The recent tragedy on Dairy Road elicited a frantic phone call to a friend and fellow agent from his clients. They were about to make the move from Manhattan but with poor Mr. Kissel’s death all over The New York Times, the wife was frantic with fear and the husband was reconsidering the move. Now really; this reminds me of people who refuse to fly after an airliner goes down even though they are one hundred times more likely to die driving to the airport than they are once in flight. Manhattan had 450 murders last year – Greenwich has what-one every fifteen? But murder at a good address, says Pete Hamill, is a tabloid’s best story and that tribe of reporters was certainly out in force last week.
By the way, over the weekend our First Selectman admitted something that I posited in my forthcoming book, Greenwich Mean Time (coming next month!): because there are so few murders in town, our police aren’t very good at solving them. In fact, in my 51 years in town, I don’t remember a single third-party murder being solved (the State of Connecticut may, or may not have solved the Moxley murder but no thanks to our local force). They say that, if you’re looking for heart surgery, go to a hospital that does lots of them. Similarly, if you want to get away with murder, come to Greenwich!
Over-Priced in the Mid-Country?
I toured a very nice house last week that was priced, at least in my often-erroneous judgment, at least $2,000,000 too high. Great location, so-so yard, and a beautiful house built in 1987 that is already obsolete, in terms of what most of today’s buyers insist on. This house had low ceilings, Formica (gasp!) in the kitchen and baths, and, all in all, a rather dated feel. I hope I’m wrong on this, and that the sellers will find a buyer who appreciates the house exactly as is but at its price range, I fear that buyers will opt for new construction. If so, then this less-than-twenty-year-old house is doomed for the dumpster and should be priced as land. Scary thought, eh?
I don’t buy into the bursting-bubble theory, at least here in Greenwich, but things have definitely slowed down. Plenty of inventory and even plenty of buyers but in my own experience and the experience of other agents I’ve discussed this with, the buyers have no sense of urgency. A few years ago, if you found a house suitable for your buyers they would snap it up immediately, fearing that if they passed on it the next one they liked would be even more expensive. That’s not the case currently. I don’t see prices dropping, overall, but the pie-in-the-sky priced houses are sitting, and their prices are, slowly dropping. Dropping to a realistic level, not to bargain bin clearance. My advice to buyers is, if you find a house you like, go for it. Make a real bid, even if its below asking price, and get it. As for sellers, this is not the time to reach for the maximum conceivable price. Listen to your Realtor, look at the comparables that have recently sold and those that make up your competition, and price accordingly. What we really seem to be returning to is a normal market. Not a bust, and not the easy seller’s market of 2003.
Little Thai Kitchen
A friend (thank you, Peter) tipped me off about this little hole-in-the-wall on St. Roch Avenue and I’m glad he did. It’s reasonable priced (lunch specials are $7-9) comes with cheerful service and the food is delicious. I haven’t tried everything on the menu, but I can recommend the chicken satay, the gang ped yang (that’s duck with curry, pineapple and coconut) and definitely the larb, which is an appetizer of chopped beef with lime, scallions and mint. In fact, I haven’t encountered a bad dish yet. One warning: I like my food spicy and that’s how they serve it, unless specifically instructed otherwise. If your taste buds are more delicate, tell your waiter. The Kitchen serves Thai iced tea and cranberry juice but lacks a liquor license, presumably because its within 100 yards of Hamilton Avenue Elementary School (although the image of a little fourth-grader sidling up to the bar seems a stretch). That’s fine with me but if you wish to bring something stronger, you can. Nice place, and they deliver. Closed Mondays, you can reach them at 622-2972.