This time, it's for real.
The owners of Buffalo's oldest home are putting the Coit House up for sale, just three months after an attempt to test its value led them to declare in no uncertain terms that they weren't selling.
Tim Boylan and Sue-Jolie Rioux said in August that their $800,000 "Make-Me-Move" posting on Zillow was just a wild attempt to see if their house – which they bought in 2014 for $365,000 – might have doubled in value with the surge in the local real estate market.
But after dismissing that amount as "arbitrary and obnoxious," they're now using that as their formal asking price for the historic 202-year-old mansion at 414 Virginia St. The home is being marketed by the couple's friend, Tyler Balentine of Pyramid Brokerage Co., and his colleague Jessica Ranalletti.
"We know that it's an about-face, but the whole thing and how it happened in August got us thinking," Rioux said. "We've had a few months to think about it now that all of that hit the fan, and we think it should be a viable option for us."
So what changed? The blowback and barrage of interest they received the first time around got them thinking more seriously about selling. And then their youngest child, a high school senior, decided he wanted to go to college out of town rather than stay local with the University at Buffalo.
"That's the biggest driving factor," Rioux said. "Our entire existence is wrapped around our children. I would have lived in a treehouse for eternity, but if they fly the coop, then we're all about being proactive and making the best financial choices for ourselves so we can stay involved in our community."
This time, too, they're going all out with their listing as of this week after initially trying to explore it quietly through the two brokers. Several interested buyers have already walked through the home. There are no offers yet, but Rioux said she'd like to be able to close by year-end, so she can "start 2018 fresh."
"Once I make a decision about something, I just roll. I don't want to sit around by any means," Rioux said. "We want to go all in and be as proactive as possible about it."
She said the couple plan to stay in Buffalo, close to downtown, and want to find another "old home that we can restore and put back to its original glory" – just not as big as the five-bedroom Coit.
"We can definitely scale down since we won't have the kids at home anymore, and they're all committed to their independence," Rioux said. "So we decided it's time to simplify."
The Federal-style structure in Allentown was built in 1815 near the Inner Harbor by George Coit, whose family lived there for years. The house was later moved to its current site. In the ensuing years, it’s been used as apartments, a rooming house and offices, but it was later converted back to a single-family home. It was remodeled in 2009.
The three-story, 4,902-square-foot house has four bathrooms and has been updated with repairs and improvements. Since buying it from Gerhardt Yaskow, the couple has invested more than $100,000 in additional renovations.
Given its history, Rioux and Boylan had wanted to continue opening the house up to the public and had long-term plans for the home. But without a child at home, she said, those plans no longer mattered as much. "I decided I'm not going to pursue it," she said. "If I don't have any babies at home, I don't need to worry about it."