Out of towner HG raises a good point: folks like him don’t necessarily know the geography and layout of Greenwich. Herewith a top-of-the-head, completely subjective overview of the subject:
Greenwich has a series of discrete neighborhoods, ranging from blue collar cheap to blue blood expensive, and they each occupy small pockets of land. From east (Stamford border) to west (Port Chester, NY border) they are: Old Greenwich, Riverside, Cos Cob, Greenwich, Byram, then north to Glenville and, further north, the Back Country (anything above the Merritt Parkway, with 4 acre lots).
Old Greenwich and Riverside property is cheaper north of the Post Road (Rt. One), more expensive as your cross the Post Road and head south. In Old Greenwich, prices really jump when you pass south of the “Village” and start hitting prime time as you approach the water and Tod’s Point, our premier town beach. Lots are small but direct waterfront can fetch $7-10 million.
Riverside follows the same trend. Higher south of the Post Road, higher still south of the train tracks, still higher as you go south of Riverside Avenue and approach the water. $23 million is about our highest waterfront sale: 4 + acres, deep water dock, spectacular views up and down Long Island Sound but $12 million is not unusual. Non-waterfront is cheaper, but $2.5 and up for most homes south f Riverside Avenue.
Cos Cob is cheap(er) than Riverside or Old Greenwich with some very nice neighborhoods and a good elementary school. Unlike Riverside and Old Greenwich, lots get larger north of the Post Road so prices rise going north, rather than decline. There are two twisting, winding roads near the Riverside border, Cat Rock and Cognewaugh, that are hell to drive on but quite scenic and some people love them. Highest price on Cognewaugh was around $5 million but I doubt that will happen again for awhile. Builders who tried failed, and the most recent sale of a spec house, on Cat Rock, was 43.8 million, far more than I thought it was worth but far less than the builders did.
Central Greenwich – eh? Saw a building boom of $5 million condominiums a couple of years ago but I don’t think that’s happening now. Lots of them sitting empty and for sale – bargains in the waiting. South of central Greenwich is Belle Haven which, once you get past the sewage plant, is quite nice, with some $20,000,000 + sales and some houses not on the market that will eventually fetch twice that, I think. There’s Belle Haven and “near Belle Haven” and you want to be careful not to pay Belle Haven prices for near Belle Haven value. There’s also I-95 waiting behind some of these near Belle Haven houses but you’ll discover that on your own.
Byram – cheap blue collar neighborhood, perfectly nice, he said, but not necessarily what people move to Greenwich for. Funny enough, Byram Shore Road runs along the water and the waterside houses pull in large prices – $23,000,000, once and still big bucks today. Cross the street and watch your value drop to a tenth, so don’t be swayed by what the house 50 feet away but on the water sold for. It doesn’t apply.
Glenville -bigger lots, nice area, but removed from Central Greenwich (all of five minutes but there you go) so prices are a fraction of what Riverside and Old Greenwich’s (south of the Post Road) are.
Mid-Country is the 2 acre land north of the Post Rad and south of the Merritt. Can be quite pricey – $10 million on Round Hill, even, just a month ago, $16.5 million for new construction on 7.5 acres. $2 – $3 million used to be a typical price for the mid-country, I’d drop that to $1.5 (and up) today. Just like the Back Country, the farther west you go, the lower the price.
Back Country: 4 acres, figure about $3 million for a building lot, so even if you find a cute little cottage back there, and you can, if it sits on 4 acres, you’re still looking at a multi-million dollar piece of property. There are exceptions – 7 acres off Round Hill have been foreclosed on and,together with a livable, but run down house, could be bought for $1.5 if Weikert, the listing broker, cooperated. As it is, it refuses to return calls or communicate in any way on this property which I assume means they have their own buyer in the works. whatever, when it finally sells, it should drive prices down a bit, even if it is substandard property (wetlands, steep hill, cellphone tower behind it).
So that’s abut it, for now. And HG and other readers, remember that this was literally just zipped off my keyboard, without much reflection and certainly without the nuanced shades of difference that each neighborhood has. But as a general, quick primer, it should get you started.