Daily Archives: September 23, 2005

September 23,2005

Nice Houses
Jean Ruggerio has just listed 212 Taconic Road, that house at the intersection of Stanwich and Taconic. It sits far off the street and overlooks a small pond and a beautiful yard. I have admired this house since it went up in 1999 and I was pleased to discover that it’s as nice inside as it is from the street. It’s not for everyone: people who need a mega-whopper mansion for business entertaining or ego gratification probably won’t find this suitable. Another agent, who liked the house as much as I did, said, “it’s not over-powering” and she’s exactly right. If I were looking for a big (7,000 sq.ft), comfortable house to raise kids, however, I’d take this one. Or buy it, if I had $6,200,000.

Maryann Grabel and Laurie Smith have co-listed 3 Hill Road. Closer to town and more modestly priced ($4,695,000), set down a long driveway. It has one of the nicest master bedrooms I’ve seen – bright, sunny and a terrific balcony. The rest of the house is also nice. Maryann tells me that the owner, a decorator (I know, I know) wanted to demonstrate how one can renovate an older house (1967) with its typical eight-foot ceilings and create airy, non-claustrophobic space. She succeeded very well, in my opinion.

Down in Old Greenwich, Aja Ohman’s listed 1 Gisborne Place (corner of Tomac and Gisborn) for $3,200,000. This is a 1905 farmhouse that was renovated and expanded five years ago. There are three stories, including a great third floor with a wood burning stove, kitchenette and a huge amount of open space for kids, entertaining or what have you. Good yard, too.

Best Condominium Value in Town?

I think it’s “The Old Mansion House”, between Valley Road and the Post Road in Cos Cob. In the 70s a developer converted an old mansion and built three more buildings to create a sixteen unit condominium association. The units are very nice, very convenient to town and represent an excellent value, I believe, as they sell in the low-to-mid $400,000s. Peter Janis, of Soethby’s used to live in the complex and served as its President so he’s quite knowledgeable about the whole project. He’s listed several of the units over the years including one this past August. It was such a great condo- two bedrooms, completely renovated and a garage – that I hesitated to write about it until I secured it for my own client. That accomplished, I now pass along the secret to you.

If At First You Don’t Succeed

Lower your price. On the other hand, there’s one property in town that’s been on the market for more than two years. It’s now with its third brokerage firm and is on its third or fourth price change all of which are higher than the price first sought. Sooner or later either the owner will lose patience and drop his price or the market will catch up with him. The latter event will probably take some time as the price is in the high,high millions. I wish him luck, either way.

Katrina Update

Local authorities have arrested the owners of a nursing home in New Orleans who failed to evacuate patients and lost 34 of them. Basis of the charges? The District Attorney claims “they were warned repeatedly, both by the media and by the St. Bernard Parish emergency preparation people, that the storm was coming.In effect, I think that their inactions resulted in the death of these people.” That’s tragic but, using the same logic, shouldn’t we expect to see the Mayor of New Orleans and the Governor of that blighted state doing a perp walk in front of the cameras? Stay tuned.

Mississippi Burning
Well flooding, anyway. Both Alabama and Mississippi were demolished by Katrina but, unless like me you went on-line and read area newspapers you’d never have known it during the first week of mainstream media coverage. Part of the reason is probably jounalists’ laziness – they tend to move in large flocks and write the same story – but I also suspect that they didn’t want to divert readers’ attention from “the Story” : Bush hates black people. Pictures from New Orleans necessarily showed mostly poor black people suffering (that’s who lived in the flooded sections) while the photos in other states showed Whites and Blacks suffering together and beginning to recover together. All three states did have one thing in common, however: FEMA was absent.

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