One by one the older, historic beach homes are being sold and changing hands at prices that seemingly justify a tear down and rebuild. Recently the 753 sq/ft beach bungalow located at 320 8th St. in Seal Beach sold amongst it's towering neighbor properties for $600,000. While that price may seem “spendy,” consider the homes on either side have a market value more then twice that.
So then, does it make sense for the buyer of a property such as 320 8th St. to maintain the current residence as a beach cottage, or tear it down to build a trophy home? Consider the well-maintained condition of this quaint beach residence, one that brings charm to one of the more progressive neighborhoods in town. Should that be taken into consideration for preservation?
Of course, the neighbors surely have an opinion of how an aging and arguably, functionally obsolete bungalow effects the value of their million dollar investments. You've heard people postulate about it over coffee at Main Street cafes, the “old home” in the neighborhood hurting the value of their remodeled masterpiece.
Another example of this was the old home located on the corner of 10th Street & Central Avenue. Said to be the home of Seal Beach's first Mayor, the old white two-story home situated on a double lot (202-204 10th St) was sold July 2011. Not long after the sale closed, the home was demolished and construction began on what appears to be a single custom beach home. More Seal Beach history lost forever or land being put to its “highest and best use?”
It's no secret that the lower prices are attracting buyers that want to scoop up a slice of beach paradise at a bargain. Since June 1st, three other homes similar in size and price have sold bringing with them improvements and change. Dare we guess at what this will mean for the landscape of our seaside community in the next five years?
Preserving our “Mayberry by the Sea” way of life is unquestionably what distinguishes Seal Beach from its northern and southern beach city neighbors. The beach cottage way of life that still persists in Old Town possesses the nostalgia that lures people in who wish for it to remain that way.
I'm interested to know how you feel about preserving these pieces of Seal Beach history? Leave your thoughts to this question here on my blog at www.NatSellsSealBeach.com