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The Saga of the Couple Next Door Continues – Lakes Region Real Estate Report Gather

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Posted 04-22-2017 at 01:13 PM by Roy Sanborn



Listening to the Couple Next Door

If you have been following my retelling of the story of Albert and Ethel from the 1958 CBS radio broadcasts of the Couple Next Door in the Lakes Region Real Estate Report, you will remember that they sold their home on their own for what they thought was a lot of money ($27,500.) Now have thirty days to get out. They are looking for an apartment to rent while they build a new home on some land they just purchased with beautiful views and lake frontage. But, they didn’t really consider the fact that there is no road to get to it. This is a story of real estate mishaps gone wild. If you haven’t been following the story, well, you are pretty much caught up!

The Architect

In a following episode, a local architect, Mr. Rogers (no, not that Mr. Rogers!), arrives at their home to start working on a set of house plans for them. Albert wants to make it very clear right from the start that they don’t want too much, just “a nice, simple livable home with modern conveniences that’s all. We can do without the six car garage and swimming pool.”


Mr. Rogers asks them what style of home they had in mind. Ethel says they hadn’t agreed on the final style. She wants a colonial or “English style” and Albert wants a “70’s modern” home. Clearly at odds on this basic style they decide to start on the inside first…


Ethel wants large rooms with “room to breathe” and things like window seats, French doors, cozy nooks, lots of built ins, and “lots and lots” of closets. “Lots and lots” is Ethel’s most favorite expression to use when designing her home. She also wants all the appliances in the kitchen to be built -in so it doesn’t look “too ‘kitcheny,’ you know.”


Albert pipes in that if there is one thing that he wants even if can’t have anything else and that is “my own private den.” Ethel says he also needs a workshop where he can keep his tools and work on things. There are just one or two other little things she would like. You know, like a fireplace in the living room, dining room, master bedroom, the den and even in the kitchen. She shows Mr. Rogers a picture of a kitchen she likes she cut out of a magazine so he can see what she wants.

The Floor Plan

They pull out a floor plan they had drawn. Ethel points out the living room with fireplace and French doors leading to flagstone terrace. She explains she wants old-fashioned bow windows with window seats. Albert shows him where the den is and wants floor to ceiling built-in book cases, with indirect lighting, and paneled walls.


They both keep firing away with their ever-growing list of desires including a big front hall with a suspended winding staircase, closets all over the place, a pantry with “lots and lots” of shelves, a sewing room that would lead out to the gardens, a rumpus room with ping pong table in the basement, beamed ceilings in the living and dining rooms, and a two-car garage with maybe just two little guest rooms above. Ethel shows him the master bedroom with French doors leading to a sleeping porch, the fireplace, “lots and lots” of closets, and bathroom.
Albert chimes in he wants glassed in showers everywhere. Ethel says there is to be a guest room and she also wants a kitchen in there overlooking the lake. Mr. Rogers looks at the plan and asks what this room is and Ethel says that’s “sort-of” her den upstairs. They decide they want a circular drive so people don’t back into each other. They’d also like a little green house outside if that doesn’t cost too much but if it does they can scratch that off the list.


Albert states emphatically he wants only the very best materials to be used in the construction because it will last a lot longer. Mr. Rogers agrees that most people just don’t understand that and object to the cost of using quality building materials which actually saves money in the end.






The Million Dollar Question

Albert then asks Mr. Rogers the million-dollar question “How much will this cost, I know you can’t give an exact amount on the spur I the moment?” Mr. Rogers murmurs, pausing, and ponders a bit, “well, roughly, I didn’t see why you can’t do it very nicely for $175,000.” Things go pretty silent…

After cutting to the commercial break, Ethel says “We’ll just have to get another architect, that’s what we’ll do.” Albert says Mr. Rogers is the best one in town! She laments, “Why should it cost so much more money to have a stairway that winds rather than one that goes up straight?” Albert says” I feel like a fool, I had no idea things cost so much.” “Well, we’ve never done any building, Dear, not a thing.”


Ethel moans “and I still don’t see why it costs so much…I got the ideas out of a magazine, here look at this ‘We built our lovely home for only $24,000’ and look at it, it is just done. I got all my ideas out of things like this.” Albert says.” Well, the trouble with us is we took an idea from this and one from that and never added them together!” They decide that they could still have a nice house but that they’d have to cut back a little and maybe do additions a little later…but they still have to have four bedrooms and “lots and lots” of closets. Does any of this sound remotely familiar?

The March Real Estate Sales Report

There were 84 residential homes sales in March in the twelve Lakes Region communities covered by this report. The average sales price came in at $293,022 and the media price point was $205,000. That brings the total number of sales for the year thus far to 205 compared to 201 homes sold in the first three months of 2016. That’s “lots and lots” of homes… but we need more new listings to keep up the pace!



Lakes Region Real Estate Market Report compiled using the NEREN MLS system
Posted in Real Estate
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