I haven’t had much opportunity to tune into Russ Pruner’s Friday real estate show (WGCH, 10-11:00 am) but did so last week and heard my good friend Jeremy Kaye being interviewed by Russ and his new side-kick, Bill Andruss. Great show. Jeremy, one of the very best real estate attorneys in town, gave an hour-long walk through of a typical real estate transaction, from Town Hall records, to contract negotiation to closing. You might think that’s a pretty dry subject to spend an hour on (in my first year of law school, when I couldn’t sleep, I’d open my property law case book and doze off in minutes) but Russ and Bill asked good questions and Jeremy is almost as funny as his brother Joel so the time flew. If Russ is smart, he’ll make this interview available as a download on his firm’s website so that you can load it on your iPod and learn while you jog. Or you can just call Jeremy (625-5300) and ask him to entertain you. My only regret: Russ refused to take calls from listeners, thereby shutting off my creative impulses for the morning.
Two Nice Houses – cheap! (for Riverside)
I live down the street from Valerie Bromley’s new listing at 62 Arch Street and as I passed it each morning I wondered at the wisdom of its owners as the spent a year renovating what, to my eye, was a dated contemporary destined for a dumpster. I was (as usual) wrong, they were right. The house and yard have been transformed and the result is a very nice, livable house with five bedrooms, three fireplaces and a great deck overlooking Binney Park – throw your own July 4th party and have the best seats in town. Good price, I think, at $2,250,000.
Barbie Jackson has listed 23 Pierce Road for $2,395,000 and I liked it, too, although it’s a completely different type of house. This one is a 1927 farmhouse, totally updated and renovated in the past few years. Nice yard and a great porch. Either one of these houses would be a good choice.
The Arch street house includes a deck made of composite (okay, plastic) material that looks really good. This is a very practical choice for decking – more expensive than pressure treated wood but maintenance-free. My pal Nancy, tired of replacing rotten boards on our old deck, hired Rick Crossman of Old Greenwich (Archadeck, 978 –9050 archadeck.com) to rebuild the entire structure using composite decking and it looks great. I’ve known Rick and the rest of the Crossman family for many decades – good people and Rick sells a good product. He’ll make a deck from whatever you want: pressure treated wood, Brazilian Ipe (great, beautiful wood that lasts forever and comes with a price tag to match its longevity) or, as noted, composite. It’s always nice to use local vendors because in the unlikely event that a problem develops later, you know where to find them and, with a local reputation to defend, these guys will always work to make it right.
My mother’s cat Henry, a 17 pound brute we adopted from the ASPCA, loves people but detests interlopers on his territory (which, sadly for my Nancy’s Miss Kitty, includes the house two doors up –poor Miss Kitty is terrified). But I watched with great amusement the other morning when Henry spied two geese on my neighbors’ yard. He crouched behind our hedge, then stalked the interlopers in a slow manner that caused them increasing concern and, when he finally charged they flew off, squawking in protest, landing in our creek, where the belong. Cheaper to maintain than a Border Collie, I may rent him out.
More on fluorescent bulbs
Interesting discussion on NPR the other day on the new fluorescent bulbs, soon to be mandated as the only light bulbs sold in America. Turns out that they don’t work in “cans’, the overhead lights so many people have in their houses. The trapped heat destroys them quickly and even while still working, their light is distorted. I don’t think this will be a popular law.
Memorial Day Parade this Monday, Old Greenwich
Best chance to revisit all those people for whom a once-a-year conversation is just about right. Besides, the kids on bicycles are cute and, although last year was a bit thin in this regard, you can usually count on some good marching bands. Don’t miss it. 10:00 AM.