Daily Archives: May 23, 2013

Remember when Obama promised to restore our standing in the world? That’ll happen in his third term.

At least we aren't Amerikaners

At least we aren’t Amerikaners!

Germany voted most popular country in the world.


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A little real estate action

Here are two sales, one accepted offer.

336 Stanwich

336 Stanwich

336 Stanwich Road sold for $2,008,000. To my taste, this was a dreadful amalgamation of an antique house with a completely dysfunctional addition (dysfunctional in that you have to leave the old structure to get to the new – a glorified finished garage attic, in effect). The listing once claimed that the house had been renovated but in fact … that was generous. Sellers paid $2.738 million for this in May, 2006. That was a mistake.

76 Riverside Lane

76 Riverside Lane

76 Riverside Lane sold for $2.125, had asked $2.195. I suppose.

5 Jofran (as painted by

5 Jofran 

5 Jofran has an accepted offer after just 20 days, asking $2.875.  I like this location and this house, and its quick sale should offer encouragement to other mid-country owners who may have despaired at the weak market for homes there this spring.


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And the war on us continues


I got you your license, you give me your votes - all of them!

I got you your license, you give me your votes – all of them!

Connecticut Democrats ram through bill granting drivers licenses to illegal aliens. This dovetails nicely with their push to give voting rights to anyone who shows up at the polls.


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(Future) House of the Day?

(not really)

(not really)

Well, maybe. I stopped by 29 Byfield’s open house today – I’d skipped its first one when it was returned to the market last February at $4.3 million because I was sure it would stick around for a while. Having viewed it for the first time since 2008, I don’t think its new, improved price of $3.7 is going to do the trick either.

This is yet another toppled piece of the General Tsoi Fiasco Building Empire, which was a long march to poverty for this spec developer. Tsoi built four? – five? houses, all on marginal lots on marginal streets and all priced at screamingly hilarious prices: this one, for instance, was listed at $9.495 million in 2008 – all finished in simply horrible taste. I suspect that the man hit Port Newark after midnight and got a great deal on rejected granite that was headed for mid-ocean dumping grounds, for instance. How else to explain the acres of horrible pink and black stone that ruins every bathroom in every house he built? Or the yellowish granite that defaces all his kitchens? And he must have highjacked a tanker car of taupe paint while he was in Jersey, because that too can be found in all his projects, smeared on every wall, and causing sane men to wonder  how he thought that (sick) baby-poo-brown would prove a color of universal appeal.

Tsoi liked narrow corridors, and entryways that force people to turn sideways to get through, and he probably trademarked the design feature that permits you to open the powder room or the basement door, but not both. He does seem to have learned from his mistake on his Montgomery Lane spec house (rumored to have finally gone to contract for $2.7ish, but the debt holder isn’t saying); Montgomery had a single, small closet in the master bedroom and required the user to walk through that closet to get to the equally horrid master bathroom (yes, pink and black and yellow puke granite is here). He wildly overcompensated for that error by giving 29 Byfield two huge closets, his and hers, a master bathroom that holds a shower big enough to accommodate 12 of your closest friends, an olympic-sized bathtub, a bidet co-joined with a toilet, and yards of empty space between all those fixtures, suitable for grazing sheep or entertaining Prince Harry and his polo ponies, I suppose. Between the master bedroom and that second closet is another huge room of uncertain purpose, unless it is to serve as a bunk room for those 12 friends from the shower.

And so on. But in fact, there is value here. The house itself seems to have been built to acceptable standards and back lot or not, this could be a decent place to live. If I were bidding, I’d bring in experts to evaluate the damage caused by five years of this sitting empty while Tsoi unsuccessfully fought off foreclosure, a tile man to give an estimate on removing and replacing every scrap of stone Tsoi laid down, and a painter to figure the cost of covering that taupe disaster. Tote up all that, deduct the total from, say, $3 million, and Bob’s your uncle: you have a price.

Emigrant Savings won’t accept that number, of course, or it won’t now – it’s still in the denial stage of grief over its improvident loan to General Tsoi, but after denial comes, eventually, acceptance. I’d let them mourn for a few more months and then make my move.


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House of the day

335 Valley Rd - forget this artist's rendering, go see the real thing

335 Valley Rd – forget this artist’s rendering, go see the real thing

Easily 335 Valley Road, $2.375 million, and that’s not just my opinion; almost every agent who saw it while I was there raved about it. Fantastic quality finishes, from kitchen cabinets to bathroom fixtures, and a very nice, usable back yard, which was a pleasant surprise given this location on the Mianus. Listing agent Roseann Benedict provided a home made lunch, which was really smart, because it gave free loaders like me an opportunity to sit on the deck overlooking that river and appreciate how tranquil and private this house is.

I had hoped that this price would prove too aggressive because I have a couple of clients who would love this house but can’t stretch this far. Sadly for them, after seeing the house in person I think it’s very fairly priced and I’d be surprised if it isn’t snatched up quickly.


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Boys and toys, or Babes in Toyland

I saw this behemoth headed down Riverside Avenue this morning (why? I don’t know), but didn’t have an opportunity to take a picture. Mike Finkbeiner was able to supply one, though. Keep in mind that this big boy is not the new fire boat Greenwich is buyingor at least, I don’t think so. We now have two new spiffy crook busters; can armored tanks be far behind?

Of course, it runs faster on water

Of course, it runs faster on water


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He’s back, and the Democrats have him

Howard Dean: “Benghazi is a laughable joke.”  Well Fudrucker and Dollar Bill are chortling, but not too many others.


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A tweet for AJ

“Almost 100% of the bad news coming out of Washington was once a conspiracy theory.”



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