Good Enough Homes & Destinations: What You Get For $525,000

OK, so, maybe the whole point of living in Des Moines is that you don't have to be rich, but where else can you get a whimsical, sprawling, fairy-tale-type manor on 2+ acres in the woods for half a million dollars?

Good Enough Homes & Destinations: What You Get For $750K, Climate Change 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!

Good Enough Homes & Destinations: What You Get for $500,000

Yay! Great Homes and Destinations time. This week we learn what we can get for $1,500,000, which includes sixty acres in Colorado, some industrial space in New Orleans, and oooh “a shingled house” (better than a house with shingles) in Rhode Island:

An addition was built at a 90-degree angle from the original house to create a light-filled great room with a vaulted ceiling, a rock fireplace and French doors opening to the outside. … The long kitchen island is topped with black walnut, while the flooring was salvaged from an old mill in Providence. Kitchen appliances include a six-burner Vulcan range and two dishwashers, including one in a butler’s pantry.

The master bedroom suite is on the second floor. Its bathroom has a walk-in steam shower and a custom-built butternut vanity. Another upstairs bathroom has a tub from an old Providence mansion; there is also a 1902 console sink. Off the second-floor landing is a sitting area. The other five bedrooms are spread out over the second, third and fourth floors, reached by an original staircase topped with four contemporary skylights.

BLACK WALNUT. BUTTERNUT VANITY. What are these, ice cream flavors? CONTEMPORARY SKYLIGHTS. BUTLER’S PANTRY. Where the butler goes. To buttle.

Let’s power up the Good Enough Homes & Destinations generator and see what you get for a flat $500,000.

GOOD ENOUGH Homes & Destinations: What You Get For $500K

Gray Lady hasn’t had her coffee today and is totally over work because it’s August and settles for giving us a list of the totally ordinary houses you can buy for $1,500,000. Like this one in Shark Key, Florida:

Shark Key is a gated island community seven miles west of Key West. The island is about a mile long and only two lots wide, with a saltwater swimming lagoon in the middle. Community amenities include two tennis courts and a clubhouse. Shopping and dining are within a 15-minute drive, on the palm-lined streets of Key West. This house is on a peninsular lot near the southern tip of the island, surrounded by water on three sides. … The house is on about an acre, lush with mature banyan, coconut and banana trees. Parking is in a covered spot under the house. There’s space to pull a pontoon boat in and out of the water.

Yawn.

Let’s see if we can find something more exciting in this week’s edition of GOOD ENOUGH Homes & Destinations: What You Get for $500,000.

Good Enough Homes & Destinations: What You Get for $295,000

I can't explain the allure of a claw-foot tub, but I do feel it. I feel it in my bones.

Good Enough Homes & Destinations: What You Get For $325K

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.

Good Enough Homes & Destinations: What You Get For $200,000

Go Midwest, young man

Let’s All Buy JD Salinger’s Old House, Have a Kegger

OK here’s a great idea: let’s all pitch in some cash, not too much, whatever we happen to have lying around, and buy the rural New Hampshire house where famous American hermit J.D. Salinger lived for a while. It’s for sale, according to Curbed, for less than $700,000, and it is super pretty.

As reported by the Valley News, Salinger purchased the place in 1953 after separating from his first wife, by which time he had achieved both critical and commercial success with the 1951 publication of The Catcher in the Rye. He made the move to Cornish from his apartment in Manhattan (300 57th Street), and it’s in the small New Hampshire town where his reputation as a recluse solidified, but according to a 2010 article in the New York Times, Salinger was a relatively active member of the community.

Salinger, who sold the house in the ’60s but stayed in town, is said to have voted in elections, attended town meetings at the Cornish Elementary School, and been a mainstay at $12 roast beef dinners at First Congregational Church in nearby Hartland, Vermont. Locals, embodying what one resident once described to the New York Times as “the code of the hills,” have boasted since his death in 2010 of misdirecting the throngs of eager English majors that came looking for their resident writer. According to the owner of a local general store, just how far these misdirections took Salinger pilgrims “depended on how arrogant they were.”

Good Enough Homes & Destinations: What You Get For $539,000

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.

Good Enough Homes and Destinations: What You Get For $300,000

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.

Good Enough Homes & Destinations: What You Get For $240,000

The Grey Lady is packing bathing suits and plastic bags (to hold wet bathing suits) and towels and face sunscreen and body sunscreen and aloe and moisturizer and hardly has time for Great Homes and Destinations this week. Her magic number is $2,400,000, which is again and always hilarious. What’ll that get you?

The three-story house has an elegant foyer on the first floor. To the right is a den with chestnut paneling and a coffered ceiling; a flat-screen TV over the fireplace is hidden behind a painting. To the left is the living room. Ceilings on this level are more than 20 feet high. Updated kitchen appliances include a Wolf range and a Sub-Zero refrigerator. Both the kitchen and the dining room open to a terrace and a bluestone patio overlooking downtown Providence.

A rich lady in Beverly Hills once showed me how, at the press of a button, artwork on the wall of her bedroom rolled aside to reveal a flatscreen TV. She was so proud.

We’ll see if we can find some houses with secrets in today’s installment of Good Enough Homes & Destinations: What You Get For $240,000.