Daily Archives: September 30, 2013

Activity report for the day

Here’s a bunch.

226 Valley Rd

226 Valley Rd

226 Valley Road, Cos Cob, sold for $975,000. Cute house, but the owners paid $965 for it in 2008 and, if I read the listing correctly, added on and renovated it, in which case they didn’t make as much on the project as they may have hoped.

8 Bailiwick

8 Bailiwick

8 Baliliwick Woods Circle has a contract after just 14 days on market at $1.395. It last sold in 2002, for $1.115.

70 Gregory, another contract, $985,000, 26 days.

7 Edgewood (over behind the Mercedes dealer), $1.050 million.

12 Circle Drive Extension, land, $695,000, 21 days.

14 Stag Lane

14 Stag Lane

14 Stag Lane reported an accepted offer last July but now has an executed contract. It was asking $1.195, which sounds okay, considering that the owners paid $1.225 in 2003, but Stag’s always a tough sale so they probably are taking less than that ask. Not a bad house at all, by the way.

18 Roosevelt

18 Roosevelt

18 Roosevelt, Old Greenwich, has an offer after 14 days, $1.765. New, it sold for $975,000 in 1999, so some things do appreciate, in the right section of town.

 

475 Round Hill

475 Round Hill

475 Round Hill Road announces a price cut from $9.750 million to $9.500. The house has been on the market since May and this is its first price adjustment, so if you really wanted to buy it but were holding off because of its price, here’s your chance.

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All that’s old is new again

70 Sherwood Ave

70 Sherwood Ave

70 Sherwood Avenue, way out west, is up for sale at $4.975 million after being purchased in 2010 for $3.375. The house is a 1986 house that was totally, completely redone back in 2007 by a spec builder and put up for sale that year for $5.775.  As noted, it sold three years later for $3.375.

The seller justifies this $1.6 million price jump by citing the renovations that have been done since it was purchased, but the house was essentially brand new back then and in need of no “renovations” – I don’t get it. I’m further confused because, looking at the 2007 listing and today’s, I don’t see much difference in their descriptions, even though they were written by different brokers. Perhaps Joe Biden wrote the second one.

Here’s what the 2007 broker said about the house:

FRENCH STYLE COUNTRY 2 ACRE ESTATE HAS BEEN EXQUISITELY RENOVATED TO REFLECT THE BEST OF THE OLD & NEW WORLD. GRAND INTERIOR OF THE FINEST WORKMANSHIP. JULIET BALCONIES OVERLOOK THE BREATHTAKING 20 FT FOYER. 5 BEDROOMS, FORMAL LIVING & DINING RM. LIBRARY, KITCHEN W/BRKFT RM, FAMILY RM, ELEVATOR, MEDIA & FITNESS RMS. 3 CAR GARAGE & MORE. BEAUTIFUL TERRACES OVERLOOKING PICTURESQUE POND & NEW LANDSCAPING, UNDERSTATED ELEGANCE & EXQUISITE WORKMANSHIP THROUGHOUT.

That certainly sounded nice – so nice, in fact, that the new broker, three years on, seems to have kept everything, including that “understated elegance”. Looks to me that the pool, the gate and the generator are new; not sure they’re worth $1.6 extra, but then, I haven’t seen the gate.

FRENCH STYLE COUNTRY 2 ACRE ESTATE HAS BEEN EXQUISITELY RENOVATED TO REFLECT THE BEST OF THE OLD & NEW WORLD. GRAND INTERIOR OF THE FINEST WORKMANSHIP. JULIET BALCONIES OVERLOOK THE BREATHTAKING 20 FT FOYER. 5 BEDROOMS, FORMAL LIVING & DINING RM, LIBRARY, KITCHEN W/BRKFT RM, FAMILY RM, ELEVATOR, MEDIA & FITNESS RMS. 3 CAR GARAGE & MORE. BEAUTIFUL TERRACES OVERLOOKING PICTURESQUE POND & NEW LANDSCAPING. UNDERSTATED ELEGANCE & EXQUISITE WORKMANSHIP THROUGHOUT. NEW INFINITY POOL. NEW GENERATOR AND ELECTRIC GATE.

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Filed under Back Country, Buying/Selling Greenwich Real Estate, Real estate agents

Two properties return to the market

And both are at least “interesting”.

43 Richmond Hill Rd

43 Richmond Hill Rd

43 Richmond Hill Road is back, now at $3.950 million. It sold new in 2006 for $4.9 million, came back on at $5.495 in 2010, and has been kicking around ever since at successively lower prices. I’m not sure that this is, finally, the right price: as I recall, the land’s a little iffy (not bad, just not spectacular) and, to my taste, the barn silo-thing going on at one end of the structure is sort of silly, but the inside is very nice and the price trend is making it look better all the time.

(Representative)

(Representative)

And 552 River Road (the River Road east of the Mianus, not the one along the harbor in Cos Cob) comes back to us at the same price it wouldn’t sell for before, $1.2 million. This property’s at the southern end of River, a neighborhood of rather rough-looking multi-families and modest single family residences, but it’s zoned to permit at least three, maybe four units, and its acre appears to back up to the river. I’m not suggesting you put up a $3 million home here, but there ought to be a way to make some money on a couple of rental houses, or something. It’s an estate sale, and those are usually tough, because there’s always one heir who lives out of state and is convinced that anything in “Greenwich” must be worth millions. But might be worth taking a run at.

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If Bloomberg says it, it must be true

Wall Street money revives Greenwich real estate as prices drop.

Most of it jibes with what I’m experiencing. Just beware of clowns like Raul Vilas who’s touting his John Street farm auction for property “once valued at $36 million”. I’m sure even the original listing broker didn’t value the place at anywhere near that sum, so don’t be suckered into seeing a bargain where there’s been a huge price cut. Hell, by that reasoning, Greenways, now at $140 million, is an outright steal after its $50 million price cut from $190. It is not: watch for the next $100 million cut, and then you (might) have a deal.

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Al Gore lives his beliefs

Don't your DARE do this to me!

Don’t your DARE do this to me!

You’d think that as the world’s expert on global warming the man would cheer on those who want to shut down the world’s economy and stop further production of CO2, so it is at first blush confusing that he’s so angry about it instead. Here he is just a few days ago:

“Why does partisanship have anything to do with such a despicable and dishonorable threat to the integrity of the United States of America?  It cannot be allowed. But it can only be stopped if people in both parties independents as well say, ‘look, I might not agree with everything that’s in the Affordable Care Act, but it did pass, it was upheld by the Supreme Court, it is the law of the land. You didn’t succeed in the constitutional process by which this was considered, and now you want to threaten to not only shut down our government, but blow up the world economy?….How dare you! How dare you!”

But no, his anger is really just proof that he truly believes what he’s been saying since 2006, when he promised that the world would cross an irreversible barrier in 2016 if we didn’t stop our wicked ways. Irreversible means it can’t be undone, and now, eight years on from his science is settled pronouncement, it’s obvious that nothing has been done or can be done in the next 24 months to avoid terminal catastrophe. It’s over, baby.

So no wonder the guy’s pissed: he wants to spend the declining days of the earth in the luxury to which he’s become accustomed to since discovering the profitability of Cassandraism, and anything that threatens his 110′ houseboats, his private jets and his 15,000 sq.ft. mansions on both coasts is really, really inconvenient. Shut down the world’s economy just as he’s clawed, kicked and bitten his way to the top? As he says, “how dare you!”

The man’s put his mouth where his money is, and you have to admire a politician like that.

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Pessimists are usually right

The WSJ’s Daniel Henninger recently wrote an opinion piece urging opponents to simply let ObamaKare collapse under its own weight of failure, but I think this reader from Austin has it right: entitlement programs don’t go away, they just continue to grow. In fact, I’ll go the WSJ reader one better: nothing in the government goes away, ever, no matter how badly it fails. Progressives believe in the perfectability of man and society (see Marx, e.g.), so when a program doesn’t work, they don’t look at the inherent cause and inevitability of that failure, they just tinker with it, pass more regulations and allocate it more money to “get it right, this time”. Witness, just off the top of the head, the EPA, OSHA, Headstart, and the departments of Energy, Education and Homeland Security.

I would like to share Daniel Henninger’s confidence that ObamaCare is a doomed entitlement that will collapse under its own weight (“Let ObamaCare Collapse,”Wonder Land, Sept. 26), but historical precedents for an orderly dismantling of welfare-state benefit programs are very hard to find. Mr. Henninger’s forecast of ObamaCare’s demise hinges on public abandonment of the entitlement as its catastrophic effects unfold. Public disgust is destined to rise, according to Mr. Henninger, because the technological core of a centrally managed health system will be overloaded by a mind-boggling array of parties involved (i.e., federal agencies, state and local governments, employers, insurers, health-care providers and patients).

Many of us might agree that ObamaCare’s overreach will force change but question whether dysfunction was baked into a plan to blame greedy insurers and push for a single-payer solution or if the number of voters who have ObamaCare buyer’s remorse will exceed the number who are partially or fully dependent on government benefits.

Many U.S. companies have been rushing to drop bare-bones health plans and to steer employees, particularly part-timers, into insurance exchanges. An employer stampede out of health-care administration means that far more Americans will be dependent on government-sponsored plans in the next year or two. Once dependence and entitlement settle into a nation’s psyche, abandonment of social progress is unheard of, absent impending financial collapse.

As a general rule, progressive steps forward into entitlement minefields are usually followed by stubborn and expensive stomps to the finish line, not by retreats or surrender.

John Gardner

Austin, Texas

 

 

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