Daily Archives: August 20, 2008

Watch out below!
The Greenwich Post, my former paper and now not much more than a lightweight vehicle for advertising, has run a cheery article on those new condominiums on the Byram River (I’d give you a direct link to the story itself but the Post hasn’t figured out permalinks yet or else they fired the guy who had). “Greenwich Landing Makes a Splash”, cries the headline and I suppose that if that term brings to mind the noise accompanying a dead sailor being slid into the waves it’s accurate enough; so far as I can tell, reviewing the Greenwich Multiple Listing Service records, out of the twenty proposed units none have sold or are under contract, six are actively listed for sale and thirteen are presumably still under construction.

I had high hopes for this project because I thought it would help revive Byram but so far, things are looking a little depressed.

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For sale by owner
I was prowling around Overstock.com just to see what they have in the way of real estate listings and came across this listing for 9 Fitch Lane in Riverside . I don’t know if its seller/owner has taken the wisest course of action here. This is a perfectly nice new house, cheek by jowl with the Post Road but with a decent view of Cos cob Harbor. I liked it, especially when its price dropped from $1,295,000 to $1,099,000. Apparently I was alone in that admiration because the listing expired unsold after a year on the market in November of last year. The owner pulled it from our multi-list system and relisted it himself on one of those for sale by owner sites at $1,175,000.

It seems to me, and I could be wrong, that if 1,000 agents couldn’t move this place at $1.09 million the owner himself is unlikely to achieve that goal by pricing it for $85,000 more. If I were a buyer, I’d automatically discount the asking price 5%, figuring that the seller wasn’t paying a commission, and then I’d want to look hard at that asking price. If the house didn’t sell before, isn’t that a sign that it’s worth less, not more than $1,090,000? Just asking.

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Trouble sign?
Applications for refinance and purchase money mortgages are dropping. Bad news for agents and real estate lawyers as well as sellers. Check the article for current interest rates (higher, duh) and all sorts of other useful information.

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He forgot to say grace
The Greenwich Time reports that
the Dinner Time Bandit has been convicted.. Good. he was a scary guy in that he broke into people’s homes while they were there,which is never a good indication of non-violent intentions. In fact, this man was previously involved in a botched break-in in New Jersey (?) where a homeowner was shot and killed.

Years ago there was another band of thieves operating in town, raiding waterfront homes that they reached by boat. They confronted a friend of mine and his wife and locked them in a closet while they ransacked the house. My friend’s wife, an elderly woman, never recovered from the trauma and died a little while after. The crooks were caught and convicted but not of murder. They should have been.

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Why I’m not watching the Olympics, cont.
These folks are sending old women to “re-education” prisons. Thank goodness the 2014 Winter Olympics are scheduled for Russia, where everyone will be able to breath the sweet air of freedom.

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Buy my mistake, please!

A builder with a lot on Mary Lane, not one of our preeminent addresses, offered a new, to-be-built house for $2,950,000 back in February. No one bit so today he’s re-listed it as a foundation with house plans for $1,375,000. You could probably finish it for a little under $1 million so it may be a good buy, but that’s still a lot of money to plump into this neighborhood. And if the original builder doesn’t want to do it, why should you?

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Ballot Initiative?

There’s a movement afoot in Massachusetts to repeal the state income tax. There’s even a good chance it will pass, saving each taxpayer an average of $3,700 per year – compare that to Obama’s stimulous plan of $1,000 (which, of course, won’t go to actual taxpayers – we’re too rich but instead to the “needy).

Could we get rid of the income tax here in Connecticut? We’ll never know, unless we change our constitution, because ballot inititives aren’t allowed. Nutmeg voters might support a repeal but it’s a cinch our legislators won’t because they’re the ones controlling all the money it sucks in. There’s a chance to amend our constitution on this November’s ballot and guess who opposes it? the teachers union. Quelle surprise.

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Another Job Killer

Thanks to Greenwich Roundup,I was steered to a story about states, including Connecticut, that are pushing for mandatory sick leave for hourly workers. It’s a popular move (one that will almost certainly be preempted by Congress if Obama and his crowd wins this Fall) and the linked article really tugs at the heartstrings – a school bus driver who can’t recover from his cold because he can’t stay home – but, just like raising the minimum wage, it will kill jobs. Small businesses generate more new jobs in our economy than any other source, with the possible exception of the ever growing public service sector, yet, year after year, legislatures find new ways to torture them.

A higher minimum wage was passed by the federal government and Connecticut this year and unemployment rose. There’s been no discussion that I’ve seen even exploring the question of cause and effect – instead, it’s all blamed on that debbil’ Bush (I actually heard a radio caller propose that the current economic woes are the product of Bush and his old money crowd deliberately setting out to push the new money types back to their proper place).

You can read Connecticut’s proposed legislation here. Judging from the support it has, I do believe that our politicians won’t rest until we’re all on the government payroll.

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New Yorker Article on Greenwich
There’s a terrific article in the New Yorker this week by Nick Paumgarten that captures the town nicely – its Old money (which was new not so long ago) its new boors and their flashy houses and all of us middle class schnooks in between. The article is not available on line but, and I would almost never say this, the piece is worth the news stand price of the entire magazine. Read it.

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Here’s a real disappointment
The Big Foot found in Georgia (the state, not the country – my previous post on this subject was a lame joke turns out to be a cheap rubber suit. Who’d have guessed?

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Why I prefer to have my teeth filled in Old Greenwich

From Exeter New Hampshire news: Core Dental first in state to use porous paving material

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