It’s hard to believe but Homearama turns 50 this summer. Descended from humble Finneytown origins, this year’s Miami Township show will stick to more “modest” price points: between $600,000 and $1 million. “You’ll still see a lot of bells and whistles,” says Dan Dressman, executive director of the Homebuilders Association of Greater Cincinnati, “[but] the house sizes have been scaled back.”
For those who pine for the days of the mega-mansions, fear not; for a limited time only, you can go back. Well, to one house, anyway—26 Vintage Walk, one of the largest and most expensive homes featured at the 2007 Vintage Club Homearama in Montgomery. Originally valued at a whopping $2.6 million, this 9,500-square-foot-plus home, dubbed “Fontaine de Jouvence” (Fountain of Youth), is on the market again today for $1.679 million. “It is approximately a half million dollars below builders’ cost at this price,” says homeowner/ listing agent Kevin Carson, who, along with partner Dan Caskey, is the original owner. “You can’t build this house in this market anywhere near the price point.”
Fontaine has plenty of standard Homearama fare. The master suite houses a see-through fireplace and two hidden TVs (one rises up out of the granite tub surround). Then there’s the Rookwood-tiled hydraulic elevator, with built-in telephone, that leads up to the massive guest suite (which has an enormous cedar closet, a sizable “business center,” and a kitchenette).
No technological stone was left unturned. There’s a home gym with built-in iPod docking station, a touch-screen home automation system that controls everything from lighting to temperature to audio and video, and a massive server tower—“the brains of the house,” says Carson—that oversees it all. This, truly, is living large.