The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

11 April 2004

Sights for a Sunday afternoon

This print ad caught my eye:

ADORABLE DOLL HOUSE

Close to Downtown OKC & I-35 & I-40. 1050 sf, 3bd, 2ba, inside util, kit bar, d/washer, huge corner lot, under const.

There was a price — $72,500 — and an address, and I knew I had to see this place.

This is, after all, a neighborhood I tend to think of as capital-S Scary, and while it's just off a major thoroughfare, it's cut off from most of the rest of the city — the river and a railroad slice through the terrain nearby — and while being somewhat insular in character is probably good for gated communities where houses sell routinely in six figures, it strikes me as less good in a place where six figures could buy five or six houses. (I checked realtor.com; the going rate for the smaller boxes in this neighborhood is a startling $14,000.)

So what do you get for five times as much? The lot is indeed on a corner, though its hugeness is arguable; the house itself is at the point where the exterior is complete and the interior is being finished, and I have no doubt that, given some proper care, this place can live up to its description. Still, I suspect that finding someone willing to spend this much money to live here will be difficult until a lot more new homes are built — or a lot more old ones are torn down. And I have serious qualms about expropriating an entire neighborhood on the off-chance that it can be gentrified.

I mean, this is not much less than I spent for my own "adorable doll house," roughly the same size, in a neighborhood that presumably doesn't strike fear into anyone's heart. And on the way back to my side of town, I sliced through the western edge of Heritage Hills and caught a glimpse of a standard real-estate agent sign with an attached tag: "Just Beautiful." Same tag you could have seen in my yard, in fact, for the brief period between offering and closing. After what I'd seen earlier, though, I wasn't particularly inclined to be smug.

I did, however, manage a sneer while passing a salon which noted on its sign that "sandel season" had arrived, and they were offering a "foot facial." Now I appreciate sandal season more than most, and indeed I've seen some remarkably nice feet this spring, but I don't think there's any way you can stretch any definition of "facial" to cover the services they offer. Not that I'm going to spend the $45 to find out.

Posted at 5:23 PM to City Scene