GOOD ENOUGH Homes and Destinations: What You Get For $750,000

The Grey Lady is feeling, like, Iggy Azalea-level fancy this week. Her latest “Great Homes and Destinations” looks at “What You Get For … $1,750,000” and comes up with “a Richardsonian Romanesque mansion with six bedrooms, six full bathrooms and two half-baths.” I don’t know what “Richardsonian” means: not like Terry Richardson, I hope? But when the NYT actually calls something a mansion, you know they’re for serious.

The fireplace in the dining room is almost large enough to walk into. Off the kitchen is an octagonal sunroom with five large arched windows overlooking a pond. Bedrooms are upstairs. The master has a dressing room and French doors that open to a private deck. Two bedrooms have walk-in closets; one has a fireplace. Also on the second floor is an office. The third floor, reached from the original spiral staircase in the dining room, has four more bedrooms, with original wide-plank floors and built-in desks and storage. Downstairs in the walkout basement is a den with heated floors and another enclosed porch, with a fireplace.

OUTDOOR SPACE: The spring-fed pond is suitable for swimming and skating. There is a nine-stall barn with an apartment upstairs.

Skating on ponds always makes me think of Amy falling through the ice and Jo hesitating for a second about whether or not to save the brat who will one day go to Europe without her and marry Laurie. Here are some GOOD ENOUGH Homes and Destinations for $750,000: real estate suitable for the March family rather than Aunt Josephine.

Millennials and Tiny Houses: A Match Made in Heaven

What does it mean when the top mortgage salesman in the US can’t convince his own daughter to buy a house?

“We would drive around neighborhoods and he would point out houses,” chattering about curb appeal and prices, Sara said. “I’ve heard about this my whole life. In my head, I always figured at the age of 27 or 28 I’d buy.” She can, but hasn’t. She’s a legislative aide to Senator Michael Bennet, a Colorado Democrat. Her fiancé, Dan Nee, is a software developer. Their jobs are steady and their combined income is $107,500. The car is paid for and dad is ready to help with a down payment. … [but] “A house is a five- to 10-year commitment,” Sara said. “I’m hesitant about diving in and feeling like I’m not financially ready.”

She and other millennials — the generation born beginning in the early 1980s — started coming of age just as housing collapsed. Sara was just out of college in 2009 when President Barack Obama put her dad in charge of the Federal Housing Administration. Part of his job was to lobby Congress not to dismantle the financial architecture that had made it possible for generations of Americans — including himself — to buy homes. He also was juggling pleas from family and friends who couldn’t pay their adjustable-rate mortgages or sell their devalued houses.

It means she’s a bloody genius, that’s what it means.

GOOD ENOUGH Homes and Destinations

Every week, the NYT’s “Great Homes and Destinations” subsection puts up a list and slideshow of three estates under the heading, “What You Get For … [obscene amount of money].” Since real estate porn is my favorite kind of porn, I always click through, even though the “homes” start at like $1,000,000. Actual sample quote: “The billiards room is adjacent to the family room.” For Manhattan, maybe, that makes sense, billiards rooms being mandatory in Manhattan, but outside of the city’s costliest borough, who needs to spend that much on a place to live?

As a corrective, I’d like to offer a Billfold take, “Good Enough Homes & Destinations.” Today, What you get for $200,000:

The Best Places to Raise a Family (Or Not)

If you have only yourself to consider, choosing where to live can be a walk in the park, or down the shore, or under an arch, or through some tar pits – whatever suits your fancy. If you shackle yourself, lovingly of course, to another human being, and the two of you with clear eyes and full hearts bring forth new life into the world, well, choosing where to live becomes more fraught. Values shift. Priorities adjust. Apartments that seemed cozy start to feel like “the hole” in The Shawshank Redemption.

You Will Totally Believe Everything In This Training Manual For Real Estate Brokers

A real estate broker with an unnamed firm left his training manual in the apartment of a one Mr. James Bell, who shares the best of it with all of us over at the Guardian. It is, well, it is what you would expect.

GOOD ENOUGH Homes & Destinations: What You Get for $250K

Oh boy! It’s time for another installment of GOOD ENOUGH Homes & Destinations, a Billfold corrective to the New York Times’ weekly feature, “Great Homes & Destinations: What You Get For … [obscene amount of money].” This time around, the NYT is excited to tell and show us what you — except not you, that would be hilarious, more like a Russian oligarch — could get for $2,500,000. Choice quote:

The kitchen was designed by Nate Berkus, a regular guest on “The Oprah Winfrey Show.” The room has stainless-steel appliances and paneling and cabinets of cherry. The backsplash is Balinese tile. A granite-topped island separates the kitchen from the family room, which has a wall of cherry cabinets and a broad marble fireplace. Sliding glass doors open to a Brazilian wood deck with partial shade.

Amazing. Herewith, what you, actual you, could get for the more reasonable price of $250,000:

3 BR, 2.5 BA Tudor in Pittsburgh, PA, for $245,000, via Trulia. Fireplace for the winter, central air for the summers. “Exemplary” public school district. Pittsburgh, guys! It’s on the up and up

What You Get For … $2 Million: The Valley Where David Slew Goliath

The $2 million figure is a guess because this news item cri de coeur in the Times of Israel about the sale of parts of the Valley of Elah to developers does not actually specify a price, and that price regardless would be in shekels. The bottom line is that Israel, a country roughly the size of New Jersey, has a serious housing crisis. That means that “historic” / Biblical places like the hills overlooking the area where David supposedly slew Goliath are seen as potential Great Homes and Destinations.

As you can imagine, not everyone is pleased:

Is It Weird For a Brother and a Sister to Share a Room?

I wouldn't have thought so but this article about families in New York sure makes it seem weird.

GOOD ENOUGH Homes & Destinations: What You Get For $110,000

If you paid $1.1 million for something that didn't have a waterfall, you're a chump.

GOOD ENOUGH Homes & Destinations: What You Get for $125K

Though the rest of us patriotic, good-hearted Americans took off July 4th, the Gray Lady carried on. Personally I like to think of her as a society matron out of Edith Wharton: stately, imperious, immovable. Anyway, she presented us on Independence Day, in her weekly Great Homes & Destinations update, with “What You Get For $1.2 Million.” The round up included this Seattle mansion, of which she says, “The house has both a backyard and a private courtyard surrounded by lush landscaping. Large palm trees shading the courtyard were about six inches tall when planted by the house’s original owner.” Who was, no doubt, Thurston Howell III.

So then, as promised, here are my picks for the Billfold’s companion feature, GOOD ENOUGH Homes & Destinations: What You Can Get for $125,000.

A 2 BR, 2 BA condo in Las Vegas, NV, via Redfin. $112,450. 1000+ square feet, comes with ceiling fans, A/C, and access to the community pool because, duh, Vegas. Have you read The Goldfinch or We Are Called to Rise? You’ll spend 40% of the year up your chin in water in order to stay sane. 

Median One-bedroom Rents in NYC Now As High As $4,210

Will future generations will look upon us City dwellers with pity or scorn? Actually, scratch “future generations.” How about “denizens of Pittsburgh, Denver, Lincoln, or pretty much any other damn place besides San Francisco”? Because the folly of living in New York City, it keeps getting more intense. According to Curbed, which gleaned data from Zumper, median rents for a one-bedroom in the City this past month leaped from “Astronomical” to “More Than Your Great-Grandpa Made in a Year.” They ranged from $1,200 in Brownsville, Brooklyn, which is a place Lena Dunham never lived, to a whopping $4,210 in TriBeCa, in Manhattan, which is a place she did.

Apparently we can blame the Greenpoint price spike on her (a median one-bedroom now sets you back an exorbitant $2,275), since after she set her TV show “Girls” there, the neighborhood exploded. Of course, even the ‘point can’t compare to what I lovingly call “Barely Brooklyn,” the parts of the borough that may as well be Manhattan:

I Bought a House With Money I Made From Airbnb

A man talks about how he bought a house using money he saved by renting out his apartment on Airbnb. Is this wrong? He doesn't think so.