Daily Archives: April 29, 2009

Houses: a depreciating asset?

142 Cat Rock
142 Cat Rock

This Cos Cob home sold new for $4.050 million in June, 2005. The buyers tried reselling it for $5.450 two years later and now are trying agin, this time at $3.690.

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Cool!

This guy says that the key to prospering in the coming end of civilization is to have a sailboat and use it for trading. I’m temporarily out of boats but if the world does come to a crashing halt I could take a page from the Somali pirates playbook and just grab one, I suppose. I think one of those older ,  Freedom boats would be ideal: easy to sail single handed, broad and beamy, like I like my wimmin, and lots of cargo capacity. Arrgghhh, Matey!

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The infallibility of bloggers

Clusterstock’s Joe Weisenthal at 4:50 PM: Why Ken Lewis will win the vote. The fix is in!

Joe Weisenthal at 5:43 PM: Ken Lewis booted!

I hope you’ll remember this display of unerring accuracy next time you’re tempted to question one of my own predictions.

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Where will we go? What will we do?

Moving on

Moving on

Word around town is that the Fabulous Noel Girls are bemoaning their fate and weeping that “we’re going to get sued and lose all our money”. The Observer reports that Marisa’s town house, purchased for $13.5 million and carrying a $9 million mortgage, is up for sale, gutted, for $11 million. Good luck with that, girl.

Says one agent:

“I’m trying to get one of my clients to buy it. They apparently did all the demolition but can’t fix it up, or don’t want to,” the broker said. “I told my guy he should offer them $8 million—because it’s still a million dollars to fix this up.” An $8 million sale would mean the couple would lose at least $5.5 million on the house. “It’s literally the kind of thing that inspired me to call people who aren’t in the market for real estate, because people say, ‘If you hear of a really desperate situation, call me.’”

That guy sounds like someone who should be working with Frankie and me.

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Realtor speak

A client now working with me tells the story of viewing property with another agent some time ago when they pulled up to a listing. “Is that the Merritt Parkway?” asks the buyer. “Oh, I don’t think so,”says the highly-trained professional. “We’re nowhere close to it.”

“So what is that traffic I see through the woods, going 60 Miles per hour?’

The realtor pauses, screwing her pretty face into a thoughtful expression and then says, “you know what I love about houses near the Merritt? The traffic noise becomes just like a babbling brook after a little while.”

As I said, that buyer now works with me. Hell, I just pass out ear plugs and tell my people they should be grateful to be in Greenwich. Works every time.

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A timeless house (with a price) from another era

293 Stanwich

293 Stanwich

This spec house has four bedrooms, 5,000 sq. ft. (maybe 8, if you include basement space – I don’t, even if it’s finished with a pool hall) and is asking $4.5 million. I don’t think it’s going to fetch nearly $1,000 sq. ft. but if spec builders didn’t dream, bankruptcy lawyers would starve. Love those plantings.

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Unconfirmed rumor but just dumb enough to be true

I hear from a reader that a property that sold in the $4s a few years ago and saw a $9 million house erected on the land is now “quietly” on the market for $18,000,000. If I were so silly as to try for a profit in this market I’d want to keep quiet too – the scorn and ridcule heaped on my shoulders would just be too much to bear.

UPDATE: Confirmed. I’m told it’s a beautiful house and I’m sure it is. Riverside waterfront, with the babbling brook/white noise machine of I-95 to soothe you off to slumberland. Okay by me.

UPDATE II: $19.5 asking, but that includes his and her pairs of top-of-the-line Bose noise cancelling earmuffs.

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We finally break the $8 million barrier

Until yesterday, nothing had sold in the $8 millions this year. But now 36 Andrews Farm, new construction listed at $9.250, is reported sold for $8.325. Gorgeous construction, so it’s understandable that it fetched so much, but its sale must be a relief for sellers, who all think their own offering is the same quality. It probably isn’t, but that’s another matter. Sellers will have sweet dreams for the next couple of weeks. Until the next spec house falls.

UPDATE: there are about 38 houses for sale priced between $7.5 and 410 million (in answer to a previous question, there are 384 priced between $1 and $10 million). I ran an eye over those listings and with only a few – 3 or 4 exceptions, none are either the quality or have the same value location as 37 Andrews. So if Andrews fetched $8.3 million, it suggests to me that a lot of sellers owe themselves a  serious look at their own price.

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Old Greenwich steps into the spotlight

I expressed my disappointment yesterday that Thomas Athan, A.I.G. executive now being investigated for fraud, didn’t show up on the property rolls, because I’d been hoping that we would see a Round Hill Road Trifecta, with Walt, Bourke (did I get the spelling right, Walt?) and then an Athan.

It was not to be, but a reader says he lives in Old Greenwich. Good enough – same town, and we’re keeping up appearance, so that’s alright.

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