Tuesday, September 11, 2012

For Sale

Remember my old condo, the one I renovated and sold from 2002-2006 with Turbo the Aussie, Al my contractor friend, and Michael Kraiger?

Turbo did the lion's share of the work. He'd built two homes in Australia and just couldn't sit still.

I sold it in December of 2006, squeaking in just under the wire before winter set in, before the new season would bring a slow market followed by mortgage meltdowns.

I cut it close. Real close. Had I sold a year earlier, I'd have gotten twenty-thousand more dollars. But inertia had hold of me. I wouldn't have sold at all if the other owners in my building had been less keen to tear off the roof and bill me thousands of dollars rather than re-doing the flashing.

They did me a favor, in the end. Shortly thereafter, they voted to double the monthly fee, and then after they were done with the new roof, Jersey City walloped them with a hugely increased tax bill. I scooted out and moved to Cairo in the nick of time. The couple that had spearheaded the new roof sold and moved at a loss of about $100,000. To which I adopt Schadenfreude and say: Genius. 

My old condo came on the market a few days ago. I was amused to read that the pressed steel that I'd ordered from mbossinc.com, that Al had hammered up and Turbo had carefully glued the seams of and then painted, is being advertised as original tin. The "original medallions" are original all right, right from Home Depot.

But yes, the ceilings are high, the heart pine floors are original (carefully preserved under lead paint that I had sanded up in 2002), and the picture rails are original. The "stone" mantel might be stone--it's actually slate, but maybe stone and slate are the same thing. I'm not sure about the terminology. The gray of the mantel is paint. I'd tried taking off the top white layer to get at the marble underneath, and was surprised when the oil-based hand marbling came off in my hands.

We renovated some here, on this blog, over the years, piece by piece. Maybe the new buyers will find us one day. And if they do, I hope they don't mind that I think it's currently overpriced given the comps of recently sold units past Coles Street. But it is unique and lovely, and there's not much like it in condos since most people gut-renovated rather than restored—maybe someone will fall in love with it and won't mind the cost.

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