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Carrboro 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.

The Million Dollar Mill House with 650 West Main Street
in the background.

The 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 one house.

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 office buildings.

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?

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