Sunday, February 25, 2007
We have lived on an area of Capital Hill for over thirty years. We came here to defray our taxes, buying what was for us a very expensive house so as to maximize our tax deduction. What an investment! In the last three decades our $75,000 has become something like a $million.
There is a price for anything. The community we joined was wonderful .. a mix of working class folks, often African American, pioneering Yuppies, UW types like ourselves trying t find housing we could afford near the YooDub, nunneries, priesteries, Rajneeshees, Gayfolk, and the wonderful arts community. Block parties were held at least three times a year.
As time has past, the diversity has declined. No one comes to block parties. Today's owners of homes on our block now range from a few docs, a couple of profs, some Microsoft biggies, a few oddities (us?) left over from the old days and one heir to a major American corporation.
Now we may have gone assymptotic. The house next door used to belong to the O'Briens. A Catholoc family in a neighborhood built for catholic families., Lots kids. dad an ex basketball star from Seattle Univ who went on to a baseball career and ended up as associate manager of the much missed Kingdome. Johny O'Brien was a Seattle Icon. The O'Brien house, a Tudor built on the bones of a Sears' catalog house seemed to be a beauty.
Now for $1.5 million some investors bought Johnie's house. The agent told Johnie that he had hit the Jackpot. What about the investors??? They seem to be afficonadoes of Capital Hill, maybe with romantic ideas about this place. But, as nice as they may be the new owners found a lot of problems .. rot, house built to close to ground ..and now they have utterly gutted the place. All that exists is the framing. The real estate agent tells me they expected most of this! Talking to neighbors .. it seems the investors expect to make a profit! How??????
How can this be? They need to lower the lot by a foot and a half to raise the foundation, replace a lot of the framing, build a new house in the old shell. They MUST have spent a hundred thou just on the disassembly. What is the framing and foundation worth? Do they expect to sell the house for 3 million? Nothing on this street has ever sold for the $1.5 they have already spent. I am not sure what to hope for. I they succeed we could be forced out by the taxes. If they feel, our property values could be hurt. What of they decide to abandon the the project?
Funny thing .. someone emailed we, "Will" claiming I had misspelled "Capitol" as "Capital". Typoes aside, perhaps Freud was helping?
Posted by SM Schwartz at 11:12 AM