Got Money . . . ?

by wjw on May 15, 2007

Got money?
Are you not simply comfortable or well off, but, well, rich?
Do you regularly make impulse purchases of six figures or more?
If you needed to fly coast-to-coast in a hurry, could you rent a private jet without worrying about it? (Never mind if you actually would; the question is could you?)
In that case, you really need to check out this house now.
It’s known as the “Gingerbread House,” and has been a historical and artistic landmark of Sag Harbor, N.Y., since the 1850s. It’s a one-of-a-kind Victorian home, gorgeously ornamented on the outside, handsomely decorated inside, with large rooms. It’s sitting on a deep lot that fronts on Main Street, and it’s zoned commercial.
Kathy’s widowed mom bought the house in 1964, back when nobody was interested in old Victorians, and it’s been in the family ever since. Since Camille passed away, the house came into the hands of other family members, including my lovely spouse. They’ve now decided to put it on the market.
If you’re rich, of course you’ll want to own this house. (Hell, I don’t know who reads this blog.) If you’re not rich, of course you’ll want to do your rich friends a favor and tell them that the Gingerbread House can be theirs.
There’s an open house on Thursday. Get in your private jet and go!
Kelly May 16, 2007 at 12:50 am

What a beautiful house! Best of luck to Kathy and her sibs. I hope there’s a heated bidding war.

Tarl Neustaedter May 16, 2007 at 1:50 am

Gee, after you (or your spouse) collect $2.2 million, will you still be writing?

I’m guessing that there are other stakeholders splitting the take, and I don’t have to worry about you unexpectedly retiring to a Caribbean island never to be heard from again.

Tracy Taylor May 16, 2007 at 1:15 pm

That house is gorgeous and if I was rich, famous and able to buy it, I would in an instant.

But I’m not, so I wish you all the best getting it sold – though I will say it’s a bit of a shame that it’s leaving the family.

I absolutely love Victorians. We own one, albeit semi-detached (meaning we share a fire wall). We have three floors, all with 9+ foot ceilings, a full basement made of real brownstone, 8 inch solid wood base boards, a sitting room/receiving area complete with french-doors, a formal dining room, front and back staircases, and all wrapped up in a hundred year plus of woodwork.

The downside, the neighborhood. We live in Trenton, NJ and all the old houses like ours have long since been cut up and turned into two or three apartments. To the best of my knowledge ours is the only one left intact in the neighborhood, another shame. Plus the house is, well, old, and that means inefficient and finicky to work on. We have plaster walls which means cracking and “creative” solutions to repairing holes and what not. The slate roof just needed to be replaced this spring along with the gutters and custom done drop tubes – don’t even get me started on roofing contractors. And we’ll be redoing the windows sometime over the next couple of years, noting that all of them were custom made back in the day so no two of the 21 are the same size. Also, it desperately needs to be updated inside – someone wall-papered every surface throughout – and its exterior painted.

Still, all told, I have to say I love the old girl, wrinkles and all. We have space and character. She’s stood strong this long, and during the windy, stormy nights (after checking the attic and basement), I can’t help but feel that she’ll withstand pretty much anything that comes along – except natural disasters, of course, but then she can’t really be expected to.

Laurie Mann May 16, 2007 at 4:50 pm

Boy, that is a real neat house, but given my novel will probably never sell and I’ll probably never win more than $35 playing the lottery, it’s damned unlikely. Good luck selling it.

dubjay May 16, 2007 at 8:18 pm

Kathy isn’t the sole owner of the house, so all the money won’t be coming here, and I won’t be retiring anytime soon.

It sure will pay some bills, though.

I notice that the listing shows the house as having two bedrooms, whereas I count 4 or 5, depending on how you choose to use the upstairs.

As Tracy notes, taking care of an old house is always a challenge. Though I’ve always thought it would be fun to live in a Charles Addams house, complete with tower and oculus windows (through which shine the mysterious light), I thought it would be easier to build one from scratch than to buy an old one. I understand there are kits.

It sure would look odd in the Southwest, though.

Melinda Snodgrass May 17, 2007 at 5:55 pm

Whoa, Walter, this is the first time I’ve seen a picture of the house. It’s stunning! Are you sure you don’t want to live in Sag Harbor, and have a small sail boat?

But seriously, I would miss you horribly if you ever went away.

Good luck on selling the house. I don’t think you’re going to have any trouble finding a buyer.


Foxessa May 18, 2007 at 1:20 am

You do see quite a few houses like that in the older parts of Austin, for instance, and in Houston. I can’t remember about San Antonio though, it’s been so long since I was in that city.

Love, C.

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