Daily Archives: February 18, 2010

We’re back!

WordPress, the host site for 9.2 million blogs, was down for much of the afternoon – frustrating lots of bloggers, if not their readers. But it’s back up now and posting can resume (after I make dinner, anyway).

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Trouble in paradise

Leona Helmsley’s place, proud owner of the largest price cut in Greenwich real estate, is now the problem of Greenwich Fine Properties, David Ogilvy having been dumped.”We’re changing the narrative” says GFP’s owner, Lyn Stevens. Oh, and dropping another $5 million off its price. Whatever. Looks like the same old story to me, but I suppose one must say something.

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Still more seller disconnect

6 Meadowbank - stop me before I raise again!

This spot of undersized Old Greenwich land has been owned by a dreamer for a long time. It was priced at $1.650 million in 2002, failed to sell so was rented, then brought back in 2009 at $1.699. Nope, so it dropped to $1.475 million and, still finding no buyers, jacked it up to $1.525 today. Uh huh.

The owners of 127 Havemeyer Place in central Greenwich tried the same strategy – they couldn’t sell it at $2.897 or $2.5 million so they bumped it to $3 million awhile ago. Today they’ve dropped it to $2.499 – getting closer to where I suggested they price it in the first place.

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Two sales

60 East Elm Street

Sold for $4.125, off a list price of $4.995. I would guess that someone sold the old Back Coutnry place and wanted a down-sizer in town. Seems steep to me but then, I don’t know how much they pocketed from the first sale, do I?

Four Weston Hill sold, as rumored, for $1.6 million. Sellers paid $1.650 for it in 2002, added a pool and put in a new kitchen, baths, etc. Listed at $2.495 in ’08. assessed at $1.5.

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Advertising?

I’ve received an offer to buy advertising on this site – not a hare lip charity-scam a la Greenwich Time but a local national commercial builder. I’m both flattered and tempted – money can be useful – but I don’t know – what do you guys think? I do make some good money from this site because the occasional reader becomes a client and at Greenwich prices, those commissions pay a hell of a lot more than ads for Greenwich Mom’s tricks for eliminating yellowed teeth and belly fat.

What troubles me is that, when I was a paid columnist, advertisers in the paper felt they could control me through the business manager. Didn’t happen, but it did result in my being fired by Greenwich Post and shunned by Greenwich Time. Would I cut my jib to suit their demands. Nah. But …

I suspect that the money involved here wouldn’t exactly tempt me over to the dark side – if I didn’t get my coffee money from this advertiser, I could probably find it on the floor of my Honda, but should I even try this? I’d appreciate your thoughts (probably not yours, Walt, but fire away anyway).

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Seller disconnect

Greenwich Time has a good follow-up article on buyers and sellers that were interviewed last summer. (Attn. readers: hare lip alert). There’s much of value here, including agent Max Wiesen’s contention that new listings are “shockingly overpriced”. I used to be viciously attacked for expressing that sentiment – it’s common knowledge now, I guess. But here’s a sad situation:

Timothy and Barbara Nolan’s home on Cotswood Road is still on the market after being listed for $2.99 million in August.The five-bedroom, 4,000-square-foot contemporary house on 1.13 acres of property has gone through two price cuts since then, to $2.79 million in mid-fall and then recently to $2.48 million.

Barbara Nolan, 77, and her husband, Timothy, 84, had been hoping to downsize to a smaller place in town, and also spend more time in Florida.Barbara Nolan said while she knew the market was down, the price cuts were still difficult to make, since she and her husband have loved the home they built together 33 years ago in a rural setting where deer and wild turkeys roam the property, but still very close to town.

“It really has very special qualities,” Barbara Nolan said. “I can’t understand why people wouldn’t love it as much as I do.”

The couple is also getting impatient — they want to start looking for their new Greenwich home, so they can enjoy their retirement without the burden of keeping up with a big house.”I want to know where I’m going to be,” she said. “I want to be settled.”

That’s sad because it is a nice house – but one that was overpriced to begin with due, no doubt precisely to the owners’ affection for their home. Objectivity is the key here, and that is provided by buyers, not sellers. If Dr. and Mrs. Nolan want to move on, they’ll have to let go of their idea of what their house is worth, and leave it to the market. And that must be very hard to do.

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Your tax dollars at work: $57,000 to add weather stripping, per house

"It's not nearly so drafty with snow over the windows!"

The Great One has spent billions to create thousands of new “Green” jobs and save our world. So far, no jobs, a pathetic number of houses weatherized and dividing money spent by house actually worked on, it’s $57,000 +. Understand that this is not growing pains – this is how government programs work – or don’t.

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Thomas Friedman is against global warming

The Tom Friedman Eco-cottage

Just like charity, obviously, it begins at  home.

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