Daily Archives: March 6, 2008

Over-priced houses
Two more houses went to contract last week, each at more than $1,000,000 below their original asking price. This is not an example of the Greenwich housing market collapsing but rather, a reflection of crazy pricing to begin with. I saw three new listings last week that, in, my opinion, will suffer the same fate, long after their owners have been driven to distraction trying to keep their homes in showroom condition, for months. Don’t do this to yourself – price it, sell, it, and move on. This is not the market to toss something out there to “see what happens”: nothing will.

But then …
There’s Jane Gosden’s listing at 123 Zaccheus Mead Lane, for $7,250,000. This one ought to go. It’s a 1923 classic, completely updated, with a new pool and pool house that look like they’ve been there for the past 80 years, all new electric and a furnace that could easily service a nuclear submarine, new windows, kitchen, etc., all on one of the best, most convenient streets in town. I thought it was a terrific house, sensibly priced, compared to others in its range.

29 Irvine Road, Old Greenwich

A long time ago a Realtor I admire tried to sell me on the merits of split-level houses. As we were in a tired, decrepit example of that style, I wasn’t buying, but Lillian Fong’s new listing in Old Greenwich has opened my eyes. This house has been completely redone in a Craftsman style by Greenwich architect Paul Peters (new to me, so I took down his contact information: 325- 1110, pjpdesign@aol.com) and it’s a real beauty – one of the nicest houses I’ve seen in years, in fact. Plenty of space, five bedrooms, great street, asking $2,695,000. I think it’s a good deal, and, if you have a split level or are considering one, you should see this so that you’ll appreciate the possibilities.

No Energy
Our awful attorney general, Michael Blumenthal, has scored yet another triumph in delaying a cross-sound electrical cable underneath the waters of Long Island Sound. I saw this man on TV last fall, harrumphing that we don’t need a Compressed Natural Gas plant 10 miles off shore because there are so many alternatives to bringing energy to Connecticut. Fine, except that this aspiring senator has done everything he can to stop any such alternative, from power lines to pipelines to nuclear reactors or even conventional power plants. The man obviously believes that fairies will circle our state, holding hands and singing Kumbaya while delivering clean, non-polluting energy to our state, all for free; the moron will be grievously disappointed when that doesn’t happen. He’s a Harvard man, naturally.

John Tesei
I don’t know if our new First Selectman went to Harvard, but he acts as though he did. He just approved, based on the plea of a thirteen-year-old boy, a plan to spend $50,000 to buy “green” energy for the town, claiming that it costs so little to send an important signal that Greenwich is environmentally conscious. I’ve come to expect that our representatives in Washington and Hartford will hold in contempt the effort citizens expend to earn money, but I’ve hoped for better from our local politicians. $50,000 represents the earnings of ten average Greenwich homeowners whose entire tax bill will be fretted away on a feel-good “symbol” that achieves nothing, all so that our First Selectman can hold his head high at the next meeting of Connecticut mayors. Jim Lash rejected this nonsense for what it was; is it too late to invite him back? Failing that, can we at least agree not to set our budget priorities on the importuning of children? Other than the occasional Christmas present, it’s not how I set our household budget and it seems a poor way to run a town.

Book SigningDiane Dutcher has invited me to sign copies of my book, Greenwich Mean Time at an open house at her listing at 7 Irvine Road, Old Greenwich, Friday night, March 14, at 6:30. I don’t expect to sell many copies, but I respect a Realtor who thinks outside the box, which Diane certainly does. Come and be feted and, perhaps, entertained.

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