What’s in a renovation?

71 Richmond Hill Rd

71 Richmond Hill Rd

Here we have a house on four acres, built in 1994 and originally put up for sale in 2003 at $4.050 million. It didn’t sell so the owners did something else for five years and brought it back on the market last spring at $3.795. That listing expired two months ago and today it’s back again with a new broker and a new price of $3.495. All that’s fine, but I’m curious that the new listing claims it was “renovated” in 2007 while the previous listing makes no such assertion. Did the previous agent, an experienced woman, fail to notice that her listing had been renovated or did she deem whatever changes the owners had done too insignificant to merit the term? The choice seems to be between an inattentive agent or a difference of opinion as to what makes a renovation. I’d go with the latter, which is what makes comparing houses so difficult, sometimes.

UPDATE: here’s one definition of renovate from the Free Dictionary:

ren·o·vate (rn-vt)

tr.v. ren·o·vat·ed, ren·o·vat·ing, ren·o·vates

1. To restore to an earlier condition, as by repairing or remodeling.
2. To impart new vigor to; revive.
Merriam-Webster mentions “to clean” in its definition, so perhaps this house has had dust bunnies chased from under its beds and the ashes swept from the fireplace.


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7 responses to “What’s in a renovation?

  1. SizeBuyer


    I am looking for a flag lot price range between 3.495 and 3.495.

    Can you help?

    • christopherfountain

      Sorry, Size, but if you want to go bottom fishing in this fine town you’re on your own. Under $3.5 million for a flag lot in Greenwich? Where’s your patriotism, man?

  2. Nicholas

    I am the only one who doesn’t know what a flag lot it?

  3. PoeticJustic

    There is, of course, a third possibility. Perhaps the former listing agent was honest whilst the new listing agent is a typical real estate sleezeball playing fast and loose with the truth. To the former, perhaps that was the honest description for repairs and maintenance (of course, based on deffinition 1 above fixing a leaking faucet constitutes a “renovation” as you are restroing it to its oroginal condition) as was not calling a garden shed a “poolhouse”. And where would the mower go? I guess to a seller honesty isnt the best policy, but to a buyer it should command a premium. Oh well, well, Wells.

    • christopherfountain

      Well Poetic, that was kinda the option I was going for. New tiles in a bathroom probably didn’t rise to the level of “renovation” for that first, most excellent agent. For that matter, she probably didn’t think to call a shed holding pool equipment a “pool house”, which just demonstrates her lack of professionalism and lack of selling skills, eh?

  4. Old School Grump

    I don’t know what a flag lot is either, but I want to be in with the cool crowd too. Let me know and I promise I’ll share some of the great stuff I bought off that disgraced GH coach you were talking about a few days back.