Daily Archives: January 3, 2012

It’s got to be worth something, but what?

3 Fairfield Ave

Three Fairfield Avenue in Old Greenwich has dropped its price again and is now down to $499,000 from its original price of $695,000. The town doesn’t think much of the existing house on this lot, valuing the land at $375,000 and the house itself at $19,000, but what is an 0.11 acre lot actually worth as a building site? The lot is grossly undersized even for an R-7 zone so FAR absolutely kills it. Too run down to live in, too little land to build; it’s a poser.


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Big ticket houses aren’t doing so well

There are 67 houses for sale priced between $5 and $9 million. Thirty-one houses in that range sold in 2011, suggesting that we have “only” a two-year inventory but the picture may be bleaker than that. Here are the sales for that category for the last quarter of each of the past four years:

2011: 3

2010: 7

2009: 5

2008: 2

2007: 11


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When utopia slams into reality

CUNY law school lowered its admission standards, dropped many required courses and let first year students elect a pass/fail option instead of actual grades, all to make the school more “inclusive”. Lots of warm, fuzzy feelings on campus, I’m sure, but then came the state bar exam, which only 67% of CUNY students passed (Columbia and NYU’s success rate is 96%). Better to catch incompetence before unleashing the unwashed into our courts but still – what a waste of time, money and resources.


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Land contract

54 Doubling Road has an accepted offer. Latest asking price was $2.495, down from its 2008 ask of $4.695 and a good thing, too. The house is salvageable but the real attraction here is the land, 2+ acres in a 1-acre zone. Much of that land is cliff but it counts for FAR purposes and there’s enough level ground to support a nice home.


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No. Next question

Will Connecticut matter in GOP race?

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This is not the market for a 5% price cut

191 North Street has today dropped its price from $2.795 million to $2.650. Do the sellers really think that anyone interested in the property was balking at the original price but will now be moved to snap it up? I don’t think so. The house is a teardown, the land is swampy and down a long driveway (which is in fact a plus for any property off North Street) and despite hints to the contrary on the listing, almost certainly not divisible. If no one wanted it at $2.8, I doubt they’ll change their mind at $2.650. All that said, this could be an excellent building site, at the right price. I think the seller should regroup with her agent and figure out what that price is.


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Your kid’s flunking and you want him to spend the summer watching television?

I don' need no stinkin' classes!

Greenwich parents oppose summer school for their idiots. Greenwich Board of Ed wants to cut tuition for its summer school classes from $1,000 to $21 for certain kids but the parents aren’t interested, claiming they don’t want to deprive their children of summer fun. Honey, your boy can look forward to a lifetime of unemployment and he can spend time at the beach then.



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Wow, that’s a lot of $3 donations

Obummer’s amassing a $1 billion campaign fund while sending his wife out in a $2,000 breakfast frock to solicit three bucks each from the poor. Disconnect? Not in the new America.


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Hope, but no (good) change


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A nice news story to start the year

Utah passers-by rescue drowning kids. At least eight of them plunged into an icy river to pull three children from an overturned car. Good stuff, including the presence of folks trained in CPR, which saved lives. As a side note, the first rescuer, a former policeman, fired a shot through the car’s window to smash it and pull the children out. Guns – is there anything they can’t do?

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Some non-scientific observations

I was looking at sales this year in the $3-$5 million range (71, total) and noticed something interesting: homes that started off in the $3’s generally sold close to (within 15%) of their original asking price. There were a few exceptions but not too many. The real diversion from reality comes in houses that asked above $4 million – whoo boy.

390 Riversville: asked $4.3, got $2.790

34 Hendrie Ave (Rvsd) asked $3.9, got $3.078

546 North Street asked $7.995, got $3.025

250 North Street asked $5.750 got $2.1

58 Ridge, asked $4.7, got $3.7

38 Meeting House (Regis’s) asked $5.9, got $3.0

40 N. Porchuck, asked $5.950, got $3.6

89 Lower Cross asked $6.8, got $3.3

And so on. I’ll probably get around to a more thorough analysis this week but the contrast between asking and selling price is really striking in the higher end of our market. Not that, say, a $3 million sale is anything to sneeze at but when a property starts at $6 and “only” fetches half that sum, it makes me wonder who was crazy here, the agent, the seller or both.


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