Drop that price, now
I checked up on some numbers: in the second and third week of July 74 single family homes were placed on the market while only 31 moved off to contract. That’s not awfully astonishing, or alarming, because the holiday slowed momentum and besides, like forest fires out west, this happens every year. But a month from now, all sorts of new inventory will be coming on and your poor listing, tired and stale, will be buried amid the new ones. It’s your money, but if you’ve been resisting a price reduction, you might want to make one now and sell your house to some nice family that needs a house before school starts.
Old Greenwich traffic
Have you noticed the traffic buildup in Old Greenwich these days, especially between the hours of 11:30 am to 1:30 pm? Some days, the cars are bumper-to-bumper from Mackey’s Mobile to Binney Park. I suspect it’s a mixture of beach, lunch and ordinary business traffic and I have absolutely no solution to propose; we’re a one traffic light town down here, but it’s simply awful. I try to avoid coming into town during that period and, with due apologies to Tomac Road residents, just bypass the business district. Must be hard on merchants, though.
I mentioned Mackey’s, and I have always had a great relationship with, first, John Mackey himself and then later with Peter, his son in law and his associates Paul and Kenny. That said, I happened to bring my car into Soundview Service Center, across from the Post Office on Arcadia Road, for the cheapest gas in town and, while I was at it, a question about my air conditioning. My Honda’s four years old and on really hot days the A/C seemed to have lost its punch. I left it to be serviced and an hour later received the scariest words you can hear from a mechanic, or a cancer surgeon: “Mr. Fountain, could you come down here? I want to show you something.” Well, the “something” turned out to be nothing more (or nothing less?) serious than my own inability to set the A/C controls properly and, once they straightened out this moron, everything was fine. I mention all this because the proprietors could so easily have taken advantage of my ignorance and run all sorts of tests, added whatever has replaced Freon these days, etc. I thanked one of the owners, Pete Parente (it’s a family business with a bunch of adopted kids so whoever you meet there is probably a Parente) for his honesty and he said simply, “that’s not how we operate.” Indeed they don’t, so SoundviewService Center (637-2033) has now been added to my list of recommended service providers.
Swimming Pool Safety
Nancy and I came very close to losing our boy John, now a strapping 24-year-old, when he was three and playing in our friend’s lake. So the tragic death of six-year-old this past weekend in his parents’ pool struck an awful chord. I have many clients with small children who insist on a swimming pool and, while I suppose a sale’s a sale, I always point out the statistic in that great book, “Freakonomics” that a child is 100 times more likely to die in a family swimming pool than from a gun in the household. Deadline pressure prevents me from including advice from local pool safety experts (next week, I promise) but do be aware of the danger of pools. This from someone who raised three kids on a tidal creek without losing one of them (I think so – Nancy, is that right?)
630 Lake Avenue
A loyal reader has emailed, informing me that this property is going to auction in the near future. He asks why the Multiple Listing Service, touted by me as the best method of exposing a house to the market, so obviously failed. My answer is, … I dunno. I liked the house very much when it was first listed on the MLS and still liked it, a year later, when it reappeared with a new broker and a lower price. But it’s a quirky house and even the MLS can’t move a house when its price is wrong and, in this case, the market says the price is wrong. Minimum bid, according to my reader, is now $500,000. Now that would be a bargain.