Sellers’ last hurrah?

62 N. Old Stone Bridge

I’m seeing a lot of houses coming back on the market for the hoped-for spring market, priced at what they didn’t sell for last year. This Old Stone Bridge house is typical. It started at $1.830 million in 2008, dropped to $1.640 a year later and was pulled from the market last September. Today it’s back at that same $1.640 (assessment is $1.223).   

Perhaps this spring will see the turning point. While it’s possible that the sellers’ hopes will be rewarded and they’ll finally get their prices I’m guessing that they won’t and surely at least some of them will grow weary of having their house on the market for so many years and will concede to reality. Maybe not, but I’d advise buyers to wait a bit before rushing to pay current prices. Obviously, there are exceptions to this advice, but come June, as the market ends, I think we’re going to see some discounting going on.

20 Comments

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20 responses to “Sellers’ last hurrah?

  1. sarnia

    Hi Chris:

    Think it will sell in the $1.5s?

    Does anyone know anything about 57 Hillside or 400 N Maple? What do you think about those locations? They’re both asking in the $1.9s.

    Thanks,
    Sarnia

    PS I love your blog!

  2. foobar

    just my two cents, 400 n maple appears to offer much better value.

  3. Greenwich Ex-Pat

    How many people in Greenwich really have to sell, though? I suppose the odd person here or there needs to move for a job or something like that, maybe the occasional estate sale takes place, but those who can afford to hang on, will, and those who can’t, will sell at a realistic price. However, those “realistic prices” will set the comps.

  4. sarnia

    Really? Why is N Maple better? Is it the location or the house itself? The house needs some work and the location is kind of hilly…

    Thanks for your opinion!!

    • christopherfountain

      I’d repeat my earlier comment – N. Maple’s 0.46 acre lot in an R-1 zone is a killer in terms of FAR . I’d be wary of buying such an undersized lot.

  5. sarnia

    Got it – so you think Hillside would be better? What do you think about 14 Buckingham?

    • christopherfountain

      As of today, Buckingham is below its assessed value, so that’s good. It’s on a full acre, close to town, but not a knock-em dead street. Still, if you like the hiouse that’s there now, it’s not a bad price – $1.4? Something like that). I wouldn’t count on building a $3 million house there right now, though. Unless you plan to spend the next decade there.

  6. foobar

    how is it a killer relative to Hillside’s .33 acre lot?

  7. out looking in

    G Ex-Pat has a good point- many spec builders have been cleared out (or carried out) and there will certainly be some forced sales down the road…however, just as in traditional retail, the stuff that gets marked down tends to be the least desirable (hence the large inventory remaining)…so I would definitely pass on the hairy stuff as long as possible, but if something “good” comes up near the CF benchmark (2004 Tax Values), it might make sense to hit the offer…

  8. Stanwich

    Sarnia, not sure of your situation (developer, flipper or end-user) but be sure to check out your school districts. I think both Hillside and North Maple are in North Street/Central zones, but be careful of Glenville/Julian Curtis/Western as they are perceived to be less desirable.

    And the zoning/FAR doesn’t matter if you don’t plan to expand the house. I think these things matter more depending on your circumstances.

    • christopherfountain

      The trouble with being maxed out on expansion, Stan, is that even if ypu like the size of a particular house you’ll get punished at resale when buyers discover they can’t add even so much as a tool shed to the property.

  9. KC

    I like the suggestion about waiting until the bloom is off the rose, so to speak. We are looking at houses here with no single favorite which gives us pretty many choices. The other side of the coin is that we are finally bringing my parents’ house to market and although we have priced it fairly low, it will be interesting to see the traffic it attracts. Great street, old but well constructed and in need of renovation.

  10. sarnia

    Thanks everyone! Why is Buckingham zoned for OG schools?

    Seems like the spring selling season hasn’t really started yet…there aren’t that many listings out.

    For Hillside – it’s definitely the nicest house on the block which makes me not like it.

    • christopherfountain

      Buckingham is very much nNOT in Old Greenwich school district. Check the “useful link” to the right side of this blog and loook for “school finder” and you’ll go directly to the school board’s site.

  11. Good opinion but still homeless

    Sarnia,
    If you search this site for ‘Buckingham’, you will find it the brunt of many jokes amongst us ‘long-timers’. For example, the following link is just one post highlighting that if you have to ask CF directly for serious advice on a particular road or even plot, then you are inevitably to be classified as a dumb ‘out of towner’ who will soon realise the errors of your ways once you move in. I suggest watching and waiting until all becomes clear. http://christopherfountain.com/2009/06/12/god-bless-foreign-brokers-once-again/

  12. Good opinion but still homeless

    ‘God-bless-foreign-brokers-once-again’
    The above link to your site has a comment by a ‘Russian’ clicking to a Biil webpage. It started loading porn on my young son’s netbook which I am using this minute! Can you remove the Russian’s comments? Thanks.

    • christopherfountain

      Good god, really? Spam so rarely gets through the WordPress screen that I’ve relaxed. I’ll go get rid of it and thanks for the heads up – and sorry for the spam,.

      UPDATE: Ah! You should read these things before clicking on them – I warned Stan that it was a russian porn site – I bet he didn’t clik on it but …
      Anyway, I’ll edit it out

  13. Homeless

    I can’t read highbrow stuff, that’s why I’m here 24/7, it’s usually the ‘non-taxing’, soap stuff!

  14. Andrew

    14 Buckingham Lane is nicely renovated. Given that it sold for $1.2 in March 2007, it should go for around $1.2 now.