The Gray Lady is playing around with a budget of $2,000,000 this week, and her first find is a California wine country “contemporary” (read: “sci-fi wackadoodle”) estate. Here are some of my favorite details:
+ The contemporary is divided into two tower-like wings, separated by a concrete courtyard. The first wing was built in 1993; the second in 2008, at which point the original wing was extensively renovated. Both are clad with stucco and corrugated metal and have walls of glass overlooking woods. [editor's note: cozy!]
+ An upstairs loft with floor-to-ceiling windows is used as a reading nook. There is also a temperature-controlled wine room with shelves for 600 bottles, concrete floors and sliding glass doors to the outside.
+ Also on the property is a tower with a hot tub and skylights, designed for stargazing.
+ The space can be enclosed with rolling garage-style doors. The property has a 250-vine sauvignon blanc vineyard and a greenhouse.
There aren’t enough exclamation points in the world. So, okay, that’s what you can get for $2 mil: your own vineyard and an opportunity to use last week’s vocab word. Here, in this week’s Good Enough Homes & Destinations, we’ll explore what you get for a more modest $325,000.
The best thing ever is when the Gray Lady goes slumming and, for her weekly Great Homes and Destinations round-up, looks at houses for less than $1,000,000. You can tell she’s trying to care about the lives of (relative) Normals and their six-figure real estate, really she is, but her heart just isn’t it. Observe: “The kitchen is a long, narrow room with stainless-steel appliances, rustic wooden cabinets and a high ceiling. Off the kitchen, there is a den.”
After that, there’s only the sound of muffled sobs.
We can do better than that! Herewith, Good Enough Homes & Destinations: What You Get For $539,000. And we’ll focus in on some of those Mid-Sized Cities you all were raving about.
It’s real estate time! This week, the Gray Lady lets us know what we get for $1,100,000 and teaches us some new vocabulary words along the way:
This log cabin is on Homan Lake, a private lake tucked into the Ottawa National Forest, and ringed by about 30 houses on lots ranging in size from 3 to 20 acres. The surrounding woods are popular with snowmobilers and cross-country skiers. … A vaulted ceiling with clerestory windows draws additional light. The entry-level master suite opens to the deck. The second bedroom is on the walkout lower level, which opens to two patios and a path to the lake.
Clerestory! I think I met a girl named that at ballet class. No, just kidding. According to Wikipedia, “in architecture, clerestory are any high windows above eye level. The purpose is to bring outside light, fresh air, or both into the inner space.” Look for it on the SATs.
Let’s see what we ordinary folks could get for $300,000. And just for kicks, let’s make this the Volunteer State Edition.
This morning, the Grey Lady offers us properties that can be had for the negligible sum of $1,750,000. 121 acres and a chalet in Vermont! A 5,000-square-foot farmhouse in North Carolina! Something in California as well, but who wants to live in that drought-ridden state? The farmhouse looks the most intriguing:
The plan is center hall, with a living room with a bay window on one side of the entryway, followed by a bedroom. On the right is another bedroom now used as a family room, followed by a dining room. Each has a wood-burning fireplace. The kitchen is part of a long, open room at the back of the house, which has a breakfast nook with windows. In addition to newer stainless-steel appliances and a stone-topped island, the kitchen has a cast-iron Aga stove. Three more bedrooms are upstairs, including the master, which has a bay window, a sitting area, a walk-in closet and an en-suite bath. All bathrooms were renovated to period, with white tile and claw-foot tubs. The three-car garage, a 2009 addition, has a sitting area that opens to the patio and saltwater pool, an upstairs recreation room with a pitched wood-beam ceiling, and a fourth full bathroom.
Claw-foot tubs and a garage with its own sitting area and patio. It’s good to be the king. Also, in case you’re curious, as I was, an Aga stove is a retro, candy-colored behemoth.
So, what can you get for the more reasonable, although still princely, sum of $750,000 that will be pleasant even factoring in climate change? Crank up the Good Enough Homes & Destinations generator!