Their plans for the property are unknown; their representative at the auction works for a law firm and didn’t know. I’ve asked the bank and hope to hear back soon.

Sunset Hills neighbors have said online that they believe restoring the house and property would require an immense investment beyond the purchase price. One neighbor expressed the opinion that the swimming pool is too deteriorated to be saved.

In any case, it seems unlikely that BB&T will do anything other than sell Edgewood again.

BB&T first became involved with the property nine years ago. According to the latest deed on the property, BB&T Collateral Services provided a loan to the owners in July 2008. In 2015, it sold the debt to SummitBridge National Investments IV of New York.  SummitBridge foreclosed on the property and then bought it in February 2017. It paid $175,000. And now it has sold it to BB&T for $770,000. If anyone can make sense of all that, please leave a comment below.

On Wednesday, the bidding started at $460,765 and shot up quickly from there. Another bidder, an individual who wanted to renovate the house and either live there or sell it, stayed with BB&T as far as he could go but had to stop at $750,000. An unusually large crowd of about 25 people attended the auction.

Minimum Upset Bid: $808,500

Under North Carolina law, the sale remains open for 10 days to allow upset bids to be placed with the Clerk of Superior Court. Such bids must be at least five percent higher than the winning bid. In this case, that would total $808,500. An upset bid would trigger another 10-day upset period, allowing the auction to continue in slow motion.

No Rezoning Required for Redevelopment

Contrary to some neighbors’ expectations, a buyer who wants to redevelop the property wouldn’t necessarily need to get it rezoned. Its old RS-9 zoning is reclassified as R-5 in the new Land Development Ordinance. That zoning allows up to five single-family units per acre; in this case, that would mean theoretically up to 11 homes. The actual number allowed might well be less because any subdivision of the property would have to meet city requirements on minimum lot size and street frontage (and possibly more; those were two points mentioned by zoning director Mike Kirkman when I asked him about it today).

111 Arden Place: A Million-Dollar Sunset Hills Mansion on the Auction Block

111 arden place driveway.jpg
The view from the street offers just a glimpse of the G. Simpson Boren House, aka the Thomas Shaw House, aka Edgewood.

Note, January 11, 2018: This post has been revised with comments and an additional photo from Benjamin Briggs, executive director of Preservation Greensboro.

When you look at auction.com, you can expect most of the listings to be foreclosed subdivision homes, condos and townhouses. Pretty mundane places. The last thing you might expect would be a house like 111 Arden Place, a 5,200 square-foot stone mansion on 2.26 acres in Sunset Hills. The tax value of the property is just over $1 million. In 1999, the last time it was sold before foreclosure last year, the price was $845,000. This could be an interesting auction.

Known variously as the Thomas J. Shaw House, the G. Simpson Boren House and Edgewood, it may be the largest stone residence in the city, according to Greensboro: An Architectural Record.

“It was most likely built for Judge Thomas J. Shaw, a Superior Court Judge appointed by North Carolina Governor Craig,” Benjamin Briggs wrote in Preservation Greensboro’s 2017 Watch List. “The house was apparently built in 1914-15 by Shaw, and as such it is one of the earliest estates in Greensboro, predating both the nearby Sunset Hills and the College Park neighborhoods. The structure is composed of stone in a Colonial Revival composition featuring shed dormers and a service wing.”

It has six bedrooms and four bathrooms. The property includes a swimming pool, garage, gated driveway and many trees. The online listing includes no interior photos, and if there are any elsewhere online, they’re well hidden.

“The Shaw House is not the first estate to fall into bank ownership,” Briggs wrote. “The Hillside estate of Ethel and Julian Price in Fisher Park fell into ownership by the Bank of America before being sold to purchasers with preservation-oriented plans. The Shaw House could see a similar sale, with hopes that a preservation-minded buyer would see fit to complete a considerate restoration of the house.”

Interesting detail about this auction: Prospective bidders have no opportunity to go into the house and actually see what they would be buying. All you can know about it is what you can see from the street (and that’s not much). This may be typical of courthouse auctions; this or similar wording is on all of the current auction.com listings I’ve read:

“Occupancy Status is Unknown
“Do Not Disturb Occupant.
“It is a criminal offense to trespass on this property.”

So, here’s a million-dollar house (per the county tax department), and the winning bidder can go inside and see its condition right after closing. OK, then! Bring a certified check for 5 percent of your winning bid and hope for the best.

The lender bought the house for $175,000 last February. It’s scheduled to be auctioned Wednesday, January 24, 10:45 a.m., at the Guilford County Courthouse, Eugene Street lobby. (Enter through the main entrance, go downstairs and through the building to the former entrance on Eugene Street. You’ll have to go through security screening when you enter the building, which can take a few minutes. Wireless phones, cameras, laptops, etc., are prohibited in the building.)

Note: Online listings show the house as 5,693 square feet; the county property record shows 5,209.

111 arden place pgi photo.jpg
Photo courtesy of Preservation Greensboro
111 arden place -- aerial view.png
One next-door neighbor is the First Church of Christ, Scientist.
111 arden place.jpg
2010 photo from Guilford County property records

415 Sunset Drive: A 1930s ‘Dream Castle’ Is Rescued in Irving Park

415 sunset drive 2.jpg

OK, it turns out there has been one classic million-dollar mansion sold in Greensboro this year, after all. And it’s a landmark. 415 Sunset Drive was apparently unlisted before it was sold last month.

The Thornton Brooks House comprises 6,800 square feet on 1.5-plus acres in the heart of Irving Park. Six bedrooms, six bathrooms and two half baths. It was built in the mid-1930s for the son of a founder of the Brooks, Humphrey, etc., etc., law firm. Brooks and his wife owned the house for 51 years. Recently, it has fallen upon hard times. It has been listed for sale eight times since 2008 at prices ranging from $4.3 million down to $2.3 million. It finally sold for $1.5 million.

Benjamin Briggs of Preservation Greensboro reports that Sam and Ashley Simpson have bought house and will restore it for family use. Benjamin says:

“The Greensboro Daily News profiled the house in 1941, stating, ‘At 415 Sunset Drive, Irving Park, is a real dream castle. From its circular driveway which lies behind an impressive, yet simple, entranceway, to the pond and formal garden on the opposite side, there’s more than one point of interest.’ More recently, the house was featured in local press for its abandoned state, including transient squatters. Its poor condition led to interest in demolition. The Simpson family is planning a complete restoration of the Irving Park landmark.”

Some photos from better days, via realtor.com:

415 sunset drive grand foyer.jpg

415 sunset drive LR.jpg

415 sunset drive DR.jpg

415 sunset drive den.jpg

415 sunset drive kitchen.jpg

415 sunset drive kitchen 2.jpg

415 sunset drive den 2.jpg

415 sunset drive BR.jpg

415 sunset drive bathroom.jpg

415 sunset drive back.jpg

Good News! Your Million-Dollar Mansion Is (Still) Waiting for You!

Here’s a segment of the market for classic homes in Greensboro that’s doing just about nothing this year: $1 million and up. Not a single classic home in that price range has sold (as far as my records show). Where did all the millionaires go?

Very Close!

607 woodland drive tighter.jpeg

The most expensive classic house sold in Greensboro this year is 607 Woodland Drive in Irving Park, which went for $999,000 in May. The bigger-than-it-looks, 3,400 square-foot home sold for a stately $312 per square foot. It was on the market three days before the owners accepted the buyer’s offer. Your results may vary.

Honorable Mention

210 kemp road east.jpg

A 1965 Edward Lowenstein classic, 210 Kemp Road in Starmount Forest is listed at $975,000 and is now under contract. The owners are probably smart enough not to be counting their chickens or money until the sale closes, but the indoor swimming pool alone makes it worth mentioning. It may be the bargain of the year: At 7,200 square feet on just under an acre, the price works out to just $135 per square foot, a fraction of what you’ll usually pay in Greensboro’s high-end neighborhoods.

Let’s Get That Checkbook Out

Those are spoken for, but you still have seven classic homes to choose from at $1 million and up in Greensboro and Guilford County. Take your time; buyers aren’t falling all over each other to grab them. Most have been on the market for a while. Realtors say it takes longer to sell houses in this price range, and the market seems intent on proving them right.

3215 n. rockingham road.jpg

Ayrshire, 3215 Rockingham Road

What millionaire wouldn’t want an English manor house on Sedgefield’s Donald Ross course? For $2.9 million you get a 1935 Cotswold Tudor, 10,000-plus square foot home with four bedrooms, four full baths and three half baths, plus dining room, den, library, sunroom with a bar, stone terraces, etc. The lot is 2.88 acres. It’s been on the market for almost two years.

6043 lake brandt road.jpg

Hillsdale Farm, 6043 Lake Brandt Road

I tend to avoid calling houses “historic” just because they’re old. Hillsdale Farm does have some local history attached to it, though: It was built in 1929 by Lunsford Richardson III (a son of the Vicks VapoRub inventor) and his wife, Margaret, on what was then a 2,800-acre site. Now it’s just a 13,500 square-foot home with eight bedrooms, six bathrooms and 27 acres of wooded land overlooking Lake Brandt. It’s been for sale at $2.875 million for just two months.

815 woodland drive.jpg

815 Woodland Drive

The most expensive classic home in Greensboro proper is an Irving Park brick Georgian with five bedrooms, five and a half baths and a five-car garage. It has been for sale at an uncompromising $1.79 million since March, the sixth time since 2011 that its current owners have put it on the market. It comes with a smaller piece of Greensboro’s entrepreneurial history: It’s owned by Martin Sprock, founder of Moe’s Southwest Grill (who now lives in Charlotte).

701 sunset drive.jpg

701 Sunset Drive

This 1937 house has been for sale since April at $1.785 million. At 4,600 square feet, it isn’t the biggest mansion you can find, but it’s not without distinction: With an opulent $388 per square foot price, it’s the most expensive classic home in Greensboro on that basis. The newly renovated home has a den/study with a wet bar, gourmet kitchen with a butler’s pantry, a master suite with a balcony and guest quarters above the garage. That’s where your chauffeur could live.

1001 country club drive.jpg

1001 Country Club Drive

After Ayrshire, this 1928 gem is the most extravagantly designed among this bunch, a “massive Elizabethan-style dwelling with steeply pitched gables, stuccoed walls patterned in diamonds and squares at gables, all topped with distinctive tile roof,” the listing says. Its $1.69 million price is reduced from the original $1.899 million, making it the one of the few on this list that have been marked down.

106 fisher park circle.jpg

The Douglas-Ravenel House, 106 Fisher Park Circle

For $1.295 million, a great example of how Greensboro’s elite lived 100 years ago: twin living rooms, a library, an English garden with patio and pergola, towering front columns and a neoclassical facade. Thoroughly renovated, beautifully landscaped, 5,200 square feet. Built in 1912.

804 sunset drive.jpg

804 Sunset Drive

For sale only since August, this 1925 Tudor classic overlooks the Greensboro Country Club golf course. For $1.295 million, you get 4,200 recently renovated square feet on a half acre, plus a two-bedroom, two-bath guest house attached to the garage (chauffeur). Powerball winners and other millionaires wouldn’t even blink at the $307 per square foot price.

Another $999,000 honorable mention

200 Irving place.jpg

200 Irving Place

As long as we’re in the neighborhood, let’s at least drive by this 1948 Irving Park classic. It’s $999,000, reduced from its original $1.075 million. Formal rooms, a study, bonus room, front and back stairs, 4,200 square feet, large corner lot, attached two-car garage, etc. “Meticulously maintained for the discriminating buyer,” the listing says. But we would expect no less, wouldn’t we?

A circa 1850 National Register House in Guilford County Has Become Very Affordable

6069 burlington road whitsett.png
The Joseph McLean House, as it has looked since about 1850

The historic Dr. Joseph McLean House in Sedalia has become one of the most affordable National Register homes you’re likely to find. The well preserved house has been on the market since February, most recently with 18-plus acres for $359,000. Now, the house and just 1.5+/- acres are available for $150,000. The rest of the acreage is still available  with the house or separately. (The owner also is selling another 52-acre parcel nearby.)

The Greek Revival house has three bedrooms and one bathroom. It measures 2,040 square feet. It needs some work, but a new owner wouldn’t necessarily be taking on a major renovation. A walk-through this week showed the house is livable now. The exterior needs cosmetic work. On the interior, some of the rooms need painting, and the floors need refinishing. The kitchen and bathroom would benefit from updating, but they’re usable as they are. With a little creative thinking, a second bathroom might be added upstairs (preservation specialists with the the State Historic Preservation Office can provide assistance). The address is 6069 Burlington Road (U.S. Highway 70), in eastern Guilford County.

6069 burlington road aerial.jpgThe McLean House was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1995. It took its present form around 1850.(Guilford County property records date the house at 1852; the National Register nomination is less specific.)

Dr. McLean was a physician, member of the state Legislature and all-around prominent citizen; the nearby town of McLeansville was named for him. The property had been owned by his wife’s family, the Whartons, since the 1830s.

“Apparently the house originated as a two-story log structure encompassing the current east rooms and center hall, where deep window and door casings reflect the log construction,” the National Register nomination states. “Around 1850 the dwelling substantially achieved its current appearance when it was overbuilt and enlarged with frame construction as the two-story, one-room-deep main block that is three bays wide, sheathed in plain weatherboarding, and covered by a low-pitched gable roof. The vast majority of the weatherboards are original and all are painted white.” (The nomination was written more than 20 years ago, so the extent to which the original weatherboards are still there would need to be confirmed.)

6069 burlington road map.jpg
The 18-plus acre site is shown in red.

The house has remained in the McLean family until now. The current owner, Dr. John McLean, lives in Massachusetts. The family has largely maintained the home’s historic characteristics. “Overall, the Dr. Joseph A. McLean House retains a high degree of integrity,” the National Register form states. “The dwelling is particularly noteworthy due to the preservation of its interior finish as well as its plan. With the exception of the modernization of the north ell room as a kitchen around 1965, the interior is remarkably unaltered.” Two historic outbuildings stand close to the house.

The previous listing for the house and acreage described it as having “potential for agritourism, SFR [single-family residential], or mixed-use/PUD [planned unit development] development.” The acreage has been envisioned as a subdevelopment for more than 20 years (the National Register nomination mentions it). Perhaps selling the house separately, and at a remarkably reasonable price, will allow this well-preserved piece of local history a better chance of survival.

Listing on realtor.com

6069 burlington road front.jpg

McLean house porch IMG_20171002_152632505_HDR.jpg

6069 burlington road LR.jpg

6069 burlington road fireplace.jpg

McLean house DR IMG_20171002_151132619.jpg
A large armoire is built into the dining room, covering a fireplace. It dates from the late 19th or early 20th century.
6069 burlington road kitchen.jpg
The eat-in kitchen includes washer and dryer connections, at left above, and a fireplace, below.

McLean house kitchen FP IMG_20171002_150833352.jpg

McLean house lock IMG_20171002_151443070_HDR.jpg  McLean house stairs IMG_20171002_151525376_HDR.jpg

6069 burlington road other side.jpg

6069 burlington road outbuilding.jpg

6069 burlington road outbuilding 2.jpg

607 Summit Avenue: A Look into an Alternate-Universe Dunleath

607 summit avenue.jpg
607 Summit Avenue in Dunleath

The pending sale of 607 Summit Avenue could close any day, so now is a good time to look at the house and consider a future that Greensboro avoided. [Update: The deal fell through, and the house was taken off the market without a sale in the fall of 2017.] Without the protection of the city’s historic-district designation, there’s no telling how many historic houses in Dunleath and College Hill, especially, but in Fisher Park, too, would have met the same soul-killing fate.

Greensboro’s historic-district zoning overlay prevents single-family houses from being broken up into multiple units. The city’s design guidelines for historic districts prevent the kind of clumsy renovation that defines 607 Summit. Nothing can be done about bad pre-historic district renovations, like this house, but the city’s protection at least has prevented any more such hatchet jobs from eroding the historic character of the districts.

In an alternate universe where Greensboro did nothing to protect its most intact historic neighborhoods, grand houses in Alternate Dunleath, Alternate College Hill and Alternate Fisher Park are still being chopped up, thoughtlessly altered and stuffed with as many renters as possible. And so the neighborhoods’ property values haven’t soared and taken some of the property-tax burden off the rest of the city, as they have in our more fortunate universe.

110 cypress street
110 Cypress Street in Dunleath, for sale at $229,500
214 s. mendenhall street
214 S. Mendenhall Street in College Hill, recently sold for $338,000

When you look at houses like 110 Cypress Street in Dunleath (for sale at $229,500) and 214 S. Mendenhall Street in College Hill (recently sold for $338,000), you see the kind of houses and prices that would be rare in those neighborhoods, if they existed at all, without the historic district designation.

106 fisher park circle
106 Fisher Park Circle, now on the market for $1.35 million

Who would invest hundreds of thousands of dollars (or more) in a house like 106 Fisher Park Circle (for sale at $1.35 million) if landlords were boring into the neighborhood and liquidating its historic character in exchange for the maximum number of rental units?

Greensboro’s leaders in the ’80s had foresight and courage in allowing for the protection of the city’s three historic districts. That protection isn’t a silver bullet, striking down all threats to the districts’ historic character and vitality. But it has given College Hill, Dunleath and Fisher Park a future as thriving neighborhoods, offering greater quality of life, property values and value to the community than before they were protected. Regrettable remnants of the past, like 607 Summit and others, provide a striking reminder of the tangible value that historic preservation brings to Greensboro.

Remaking History: 5 of Greensboro’s Top Renovation Opportunities

If you’ve ever wanted to restore a historic home to its glory, Greensboro and Guilford County are full of opportunities for you. A new page has been added to the website to list homes whose defining characteristic might be described as “needs work … needs TLC … renovation project … rehab project … diamond in the rough … gutted” or the more legalistic “offered with no representations or warranties as to property condition.”

For those with the skills, patience and more money than you think you’ll need, here are five of Greensboro and Guilford’s best renovation opportunities.

909 n. elm street side view.jpg

909 N. Elm Street
The Frank Leak House
Blog post

  • $330,000
  • 4 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms, 5,790 square feet, 0.43 acre
  • Built in 1914
  • Listed September 1, 2017
  • Last sale: $233,000, February 2017
  • Note: The Leak House is being sold by the Preservation Greensboro Development Fund for a total historic rehabilitation. Click here for details on the rehabilitation agreement, preservation easement and application process. The deadline for applications is Monday, October 2, 2017 has been extended. Contact Preservation Greensboro for details (336-272-5003).

4909 guilford college road.jpg

4909 Guilford College Road
The William G. Wiley House
Blog post

  • $179,800 (originally listed at $194,800)
  • 3 bedrooms, 1 1/2 bathrooms, 2,400 square feet, 2.18 acres
  • Price/square foot: $75
  • Built in 1908
  • Listed February 2017
  • Last sale: September 2009, price unavailable in online records
  • Neighborhood: Near Grandover and Business 85
  • Note: A Guilford County Landmark property. Includes a detached workshop with a large second-floor room and a dilapidated barn. Some rooms have been renovated, but most of the house needs work.

8425 w. harrell road.jpg

8425 W. Harrell Road, Oak Ridge

  • $149,900
  • 4 bedrooms, 1 bathrooms, 1,496 square feet, 2.33 acres
  • Price/square foot: $100
  • Built in 1931
  • Listed September 6, 2017
  • Last sale: 1949, no price available in online records
  • Not owner occupied. Listing: “… maybe a rehab project or full tear down, will need new well and septic.” Listing includes no pictures of interior.

705 mlk drive.jpg

705 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive

  • $29,500
  • 5 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, 2,022 square feet
  • Price/square foot: $14
  • Built in 1922
  • Listed September 18, 2017
  • Last sale: $14,000, April 2014
  • Neighborhood: Asheboro Community
  • Craigslist: “This house has been gutted …  Tax Value $54,000 Asking Price 29,500 or BEST OFFER. Bring offers we are selling this one FAST!!! We also work with Realtors.”

219 york street.jpg

219 York Street

  • $10,000
  • 2 bedrooms, 1 bathrooms, 1,016 square feet
  • Price/square foot: $10
  • Built in 1945
  • Listed June 10, 2017
  • Last sale: $34,000, January 1985
  • Neighborhood: Eastside Park
  • Note: You can’t beat the price.

 

8 Classic Homes That Have Sold at a Premium This Year in Greensboro and Guilford County

At least 18 classic homes in Greensboro and Guilford County have sold for more than their asking prices this spring and summer. That’s 17 percent of the 107 sales that I’ve tracked, a nice sign of strength for the local real-estate market. In many cases, the premium was a token amount, but, still, getting anything over asking price is worth celebrating.

Below are the eight that drew the biggest premiums (in dollars, not necessarily in percentage). They’re in the city and the county, in the more expensive neighborhoods you might expect and some lower priced neighborhoods as well. A couple could be classified as starter homes.

Oddly enough, there also have been at least four low-end rentals that have sold at a premium. It would seem as if there are way more than enough of those to go around in Greensboro, but a rental house on Elwell Avenue was listed at $31,200 and sold for $35,500. Smaller premiums were paid for houses in Glenwood, Piedmont Heights and, again, on Elwell Avenue (what’s up with Elwell Avenue?).

1504 Edgedale Road, Irving Park: + $68,000

1504 edgedale road.jpg

  • Sold for $717,000 on July 24 (listed at $649,000), 10.5% premium
  • 3 bedrooms, 3 1/2 bathrooms, 2,835 square feet
  • Price/square foot: $253
  • Built in 1938
  • Listed May 16, 2017
  • Last sale: $450,000, August 2000

There have been a good number of high-end houses available in Irving Park this year (still are, in fact), but there must have been something special about 1504 Edgedale.

2959 N.C. 62 East, Liberty: + $25,000

2959 NC 62 East, Liberty.jpg

  • Sold for $145,000 on August 24, 2017 (listed at $120,000), 21% premium
  • 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, 1,400 square feet, 1.4 acres
  • Price/square foot: $104
  • Built in 1929
  • Listed May 2, 2017
  • Last sale: October 1996, price not available in online records
  • Note: Property is in Guilford County but has a Liberty mailing address.

What makes a property sell at a premium? Right price, right place, good timing. And perhaps some intangibles that don’t show up in the property records.

5510 High Point Road, Sedgefield: + $9,100

5510 high point road.jpg

  • Sold for $209,000 on September 5 (listed at $199,900), 4.5% premium
  • 4 bedrooms, 2 1/2 bathrooms, 2,711 square feet
  • Price/square foot: $77
  • Built in 1941
  • Listed April 19, 2017
  • Last sale: $225,000, April 2013

The owners accepted an offer about two weeks after listing it, but then had to wait four months to close. But for $9,100 over the asking price, why not? Sweet location: The house is on the little cut-off section of High Point Road that was bypassed by the rerouted Gate City Boulevard.

305 S. Elam Avenue, Lindley Park: + $5,250

305 s. elam avenue better.jpg

  • Sold for $255,000 on August 30 (listed at $249,750), 21% premium
  • 3 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, 1,642 square feet
  • Price/square foot: $155
  • Built in 1926
  • Listed June 24, 2017
  • Last sale: $200,000, November 2005

Nice little house. Great backyard for kids.

1603 Roseland Avenue, McAdoo Heights: + $5,100

1603 roseland street.jpg

  • Sold for $120,000 on May 26 (listed at $114,900), 4% premium
  • 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, 1,032 square feet
  • Price/square foot: $116
  • Built in 1937
  • Listed April 11, 2017
  • Last sale: $112,000, June 2009

That second bathroom is a killer feature in a starter home like this.

2312 Fortune Lane, Guilford Hills: + $5,000

2312 fortune lane.jpg

  • Sold for $130,000 on June 21, 2017 (listed at $125,000), 4% premium
  • 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, 1,220 square feet
  • Price/square foot: $107
  • Built in 1940
  • Listed May 9, 2017
  • Last sale: $85,000, June 1995
  • Neighborhood: Guilford Hills

Again, a starter home with two bathrooms. This one apparently had been a rental (it wasn’t owner occupied), but the property record now shows this as the new owner’s address.

700 Magnolia Street, Fisher Park: + $4,500

700 magnolia st.jpg

  • Sold for $199,500 on April 27, 2017 (listed at $195,000), 2% premium
  • 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, 1,680 square feet
  • Price/square foot: $119
  • Built in 1900
  • Listed March 1, 2017
  • Last sale: June 1975, $15,500

The seller accepted an offer two days after putting it on the market.

2509 Sherwood Street, Lindley Park: + $4,000

2509 sherwood street.jpg

  • Sold for $263,000 on June 6, 2017 (listed at $259,000), 1.5% premium
  • 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, 1,850 square feet
  • Price/square foot: $142
  • Built in 1939
  • Listed April 28, 2017
  • Last sale: $232,000, May 2010

Another nice little house that demonstrates how popular Lindley Park is these days.

(Sources: sale figures, Guilford County Tax Department and TriadMLS.com; asking prices, online listings)

 

909 N. Elm Street: Preservation Fund Seeks Buyer for Major Rehab Project

909 n. elm street today.jpg

The Preservation Greensboro Development Fund is seeking a buyer for a historic rehabilitation of the Frank Leak House at 909 N. Elm Street in Fisher Park. The asking price is $330,000.

The badly neglected 4,000 square-foot house has been vacant for 10 years. Its most prominent features now are the temporary supports propping up the front porch. The fund acquired the house in February through a foreclosure sale.

The property will be sold subject to a rehabilitation agreement and a preservation easement. Further information and an application form to be considered as a potential buyer are available from the fund. The application deadline is Monday October 2, 2017 has been extended from its original date of October 2. Contact Preservation Greensboro for details (336-272-5003).

909 n. elm blueprint.jpg
Architect J.H, Hopkins’ original blueprint for 909 N. Elm Street

“The rehab agreement will outline the scope of the project along with a timeline for completion,” according to Benjamin Briggs, executive director of Preservation Greensboro. “This will guide restoration planning and assure that the house will be completely restored. The easement will guide future restorations in terms of design and materials. It will prevent inappropriate alterations to the design and destruction of key architectural features such as mantels and moldings, and will be attached to the deed for the property.”

County tax records list the date of the house as 1914. The listing shows four bedrooms and four bathrooms. It also gives the square footage at 5,700, which appears to include the unheated attic.

Preservation Greensboro’s Greensboro: An Architectural Record describes the house:

“The circa-1914 Georgian Revival-style house of Leak, assistant secretary of the Cone export and Commission Company, is dominated by three pedimented dormers, a heavy modillion-block cornice, and a Doric portico and side porch topped by ballustrades.”

The Preservation Greensboro Develoment Fund is a sister organization to Preservation Greensboro. It works as a “revolving fund,” a pool of capital created and reserved for historic preservation activities with the condition that the money be returned to the fund to be reused for similar activities in the future.

Properties sold through the Fund hold preservation easements to protect their significant architectural features. The Fund has assisted in the restoration or conservation of properties in the Cedar Street, College Hill, Fisher Park, Glenwood, Irving Park and Southside neighborhoods. It also has assisted in planning projects in the Summit Avenue and Southside neighborhoods. It has served other Guilford County communities as well, including High Point and Whitsett.

(Information from Preservation Greensboro was used in this post.)

909 n. elm street.jpg
The Leak House in better days (photo from Guilford County property records)

909 n. elm street side view.jpg

Wednesday June 28: A Mid-Century Modern Shindig* at a National Register House

707 blair street living room.jpg

Preservation Greensboro’s Love-A-Loewenstein Party

  • Wednesday, June 28, 5:30 p.m.
  • The James and Anne Willis House
  • 707 Blair Street, Greensboro

From Preservation Greensboro:

Do you love Mid-Century Modernism? Do you love mod parties?

Why not enjoy both at our mod party at the Willis House?

The 1964-65 Willis House is significant due to its character-defining architectural features specified by Greensboro architects Loewenstein-Atkinson. Edward Loewenstein and Robert A. Atkinson Jr. led a firm notable for its promotion of Modernist architecture in North Carolina during the mid-twentieth century. The Willis residence manifests Modernist principles in its long, low form and floor plan dictated by function rather than exterior appearance. Generous use of glass and high-quality natural materials such as cypress vertical board siding, walnut and birch paneling, variegated brick veneer, and slate create continuity between the interior and exterior.

The Willis House is an exceptional example of Modernism, and in recognition of its status it was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2014.

Save the date to see this incredible house decked out with 1964 culinary and material memorabilia for a Preservation Greensboro fundraiser! Contact us for tickets.

* Shindig was a mid-century word for party. Click here for another mid-century use of the word.

707 blair street front.fw.png

603 N. Church Street: A 1914 Craftsman Gem in Fisher Park

603 north church cropped.jpg

Update: The house sold for $250,000 on July 31, 2017.

603 N. Church is the most intriguing home for sale in Greensboro’s historic districts. It’s a striking house — you don’t often see a granite Craftsman — set well back on its lot, which is not uncommon in Fisher Park.

603 n. church street stairs.jpg
OK, it needs some cosmetic work.

It’s on the market for $275,000. Built in 1914, the house has three bedrooms, two bathrooms and an attached studio apartment. There’s a deep, tiled front porch. The front door opens into a large living room with a fireplace and exposed-beam ceiling. The door frames and other woodwork are unpainted. The living room and dining room have built-in window seats; there are built-in shelves in the finished attic. The rooms are spacious, particularly on the first floor. The square footage is listed on Zillow and other sites as 1,926, but county property records say 2,696 (the real-estate listings don’t include the finished attic or the apartment). The lot is just under a half acre.

The most curious aspect of the house is that it has been for sale for a year and a half. The current price is 30 percent lower than its original $395,000. It does need some work inside, but as the photos show, nothing too dramatic — cosmetic work to clean up some wear and tear, updating for the kitchen, bathrooms and some light fixtures. There are suspended ceilings in a couple rooms, and who knows what’s above them. The landscaping isn’t much. For a house in Fisher Park that’s not going to require a huge amount of renovation, $275,000 is not a bad price.

603 n. church street porch.jpg

603 n. church street LR 1.jpg

603 n. church street LR.jpg

603 n. church street dining room.jpg

603 n. church street ceiling.jpg
Interesting little room with a problematic ceiling
603 n. church street kitchen.jpg
Not the kitchen of anyone’s dreams, perhaps, but it’s serviceable
603 n. church street den.jpg
Low-ceiling attic room

 

3215 N. Rockingham Road: A 1935 Cotswold Tudor manor house for $2.9 million

3215 n. rockingham road.jpg

3215 N. Rockingham Road is an English manor house in Sedgefield. It even has a name, Ayrshire. There probably aren’t many English manor houses built on golf courses, but, still, you could easily see DCI Barnaby or Miss Marple knocking on the door to ask the lord about a mysterious death in the village.

3215 n. rockingham road front alt cropped.jpegAyrshire is for sale at $2.9 million. A 1935 Cotswold Tudor, its 10,000-plus square feet contain four bedrooms, four full baths and three half baths, plus dining room, den, library, sunroom with a bar, stone terraces, etc. The lot is 2.88 acres, backing up to Sedgefield’s Donald Ross golf course.

The interior features butterfly pegged floors, wood and plaster moldings, leaded glass windows, solid wood beams, and a marble wall fountain in the main hall. A breezeway connects the house to its garages, two-bedroom guest quarters and herb garden. A magazine article some years ago details its interior design and the extravagant sourcing of its reclaimed stone and wooden beams.

Ayrshire has been on the market for a year and a half. It previously was listed in 2011 and 2012 for $3.75 million. Its current price of $2.9 million, $271/square foot, isn’t quite as extravagant as the property itself. There are any number of smaller properties with higher prices on a square-foot basis.

There isn’t a classier residence in a classier neighborhood in Greensboro. Then again, there isn’t one with a higher price tag, either. It’s the most expensive property currently for sale in Greensboro.

3215 n. rockingham road portico.jpg

3215 n. rockingham road LR.jpg

3215 n. rockingham road den.jpg

3215 n. rockingham road kitchen.jpg

3215 n. rockingham road stairway.jpg

3215 n. rockingham road upstairs.jpg

3215 n. rockingham road bathroom.jpg

3215 n. rockingham road back.jpg

5 classic homes priced to sell

104 meadowbrook terrace.jpg

104 Meadowbrook Terrace is the best value on the market among $1 million classic homes (aka mansions). Priced at $1.765 million, $207/square foot, it’s listed at almost the same price as the much smaller 701 Sunset Drive ($1.785 million), but on a square-foot basis it’s 47 percent less expensive (701 Sunset is $388/square foot). For the value-conscious millionaire, 104 Meadowbrook is the best buy in Greensboro.

[Update: The house was taken off the market June 3, 2017, after 19 months]

214 s. mendenhall street.jpg

Among the few historic district homes on the market, 214 S. Mendenhall Street is a sweet combination of price and indoor-and-out beauty. At $359,000, $128/square foot, it’s priced almost identically to the nearby and also lovely 306 South Mendenhall Street ($350,000, also $128/square foot), but has a bigger, more private lot and very nice outdoor spaces.

[Update: The house has a contract pending as of June 3, 2017]

2808 springwood drive alt.jpg

The five vintage neighborhoods west of downtown are the busiest market for classic homes in Greensboro. There are 24 on the market, and 12 are under contract. Eleven more have been sold this spring. 2808 Springwood Drive is an unusual Lindley Park home that almost looks like a beach house. The listing’s pictures of the interior look quite nice. At $199,000, $113/square foot, it’s a steal.

211 n. dudley street.jpg

In east and south Greensboro, there’s nothing else like 211 N. Dudley Street. A Mid-Century Modern classic, it has been meticulously restored by its current owners (the listing’s pictures show it off well). And at $245,000, $88/square foot, it’s an amazing bargain. Located across Dudley Street from A&T, it’s perfect for an Aggie (or anyone else) who values classic Modernist design.

7204 whitsett park road.jpg

In the smaller towns and rural areas of Guilford County, 7204 Whitsett Park Road in Whitsett is a standout: a 1902 farmhouse on just under 2 acres, beautifully restored inside and out. The house is 3,100 square feet, and the property has a couple of outbuildings. At $299,000, $92/square foot, it’s a remarkable bargain.

[Update: An offer was accepted June 3, 2017; it fell through and the house went back on the market June 12.]

4909 Guilford College Road: A sweet little 1908 farmhouse

4909 guilford college road.jpg

4909 Guilford College Road is the last of its contemporaries, if there were any. When it was built in 1908, it may have been alone out there, closer to Jamestown than Greensboro, surrounded by woods and maybe some farmland. Today, the area is a mix of ’60s and ’70s subdivisions, a church built just a few years ago and patches of undeveloped land, some of them quite large. Grandover is nearby, as is Business 85.

4909 guilford college road fireplace.jpgInsulated a bit by its partially wooded, 2 acre-plus lot, 4909 Guilford College Road is a quaint little gem. Listed at $189,800, the house has three bedrooms, one full bathroom and a half bath. Square footage is 2,186, so the price comes out to a modest $87 per square foot. The property includes a separate workshop with a bonus room and a barn.

You can’t see the house itself from the road, screened by trees and vegetation. The living room has a bay window. The kitchen has a fireplace. It has six fireplaces; one has a gorgeous mantel. Judging from the photos in the realtor.com listing, some of the rooms need painting and other cosmetic work, but the kitchen and bathrooms look to be in pretty good shape.

The property was owned by one family from 1961 until 2009, when it was bought by the current owner.

4909 guilford college road living room.jpg

4909 guilford college road kitchen.jpg

4909 guilford college road bedroom.jpg

4909 guilford college road back.jpg

4909 guilford college road aerial.png
4909 Guilford College Road, outlined in orange, with Grandover Parkway to the north and Business 85 to the south

815 Woodland Drive: Irving Park’s highest-priced mansion

815 woodland drive.jpg

815 Woodland Drive holds the distinction as the most expensive house for sale in Irving Park this spring — 5,200 square feet overlooking the golf course, listed at $1.79 million. That comes out to a high-even-for-Irving-Park $343 per square foot, although in that category it ranks only second in the neighborhood (701 Sunset is just a bit less expensive at $1.785 million but also quite a bit smaller, coming in at $388 per square foot).

Built in 1925, 815 Woodland is a brick Georgian with five bedrooms, five and a half baths and a five-car garage. But there are two details beyond the home’s description that make it particularly interesting. After all, there are nine million-dollar homes for sale in Irving Park this spring, and some of the others are as grand and almost as expensive.

First, the owners are semi-celebrities — Martin Sprock III, Greensboro native, founder of Moe’s Southwest Grill, and buyer-and-seller of big expensive houses, and his wife, Leigh-ann, an entrepreneur in her own right and a former real estate agent in Atlanta for 10 years. They live in Charlotte now (a 4,000 square-foot home in Myers Park, built in 1925 and bought for $2.7 million in 2014).

The Sprocks’ real estate investments have made news well beyond Greensboro. In 2014, the Palm Beach Daily News reported that in recent years Martin had sold three houses there at prices ranging from $1.9 million up to $8.1 million. In 2015, he dropped $3.5 million for Middleburg Plantation near Charleston, S.C., a 326-acre spread that dates back to the 1690s.

Second, 815 Woodland has not been an easy sell. The Sprocks bought the home in 2004 for $1.7 million. This is the sixth time they’ve put it on the market since 2011 (original asking price: $2.19 million). They have experience with this kind of sale. A house Martin sold in Palm Beach in 2014 (6,600 square feet total, seven bedrooms and a guest house on almost an acre, now for rent at $45,000/month) was on the market for five years. It was listed originally at $10.5 million and sold for more than $8 million.

Note: This post has been corrected to state that 701 Sunset has a higher cost per square foot because it’s smaller than 815 Woodland rather than larger.

815 woodland drive foyer.jpg
815 Woodland Drive: Foyer, dining room and den

815 woodland drive dining room.jpg

815 woodland drive den.jpg

Endangered historic house in Jamestown needs a new owner

radford catalog.jpg

The William G. Wiley House at 4909 Vickrey Chapel Road in Jamestown is a classic example of a mail-order house, dating back to 1908.  It needs a buyer soon or it will be torn down.

The house was bought from Radford American Homes, a mail-order company based in Illinois. The cost was $1,800, plus $1 for the catalog and $5 for the plans. The plans showed a one-and-a-half story clapboarded house with a sweeping pitched cross-gable roof, a dormer window, wrap-around porch with turned posts, and a south-facing bay window. An elaborate lightning grounding system was added around 1913, and pressed metal shingles were added around 1918.

The grounds include many outbuildings, including a smokehouse, garage, shop, horse barn and shed, and two privies. There also is a well house with basement potato cellar.

The well-preserved site maintains an important link to early 20th century rural life in Guilford County, and it illustrates the influence of national catalog and building supply companies. Guilford County has designated it as a landmark property in 1993. That status confers a property tax credit of up to 50 percent.

For more information about buying the Wiley House, contact Benjamin Briggs of Preservation Greensboro, 336-272-5003.  h/t to Benjamin for providing the information on the house.