Three-bedroom house in Old Town

LIST PRICE: $1,425,000
SALE PRICE: $1,312,500

When Marshall Marcovitz paid $1.5 million for this three-bedroom house in 1998, it had recently been made over by its previous owner, the interior designer David L. Smith. “There’s no question that my seller paid a huge premium in 1998 because [the house] was decorated to the hilt,” says Emily Sachs Wong, who represented Marcovitz in his late-May sale of the home. “It was very charming in 1998, but it showed differently now—and the market has changed.” All of which helps explain why Marcovitz ended up selling the place for nearly $200,000 less than he had paid for it 12 years earlier.

When Marcovitz first saw the Old Town house, says Sachs Wong (who did not represent him then), it had just been redone by Smith and his partner, Gary Clark, with cypress ceiling beams, hidden built-ins, and a new two-car garage on the alley. “It had a quirky Old Town vibe,” she says. Built shortly after the Great Fire of 1871, the brick house also has a butler’s pantry with a wine cooler and a 598-square-foot sunroom that overlooks a deep yard.

In 1979, Marcovitz founded Chef’s Catalog, a mail-order company that sells gourmet kitchen equipment. Neiman Marcus bought Chef’s Catalog for $31 million in 1998. Marcovitz did not respond to a request for comment.


Photograph: Todd Urban