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A short while back, I became curious about Usonian home values in comparison to the median home value index's of its area.They are asking $850K. For what it's worth, Redfin, Realtor and Zillow give estimates in the ~$300K - $360K range. Looks like the home might sit unsold for quite some time.
(Fourth comment down on this thread I explain my very basic approach to the math: http://wrightchat.savewright.org/viewto ... 3bedc9e6e6)
I came up with a figure that suggested an average "Wright" premium would have the price ratio of 2.25 to 1 for median value. I recognize this number is hardly scientific, so take it with a grain of salt. But it did demonstrate that Olflet was badly overpriced for its area....
The median value of 03104 (northern Manchester) is $264,800. That puts the current asking price for the Kalil house to be a 3.2 to 1 ratio to the index. (Not terrible, as Olflelt began with an asking price of a 5.2 to 1 ratio, and finally sold for 4.3 to 1....) Yet if 2.25:1 is the more appropriate Usonians-to-Median-Value figure, we'd probably want to see Kalil selling for $600,000.
That said, $600k seems like a steal for this home, given its location... And a 3:1 ratio doesn't seem egregious, like Olfelt did... Hopefully the Usonian Automatic is as desired as Wright's other Usonians, which I used to arrive at my "ratio". That could be a wrinkle, as Roderick alludes to.
a two-bedroom house (originally designed, apparently, with three); another conceivable price metric might be $ per bedroom---or at least include the number
of bedrooms somewhere in the formula ?
One observation though...while the Usonians were designed as family homes, and were originally used in that capacity (mostly), it'd be telling to learn how many Usonians are currently occupied by families with school-age children. Seems to me that most Usonians are now owned by "empty nesters", sometimes as second-homes to people who live in urban areas.
I could imagine the Kalil house being an ideal part-time home for a successful couple in NYC, for example. In which case, I doubt having 2 bedrooms instead of 3 would be an issue.
These are great and stalwart houses, but they are vulnerable to neglect.
Wright was clearly off-course with his Usonian Automatic theme. I wouldn't live in this house even if it were given to me free. It just goes to show that old men usually don't do very good work.
Emergency egress is an issue, I suppose; today's buildings codes (even liberals like me catch themselves muttering about the Nanny State) would
prevent this error, if it is one. But this is a largely fireproof house---something one doesn't find Wright mentioning in connection with the Textile Block
and UA, oddly, unlike with the Fireproof House design of 1905. Perhaps he wearied of thinking about fires.
I'm with Loo Tee on this one, I wouldn't want to live in it at any price, no matter the location, location, location.
(By the way, while Loo Tee is young at heart, he is superannuated.)
I find that a lifetime's experience---including observation of the follies of youth, the waning of "look at me," and the maturity of one's design sensibilities---combine
to produce the best and most reasonable work ever. The only hiccups might be momentary lapses of memory, and overconfidence in one's abilities ?
Of course any building contains flammables. I can't agree that an all-masonry structure need be written off after a less-than-calamitous conflagration---necessarily.