Private Schools
Admission letters went out two weeks ago, spurring all sorts of activity. Riverside families whose kids got into Brunswick are suddenly interested in the western side of town, New Yorkers whose little darlings didn’t get in are no longer interested in moving out, and so on. Tom Gorin, principle of Cleveland, Duble & Arnold, reminds me that the process works the other way, too: New Yorkers who can’t get their kids into that city’s private kindergartens start looking in towns with good public schools, like Greenwich.

24 West End Avenue
This is an almost new (built 2004) house listed by Francoise Levinson that I admire very much. The lots on West End are long and very narrow, which yield, as in this case, very nice backyards but present a challenge to anyone building on them. In this instance, the builder erected a long narrow house that looks great, both outside and inside. Because he used steel I beams to span large distance, the house is bright, open and should withstand anything a hurricane can throw at it. Three car garage, five bedrooms (four up, one down) and a really attractive finished basement. A block from Old Greenwich so train commuting’s a snap. I liked this house when I watched it going up and it’s just as nice today.$2,750,000.

Woxtra! Woxtra!
I notice a headline in The National Inquirer announcing that Atlantis has been found. I wonder how many times in that fine newspaper’s history it has found the lost continent only to lose it again. Careless.

Your Name is Destiny
Seen on the Post Road, a panel van emblazoned, “Shock Electric”.

Downtown Parking
Back in the 1960’s my family enjoyed making fun of our neighbor Joe’s long, rambling letters to the editor complaining about the lack of downtown parking and proposing various ways of providing it. We wouldn’t have thought he was so humorous had we known that nothing would be done about parking for the next forty years. The defeat of the latest proposed project, just off Elm Street, astonishes me. I haven’t shopped on Greenwich Avenue for years because of the lack of parking and I realize that the parking shortage will self-correct, eventually: more people will join me in shopping elsewhere and parking spaces will free up. But we, unlike so many New England towns, have a thriving downtown. Why would we jeopardize that when, as Joe pointed out, there are many solutions. All that is required is the will and I’m perplexed that that will is lacking.

Paint that House!
I toured a perfectly nice house in Riverside recently that is not selling and has just had its price reduced by $200,000. I think I know why: it’s empty and has the feel of a long-time rental property that has been neglected by its owners. If those owners had taken the time and gone to the expense to repaint inside and spruce up (not even replace) the bathrooms, I think the house would have sold months ago and the $200,000 price drop would have been unnecessary. Buyers like a house to be in move-in condition – this one looks like a project.

Press Releases
This will come as a shock to most of you, but not every press release is exactly accurate. The Greenwich Time recently ran an article on the sale of 382-84 Greenwich Avenue that quoted one commercial broker, as having represented the seller in the deal. “We advised the owners to take advantage of the historical highs we are seeing … and sell the property in its present condition….I think the result clearly speaks for itself. The owners, I know, are very satisfied….” Well not anymore. Turns out, the owners paid that broker $25,000 to go away and used another firm, Karp Associates Advisors, Inc. to represent them. The commission on a $10,000,000 sale is a tad more than $25,000. But hey, if it works for one guy, maybe it will work for me: I hereby advise each and every one of you to take advantage of the historical highs we are seeing and sell now. There – now I can claim credit for every sale in town and stop the annoying necessity of having to name other agents.

Open Houses
I’ve said this before but here goes again: out of the approximately 1,500 agents in town, you will see the same 100 regularly out at open houses. Not every one of those active agents is a top producer (I serve as an example of that) but every top agent is out there. Cause and effect? I think so. You can’t sell what you don’t know about.

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