Transforming an LV Cottage

By Dave Fratello | October 30th, 2012
1605 Harkness
They really should make more houses like 1605 Harkness.

This Liberty Village cottage was in original – and degraded – condition when it hit the market in February. (See our review from then.)

But boy, oh, boy, did they rework it over the ensuing 6 months or so.

This 60-year-old scraper was given the treatment by some inspired pro remodelers. They added square footage.

It was: 3br/1ba, 1075 sq. ft.

It is now: 3br/2ba, 1500 sq. ft.

Added-on Family Room at 1605 Harkness
More importantly, they gave the place a darling, up-to-date, must-have feel. Bright, sunny, modern, with a little outdoor space – not too much, not too little. They rebuilt the kitchen with terrific flair, and added a family room that is the new focal point of the home.

In our early-October review, we noted the "wonderful sense of style." Yes, even your blog author here was kinda moved.

In upswinging markets, all kinds of fly-by-night flipper/remodelers will come to town and bid on "project homes" like 1605 Harkness. The good fortune this time, for this home, was that the flippers cared. They did it right.

You'll want the basic details on this one.

1605 Harkness hit the market at $759k when it was a mess back in February. The remodelers got it for less: $705k (mid-March closing).

The finished product came out at $1.059m about 3 weeks ago, and they posted a deal exactly 30 minutes after Dave walked through the first brokers' open. They didn't even wait for the first public opens the next day.

Sale price: $1.095m, all cash.

One of the reasons this project feels so right is what it represents in Liberty Village. It seems the "right" kind of progress.

It's very easy to find a plot of land anywhere in MB and build out some kind of maximum house. That may be the trend anywhere, but it's especially the trend closer to the water.

Liberty Village has its own identity. It's a little pocket of Mayberry, a string of nearly identical, small, postwar cottages that create a sweet, throwback, neighborhood feel. The big, newer, would-be mansions feel out of place. You don't really sense that bigger is the future in the LV.

1605 Harkness – in its retooled form – is saying: The future is in improving, slightly expanding, and making those original homes great. 

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