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Levitt and Sons built 6,000 Cape Cod homes between 1947 and 1948. Each had four and a half rooms with an unfinished attic on a radiant heated slab. They were 750 square feet.
On October 1, 1947, the first 300 families moved into their rental units. Houses were not for sale in the beginning, but were rented for $65 per month on a one-year contract with an option to buy at the end of the contract. The purchase price was $7,500.
The Cape Cod leases came with a list of restrictions forbidding such items as fences, and hanging laundry on weekends or holidays. In 1949, Levitt and Sons removed the Caucasian-only clause from their contracts, which is a story for another blog post.
Several real estate brokers established businesses in the Levittown area when resales from original owners became available. Among the first were John W. Pergola, Ben Kasper, Corriston, and Bill Bond who had two children in the class of 1960, Barbara and Bob. These brokers sold and leased homes.
A source of Cape Cods for brokers were the families that started out in Capes but wanted to move to the newer, 50-square foot larger ranches, which were considered to be more modern.
The area that we know as Levittown was originally called Island Trees. On December 31, 1947, William Levitt announced that he was changing the name to Levittown. The change became official on the first day of 1948. The vast majority of residents were opposed.
That's your Levittown history lesson for today.
Source: The History of Levittown, New York by Lynne Matarrese, 1997