Good Buys

Of the four hundred fifty-three single-family houses currently listed for sale in town, one hundred two of them have been on the market for at least six months. It is these older listings that often offer the best buys because, having been over-priced originally (I don’t say that to be mean, it’s just that the market place has disagreed with the owners’ estimate of their value) they’ve often lowered their asking price below what I would consider a comparable, but newer listing. Here, in no particular order, are some houses I like; I’m not necessarily vouching for their current asking prices, but these are all good houses. Twenty-six Spruce Street, a five bedroom house asking $1,895.00. Great location, nice yard. Fourteen Dorchester, also is Riverside, at $2,125,000. Ten Copper Beech, off of North Street, $2,950,000. I do not understand why this great house didn’t sell long ago. It’s in excellent condition and has a fantastic yard. Perfect for a downsizing couple, entirely adequate as is for a family or add a second floor and have yourself a MacMansion. 160 Bedford Road, $3,950,000. I realize that this far northwestern corner of Greenwich poses difficulties for those who must be close to town, but for a family with kids at any of the schools on King Street, it’s quite convenient. Eight acres of rolling lawn, terrific older house which I originally described as looking exactly like what Katharine Hepburn and Carey Grant would pull up to when leaving New York with Baby the tiger and heading for New England. Still looks that way. And, finally, there is Twenty Interlaken Road, the contemporary on a pond that I recently wrote about. $4,300,000, six acres of land. Excellent buy.

All of the houses listed are well worth your attention, so if you’re a buyer who stepped away from the market last spring, discouraged, perhaps, by the frenzied atmosphere, give your agent a call and go looking; everything’s calmed down and its safe get back in the water.

Not All Good Buys are Old Listings

Even in the dog days of summer, people list houses and a very nice one came on recently. Barbara Cioffari has brought on 47 Owenoke Way in Riverside for $3,295,000, which I think is a very good price for a house as nice as this (disclosure: my family is friends with the owners’ family, but that’s not the basis for my opinion – now if they’d listed it with me ….). A center hall colonial that has been completely renovated and recently expanded, with a nice yard of almost half an acre and within easy walking distance, if anyone does that anymore, to Riverside School, Eastern and the train. I’d be surprised if it’s still available by today’s publication date but hey – it’s summer, and a lot of potential buyers are out of town. You might get lucky.

And in Middle Age Listings

Alaimo Dechantal’s listing at 52 Fairfield Road was priced at $2,800,000 when it was first listed in May. Two months later it’s dropped to $2,495,000, which seems appropriate. A brick center hall colonial, again, also renovated and also on a nice yard of an acre. I didn’t necessarily disagree with its original asking price and I especially like this house at its current one.

Boom Goes Bust!

The New York Times is at it again, with yet another front page story about trouble in the housing market, this time in Denver. I have no doubt that the facts of the story are accurate – at least, they make no mention of Dan Rather’s having been involved in writing the story – but if you look at those facts, you’ll see that they aren’t all that scary. They tell tales of woe of people who didn’t earn as much on their house as they expected, such as a man who purchased a townhouse as a speculative investment and earned only $10,000,000 for his efforts. The basic conclusion of the article is that the market has slowed down, which is hardly surprising; no one I know thinks we’ll see twenty percent increases forever. Despite its headline, the article itself did include one calm observation: “Optimists point to Denver as a model of an adjusting real estate market. ‘I think it’s a good example of when a market softens, what happens,’ said David Lereah, the chief economist of the National Association of Realtors, a trade association. “You see double-digit price appreciation go down to 4 percent or even 1 percent, and then it starts coming back to a historical norm of between 4 and 6 percent. That’s very healthy. That’s wonderful. It beats inflation.’
Mr. Lereah might be a flack the Realtors, I suppose, but I agree with his opinion.

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