Daily Archives: July 8, 2009

This should kill price wars for a long time

30 Dawn Harbor Rvsd

30 Dawn Harbor (2007)

Every house that was won in a price war in the past few years has, if it’s come back on the market, sold for less than the winning price. This new listing in Riverside was priced at $3.295 million in March, 2007 and sold ten days later for $3.906. The buyers added on, built a new kitchen/family room with fireplace and in general, renovated the whole place. They placed it back up for sale this afternoon at $3.195 which the listing describes as “aggressively priced for today’s market”.

Indeed it is, but hats off to the owners who, having decided to sell their home, priced it intelligently. This is  the best bit of pricing I’ve seen in the housing catastrophe yet. Other houses have gradually been forced to accept reality but these people are doing so up front. Good for them and I wish them well. Great street, by the way.

UPDATE: I don’t think this will help the other new listing on Dawn Harbor (42?), which is bigger: 1.24 acres vs. this one’s 0.87, but pretty much a land deal, with apologies to the Benson boys whose childhood home it is. The Benson house is asking $2.7, which didn’t shock me last week when I saw it, this being a terrific street in Riverside and all that. But if you can get what amounts to a new house (assuming that the renovations were as extensive as I imagine – I haven’t seen 30 yet) on the same street for maybe $300,000 more, I think that hurts the land deal.

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14 Baldwin Farms S. got a face lift

I mentioned below that the Times Magazine had to pull its article on abandoned spec projects after they discovered that the free lance photographer they’d hired (at enormous expense, I’d think, sice they sent him all around our great country to get these shots) doctored some pf the photographs to make them look better. Now it turns out that Greenwich’s own was one of the doctorees.  Hey, it had leaves on the floor when I saw it, so what did I know? I wasn’t there when the photographer id his work. Then again, I couldn’t have been there, because he did his “work” on his computer, back in the land of cheese eaters.

Of course, this won’t be the first instance of chicanery in the hstory of Greenwich real estate nor, I suspect, will it be the last.

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When is an old house an old house?

The news that 50 Shore Road, a 1725 farmhouse, was moved from Massachusetts to its present location in the 1950’s got me wondering: is that something that affects its value and thus must be disclosed by the seller? I’m inclined to think it is, even though I haven’t looked up the law on the matter. It seems to me that part of the charm of an antique home is the sense of history that comes with the place. If I bought 50 Shore Road, I’d want to believe that a Mead, Lockwood or Palmer lived there, that maybe oneof the children had left from there to fight in the Revolution, or marched down to Washington to confront the Rebs. Or hell, walked down the street to join the Memorial Day parade of 1910, if there was one back then.

I’m sure this house had its own interesting history up in Ware, Massachusetts until the dam came and flooded its valley, but it’s just not the same. Images of a 1725 Connecticut Yankee hand-pegging his house on the shores of Tomac just clash unacceptably with those of it being disassembled, loaded on a flatbed and being trundled down here from 225 miles away. Or so it seems to me.

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Prices dropping

7 Chieftans sold for $5.625 million in February, 2007 and was relisted for $5.975 in September ’08. It hasn’t sold in ten months so today the seller whacked a million off his price and is now asking $4.995. By the time he finds a buyer, he’ll probably wish he’d rented for his brief occupancy.

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Spec house news

601 Lake Ave

601 Lake Ave

Last heard from, this Lake Avenue spec house was rented out until September 30th to tenants with an option to buy. It’s back on today for the same price it failed to fetch originally: $7.595, and promises “immediate occupancy”, which indicates that the tenants are leaving early. Ownership has changed from the original builders to an LLC which includes the builders and possibly more new investors?

Mortgage debt, according to public records, is $4,685,000 and assesed value is $3.507.

If you’re keeping track of spec houses on the market, this brings the total to 106.

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What’s good for Obama is good for America

It is now fashionable to question other’s patriotism. Why? Because McChimp is out of the Whte House and the One is in.

From “Riehl World View” :

It’s Okay To Question Your Patriotism

It’s un-American, as well as prohibited to question the patriotism of those attempting to undermine a war effort, but question Obama’s policies and this is what you get. Liberals have no shame when it comes to hypocrisy. And I really regret that we are going to be reaping the unpleasant benefits to our politics going forward. Much more of this and the Right is going to get just as angry and ugly as the Left. Twenty-ten is going to be a ho holds barred blood match politically speaking.

Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), who has had an eventful couple of weeks to say the least, believes House Republican opposition to climate change legislation and the stimulus indicates they’re cheering against the good ol’ US of A.

“It appears that the Republican Party leadership in the Congress has made a decision that they want to deny President Obama success, which means, in my mind, they are rooting against the country, as well,” the powerful House Energy and Commerce Committee chairman told WAMU radio host Diane Rehm on Tuesday morning, promoting his new book, “The Waxman Report.”

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His next assignment will be a portrait of Dan Rather

The New York Times Magazine has had to pull the pictorial on abandoned houses from last week’s edition because the photographer, brought all the way over from Europe to strut his stuff, turned out to have digitally-altered the pictures. Too bad for the writer, Chuck Wilson, who poured a ton of time into the project, only to be undone by an unscrupulous Frenchman (redundant, I know).

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