Mill House Sells for $1.2 million
Runaway housing costs
have shocked most residents of Carrboro, but the latest sale is
one for the record books! An 800 square foot mill house on less
than 1/6 acre of land just sold for $1.2 million. Whether this is
a trend that will continue or just an oddity in the ballooning real
estate market, only time will tell. The odd part was that the owner
was only asking $182,000.
In a community where
hoopers run rampant and a
dancer is banned from dancing, nothing should surprise us any
more....but this sale has even confounded the real estate experts
at The Carrboro News. We decided to talk to some of the local real
estate agents to get a read on it. All requested that they remain
anonymous and would not identify their agencies.
first agent we talked to said it was an excellent value and that
his buyer made an excellent investment. "I know it looks like
the price was high, but that's to be expected since this is the
first mill house to crash through the $1 million dollar barrier,
but with this sale, there won't be many after this that go for below
$1 million." Carrboro is a hot market and you have to grab
it fast if you like it. I haven't sold a house in the last 2 years
that the buyer hasn't gotten more than his asking price. The real
estate market in Carrboro is an auction."
The second agent agreed.
"I know it looks like a small house on a small piece of land,
but you have to be able to see what it can be, not what it is. With
the commercial expansion of West Main Street and 605 West Main Street
completed and having a few tenants, this area is becoming very hot!
Have you thought about moving your office here. I just happen to
have some empty office space that would work great for you!"
I politely declined and continued to look for more real estate agents.
Every agent we asked
gave a similar answer, but to us it sounded way too fishy. Why would
anyone pay over 6 times the asking price of the house? The Carrboro
News decided to investigate so we visited site of the alleged million
dollar mill house. The house was on a tiny triangular lot directly
across from the award winning 605 West
Main Street complex. That seemed very odd to us. Why would anyone
be so anxious to live across the street from an office complex?
As we were walking away,
we noticed a moving van at the house next door, being loaded with
house furnishings. That's odd, we thought, that's not the house
that was sold....or was it. Suddenly we noticed that there were
four houses in the little group...Now a group of four houses may
go for $1.2 million, especially if it was a developer who wanted
to put a nice little office complex similar to 605 West Main Street.
We immediately ran down
to the Town of Carrborro to get see if any permits had been taken
out. It took a little digging, but sure enough we were right. The
developer had bought all the houses, but afraid of putting up red
flags to the community, he only claimed that he was purchasing the
The buildning plans were
there and we had a chance to look at them. It appears that the developer
was so enamored with the 605 West Main Street design that he was
going to build something very similar. Same distance from the road,
same parking lot on the bottom floor and same storage areas and
elevator shafts. The only difference was the new building would
come to a point at the east end since the lot was wedge shaped.
The complex of mill
houses that will have to go to make room for
the 606 West Main Street Office Complex.
As we dug deeper we saw
a pattern of land purchases for well over the street value of the
houses. It appears that this will be the new financial district
of Carrboro and the houses lining West Main Street are going to
be gobbled up, house by house until the whole street is lined with
The business community
wants that, but not The Carrboro News or the local residents. Call
your alderman today to get them to put an end to this plan!
Afterall, we all want
to Keep Carborro Cute!
Looking west on
the proposed West Main Street Office Complex-
The End of Carrboro Cuteness?