Cos Cob’s rocking

25 Grove

25 Grove

This iddy-biddy (1,200 sq.ft., 3 bedrooms, 1 bath) cottage on Grove Street was listed in May for $850,000 and went to contract in just twelve days. Closed yesterday at $835,000. Assessed value is just $500,000 or so. Grove’s a nice street, the house is in good shape (renovated in 2003) but I’d say we’re on our way to establishing basic shelter value in town and that price is well above where I expected it to drop. Good for sellers but buyers in the lowish end, you might want to revisit some houses you’ve looked at and passed on, waiting for them to drop. This may be temporary but, for now, the price for a decent starter home in a decent neighborhood seems to be settling in in the 8s.

18 Comments

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18 responses to “Cos Cob’s rocking

  1. Anonymous

    Now that’s news we can use.

  2. W.

    Agree this is a bit surprising. The location is very good though (quiet street, close to train, good school district, park in backyard) and probably there was a premium for being move in ready (so many houses in that price range appear to be disasters inside, even if they have more square feet). But even so at about $700 per square foot, I am guessing this will be an outlier.

  3. Stanwich

    Very nice area for a young family, the park is a big plus. Not sure there is anything nicer in this price range (maybe bigger but not nicer).

  4. Accolay

    It’s a shame when starter homes are 835K. Still, I quite like this one.

  5. shoeless

    The floor in basic shelter lies somewhere above the Fannie/Freddie conforming limit ($511k in Fairfield County).

    The problem area lies at around the $1.5 level, where the bank has to take the risk on their own books, charges you an extra 1-1.5% for the money, and wants 30-plus percent of your skin in the game. So someone has to pay a rate of 6-and-change, and pony up $500k play. That’s why there are 200 houses in the $1-$2 range and only six (6) deals that have closed this year.

  6. W.

    shoeless makes a great point above, but the corollary to this is that, to the extent the $1-2MM houses are forced to come down to meet the market, this will put pressure on the sub-$1M houses as well.

    • christopherfountain

      That’s my thought too, W. I guess it will be a race between the market coming back enough to move the $1 – $2 range or their owners giving up and dropping them below a million. Joker in the deck: how many of the $1-$2s have mortgages that won’t permit them to drop? Banks are so difficult to work with, these could just sit, festering for the next couple of years, clogging the inventory and not going anywhere.

  7. Anon E. Moose

    I echo Accolay’s sentiment. Listen, I’m no babe in the woods here; we are, after all, talking about market dynamics where 7-figure price tags and higher represent all but a negligible portion of Greenwich real estate. But Stanwich, please spare me the nostaligia that $835,000 in any universe qualifies as a ‘starter’ house, in the traditional sense evocative of a twenty-something couple with one or two kids, who scrimped and saved for their downpayment ($200,000 ?) and live modestly while stretching to afford the mortgage every month. Anyone care to report the make model and year of the car currently residing in this particular driveway? The most I can determine is that these particular buyers (in term of their real estate holding) chose to be the small fish in the big pond, when the same price could have bought more elsewhere.

    • christopherfountain

      You’re quite wrong, Moose. They are , judging from the folks I’ve worked with over the years, nice, successful people, albeit not the rock stars of Wall Street (thank God) who want to raise families in Greenwich and are quite willing to accept a smaller, older house here for a new colonial on an old cow pasture in Weston to do so.

  8. W.

    NYC area is divided into haves and have nots. Ordinary professional people do not want to live in ghetto areas like Bridgeport, but nice areas like Greenwich, Darien, Westport, New Canaan are nearly out of reach. There are few alternatives in the middle (northern Stamford comes to mind, but Stamford schools are problematic). So there is a market for places like this and many of the people in this market stretch themselves financially to get over the line into the good towns.

  9. Cos Cobber

    We all could move elsewhere and have more house, even Accolay.

    The commute plays a big factor for me. Of course, the Cob has much too offer too..in exchange for the smaller home.

    I strongly prefer to live in the same town as I work. I think its more enriching and helps me to be more productive since I spend less time in the car. Its also nice to be close to the kids during the workday.

    • christopherfountain

      Well said, Cos Cobber. The only problem is, aside from Splash and Starbucks, who pays enough for Cos Cob workers to buy in Cos Cob?

  10. Cos Cobber

    Arcuri’s might pay enough CF. Check into it if the real estate meltdown (that you played pied piper too) carries on.

    For myself, I commute to a secret liar somewhere in 06831.

    • christopherfountain

      I’m already driving for Arcuris, CC, and the tips suck. Probably because I keep stopping to show real estate and the damn pies cool off, but hey, a guys’ gotta try.

  11. Accolay

    Woah, Chris, don’t appreciate the Weston dig as I have family there. As much as a mid-country snob as I am, neighborhoods of other towns are just as nice and affluent. Northern Darien (near the Wee Burn), Westport (Coleytown/Greens Farms), Fairfield (Greenfield Hill) and Weston all come to mind as prestigious areas.

  12. fred felini

    they over paid. period. must be outta towners