Daily Archives: May 12, 2011

Shocker: Malloy fails to fire state workers

He promised to lay off 4,780 now and an equal number in the next few weeks. How’s it going? Well, he found 182 sad sacks to make an example of. That’ll bring the union to its knees.

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The Untouchables: Goldman Sachs and its lying partners

A number of readers provided links today to this article by Matt Tabbai in Rolling Stone but I’ve only just had time to read it. Good lord, I knew these guys were crooks, but Tabbai lays out a damning indictment of the lies they told their clients and the Senate. Billions of dollars stolen and zero enforcement action taken by the same Justice Department that’s going after Roger Clements for lying about his personal use of steroids.

If you think there’s a distorted sense of what’s important here, consider how many Goldman officers are now at work in the Obama administration and how much money Goldman has contributed to Mr. Hope and Change the past few years. Obama will probably replace Ulysses S. Grant as our most incompetent and corrupt president ever, but Grant won a war and he deserves to be rehabilitated. The same cannot be said for the current White House occupant.

(Space intentionally left blank here for insertion of the obligatory “Bush lied, people died etc. chants from my liberal friends. That doesn’t work for me but I know they’ll feel better for venting).

Take the time and read the article and reflect on Raj’s pending sentencing. Is it possible that we have a separate enforcement system for dark-skinned Wall Streeters who lack political clout and equally-wealthy white guys who control Washington? Say it ain’t so.

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That $8,000 tax credit for home buyers cost them $15,000

How? Because they were suckered into buying houses that have subsequently lost (at least) $15,000 in value. $20,000 for early participants.

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Short sale on Bible

195 Bible

Bank approved sale, which cuts down the waiting considerably. Five bedrooms, four baths, an acre of land, it sold for $1.160 million in 2000, asking $1.295 today. That’s probably negotiable. Helpful hint: as with all short sales, you’d be advised to make certain that the Stamford law firm of Burt Hoffman is not involved.

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A decent looking house in Cos Cob

4 Indian Pass

Okay, technically it’s in Greenwich proper, but you don’t believe that, do you? Anyway, this house with a Greenwich address sold for $1.4625 in 2005 and has been reduced today to $1.450. Indian Pass is that little dead end off of Indian Field, so it’s convenient , without the traffic. The house has five bedrooms, five baths and seems to have been updated over the years. I missed its open house  (sometime I’ll post about the impossibility of getting to all of the Thursday open houses in the time alloted, 11-1:300) but it looks nice and the street’s a good one, if you don’t mind the aromas from Pizza Post wafting over now and then. . If you’re in this price range, I’d suggest you take a look – I’ve seen worse.

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Who knew?

Starbucks was the go-to meeting place for Rajamataz conspirators and the FBI alike. And I’ve been thinking that all our Cos Cob store was serving up was overpriced lattes. Still, it is a bitter brew, so perhaps the Raj should have known better.

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Riverside again

2004 prices? One  Highgate Road, down at the end of Indian Head, sold for $3.225 in 2005, tried for $3.895 this past March and has been cut to $3.495 today. I’m not saying that it’s going to fall to its 2005 price and keep going, but the trend is definitely down. Assessment is $2.11

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577 Round Hill Road

That’s the Raj’s house, which he paid $7.5 million for in 2000. Hard to believe such a smart trader would overpay for Greenwich real estate but there it is. 2010 assessment is $5.361 (70% of 2010 market value) so maybe, maybe, the Raj’s wife will break even on this, assuming the happy couple didn’t put a dime of improvements into it in the past 11 years. That seems unlikely.

But for a man who until yesterday was worth an estimated $1.5 billion, I doubt a loss on this house will amount to anything more than pocket change, even if he gets nailed with some fines and penalties. The man has bigger things on his mind, anyway. I assume he’ll stay on, wearing his new ankle bracelet, until his appeals run out but when they do, look for the wife to sell and get out, if she hasn’t left already.

Thought for today: how much do you think Raj would have paid of his $1.5 billion to avoid spending the next twenty years in prison? And how much did he make on these puny deals? Boggles the mind.

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Someone still has money

With so many of our Greenwich high rollers wearing ankle bracelets,  in prison or heading there, it’s easy to forget that not all of them have been caught and some of them may actually have nothing to worry about. Presumably from the latter category, a buyer has appeared for 125 Pecksland, a 14,500 sq.foot house built in 2001 and on the market since last September at $14.750. It’s under contract today, so someone must have received a nice bonus this year. Or a hell of a tip on inside information.

I’m just guessing, but I’ll bet that this buyer is not the Doubling Road resident who has been liquidating his 11 – car Ferrari collection these past few months, speaking of houses soon to become available.

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Back from open houses

3 Hill Road

I saw a couple of nice houses, a handful of not bads, and a whole lot of “you’ve got to be kidding me”s. I did like 3 Hill Road in Greenwich, asking $4.950. It’s a back lot down a long driveway, which probably eats up the 0.43 of its 1.43 acres, but it was pretty much built in 2010 on the foundation of a 1967 house, and it’s 7,000 sq. feet (including its finished basement) of beautiful construction. Nicely proportioned rooms, great kitchen and an okay backyard with pool. Without the pool area the backyard would be more impressive but then you wouldn’t have the pool, and that pool is set up as a very nice area of its own. I liked the entire package just as it is.

7 Meadowbank in Old Greenwich, $4.450 is also newly built and just as nice, in its own way, as 3 Hill. Being Old Greenwich, the back yard is a postage stamp (large enough, however, to permit me to indulge in a lengthy game of “I throw, your retrieve” with the owners’ Labradoodle) but you have Rocky Point Club just through that backyard and all of Tod’s Point just a bit around the corner. Old Greenwich fans will get it, others won’t. I get it.

UPDATE: A reader asked for a picture of 3 Hill, so I’ve added one. It’s a Brad Hvolbeck listing and 7 Meadowbank is listed by Joann Erb of Round Hill Partners. I’m sure that each firm’s respective web site has much more information, including more pictures.

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Raise that price and see what you get

17 Wynnwood Drive, off of Clapboard, is a big, nicely built spec home built in 2008. Its builder put it up for sale in February 2009 at $9.975 and raised that price to $10.6 in November of that year, a curious pricing stratagem considering that the real estate market in 2009 was in the toilet. Turned out that $10.6 was not the right price so it was cut, several times, until it hit $8.99 sometime in 2010. The original broker was fired and replaced by another who raised the price again, this time to $9.475. For reasons that escape me, that act of brilliance went unrewarded and price cuts resumed. Today it was marked down to $7.975. That might have worked as the original price but for a three-year old listing? I think the damage has been done. Besides, number 15 Wynnwood, by the same builder, sold for $6.3 in 2009. How you gonna keep them on the farm after they’ve seen Paree?

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Not everything sells in Riverside

The listing for 32 Oval Avenue has just expired. It’s on a decent street, not a bad-looking house, and at $1.180 million, not burdened with a totally unreasonable price, so what happened? Looking over the listing (I missed the open house, I guess), I notice that there’s only one bathroom in the house, and calling it the “master bath” when it must be shared with two other bedrooms doesn’t really make it a master bathroom.

I’ve pointed out here before that there were lots of houses with just one bath in the Riverside I grew up in and the kids all seemed to turn out well. My best friend Chase Carey shared one bath with his parents and two siblings in a small house on Summit Road and he’s gone on to be Rupert Murdoch’s top man and a big wheel in Hollywood, just as a for instance, but that was then and these days, I think this house requires at least one more bath. I don’t know if there’s room to add one but if not, I suspect a major price reduction will have to happen before this sells.

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This doesn’t seem fair

Miss me yet?

 The expansion plans of that marina on River Road in Cos Cob were derailed when the newest member of the board, attorney Nancy Ramer, abstained from voting. If I read the story correctly, Ramer was filling in for another member who was absent that night, a member who had previously voted in favor of the plan. Ramer’s abstention meant that the plan received only three favorable votes – it needed for, so it was defeated.

I have no problem with a P&Z commissioner voting against a proposal if in her judgement the plan is flawed or otherwise objectionable, but abstaining? Ramer provided the deciding vote by not deciding at all. That seems cowardly to me. If she didn’t have enough information to cast an intelligent vote (although she previously served as an alternate, so I don’t see why she would lack such information) then the matter should have been tabled until the full board was present. Instead, we have a denial through abstention. If this is going to be typical of Ramer, then boy, will we miss Fudrucker, who was replaced by Tesi with this lightweight.

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