Daily Archives: May 10, 2011

This seems like a lot to pay

28 Hendrie Drive

Built in 1924, renovated in 1995, 1506 sq. feet, one master, two small bedrooms upstairs and one bath to bind them. Asked $1.495 ($996 sq. ft.) in June, 2010, dropped to $1.245 ($827 sq.ft) and now has a contract. Hmm.

Hendrie Drive is a sweet street, it’s property south of the village and its 2005 assessment was $992,000, so I guess this all makes sense, but sheesh, that’s a lot of money for a very small house.


Filed under Uncategorized

Here’s one for Inagua

It’s not part of the $8 million inventory but this Old Greenwich house at 36 Binney Lane came on the market last week asking $6.795 and had a buyer within days (hat tip, Xyzzgy, who heard the rumor several days before it was reported). It’s a beautiful house, built in 1921 and extensively renovated in 2001 and it has almost an acre of yard (0.95), but it isn’t waterfront and I am a little surprised. 2005 assessment was $4.860.

Comments Off on Here’s one for Inagua

Filed under Uncategorized

Gay porn film on the Avenue?

Gay actors all over Greenwich Avenue this noon outside Putnam Diner. What kind of film? Walt probably knows, but he isn’t telling – not yet, anyway.

UPDATE: Greenwich Time reports that some TV show converted Sundown Saloon into a gay bar for an episode.  As for those PC readers offended that “I could tell” a gay costume from straight, get real.


Filed under Uncategorized

What Greenwich real estate slump?

Contracts for $8,000,000 + houses in town are up 50% from last year. Yes, from January 1 – May 10, we have 3 such contracts this year versus just 2 last year (same period in 2006 saw 10). So relax, all you big shots, things are looking up. It is true, unfortunately, that there are 75 houses in the $8+ inventory but you know that your’s is by far the best of them all, so why worry?


Filed under Uncategorized

I’m not saying Mark Mariani has no taste

He might have exquisite taste and just has the business sense not to show it. Certainly he builds some of the most god-awful-looking houses in town but they all sell and usually sell quickly, so the man knows his market.

His latest example, displayed today at 32 Meadowcroft Road, may be his worst (or best) yet. The man clearly has no respect for his buyers, but why should he? Mariani buyers have a demonstrated history of caring about nothing but bulk, and boy does he give it to them. This one is the standard Mariani house, with the little port cochere thing going on between wings, big ugly rooms, and the same boring, rectangular  swimming pool surrounded by cheap paving stones he’s installed in every house of his I’ve ever seen. The only difference this time is that he’s added some kind of pseudo-French mansard roof and a bulbous thingie on the south side of the house. At $12.575 this will probably sell faster than the graceful manor down the street at 17. Why? Because it’s big big big and new new new. Meadowcroft used to be one of our prettiest streets. Three Mariani buildings later, that’s no longer true. In my opinion, of course. You are free to disagree and if you do, Mr. Mariani awaits you.


Filed under Uncategorized

Back from the Back Country open house tour.

So I saw 164 Round Hill Road, all 17,000 + sq. ft. of it, attached to a $19 million price tag. Hmm. I have to separate my own feelings toward houses like this – negative – from what might appeal to a buyer. All very well done, nice grounds but my goodness the house is big. Still, if you like this sort of formal Greenwich decorating scheme, there’s a lot of it here for you to enjoy. I was reminded of that scene in Dr. Zhivago when the doctor returns to his Moscow home after the revolution and is greeted at the door by some toothless commie harridan: “We have sixteen families in this house now,” she snarls, “where you had only one.” “Yes,” replies Zhivago, “this is much more [pause] equitable”. If you buy this place, better guard your doors.

As an aside, I do wish that homeowners would resist the urgings of their decorators and forego the “great books collection” designers stuff their houses with. It exudes an air of boorish illiteracy which is doubtless more fairly attributed to the designer than to the owners, but the overall effect is just tacky. You earn great books by reading them, not by buying them by the yard, dependent on the color of their bindings. You know this, your designer doesn’t, so don’t listen to her.

38 Round Hill may be asking too much at $13 million but it too is very, very large and quite well done. I saw this place new in 2002 or ’03 and it has stood up to the ensuing years unscathed. I liked it. An inferior lot, but a convenient one, and a nice front yard. You may envision tossing a ball to your child in your backyard and insist on having such space but face it: the kid’s either going to be inside playing video games or off on some travel soccer junket. Get a grip and forget that image: it expired in the 70’s.


Filed under Uncategorized

Mid-Country sale

31 Copper Beech

The owners of this Copper Beech house paid $3.160 for it in 2004, put in $700,000+ in improvements and tried selling it in 2010 for $2.995, not an unreasonable price. But it wouldn’t sell until yesterday, when it closed at $2.4 million. This was a very nice house, one that my own clients almost bought, and I hope the sellers are making up on their own buy side what they’re losing on this one.


Filed under Uncategorized

Off rental, Regis’s former residence is back up for sale

38 Meeting House Rd

The TV host moved out long ago but now he owns (at least) two houses in town. I’m sure he can afford to. This one started out at $5.8 back in 2008 and must have been rented from ’09 until now because it’s back on the market today at $4.195, a figure much closer to its 2005 assessment of $3.127 and a tad more realistic.

Someone who watches his show told me, back then, that Regis would complain on air about his house that wouldn’t sell. He probably should have taken a harder look at his price instead of whining but that hardly distinguishes him from other Greenwich homeowners.


Filed under Uncategorized

Say it ain’t so, Franklin

Rumor has Land Use Committee chairman Franklin Bloomer living in Norwalk these days now that he’s sold his Riverside residence. I don’t know that as fact – that’s why it’s a rumor – but if it’s true, and if he also showed up and voted on the Greenwich town budget last night(all but two members did) does that make the entire vote invalid? Is anyone on the RTM investigating this man’s continued qualification to serve in town government? Just asking.


Filed under Uncategorized

One hell of a slow learning curve

241 Pemberwick

This Glenville house sold for $690,000 in January, 2003. In 2006, having done no improvements, the new owners put it back up for sale for $1.065, which they increased to $1.075 a year later. Today, four years into the “selling” process, they’ve dropped it to $947,500. Assessment is $676,000.

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Here’s one octogenarian who won’t be robbing folks at gunpoint

82-year-old dies trying to become oldest person to climb Mt. Everest.

“Upadhyaya had said he wanted to raise awareness about the capabilities of elderly people by scaling the world’s highest peak….” How’s that working out for you, fella?

Comments Off on Here’s one octogenarian who won’t be robbing folks at gunpoint

Filed under Uncategorized

The inmates are going nuts in California

Nine-month pregnant woman robbed at gunpoint by 80-year-old woman. The rats have lost their minds.

Comments Off on The inmates are going nuts in California

Filed under Uncategorized

Riverside is not always a magic bullet against depreciation

122 Lockwood Rd

This is a good house built, I think, by Lee Neuberth back in 2003. Lee does an excellent, high quality job so if this was his project, the house will be sound. It sold for $2.6 million in 2004 and sold again yesterday for $2.480. The (2005) assessment was $1.860 so in this case, anyway, that nice 2.4 ratio of sales to assessment is “no longer operative”.


Filed under Uncategorized

Has Hartford taken over Greenwich?

RTM approves $29 million high school auditorium. All borrowed money, because we don’t have the wherewithal to pay for this luxury. Just to rub it into the eyes of those of us who remember the “pay as you go” philosophy that kept this town solvent through the years, with one of the lowest tax burdens around, the RTM also approved an additional $15.6 million in debt for “other projects”. I’d have guessed that the proletariat had been bused down from our capital to ram this down our throats but it’s Greenwich residents themselves who are doing this.

Looking at what’s doing in Hartford and now, Greenwich, selling now, rather than waiting for some dreamed-of market recovery, might be a good idea. This kind of stuff can’t continue and when it stops, watch out.


Filed under Uncategorized

Walter Noel is still on the hook

Madoff Trustee, Fairfield Group liquidator agree on settlement. That might at first blush sound like good news for our Round Hill resident but then there’s this:

The settlement allows the liquidators of the Fairfield funds to work together with Picard to purse [sic] assets from the former owners and managers of the Fairfield funds, David Sheehan, the Madoff trustee’s chief counsel, said in Picard’s statement.

I think Walt’s going to have a troubled retirement.


Filed under Uncategorized