The under $2 million range in Old Greenwich seems to be cooking.

14 Ben Court

This smallish re-do off Benjamin Street came on asking $2.295 million awhile ago, which I thought a tad aggressive. The builder dropped its price to $2.095 and someone has agreed to buy it.

Still seems steep, but new construction is getting rare and the pickings leaner.

8 Hobart Drive

The builder of this place priced it at $7.8 million in July, 2008, and has grudgingly taken a few price cuts since then so it now asks $5.6 million. Better, but it still sits on just an acre of land, and now it’s two years old. These situations rarely work out well.

Witness the spec house at 10 Stillman Lane, for instance, that seems to have changed ownership and is now offered at $4.650 million, down considerably from its 2007 price of $6.450. I drove by it this weekend and noticed that its cedar shingle siding has sat unprotected so long it has begun to blacken. I’m sure that can be corrected, but a three-year-old empty spec house just doesn’t look as good as a new one. As this one’s new price reflects.

9 Comments

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9 responses to “The under $2 million range in Old Greenwich seems to be cooking.

  1. Anonymous

    smells like these prices are 70% of their original listing…..will a two year old spec ever sell?

    • Oh, eventually I suppose it will, but the trouble is these projects get so buried under debt service that their builders can’t afford to sell them. Once foreclosure removes the builder, the bank can cut its price to a reasonable level and move the place. You’d think it would make more sense for them to do that now, while the builder is still around, maintaining the building, but banks don’t seem to think like that.

  2. RR

    Should a buyer be wary of spec homes sitting on the market too long? In the case of Stillman, the builder, Gardner, is no longer involved. How is it being maintained? How does one get the builder guarantee for 1 year..from the bank? Stillman now has repriced given one short sale, 1 sale to the Rockefellers, 1 distressed sale.

  3. Cos Cobber

    RR, A one year builder guaranty on a foreclosed property, is that what you are asking? ha! good luck with that.

  4. RR

    I think that’s right. It makes a foreclosed house much tougher to sell. I would think one would need a large discount to buy it..but even so, a faulty built house is not worth any price.

  5. Anonymous

    Would you suggest a survey on a spec house that has been sitting idle for a year or so? Should someone get a survey anyway or is it just a waste of money?

  6. Island Surveyor

    If you think Hobart Drive is in Old Greenwich, immediately call a surveyor and a boy scout.

    If you mean an engineer-building inspection, by all means do that too.

    Anybody who buys property without a full due diligence team, with the help of an experienced surveyor, is asking for trouble, especially in CAM zones, under-sized lots, within 150 feet of a wetland or watercourse, situations requiring “special permits” or any future building permits to expand coverage, FAR, bulk and/or height, or to reduce setbacks and yard space.

    Did I mention a full ZBA history for the zone, the specific hardship, regulations and variance asked for.

    And this is before we get to buried pesticides, fly-ash, hydrocarbons, ground water cycles, depth to bedrock, radon, and lead. Arsenic at EPA hazard levels is also common where historical smelting may have occurred.

    You don’t even want to hear about the other stuff.

  7. so greenwich

    Who is Gardner? And did he lose it to foreclosure? Also, is the price still $7MM+ for the spec house on Shore near Tod’s Point?