Daily Archives: May 29, 2009

Is a one-year-old new home still “new”?

That’s the question posed by the NYT’s Floyd Norris on his blog yesterday. Good question, but I wonder what Mr. Norris would think of 44 Close Road,built in 2002 and never occupied, or 21 Cornelia Drive, built in 2004 and still vacant and advertised as “new construction”. Cornelia’s builder at least has cut his price as his dreams have faded, from a preposterous $11.7 million to a still preposterous $6 million. 44 Close has defied all market signals and sticks at $10 million, perhaps hoping that we’ll get that Zimbabwe-like inflation some people (but not Paul Krugman) are worried about. Eight Copper Beech is three years old, and North Street has so many three and four-year-old houses we should start a nursing home for them. Beechcroft, Dingletown, Byfield, Baldwin Farms, Doverton, Dairy, Clapboard Ridge, Keoffram, Sound Beach Avenue and so on – aging “new” homes litter the landscape and none of them are growing more valuable – just older. Whoo boy.

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Here’s a warm-up diversion while we wait for Madoff/Noel developments

Greenwich’s own Frederic Bourke’s bribery trial starts Monday in Manhattan. His pocket book partner, Peter Dooney, isn’t expected in the court room to cheer him on – Dooney, after Bourke charged he was trying to inject him “with a harmful substance”, said he hadn’t spoken with Bourke in years. Perhaps he’ll show up for the sentencing, if there is one.

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Here’s just what we need

Another rude, obnoxious tennis player who squeals like a pig. I gave up watching girls tennis when they began grunting and over the years, it seems that grunting keeps hitting new crescendos. Simply obnoxious and unwatchable.

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Connecticut Dems to Dodd: “Drop Dead!”

Connecticut Democrats are rushing through legislation that will strip (Republican) Governor Rell of her power to appoint a replacement if ahem, a certain senator were to quit or something. What could that be about?

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You want an otter opinion?

188 Otter Rock

188 Otter Rock

This “almost entirely new’ house sold in October, 2002 for $3.459 million. After enjoying it for four years but doing nothing to it the owners put it back up for sale for the remarkable price of $6.750 million. The buying public apparently didn’t perceive the doubling of value that this listing broker did so it hasn’t sold. Today, after three price cuts, it’s down to $4.7 million. That may still not be sufficient, but a $2 million cut at least indicates a seriousness on the part of the seller that was lacking before.

I haven’t run the numbers, but I have a sense that Belle Haven may have taken even more of a hit than some other neighborhoods this past year. I’ll check that over the weekend.

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Back again

11 Quail Rd

11 Quail Rd

This is a perfectly acceptable house – it has a back lot feel going on (probably because it’s on a back lot) but that’s improved since the owner screened off the neighbors. It sold direct (and oh, how we hate when that happens) for $6.450 million in 2004 and came back on for sale in May, 2008 for $8.875 million. I rather thought at the time that we were below, not above 2004 values but the owner didn’t ask me and there the house sat. It eventually, and gradually, dropped to $6.875 in January but still didn’t sell. Yet, the listing was renewed today at … $6.875! I still think we’re below 2004 and I’m befuddled at what these sellers think may have improved since January but there you have it. It’s still a nice house and at some price, I’m sure it will sell. At some price.

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Death by a thousand cuts

69058_101_12This house on Silver Beech was badly in need of modernization back in 2005 when it was listed for $695,000. Naturally a bidding war erupted and the current owners ‘won” with a bid of $727,778. They proceeded to do a very nice renovation and in 2008 they put it back on the market at $845,000. Not an unreasonable price but the market was gone by then and the house sat. In response, the sellers sliced the price repeatedly by tiny, incremental amounts until they finally reached $750,000 in March and, today, it went to contract, probably for just about what they first paid for it. I don’t blame a homeowner for trying to preserve his capital and this poor guy certainly will lose money n the sale, but that was inevitable, really, when he first listed it for sale. A hefty price cut then would have spared him all the agony of keeping his house on the market for over a year, subject to inspections by strangers every day of the week.

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