Outliers in architecturally distinct areas can linger on the market, but fetch a premium over comparable homes.
By Katy McLaughlin | Photos by James M. Lange
…Youn Choi and her husband Doug Pierson are just finishing construction of a home in Carrboro, N.C., that is so “unique” and “quirky” that neighbors stand and stare at it from the road, said Mr. Pierson, 55.
One curious passerby called out “what is that?” When Mr. Pierson answered “it’s a house,” he responded, “really?” In general, neighbors have been encouraging, flashing “thumbs-up” signs or telling the couple they like it.
Mr. Pierson and his wife, who co-own an architecture and design firm in Chapel Hill, N.C., moved from Los Angeles, where they worked for contemporary design firms. Their suburban community features some historic mill houses and lots of newer, traditional homes. But the house the couple designed, with its snakelike form, cantilevered angles and black, corrugated-metal cladding, has few precedents in the area.
They paid $170,000 for the 1.3-acre lot which is close to downtown but filled with topographical challenges, including slopes and a creek, which necessitated the home’s meandering shape. So far, they have spent about $650,000 to build, and plan to move into the home in May, they said.
The Pierson/Choi home could fetch about $800,000 to $1 million, said Jeff Rupkalvis, owner of Dwell Real Estate in Carrboro. “It’s as unique a home as I’ve seen in Carrboro,” he said. Most homes in the area follow the traditional “five-four-and-a-door” format of five windows on the top floor and four on the ground level with the front door in the middle, he said… READ MORE