Daily Archives: September 17, 2009

Wells Fargo is toast?

So says Teri Buhl, and others. Interesting if true (and I’ve heard this from a number of other sources) because, even if it’s their commercial loan portfolio that brings them down, they hold a ton of mortgages on Greenwich residents. Work-outs will be even more difficult if the person in a decision making role is a bankruptcy trustee.

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Buy in haste, repent at leisure

99 Richmond Hill Road

99 Richmond Hill Road

This owner paid $8.4 million for the place in 2006, spent an additional million on it even though it was new and then this year bit the bullet and put it on the market for $6.995. It sold today for $5.9 million. Oooh.

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50 Shore Road – what’s it worth?

That’s what its listing broker was asking at today’s open house, and I was (almost) stumped. It’s a half-acre of waterfront, which is worth a bunch, but it’s presently occupied by a 1725 house. Ordinarily, I’d think that would kill the value, because there are few people who want to live in such an old house, despite its charms, and those that do tend to be artistic creative types with no money. Ordinarily, tearing down this place would be out of the question unless you wanted to earn the enmity of every resident of Old Greenwich.

But, while the house is old, it was moved here from Massachusetts and hence has no local historical value. I’d think you could tear this puppy down without incurring the wrath of the local historical society and its fans. If so, then we’re back to evaluating a half-acre of waterfront with great views, on a busy street, with no water at low tide. I submitted an opinion of $3.75 million (for list, not ultimate selling price), which may still be too high, but still more realistic than its current asking price of $5,500,000.

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More of the same –

37 Lockwood Drive

37 Lockwood Drive

This 1913 Old Greenwich house is quite nice but definitely for those not looking for 15′ ceilings and master bedroom suites the size of the TWA terminal. Assessed at $1.585, first listed at $1.895, it sold today for $1.450.

Then there’s 91 Meadow Road, in Riverside, that was bought for $2.1 million in 2004, received a new kitchen and then returned to the market in 2007 for $4.2 million. Bad move, but its price dropped to $2.469 over the ensuing years and today it’s under contract. A nice piece of land and I personally liked the house, but it lacked a central stair and instead had two small stairwells leading up to a rabbit warren upstairs. Some serious rehab work is needed or perhaps just a start-over. Assessment is $1.852 million and I wouldn’t be terribly surprised if its selling price approaches that.

91 Meadow Rd

91 Meadow Rd

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From Instapundit.

A PARABLE FOR OUR TIMES: They thought it was about free health care, but it was actually a mugging.

They were well-dressed when they knocked on the door of a Huntington home last month and said they had information about President Barack Obama’s health care plan. That’s how they got inside to commit a violent home invasion on Aug. 29, a Suffolk prosecutor said Monday. A woman who lives at the house answered the door and said she would take one of the pamphlets. That’s when Thompson, 31, of Brooklyn and Desir, 26, of Nyack forced their way inside, Kurtzrock said.

Beware of strange men promising free medical care.

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Congratulations

The Greenwich-Post reports that realtor Sally Parris has been named top sales associate of the month by her Old Greenwich employer. I’m delighted to think that I played a small part in that success by assisting her in renting a house in Havemeyer. Every penny counts, right Sally?

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I once was blind but now I see …

The recent sale of 72 Buckfield Lane, a David Ogilvy listing, for $3.2 million represented what I believe to be a novelty: a short sale by that august firm. The unhappy seller had loaded the property with $5.6 million (or so) in debt and so some serious negotiation with the (4) lenders was in order. I have heard that, until now, David Ogilvy & Associates “didn’t do” short sales, from a distaste for the process and a concern about diluting the Greenwich mystique.

I’m not positive that’s true and I don’t bring it up to embarrass Mr.Ogilvy in any way but rather to make the point that, these days, you’re either doing short sales or you’re doing no business at all. Welcome to the future.

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Where’s Domo?

Walt Noel has dropped off the radar since he settled with Massachusetts and had his scheduled hearing cancelled last week, but what about that other Greenwich recluse, Dom DeVito? Dom was supposed to report to Otis prison on Tuesday, I believe, but I can find no news of him. You still free Dom? if so, drop me a line and let me know how you’re doing.

Dom was another Patriot Bank customer but his scheduled stay of 48-51 months arose from matters occurring in Westchester and involving other lenders. I suspect that he is no favorite of Patriot – they’re out $6 million on an ill-advised loan to Dom for a foundation he erected at 516 Round Hill – but I find him charming and charismatic, so I hope he’s okay. I’m sure he will be – this is his third   [second – Dom just called to correct me – he’s still out enjoying the pleasant weather for another few weeks] trip up the river , figuratively speaking (do you wonder why Patriot loaned money to a three-time felon? I do.) and they’ve probably kept his cot warm for him.

So write when you can, Dom, and hurry back. Patriot may not be here when you return but its lending officers are sure to still be working the scene somewhere.

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Walt Noel should be so lucky

Bernie Madoff’s Montauk house, asking $9 million, has already sold after “a fast and furious bidding war” to an all-cash buyer. That’s excellent news for most of his victims but can his biggest loser, self-described Madoff victim himself, Walter Noel, expect the same kind of action when he’s forced to sell his Round Hill home? Not a chance, for several reasons: first, he lacks the notoriety – Bernie was an evil genius, or at least evil, while Walt’s claim to be just a bumbling idiot is beginning to ring true. Second, the Madoff place is direct ocean waterfront. Sure it will be washed away in ten years or so, but there’s no way you could build in such a vulnerable location today and, until the sea does its work, the new owner will have the best views in town. Walter’s place is a tired old dump with a view of the road, period.

So sorry, Walt, but I don’t think you can count on the proceeds from 175 Round Hill doing much to get you out from under this mess. Have you checked the extradition treaty of Mustique?

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The Democrats get their chance

Just please don't hurt me!

Just please don't hurt me!

The UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency says Iran’s already got the wherewithal for nukes and is closing in on perfecting missiles to deliver them. Our response is to eliminate our plans to install a missile defense in Europe so as not to disturb Putin and instead aim a defense towards Iran, at a date and location to be decided later. In other words, appeasement. And oh, by the way, we’re really, really sore at North Korea!

I said last fall that I hoped the Democrats accomplished everything they promised, from appeasing our enemies and withdrawing from the defense of the free world to a massive socialist intervention in our economy. My thought then was that, if they didn’t destroy our country, Americans would finally see the lunacy of these people and reject their ideas once and for all. Or, just as good, they’d prove that they’d been right all along, people like me were wrong, and they’d usher in a new era of world peace and prosperity. Either result would be better that than the slow piecemeal approach that has crept in inexorably and sapped our strength.

So that’s what we’re getting and, although it’s scary, maybe things will work out.

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Patriot wants its money back

101 Dingletown
101 Dingletown
39 Boulder Brook
39 Boulder Brook
 
32 Montgomery Lane
32 Montgomery Lane

 The Tsoi collection of spec homes is being foreclosed on by Patriot. Each of these is, or was, asking in the $5 million and up range, so their ultimate sale at distressed prices isn’t going to help other builders asking that same amount.

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This answers that

See you in nine months!

See you in nine months!

A reader sent this link to a Greenwich Library event scheduled for last night and reports that the lecturer ( a local builder)  pulled a no – show.

What is Happening in the Greenwich Real Estate Market
http://www.greenwichlibrary.org/evanced/lib/eventcalendar.asp?libnum=0&EventType=ALL&Lib=0
Start Time: 7:00 PM
End Time: 8:00 PM

UPDATE: Reader Xyzz wins the best comment award:

He wasn’t a no-show. It was a performance art piece. The audience waiting was the lecture! …

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Sales today

173 Stanwich

173 Stanwich

This is a nice house off Stanwich on 2 1/2 acres that last sold in 2003 for $1.980 million. That buyer did all sorts of things to improve and modernize it and tried reselling it in January 2007 for $3.595. Too optimistic, it turns out, but it sold yesterday for $1.7 million. Ouch. Appraised value $1.632.

Lest you think that 70% of the 2005 market is set in concrete 103 Oneida Drive, a 1923 house, modernized but now affected by Thruway noise ( a little) sold for $2.3 million yesterday and it too had an appraised value of just $1.636 million. So it varies. original asking price, by the way, was $2.675.

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