Dunleath Suddenly Seems To Be the Hottest Neighborhood in Greensboro

721 Fifth Avenue: A classic 1915 Foursquare across the street from Sternberger Park

There aren’t usually too many houses for sale in Dunleath. Lately, though, there’s been a little burst of activity, with four houses coming onto the market from late July through late August. All four sellers accepted offers within days. And five other Dunleath homes have sold this summer as well. It’s not so unusual that houses are selling quickly in Dunleath, just that there are so many at once. Has Dunleath ever been a hotter neighborhood?

Those houses range from several beautifully restored homes to some really sad cases of neglect, about what you might expect from a historic district. Here are a few examples.

516 Fifth Avenue

516 Fifth Avenue, $325,000, under contract

The Pearce-Young House was sold for renovation two years ago for $160,000, about half of the current asking price. The renovation included replacing a pair of windows on the front of the second floor with a single window, consistent with the original design (see photo below).

516 5th Avenue
The Pearce-Young House
contract pending August 26, 2020

  • $325,000 (originally $335,000)
  • 5 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, 3,152 square feet
  • Price/square foot: $103
  • Built in 1910
  • Listed August 6, 2020
  • Last sale: $160,000, June 2018
  • Note: The first occupants of the house appear to have been James and Eunice Pearce. James Robert Pearce (1840-1910) was a former Confederate soldier, justice of the peace and auctioneer. His funeral was held at the house. Eunice Roxanna Wood Pearce (1845-1918) continued to live in the house after his death, along with two of their six children, son Sherley, a bricklayer, and daughter Julia and her husband, John B. Clendenin, a linotyper for the Daily Record. By 1924 the house was in the hands of the Guilford Insurance & Realty Co., which sold it to Joseph E. and Rosalie M. Young.
    • The Youngs and then Frank and Lilly Young owned the house until 1986. Joseph Young was a machinist.  He had died and Rosalie had moved to Alaska by the time she sold the house to Frank and Lilly in 1938. The Lillys’ heirs sold the house 48 years later.
    • What it looked like when it was sold in 2018:

721 Fifth Avenue

The E.D. Grubb House is across the street from Sternberger Park. It’s a prime location for a beautifully restored home. The house was for sale for two days before owner accepted an offer.

“Foursquares and bungalows define the district’s architecture of the 1910s and 1920s. Both forms are generally outfitted with Craftsman style adornment …” the neighborhood’s National Register nomination says. “A few foursquares turned more towards the Colonial Revival than Craftsman style for their adornment.” It offers 721 Fifth Avenue as an example, with “round columns at the front and side porches, leaded glass sidelights and transoms at the trabeated entry and adjacent first-story bay, and a centered, oval, second-story window accent.”

Edward Dolphus Grubb was the manager of the Proximity general store. The original owner of the house in 1915, he sold it in 1973, three years before his death at age 97, bless him.

721 5th Avenue
contract pending July 29, 2020

  • $349,900
  • 5 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, 2,581 square feet (per county records), 0.34 acre
  • Price/square foot: $136
  • Built in 1915
  • Listed July 27, 2020
  • Last sale: $225,000, November 2006

703 Percy Street

The owners accepted an offer two days after it went on the market. 

703 Percy Street
contract pending August 30, 2020

  • $330,000
  • 4 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, 2,231 square feet
  • Price/square foot: $148
  • Built in 1930
  • Listed August 28, 2020
  • Last sale: $259,000, July 2010

708 Fifth Avenue

The smallest of the current group of available homes, its asking price is an impressive $173 per square foot. The owners accepted an offer two days after it went on the market. 

708 Fifth Avenue
contract pending September 2, 2020

  • $249,900
  • 3 bedrooms, 1 1/2 bathrooms, 1,448 square feet (per county records)
  • Price/square foot: $173
  • Built in 1913
  • Listed August 31, 2020
  • Last sale: $169,000, December 2014

747 Park Avenue

Dunleath still has some examples of the decay and neglect that absentee landlords bring to older neighborhoods. Originally a duplex, 747 Park Avenue is now divided into five units, including a clumsily built addition thrown together at the back. It was for sale just three days before the owner accepted an offer. The new owners don’t have any other properties in Guilford County, so they may be more interested in restoring the house than squeezing out whatever few dollars are left in the run-down old place.

747 Park Avenue

  • Sold for $160,000 on August 13, 2020 (listed at $159,995)
  • 5 bedrooms, 5 bathrooms, 2,519 square feet
  • Price/square foot: $62
  • Built around 1922 (per multiple sources) or possibly in 1940 (per county records); see note below
  • Listed May 31, 2020
  • Last sale: $120,000, May 2005
  • Note: County records date the house to 1940, but city directories show a residence on the property dating back to 1922 (a 1920 deed indicates there was no house on the lot).  The neighborhood’s National Register nomination dates the home as 1920-25. It accurately describes the house as a Craftsman foursquare and says it was originally built as a duplex. The duplex part is a bit unusual, but city directories support the statement, listing two residences at the home from 1923 and as late as 1968, the last city directory available online.
    • Complicating the dating: A 1931 deed of trust suggests again that there was no house on the lot. That wording, though, matches wording in the 1920 deed and may have been copied in error with other boilerplate information from the 1920 deed.
    • No central air conditioning
    • The exterior is in rough shape, and no interior pictures are included in the listing. The $62/square foot price suggests the house needs work.
    • The addition at the back of the house: