I’ve been extremely fortunate lately to have a large pool of buyers materialize (thanks to this blog and referrals) and I’m struck how these folks aren’t at all different from the types who have powered Greenwich real estate since at least 1954, when my own father sold his beautiful brownstone at 233 West 11th Street and moved his growing swarm to Greenwich. They are all very successful, almost all work in the financial services industry, and all have young, growing families.
There are a couple of differences: they’re richer than my father was in 1954 (and ever was, probably) and most seem to want at least two acres and a large, but not huge house. Riverside and Old Greenwich seem crowded to them – that perception may change once they discover the hys of driving their charges all over town, but for now, they’re interested in exchanging the city for wide expanses of lawn.
The very fact that they grew wealthier during the the past two years of strife suggests that these are not incompetent fools and, at least the ones I’m working with have absolutely no patience for patronizing real estate sales tactics. They know the inventory better than many of my peers and aren’t going to succumb to some of the panicked, late night warnings that they’re about to lose a particular house – they just aren’t that attached to a single property to care. They want accurate information and if you’re working with them, you’d better know a lot more than they already do or they’ll find someone else.
The common mispeception they have is that Greenwich prices have dropped to those of, say, New Rochelle. You can certainly find a decent house for the $3 million they all expect to pay but new construction, two acres, good location? Only from the bankrupts. Fortunately, there are some of those, but I’m guessing that for most of these these buyers’, either their expectations will have to drop or their ideal price will have to rise. There are some excellent values at $3.5 million, but I think the bulk of new construction will ultimately sell in the $4-$5 million range.
But I enjoy working with these folks. They’re bright, aggressive and yet pretty sensible, for the most part. Far more sensible than most sellers, for sure. And when they’re all settled in here, with their kids in our schools, we’ll notice that the town’s gotten younger but otherwise, not much else will have changed.