Daily Archives: July 9, 2009

An important announcement

You may have noticed that For What It’s Worth has added a new writer/photographer to our staff, Mr.Edgar Martins. Edgar, who claims to be Portuguese but is of course a Frenchman, has recently become available after a distinguished career working for the New York Times and other world-wide media outlets. He’ll be bringing his creativity and original insights to our interviews with local celebrities and of course, our photo gallery of spectacular Greenwich houses. After interviewing Ed Krumeich and Jim Himes this morning Edgar returned to the spacious, nay luxurious offices of Futter & Fontanski Discount Realty demanding still more work – what a guy! – so we sent him up to Round Hill and he was fortunate to capture this candid, un-retouched portrait of the Noel family. We look forward to a continued relationship with Edgar and can hardly wait for him to bring the trustworthiness and accuracy of this blog to levels heretofore unachieved.

Copyright Edgar Martins

Copyright Edgar Martins

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If this is what $480,000 buys you in Harlem, we’re okay here in Greenwich

Dealbreaker links to Gawker who posts these interior shots of the one bedroom Harlem apartment Ruthie Madoff is considering. Makes even those condos in Portchester/Greenwich – River View? River Something – look damn reasonable at $750K.

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30 Dawn Harbor revisited

Photo by Edgar Martins, NYT

Photo by Edgar Martins, NYT

I had a chance to see this house that I wrote about yesterday and I remain convinced it’s the best deal going in Riverside. The sellers, you will recall, paid $3.9 + for it in 2007, fixed it up and, on a cheerful note, have apparently found a nice bargain elsewhere and are losing money on this one to take advantage of a larger saving on another. I hope that’s true because I don’t enjoy the many personal tragedies we’re seeing these days (no one will believe that, but it’s true) and it would strengthen my already strong faith in these sellers’ intelligence if, besides pricing it so smartly, they were able to appreciate that the sell and the subsequent buy are one transaction. Most sellers can’t do that – fear of loss is much more powerful than appreciation of gain.

Regardless, this one is priced at $3.2 million, has a fantastic flat backyard with a pool site, if wanted, and is in move-in condition. Excellent street, house and price. If my $2.5 clients could stretch a bit more you wouldn’t be reading about this house on this blog until after they’d had a chance to see it but here it is. If you’ve been waiting for prices to get reasonable, and can afford this price range, I’d say the wait is over. No, it’s Lauren Muse’s listing, not mine. I just think it’s really, really well priced. Doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try negotiating a bit – you’d hate yourself if you didn’t, but this one’s not for bottom feeding. Be real, and appreciate how sensible this price already is.

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How do these guys stay in business?

10 Spezzano

10 Spezzano

A long time ago, in housing years (April, 2007) I was asked to stop by this spec house and give my opinion on price. I asked for the address and then said, “$1.65 million”. “No n0,” I was told, ” I want you to see it.” “No need to,” I said, “there’s nothing that will ever sell for more than that on Spezzano, I don’t care how well it’s made.”

I probably should have stopped by because when I did I saw that the builders had gone cheap on everything that might sell a house – fixtures, moldings, etc. They even installed an electric hot water heater, for God’s sake, despite having gas led to the house, because it would have cost $600 to have  plumber hook up a gas one. So forget $1.695,  but my opinion was irrelevant anyway – they priced it at $2.395.

When it expired unsold a year later it parsed on to some entity that I assume bought the defaulted loan from the original lender and those geniuses priced it at $1.899 million. That would have been laughable in 2007, it was pathetic in late 2008. They are obviously in no need of money and don’t want to end this play because they have been nibbling away at their stupid price in $20,000 increment for months and today, they hit $1.699. By September they should be down to $1.65 which, if it were still 2007 and if this house had been built to the gold standard instead of the tinfoil one, might produce a sale. As it is, look for it in 2015 and see if it isn’t finally priced right.

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Stupid is as stupid does

The kooks at Myleftnutmeg.com are swooning over Chris Dodd’s transformation from flunky of the banks to a “Consumer Advocate”. Why, the desperate Senator will no longer give the financial industry lobbyists the time of day during this election cycle and the Nutmeggers are all atwitter. The Iowa campaign, the decades spent in the trousers of the bankers, all is forgiven and forgotten, because Dodd has been reborn. Could they be that stupid? Rhetorical question.

In the meantime, the same folks are outraged over Jim Hime’s refusal to toe whatever their line is and they’re screaming betrayal. In this case, they’re probably right. Himes owes his puny political presence to the nutcakes and to discard them now while trying to creep slightly to the center pisses them off and does nothing to assuage the right. Those of us nuts over on this side of the debate are after his blood and no amount of pandering will earn our support. See the difference between right wing kooks and the leftnuts? We;re not as dumb.

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I know, we’ll rent it!

504 North

504 North

The house that wouldn’t sell is now up for rent, asking $28,000 per month. This place, built on spec in 2007, was originally priced at $11.995 million and now asks $7.995. I’ll let the math mavens do the calculations as to whether $28,000 will carry it (assuming it rents for that) but there’s no question that it will lose further value during a year or two of occupancy and a general deterioration of market conditions.

One house that’s not for rent but is back after a hiatus is that 2007 spec at 83 Howard Road, way up off Taconic. They’ve dropped it a million, down to under $3, and it’s a neat house. The trouble is, besides its distant location, is that it’s crammed onto a half acre in the 4 acre zone, meaning there no room for anything,  noteven a pool. This would be a perfect weekend house but someone coming from the City to a spot this far from the water will want a pool. Or so I’d think, anyway.

83 Howard

83 Howard

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Al Qaeda grows in strength, Congress attacks CIA

>Al Qaeda is thriving in northern Africa, scaring the hell out of American and European security types. As the terrorists metastasize, the Democrats running Congress want to rewrite the Intelligence Authorization bill so as to force the CIA to brief every smarmy, traitorous bastard hiding under a desk in Washington and thus guarantee that no secret will remain secret longer than it takes to speed dial CNN. Even Obama is worried abut this one, and has threatened to veto the bill. Cos Cobber Jim Himes, a member of the Homeland Security Committee, hasn’t spoken out on this issue yet because he hasn’t received his orders. “But I guarantee you,” he promses, “that when the time is right, I will be for it, against it, or ‘present’.”

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