Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Usonian but u can't sell it

Apparently it's getting harder and harder to sell a Frank Lloyd Wright home. Especially if it's a Usonian home built when the architect was "focused on more modest homes for families on a budget." The problem? According to experts it could be remote locations or lack of luxurious touches like big bathrooms. But what about price? Owners of these "modest homes" are now asking $350,000 to over a million.

Sure this is Frank Lloyd Wright, but aren't these homes a little like the Michael Graves products at Target -- beautiful and enjoyable as long as the price point is kept reasonable?

The problem may be that the homeowners acted as art investors. They're not families "on a budget." Indeed, one owner has never even lived in her FLW house. They think of the structures as works of art to be preserved forever. Fine. But someone eventually has to make a home in these structures and part of the artist's intention was affordability, was it not? That was something these people seemed to have overlooked, and overlook still as they hold out -- for years -- until they get their price. I have no doubt that someone will buy up these homes. But in the mean time, the frustrated sellers don't have my sympathy. They love art, but they love the thought of a grand payoff more.

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