The long and winding road

154 Conewaugh Road came on as land in 2006 and the current owner snapped it up at full price, $1.4 million. He must have had second thoughts about the market’s direction because a few months later in November he listed it for $1.750. This is typical of builders: they buy land, they change their mind and they try to get someone else to buy their mistake for a premium. It doesn’t work – see Keofferam Road Quintard Avenue in Old Greenwich, for example, where the builder put a $700,000 $910,000 premium on his error and surprise (!) can’t get rid of it.

In any event, this builder decided that if no one wanted raw land he might have better luck building a new home, and he went ahead with his plans. The result was put up for sale this past July for $4.895 million. “Too high”, said the market, so a series of price cuts was initiated. As of today it’s down 30%, to $3.495 and there it sits. Cognewaugh is always going to be a tough sell and overpricing on that particular street is a particularly dumb move.


Filed under Buying/Selling Greenwich Real Estate

10 responses to “The long and winding road

  1. Anonymous

    Chris, you always piss on Cognewaugh, stop it. It is a great corner of Cos Cob, in the North Street School District and direct access to the town’s largest park. You are such a wimp if you can’t handle some curvy roads. I guess when all you do is hang out on the congested street grid of Old Greenwich then Cognewaugh would be too much for you too handle. It is repeated comments like yours that make no sense. This is the second time (that I have read) you say Cognewaugh is a tough sell, well maybe for you but you can’t find a better area that gives you the back-country feel without as much of the back-country pricing. Many roads in Greenwich are just as curvy as Cognewaugh (Dingletown, Sawmill, etc.) but that is hardly mentioned. The market is tough enough without having you give a place some misplaced stigma.

  2. christopherfountain

    There is a fantastic house for sale just up the road from Valley at, I think, #10 Cognewaugh. It hasn’t sold and in fact just had a price reduction. According to the listing agent, potential buyers don’t like the approach to Cognewaugh and don’t like its curves (even though there are no curves from valley to this house). I didn’t tell those buyers that, they figured it out all by themselves. In fact, there is almost nothing untruthful a real estate agent can say about a particular shouse or location that alert buyers can’t detect. I could certainly say that Cognewaugh is convenient to everything, the perfect place for children to ride their bikes or walk to school and, somehow, I think my listeners and readers would think I was full of it.

    There are indeed people who love Cognewaugh – that’s rather obvious, since there have been houses built there since at least the 1700s. But fewer people want to live there than on certain streets in Old Greenwich. That’s reality, and that’s what dictates value.

  3. xyzzy

    Which property on Keofferam Road, didn’t see anything listed for sale on that round as land. Or is that a tear down and the house is still standing.

  4. christopherfountain

    Who are you, King Lear? Don’t rail at me – I’d rather live in Wyoming, thank you very much, with all its winding little passes through the mountains. But the marketplace has seemingly decided not to support my desire for a writing career and, with no other obvious way to make a living in the Cowboy State, I remain here – I have kids to feed.

    And you can love Cognewaugh and hate Park Avenue, but that won’t make the marketplace agree with you, either. Houses on Cognewaugh don’t command anything close to what houses on Park do. You may think that’s unfair, as I do about ICM’s giving up on my latest novel, but that changes nothing. Now go back to your jog but for heaven’s sake, be careful out there!

  5. CEA

    This reminds me of the broker who got mad at Chris for saying a house was overpriced. Listen, Chris isn’t giving Cognewaugh a “stigma”. My family’s been in Greenwich for 40 years and even “way back then” no one wanted to drive over to Cognewaugh, it is out of the way, the road connects to nothing, and in the wintertime it is treacherous. Dingletown is treacherous, and Cat Rock is treacherous. Compared to 90% of the streets in town, Cognewaugh is dangerous to drive on.

    So if there’s 100 houses for sale, and 90 of them are on easier-to-drive streets, those are the ones that will sell. And who wants to live next to the Town’s biggest park? Like I want people driving by constantly and using the woods as a bathroom for their dogs.

    Ease up on those hammers there, Josephine.

  6. dogwalker

    Even as teenagers, we would use the relatively safer Cat Rock instead of Cognewaugh! The only reason we would travel Cagnewaugh is if a car rally called for it!

  7. Anonymous

    Chris, Demand does not equate to Value. Different concepts that get thrown around by realtors all the time but in the end residential real estate is mostly sales comps, that’s all. And I am not railing, just some fun banter about our different opinions. It is not like I am some steely-eyed realtor who refuses to talk to you at an open house because you maligned my listing.

    CEA, Cognewaugh connects Valley to Stanwich, I wouldn’t call that nothing. Binney Park is a dog-crap yard. Mianus River Park is the only place in Greenwich you can hike, bike and go fishing…a little bit of the Wyoming that Chris yearns for. Get your parks straight sister.

  8. christopherfountain

    Ah, anonymous? Demand drives sales price, sales price = comp. No demand, no value. Best thing that can happen to a house seller? have two people want his house. But I do like Mianus River Park, a lot. And Binney? That’s goose poop your stepping in – if we had more dogs running loose we’d probably have fewer geese!

  9. Anonymous

    Touche on the goose poop, but we are miles apart on valuation.

  10. CEA

    Mianus River Park is a place we sometimes go to. I say sometimes, because my children are small and people bring their dogs (usually plural) and let them run off-leash. I frequently see lots of, shall we say, dogs relieving themselves. Personally, I find it disgusting as my children often trip on the roots and rocks on the path, and the thought of them falling into dog urine or poop is unpleasant.

    And where does Valley Road get you? I just find Cognewaugh out of the way. That is just my personal opinion, which is not worth much. But I do think Mianus is overrun with dogs (again, I go on weekends so maybe that is its most crowded) and owners who think it is their God-given right to let their dogs run off-leash and do whatever, wherever.