It's a tie! For the first time in the recorded history of this feature (all 21 laborious weeks of it), Massachusetts is home to two houses sharing one expensive price tag: $25 million. Which massive home gets your (fantasy) down payment?
We were hoping the respective agents would settle the score in an old-school drag-down cage match, but both were unfailingly quick to compliment the other's listing. Sadly, there wasn't so much as a diss or finger wag. So, in the interest of fairness, we'll go in alphabetical order and begin our journey in Chatham along the skinny tip of Cape Cod. There we found the exact opposite of what your mind's eye conjures up when you hear the words "Cape Cod home."
As listing agent Chris Rhinesmith told us, the home's untraditional style is "part of the hurdle."
The huge home is approaching its two-year anniversary on the market. Rhinesmith said "the attention to detail is impeccable" and everything in the home was custom-built to the owner's specifications. He spotlighted the curved walls, the large home theater, and the wine cave.
Custom-tailored wine caves are nice, but here's the indisputable star attraction: a gorgeous location, right on the tip of the cape, with views of the Atlantic and Nantucket Sound. The primo locale of this shingle-clad six-bedroom, three-level home means a buyer can "walk right out to the beach."
But those same shingles (and intricate stonework) are a big part of the challenge in selling one of the state's most expensive houses: This massive place doesn't remotely hew to anyone's concept of "New England quaint." As Rhinesmith told us, when people look to purchase a summer home on Cape Cod, they want a Cape Cod -- style home. File that factoid under "no duh," but selling this 10,974-square-foot home has been an ongoing challenge.
Rhinesmith said foreign buyers have little interest in the Cape Cod area, but he believes someone in the East Coast financial services industry will eventually step up and make the unique purchase. "At this price point, people want what they want," Rhinesmith said. "It's a matter of finding someone to buy into the vision."
About two hours down the road in Dartmouth, agent Robert Kinlin faces many of the same challenges in finding the right buyer for the $25 million home he's selling. He calls the 21,848-square-foot mansion "the most unique listing [he's] ever had."
He acknowledged the challenging nature of selling any home over $20 million in the cape area: The pool of qualified buyers willing to purchase a home they'll likely use 30 to 60 days out of the year is a shallow one.
But the sheer beauty of the Dartmouth location will eventually prove irresistible to some deep-pocketed buyer. Kinlin said that despite its size, the home doesn't feel ostentatious. "It has great karma, proportions, and details. Everything was well thought out."
The location on the tip of Mishaum Point offers 270-degree views of the idyllic Atlantic Ocean below. But the entire eight-room mansion is entirely soundproofed to keep any howling winds, squalls, or stiff breezes at bay, helping maintain what Kinlin termed "a soothing vibe, both inside and outside."
Oh, and did we mention the two-lane indoor bowling alley, just in case the weather outside becomes less soothing? Kinlin said he rolled a strike on his first-ever attempt during a home tour, which he thought was a positive omen.
We don't know much about omens, but if you had a cool $25 million to spend on your summers on the cape, which would you choose? (Note: Lobster rolls are not included.)