The One That Got Away

This is the cape we made an offer on, sight unseen. It’s a quaint little home, built in the 50s, out in the Sunshine area of Deer Isle Maine. The owners thought our offer of $90k was way too low (starting at $139k and lowered to $125k when we got interested). They countered high, so we waited to see it.

The property is beautiful, near some nice ledge and it is a short distance from the Eggemoggin Reach and swimming, as well as the Haystack Mountain School of Crafts. We had hoped to make it a vacation home and rental for students / faculty / boaters.

When we finally saw it, we realized that it would need about $50k of work to repair the failed septic, update it some (not much for our mid-century tastes) and deal with the moisture problems. I have allergies, so that’s an issue. We decided against going any higher than $80k. A comparable newer cape, the same size, would only fetch $120-135k in the current market, so it wouldn’t be a great investment and would require a lot of labor and headaches. We’re opting toward new construction or very recent, perhaps even a manufactured home.


  1. Rhonda said:

    This is, after all, Deer Isle. Prices on homes have certainly gone down recently but geesh. You can’t expect something for nothing to live in such a special place. Perhaps you are making a very wise decision to go with a new construction or manufactured home. It doesn’t sound like you’re much into doing your own construction work. Good luck getting what you desire for the price you want.

    September 4, 2008
  2. pietyhill said:

    True enough and Sunshine, I think, is an exceptional part of Deer Isle.

    At this time, we would not be doing much of the work ourselves (especially the septic system). My guess is that someone who can gut the inside will come along and buy the house. I really liked the property and location… I also liked the simplicity of the cape and wouldn’t change much on the inside… just fix the mold problems and such. Others, I think would do a pretty thorough renovation and update.

    It’s damp there… the paint won’t stay on the shingles… probably should be stained or something like that. Everything I saw on the house, including pretty severe frost damage, could be repaired.

    I also appreciated that it was once a family home and had that vibe. I hope someone will come along, who has way more $$$ than we do, and do something nice with it… a tribute to the former owners.

    September 4, 2008

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