Home Buying in Reading>Question Details

Filip Galiza, Other/Just Looking in Reading, MA

Considering building a modern/contemp home in Reading (dwell.com, contemporist.com style). Locals like my idea but I never see any moderns. Should I?

Asked by Filip Galiza, Reading, MA Fri Nov 12, 2010

I really like Reading MA for many reasons (location, good schools, walkable, pleasant and easy life). I LOVE green modern architecture (dwell.com or contemporist.com style). I am seriously considering building a home here (either rehab by the library region or a little outside of downtown. People that I spoke to here like the idea, yet I am afraid that perhaps a decade or three down the road it will be impossible to sell. I am a city dweller transplant and enjoy modern/green architecture. Is this a good idea / bad idea? Are there other towns nearby I should do this in?

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If it looks like a real contemporary you will have a tough time comping it out in any neighborhood. Most of the homes in the area are 100+ years old or constructed to look like that. You may want to reach out to some appraisers on this one.

I only know of one real contenporary and it's in Arlington on Park Ave.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Nov 12, 2010
Hi Filip, I moved to Reading in 09 for the same reasons you listed. I am also a real estate agent and my specialty is selling modern-style homes, mostly loft properties. I really dig modern / contemporary homes also, and was only able to find one on the market in Reading at the time. I really wanted that home because it needed work and wanted to put my touch on the final product - however, we bought an updated colonial - just made sense for size / location / etc. at the end of the day - my spouse is a little more traditional.
The home is on Terrace Park. Drive by and you'll see it. Judge for yourself if it sticks out. And, if it does, is that a good thing? My take on it is if you love your home, you'll be happy living there and when you go to sell, it may be different, but it will stand out and people of the same tastes will love it. There is a community in Lexington with modern / Frank Llloyd Wright style homes and they sell because there are more contemporary home buyers in the area than you think.
The other towns in the area are all cut from the same cloth. Lynnfield / Andover / Stoneham. These are classic New England. But, there is a momentum for modern homes, especially with green features.
If you need any references to the best contractors / designers, let me know...
Build your dream home!
Web Reference: http://www.bostonlofts.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 17, 2011
We need more great leaders in the Green Building movement Filip! Can't wait to see what you come up with!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Dec 2, 2010

If you are planning on a long term project then I would be less concerned than if I were doing this project and wanting to turn it around in 2-3 years. Green building is a bit more expensive right now, but it is the future and you should be good. I would sit with a local Realtor (a CRS) would be my preference and have them give you some projections. Best
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Dec 2, 2010
It depends on how you want to live your life, Filip. It might be harder to sell or appreciate less than other houses ten years, thirty years down the road . . . but ask yourself, ten or thirty years down the road, how would you have liked to live? In a house you loved, or a house that you liked OK but some stranger with an offer liked, too?

Then, again, it might not be harder to sell. Other neighbors might follow suit, you never know.

You only go around once, Filip.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Dec 1, 2010
Andrew is definitely right, considering an appraiser before building would be smart.
Every area has a contempo home here and there but it takes that special person that would appreciate the style. There are few contempo’s in Belmont, Cambridge,Westford, Concord and Acton that I have been to and they were primary in a beautiful wooded setting, but a really tough sell because most people go for cookie cutter colonials for some sad reason.
I think that Cambridge would be your best bet because of forward thinking modern population if you can bear the costs.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Dec 1, 2010
Reading doesn't have many contemporary styled homes, it's true. But the market for these homes is growing, especially green buildings. Reading's buying demographic is definitely progressive and I truly believe you're ahead of the curve and your resale will be better than fine. I actually have a Reading listing coming on very soon that will be a great piece of property to build on - let me know if you'd like more information on it. You can e-mail me at nancym.sullivan@comcast.net
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 15, 2010
like any architectural style, it should blend with the other homes. for resale value,if its in a n.hood where homes are 30 ft. apart and all colonials or all ranches you wouldnt want to build a contemporary.
if its on a wooded acre plus lot and you cant see your neighbors it doesnt matter, build what you want.
Having said that, if you are building a home for your pleasure only than dont worry about resale too much.
If you are building with resale in mind, keep it in line with what is popular in your area. same thing with interior finishes, if you were going to sell in 5 years I wouldnt put purple toilets and tubs, but if you will live there for 20 years put what you want for your enjoyment and swap it out when you move it will have paid for itself in the 20 years. so you can change fixtures you cant really change style or floor plan very easily.
As much as everyone says I dont want a box like everyone else, when it comes time to buy, thats the most popular.
its exciting to build your own home.
Good luck!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Nov 12, 2010
Moderns can be a slightly difficult sell as it limits your home buying prospects down the road. Green is a big buzzword in the real estate community and maybe a green home can compensate for a slightly limited appeal of a modern/contemporary home.

At the end of the day, if you are planning on a long term stint in your home.... 10 years plus build what you like, you are the one living there. After an intermediate to long term stay in your home the dollars and sense of it will make less of a difference.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jan 23, 2011
Thanks everyone for your feedback. Based on your professional experiences it sounds like building a modern/green home is a risk that can go either way; big green modern payoff, or a big modern box that the "locals" want to burn down. At this point I don't intend to have my dream home when I retire but will take a stab at it. I hope to build something that will inspire and not alienate. It would be nice to see more green projects here, but I guess I might have to take the lead. - Cheers! Filip
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Dec 2, 2010
there are quite a few contemporary deck style houses in Carlisle and Sudbury. more to do with the wooded nature of the town and homes (not in subdivisions) are more spread out.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Nov 14, 2010
Then are there any towns in the region that are more modern friendly?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Nov 14, 2010
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