Daily Archives: June 10, 2013

Forget the IRS assault on liberty, here’s real news: Tim Tebow’s going to Boston

So say the reports. I always liked the guy and rooted for his success but whatever his skill level as a football player, he handled the circus the Jets created around him with complete class. Glad he’s going to a team with the talent and skills and coaching so woefully absent in the Jets’ management.

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What was I just saying about one man’s meat? (No, Walt, this isn’t a question for you)

26 Buxton Lane

26 Buxton Lane

26 Buxton Lane, Riverside, $1.065 is already under contract just days after being listed. It’s a neat cottage, and the price is affordable, but I personally couldn’t live under the Thruway. However, I just emailed a client this morning concerning another property, advising him to drive there and listen to the Merritt noise for himself because everyone’s tolerance for noise is different; what I might find acceptable, someone else might not, and vice versa. Clearly, someone in this instance finds the sound of truck wheels echoing off the Mianus Bridge to be as soothing as the murmur of a babbling brook.

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More real estate news

Two sales, one accepted offer

41 Meadowbank

41 Meadowbank

41 Meadowbank Road, Old Greenwich, sold for $8.1 million on an asking price of $10.5. The seller paid $7.025 for this in a 2006 bidding war, then poured in much, much more renovating it before he moved in, looked out his window and discovered he was just 15′ from the Rocky Point Club’s swimming pool. A couple of years of making a pest of himself ensued before he apparently gave up hope of making the club move away, so he threw in his beach towel and put this back up for sale. I’m okay with the place as is but I wouldn’t be surprised if, in view of its design and more important, the new FEMA rules, the new owner plans to scrape it.

I wonder if he made his purchase decision before Rocky Point opened for the decision?

24 Horseshoe

24 Horseshoe

24 Horseshoe, Cos Cob, also sold in a bidding war albeit a modest one: $1.2 million paid, $1.195 asked. The sale illustrates that in real estate, just because you don’t like a particular house doesn’t mean no one else will. I know of a number of people, including some clients of mine, who visited it during a public open house, who were completely turned off by its layout, design and the above-ground pool wrapped in a wooden deck (I guess they didn’t know that our zoning regs require all pools in Cos Cob to be above-grounders) , yet at least two buyers liked it enough to engage in a bidding war. Opinions are unique to their holder.

328 Lake Ave

328 Lake Ave

And 328 Lake Avenue, $3.195 million, has an accepted offer. It couldn’t fetch $3.495 last year so the owners rented it out, then returned it this year at a lower price and off they go.

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Just a reminder for Greenwich property owners

I received an email a week or so from a reader inquiring about relocating to Greenwich. I responded and, before we even looked at actual houses, he did some research on line an sent me the following:

Chris, thanks for getting back to me. We decided on Darien as a focus for our search. Picked CT over NY because of taxes and Darien over Greenwich due to schools.

You don’t have to be a parent of a school-age child to recognize that a potential buyer for your home just went elsewhere. I don’t imagine he was deterred because of our lack of a $50 million school auditorium, either.

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Weekend’s over, let’s get back to real estate

One sale, one price cut, both from the early 1900s.

64 Hillcrest Park

64 Hillcrest Park

64 Hillcrest Park (1901), went to contract last February but closed on Friday, $2.965 million. It started at $3.495, dropped down to $3.195. I love these original houses in Hillcrest and I’m pleased that there’s a still a market for them. Most definitely not in today’s style, which is wonderful.

15 Upper Cross Rd

15 Upper Cross Rd

Old houses in the back country aren’t faring so well, if 15 Upper Cross Road is an example.It’s been on the market for 637 days now without success and has now taken another price cut, to $9.1 million; it started at $11.995.According to the listing, the house was built in 1906 and last saw a house doctor in 1977, so this is a project waiting to happen. I’m not aware of any particular demand for multi-million-dollar projects in the far norther borders of Greenwich, especially if the beginning point is $9 million. It might happen, I suppose, but the land value for less than six acres of land isn’t huge and I’m not sure there will be a buyer willing to pay more than whatever the land is worth.

But I’m a pessimist when it comes to houses from this era. Someone may yet appear to surprise me.

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Disappointing news for supporters of Connecticut’s new gun laws

Until Connecticut surpassed it this past January, California had the strictest gun laws in the nation, yet the Santa Monica shootings showed that none of that mattered, or deterred the madman.

Clayton Cramer;

According to news accounts, the killer used an “assault-style weapon.”  Unsurprisingly, the 24-year-old killer had a history of mental illness, a run-in with the police, and had been hospitalized at some point in the last few years(although it remains unclear if this was voluntary or involuntary).  As regular readers of my columns know, this is the heart of the mass murder problem, not just in America, but in Europe and Canada as well.

But how could this happen? California has had an assault weapons ban since 1989, progressively tightened over a decade.  This law has been on the books, and enforced, since the killer was born.  The only lawful way for a Californian to possess a high-capacity magazine is if he owned it before 2000 – when the killer was eleven years old. California passed a firearms-transfer background check requirement that took effect on January 1, 1991, which checks not only for felony and violent misdemeanor convictions and pending charges, but also for involuntary mental hospital commitments.  Even if you are only held for 72 hour observation and then determined to be not crazy enough for longer term treatment, you are ineligible to possess a firearm for five years.  The shooter was 24– unless he was hospitalized between 18 and 19, he could not have legally purchased any firearm.  You can’t drive across the border into Arizona or Nevada to legally buy a gun; federal law prohibits such transfers unless your state of residence allows such transfers — and California does not.

….  Perhaps most importantly, if someone is mentally ill and intends to murder people (a capital crime), what sort of penalty is going to actually deter such a person from breaking gun-control laws?

Gun-control advocates, at least the more rational ones, will usually admit that these laws only work at the margins, by making guns harder for criminals and the mentally ill to get.  I can buy that argument; all laws work only at the margins, and that is all that they have to do to justify their existence.  I can also agree that when there is a large stockpile of illegal goods in circulation, it can take a while before laws aimed at those goods will remove them from the illegal marketplace.  Still, when I see that laws that are decades old failed to disarm a 24 year old who could not possibly have legally acquired this weapon, I find myself wondering in what century California’s gun-control laws are going to be effective.

So we are again left with the question: how did the killer get this gun?  It would seem as though he broke a stack of laws, without much of a struggle.  It almost makes you wonder if California is barking up the wrong tree.  They pass all these laws, starting with attempts to deal with a mass murder involving a mentally ill person in 1989, and they do not work.  Short of house-to-house searches for guns, how are they going to be successful at enforcing these laws?  Perhaps most importantly, if someone is mentally ill and intends to murder people (a capital crime), what sort of penalty is going to actually deter such a person from breaking gun-control laws?

We have a serious problem in this country with psychosis.  This is not new; what is new is that we no longer make a serious effort to protect not only the society, but those suffering from these severe mental illnesses, by providing the treatment that they desperately need.  Rather than confront this problem, the mainstream media keep screeching about gun control – ignoring not only that gun-control laws can’t do anything about the innumerable tragedies that do not involve guns, but very restrictive gun-control laws, such as California’s, do not seem to work.
We deinstitutionalized the mentally ill and under the guise of protecting their civil rights (while in effect simply saving tax payers’ money) we’ve made it impossible to recommit them or even treat them without their consent. We’re paying for those decisions, every day; depriving law abiding, sane citizens of their constitutional rights will accomplish nothing. Nor, to take a ridiculous example from Connecticut’s new law, will banning the sale of .22 ammunition to target shooters, though I’m sure squirrels everywhere will give a sigh of relief.

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Heh heh heh

And the pictures keep coming

Yes we scan!

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