Sad story, bad news for the house

15 Horseshoe Road in Cos Cob is up for sale. The owner’s death is a sad tale of Wall Street money being spent with abandon and when no money was left, failing to realize that there was still something to live for.

Someone will probably be willing to overlook the circumstances of why this property is available but I suspect it will suffer the same fate as the house Andy Kissel was murdered in up on Dairy Road: tear-down. Unfortunately for this man’s estate, the land itself, carved from ledge, won’t fetch what two acres on Dairy Road did.

And the mortgage debt outstanding is going to complicate things further.

30 Comments

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30 responses to “Sad story, bad news for the house

  1. Cos Cobber

    I remember when this house came on the market. I liked it, but for the lack of sunlight.

    I’ll pass on commenting on the sad case of Mr Hopper and the hyperbole laden NY Post story.

    • I too liked the house and a client was fairly interested in it until he finally decided that as you note, that ledge blocks off too much light. But I’ll confess that, while I’m not overly-sensitive to these matters, entering the garage at night, seeing the rafters overhead, would probably give me the creeps. If the garage weren’t built in as an integral part of the house I’d suggest just scraping it and building a new one but as it is ….

  2. anonymous

    I know we’ve talked about this before, most recently when you profiled a house on Patterson that someone said the walls had seen a suicide too, but what, if any, is the moral/legal obligation of the selling broker to declare the death?

    • There’s no legal obligation to disclose the fact and a buyers rep is under no legal obligation to search for anything like that.
      But if it’s recent (hell half the old mansions in town probably have something awful in their history- who cares?), and I knew about it, I’d certainly mention it to my client. Better they hear about it from their agent than a neighbor at some welcoming party.

  3. Rivman

    Many years ago I lived in a house in another FC town where the previous owner had committed suicide. It was a little different scenario as he was a much older gentleman who just lost his wife to cancer. Made it more palatable. No hauntings either.

    • I still live in the house where my father died- doesn’t bother me, but I loved him and understand why he chose the path he did.
      Oddly enough, or maybe it isn’t, I’d feel more uncomfortable in a stranger’s house

  4. My rant

    Another poor soul who thought he had to spend big money to get laid. Pitiful, really.

  5. Fred2

    I guess I suffer from a distinct lack of imagination, but I cannot see how some poor SOB hanging himself would affect how I see a house.

    Some messy murder(s) might give me pause – you all cleaned up up right? – but even then. It’d be like blaming a dog for eating it’s dead-of-other-causes owner when that was all that was left to eat in an empty house (hey, the cat’s FAST). What did you expect the dog (aka medium sized pack predator) to do, starve out of loyalty? I’m sure pooch would have preferred kibble.

  6. Anonymous

    seven figure salary leads to a 1.28 million house. and people called it a luxury lifestyle?

  7. Earth Ocean Sky Redux

    i recently saw an episode of Selling New York on HGTV and the homeowner called in a “energy specialist” and I’m not talking wattage. The guru went around lighting candles and chanting hokum to rid the house of the bad karma the listing agent was convinced it had. For me, no chanting would rid my image of any lost souls in a house. Even if it was from natural causes. I’m far too skittish and have all the imagination that Fred2 claims he is lacking, and more.

    My Bedford realtor friends tell me Robert Kennedy’s home is quietly on the market. In this case, I wouldn’t be surprised if someone bought it because of Mary’s death there, as repugnant as that thought is to me.

  8. Anonymous

    Having recently purchase a home, my recollection is that there is an obligation in CT. to disclose this sort of thing

    • No, a potential buyer may request, in writing, a disclosure of any event that might have a “psychological impact” (or some such term) affecting the property but the seller may decline to answer.

  9. Stanwich

    CF, please moderate here out of respect. Some of these comments are borderline. Let’s all be mindful that a real person died.

  10. Greenwich Gal

    That is a sad story indeed. A man whose priorities were very much in the wrong place – it seems he was all about appearances and vanity. If that was me I think I would liquidate and get the hell out of dodge. Start over. I mean there are other great places – affordable, friendly, beautiful. Idaho, Montana, Wyoming – all stunning. Gulf Coast. Texas – jobs and easy taxes. Some people can’t leave the bubble – or think outside of it.
    Greenwich is great if you have to be close to NYC – but really there are friendlier places. The premium this town places on financial success starts to wear on you. The poor fellow must have felt he was worthless just because he wasn’t earning a fortune.
    Tragic.

  11. dogwalker

    Fred2, You’ve got it backwards! Ask anyone who has been in law enforcement for a stretch of time. Your average cat will be feasting on your eyes the second you have exhaled your last breath. Your average dog will hold off for a while.

    Not quite the same, but I seem to remember hearing that in Connecticut one had to disclose whether there had been any “supernatural activity” (don’t know how that was defined precisely) IF ASKED. This has come up before here, but I don’t remember the conclusion.

  12. FF

    The supernatural thing was quietly repealed a number of years ago. However, thanks to the joy of continuing education, I learned one has to disclose whether someone was murdered in a house, but a suicide, not so much

  13. Anonymous

    Very sad. We looked at a boat once that was for sale because the owner had fallen off the tuna tower. I believe he landed on the dock. There was NO way I could even consider buying it – even if the price was decent.

  14. Anonymous

    Greenwich Gal has it right. If you have the means to leave New York, you should do it. The lifestyle here is terrible relative to other parts of the country. But, for some reason, people born and raised in the New York area don’t understand how much better the quality of life is elsewhere. Things that you fight for in New York are handed out for free almost everywhere else.

  15. dogwalker

    Thanks, FF. Neighbors were wondering some years back when one of the new townhouses went up downtown. The house that was torn down was well known for being haunted. Everybody, and I mean EVERYBODY, in the neighborhood over many years had seen a lady out in the garden. Older residents identified her as a previous owner. So we all wondered whether the spooky clause would apply if the house were torn down! By that time it might not have existed anymore.

  16. Walt

    Dude –
    I scrolled through these comments, and then scrolled back based on Sandwiches comment that you should moderate what people have said. Implying people posted offensive comments. Unless you deleted them before I read the post, I saw nothing offensive. I really didn’t.

    Anyhows, now it is my turn. I think you can make fun of anything. Even the dead. I guarantee you they will have no problem with it. How many funny Natalie Wood dead jokes were there? Dead Baby jokes kill!! OOPS!! But I didn’t see anything along these lines posted, so what is Sanwiches problem?

    And don’t you become a censor, you little Nazi. Free speech is what it is all about. The MSM is a bunch of biased BS, so the internet allows people to really sense what people think. In case you are wondering, I think NOTHING! My head is a vacuum.

    So what were we talking about? Oh yeah, buying a house that had a stiff. A dead one, not the one in the pants , right? A suicide or death wouldn’t really bother me. A murder would. Why? I really don’t know. I would buy Marilyn’s house, and not just because I wanted to bang her. That was a suicide, right Dude? You weren’t involved in that were you? Because it is closely linked to the JFK assassination, which, as you know, I am pretty certain you played a role in.

    But I wouldn’t buy the Kissel house. Or the Manson house. It is a Karma thing, I think. Suicide is chosen, often the correct path, and death is a part of life. So I don’t have a problem buying a house where that happened. But having someone break in and snuffing you before you want to go is bad Karma.

    Want me to tell some dead Nun jokes? What is black and white and red all over?
    I have plenty more!!
    Your Pal,
    Walt

  17. Greenwich Gal

    Well Walt, I have relatives who were looking for a home and found a great one – it just happened to be the site of a grisly triple homicide. It was so bloody that the entire kitchen floor had to be replaced and you could still see the knife marks in the cabinetry. No one would even consider buying the house and it stayed on the market for years. My aunt and uncle were more than happy to buy it for a song. Had a party to bless the house – Bloody Marys all around!

  18. Real Torme

    Nice, Chris. Let’s make sure the widow can’t sell her house. Ever. A very nasty thread, and beneath you.

    • The story was in the NYPost months ago and has been repeated and spread across the web since then – Google the address, let alone the poor man’s name, and tell me that I exposed a secret. I deliberately did not write about this when it first came out (and probably a half-dozen readers sent me links to the Post story) but time has passed.

      And you are way out of touch with the real estate world if you think that potential buyers don’t Google an address as a preliminary step in their house searches. The old days of nice old ladies chauffeuring prospects around in her Ford station wagon while never, ever saying anything disturbing about a house, its owners or the kid next door who tortures cats is over.

      Sorry you had to learn that here, so abruptly.

  19. Walt

    GG –
    You could look at it like “The World According to Garp”. Buying a house struck by a plane, or struck by lightning, or where a multiple homicides occurred may be the safest way to go. What are the odds of it happening again? There is logic to that. But I don’t subscribe to that. I think positive energy, and negative as well, are attracted to certain biospheres. What is a biosphere Dude? You dummy.

    So, I tend to pick my “Lucky Spot”. If I meet some hottie floozy, with head sized melons, while I am sitting in the third seat from the left at the bar, that is where I sit when I go back again. If I don’t meet a hottie that night, I move my seat the next time I go. I rarely move my seat. The Weasel Boy, on the other hand, plays musical chairs. He is a frigging Jumping Jack. Mexican Jumping Beans!!

    So there are merits to both sides of the argument. But a triple homicide in my kitchen would bother me, I must admit. A suicide in the garage, not so much. And I am not saying I am right, it is just how I feel. Buying dirt, for reasons I don’t understand, can carry emotional reactions. I would ask Chris to explain, but he has never sold any dirt.

    Francis, how about you? Can you give a non commie, non-propaganda assessment of what you think about why people struggle with this? You loser.

    Your Pal,
    Walt

  20. Greenwich Gal

    I agree CF. We have all heard about this story by now. It is news and it is real estate. There is no point in shoving it under the proverbial rug just because it is unpleasant. There are some major discussion points, obviously.
    Nevertheless, Walt, I think every house has it’s pros and cons. We all compromise at some level – at least most of us, whether it is location, cabinets or bad juju. If you could get a 3 million dollar home for 750,000 because there was a notorious multiple murder scene therein – would you do it? I would have to seriously consider it.
    And if you really think about it – something creepy has happened about everywhere.

  21. Walt

    GG –
    Creepy stuff happens here everyday. It is called the Dudes “writing”. And yet we still come back.
    So I agree with you!!
    Dude – stay on the lookout for a multiple homicide dwelling. The bloodier the better!! I prefer back country, or something on the water.
    Your Pal,
    Walt

    • There are a lot of out of work investment bankers, Walt, and maybe one of them could be persuaded to take one for the Gipper – or his beloved widow and kids, in this case, and create the bargain you seek.

      Or they might be willing to hire out as a hit man – let me ask around.

  22. Greenwich Gal

    You guys never fail to crack me up!