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Tuesday, April 24 News

The Real Deal: The little Cape that could

This is the story of a little Cape Cod-style house on a small parcel of land in a prime location in Westport. From the outside, it looks like Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs might live there. Classic. Sweet. A real throwback.

But the house is in vintage 1949 condition, with only one full bath. When the owner called me for an evaluation a while back, I told her a builder would most likely purchase her property as a new construction site. I said that few buyers would be up for the type of rehab job it would take to turn her house into something that would appeal to Westport home shoppers in the year 2014.

For a variety of reasons -- but mostly because a big enough house could not be built at that location to justify our asking price -- builders passed on the opportunity.

This left us with two options: Sell the house to someone willing to do a significant renovation, or reduce the price to what the builders would be willing to pay. Since the owner would not authorize multiple listing the property until she moved out, I opened the house one day a few months ago to agents in my office while the owner was out doing errands.

The majority opinion was that the house was not salvageable. "It's a teardown," agent after agent told me. I disagreed, as did two other agents who eventually brought offers to purchase the property.

There were three offers in all, and the house will close over asking price. Each offer was from a buyer who saw the potential in the 1949 Cape with good bones.

In this era of tearing down much of Westport's housing stock built in the '40s through '80s, multiple offers from buyers whose intentions are to nurture this sweet little house to its highest 21st-century potential restores my faith a little bit.

I suspect you might agree.

Evi Coghlan's "The Real Deal" appears every other Friday. She is a licensed real estate agent with the Riverside Avenue office of Coldwell Banker and a former marketing consultant to Fortune 100 companies. She may be reached at 203-247-6691, by emailing her at evi@evicoghlan.com or visiting www.evicoghlan.com.