Daily Archives: March 1, 2012

Let’s invite him to Greenwich

Say goodbye to your doggie, Cathy Lee!

While California does nothing about its horrific budget deficit, state Democrats are up in arms, so to speak, over the president of  an advisor to the states Fish and Wildlife Commission for legally hunting and eating mountain lions in Idaho. It offends the Twinkie-banners, apparently. The man in question seems unrepentant:

Mr. Richards, a real-estate broker in Upland, Calif., declined to comment for this article. In a letter he sent Tuesday to Mr. Hueso, Mr. Richards wrote: “Do you really think a California Commissioner is actually obligated to follow California laws across these United States? Really?”

Responding to criticism from some animal-rights activists that he killed the animal only for sport, Mr. Richards wrote: “we did dine on Mountain Lion for dinner” and added: “I will continue to hunt and fish wherever I please…There is ZERO chance I would consider resigning my position.”

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(One of the) Dumbest Congressmen in our capital was for terrorism before she was against it.

Demmerkrat Charwoman Debbie Wasserman (oh, her stupidity is legendary – just Google her or search this blog for back posts) has backed out of a fund raiser headed by a Muslim on the Terrorist Watch List.  I don’t really think the guy should be on that list in the first place because, from what I read, he ticked off the TSA by defending terrorists. Well he’s a lawyer, for Crissake (Allah’s sake?) and that’s what lawyers do.

But it’s fun to see the head of the Democrat Party tripping over her high heels, denying that she ever, ever intended to attend the event, even if she’d said she would.

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The Big Lies shifts west to Detroit

GM reports wonderful numbers on auto production while stuffing its dealers’ inventory to all time high. 667,500 in inventory, 207,000 sold in February. Sounds like Greenwich real estate, to me, but there’s no government subsidy program, yet, for unloading Greenwich mansions.

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None so blind, and all that ….

A Realtor/owner/builder asked me today what I thought of her house and, since she asked, I told her I thought it was overpriced. “But that [the new, lower asking rice] is what we have into it!” I must have been feeling ornery so I explained that what someone “has into” a new house is as irrelevant as the price someone paid for a used one – market value is what someone is willing to pay, not what it cost you to build, not what you paid for it, not what you “need” or want. I thought they covered this concept in that grueling real estate course we all had to endure before joining this august profession.

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It’s quiet out there, too quiet

Nothing much going on. No sales reported, 2 executed contracts, one for Sickle Bar Lane, asking $979,000 and the other for 12 Mountain Wood Road, mentioned here earlier this month when it reported an accepted offer. Last asking price was $6.950 million which, assuming it sells for even less than that, will make the sellers cringe: they paid $8.4 million for it back in ’05.

Five accepted offers, all under $2 million, all unexceptionable.

And that’s it. Blah.

While looking at stats from the past six months just now, I noticed a sale that must have escaped me over the Thanksgiving holiday: 37 Cedarwood sold for $4.3 million. Owner paid $5.275 in 2003.

Positive news? It’s a sale!

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Why I wear a steel helmet when touring houses

Ran into the owner/builder of another house today, this time Jim Scheckter, who is building a mansion at 12 Byfield Road (Drive?) Turns out, Mr. Scheckter was justifiably angry with me because some months ago I wrote that his house was in foreclosure and being taken over by the lender. While that was accurate enough so far as it goes, it turns out that Scheckter beat back the bank in court and regained control of his project, which he is now completing.

Looks like a nice house but I still wonder at the possibility of a sale in the amount it’s asking ($11 million, down from $12 in ’09). The only “recent” sales on Byfield of recent construction I could find on the MLS (there may have been another one that never was listed) were #50 Byfield, full-price sale of $5.5 million in 2005 and #48, a BSF project that tried for $7.5 million in 2007 and called it a day at $5.150 in 2009.

Those houses weren’t as large as this one, which has 9,500 sq. above grade and 4,000 in its lower level (“fully useable”, I’m told) but in real estate, unlike dating, size doesn’t always matter; price does. But I do wish Scheckter well – he’s obviously lavished a lot of care, attention and money on this house.

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High end houses = drag on the market

Speaking with another agent yesterday she wondered aloud what was going to happen to all the expensive houses for sale in Greenwich. “They just aren’t selling,” she said, “so do they drop their prices and push everything else further down or just disappear?”

I’ve written on this conundrum many times but here’s the latest news: the problem persists.

There are currently 51 single family homes for sale in Greenwich asking between $7.5 million and $11.5 million. How’s that bracket doing? here’s the breakdown for houses that either have fully executed contract or have sold via contracts entered into since September 1 of last year:

$7.5 – $9 million: 30 still for sale, 1 (one) gone to contract

$9 – $11.5 million: 21 still for sale, 1 (one) gone to contract.

Lower down but still in what I consider to be nosebleed territory, there is some life but obviously more inventory.

$4.950 – $7.5 million: 74 for sale, 10 (ten gone to contract.

That’s it for the past six months and I see no reason to believe the next six months will be better. I was berated just now by an agent/owner for not “printing positive news.” I told her, “you provide that news and I’ll report it. No word back from her so far, but maybe tomorrow?

UPDATE: a reader asked how many of these were spec houses. I can’t say with absolute certainty but sorting for all houses built 2009 and later, we get this:

$5.5 – $7.5 million: 7

$7.5 – $9 million:      2

$9.0 – $11.5 million: 4

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