There's a cluster of four or five big houses that've been under construction near my place since last fall; two of them were completed and put on the market back in November, and they had an open house that I attended on November 21 (when I wrote most of this entry, but the MLS listings didn't have photos then and I wanted to wait 'til I could link to photos). I wandered in out of curiosity, even though the $1.2 million they were asking at the time is ~just a wee bit~ beyond my price range.
Both houses are gorgeous. Each has four bedrooms and three bathrooms (two with bathtubs), big bedroom closets, big back yards, nice big porches, and decks that wrap around the house. And twice the square footage of my townhouse. One of them is across the street from where the city's going to turn an empty lot into a small park sometime in the next year or so. Each of the houses has a nice (and large) kitchen, and a living room with a fireplace, and spacious high ceilings. They have some oddities in their space use--like, one of them has a built-in garage that's not much wider than the one I've got, but is about twice as high, so lots of unusable space in the top half; and all the bathtubs look a little small, and the washer/dryer space is only big enough for a stacked front-loading pair. And none of the bedrooms is quite as large as I would've expected.
But still, really lovely.
I thought they'd been sold a couple months ago, but the signs out front now say the price has been reduced, and the MLS listings show the price as $1.1M--almost a 10% reduction, but still out of my price range. I could kinda sorta almost pretend to be able to afford the payments (by cutting contributions to my 401(k) and scrimping on other stuff, and hoping I didn't lose my job anytime in the next 30 years, and squinting at the numbers so as to not have to look at them too clearly), but the $13k or so per year in property taxes makes it unmanageable.
I gather that some developer is trying to get an area a block away from these houses rezoned from small business to residential, and intending to construct a hundred housing units on the space right next to the freeway. But I'm not clear on whether that's likely to happen, nor on whether it's likely to increase or decrease property values in the neighborhood if it does.
Anyway, if anyone's got a million dollars lying around and is looking for a nice house in Mountain View, stop on by.
(And yes, I know you can get a four-bedroom house in other parts of the country for a whole lot less money. I'm tempted sometimes. But then I remember how miserable I get if I don't get enough sunshine.)