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$3.2 million

Posted by gibby3000 (My Page) on
Mon, Dec 11, 06 at 21:06

I was perusing the local real estate ads - just to see what's for sale in my community. This one really struck me. What do you think about a $3.2 million house with this kitchen? It's a nice kitchen but geez, I would expect something pretty spectacular at that price. I'm in Minnesota by the way - not California.

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Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: $3.2 million

Boy that does not impress me even in the least, I've seen many more spectacular kitchens here on THS that would rank in that price of a home. The rest of the home, yard and acreage must be something!


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RE: $3.2 million

Well, as a CA resident, I think it looks pretty nice :) For 3.2 million in many places around here, your whole house might fit in that kitchen!

It's funny how you quickly lose perspective when it comes to money! I remember when I got a job that paid $5/hr and I thought I'd hit the jackpot.


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RE: $3.2 million

The floor is pretty. I wonder what it is?


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RE: $3.2 million

looks like red oak

I thought *yawn*. Nice,, but...it looks like a builders kitchen, not a designers kitchen...

reminds me of a friend who bought a $900k pre-owned house, but she kept tellig me she didn't like the panels on the fridge. couldn't tell me why. (she's a realtor and sells $1mil+ houses...) I understood immediately when I walked into her kitchen--nice dark cherry cabs, dark granite, big wolf professional range... and at the end of the cabinet run... the fridge with matching front panels. No end panels, just the black sides of the fridge. And NO cabinet over the fridge...just a black fridge with wooden panels on the front floating in space...it looks ridiculous! It looks so unfinished...


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RE: $3.2 million

Your probably paying for something else, land, square footage, etc. They didn't put as much thought into the kitchen as we do on ours at GW. For my taste it's too much wood!!!
Donna


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RE: $3.2 million

Look at how far it is between the sink and the fridge. The fridge is probably situated to be handy for the beer drinkers. I don't think anyone actually cooks there.

The bar seating is not oriented for conversation, just convenience for a server.


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RE: $3.2 million

For a mere $495,900, you could have a home with this kitchen (near my house in Washington state):

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Yes folks, it's a manufactured home! Triple-wide and only a few years old, but still a manufactured home. And, they just reduced the price from $545,000.

Of course, there's a lot more to pricing a property than just how nice the kitchen is. This home is on 22 acres, but other than that has no real outstanding features. Not a lick of landscaping, no garage (just an old barn), and most of the property is inaccessible and/or covered in blackberry bushes.


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RE: $3.2 million

First thing I would do with that kitchen is add crown molding. I would also get rid of the chandelier, which doesn't seem to match the style of the cabinets at all, and add cabinet hardware that is more visible. The some colorful window treatments and a few accessories with the same colors. If the granite backsplash could be removed I would do that too, and do tile instead.

You can tell the builder picked out the kitchen. It looks like every builder (non-designer) kitchen I have seen - medium stain cabinet with tons of dark granite.

DH and I went to look at a new house in an upscale subdivision when we were trying to decide if we would build. This house was about $200k above our price range, but it was approximately what we would be able to build if we built ourselves. The kitchen was a huge let down. Partial overlay maple cabinets, no special details (no pot drawers, no trim, blah), tons of dark granite, 4" backsplash and mid-range appliances. The kitchen was HUGE, but there was no island and there were only cabinets in a L shape (the kitchen could have handled twice as many cabinets). I have seen nicer kitchens on here when people refer to their kitchen as a budget remodel.

The realtor asked me what I thought, and I told her that the kitchen was a deal breaker. "But its new!". Blech. At least if it's old you can justify ripping it out!


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RE: $3.2 million

The house must be on a gorgeous lake because it isn't the kitchen that is driving up the price.


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RE: $3.2 million

Want to have fun on a rainy day? Look up your own zip code on Realtor.com, and check out your neighbors. I like to check out the ones that have additional pictures and look for kitchens. Pretty bad stuff out there after looking at all the gallery pictures of the kitchens of the TKO around here!


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RE: $3.2 million

Very bland. No character.


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RE: $3.2 million

Yes it's on a very nice lot but it's not all about the land - even if the lot were $1 million - still not a $2.2 million kitchen IMHO. It's a relatively new house with alot of expensive features - like all brick construction. Big factor though I think is that it is an enormous house -everything about it is gargantuan in my opinion. That kitchen looks oversized to me with alot of empty, unused space - the entire house is like that. It's really interesting though, isn't it? I imagine someone will buy it and think nothing of adding a couple hundred thousand more to redo the kitchen the way they want it. Hard to imagine......


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RE: $3.2 million

I imagine someone will buy it and think nothing of adding a couple hundred thousand more to redo the kitchen the way they want it. Hard to imagine......

A new spec house near me sold a couple years ago for about 2M, and the interior was surprisingly nicely done for a spec. Really nice materials and great design - it looked like someone turned an interior decorator loose on it. All natural stone flooring throughout, mosaic tile in the bathrooms, all granite or marble vanities, etc. The kitchen was really nice with distressed cabs, chiseled edge granite (with a 3" edge treatment), hand-carved newels and corbels, etc. Anyway, it sold pretty quickly and the new owner proceeded to gut the house and redo everything. And then not even six months later they moved!


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RE: $3.2 million

Bland, boring, vanilla. Yep, what Allison said. For 3.2 mil, I'd want at least a little pizzazz (and decent p.m. lighting)!


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RE: $3.2 million

Ya know, the most expensive home I've ever worked in-- a $10.2 million home in Northeast Harbor, Maine, also had the most bland finishes I've ever seen.
Just as an example, the owner, for his hardwood flooring, had timbers from the old Sears building in Chicago milled down and installed. The installer did a beautiful job installing it, and I mean it was an impressive floor. He finished it on a friday afternoon. Monday morning, any piece of wood that showed the slightest bit of grain had a big Marksalot magic marker "X" on it and had to be pulled. By the time they were done, it was, as Pualine so aptly put it, plain vanilla. Instead of spending the 25.00 a foot that he did for this stuff, he could have bought ash for about 2.00 a foot, and had the exact same floor!!

Even my work-- techincally, it was the most perfect job I've ever done-- 6 bathrooms, all mud walls and floors-- and just as perfect a job as has ever been done. I very rarely show pics of it to anyone because to look at it, unless you know what to look for in the workmanship, it's very unremarkable. But just for the tile in 6 bathrooms, it cost him almost 70,000.00, and took me from the first week of may until the third week of september. You'd never know it to look at it, though, and it's been my experience that the more exclusive homes (high 7 figures and more) are mostly the same in this respect.


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RE: $3.2 million

There's an old saying around here somewhere about this....let me see if I can find it....

Oh, yes, that's right, its this one....

Money, and lots of it, doesn't necessarily buy taste....

A bit mean perhaps, but apropos in this case.

I did some looks in my area - southern NJ.
Unfortunately the pictures aren't fantastic. Some of the listings didn't even have pictures of the kitchen.

This one is a bit over $1m (still under construction)
http://homepics.realtor.com/image3/http/trend/listings/large/037/4622172e.jpg

This one is $1.35m
http://homepics.realtor.com/image3/http/trend/listings/large/000/4797530c.jpg

The rest either didn't have pictures, or were taken in a way to distract you from the kitchen. I guess that says something too.


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RE: $3.2 million

davewg,
Do you know how to URL the link to the picture. After you write your message below is a Optional URL link. Go back to your web address and left click on the address to highlight it, then right click and copy the link. Then come back to the URL link and right click and paste the link. I think that's how you do it. Then it will be easy for us to see your pictures.
Donna


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RE: $3.2 million

Yep - I know, but you can only use that for one link.

Since I had two, I figured it was just easier to do it that way. I tried to get the pictures to show right in the message, but they wouldn't link in.


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RE: $3.2 million

I am never putting my kitchen pictures up here ever.


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RE: $3.2 million

flyleft,
What am I missing? Why would you never post your kitchen pictures here?
Donna


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RE: $3.2 million

Because that's my kitchen.

JUST KIDDING

No, seriously, this thread has revealed what's really being thought behind (some of) the nice comments on people's kitchens...the ones posted and ones described aren't all that different from some I've seen here and yet the kinds of comments are very different, evidently when people think that they're not talking to the person whose kitchen it is...

For instance, in that picture, I could see it being warmed up immensely by some beautiful oriental (or other) rugs, and some folks were talking about how they *like* the fridge out of the main work triangle, on purpose, because then it's accessible for more than the cook and folks trying to get in and out of it won't get in the cook's way. I also saw a kitchen with a lineup of stools like that when we were house shopping and it was because the person ran professional cooking classes out of her house and that was her audience section, no kidding. (She also had a gas cooktop *and* an electric cooktop, just an interesting data point)

Anyway, you get the idea: I felt a very different kind of energy on this thread compared to the ones about actual posters' kitchens...


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RE: $3.2 million

Fly - my intention was definitely not to get any negative energy going. Quite contrary to that - the kitchens people do here are often much more spectacular and even more impressive when people probably had a smaller budget to work with. As it is I think that's quite a lovely kitchen and I would have been very happy to have it before I got my new kitchen - but now that I have something that reflects a year of deciding on every little thing, I like my own choices - as everyone would.

What is remarkable, after becoming so engrossed in kitchens and agonizing over every detail and every penny spent is: to find that someone who obviously could spend alot of money on their home when they built it - did not seem to feel very much of a need to agonize over all those details. And that may be more representative of the general population - than the population here. Or maybe people have just become more focused on grand kitchens in the last few years. And then I wonder - will the new buyers be more like us - or be perfectly happy with that whopping big kitchen as is.


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RE: $3.2 million

Fly, I'd disagree. I think there's a major difference between the kitchen pictured here and our member's kitchens and Namabafo said it best..."it looks like a builder's kitchen"

Big budget or small, folks here always manage to bring a piece of themselves & their personalities through in their kitchen design. I'm not seeing ANY personality in the above kitchen.


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RE: $3.2 million

My first thought was that it's been depersonalized for sale, I suspect. The chandelier hints at what it may have looked like when it "belonged" to someone. We also can't see the backsplash. And we don't know what the counter material looks like up close. And like I mentioned before, I can't believe there weren't rugs in there. I could make that exact kitchen look "personal" with about 30 mins of effort. I think folks are shortchanging it by assuming that's how it looked from day to day...but hey. That's just me.


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RE: $3.2 million kitchen

From my experience, if you are planning to spend that kind of money on a house (I am in the DC area) then usually you are not going to be spending much time in the kitchen anyway.

Around here I have exactly 2 friends that actually like to cook. The rest of them run out to COSTCO and buy the ready made stuff, or I guess they have it catered.

You know, when designing a kitchen for yourself you are really putting everything on the line. I have had people say to me "You don't want a contemporary kitchen" (I don't know what I want? huh?) or "why don't you just knock your house down and build a bigger (ie 6000 sq ft)house- over my dead body- I have to clean it (one of my least favorite things) my personal favorite: "You know if you cut down the trees you'll have alot more light" (I love my 1/3 acre lot just for the trees and designed the addition around them)


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RE: $3.2 million

flyleft,
I think the reason we don't like this kitchen is because for $3.2 million we expect a WOW, WOW, WOW kitchen and this is not that kitchen. We want to see the most exotic cabinets and countertops available. Top of the line appliances, maybe even a chef waiting for us to come to dinner.
I have seen all of the recent finished kitchens on this forum and have to say that each one takes my breath away. They look like they are out of the pages of a magazine and I'm not just saying that, I really mean it. Maybe it's because we are all so aware of every last detail.
This kitchen is kind of one dimensional. It could be nice, but it needs some help from the Gardenweb Kitchen forum don't you think?
Donna


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RE: $3.2 million

I have a few friends whose homes fit in this price range or above. Their homes tend to the very, very popular Old World/French style with limestone, marble or very rare granite. The floors are always reclaimed and almost always wormy chestnut. Antiques from France are used as part of the island.(Or the pastry/baking section)The range is usually french and the faucets are either Herbeau or Perrin and Rowe.(All these women know one another and have no problem with the fact that their kitchens have ALOT in common. They are not TKOed, they will change out their kitchen when the trend fades but they will wait for folks like us in the forum to decide something else is just the ticket. They, unlike a TKOer aren't terrifically in love with the look but they do know they want whatever is being called 'best' at the moment)

Absolutely none of them would tolerate the kitchen Gibby posted. The floor is wood but it's not rare. The kitchen is full of wood but it's not exceptional. And rich or poor...I think what we're all reacting against in that photo is that visually the kitchen while being obviously huge(you need a sherpa to trek to the fridge) it strangely feels small.(Just look at the minute amount of backsplash and the one lone chandelier....designwise this kitchen is just unbalanced) There's all this wood on one side, all the many chairs lined up, the huge expanse of floor and it's all crowding the functional kitchen into a tiny corner. This is like a nightmare where an eevil KD who's only interested in selling cabinets gets bit by a radioactive spider and forces a builder to carry forth his eevil plan for world domination through senseless kitchens full of cabinets.

In short, the kitchen is dreadful and I've never seen ANY kitchen on the forums like this. There's no there there, not a spec of personality or weird whimsical impulse to be found. Just empty hollow bad design.


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How about this one for $20 million!

Here is one in my neck of the woods. You are paying the big bucks for the land and the size of the house but not a fancy kitchen. BTW, mine is nowhere near this price! $20,000,000
Clare


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RE: $3.2 million

Here is a 3.2M kitchen in my old neighborhood. Not a great picture but you can see it has personality.


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RE: $3.2 million

It's for *sale*, Donna...some people think that means deliberately taking all the "personality" out of a kitchen. It's not on display for a competition, etc. It's someone's style MINUS their style. People are criticizing the layout, too, not just the "personality", e.g. the stools and the sink-fridge distance and I can definitely tell you I've seen layouts that have those features in the forum.

But I wouldn't say it's illegal to talk about the kitchen in the way people have been; people can say whatever they want. To me it was just revealing.


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RE: $3.2 million

I can not with authority weigh in on the finer legal points of this situation but I do wonder what is the difference between discussing the technical and artistic merits of this kitchen and discussing the technical and artistic merits of say a Remington statue or painting by Cassat?

I think it would be different if we posted a house and said--look--this is Julia Roberts' kitchen and then proceeded to critique it as her kitchen. Because this kitchen is sort of unattached at the moment I think it is different.

Personally, as someone who will never (short of a winning lottery ticket) be able to afford a $3.2 million house, I kind of look with wonder at houses in that price range. I kind of expect them to have fairy tale kitchens with all the features that I could never hope to aspire to. This kitchen has more space than I could hope to aspire to but beyond that it seems more vanilla than I would have expected--no dramatic focal point.


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RE: $3.2 million

What is so wonderful about people is that they have such different tastes. I think this kitchen is beautiful and with a few rugs would really 'pop'.

Whoever buys this house will probably just love the kitchen.

Everyone is more than entitled to their own opinion, but I think it is a mistake to assume that it doesn't live up to the homes price tag unless you happen to be an expert in that paticular real estate market.

I would not be happy if I found one of my listings posted on a web site with uninvited commentary either. Someone posting on a forum requesting feedback is a lot different to someone trying to sell their home and having their imagine used and critiqued without their knowledge.
Having said that it is very clear to me that the OP didn't intend any malice with it at all and it is interesting to see what your $$$s will buy you in different areas of the country.


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RE: $3.2 million

Okay, forget the kitchen - I want to know how many people are looking for a home where the bed is on a 'stage'??


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RE: $3.2 million

Sticking to the original topic, yes, I think the kitchen looks rather 'bare bones'. Part of the reason for the cavernous look is that it appears that the photographer took the pic with a fisheye lens.

This kitchen looks to me to be designed as a more of a butler's pantry. They probably eat out all the time and if they do entertain it is a catered dinner party. Caterers bring in food already preped and it is only finished off or thrown together to be served at the site.

I've worked catered events at mansions and high end homes and I can tell you that they seem to have two extremes in kitchen design.

One is a kitchen where it looks like they gave a designer a blank check and the kitchen is filled with every wingding and widget on the market. An example I saw, was a deep fryer set in and built right into the granite counter. It was gathering dust.

Often times the madame of the home does not even know how to operate some of the fancy built-ins, including the stove. Really.

The other type of kitchen is designed solely for catering. It is bare-bones functional, with lots of space to make it easier for a team of caterers to throw together a semi-formal dinner for twelve or a backyard summer party with finger food for 200. Caterers bring in things that only need finishing off, like dinner rolls that are par baked, and filets that are already skinned, sliced, marinated and wrapped in bacon, and twice baked potatoes that only need heating. Salad ingredients are already washed and chopped or shredded and only need to be tossed together with the dressing added.

In these types of kitchens the madame stays out of the kitchen and out of the way and only cares about the final presentation to her guests. They don't use the kitchen and don't care about whether the kitchen floor is in a bright, cheery color and accents the countertop, but rather that the builder used non slippery tiles so that a member of the staff doesn't slip and sue them.

It's a whole different lifestyle, one that we on this board probably haven't lived.


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RE: $3.2 million

bud_wi,
What does "the madame" use the statues in the bathroom for, to hang her bathrobe??
Donna


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RE: $3.2 million

bud_wi - that's a really interesting perspective - the entertaining/catering thing. Being that I've never used a caterer I never even think in those terms. But I know there are folks that do alot of that kind of thing - and there are probably a good number of them in the neighborhood where this home is located.

A friend of mine purchased a very large home that was built in the 60's with all the best things money could buy at that time - including SZ and Garland appliances. The home was never used as a home - it was a second home and used extensively for entertaining. Granted kitchens of the 60's were nothing like they are today but now that you mention it, I can see how that kitchen - nice as it is - was also probably designed for entertaining and catering. Interesting perspective.....


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RE: $3.2 million

I don't think the house linked to is of the caliber that Bud is talking about. Look carefully at the pictures. The house has small stock window molding, no detailed finish carpentry, the bathroom looks dated and has cheap looking tile not stone, the bathroom countertops look like Corian, the bathroom has cheap light fixtures and mirrors, the foyer has a cheap looking light fixture, it doesn't look like the archway is trimmed out, the retaining wall is concrete blocks rather than stone, there is no crown molding in the kitchen even though the cabinets don't go to the ceiling, they used short baseboards, the house does not look professionally decorated, the furniture looks cheap.

There is nothing about that house, other than its size, that would indicate it is a luxury house. It is basically a huge builder's spec house. This does not look like the house of someone who regularly hires caterers. It actually reminds me of a house a friend of mine looked at. It was about that price range and was similarly (sparsely) decorated and looked like it needed about another $100k in finish carpentry. Ended up the builder couldn't unload it so he was living in it for 2 years to get the tax break.

It may be worth what they are asking (it is assessed for 2.1m), but it is nothing special. It's just big.


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RE: $3.2 million

gibby3000,
that is just my observation from what I see in the kitchen picture. It looks designed for serving large groups using commercial equipment. The ovens look to be 36" to take the large baking sheets. The refigerator looks like it is professional size to fit trays in slides. Even the finger counter looks sized to set out and line up a row of baking sheets so that a team can assemble canape or finger sandwiches quickly. The cupboards look sized to hold chafing dishes, punch bowls, large trays,ect.

The kitchen is spacious with a lot of floor area. It looks purposely designed so that it could easily roll in hot boxes and bakers towers without getting in workers way.

Caterers for large events often take the china back with them an have it all run through a commercial dishwasher at their commissary.

I am wondering if this place was used as a corporate conference center or a retreat center? I know businesses in my area that buy/build big homes and put corporate guests up in them, rather than footing a huge hotel bill for visiting groups of clients or even have it as a place for their own visiting corporate officers.

That would explain the cheap boring furniture throughout, and the bedroom that looks like it is outfitted in hotel furniture right down to the generic painting that are probably glued to the wall.

There seem to be a great number of grouped seating areas throughout the house that are rather formal yet 'comfy'. This is the sort of thing you see at conference centers where you have a group of strangers staying in the place. The furniture placement seems to have a sort of Bed and Breakfast Inn "feel" to the arrangment.

I don't think this was a religious retreat center with that comical statue in the bathroom. I can't even see that thing being put in a corporate conference place. Our local university has conference center that was a huge house, that was donated by an alumni to the school, but they have real art in it. That thing is rather weird.

It may have been de-cluttered for showing, but a lot of the decor placements seem very generic and yet masculine - the world globe in the foyer, the sailboat model in the media room, maybe the kitsch bathroom statue was there to add a smile to gentlemens faces.

If you look at the realtor listing it DOES SAY that there is a second kitchen. I am thinking that there is a small breakfast kitchen either off of the bedrooms or off of the lounge area - coffee pot, micro, tiny fridge - not a lavish one better than the one pictured.

Sue36 is right about the place being builders grade but for some people, they do have NICE homes and this sort of thing out in the country, is what they would have for their weekend home. It is located in 'lake country' and the listing even says "Great for Entertaining!" It is designed with the master on the first floor and five equal size guest rooms on the second floor away from the master. It doesn't seem to be designed with families in mind.


All in all I can't see this being 3.2M in the MN market even given the location.


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RE: $3.2 million

Budwi...fascinating analysis! It feels like we are now playing a mystery game or something. This is fun!


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RE: $3.2 million

Bud_wi, That was a fascinating forensic analysis! Seriously. You must be a real real-estate buff to have been able to see these tell-tale signs and put them together. It was most interesting reading.
But now I really am most curious who or what owned that house previously and who or what buys it and for what purpose! See how close you were to the truth. Maybe we can start putting dibs on various owner profiles? ;-)

I was most struck by that statue in the bathroom and the raised bed in the bedroom too. Quite odd.


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RE: $3.2 million

I'm thinking I may need to pay attention to how the sale of this place turns out - at least what it goes for - and report back. Though I'm not sure I would want to stir this all up again in the future. I can tell you though it was built to be a private home and still is - it's in a private community where you wouldn't be able to build something for any other use. I doubt it was a spec home as it's also not the kind of place where they do that kind of thing - private as in gated type community where you don't have parade homes, etc. The closest to a builder's spec home might be a builder built it and lived there and is now building a new home and selling the old one.

I think part of the deal though is that kitchens just weren't as elaborate when that house was built - as they are now - even though that house isn't that old. Even if people could afford it, it just wasn't so much the thing to do. When we were looking for a GC to do our kitchen one guy showed us a house he'd built in this same area - that one was "only" $1.3M. It had a lovely kitchen with more "character" - like many we see here on the forum. Not sure if that was because it was built just a couple years ago or the people who built it just liked that kind of thing - or if that was just this builder's style. The whole house had alot of very nice, expensive details on the interior and exterior. It was on a nice lot but not like the one this $3.2M house is on - and you kind of wondered how can they be asking $1.3M for that house. However when I saw all the interior details I understood. It was more of the "not so big house" concept - where the $3.2M seems to be just the opposite.


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RE: $3.2 million

The picture has been removed so I can't see it, but I can imagine what it looks like. But just a reminder that money does not always compliment taste. I've seen many $$$$$$$$$$ homes that I thought were gawd awful, but then again we can't afford them any how so my opinion doesn't mean much. I've also seen some affordable, very over designed kitchens that I did not like much either.

That aside, if the kitchen is not an important room to this particular family, and it was stated that this was a custom built home, then why should the new owners spend time and money on a room that is just not important to this family? I know that the kitchen is an important room in any home, but as long as the kitchen adequately serves the size of the home, what difference does it make if the kitchen has no personality? And you really have to give a new home at least a year or more to really move in and give the home some personality too.

Homes sell for many reasons, I know we bought our home because of the land and the huge Oaks (the house was a dump). Our new neighbors bought their new home for the 6-car garage as they have 4 children, 2 sets of twins, in high school and all drive. The large multi-car garage was their #1 concern as they could not live with the traffic jam in their drive any more...LOL!

People build homes to their needs and personality and expecting money to change someone's taste is just not realistic.


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RE: $3.2 million

Interesting thread. I sold real Estate for over 20 years and during that time saw a lot of "evolution" of kitchens. What I saw in the northeast in the last few years were a lot of speculation built "McMansions" with cookie cutter traditional (mostly painted finishes)with lots of trim work, fancy appliances etc. What most were missing, as this kitchen was, was a real sense of style. If you look at the 3 new kitchens posted this week, They all did things that suited them, worked around their needs etc and expressed their vision. They used imagination PLUS consistency. The spec homes mostly used whatever was "in."
As others have said, these spec kitchens can be warmed up, decorated etc. so they look fine, but they may never be as special as most of the kitchens I see here designed with such love.


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RE: $3.2 million

I see the link to the house for sale has been removed as well as one of my posts about the house after viewing the link - which doesn't make sense. I did not say where the house was, just gave my opinion on the rest of the house; as in it's all big and plain. :-/


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RE: $3.2 million

The address for the house was in the listing. From there a lot more information can be gathered because that county has all their tax info online. I posted the approximate assessed value above, I believe.


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RE: $3.2 million

I guess my post wasn't clear; I can understand why they removed the link but why my post? There was no info in my post about the house location.


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