Want to buy an expensive back country house (sort of) cheap?

I’ve got a line on a big house, $7.5 million expended, 4 + acres, whose owner has, according to his banker, gotten bored with finishing it – he’s out of the country 3 weeks a month, and it just doesn’t make sense for him to finish it. It’s closed to the weather, slate roof, windows wiring, etc. completed, but I was up there this week and I’d estimate there’s another $2 million to put into finishing and landscaping. My banker friend says the guy will take $6.5 but I think $5 million is the right price. That puts you in maybe a $9, $10 million house, for $7. Or maybe offer $4.5.

I have one client in mind for this project, but what’s the point of having a blog if you can’t appeal to a wider audience? Anyway, if you’ve got a large bonus in your future and prefer the backcountry, give me a call. (203) 249-4394.


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7 responses to “Want to buy an expensive back country house (sort of) cheap?

  1. Anonymous

    Not our price range, sadly, but thanks for posting this. And do you mind sharing the rules and regulations re: signing agreements with a realtor? I’ve already made contact with one (before I knew about you) who is going to show me around town, but I won’t be buying for at least a few months, most likely. What should I expect to sign? Is it binding? And for how long? What if I meet him and don’t think he’s the right broker for us–can we look around for a day with him without signing anything? Many thanks.

    • Connecticut law requires a signed broker representative agreement – it’s supposed to be a buyer protection provision but my industry has converted it to a lock-in proposition. If you’ve signed nothing, you have no obligation, regardless of how many telephone calls and emails you’ve exchanged. My advice is to sign an agreement strictly limited to either specific houses or just the town of Greenwich, and limit the duration to one or two days. Then, if you’re comfortable with the agent, you can extend that period, but if you don’t hit it off, you’re not obligated to do business with him or her. My agreements say that the customer can cancel at any time – most agents don’t do this, so watch that duration clause.

  2. Peg

    Chris, I always tell my clients they can “opt out,” too. What is the point of attempting to work with someone who doesn’t wish to work with you?

    Anon – if you haven’t signed yet, go with Chris! Why NOT use the best? 🙂

  3. Anonymous

    Thank you very much. This is very helpful. I suppose I’ll do a short agreement, or just for the properties we look at, while I decide if we’re a good fit.

  4. Anonymous

    I would sign with Chris, but I kind of have an obligation to try this person out first! It’s the honorable thing to do!

  5. Peg

    Anon – this is truly just my two cents. But – if you think you would like to work with Chris, yet believe you are committed to this other fellow because you talked to him on the phone …. I’d work with Chris. We Realtors frequently do vastly more than have a few phone calls and look through MLS for someone – to no avail. If I were in this other guy’s shoes, personally I’d rather have you leave me before we “went out for a day” than after.

    If you feel obligated, then you need to go with your gut feeling. On the other hand, think about whether you do feel connected to this guy or not – and if you’d prefer to use Chris. If you are leaning toward Chris – the “honorable thing to do” may be to not take up any more of Realtor #1’s time….


  6. Out Looking In

    Wow Chris-

    Just got back with the wife from a 48 hr reprieve from the chitlins in Mystic…I definitely have work for you! According to our great county assessor, the house I bought for 3.6m in Oct 2009 is now worth a cool $4.25m!!! Even if I pay you and Fud 5%, it would represent a nice profit…who said Greenwich real estate prices was falling? And I suppose the new mill rate will make up the difference from the measely 15% drop my current house experienced since the last Grand List (except of course for the previous owner, who lost over 900k when including the upgrades)…life is great