A Riverside bubble?

Riverside, circa 2013

Heck I don’t know, not after 247 Riverside Avenue (our busiest street) sold for $5.3 million last year (!). And at least two different builders are selling three different bits of new construction and asking $4 million apiece. Those haven’t sold yet but at least one of the builders is already on the prowl for new land so there’s a confidence there that surprises me – but since I remain astounded by that Riverside Avenue sale I’ll admit that I no longer understand the Riverside market.

All of which leads us to a listing that came on today, new construction at 42 Riverside Avenue (not Riverside Lane, as I just learned from the broker) priced at $1.750 million. This will be a house cheek-by-jowl to I-95, constructed with aluminum siding and an asphalt roof, on the aforesaid busiest street in Riverside and is assigned to the Cos Cob and Middle School district, thereby negating the possibility of the children walking to Riverside and Eastern (if kids still walk to school). One million, seven-hundred-fifty thousand dollars for that? Holy cow.

UPDATE: there seems to be some confusion, expressed in the comments below, whether this spec house is in fact located on Riverside Avenue. Some poor lost soul actually insists that he lives at 42 Riverside Avenue and it’s not only not for sale but it isn’t even under construction. I have assured him that he’s just plain wrong and probably is living somewhere else but he and other readers persist. Such delusions!


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49 responses to “A Riverside bubble?

  1. Cos Cobber

    I would think you realtors wouild be able to get this straight. 42 Riverside Lane = Cos Cob schools, 42 Riverside Avenue = Riverside Schools. Go check for yourself on the Greenwich Public Schools website.

    Are you sure the agent isnt referring to this spec house at 42 Riverside Lane?

    I totally agree about a Riverside bubble. All these new construction homes will end up selling for less on resale. I’m not saying Riverside isnt worth it or that we are headed for real estate doom, it just that these prices, particularly for the homes over $2MM seem 20% over priced to me. They leave the buyer with low odds of an upside and plenty of room for a downside.

    • CC, Like you, I assumed the agent had made a mistake so I texted her and she said everything was correct. So I assume she also got the school districts right. News to me that they shifted but perhaps the authorities decided children from this end of the Avenue would be more comfortable with their peers.

  2. relative value

    two words: consider westport!

  3. Cos Cobber

    Well, someone should tell Greenwich Public Schools because their website says 42 Riverside Ave = Riverside Schools. Plus, per Bing maps, does 42 Riverside Ave make anysense? Swing by it today if you can.

  4. Cos Cobber

    Westport is fine…but i dont want to commute…we both work in town.

  5. Cos Cobber

    CF, it would be the only household south of I-95 in Riverside that is zoned to Cos Cob schools. I find that very odd. And if they have made broader changes to the school zoning, I also find that odd there was no debate on the matter.

  6. InfoDiva

    Actually, this bubble gives me hope for backcountry Greenwich prices. Sooner or later, a family with three kids is going to see how much more they can get for their money on two acres. If “all that driving” is the problem, the cost differential between houses in Riverside and those here in the Northern Territories could pay for a chauffeur for quite a while.

  7. Cos Cobber

    Furthermore, per Zillow, 42 Riverside Ave is a .30 acre lot taxed which paid $8.666 in property taxes in 2011 vs 42 Riverside Lane (a known spec house project) paid approx $4600 in property taxes on .22 acres. The agent’s listing says the lot is .22 acres. Did the lot grow or is Zillow also wrong.

    • hey, what do I know, CC? I texted the agent asking whether her listing was accurate, specifically the address, and she said it was. So I wrote it up. If she’s wrong, i suppose you could sue her but I wouldn’t take that case.

  8. Cobra

    “CF, it would be the only household south of I-95 in Riverside that is zoned to Cos Cob schools”

    Explanation: The property comes with truck and a snow plow.

  9. Anonymous

    I think I can clear this up.
    42 Riverside AVENUE is:
    South of the Post Road.
    On Riverside Avenue.
    Close to I95, but not next to it(there is another house and land between them.)
    Built in 1908, not 2011.
    Constructed of two foot thick fieldstone and shingled.
    Restored and plaqued as a historic landmark.
    In the Riverside/Eastern school district.
    How do I know this?
    Because I FUCKING LIVE THERE and have for 15 YEARS.
    ever since they started that stupid spec house at 42 Riverside LANE, I have been getting a steady supply of contractors showing up and their goods dumped at my house.

    • Anonymous, I’m sure that you think you live there but if you’ll just look at the listing I linked to you will see that you are clearly wrong. Again, who are you gonna believe, a trained Realtor or your own lyin’ eyes? Get with the program, matey, and figure out where you really live. How are your kids enjoying Cos Cob School, by the way?

  10. Cos Cobber

    Thanks Anonymous. I knew I was right.

    I win CF! The agent for this listing doesnt even know where her house is located…..details…details.

  11. Happy in Riverside

    It ain’t just “all of that driving”, InfoDiva, it’s that you live in an actual community where your kids play with neighbors spontaneously, trick or treat, can actually ride a bike with buddies, walk to school. The moms are doing the work instead of slews of nannies everywhere like midcountry. The people, in general, are more down-to-earth and “normal” – not so caught up in the whole Greenwich benefit scene or insecurely climbing rungs on a ladder to nowhere. The kind of people who commit to this trade-off (versus more land, more privacy, a bigger house) are good peeps – and most know they are in a little pocket of relative normalcy in a town becoming more difficult by the day to raise a family with values and perspective.

  12. Cos Cobber

    Cobra, that was pretty damn funny.

    • What, you didn’t like my dig about them being more comfortable with their peers? Sheesh, what’s a guy have to do? Expressio uniusest exclusio alterius. (No, I didn’t leant that at Riverside, I had to look it up – I think it has something to do with coffee).

  13. Greenwich Mom, M&P

    Anonymous, LOVE your response! I fell out of my chair laughing and I think the realtor who does not even know the address of the property he/she is selling has bigger issues to deal with. But, back to you, Anonymous, I am still not clear-you live at 42 Riverside Lane, correct??

  14. Cobra

    Cos Cobber…I’m glad you didn’t take offense at my comment, as none was intended–just an attempt at humor on this rainy, dismal morning.

    • Oh, CC’s long past taking offense, Cobra (and you’re right about the day – heavy rain just started here in Old Greenwich. … On the just and unjust alike, and all that – probably been raining in Cos Cob since midnight).

  15. Cos Cobber

    CF, I’m not going to feed your ginormous ego. My goodness, I’m surprised it hasnt sunk your home into the salty muck of Ole’s ditch.


  16. Cos Cobber

    This flush is for you CF.

  17. Anonn

    Thanks for the laughs, Anonymous and CF. I read this blog daily, and haven’t had such a good laugh from you all in a while!

  18. Walt

    Dude –
    Well aren’t you a busy little beaver today? Speaking of beaver, you want to go to Beamer’s for a Gentlemen’s lunch and watch some bubble ass? My treat!!
    And where is Riverside? Can’t you post a Greenwich map on this blog rag?
    Your Pal,

  19. AJ

    Yes, I remember when the pumping station on West End Ave was still pumping sewge into the creek — I love the smell of raw sewage, it smells like home to me. I also like those crazy terrapin turtles in the creek, you can’t even get close to one of those things, but you can catch them in a lobster pot. I looked at the google street view of 247 Riverside Ave; those don’t look like $5 million houses to me. But I do like the Avenue down by Marks Road where the street is banked like a race track. Greenwich needs more google street views. I can always tell what year the view of my house was taken by what junk BMWs are sitting on my lawn.

  20. InfoDiva

    Happy in Riverside, I have to take exception to your generalization about us folks here in the woods.

    I suspect that the happy homemaker in the $5 million house in Riverside is no different from her counterpart in the $5 million house in backcountry.

    She’s the same nervous, over-exercised, over-highlighted hedge fund wife worried that her husband might stray and her kids won’t get into Yale.

    Hey–one good generalization deserves another 🙂

    • I wouldn’t call yours a generalization, Info or if it is, it has a great deal of truth in it. The rich may indeed be different from you and me, but they live in both the Back Country and Riverside these days. I confess I liked Riverside better when it was populated by plumbers, alcoholics, divorcees and Cos Cob refugees. But so it goes.

  21. Anonymous

    I’m with InfoDiva. Assuming you have the same amount of money to spend, the relative value is in the back country right now. I don’t disagree with some of the stuff that Happy in Riverside said – it’s just that even when you take into account all of the great things that Riverside and OG have to offer, in my opinion, they don’t make up for the relative pricing (right now) of the house and land that you can get elsewhere. Just an opinion.

    Chris: maybe an in-depth comparison of houses that sold for the same price (actual trades), but in different neighborhoods, would be a fun exercise?

  22. AJ

    InfoDiva, the only housewives worried that their hedge fund husbands might stray are the ones who signed disadvantageous prenups. As for Yale, why would anyone send their kids to that Hellhole know as New Haven when Cambridge Mass is such a nicer place, and just a bit farther from home. And Riverside – OG was so much a nicer place when the creek still smelled, and it was essentially middle –albeit affluent — class. Back in the days when everybody drove beetles and not 320Is, and you didn’t have to pay $5 million to live on one of the worst streets in town.

  23. Cos Cobber

    320IS? ha, try Porchese Panameras.

  24. riverside native

    Speaking of smell..It’s stinky again by the creek, due to rotting mollusks on the docks being stored there. Ahhh. Eau de Asamuck ( I believe if you look on the old maps that is the name of the creek, Long Meadow starts closer to the cove)

  25. Anonymous

    The differences between OG, Riverside and backcountry will seem trivial in another year or so. It will all look like 1% land to the people that will invade these towns and redistribute the wealth. Soros’s prediction is rather prescient and the future looks scary. Harvard/Yale degrees mean nothing to savages that will be armed and ready to burn, destroy or steal everything you have ever accumulated. Get ready!

  26. Anonymous

    Anonymous @ 10:34 am (a.k.a. the actual owner): that was–and probably will be–the RESPONSE OF THE YEAR ON THIS BLOG! Bravo!

  27. AJ

    I’m sure no one with money drives Beamers anymore. They’ve cheapened them up, so anyone can afford one, and if you drive them hard the rear subframe rips out — choice. I was just referring back to a time — the late 70s when everybody in town who owned a beetle — and that was everyone — switched over to the original 320s. Personally, I had a preference for, and owned a ’71 2002, bored out to the max — the 320’s were underpowered dogs, but the 2.5 e30s when chipped, cammed, coned, tri-flowed, short shifted, offset control arm bushinged, etc., etc. is an awesome car. We burned through a set of Toyo Proxies in two months with ours. Even fishtailed it, around a corner down at the market in front of two cops, but since the tires didn’t squeel, their mouths fell open, they scratched their heads and went on their way. In case anyone thinks this is a stupid post, all I can say is life’s too short too waste your time trying to not be stupid, stupid.

  28. Anonymous

    The 99% will go for Riverside and OG first. More destruction per square mile is available there. I’ve thought about that.

  29. Also Anonymous

    I’m assuming that Anonymous of 1:25 and 2:39 are the same person.

    Regarding the “99%,” many of them can’t be bothered to cross the street for their EBT cards or a bag of Doritos, so the thought they will venture out into parts unknown for some highly targeted destruction seems unlikely. Organized criminal gangs, they are a different story.

    Regarding the concentrated targets of Riverside and OG, they are both pretty defensible, especially the portion of Riverside south of the train station. The portion of Riverside Ave by the train station offers defenders easy enfilade shooting; add vehicle chicanes and no one is getting through without heavy weapons and/or air power. Same at the other end of Riverside Ave leading to the rotary by Binney Park, easy enfilading fire from CF’s ‘hood, elevated firing positions from Summit, Weston Hill, and the railroad embankment, and an open field of fire all the way across Binney, and it will be tough for a disorganized rabble to penetrate. The terrain geometry there makes it easy to create interlocking fields of fire using untrained teams with little practice. Another fire team at the Drinkwater bridge, and you’re done.

    You don’t defend your house from your house, you defend by controlling the approaches. Otherwise you are at the Alamo.

    I’ve thought about it too.

    Is Cobra moving back?

  30. AJ

    Anonymous @ 10:34 there is some confusion in town with street names, e.g., Lockwood Ave., Lockwood Dr., Lockwood Rd., Lockwood La. Maybe you should petition the town to get the name of your street changed just in case you ever need an ambulance in order to make sure they show up at the right place. Remember the EMS driver in an earlier post who had a bumper sticker that said my kid can beat you kid in a knife fight? I’m sure he can’t be any brighter than the contractors who keep dumping building supplies at your house. Just because you know that you “fucking live there”, doesn’t mean that anyone else does.

  31. AJ

    @Also Anonymous, establishing a perimeter — I like it. Don’t forget the claymores. Word to the bird: if you try to penetrate our town and someone with no shirt, a sweat band and big muscles rubbed in oil tells you to let it go, you should let it go. This video of the Greenwich side of the Byram River will show you what you need to do: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xHs86nH2x4I

  32. Anonymous

    @ 3:20–glad to see you haven’t given much thought to defending the castle….!!!

  33. Anonymous

    @3:20 you are either dreaming or smoking something super strong. The avg Fairfield county male pushes pencils around with the best of them but is no match for gangs of young foreign lads that are made of much tougher stuff. Even the guys that are in great shape are no match for thugs with guns, knives, etc. that always fight with 20 of their cousins or homies on their back. Bridgeport is not too far away. Neither is the Bronx. If things get ugly, some hedge fund guy armed with the 20 gauge that he fires up at Mashomack will be no match for the animals that will take from him whatever they want. Do not worry about your wife though. They are already tapping stuff they is way hotter than anything in Greenwich. Att: Walt. This is your screenplay.

  34. Anonymous

    To Happy in Riverside: There’s a big difference between “choosing” not to have a nanny and not being able to afford one. I know plenty of wealthier Riverside or OG moms with multiple nannies. They all live on the better streets.

  35. Anonymous

    @Happy in Riverside. There’s a difference between “choosing” not to have a nanny and not being able to afford one. I know as many Riverside and OG moms with nannys as I do mid and back-country moms. They just live on the better streets.

  36. Cos Cobber

    Good thing I have nothing to take…but a bank account

  37. Anonymous

    FWIW: This may be completely off topic but Cos Cob rules! And I grew up near St. Paul’s in Riverside…right near that $5mil homes you all are referencing. My husband and I bought our house in CC in ’03 and we love it here. Can’t wait to send our daughter to CC School and walk there every morning. Just saying…

  38. Anonn

    When did @Happy in Riverside say or insinuate anything about “choosing” or not being able to afford a nanny? He/she was simply stating that Riversiders choose to live here and are willing to trade space and a little privacy for a more down-to-earth lifestyle. Nobody can argue with that. Walking to school, running through neighborhoods, biking to town…these are all things that HIR was pointing out as positives for living in Riverside. I could get a pretty fancy house in backcountry in exchange for my quaint home in Riverside. Those of us who live here choose to for a reason.