605 N. Church Street is just the kind of place historic districts were created to save, a remarkable example of early 20th-century architecture. The wraparound front porch curving out toward the street, second-story porch above it, leaded-glass windows and cross-gambrell roof all combine for a look that’s as distinctive as it is elegant.
The Dutch Colonial is for sale at $589,900, and even at that price it’s a relative bargain. With 3,735 square feet, the price works out to $158 per square foot. Similarly impressive homes in Fisher Park have been selling for $190 to $250 per square foot.
Some houses seem to have potential buyers just lying in wait, ready to pounce as soon as the for-sale sign goes up. 210 Isabel Street is one. It was for sale for two days before the owners accepted an offer. It was just sold in 2018, and then it took three days.
Update: The final upset bid of $252,000 was filed July 17; I think it was the 10th, but I could have missed one or two. The sale closed on July 28, 2018.
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.
Greensboro’s three historic districts are hot properties this spring. If you’re interested in a classic home in College Hill, Dunleath or Fisher Park, you better be ready to move fast. The most recent Dunleath listing, for example, 615 Percy Street, was on the market just two days before the owner accepted an offer. Here are three of the best homes for sale now in Greensboro’s most historic neighborhoods.
Hillside, unlike the other houses on this website, isn’t actually for sale. Its owners, Michael and Eric Fuko-Rizzo, bought the decrepit Fisher Park landmark in 2016 for $415,000. As they’ve invested what must be a breathtaking amount into resuscitating it, the project has gained a national following. Their determination and patience have been heroic, and the results are spectacular.
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?
Update: The deal fell through, and the house was taken off the market without a sale in the fall of 2017. It finally sold in March 2018 for $31,625, a pathetic $12/square foot. It’s original asking price was $139,900.
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. 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.
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.
Update: The house sold for $1.025 million in September 2018.
There are other mansions in Fisher Park, but perhaps none of them make the statement the Douglas-Ravenel House does. Overlooking over the park with its towering columns and Neoclassical facade, its says prominence and grandeur in a way that can’t be missed.
Update: The house sold as a commercial property for $330,500 on April 6, 2020.
200 E. Bessemer is an unusual opportunity: Used as offices for the past 20 years or so, it’s being marketed as either a residence or offices. Converting it back to a home would be relatively easy, as it was never divided up or altered significantly from its days as a residence, aside from the back yard being paved. The property is zoned for office use, which allows it to be used as a residence.
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.
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.
Update: The house sold for $470,000 on June 30, 2017.
814 Olive Street is a Foursquare with a distinctive stone foundation and porch columns. It was built in 1918 and thoroughly renovated over the past two years. It went on the market Friday at $474,900. It will be open on Saturday and Sunday, 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. both days, as Preservation Greensboro brings a couple thousand people into the neighborhood to visit eight other houses for its seventh annual Historic Homes Tour.
The spring home-buying season has gotten off to a fast start, particularly in Irving Park, Lindley Park and Sunset Hills. Two Irving Park homeowners have accepted very quick offers. 607 Woodland had been on the market for three days; the asking price of $999,000 works out to an impressive $312 per square foot. 1104 Sunset Drive (asking $569,000) had been on the market just four days before an offer was accepted.
In Sunset Hills, we have eight current pre-1950 listings, and six of them went under contract in March. 309 Woodbine Court ($394,900) accepted an offer in two days; 1808 Rolling Road ($400,000), seven days; 2206 W. Market ($618,000), nine days.
In Lindley Park, we have six current listings; four went under contract in March. 2611 Sherwood Street ($164,900) had been on the market two days; 803 Longview Street ($264,000), three days; and 2514 Walker Avenue ($225,000), 34 days.
The hot item in College Hill has been townhomes in the Wafco area. Four came on the market between February 22 and March 16; all four were under contract by March 27.
Listings are at premium in the historic districts. Aside from the townhouses under contract, College Hill has only two houses and a Wafco Mills condo on the market. Just four Fisher Park houses are listed, and two are under contract. An offer was accepted on 700 Magnolia Street ($195,000) after two days on the market. In the newly renamed Dunleath Historic District, only four houses are the market, all smaller homes priced $175,000 or lower.
The market for classic mansions in Sedgefieldis tight and moving at a pace as stately as the homes themselves. Only three older homes are on the market, all at least 4,000 square feet and on the market at least nine months. Prices range from $425,000 to $2.9 million.