Going once! Going twice! Going three times?

I have been out of pocket for the last week due to an unplanned vacation (aka jury duty) so I have not had a chance to review some of the work coming from the Arts and Culture desk at WHYY News.

Yesterday, Arts and Culture reporter Alex Schmidt did a follow-up of sorts to a feature about a new kind of real estate transaction (.mp3).

The Esherick House in Chestnut Hill – designed by architect Louis Kahn of My Architect fame – is for sale. Having just gone through the home purchasing process myself and learning a little more about the real estate market through countless hours of HGTV and TLC watching, I know that the architectural significance of a home may actually deter potential buyers and therefore push the price of the home down. Like they say, personalizing your home with very distinctive touches may make it good for you but it’ll be bad for resale value.

So imagine having an unusual looking, if critically praised, home like the one pictured at the left. In order to capture and give value to essentially priceless factors, the sellers are working with an auction house to offer the house for bid as if it were a work of art. Of course, that puts it in an entirely different market with an entirely different group of potential buyers, but that’s the point.

Unfortunately, the experiment didn’t work. Not only did the house not receive the minimum bid, not a single bidder participated in the auction. Alex Schmidt follows up with an interview of the auctioneer to find out what happened (.mp3).

The good news is that if you’re in the market for an architecturally significant, Louis Kahn-designed home in Chestnut Hill, it’s still available.

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