Daily Archives: March 23, 2010

Coming our way?

Free speech, but not for Whitey!

Ann Coulter forbidden to speak in Canada. This just two days after a University Provost warned her that she could be jailed under Canadian’s anti-free speech laws should she offend anyone. Can’t happen here? I imagine many Canadians thought the same thing just ten years ago.

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Stupak: I love the unborn, but I’ll sell ‘em out for government graft

Mr. “No Abortion” Bart Stupak turns out to have sold his vote for a bowl of pottage.

Three airports in the district of infamous fence-sitting and ultimately kowtowing Democrat Bart Stupak were awarded $726,409 in grants by the Obama Administration just two days before a vote on Obama and Pelosi’s government takeover of healthcare.

But my brother Esau is a hairy man.

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Fun facts about radon

Recommended safe level of radon is somewhere around 300 mrem/yr. But before you get too excited, consider this, from the link I just cited:

The average total dose rate for the USA is 360 mrem a year. It has been estimated that your chance of dying from cancer increases 10% if you accumulate a total of 250,000 mrem. This would be over 3,000 mrem a year over 80 years, for example. This estimates presumably assume a linear risk factor between dose and the chance of getting cancer, and there are those who now dispute such assumptions, which means the risks from low levels of radiation may be overstated.

Living in a home with a 4 pCi/l reading exposes you to 300 – 600 mrem per year

Living in New York City or New England, with its granite bedrock, doses you with 1,700 mrem per year:

Where and how you live affects the amount of radiation exposure you receive. For example, people who live in the Pacific Northwest part of the United States typically only receive about 240 mrem from natural and man-made sources. However, people in the Northeast receive up to 1700 mrem per year, mostly due to radon that is natural to rocks and soil.

A commercial airline flight from, say, Chicago to China, will dose you with 100 mrem, each way.

Cell phone towers would seem to pose no danger, but don’t tell that to the folks trying to ban them “within one mile of any school” which would effectively bar them from Greenwich entirely.

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Chicago politics, and a prediction from InstaPundit

Powerful Chicago politicians manipulated school lists.

SHOCKER: Arne Duncan manipulated school lists to favor powerful. “Chicago Breaking News reported late last night that former Chicago schools chief and current Secretary of Education Arne Duncan manipulated a system to favor powerful political allies by placing their children in the schools of their choice. The discovery of a list, the existence of which had been long denied by the city, and its composition of mainly high-powered political figures calls into question the appeals system used to reconsider applications that had been denied by the top Chicago-area schools.”

[Instapundit:] Prediction: There’ll be special “lists” for powerful people who need kidney transplants, too.

If you don’t believe that, you probably think ObmaCare will reduce our deficit, too.

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Good thing this was a relocation sale

Because they usually pick up the loss.  

346 Valley Road

 

This house up by the filter plant on Valley Road sold for $734,000 in 2006, and $450,000 today. Oops! Assessment was $545,000.  

Up on 65 Conyers Farm, a fifteen acre parcel of land that was purchased for $5.125 million in 2007 and relisted last year for $6.950 million has dropped its price to $6.5 million. The would-be seller’s logic seems to be that he spent a ton of money on plans and studies but in the entire history of the world, no buyer has ever valued a seller’s efforts on those matters. Doesn’t happen. The assessment is $4.2 million and if this place ever drops to that level, I have a buyer for him. Until then, enjoy those plans!

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Price cut in Old Greenwich

This house at 40 Edgewater in Old Greenwich was purchased for $775 (ish) in 2003, renovated, and has been on and off the market since 2004, starting at $1.699 and, today, down to $1.2 million. It’s got no land (0.12 acre), and probably no garage, but it’s a sweet cottage and I for one would love to live in it. Assessment is just $773,000, but I think that’s too low, given what it sold for in 2003 and the massive renovation performed afterwards. For a young couple, or couple with infant, this would be a good choice.

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Bad photo-shopping

Are you getting as tired as I am of these fake clouds now being added to every listing? Just because you can do something on a computer doesn’t necessarily mean you should succumb to the temptation but almost every realtor is doing it. Ugh.

This “picture” of 340 Valley Road is just the latest example. It was reported as rented, by the way, for $8,800 today, which is a good deal for the builder but for the two suckers who were sold units here, it’s probably not great news that the developer has apparently given up trying to sell the remaining ten and has gone rental. I, personally, would never be the first into a condominium project, but that’s just me.

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When the going gets tough, cops keep going

Silver Shield fund raiser

  California police chief, 11 drinks and a fistful of Oxycontin to the wind, leaves bar, hits fire hydrant and is  stopped three miles later, with his city-owned car missing two of its tires. I hope they Rodney Kinged him, just on general principle.

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Contracts

Three contracts reported so far today, all for houses under $1 million. Over on Riversville Road, there’s a pending for a house that started, back in 2004, at $4.5 million, dropped down eventually to $2.7 and is being sold via short sale, as are most houses these days.   

6 Willow Run

 

Over off King Street, on the Port Chester border, this 999 sq.ft. cape has just been listed for $1.050 million. Call me crazy, but I don’t see this as  $1,000 per square foot construction.

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Hope springs eternal

24 Khakum Wood Rd

 

This place has been kicking around for a couple of years now, seeking $12.950 million. Its listing recently expired but it’s back today, same price. One factor that keeps Greenwich prices high is that many sellers truly don’t have to sell, nor are they eager to. Of course, that also explains our current dismal sales rate, but there you go. Assessment is $5.9 million. 

4 Bennett

 

The owners of this Old Greenwich house paid $1.9 million for it in 2007, when it was a complete wreck. They have renovated it and now put it back up for sale at $2.495 million. It’s possible that they put $600,000 in renovation costs into the place, but that still leaves the crazy price they paid for it at the market’s peak back in ’07. Discounting that to current values, I’m not as optimistic as these sellers. But I haven’t seen it yet (open house is Thursday) and if it’s a nicely done as its listing claims, I’d certainly recommend it to clients in that price range. So we’ll see.

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Greenwich Time: we will offend no whiner before his time

Bloggin' Farricker

 

A reader points out that the Stamford Advocate is running Greenwich P&Z member/ Democrat Party chief Frankie Fudrucker’s blog today -not the Greenwich Time. Curious as to why the editor thought that Stamford readers would be more interested in Frankie’s insights than his own townsfolk, FWIW sent Scusie over to the walk-up office in Riverside where what’s left of  the Greenwich Time’s staff still huddles. Editor and chief custodian Dave McCucumber was happy to put down his bucket and mop and explain:      

“It’s about not offending people, McCucumber  said. “Fudrucker’s a Democrat, and you know how Greenwich feels about them. If we save the feelings of just one reader ….. Now Stamford, hell, they’re all Democrats over there, so what do they care how we fill up our pages? Besides, with a 95% illiteracy rate, who’s gonna notice?”

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Private school vacation doldrums

With just a few minutes left before the list is closed, today’s open house circuit looks like another good day to save gasoline. 

422 N. Maple

 

422 N.Maple, that sideways house up from Greenwich Academy, is trying to lure agents to stop by and “see the new breakfast nook”. I admire the builder’s ambition but, to my eye, the house’s problem is not that it lacked a breakfast nook but rather, it sits sideways to the road! Buyers don’t like that. Argue with them if you wish, but that’s a fact. This place was listed for $6.495 million a year ago April and has dropped a teensey bit to $5.790 but I’m guessing it will take a far more drastic cut than that before a buyer bites – $4.5? $3.5? Just guessing.

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Real estate activity in Greenwich

The NAR is coming out with national sales statistics for February today and I thought I’d look at Greenwich’s contract rate for February and March (Single family homes)

UPDATED TO INCLUDE 2002 and 2003 at reader’s request

February:

2010: 28        

2009: 14

2008: 38

2007: 52

2006: 57

2003: 58

2002: 76

March 1-22:

2010: 18

2009: 8

2008: 30

2007: 74

2006: 52

2003: 40

2002: 70

So anything is better than last year and the activity indicates that we’re climbing back (albeit at lower prices), but we have a long way to go before we return to 2006-2007 levels.

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