31 Sawmill Lane dropped $600,000 today and is now asking $3.895 million. This is a gracious 1920 house set on 3 acres on lower Sawmill, and all its mechanicals: plumbing, electric, new septic, etc. were replaced and upgraded back in 2002, which may be what inspired its original listing agent to price it at $9.850 million back in 2006. That was folly, yet the price didn’t budge during the full 18-month life of that listing, and two years later, post-crash, a new agent actually increased the price to $9.950; I’d have advised going in a different direction.
In any event, the original owner passed to his reward in 2015 and his estate, still seeking its own, has been steadily dropping the price. Maybe $3.5 will be the magic number here, but we’ll have to see if the home’s 100-year-old charm can find an appreciative audience in this current generation of buyers. The “new” — 16-years-old now — mechanical improvements will spare a buyer some very expensive refitting costs, but there’s now some also-expensive upgrading due for the baths and even the kitchen (which is a perfectly fine kitchen, by the way, but ….). And if I recall, the house retains its original windows: $500,000 + to replace with new, draft-free versions? A selective replacement program could reduce that cost considerably, of course.
The town appraises this property at $5.244 million: only $1.150 for the land, which strikes me as a bit conservative, and $4.1 for the house itself, which is, according to the market, too high. Were you to pick the place up for somewhere between $3 and $3.5, a successful tax appeal could effect an economy.
To my eye and to my taste, this house holds far more appeal and potential than most of its new competitors in its price range (especially if that price range is what I’ve suggested here, not its current asking price), but I’m not typical of who’s buying homes these days, and it’s those buyers, not I, who determine proper value.
I’ve been watching and commenting on this property over the years as it slowly drifts down to a price that matches the market, and I find it fascinating to follow that progress: in many ways, as 31 Sawmill goes, so goes the market for houses of this era.