Thanks, but no thanks

A reader tipped me off that 329 Riversville Road is being auctioned on line with bidding to close on January 12. Current bid, $819,000.

This is that abandoned project right beside the Merritt Parkway. It’s been sitting there, unfinished, for a looong time so who knows what condition it’s in (I can guess, though). Auction notice says the property is being sold “as is, where is”, which means two strikes against it. I wouldn’t give it a third chance, but maybe you might;  if so, beware – this may very well be that rarest of commodities in Greenwich, a property that has no value. Whoever has bid $819,000 is in line to lose his money.

18 Comments

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18 responses to “Thanks, but no thanks

  1. Anonymous

    What a shame, will you be attending either of the open house showings?

  2. Anonymous

    I just searched your blog and can’t find any previous mentions of this property, what’s the story?

    • I was probably writing that newspaper column at the time it was abandoned. But really, there hasn’t been much to say – it’s just been sitting there for years.

  3. GWChase

    Bank with the debt, maybe?
    GW

  4. Cautious Buyer

    I’m curious what you think it would cost to finish it. There is already a bid at 819, so someone is interested (definitely not me) and thinks they can complete it. (Although the auction site is silent as to the reserve price.) The pictures suggest that the project was near completion, with moldings & cabinets installed. Did they slap the cosmetics together at the end in a race against foreclosure? Conversely, is it possible that it is structurally sound and mechanicals installed properly, so “finish” work does not mean a wrecking ball but simply adding appliances and lighting etc? While I dislike the location, some people seem fine with it. The house also has the McMansion feel some buyers genuinely like. Could someone buy at say 1,000,000, invest 300 and at least break even?

    • I really don’t know, Cautious. Often a builder starts out strong before running out of money, so there’s a decent chance that the fundamentals are okay – foundation, framing, etc. trouble comes in finding a builder who’ll take over the job – who knows what’s buried behind the walls, where do all those wires lead to, and so on. But yeah, I think you could get $1.5 for this place if you find a buyer from Manhattan who likes noise, and $300,000 ought to finish it. But if you’re into the project for $1.3, by the time you’ve paid commissions, taxes and what not, a sale at $1.5 would be a labor of love, not profit, and there’s a lot not to love in this place. I’d avoid it.

  5. Anon

    Isn’t that Canavo’s house? I believe he is the same builder who bought (and lost to banks) 25 & 49 Cutler.

    25 Cutler 5.25 acres sold for $900,000 !

  6. Jane

    Don’t buy this place. For a whole host of reasons. But if you are thinking about it, park in the driveway between 7:45 and 8:15 a.m. and see the Sacred Heart and Brunswick traffic whiz by. It is really bad. And I haven’t even started on the Merritt issues.

  7. ML

    I drive by that house 2x a day. It looks like they started to do a decent job building the house but absolutely no way it will only take $300k to finish. I “finished” mine that was in better condition than this one and it was A LOT more than $300k and I think I am a frugal negotiator.

  8. Anon

    I have been inside this house and it looks like if you are a good builder, you should be able to finish the work for $300-400K max.

    They have done a lot of work inside. This can be a good deal, unlike 28 Brynwood that needs a lot of work inside and outside.

  9. FF

    I have one deal-killer word for you………..MOLD. That house was left open to the wilds for so long, and it went up in the heyday of cheap Chinese drywall, I assume everything has to be ripped out and, if it infected the studs and the subflooring, you probably have to take out everything which means you have at best a shell. Spend $600k easily, probably more finishing at that point. Add in the land and ask yourself if a new house next to the Merritt is worth $1.6-1.8 million and I think you have that answer.

  10. Anonymous

    Somebody has upped the bid to $919 now, reserve has not been met.

  11. anon

    now up to
    Current Bid : $1,019,000

  12. Anonymous

    @anon,

    Another offer has been submitted but the reserve has not yet been met…18 hours to go. 😆

    Current Bid : $1,119,000

  13. anon

    the link is now caput. with “no matches found” to 329. i wonder what happened.

  14. Anonymous

    @anon, I’m curious too. Perhaps you need to be registered to see the results or perhaps they pulled it since the reserve hadn’t been met the last time I checked. I know I looked at it later when there were 12 hours left and the bid hadn’t increased but I forgot to look at it this morning before it closed. 😦

    If anyone has an account, I found the ID info in google cache:

    Property ID#: 1294794
    Event ID#: O155-513

  15. Anonymous

    …and it’s back! Same ID #’s, new auction start date of 1/17/12 , starting bid is at $719k, the original link is active again.

    I guess it failed to meet the reserve price the first time, I wonder if it will get as much interest this time around.