Sunday, December 2, 2007

Over the Top Award for November

November's OTT award winner is Chateau Chêne Blanc. Almost complete, this home takes its place on a 1+ acre lot alongside other generously-sized properties on White Oak Rd. The land beneath this house is recently valued over $900,000. No record of the purchase price is available, it is zoned R-4.

OTT reported the original home's disappearance in June and September. Part of a continuing change on the major avenues, the mix of older homes and several new Over The Top houses and subdivisions are doing everything but blending together these days.

BTW, this lack of blend is duly noted on the City-Data Forum. After a wonderful description of life ITB, it concludes with this advice:

Be advised that living ITB comes with a cost premium. You will get less house (s.f.) than elsewhere. You will pay more per s.f. when you buy or rent. But, for those of us who think life is more about what happens outside our immediate property than inside, I highly recommend you give it a good long look.

Then a poster adds this:
I have read a little about tear down neighborhoods - problems with large homes over shadowing smaller older ones. Are certain neighborhoods more prone to this??

Some neighborhoods have fought for historic designation to ward off such vile activity. However, there are some neighborhoods where the existing home is in such bad repair that the cost of fixing it up is higher than scraping and building new. In these cases, you might see an appropriately scaled new home in a historic district.

If I were trying to avoid the most amount of scraping, I'd avoid Anderson Heights (Anderson Drive and White Oak Rd area). There is a lot of this sort of activity going on there mainly because there are lots of small homes on large lots near some of the most oustanding homes in the city. However, it's not just the small homes being scraped. Sometimes big homes are torn down in favor of even bigger, fancier ones. When they are done, there won't be any small(ish) homes in that neighborhood.
As for the neighborhoods that see less of this activity, I'd say that Cameron Park, Oakwood, Mordecai, Boylan Heights and Glenwood/Brooklyn are safer bets.

That takes us back full circle. I will miss the graceful older homes and the people who graced them.

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