Daily Archives: November 14, 2012

Gone (going) hunting

Getting close to nature

Off to the woods of Pennsylvania for a few days, should be back Tuesday. I certainly don’t intend to be where there’s Internet access so no blogging, but I’ll have cell phone coverage until sometime tomorrow so if you send comments, they’ll be posted until then. After Thursday, however, you’ll all just have to congregate at EOS’s hurricane party in Bedford (you were invited, weren’t you?) and kvetch in person.

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Say goodnight, Gracie

44 Mooreland

The second of the Antares partners, Joe Beninati, has put his house up for sale today and so the two developers, Joe B and José Cabrera, are now competing against each other to sell their cheek-by-jowl houses at 42 and 44 Mooreland Road and priced at $26,080 million and $17,199 million respectively. Why the price discrepancy for two houses of equal size? Beats me, but I note that 42 Mooreland is described as designed in a “Euro-style”,  a sure predictor of a long-term stay on the market, so perhaps Beninati wants to start high in order to slice his price in half later and make the place look like a bargain.

In addition to the “false bargain” approach, there are two other possible explanations for these wildly enthusiastic prices, or two that I can see, anyway: the first is that it’s some kind of ploy to fend off creditors somehow, by appearing to have the homes up for sale and providing ammunition to fend off the court-appointed appraiser when he reports back to the judge and discloses that there’s no equity in the properties. The second may be that the Boyz actually believe their houses are worth this much – it certainly won’t be the first time they’ve overestimated a property’s value. Either way, I’m sure there will be ample opportunity to visit the homes nd decide for yourself.

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Sale price disclosed, contract in Riverside

733 Lake Ave

733 Lake Avenue sold for $4 million after asking 25% more ($5.350) 480 days before. At one point in its time on the market I think I estimated it would sell for around $4.3, but that was when it was a younger listing. Clients and I looked at it and while it was a decent house, except for the architectural decision to build it with single-pane windows, my clients chose something in this (final) price range that I think we both decided offered a better value. But it was a close thing, because this is a nice house. How much did that initial overpricing cost the owners? A lot.

39 Willow

39 Willow Road in Riverside has a buyer under contract after dropping its price from $2.950 million to $2.650. I know what I thought its value was when I first saw it last summer when it came on at that higher price and the number in my head wasn’t 2.650 either. But Riverside continues to be hot, for now.

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And speaking of budgets

Just kidding!

Do you remember – it was just last year – when our governor promised a balanced budget, one paid for by higher taxes and reduced expenses for state employees? 

This budget requires a shared sacrifice.

o   $1.5 billion in taxes of which 81% paid by individuals; 19% by businesses.

o   $1 billion in savings from state employees.

o   $758 million in spending reductions.

Well oops! We have a $300 million deficit and it’s growing. Guess someone forgot to implement that “shared” sacrifice. Malloy denies any connection between raising taxes and lowered revenue, between sweet heart deals with his union supporters and increased spending. “I blame Bush”, he told FWIW’s Frankie Fudrucker.

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Town Democrats: Soak the rich, and if you own a house in Greenwich, you’re rich

At least he gave out his own dimes

The two Democrats on Greenwich’s Board of Estimate and Taxation, Jeffrey Ramer and William Finger, have rejected a proposed budget that would increase spending by 2.5% in favor of raising taxes even higher to provide more services for our poor.

Ramer began the discussion by saying that requiring town departments to cut back would create a hardship for Greenwich’s increasingly diverse population.

There’s certainly something noble about a wealthy attorney and a Reynwood Manor mansion owner volunteering other people’s money so they can redistribute it to the poor (or, if you prefer, “our increasingly diverse population”), but where is their concern for those home-owning residents who are expected to foot the bill for Ramer et als’ generosity? These two men and their party seem to share the national media’s view of Greenwich, which says that if you own a house in Greenwich, you’re rich. This will come as a surprise to many home-owners reading this, but Ramer and his bosses in Washington say it’s so and so it must be true.

To own a house here may indeed mean that one is sitting on a $500,000 asset, and Democrats instinctively home in on that fat prey with the avidity of a lioness smelling a new-born impala, but are these homeowners really “rich” and suitable targets for the Democrat’s wrath? For a retiree living on a fixed income who depends on interest payments from a saving account and has watched that income disappear on Obama’s watch, for a middle class family that receives a fixed salary and no bonus, coming up with an extra $3,000 (or $5,000, or $10,000, take your pick) to pay for the Democrat’s beneficence means cutting spending somewhere else. The “fixed pie” concept of an economy really does exist in a household where there is no possibility of additional income. It’s funny that Democrats believe in this concept when coming up with their national schemes to soak the rich and insist that one person’s larger slice must necessarily mean another gets less, but can’t see it when applied to a household budget.

Why should owning your own home make your needs less important than those who don’t? Why must a stay-at-home mother be forced to quit raising her children and take a second job so that her new income can be given to those who don’t work? Ask the next Greenwich Democrat you meet, because I don’t have an answer. Perhaps Bob Horton will enlighten us in his next column.

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