Friday, April 07, 2006

The House Fire Broke the Marriage But Real Estate Market Gain

The family broken by the stress of a devastating fire that obliterated 25 years of meticulous and unique decoration, as well as family artworks and writings, a computer database loaded with mathematical theorems, and a 4,000-volume hardcover library.

The Brenners split up shortly after the fire. They are still struggling with insurance adjusters and have seen only $10,000 of the $1-million policy they had.

Their loss will be someone else's gain as the property is marketed to attract builders who can capitalize on the rarity of a prime downtown location. The $1 price tag is, of course, a gimmick to let the market decide what the value of the lot and the shell of the home should be.

The land is worth about $400,000 and that rebuilding the 2,000-square-foot home at $200 a square foot would cost a private buyer a further $400,000.


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