Oh Yes, It Is Big

Posted by Dave Fratello on Sunday, February 3rd, 2008 at 5:03am.

Apropos for Super Bowl Sunday, today we feature one of the largest and priciest new Tree Section homes. The copy for 2204 Palm calls it a "Colossal Corner Cape Cod," and here's a case where the home easily lives up to the hype. (Nice alliteration there, too. Who said realtors can't be writers?)

The home offers 6br/6ba (including partials) and 4925 sq. ft. Amazingly, this is on a lot that's only slightly bigger, at 4950 sq. ft. The secret: giant basement. (More on that shortly.)

The start price is big, too: $3.45m, meaning there are just 2 Tree Section listings now priced higher (3305 Laurel at $3.65m and 769 33rd at $4.5m).

2204 Palm (click the address for details – and, sadly, meager pics – via Redfin) has a lot going for it:
  • Great build quality with fine details and finishes;
  • Extra-large great room opening to a somewhat larger-than-standard patio/yard;
  • Nicely flowing layout – we entered off 22nd and nearly forgot there was a garage (on Palm), a nice contrast to the standard garage-fronted setup; and
  • Quiet, heart-of-the-trees location.
Less obviously, this house is surprisingly bright on the main levels. The corner lot faces north and there's a 2-story home to the south, which could have meant shady living spaces. Quite the opposite is true, though, because the design called for lots of windows – some oversized, some faux dormer skylights – to draw in extra light from the unobstructed north side.

The whole package is quite an achievement, and MBC's biggest question in seeing it was why this one wasn't pre-sold. The best homes in the best locations have a way of not making it to market. Maybe just a sign of the times.

Now, that basement. It, too, is big. A family of 4 could easily live there, with its multiple rooms and space that must exceed 1500 sq. ft. (The listing suggests you use it for a home theater, gym and so on and so on... we're guessing some interior designer some day will freak a bit in trying to make use of all this space.)

Interestingly, the price does not assume that all the home's square footage is equal. This one starts at $700/PSF. That's down from the range we've seen on some quality new construction over the past 6 months, although up a bit from the PPSF on the 3 most recently sold newbies.

Still, it's $3.45m, out of the range of a lot of regular folks. If you're wondering how to pay for it, a handout at the open helpfully explains (we translate a bit here):
  • Start with $1m down (30%);
  • Take an interest-only loan (5yr/7yr options are sketched);
  • Pay $12k/mo. in interest (no principal); plus
  • Pay $3,7000/mo. in tax/insurance.
So there's a partial answer to how you get in at this level – fork over $1m, pay $16k/mo. and gamble just a bit on future home values and rates (relevant to an implied re-fi down the road).

Another option: Partner with another family of 4, go halvsies on the d/p and monthly payment, and flip for who gets the basement.
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