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Monday October 25, 2021
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Fine Finishes in Middle-Class Neighborhoods


August 2021 Home Sales Map

by Sue Maguire

From the October, 2021 issue

There's a market for finer finishes and amenities even in traditionally middle-class neighborhoods. On this month's map, 2740 Manchester sold for $513,230, or $78,230 over its asking price of $435,000. It was the highest price ever recorded in the Ann Arbor Board of Realtors' Multiple Listing Service for the Ann Arbor Woods neighborhood, and only the second to cross the half-million-dollar mark.

This modest mid-century home last sold in the spring of 2020 for $345,000. It had since undergone a renovation that opened up the kitchen and added quartz countertops and stainless-steel appliances. The neighborhood between Packard and Washtenaw was developed in the mid-1950s to mid-1960s in what was then Pittsfield Township. The previous price record here was set in June, when a four-bedroom, 2.1-bath colonial at 2772 Colony sold for $513,000.

Also on the map, 1440 Covington sold for $675,000-the second-highest price ever in the Dicken School neighborhood. The 2,000-square-foot quad-level on a cul-de-sac includes four bedrooms, three full baths, and an expansive backyard with a built-in grill, fire pit, patio, hot tub, and robotic lawnmower.

2005 Penncraft, one of six houses on a small dirt road on the city's west side, sold for $360,000. It is in one of those surprising areas Ann Arbor seems good at hiding away-close to all the action, but just off the beaten path. In the 1930s while homes were already established on Doty Ave., the eight acres just west of that street were outside the city limits.

In the summer of 1939, U-M economics student Guy Orcutt joined a Quaker-run program that helped displaced miners in southwest Pennsylvania build their own homes in a new community called Penn-Craft. Penncraft Ct. is named in its honor. As resident Sandor Slomovits wrote in a 2002 Observer feature, Orcutt "was so inspired by the experience that on returning to Ann Arbor, he enthusiastically told a number of his fellow graduate students, 'We have to build our own homes!'" In 1941, a small group pooled their money to buy the site, then bordering potato fields. With the students doing much of the work, the homes cost an estimated $1,000 to construct, less than a third of the typical price of a home at the time.     (end of article)


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