Daily Archives: August 26, 2005

Never Mind!
I wrote last week about 17 Hendrie Avenue selling for $5,300,000 which, I opined, set a new record for back lots in Riverside. Turns out this newspaper got it wrong and the actual selling price was $3,300,000. I’m a bit chuffed about this because I’ve previously written about the folly of relying on newspaper reporters to accurately transcribe sales figures from the Town Clerk’s day book, then I fell into that exact trap. Of well. At its real price, I think the buyers did very well.

Nice Houses
Two new listings of note last week. Pam Cunconan brought on 74 Valleywood Road in Cos Cob for $1,150,000 and Heather Platt, Cleveland Duble & Arnold, has 66 South Park Avenue in Old Greenwich for $1,650,000. Both are older homes that have been nicely renovated and I think both are well priced. The owners of 74 Valleywood took down walls in the kitchen and perhaps some other rooms to create a light airy house with a welcoming atmosphere as you enter. Three bedrooms and bath on the second floor plus a guest bedroom bath over the detached garage. Nice back yard, all on a street loaded with young families. A good buy.
66 South Park is a real surprise: from the street, it looks like a tiny cape which, since FAR regs won’t allow further expansion, appears to be far too small to accommodate a family. Once inside, however, you’ll discover that the owners have made excellent use of the space and added an eat in kitchen with adjoining family room. It’s very nice and plenty big enough, in my opinion. Fenced back yard that, while small, is perfectly serviceable and besides, South Park’s a dead end, so you can shove the kids outside to play in the street.

Not Everyone’s Away

While it may seem that the entire town has emptied out for these last weeks of summer, there is still a fair amount of real estate activity. Seventeen houses went to contract last week including one multiple bidding war for a house on Riverside Avenue. That’s not a busy week for, say, September but for the dog days of August, it’s reassuring.

Back Country Blues?

There’s a five acre plot of land in the Northwestern Back Country that sold for $2,950,000 in October, 2002. The purchasers must have changed their minds about developing it because, six months later, they put it back on the market for $3,400,000. It didn’t sell and today its asking price is $2,995,000 which probably means you could buy it for less than the sellers paid. Why is that? Did the original buyers overpay, or has the market for land in that area just dried up? I don’t know, but I do know that an awful lot of builders are holding off, for now, on starting big new expensive projects and I think this is an illustration of what happens when they do.

When they Came for my Cell Phone, I was silent

Now that Connecticut has joined New Jersey in uselessly banning hand-held cell phones in cars,I wonder whether it will follow that state in another bit of lunacy: a New Jersey legislator has proposed banning cigarette smoking while driving – a distraction, she claims, worse than cell phones themselves. Pretty soon we’ll have no radios in our cars, no cupholders,and inoperable windows (they let in distracting cool breezes and odors!). It could be worse: the EU has just enacted a law that requires employers of outdoor construction workers to force them to wear shirts and sunblock. Forget the Nanny State; we’re rapidly moving toward a Nanny Universe.

Ethanol

The energy bill just passed by Congress finally eliminates the requirement to add MBTB or ethanol into gasoline. Greenwich Time says that this is because cars no longer need it to burn cleanly but the sad truth is, cars never needed the stuff. Not since fuel injection became standard, and that was before Congress imposed the requirement to begin with. No this was always a sop to corn farmers in Iowa and, as evidence of that, note that, even though we’re no longer required to put ethanol in our gasoline, the same energy bill mandates a doubling of ethanol production, all subsidized by the taxpayer. I don’t know what we’re supposed to do with this wonderful product that absorbs moisture and ruins gasoline and uses more energy to produce than it yields, but I doubt Congress does either. Nor does it care.

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