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Ask Miki

Neighbors' good will is priceless in Seattle
By: Miki Garcia
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Dear readers: It is always good manners and good business to have the good will of your neighbors. Who wants them telling Uncle Guido, who was just released from prison, that you are in Maui and your housekeeper uses a key kept under the geranium pot by the front door? Who doesn't want neighbors to spring into action if your child gets hurt playing while you're at the grocery store? Who wants them to gossip to potential buyers that your hubby just ran off with his secretary and left you with four hungry kids and a box of mac and cheese? Even a multi-millionaire can't afford not to have the good will of others. If you drink a lot of smoothies or fruit drinks and read "The Vegetable Growers News," you might know that Andre Radandt is CEO of Bolthouse Farms and his missus, Lisa Bolthouse Randandt is daughter of its founder. That agricultural empire is primarily family-owned and one of the world's largest carrot producers. No one has poor sight in this family. The Radandts, who wanted to relocate from Bakersfield, spotted the "for sale" sign in front of the former Hunts Point home of hydroplane legend Stan Sayres, "Father of Seafair," who paid $17.5 million in green. The original asking price of the estate, located in an exclusive millionaires' community, was $25.8 million. The beauties of this acquisition are two, fabulous acres, 248 linear feet of low-bank Lake Washington waterfront and 270-degree Seattle views. The famed Northwest architect Roland Terry designed the 6,860-square-foot home. It is the epitome of museum perfect, 1950s luxury living. Sayres' boathouse still stands where he kept his two Gold Cup-winning hydroplanes, Slo-mo-shun IV and Slo-mo-shun V. Recently, a vintage metal lapel pin featuring Slo-mo-shun IV sold for $3,577 on eBay. Although Sayers raced on to his next life in 1956, his memory and heritage still lives, especially in Seattle. And now we get to the crux of the dilemma. In essence, the Randandts bought a magnificent, oversize lot with the vision of building a brand new mansion where the Sayers' rambling abode sits. They may be farmers, but they are city slick enough to know demolition would put them in deep fertilizer with neighbors and people in Seattle. According to the Seattle Times, Lisa Randandt commented, "The last thing you want to do is come in and upset the community by not caring. You at least have to make a good faith effort." And in good faith, the new owners are offering the existing house for free to anyone if they will remove it by next summer. Appraiser Bob Chamberlain calculates that its materials, size and workmanship make it worth up to $800,000. The four-bedroom home of steel, stone and brick has its original radiant-heat floors, Thermopane windows and top of the line amenities when it was built 55 years ago. Also original are hidden cabinets behind detailed walnut walls, a curved living room designed to capture the lake view, a magnificent marble fireplace and a kitchen with roll-up cabinet doors and stainless-steel counters. The master bath has a hidden closet for drying nylon stockings and his-and-her pink and blue toilets. You would think the Randandts would want those... After a walk through, Dell Davis, president of D. B. Davis House Moving and Raising in Everett, Wash., reportedly said "This house is not that big. So what you look at is what makes the most sense dollar for dollar. In today's market, you'd have to go a long way to find the kind of quality you see in this house." Because the home's shape has several wings off a central core making it too wide to be moved along streets, Davis thinks the best choice is to divide it into sections and barge them out. And by the way, that is how musician Kenny G's former Hunts Point mansion turned up in Bainbridge Island in 1996. Davis says that a significant amount of engineering would be necessary to divide and barge the house. "Ballpark, it would be $500,000 to $750,000 to move it." If you have a lot and want to spend the price to save Sayers' home for posterity, call Wendy Lister at Coldwell Banker Bain at (425) 450-5206. Come on. Just remember when the hydroplanes roared across Folsom Lake. - "Ask Miki" is a column of opinion, and anything herein is not intended for financial, legal, medical or tax advice. Miki Garcia is a Realtor with Prudential California Realty in Folsom and specializes in Folsom, El Dorado Hills and surrounding areas. She can be reached at (916) 941.2421 or via e-mail at mikimiik@sbcglobal.net.