A rising tide and all that?

A reader, commenting on the sky-high sales of new construction in Riverside, proposes that those sales will raise the value of existing housing stock. I’m not so sure it will because there’s been a dearth of new construction until recently and there’s pent-up demand. Over the past six months, 19 houses have sold in the Riverside School district and almost without exception, everything old sold for under $2 million and anything built in 2006 and later began at $3.3 and up to $4.970. There’s a $1 million plus gap between older houses and new and the bulk of those older homes fall in the $1.5 and below range, essentially land value.

Buyers today want new and don’t buy old, so if you don’t have new to offer, better look for a builder to unload your property on. That’s a gross over-simplification, of course and I know, I know, “your house is different”, but it works for me.

12 Comments

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12 responses to “A rising tide and all that?

  1. Walt

    Dude -
    I hate to sound like Hiram, that POS. But it is not “a reader” it is “the reader”.
    Your Pal,
    Walt

  2. Anonymous

    As a recent buyer of an “overpriced” new home, I can say that I completely agree. I paid a lot to have it new, the way I wanted it, in the proportions of today, and to avoid the hassle of rebuilding dated house that even after significant time and expense would never have been exactly what I wanted.

    Some will say that I overpaid and will lose when I sell, but, 1) I consider the house a consumption expense as much as an investment expense, and 2) I plan to live here for at least 20 years. I’m not just looking to make money on a capital investment. I want to have a place to live that is exactly the way I want it.

    I suspect that when I sell in 20 years, someone will tear my house down. Fine with me. If I make it 20 years, I will have fully recovered the building cost through consumption and be happy to sell it as land. I’ll then build an overpriced retirement home that’ll probably be torn down when I die.

    • Sounds like a plan to me, Anon.

      But it’s funny how the market has changed so that now I look at a house built before, say, 1995, and think, “probable tear down”. And that’s because my client/buyers look at it that way. With the very rare exception of our genuine antique homes, and they’re rare because Greenwichites have been razing them since 1641, there aren’t many houses whose disappearance will be mourned. There’s nothing particulary endearing about a 1946 cape, say, and the entire period of 1960 – 1990 was the low point of the builder/architect’s “skill”. Fire up those dozers.

  3. Raised in Riverside

    I know tearing down an old home is the fad in town now, but I think the majority of new constructions are awful and tacky, built quickly, cheaply and oversized for the lot. Give me a pre-war victorian, tudor or colonial any day.

    • I happen to know the house you may be speaking about Raised, and if that were torn down it would be cause for tar.and.feathers. A beautiful home that graces its street.
      But I’m talking about oh, say, the Murphy houses that went up on Riverside Avenue, across from Gilliam, in the mid-sixties. Those could all be torn down and I wouldn’t miss them but interestingly, none have been, so far. We’ll see what the next building cycle brings.

  4. Anonymous

    I come from New England and my mother’s jaw dropped when I took her on a drive in Riverside and Old Greenwich. She was surprised by the surplus of ugly 1970s homes, faux Colonials and the new oversized “shingle-style” McMansions on tiny lots. She had expected tree-lined streets with charming older homes of classic proportions with expensive expansions & updates. When I pointed out some gorgeous turn-of-the century houses and mentioned that builders would probably raze them, she was even more dumfounded. Every spiit-level ranch can get bull-dozed but an 1890 Farmhouse or 1920s Georgian? Do people in Greenwich realize that the practice of razing antique homes may be rampant in Greenwich, but an oddity elsewhere? This is not happening in Rye, Bronxville, and New Cannaan nearly to the same degree as Greenwich, let alone northern New England. The renovations may go down to the studs, but in the end the owner has a unique home with more character, history & charm than any new house can offer.

    • Travel anywhere but Greenwich, Anon – no farther than Bedford – and there are wonderful old homes that give a town character and grace. Not so here but it’s obviously been going on for a long time because Greenwich has never been like that in my lifetime. Even uglier now, of course.

  5. Anon3

    Maybe your buyers only want new but there are plenty of others that are looking to get into Riverside under 2.5M and that doesn’t get you new. And did you catch the WSJ article today? At the rate the the FBI is picking off Hedge Fund guys and traders half of your clients could be under indictment or in jail by the time the spring market kicks in.

  6. AJ

    Walt, I know from reading your posts that your grammar is usually better than mine; I’m sure mine would improve if I took the time to write second drafts and edit what I wrote. But this time I think you read the post to fast, just as you most likely eat to fast, though I’ll guess you take your time when it comes to sex. “A reader” is followed by a comma introducing a parenthetical phrase. So if the word commenting were the third word in a declarative sentence, the article “the” would be the proper choice, but remove the parenthetical so the sentence reads “The reader proposes”, and we’re left wondering what reader because the reader has yet to be defined. So in this case, I would say the indefinite article “a” would be the correct choice as opposed to the definite article “the”. All I can say is I’m no grammar expert, but my eighth grade english teacher at Eastern Junior, Mrs. Clark, to whom I am forever indebted, refused to accept that I couldn’t learn grammar, and made me stay after school until I got it right at which point I became the fastest learner in the world. BTW I’m sure this post probably has more than one error; you don’t have to bother pointing them out to me: I aint getting paid for writng this sh*t.

  7. AJ

    I believe it has something to do with ego,CF. Sort of like rubbing you d*ck on things. And no, it has nothing to do with being high on drugs, but something a lot more like being high on yourself.