Litchfield County builder puts up a 9,000 sq.ft. spec house, prices it at $7 million. There's no other spec house being built in the county, for good reason: they aren't selling. Duh. Here's the GT's report on 42 Nettleon Hollow Road
WASHINGTON — Most high-end construction projects are done for a specific client, with everything designed to custom specifications.
But a house called “Stone Bridge” is being built on Nettleton Hollow Road with no particular buyer in mind —unless it’s someone looking for the latest high-tech amenities.
Geothermal technology heats and cools the house. The home also features a security system that can be controlled from a smartphone, laptop or tablet, and the owner can also adjust the temperature, lights and audio system with the same devices.
Other features of the house include a wine cellar, a library, a media room, an elevator and a game room. There are 17 rooms within the 9,000 square feet of livable space spread over finished lower level, a main level and a second floor. There is also the possibility of developing the 1,350 feet over the garage.
“It’s a joy to be in," [listing agent] Taylor said of the kitchen. “It's a very happy space."
Yeah well it won't be such a happy space four years from now when the bank's attorney holds a foreclosure auction on the front steps. The Litchfield County real estate market is dead: it died in 2008 and never rose from the grave, which is why builders aren't putting their money into speculative projects. And who does this builder think is the buyer? Locals don't want, and certainly can't afford $7 million homes, and the weekenders I work with, at least, aren't the slightest bit interested in maintaining 9,000 square feet of house, even if it does come with a pool and wine cellar.
To be fair, the builder's not totally smoking dope: another house in Washington (not a spec, a renovated 1910 classic right in town) sold for $6.5 million last May, so there is a market in this price range, but it's got to be thin; in fact, that sale may have just exhausted it.
I say, dumb move.