Two open houses of note

876 North Street

I mentioned this house last week when its price was reduced to $2.995 million and today I got inside to see it. I liked it a lot – it’s everything a contemporary should be – light, free-flowing, great quality (including  beautiful bird’s eye maple interior doors). Top quality finishes and a very nice house. The yard’s mostly what I would call “swampy woods” but which a professionally trained real state agent would not doubt prefer to describe as “wooded wetlands” or “a nature lover’s paradise”. Whatever, there’s enough lawn to support a pool and play area and the Stanwich golf course is just through those trees so you can always send your kids over there to play. They can steal golf balls and hold them for ransom, too, thereby teaching them rudimentary business techniques. The assessment for this property is $2.6 million, so its new price is pretty good, I think.

400 Lake Avenue

400 Lake Avenue is a classic 1950’s Colonial in fantastic condition with all the important elements updated and modernized. You should know from the start that it has low ceilings – not a problem for me at all, but a definite non-starter for some people. Assuming you can get by that, this is a beautiful home that seems to me to be an ideal place to raise a family. Lots of room, plenty of privacy for each child to find his own space, a good back yard, with pool, and just an easy feel to the entire spread. I really enjoyed seeing it. Its price of $4.8 million is certainly not too low – assessment is $2.9, or thereabouts – but the market will decide its selling price, not I, so I’m staying out of that. Well worth seeing if you’re looking in this part of town.


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14 responses to “Two open houses of note

  1. A.O.

    Is Lake a new listing or an older one with a newer price that it warranted a broker’s open house today?

    • christopherfountain

      It’s a new listing, as far as I know. Again, great house even if I’m not so sure about its price.

  2. A.O.

    Totally agree about it being a great house. Typifies classic Greenwich house, not overdone, beautiful in it’s simplicity…not twelve million roof lines, or god forbid, a turret. I’ll take it. Do you deliver? Wait, that sounds bad. I’ll come pick it up.

  3. Old Coot

    Low ceilings that a dwarf could touch, or simply not greater than maybe eight feet?

    • christopherfountain

      Well I’m a dwarf and I could touch them but I jump pretty high. I’d say these are 8 feet.

  4. foobar

    offered at 1,000 per sq ft on just over an acre. If it goes fast and near the price it will be a rather interesting benchmark.

  5. Anon E. Moose

    “but the market will decide its selling price, not I, so I’m staying out of that.”

    Was this the deal you cut with the GAR to call off the dogs? No opining on the market value of listings?

    • christopherfountain

      Not at all – my general rule since beginning blogging has been to stay away from price opinions on new listings. Once some place has been on the market for six months or a couple of years, I figure the market has spoken and feel free to comment. Of course, by that time the poor home owner is furious at the world and files a grievance against me as the focal point of that anger, but what ya gonna do?

  6. Fat Cat

    These might seem like good prices, but keep in mind that “fat cats” like Lloyd Blankfein (one of the most powerful men on Wall Street) are getting paid a fraction of what they used to. Lloyd got $9mm worth of Goldman stock (which doesn’t vest for a few years) for being CEO – down from $70mm two years ago. So if the top guy at Goldman is getting peanuts, imagine what the formerly overpaid worker bees on Wall Street are getting – not enough to buy $5mm+ houses anymore.

    The good news for Blankfein is he’s about 5′ 7″, so he probably wouldn’t mind 8 foot ceilings.

    • christopherfountain

      My own father, hardly a Blankfein in commercial success but one of the smartest people on Wall Street (really – ask his former colleagues at White, Weld and Co.) was just 5’6″ and seemed quite comfortable in our home with its 7’6″ ceilings. But, just as he was totally secure with his physical height, he was content with who he was and what he’d accomplished, so I don’t think he needed high ceilings to make himself feel important.
      But that said, I’ve noticed that I do notice ceiling height these days – I didn’t used to, but so many houses do have high ceilings now, and so many clients insist on them, that I have become conscious of the space over head. And I do like the extra space. Not a big deal for me, but I now understand why people like it.

  7. FlyAngler

    Tall ceilings are visually appealing and, if done right, add to the value of a home.

    However, tall ceilings also expand the cubic volume of a home rather quickly and all that air needs to be cooled and heated. If the design of the home’s airflow and HVAC system is not well thought out, those tall ceilings can mean very large electric and gas/oil bills. Especially in winter when hot air rises to those tall ceilings where we do not dwell.

    We looked at one spec house a year ago where I could not believe the wasted volume. A “great room” removed from the flow of the house with 20 foot ceiling. Not only would I imagine little use for this room, it was served by a thermostat in another room. Thus, the potential owners would heat and cool this massive space that got little regular use. Very poor design by a spec builder looking for an even less thoughtful buyer.

    Also, when it is time to paint, cathedral ceilings can cost 2-3X what a standard 8 or even 11 foot ceiling costs given the need for scaffolding, etc.

    Been there, done that so I know from which I speak.

  8. Old School Grump

    I’ve always been baffled by the way so many new homes have cathedral ceilings in the rooms that are meant to be the “casual” or “family” spaces. Like all of us, I’ve seen cathedral ceilings in the formal rooms of stately older homes that are so lovely you imagine the expenses that come with them (as FlyAngler articulated so well) might be worth it. But when the family room that flows out of the kitchen — you know, the room with the playpen and the dog hair and the cookie crumbs– has these soaring ceilings, I always wonder … why?

  9. foobar

    people want the high ceilings in the places they hang the most – it has a better feel to it. Frankly I think the great room is the only room in the house that needs to be 12-15 feet, the rest could stay at 8.

    with regards 404 Lake, I note that the teardown across the street sold last year for 4.5 mill, so the market has already spoken suppose. And that back yard ain’t much to talk about at 400, unless you like stickball.