Daily Archives: January 20, 2012

Brace yourself, Bridget

Hartford visits Greenwich

That’s the definition of Irish foreplay, and here in Greenwich we probably want to start practicing our brogue. Moodys just downgraded Connecticut’s debt because of our unfunded pension liabilities and our current $94 million deficit in this year’s budget. The latter despite Malloy’s imposing the largest tax hike in state history last year. Turns out, when Wall Street incomes fall, Connecticut residents who earned those salaries pay less, and when there are no capital gains, there are no capital gains taxes to collect. Dollar Bill and Brunswick’s Cole Stangler will cheer this result, though we hope Mr. Stangler’s father will have enough stored away to continue young Cole’s tuition at Georgetown and fund his trips to Havana, but Malloy will undoubtedly respond by raising taxes again.

And who, in all this fair land, still has assets to tax? “Top o’ the day ta you, Laddie”.

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Peter Alexander: “Well hell, send them over here to Pemberwick!”

Come here, you little munchkin!

High School bans cougar mascots as “offensive to women”

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Okay, this is kind of cool

And, unlike buying a house, you won’t deceive yourself into thinking that you’re putting your money into anything other than a depreciating “asset”

Uncle Walt's Play House?

$3 million road warrior. Ditch the Riverside home, saddle up and git goin’. Myself, I’d prefer a thirty-year-old Airstream but still…. And were you to set Cindy Renfret loose in here for a few weeks, you’d never know you’d left Greenwich – not, that is, until you pulled into a Walmart RV parking area out there in Oklahoma; then you’d know.

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The MLS gates close on a less-than-stellar week

Clothed Gates (horrible pun)

Exactly three accepted offers on residential houses this week (an accepted offer is one with contingencies still attached – when those are met, the next step is an executed contract and then, finally, a sale. For purpose of hard data, you want actual sales. For getting the pulse of the market, A/O’s are the most current data). Of those three, one was the large one mentioned earlier today, 175 Zaccheus Mead, asking $5.999. The other two were less impressive: A Havemeyer home asking $615,000 and one on Carolyn Place over there in Pemberwick or Byram or some such place, asking $350,000 and also listed as land.

Maybe next week.

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Hillcrest Park

Hillcrest Park has some difficulty garnering the respect that I think it should have, probably because it’s in NOPO and across the street from Havemeyer. But the lots there are all at least an acre, the old homes still standing are fantastic and even the newer generation houses are entirely adequate, though they won’t inspire a visit from Yale Architectural School students – a blessing, doubtless.

Today number 14 Old Farm Lane (so named, of course, because there hasn’t been a farm anywhere around these woods since Washington rested his troops here during the war) announced an executed contract. Last asking price was $2.195, down from an original $2.695. Assuming the final sales price will be less than the ask, the buyers are doing pretty well. The sellers paid $1.710 for this house in 2002 and obviously put a lot of money into renovations – they’re probably losing money, in fact. So for less than $2 million, the buyers will get what’s essentially a new house, an acre of land and a good neighborhood. You couldn’t touch this place for anything close to that price south of the Post Road, even today – maybe next year, but not today. Nice house.

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Maybe this unit’s been hidden in back all these years

Unit 115, The Gables

Unit 115 at the Old Greenwich Gables came up for sale at $1.73 million last week and was increased today to $1.910. That movement upward caught my eye so I pulled the history of these condos and the two most recent sales for three-bedroom units like this one were $882,000 (March, 2011) and $917,000 (August, 2011). Hmm. I then checked to see what the seller paid for this one and my goodness, even though the seller is a broker herself, she bought it outside the MLS in 2006 and paid $1.4 million, the highest price, I believe, ever paid for Old Greenwich Gables. Why buy a property that’s been exposed to market pressure when you can get a secret deal, hidden offered to the hoi polloi, for a real steal?

So I can understand her desire to resell it for a profit, even during this downturn but I’d have thought $1.7 would have been adequate for that purpose, had she been able to achieve her price. Raising it to $1.9 seems counter-productive but then, I’m not privy to her thinking.

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That darn Riverside!

28 Verona Drive

New construction at 28 Verona Drive (off of lower Lockwood in Riverside) asked $4.250 million and got $3.980. That’s an awful lot, I think. The house next door, built by the same man, got about this price a year or so ago so I guess that’s the comp. Testimony to the lack of new construction in Riverside but still, in this market?

(This is actually November activity, because the contract was executed November 10 of last year)

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