Yesterday Laurel and I took a look at three of the 24 properties featured in the 2009 Salem Tour of Homes -- the two most expensive homes, and The Meridian condos.
First stop was the $1,065,000 house built by Kaufman Homes at Sahelee Court, SE. (3,849 sq. ft.). Now, a million dollar home is no big deal in southern California. At least, it wasn't before the housing boom went bust down there.
But up here in sleepy Salem, a million bucks should buy you some pretty damn impressive lodging. And from what we saw, it does.
Next stop was a $650,000 R2 Properties house on Muirfield Avenue (5,387 sq. ft., wow!).
This out-of-focus iPhone photo is included to show one of our Tour of Homes question marks: what's up with putting a television over the fireplace? Both expensive homes had this. Seems like you'd get a neck ache from craning your head to look up.
These days every fairly expensive new home has a media room, it seems. Our TV is in an utterly un-dark area. I could get into cocooning in this room on a soft couch with a big screen to keep me entertained.
The eventual owners of this house are going to need a baseball bat to fight off all the neighborhood kids who will want to hang out in the lower level. Given how steep the lot is, the builder was able to include a basketball hoop and climbing wall (there's a lot more air room above the top of this photo).
Our last stop was the The Meridian Luxury Residence Condominiums. This is the first major condo development close to downtown Salem, which hasn't been a condo town.
We were curious to see what the units looked like, since we know some people who are moving into the Meridian and missed out on the development's open house a few months ago.
There sure is a different pricing structure with condos. $232,000 for 926 square feet. Plus $170 a month dues. If someone doesn't want the trouble of taking care of a house, why not buy a small home for $232,000 and then use the $170 to help pay for a gardener and cleaning person?