A 1,400 square foot slice of Mies van der Rohe-designed architecture went on the market this week. The listing in Detroit popped up on several real estate websites, asking $149,900 for the 3 bedroom, 1.5 bath townhouse. Within 24 hours, the property went under contract for above the asking price, according to realtor Ryan Cooley of O'Connor Realty Detroit.
The asking price seems to be part of an upwards trend for this community, the 46-acre Mies van der Rohe Residential District listed on the National Register of Historic Places, which is divided into four cooperatives. This particular townhouse is located in the Lafayette co-op.
"As far as I know...it will be the most expensive townhouse to ever sell in the development," Cooley says.
In addition to the sale price, owning this townhouse also costs $834 per month in homeowner's association fees, which pays for things like ground maintenance, security, utilities, and Detroit's notoriously high property taxes. Insurance, audit fees, and Internet and basic cable are also included in the fee.
"It's almost like an all-inclusive budgeted number for you," Cooley says. "It's the most hands-off living that you could have."
Let's do some quick math based on the asking price. If the down payment was 20 percent ($29,980), that means a buyer will take out a loan for $119,920, plus any fees. If it's a 30 year fixed-rate mortgage at 5 percent, that's $643.76 per month in mortgage payments. In other words, the fees to live there cost roughly $190 more each month than what it costs to pay for it.
Nonetheless, it's a chance to own a Mies-designed townhouse.