Life in the slow lane

10 Kent Place in Cos Cob was listed a year ago for $699. You wouldn’t think there’s a huge room for error at that low price but it finally sold today for $576,000. If you wonder what harm a bit of padding on your price can do in this market, ask yourself whether you want to sell now or sometime in the distant future.

One builder who didn’t conduct that self-examination is the guy who bought 136 Cat Rock for $1.4 million four or five years ago, spent a fortune building a new, three bedroom septic system and a smaller fortune redoing the house. He ended up with a so-so, 3 bedroom house on one acre in a two acre zone without room for a garage and, compounding his original stupidity, priced it at $3.625 million back in September 2006. That lunacy was rewarded with a slow descent, as his resources disappeared and the asking price dwindled until finally he lost the place to Webster Bank. They had to drop the price even lower, to $1.699 and today it went to contract. No word on its sales price yet but I wouldn’t be surprised if someone paid the cost of the land as it was in 2005 and accepted the house and that septic system work for free.


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4 responses to “Life in the slow lane

  1. Cos Cobber

    Kent Place, according to Zillow, has 1100 sq ft with 3 bedrooms and 1.5 baths on 5,000 sq ft of earth…which is about .12 acres.

  2. Anonymous

    I missed your March 19th post on the Kent Place house. I took a quick look at this house (for land value) last year. I would predict that it will be torn down.
    The sellers priced it higher originally owing to a reluctance to sell and probably didn’t feel enthusiastic about clearing up for photographs.
    It seemed a sad road with various background stories revealed.
    I must say that the Cat Rock house is a surprise and I would think that it went to someone who is new to Greenwich and not someone who knows the pitfalls.
    The more you know, the greater the realisation of the need to know more.

  3. the house at 136 cat rock was not intended to be a speculative project and it was also not built by a builder. if you have been in the house you would be able to quickly see that. it was built by a man who had to sell due to several unfortunate life changing circumstances. i am not defending what he built as it is one of the worse things i have seen. but for the right price (i would not pay over $1m for it) and with some vision it can be redone for a $200k and be transformed into a decent house in a very good area.

    • christopherfountain

      I agree Chris, that the house is not a complete disaster and that it wouldn’t take all that much to fix it up. My point was solely that the original price was so nuts that it doomed its sale when, in the stronger market it started in, it could have sold for far more than it eventually fetched.