Photo courtesy of Betsy Spiker
In this difficult market for high-end homes, at least one seller found a buyer without looking.
A Deep Creek Lake house that changed hands last Friday for $3.5 million -- a record in the Western Maryland vacation spot, according to the buyers' agent -- wasn't actually on the market. The buyers looked at homes people wanted to sell but didn't fall in love with any of them, so agent Betsy Spiker with Long & Foster Real Estate thought she'd call the builder whose family lived in the stucco home pictured above to see if he'd be willing to part with it.
"I said, 'I do know the family in that house -- let me take a shot in the dark here,'" she said.
What, you might ask, are the buyers getting for their $3.5 million? The house as it stands now is four bedrooms with three full bathrooms and two half bathrooms on the main and upper levels. But the contract includes a deal for the builder to finish the huge, 3,100-square-foot basement, adding a bedroom and a variety of elements from a sauna to an elevator.
All told, the house, its porches and garages add up to about 14,000 square feet of covered space, Spiker said. The sellers built it in 2007.
Here's a glimpse of the interior:
The buyers, who paid in cash, are from the Pittsburgh area and want the home as a vacation spot. (It had been the sellers' primary residence.)
Spiker said the previous record price for a Deep Creek Lake home -- about $2.8 million in May 2007 -- was set in the same neighborhood, the Reserve at Holy Cross.
Deep Creek Lake's luxury market is clearly not back to its housing-boom heyday. The area saw 14 sales for $1 million or more in the last 12 months, compared with about 25 in 12-month stretches before the slump, Spiker said. But she says she is seeing improvement over the recent past.
"It's been better, I would say, since March," she said. "Our traffic is mostly weekend traffic, because it's a second home market. But so far it seems to be a significant increase from ’09, in just general activity and contracts as well."
So that's a postcard from the high end. If you've got a tale of a local home purchase under $250,000 that you think is a screaming good deal, I'd be happy to share that story, too.