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.

13 Comments

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

  1. AJ

    I believe all the houses on that street are all original Electrolux factory employee housing houses. Fairfield Ave. was part of my Greenwich Time newspaper route back in 1960. I believe the price was thirty-five cents a week back then, and I could not believe how many of those cheap SOBs (Old Greenwichers) would try to avoid the weekly collection or cheat me out of my pay. Oh, the excuses.

  2. sure looks cute from the outside, I bet some lucky dog could fix it up and have a lil ole house in Old Greenwich for a cool half mill.

  3. Cobra

    AJ…Were the Greenwich (Not Worth The) Time to still charge 35 cents a week, it would be a rip off considering what “news” subscribers would receive in return.

  4. peeps

    I think the sidewalk looks rundown, not the house. How’s the roof, electrical and plumbing? Does the basement flood or is there mold? If all those things are in order, I’d say that’s a nice house.
    Maybe you’re too spoiled. How can you talk all rugged with your mighty hunter backwoods stories and then say you couldn’t live in this house?

    • peeps, what I would (happily) live in is irrelevant, because I don’t want much and don’t need much in the way of a house: a dry roof, privacy and a nice view, if possible. I am not the typical Greenwich buyer, however, so when I refer to a place as a ‘teardown” I’m not saying what I woud do but what, looking at a property from a market perspective, is likely to happen and how a house’s value will be assessed.

  5. AJ

    It’s been more than ten years since I last visited Greenwich, but I was shocked at how many beautiful old houses had been torn down only to be replaced with McMansions. And what’s with all the overworked, all too carefully fitted stone walls, a la the under the bridge, OG train station wall? Many of these walls look so out of place and ridiculous for the size lot they’re on, but what’s a Greenwich mansion without a stone wall? Just a house, I guess.

  6. Cautious Buyer

    It’s odd that you should post about this house tonight. Just last night I was looked for older Greenwich houses that might need renovation. Was there a well-priced diamond in the rough waiting for a gut job? This OG house reminded me of a Cape Cod beach house (“shack”) I looked at this summer priced at $580,000 & needing a solid $200,000 in renovations. The realtor thought that $700,000 was the maximum resale after a good renovation given the lot & street. Thus, we both agreed that $580,000 was clearly too high. (It later sold for $510,000) When I saw this Old Greenwich house, I thought it had potential with about $250,000-$300,000 in improvements — new sidewalk, front porch, flooring, kitchen & bathrooms (from Home Depot not Christopher Peacock) and decent landscaping. There are two big IFs to that equation (1) the major costs such as roof, heating and basement have to be low, and (2) would the town allow a buyer to tear down the shack in back and rebuild a proper garage. In my view, older houses needing gut jobs require “backwards math.” I work back from a possible resale price — the purchase price plus needed renovations can’t exceed a likely resale value . . . unless you plan on living in it for a long long time. I’m sure this is why so many builders just tear down & build anew, albeit often at the sacrifice of charm and character. My uneducated guess for this street/lot is that $750,000 is a decent max resale price so maybe it’s nearing a smart sale price? (Sadly, I’m looking for a bigger wreck on better land to tackle.)

  7. peeps

    But geez, what’s up with Old Greenwich municipal upkeep? That sidewalk looks like it belongs in the worst parts of Yonkers or the Bronx. If I was trying to sell that house, I’d be putting pressure on Greenwich to stop dragging down the curb appeal. Or am I wrong, and this is the responsibility of the homeowner?

  8. Anonymous

    It does have a certain charm, but, like peeps, I wonder whose responsibility is the sidewalk maintenance? Answer me!!!

  9. Anonymous

    Small, but Oh My: on a quiet cul-de-sac in OG, and an EASY walk to the train and village? I love it! I’ll fix it up like a deluxe condo for a relative song and use it as a pied-a-terre in OG on my trips up from the city. And, with my residents’ season park pass I’ll be all set to while away my summer weekends sunning myself on that gorgeous beach at Tod’s Point, not to mention the other amenities available in Greenwich.

    And I can step off the train and walk to my house in under ten minutes! Unbelievable!

    (Who’s going to pay to fix that sidewalk? Who cares!)

    Thank you, thank you, thank you Chris for letting me know about this!

  10. burningmadolf

    You could stumble home from Mackenzie’s without any problems.

  11. anon

    Fox reports this morning that another green industry company bites the dust. Lots of stories on the web about how many millions in tax breaks it got, how much support from the state and city of Saginaw, Michigan……and now what?
    http://www.globalwatt.com/

  12. peeps

    Burningmadolf – It’s even easier than you’d think. A happy hour regular I know who lives on that street cuts through the back yard of the house behind him on Rockland. That’s a real easy stumble home and no fender benders.