Daily Archives: January 17, 2013

Best Greenwich Time headline ever?

Naughty boy!

Naughty boy!

So says a friend of mine who sent along the link: “Cross-Dressing Meth Priest liked Sex in Rectory”. I’ll admit that’s pretty good, but I’d dress it up a bit: “sex in the rectumry”.

But that’s just me.

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Cuomo on gun law: “you’ll have to pass it to find out what’s in it.”

Felonious possession of a banned weapon - book'em, Danno

Felonious possession of a banned weapon – book’em, Danno

As of midnight last night, New York police are barred from using weapons with more than a seven bullet magazine - that would be the entire state’s police force. But the lives of our children were at stake and there simply wasn’t time to follow state law requiring a three day review period for the legislation.

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Dom Devito’s back!

Just got a call from Dom – he’s home from El Paso way and he’ll be building again. Mr. Devito is one of our more colorful characters here in Greenwich and a really nice guy, though I don’t think I’d go out of my way to cross him. I do look forward to (cautiously) writing of his exploits once again, so welcome home, Dom, and I’ll stop by with coffee. Glad to have you back.

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Open house results

Not too much of note, but I thought 33 Ballwood in Old Greenwich stood out. $4.2 million, which puts it just out of my reach but having spent much of the fall working with a client sifting through this price range’s inventory, I think $4.2 is justified. Value in these situations is relative, and comparing 33 Ballwood to other Old Greenwich/Riverside homes, this is a decent price.

It was built for these owners in 2002 so it’s custom, not a spec, and the quality is exceptional. Great use of space, lots of expensive touches and solid. The yard is tiny, which rules it from consideration for those who want, you know, an actual yard, but if you’re willing to trade land for neighborhood, here you go. And many people are indeed willing to make that exchange, as evidenced by the strong recovery in prices down here. Plus, this house stayed dry during Sandy’s floods – that sets it apart from many older homes in the area.

A steal? Not on your life, but I think this is well priced. It’s Ellen Mosher’s listing, and Ellen almost always gets these things right.

33 Ballwood

33 Ballwood

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And every one of them will sport a “Save the Polar Bears” sticker on its tail fin

Dulles Airport to shut down runway to accommodate the 300-600 private jets anticipated for the coronation.

Fanjet for the Common Man

Fanjets for the Common Man

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Journal News strikes another blow for crime

For the second time in a week, a home identified by Gannet’s Journal News has been ransacked by burglars and guns stolen.

Two handguns and two pistol permits were stolen from the New City home of a man whose name and address are listed on the website of a local newspaper as possessing gun permits, police said.

The thieves ransacked the house Wednesday night, breaking into two safes on the home’s third floor and stealing a third safe. The guns were in the stolen safe, police said.

While Clarkstown police said that, as of this stage in the investigation they had no evidence the burglary was connected to the controversial map, Gannet’s Janet Hasson (3 Gate House Lane, Mamaroneck, NY) was not so reticent to claim credit. “This is exactly why we published that map”, she crowed excitedly. “Only criminals and sickos have guns, and we’ve now proved that by placing these weapons into their hands. Oooh, I just know there’s a Pulitzer here!”

"We're sooo proud of ourselves!"

“We’re so proud.”

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New prices, but will it matter?

398 Stanwich

398 Stanwich

398 Stanwich has dropped its price to $5.495 and I suppose its owners think that’s a concession, but I’m not so sure. This Jordan Saper house sold new for $5.5 million in 2004, tried for $6.345 in 2009 and finally sold to these owners for $5.350 in 2010. They, in turn, listed it last February for $5.695 but as they’ve discovered, we aren’t back to 2004 prices yet, let alone above them.

As an aside, if based on this listing’s description you expect to find an “Exceptional Gated Stone Georgian Estate” behind this home’s rather modest driveway fence, you may be disappointed.  Many people, if not New Yorkers, don’t associate “estate” with two-acres, even if that land does include a colonial era graveyard.

918 North Street

918 North Street

And speaking of wannabe estates, 918 North Street, 4 acres, is back again, now asking $13.999 million – that represents a $1 million reduction for each of the past three years this has been for sale but I’m not convinced it’s there yet. In fact, I wonder if there is still a market for 10,000 sq.ft. (above ground -there’s also a 4,000 sq.ft. basement) back country homes these days. The back country used to be aspirational – a young family would move into Greenwich in a more affordable neighborhood and when the breadwinner rose to the top of the heap he’d drag his brood north, where his peers and the serfs could note his accomplishment.

But that was when there were real estates in the Back Country – 50 acres, 100 acres, and even larger. Ownership of a dark, gloomy 1920’s pile of stone and timber signaled an important person inside. Now that those estates have been chopped into mere estatelets, four-acre patches of marginal swampland with, maybe, an acre of grass, what’s the point of living in such an inconvenient location?

Apparently none, which explains why the back country is so dead these days. I don’t think it’s coming back, either, until the really rich show up and reassemble the ranchettes into large parcels again. When that happens, when it’s again possible to impress the lesser classes with an estate, the truly rich will spend their money on big mansions. A big mansion on an insignificant scrap of dirt will remain, I predict, what it is now:  bulldozer fodder.

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