Saturday, June 30, 2007
Cottage For Sale
June 30, 2007
As of next week, it will be official. The Captain's House will have a For Sale sign in front, be listed on the local MLS, and the traffic of looky-loo's will begin in earnest.
The 1,900-square-foot cottage is a genuine Fairhope treasure, not that that means much these days. Built in 1916 by Ed Roberts, one of the bay boat pilots, it was solidly constructed and has an ambiance of bygone days that suggests the comfort of a warm hug. I've lived in it for four years and put more money into shoring it up and bringing it up to date than I like to think about. The house has meant a lot to me, and I thought it was likely to be where I ended my days -- until I woke up one day and my life had changed so I decided to put it on the market.
I'm not being realistic about the price, because I hope someone will really appreciate the house and its location. Like everyone in Fairhope, I don't believe in the principle of Single Tax any more, particularly when it comes to selling my own house. Part of this is because I know if I don't ask top dollar, a buyer seeking to flip the property will end up buying low, tearing the house down and selling high, and I will be the loser. Fairhope itself has been the loser in this game for many years now. If it doesn't look as if I can sell the house for my price, down will come the house and the beautiful two lots will be sold separately for a pretty penny. It might as well be me who gets the penny.
I don't feel one way or the other about this. Ever since I moved in I've sought to make an example of the captain's house: This is what old Fairhope looks like. You can do it too. Buy an old house and bring it gently up to date. I've been happy in hog heaven -- making a statement by the way I lived and hoping that statement would set an example in the town I grew up in and once loved. Seeing the fallacy of that has been frustrating almost to the point of heartbreak. Of course Fairhope is not what it used to be, but it is what it is. It is in a transition, becoming something else entirely. I just don't choose to stay around and be a part of it.
You'll read more about this here in days to come. In a way I wish things were different. But for me anyway, they will be. I'm moving to Hoboken.