Daily Archives: October 11, 2012

Maybe we can all do this on November 6th

 

Live, from Washington D.C.!

Florida man returns used enemas, demands refund. Something about this news story appearing while Joltin’ Joe is doing his babbling baboon act in front of the nation seems … apt.

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Prosecutor pleads no contest

Fare beater

Hmm, let’s see here: Egyptian taxi driver from NYC alleges drunken New Canaan / Morgan Stanley banker William Bryan Jennings stabs him with a pen knife after refusing to pay the fare, banker denies all. Who will our prosecutor believe? The banker – all charges dropped. Obviously the will of Allah, so who’s complaining? Only the hack, oh he of little faith.

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The listing broker must be a Democrat, because who else believes that saying something makes it so?

Relaxing at the homestead on 12 Cottontail Lane (representative photo supplied by GAR)

I mentioned 12 Cottontail Lane in a post below, describing it as “a teardown on one acre in the R-2 zone”. That elicited the following comment from an anonymous reader who I suspect is neither a neighbor or the seller’s mother but more likely, the listing agent:

12 Cottontail is a charming house on a lovely lot that is largely cleared, flat and beautifully landscaped. Whether it is a teardown, build up or stays as is is matter of conjecture.

Okay then, what does the agent herself say about this house in the listing information she supplied to the MLS? Built in 1949, no mention of renovations or improvements. And, “perfect for renovation or to build a new home”. So am I trashing it or is she?

The land is indeed very nice, although being half-sized is going to restrict what one can build here. And while I myself could live very comfortably in the existing house and feel lucky to do so, I’m single and in my dotage – modern young families with more demanding tastes and wants won’t feel the love here, I don’t think.

Whatever, the house is what it is; it seems silly to pretend it’s something it is not.

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One sale, several accepted offers

70 Midwood (Deer Park), $7.8 million on a purported asking price of $7.5. I don’t remember this property ever showing up on the MLS so the “bidding war” may be bunkum – never happened before in Greenwich real estate, but there’s always a first time. Sold for $7.5 million in 2004.

A good variety of houses in the accepted offer category, and here they are, in no particular order.

15 Horseshoe – not so lucky after all

15 Horseshoe Lane, asking $1.375 million. The late owner paid $1.285 for it in 2002 and put a lot of money into it. Asked various prices since 2010 starting at $1.795 but I guess he got tired of hanging around.

565 Indian Field Road, Mead Point, asked $4.450 last February, dropped to $3.995 and found a buyer. A beautiful house, very nicely maintained and updated, but too small for a family with young children, or my clients felt so anyway. Someone will enjoy this home.

62 Lockwood Lane, Riverside. What we used to call a “Murphy House”, in honor of the developer in the 60’s who filled our neighborhood with houses built with cardboard and snot. This one was improved, I presume. Asking $1.475.

7 Old Kings Highway, behind the Commons in Old Greenwich. Asked $865, pretty rough condition and in a less than desirable neighborhood but gone in just 8 days. I didn’t say it.

1 Highgate, down at the end of Indian Head Road in Riverside, asked $2.750, down from $3.895 many, many days ago. This was a bargain – the owner paid $3.225 for it in 2005 and put a lot – an awful lot- of money into it. Moral: don’t pay too much, and don’t over-improve, 1960’s houses – you won’t recover your money.

12 Cotton Tail, a one acre with teardown in the 2-acre zone, asked $999,000. Final selling price to be revealed later.

And from the GAR Old Wine in New Bottles department, 610 Lake Avenue, pretty much raw swamp, is “new” at $975,000. It was also a “new” listing when it showed up on the MLS last July at the same price, but I suppose our organization forgot. So it’s here now, “one day on market”, and all is forgiven and forgotten. Which reminds me: I have to take the mandatory Realtor’s Ethics course before December 31. Perhaps a GAR board member will instruct us, and won’t that be four hours well-spent?

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Conspiracy theory

Into the great abyss

Sometimes, one of them is right – just ask Mel Gibson. Last week there were suspicions raised (by Jack Welch, among others) that government bureaucrats were doctoring the numbers, now it turns out that “a substantial portion” of the supposed drop in unemployment applications can be attributed to “a large state” that simply didn’t bother to report at all. Fudrucker will claim, I’m sure, these are inadvertent errors by impartial civil servants who would never screw the numbers before an election even if their current president’s loss might result in their own unemployment. Others of us are less trusting.

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Three sales reported

212 Bedford Rd

Nothing much in the way of new contracts, but here are some houses that went to contract in August and closed yesterday:

212 Bedford Road, last asked $4.775 million, sold for $4.6. Original price, 889 days ago, was $6.495. See what happens when a price is adjusted to meet reality? This one had two offers within days of that final price cut and even my own client, a fine woman who is unlikely to ever stir from her existing home, wanted to see it. Hell, she might even have bought it, but too late.

203 Overlook, Milbrook, asked $2.449, sold for $2.090. Meh.

54 Glenville Road, asked $2.395, got $2,275 and $250.00. $250?! I don’t know which party was squabbling over getting the last word here, but he’s an asshole – do the deal.

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As we like to say in this business, “this one won’t last!”

And that’s usually said about listings that don’t sell, lending great amusement when the agent leaves the puffery up on its listing as the years roll on – almost as good as leaving up pictures of snow banked around a property that’s still available in September, 18 months later. But 505 Indian Field Road is 3.7 acres (2 acre zone) of direct waterfront in Mead’s Point and even at $8.750 million, I think it’s a great deal. There’s not much available in Mead’s, no waterfront, and certainly no other lot that’s nearly double the minimum size. There are a number of high-end buyers around who seem to lurk in the woodpile, darting out only when a truly unique property appears, and I think that will prove to be the case here.

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If you’re dumb enough to pay this, you’re too stupid to practice law

Law school tuition soars again, in face of collapse of job market for new graduates. There’s a (slight) argument to be made that a degree from one of the top ten schools* might be worth it, especially if you graduate in the top third of your class, but otherwise you’re far better off at McDonalds and searching for a real job, one that allows you to have a life, be a pleasant fellow and earn money.

* I’d say that New England, Vermont, Seton Hall and even Northwestern and Cardozo, all listed below, are nowhere near the top ten.

Don’t be a chump

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I know a soldier would have done the same thing, but ya gotta love the Marines

You don’t leave comrades on the field

PFC Mathew Morgan carries boy last mile of junior triathlon after child’s prosthetic leg breaks.

UPDATE: More details here, from Marine Times, although the photo itself shows what these guys, including the fallen runner, are all about.

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Connecticut foreclosures – plenty more where they came from

Merritt Parkway North Street Exit

Connecticut foreclosures remained steady in September after a busy July, but I think we’re still deep in the woods, and here’s why: Connecticut is one of the “judicial foreclosure” states, meaning each bad loan must work its ay through the court system before the borrower finally loses his house. Rulings holding banks responsible for their robo-signing and other abuses of the court system brought foreclosures almost to a halt until last spring, when the major banks settled their differences with the federal government and the states and began attacking their backlogs of bad loans.

The number of residential properties in Connecticut with foreclosure filings inched up modestly in September compared with a year earlier, but the increase wasn’t nearly as severe as the major monthly year-over-year spikes earlier in the summer, a new report being released Thursday says.

Connecticut properties with foreclosure filings totaled 1,299 in September, up from 1,278 a year earlier, a 1.6 percent increase, according to the report from RealtyTrac, which tracks and markets foreclosed properties nationally and state by state.

The increase in Connecticut in September stands in sharp contrast to July, when properties with filings soared to 1,544, more than double the 647 in July 2011.

But in Connecticut, especially down here in the Stamford/Norwalk area, troubled borrowers and those who could, but choose not to pay their loans can drag a foreclosure out nearly three years, and plenty of them are doing so. It’s my belief that the banks are still carrying lots of non-performing loans on their books and going after them piecemeal in an attempt to avoid flooding the market with distressed properties and sending the value of their soon-to-be bank-owned properties plummeting.

In Greenwich, there are far more lis pendens (a public notice that an action has commenced) than actual active law suits, but that doesn’t mean that the affected homeowners are making good on their loans: the chances of a loan being brought  current after six months of non-payment, which is what it seems to take down here in the land of expensive homes, is zero. That portends, I think, a steady flow of new bank owned properties continuing to enter the market, and that will indeed keep prices low: why pay $five million for a house when a comparable one can be purchased from Wells Fargo for $3?

That’s how I see it, anyway.

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Eh, it’s moot now – a jury found in favor of Newman and against his popcorn partner years ago

Okay, Joanne, relax. It’s over now.

Greenwich Time: man finds Paul Newman’s suit in his basement.

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