Daily Archives: September 6, 2013

So why are we even discussing the matter?

Obama admits it: Assad and his poison pen letters pose no immediate threat to the United States or its allies.

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Some sales, some new listings

Three sales, two new properties on the market.

Sales:

122 Riverside Avenue

122 Riverside Avenue

122 Riverside Avenue, $720,000. It’s a half-acre on the tracks, but $720’s a good price. I had a busted deal on this for more, so the seller did well, between that deposit and these sales proceeds.

59 Riverside Lane

59 Riverside Lane

59 Riverside Lane, $1.670 million. 2005 construction, this price is right in line with current selling prices here, these days.

18 Shore Acre

18 Shore Acre

18 Shore Acre, Old Greenwich, $2.070 million.

New:

70 Upper Cross Road, to be built, 10,000 sq. ft. on 10 acres, $12 million. Your call.

122 Round Hill Road

122 Round Hill Road

122 Round Hill Road looks fantastic, and if I had $16 million in my pocket, I’d buy it.   Maybe not at the full asking price, mind you, but this may not be so far off and compared to that Clapboard Ridge’s price tag of $25 million, it’s a positive steal. Besides having what appears to be an old beauty of a house (which could easily swallow several million in renovations), the parcel is 17 acres comprising five separate building lots. Myself, I’d keep the whole thing intact, fix the existing home and sit back and enjoy it for awhile, knowing that I had all those lots serving as a land bank. This much land so close to town is a rare, beautiful thing.

But I don’t have sixteen-million dollars.

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That brave AP reporter who dared challenge the White House line is outnumbered by his lickspittle peers

Widening the circle of responsibility: Bobby took 'em, not me!"

Widening the circle of responsibility: “It was Bobby what took ’em, not me!”

Just as a few of us were applauding Matt Lee for inquiring whether the entire administration had underdone a spine-removal procedure over the weekend, the rest of his pack were hitting a new low in hiding the news under euphemisms and just plain, unadulterated bullshit.

From Best of the Web:

Republicans also have reason to suspect that Obama’s decision to request congressional approval was an effort to put them on the spot–and his ludicrous denial yesterday that he “set a red line” or that his credibility is at stake reinforces that view.

The fierce watchdogs of the press, confronted with this brazen falsehood, show themselves once again to be Obama’s pet hamsters. Instead of giving a “pants on fire” rating, PolitiFact.com’s Jon Greenberg claims Obama was “reframing comments rather than denying them.” Greenberg can’t even say the statement is half true, so he withholds a rating altogether. Peter Baker of the New York Times has his own euphemisms, writing that Obama was “citing longstanding international norms” and “trying to break out of his isolation.” The funniest dodges come from Shawna Thomas of NBC News, who on Twitter calls Obama’s whopper “a definite change in tone” and an attempt “to unilaterally widen the circle of responsibility.”

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Thank heavens we avoided that!

They did warn us: Official White House portrait of our president and his butt boy

They did warn us: Official White House portrait of our president and his butt boy

Sept 2, 2012: Joe Biden warns, “Romney wants to take us into war with Syria!”

“He said it was a mistake to end the war in Iraq and bring all of our warriors home,” Biden said of Romney. “He said it was a mistake to set an end date for our warriors in Afghanistan and bring them home. He implies by the speech that he’s ready to go to war in Syria and Iran.”

Interesting to remember what else that ridiculous candidate “Mittens” said.

Well, there’s this:

During the campaign, Romney frequently criticized Obama for foolishly attempting to make common cause with the Kremlin, and repeatedly referred to Russia as “our number one geopolitical foe.”

Many observers found this fixation strange, and Democrats tried to turn it into a punchline. A New York Times editorial in March of last year said Romney’s assertions regarding Russia represented either “a shocking lack of knowledge about international affairs or just craven politics.” And in an October debate, Obama sarcastically mocked his opponent’s Russia rhetoric. “The 1980s are now calling to ask for their foreign policy back because the Cold War’s been over for 20 years,” the president quipped at the time.

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Can’t keep a bad idea down – GHS Band still heading to Cuba

Not in Greenwich, he isn't

Not in Greenwich, he isn’t

“Look,” GHS music teacher John Yoon told FWIW in defense of this junket, “Ernest Hemingway sipped daiquiris while watching Che’s firing squads work their magic, and you can’t get more culturific than Hemingway, right? Sure, most of the kids we’re taking are too young to drink daiquiris, at least legally, at least if you want to get technical about it, but we’re hoping the Ministry of Education will take them to one of the prisons and let them see a couple of beatings or even if we’re lucky, a real firing squad in action. Did you know they call me Papa Jr. at the high school? Such an honor.”

Dear Band Parents

Please be advised that the new date for our GHS Band parent meeting is now MONDAY SEPTEMBER 16. The location remains the GHS Band Room.  We ask that you please make every effort to have at least one parent attend the meeting as important information about the Cuba trip will be discussed.  We apologize for the change but it is out of our control (and scheduling with open school nights at the middle and elementary schools proved difficult). And as always, we will provide a summary after the meeting via email.
In addition, we would like to remind you that the Cuba commitment forms which were sent to you over the summer are due September 13.  We ask that you please return those forms to Mr. Yoon and Mr. Walker at your earliest convenience.

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The exception that proves the rule

66 Glenwood

66 Glenwood

66 Glenwood Road, Belle Haven, was listed by its agent Chris Finlay for $6.750 million yet despite that preposterous price, he still managed to get it sold in under four months, for $5.1 million. Usually, too high a price simply kills a listing, so hats off to Finlay for avoiding that fate. It might be interesting to consider whether a better price could have been achieved had it been priced right to begin with, but that’s just pure speculation.

Gentlemen, start your dozers!

Gentlemen, start your dozers!

On the other hand, that same Mr. Finlay has probably hit the end of the nail upon its head with his new Belle Haven listing, 211 Otter Rock, at $5.4 million. This ramshackle old house (listing says “as is”), sold for $5 million at the height of the market in 2008, and it’s probably worth almost close to that today, so adjusting for the necessary sacrificial anode of that $400,000, the price seems right.

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One’s a mystery, one’s approaching a bargain price

37 Fairway

37 Fairway

The mystery house, at least to me, is 37 Fairway Lane, a 1958 bungalow seemingly untouched since it was built. Fairway is nifty little street with some beautiful houses on it; this is not one of them. It sits on an acre, all of it ledge, has no usable yard space at all and the house, while livable, would not be acceptable to most of us. It was priced at $1.195 and as I left it on its open house day I thought that I had finally seen a Greenwich property that had no value, either as land or as shelter.

I was completely wrong: it sold, and within three months, for $1.065. Go figure.

394 Stanwich Rd

394 Stanwich Rd

395 Stanwich Road is the house that, I think, is looking like more and more of a bargain, especially with today’s price cut to $3.950 million. That’s not chump change, but the owners paid $3.7 million for it in 2000 and it still remains at least what it was then: a beautiful 1944 home, on 2.3 acres of great yard, with pond. If, with some negotiation, you can buy a good property in 2013 for a 2000 price, you’d be doing well.

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Clapboard Ridge

Two_Apples_watercolor_painting_LLeslie McElwreath’s new listing at 218 Clapboard Ridge, $25 million, is profiled in today’s Greenwich Time.  Here’s what Leslie has to say about the street, and the house at 218:

“There’s been a lot of activity on this street, starting from here and going all the way over…”

On July 3, a home at 75 Clapboard Ridge Road went for a little more than $9 million. Twelve days later, 89 Clapboard Ridge Road fetched $3.45 million, followed by 124 Clapboard Ridge Road’s $3.65 million sale on July 17.

At Linden Court, the current owners “took it down to the studs and expanded it” when they purchased the house in the early 2000s. With a modern exercise room, theater, eight fireplaces and eight bathrooms along with three powder rooms, it balances old world charm with modern conveniences.

“It’s really a trophy property,” she said. And while a price tag of $25 million will certainly narrow the perspective buyer pool, she said she’s not concerned about the possibility that it will sit on the market long.

“There are pockets of people looking for something special,” she said. “And this, this is something special.”

Leslie’s a top agent – truly one of the best- and if she’s optimistic about this home’s prospects at $25 million, who am I to gainsay her?

Bust heck, what’s this blog about except to do exactly that?

To date, the top selling price on Clapboard Ridge is $10.6 million, and while there have been 6-8 sales in the $10s ,$10 million is not $25; not even using math as taught today.  Of all those top-end property sales,  the one I see as most comparable to 218 is 97, which sold in 2008 for $10,350,000. Here’s why – take a look at the two listings, both on the same road, same neighborhood (218’s listing describes it a located in Khakum Woods, but it’s entered via Clapboard, not the association’s main drive, which places it “of the wood, but not in  the wood”, as I see it).

218 Clapboard Ridge: 1929 construction, renovated “from studs out” in 2004. 5.11 acres, 13,080 sq.ft. asks $25 million.

97 Clapboard Ridge: 1925 construction, renovated by Hobbes, a premier builder, in  2006, 5.34 acres, 12,200 sq. ft., sold in 2008 for $10.350 million. 

I understand the art of fruit comparison, and appreciate the difference between an orange and an apple, but these two look like peas in a pod or, if you insist, two apples. A Jonathan and a Northern Spy, perhaps, but they didn’t fall far from the same tree.

Of course, that’s just my opinion, and like Leslie, I’m “not concerned about the possibility that it will sit on the market long”. But the cause of my indifference is different from hers: it’s not my listing, so why should I care?.

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