Daily Archives: April 12, 2011

Is the spring market still-born?

That’s what this article on the national market suggests. Here in Greenwich, we are seeing sales but as I’ve been pointing out, anecdotally, many houses that are selling are doing so at 2000 prices. You want to take a loss on your house, you can sell it. Otherwise, you’re going to have a tough time. Which is why broker open house tours these days are such a bummer – there’s just about nothing out there worth looking at.

As an example of a stubborn seller, there’s a house on the western side of town whose builder/owner angrily rejected my client’s offer of $4 million a year ago, even adding a few choice words at our ethics and morals. It was back on the tour today at $4 million with the notation, “short sale possible”. I long ago found my client a better house, for less – this builder is screwed. And when he goes down, which he will, he’ll drag down the prices of houses all around him. Downward spiral, says I.

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Public open houses closing their doors

Ineffective, a waste of time and dangerous.

The open house, long a staple of the real estate industry, is fading as potential buyers increasingly shop by computer and smart phone.

Before the digital revolution, open house signs littered street corners. There are far fewer today, which is fine by many real estate agents. They say open houses attract unqualified buyers and people who view houses just for fun.

“I haven’t held one in years,” said Rae Catanese of Prudential Tropical Realty in Tampa. “You don’t know who is walking in the door. A lot of clients don’t want random people walking through their house. It’s a safety concern.”

She holds open houses only at a customer’s request.

Related: A complete waste of time. Brokers use these to placate the homeowner, showing that they’re doing something, damn it, but primarily to troll for new customers. No  one sells the actual house being shown.

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Re Napoli pizza in Old Greenwich

Turns out, they have a web site. Looks pretty enticing.

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A monument to Sarah Coit

Coit Tower

It occurs to me to mention that, the next time you’re in San Francisco, you might gaze up at Coit Tower on Telegraph Hill (or make a personal pilgrimage and climb it) and remember Sarah and her family. It was Sarah’s great-grandmother (I think I have the generations right) who built it.

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Price cut

212 Shore Rd

This is a fabulous location, over looking Lucas Point beach and in fact part of that association. It sold for full price, $4.975 back in 2006, in just 16 days. The buyers then tried to flip it for $5.695 in ’07, with no luck. Now they’re down t0 $4.295 and I think they still have a long way to go. The house is tiny and, so far as I understand it, can’t be expanded. There may be one or two people with the desire and the means to own a $4 million beach cottage, but there can’t be many.

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Does it really matter what mush tastes like?

Granny's got no teeth

Squabbling at the Senior Center over quality of  lunch. Way back in 1969 my friend Michael Hoy observed that there was nothing on the McDonald’s menu that required teeth to eat. I don’t believe that’s changed since, so perhaps our seniors can order in.

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