37 Maher Avenue
This lovely house sold in a bidding war in 2005 for $2.811 and, after extensive renovation, was put back up for sale in 2008 for $6.950. That’s a big price for Mahr Avenue, Halloween vandals notwithstanding, and no one bit. Today it’s back at $5.495 which is still a lot of money but less than before. Hey, if you don’t ask, the answer is “no”.
That fellow who lost $600 million on his John Hancock buy up in Boston earlier this year, and a few million on a spec lot in Khakum Wood (Broadway Partners, maybe?) is still trying to undo his mistaken purchase of the old Victor Borge place at 112 Field Point Circle. He paid $25,750 for it in 2007, tried getting $35 million for it a short time later and today has dropped it to $20.750. But can he escape for a mere $5 million? The assessment is $16 million, and that feels like a pretty good number to me.
One more contract snuck in at the bell. 108 Park Avenue in Greenwich, which I mentioned earlier this week was supposedly under contract, is indeed with buyer. Started in the mid-$5s, dropped to mid-$3s, I notice that the listing agent found the buyer. Could that explain why another offer (lower than the accepted offer, no doubt) was rebuffed with no attempt at negotiation? Oh come on, only a cynic could believe that.
We’re now through the third week of the fall selling season, so let’s see how we did this week. Uh oh.
Just five contracts in five days, and none of them are going to serve as a Viagra pocket rocket for those sellers holding out for a return of high prices.
Here are all five contracts, (with my guess as to ultimate selling price in parenthesis):
71 Richmond Hill Road – Originally asked $4.050 in 2003, dropped to $2.995, ($2.2?)
91 Meadow (Rvsd). Started at $4.2 in 2007, dropped to $2.469, ($2.1?)
19 Indian Field Road. Sold (bidding war) for $770 in 2005, listed at $799 in ’08, dropped to $679. ($645?)
148 Lockwood (excellent house) asked $1.525, dropped to $1.350 ($1.275?)
14 Peck Avenue. Paid $569 in 2007, asking $399 in ’09. ($375?)
My advice is that if you really want to or need to sell your house before next spring, you have about six weeks to slash its price and move it. Failing that, sit back, wait for March and hope for good things.
Y2K. “Vaccines for H1N1 is a hot topic, with a lot of unscientific sentiment, trials and competition,” said Chiang Yi-chien, a fund manager at Prudential Financial in Taipei, who helps run the firm’s Global Bio-Health Fund. Not all vaccines will succeed and “once H1N1 is contained, shares will be very risky to hold. Even those with government orders, the government will not renew the contracts once the virus is controlled.”
It’s already contained and all that’s left is a cacaphony of hooting and hollering as virus profiteers – scientists, government agencies and stock traders try to keep it alive long enough to cash out. I can hardly wait for the day when I read that Al Gore and his global warming companies have filed for bankruptcy.
Colorado / NYC subway bomber admits Al Qaeda ties, will plead guilty to terrorism. You don’t say.
This is the story that the New York Times buried in its metro section and then ignored. Won’t its readers be surprised tomorrow morning? No doubt they were pursuing “more important stories” as they claimed when they ignored the Van Jones story (which truly was an unimportant story, but fun, nonetheless).
UPDATE: Nothing on the Times web site as of 4:20. This is obviously not news fit for its readers’ eyes.
In France, dairy farmers are crying over spilled milk – the price is too low! In Vermont, Senator and Socialist Barry Sanders is, according to an NPR report this morning, convening an antitrust inquiry into milk wholesalers who, he insists, are responsible for the low prices for milk in Vermont and not silly matters like supply and demand. Here’s a press release from the good Senator’s office outlining his thinking. I wonder what he attribute’s France’s woes to?
A new 6,000 sq.ft. single family house on Steamboat Road has just been listed for $8.750 million. It says it enjoys direct waterfront, which is an advantage over the similarly-priced condos down the street that overlook the old Greenwich Capital building, so perhaps this one will leap off the market. I haven’t seen it. A neighbor isn’t impressed, but are they ever? Sour grapes, says I.
First Selectman Peter Tesei refuses to debate his opponent, Lin Lavery on a local cable show (viewership, 5), citing the fact that mean old Ed Krumeich would be there to ask questions (as would softy Peter Crumbine, from Tesei’s own party). “I’m no Dan Quayle,” Tesei explained apologetically, “I can’t think on my feet. So I insist on nothing but big, fat softballs lobbed up by a nice lady from the League of Women Voters. Or one of my kids – yeah, that would be okay, too.”
Come on, Peter, she’s a girl!
Two men, both in need of cash, and a break in at a Greenwich jewelry store. Coincidence? I think not.
2:30 on a Friday afternoon and if anything has sold this week, it hasn’t been reported. 417 Field Point Road has dropped a little more so that, two years after starting at $11 million, it’s down to $8.5. Assessed value is $3.5ish.
52 Pear Lane, the lovely old gate house on the water in Belle haven, has dropped from $16.5 million to $8, $12.5 (jumped the gun a year) which is a good start, but assessed value is $3.8. That may be low – this is Belle Haven waterfront, after all, but the gatehouse, while charming, would violate so many federal zoning laws if you put a nickle in it that you’ve probably got to tear it down or live in it exactly as it is. It’s nice, and I’d be delighted to live there, but I suspect anyone in this price range will demand more.
240 Riverside Avenue has been listed, for $3.485. It was built by Doran Sabag so you know it’s excellent quality, but this is one of two houses stuck tandem on one lot (formerly one lot) and I’m not wild about that arrangement. Perhaps you’ll overlook that issue, since you’d be getting such a nice house.
The Colonel will see you now
The tire tariff war may claim another victim, the export of chicken feet to China. For some odd reason there’s not much demand for them in this country so they fetch just a few pennies per pound but the Chinese love ‘em and pay up to $0.80 a pound for these tasty snacks. Intrigued by the thought of this huge bargain right here on our shores I looked up recipes for chicken feet and it turns out that they make excellent stock and are good when deep fried or simmered, with barbeque sauce. Yu ghoo furst.
California banning all plasma TVs and 25% of large screen LCDs as energy hogs. This is akin to NYC trying to ban all outdoor smoking, anywhere – it’s not that it will do any good but there are people who just can’t stand bad habits, watching TV, and lots of other activities they themselves are too wise to indulge in. And they are in power now so, by God, they’re going to do something about it!
Historians remember when Bismark’s unification of Germany did away with the tariff and borders of the many German principalities and, by freeing commerce, brought wealth to that nation. We, led by California, are going in exactly the opposite direction, where fifty states will each have different requirements for everything from cars, paints, food, insurance, pay and now, TVs. The fact that this policy hurts the economy and will bring about our penury is a feature, not a bug, according to its advocates.
Nothing to note yet (28 High View in Old Greenwich, a quarter-acre land deal, sold direct – no agent – for $960) in the way of contracts or well-priced new listings. I did see that 51 Mooreland Road, nine beautiful acres of meadow, has been reduced again, this time to $5.950, from its original asking price of $9.5. Here’s a group of sellers (heirs) who seem determined to chase the market down to the bottom. If they’re lucky, the market will rebound and catch them on the way up. Otherwise, if you’re looking for great building site off Round Hill next fall, check this one out.
51 Mooreland Road
There’s a house under construction on Lockwood Road in Riverside that neatly illustrates the Floor Area Requirement’s affect on building design. A builder is not required to build a shallow hip roof, for instance, but when FAR penalizes both the use and height of attics, it encourages their elimination, especially on small lots where living space is at a premium. So this is what we get, and are going to get: mushrooms on steroids. Our local board has yet to assign a name to this style and still limits listing agents to “ranch”, “colonial” or, the best, nondescript term of all, “Euro-Style”. I nominate the term, “Bloomer”, in honor of Franklin Bloomer, the RTM Representative who has been such an advocate for FAR. So here are two Bloomers, one on Lockwood and the other around the corner on Lockwood Lane.
- Double Ugh