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July 24, 2019

'Storybook' home in Boothbay to be auctioned

storybook home Courtesy / Tranzon Auction Properties This “storybook cottage” in Boothbay, handcrafted by David Lee of East Boothbay, will be sold in an online auction.

David Lee, a designer and builder of castles, fantasy cottages and hobbit houses, has engaged Tranzon Auction Properties of Portland to sell his latest creation in an online auction starting July 31 and ending Aug. 7.

The three-floor, three-bedroom, 2,200-square-foot house at 37 My Way, Boothbay, was built in 2016 in the “storybook cottage” style. The architectural design tradition is partly inspired by the writings of J.R.R. Tolkien, and brings to mind stories from Hansel and Gretel to Harry Potter.

The structure is a mix of playful patterns and surprising features.

The exterior features heavy oak shakes hand-cut in whimsical patterns. Windows are a variety of barn-door, church and arched styles. Part of the house is a castle turret built of wood but painted to look like stone.

A variety of roofs, ranging from shallow pitches to sharp peaks, are covered with traditional asphalt roofing carved into waves that flow around dormers and resemble thatch. Styled lighting fixtures adorn the roof and grounds.

The interior features heavy wood beams and furnishings, sculptural trim, inset lighting and ornamental hardware. Some windows are made from stained glass patterned with minute dioramas.

Courtesy / Tranzon Auction Properties
Among the interior features are stained glass, sculpturally carved trim and hardware, and unusual doors.

Lee hand-built the entire structure, Ruth Lind of Tranzon Auction Properties told Mainebiz.

“He does this with all of his houses,” she said. “He has a degree in mechanical engineering. But he has the soul of an artist.”

Auction as marketing tool

Lee is a builder, inventor, engineer, artist and teacher who lives in East Boothbay, according to the listing. He has built several similar houses ranging in size from cottage to castle, Lind said. Another one is Dragonwood Castle in Prospect Harbor.

His own house is built in the same style, Lind said.

Lee and his wife were originally planning to move into the cottage, Lind said, but changed their minds. 

“It’s a brand-new house,” she said. “It’s never been lived in.”

The auction is not a case of financial distress, said Lind, who is serving as the marketing agent.

“Many people choose auction because, unlike in a conventional listing, the seller controls the timing,” she explained. “In most of our auctions, the sale closes 90 days from signing the listing agreement. This is especially helpful when people really need to sell quickly, such as job relocation, divorce, death of a relative living in the house, or moving into assisted living from a house that carries a reverse mortgage.”

Another reason for choosing an auction is the “as-is-where-is” sale it provides, she continued.

“There are no contingencies in an auction sale. If a buyer wants an inspection, it must be done before the bid is placed. Financing must be in place, and any appraisal must be done before bidding. This frees the seller from having to re-negotiate and delay closing after a purchase and sale contract has been signed.”

The opening bid will be $100,000. Lind could not disclose the reserve price. But Tranzon has listed the auction on realtor websites like Zillow, which require a price listing.

“We put in a price of $299,000,” she said. “The reserve is between those two numbers.”

The house is on a 1.84-acre wooded lot in a subdivision of 10 homes, she said.

Other features of the house include geothermal heating and cooling, a gravity-based water supply and natural woodland landscaping, according to Lind. A handcrafted well-house at the driveway comes wired for standby generator installation.

A preview is scheduled from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on July 30. The online auction will be conducted from 1 p.m., July 31, to 1 p.m., Aug. 7.

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August 5, 2019
Absolutely adorable!!
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