Monthly Archives: December 2011

Buy land, they aren’t making it any more

But as an investment, sometimes not so hot. 83 Perkins Road, 2 acres with a teardown, was purchased for $2.3 million in 2003 and sold again today for $2.1 million. Owners tried asking $3.4 for it in 2008 but that didn’t work out, apparently.

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Stupid is as stupid does

25 Beechcroft Road finally closed yesterday and we now know that an out-of-town broker convinced her buyer to pay $4.475 for it. Thank God for these foreigners (defined as folks from Westchester and Darien), they’re often the only hope sellers have left after the local Greenwich buyers’ community has rejected their offering.

This house was admittedly poorly designed (although not by its builder, who waged a ferocious commentary campaign last time I ridiculed him here) but might have sold at a higher price if the builder had accepted reality earlier. He did not.From a preposterous start at $8.2 million in 2007, he lowered (and raised!) its price sixteen times before, four years later, he hit upon $4.475 as the winning number.

I think the buyer was a chump but regardless, the builder didn’t do so well on this monstrosity. He paid $3 million for the land in 2007 and then borrowed $3.5 million against it. Bad as it is, I doubt this house could have been built for just $500,000 so I suspect there was a ton of money poured into it from the builder’s pockets. Oh well.

The trouble with failed projects like these is that, once built they stick around, marring the landscape. Beechcroft was a good-looking lane just a few years ago before the developers showed up to desecrate it while visions of sugar plums danced in their heads.

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Well, I’d say he got exactly the education you’d expect these days

Three blind mice

One of the three useful idiots who showed at the Darien Flopccupy yesterday was a 20-year-old moron named Cole Strangler who attended Brunswick. Here’s his story, as related by a reader:

The Occupy Darien only gets funnier and funnier. One of the handful of protesters was a young lad, Cole Strangler, who held a sign End The War and Tax the Rich. What’s wrong with that, you ask? Nothing except the irony is Mr. Strangler went to Brunswick, attends Georgetown, and is “just back” from studying abroad. So he’s okay to accept family money for the privilege of attending such fine schools yet talks out the other side of his mouth for this event? Pretty ridiculous.

I had the same thought a year or so ago when I noticed a picture of a Brunswick “student leader” wearing a Che Guevera tee shirt. The kids aren’t necessarily ungrateful for their parents’ sacrifice, they’re just cluless morons, ignorant of history,  who wasted $40,000 a year of daddy’s money to ensure that they remain in that sorry condition.

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What if you held a demonstration and you had to bribe people to come?

Oh goodie, rubles!

“Occupy Darien” a bust today, (dis) organizer will hand out $1,000 down at Grand Central tomorrow to bribe fellow nut jobs to attend. She was, she claimed, willing to pony up $3,000 but was told it would be a waste of money. Hell, for fifty bucks I’ll drive up there and piss on her signs myself.

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Sure, drag poor ol’ West Virgina into it

In my state, a virgin is a girl who can run faster than her brothers. Don't ask me about virgin wool!

Defense lawyer for murderer blames in-breeding.

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But what if Yale had won the Game this year?

Aren't you Cecil Rhodes?

Yale football coach fired for padding (lying on) his resume.  The guy went 16-14 in his tenure and lost the Harvard Yale game this year (and maybe in the years preceding – I don’t follow these things). I do wonder whether the school would have fired him if he’d achieved a better record, but perhaps I’m just being cynical.

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NAR revises sales figures for 2007-2010

Down 14%, average

Zerohedge also adds this:

Odd: no mention of the primary reason for the “rebenchmarking”, namely that the NAR is nothing but an advertising front for the US housing industry.

No argument here.

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Sales price reported

Ok, I'll pay for another blowjob, but only if you promise that this time you won't blackmail me!

32 Twin Lakes Road, a rather decrepit home at the bottom of Gilliam Lane, has sold for $6.6 million. That’s a far cry from the $14.995 its owner Stephen “Dildo” Dent asked for it four years ago, but it still seems a wee bit steep for property that will absorb $1 million in renovations and scream for more. Of course, when you add in the premium for being so close to the Fountain brothers’ homestead, I suppose the price makes sense.

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Price increases in a declining market – why?

160 Bedford Rd

160 Bedford Road, a beautiful old (1937) house on 8 acres, sold for $3.3 million in 2007. The buyers attempted to flip it, without doing anything substantial to the house, for $5.295 in November that same year. Seven price cuts and four years later, its price had dropped to $2.2 million. It was briefly under contract, fell out of contract and was relisted as active this September, still asking $2.2. Today, its price was increased to $2.9 million.

In the years since this house was first offered for sale it has been allowed to deteriorate badly with the result that, in my opinion, it’s valuable as land only. So why would its owners think that it has suddenly gained $700,000? The mind boggles.

On a (far) lesser scale, 11 Shore Road is trying the same tactic. Yesterday you could have bought it for $1.450 million, today that same house will cost you $1.525. Why? You tell me.

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Here’s a decent buy, I think

31 Orchard Street sold yesterday for $948,000. Not a huge reduction from its 2007 purchase price of $1.160 million but the sellers had put in some substantial bucks in a generator, central a/c and that sort of thing so it’s a better deal than it first looks. For those who like Cos Cob (joke, CC!) Orchard’s a great location – very convenient, nice street.

This sale does raise a question that’s been nagging me, though: it’s been my general impression that improvements to a house don’t add to its resale value, and statistics for other parts of the country bear this out. One the other hand, nothing kills a showing more than an inadequate, dated kitchen and customers don’t even seem to want to redo bathrooms any more. So maybe you the seller have to do these things to sell your house at all? Despite the fact that you’ll be digging deeper into your pocket? I suspect that’s the case these days, but I really have no numbers to confirm that suspicion. Comments/experience welcome.

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I can’t have overpaid, I’m an expert!

85 Indian Head Road, land in Riverside asking $3 million, has been withdrawn from the market, presumably to await better times. The property is mostly wetlands with a cesspool (not a septic system) and was priced 50% higher than better building lots directly across the street, which did sell, quickly.The self-proclaimed expert paid $2.335 million in 2006 for this patch of Tobacco Road and one can certainly respect his refusal to admit his mistake, but reality sometimes bites.

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This should be fun

As I write (10:00 a.m.) the National Association of Realtors is coming clean on their double-counting of home sales and will release new, lower totals of existing home sales for the past five years. It won’t be pretty.

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I’m sure their mother warned them against this, but did they listen?

Man dies of overdose after eating cocaine hidden in his brother’s butt. No, not a cigarette.

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No luck on Leona’s Round Hill place

Expired unsold today – guess that happens when you pay $31 million for a property and then jack up its price to $55 million for resale. But here’s a curious thing: the tax records seem to show an assessment of just $1.637 million. Could that possibly be true or is this a misprint? I don’t know.

UPDATE; A reader says that the assessment is $17 million, which seems more accurate (probably its full market value)

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Prosecutors with nothing better to do

Woman who offered sex for World Series tickets has conviction for prostitution overturned. Admittedly this happened in Pennsylvania where there is no crime but wouldn’t the taxpayers have been better served if their justice department employees had just ordered out for coffee while waiting for a real felony to occur?

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Beyond the Fringe

20 Carpenters Brook, a house so far out on our northwestern border that you must don a Mountie’s hat to visit, has been withdrawn from the market – last (short sale) price was $1.350 million. This place was never, ever worth the $4 million first asked for it in 2007 – even then, the owners had moved out and the house was deteriorating – but it’s been sad to see it fall apart over the years until it was finally offered as a land deal. I don’t know what two acres and a tear-down is worth out here under the flight path but obviously not $1.350 and, my guess, substantially less than that.

UPDATE” Over $3 million in mortgages on the property but, like the former owners, Washington Mutual’s just a fond memory. So I guess it’s now the people’s house, and we’ll be eating this one. Shall we go camp out up there? Or perhaps offer it to Margaret Rague for her Occupy horde?

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Name change?

Our new sales staff

I’ve never much liked Fudrucker’s choice of name for this firm – among other reasons, I have no idea what “EBT” is supposed to stand for. So with the demise of Cleveland, Duble and Arnold, I’ve suggested to Frankie that we adopt that name by association. I’m thinking that “Grover, Duble and Pepperidge” has a nice, WASPY-sort-of ring to it while evoking the memory of a once=proud firm. So far, Frankie isn’t biting but I’m hoping to wear him down; it’d be nice to resume wearing my Nantucket reds and Topsiders.

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Downtown condo contract

101 Lewis Street, asking $989,000. I like the location of these units (corner of Lewis and Milbank) and they clean up nicely. Owner paid $1.1 million in 2005 and has an $880,000 mortgage so I wouldn’t say he made out hugely, but the buyer seems to have grabbed a decent deal.

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Someone saw the value

22 Angus Lane, at $1.598 asking, just a bit over its assessment, has gone to contract. Owner is Helen Keller (true).

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If you’re blowing this clambake, better have done so by now

Obummers forego Hawaii in favor of harvesting organic food crop

Blizzard’s fouling up travel. Daughter Kate came in from Albuquerque last night after only a two hour delay but she may have been the last traveller to have such an easy time of it.

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