Two beautiful houses, two ugly prices

7 Little Cove

Two of Joe Barbieri’s Old Greenwich listings had their terms extended today, 7 Little Cove Road and 55 Binney Lane. Joe’s a friend of mine and the most successful agent in Greenwich so I’m not inclined to teach him how to suck eggs, but if these prices were right the houses would have sold by now, no? Res ipsa loquitur and all that.

7 Little Cove is 2004 construction on a 1/2 acre. It sold for $6.5 million in 2005 (a million off its asking price) and was put back on the market a while ago at $7.695. It’s now asking $6.995, which is approaching reality – too bad the owners didn’t try that price originally. That said, a beautifully constructed house.

55 Binney Lane

55 Binney Lane is a tougher call. It certainly wasn’t worth the $16.8 a previous broker listed it for in 2007 but is its new price of $10.5 closer to the mark? It’s a full acre, direct waterfront and access to a shared dock. The interior is all classic 1930′s beauty. But there is a lot (a whole lot) of work to be done here, probably exceeding a million (two million?) dollars and a year or so of construction. If I had the time and the money I’d do it, secure in the conviction that my money was being poured into a property that was a pretty sure bet, but while I have the inclination I sure don’t have the money and I wonder who among the wealthy have the patience to restore this? Someone will show up, doubtless, but it may take another couple of years before he does.

12 Comments

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12 responses to “Two beautiful houses, two ugly prices

  1. xyzzy

    7 little cove has a huge problem. The lot next to it on Nawthorne has been subdivided and most likely will be built upon. You have zero idea how much of your water views will be blocked.

  2. Anonymous

    what if you’re the listing agent and the smartest guy in the room, but the client says, “i’m listing it for what i’m listing it, and if you want to represent me, great. if not, there’s 50 people behind you, you ignorant slut.”

    what do you do?

  3. Confused again. The Binney Lane house needs work? The interior photo would have you think otherwise. The floors are spectacular. The reno would be the infrastructure – heat/a/c, elec, plumbing, windows? The exterior looks well cared for and well maintained.

    O/T: two things (1). Do you know that your blog now defaults to CF @wordpress.com and not the CF.com.
    (2) I just saw this Cool mobile real estate app for your iPhone:
    http://www.smarteragent.com/

  4. Anonymous

    55 Binney Lane looks spectacular. I’ve seen much more absurd pricing.

    • You sure did, Anon – back when it was priced at $16.8. I don’t think it’s grossly overpriced now but I do wonder whether a buyer with that kind of money also has the patience to bring this house back. I hope so.

  5. Anonymous

    Heh, the sellers should have listened to you three long years ago. :lol:
    http://christopherfountain.wordpress.com/2008/12/12/how-do-you-not-sell-greenwich-waterfront/

  6. TraderVic

    55 Binney does actually need a ton of work, like Chris says. They tore out the old kitchen and explain that you might want to use the dining room as the new kitchen location “because today’s lifestyle requires a large kitchen with a great view” (i.e., the Sound). This is totally true (I wouldn’t want to spend one minute in the tiny front-facing old kitchen), but alas, where to put the dining room? The upstairs is similarly difficult with no meaningful closets for the MBR. It really would require mega vision and mega bucks to fix this beautiful old lady.

  7. CF, did 55 Binney Lane (or my personal fave, 18 West Way) suffer flood damage from T.S. Irene? (She’s a distant relative of T.S. Eliot. Sorry. Bad joke. Blame it on the Tropical Storm damage we suffered from up here in Ridgefield.)

    Anyway, I always wonder about those beautiful shoreline properties and whether they weather the weather. After a doozy in 1950 or thereabouts, my dad hightailed it out of Shorelands for the highlands of Hendrie Avenue. I’d love to know if flooding deters today’s homeowners.

  8. Duff

    XYZZY – i believe the lot next to 7 Little Cove was bought by the rear neighbor of 7 Little Cove on Nawthorn to protect their views of the cove.

  9. Afan

    Lived across the lane from 55 Binney in the early 70′s. We were in a garage apt with a glimpse of Tomac Cove. Learned to sail in the cove and remember passing the ” Manor House” wondering if the inhabitants appreciated their view as I did. This was before Dolphin Cove spoiled the natural lay of the land across the cove.

  10. Anonymous

    Unfortunately, 55 Binney is a tear-down. I lived on Binney for many years. I looked at the house in 2007 and again in 2010 to purchase and restore. I bid $7MM each time. Now even that bid seems too high. The house is in major disrepair. The roof and exterior soffits have extensive rot. The electicial system is a fire hazard for sure. The plumbing and heating system is a disaster. There is one small art deco period single bash that is the only nioce part of the house. The Hirshorns who owned it never maintained it when he was alive and the kids are just too greedy. It is one acre however but a vary dangerous lot if you have small children as a fall from the stone wall will end in tragedy for sure.