Fish in a barrel

12 Baldwin Farms South

12 Baldwin Farms South

I know, I know, but Greenwich Time is really making it easy. Here’s their latest attempt to cover real estate news.

If your house is less than half the cost of others on your street, you shouldn’t have too much trouble selling it!

As a prime example, my “Sale of the Week” was also on Baldwin Farms at No. 12, selling for $5,125,000. A stone and shingle manor-style home of more than 9,000 square feet, this 2007 custom construction property was priced well and sold in 66 days at 97 percent of its $5,295,000 asking price. The pricing and marketing of this property was key to its very quick sale. Some unusual features of this home include a barreled ceiling in the kitchen, shown in the accompanying photo, with an open floor plan desired by today’s buyers for their lifestyles.

There are so many features of this home that evidence its high-quality construction and excellence in design. Just a peek at the luxury master bath (see photo), should convince you of that at a glance.

Add a pool and tennis court, if desired, on this parcel and you’ll increase the equity in this home pretty quickly into the $6 millions, especially as our market continues to improve.

Leaving aside the question of where, exactly, one might locate a pool and a tennis court on this property that’s fronted by swamp and backed up by a ledge cliff, overlooking the fact that this house was not “custom built” but was instead built on speculation, just like the developer’s other project next door, which was also lost to foreclosure, and ignoring the claim that this sale is just half that of other homes on the street (none have breached $6, in fact), my opinion of its merits differs substantially from that of GT’s expert. From last November 6, when I reported it under contract:

12 Baldwin Farms South, one of developer Jay Silver’s two failed projects here and currently asking $5.295 million, has finally found someone to make an acceptable offer.

Silver started off in 2007 asking $12.495 million, lost the place back to – who else? Patriot Bank in 2011, and left the scene, while Patriot tried, first, $7.499 (September ’11 Jim Campbell, broker; Jim’s on a losing streak) and various prices since then, culminating now with another broker and at what I’m sure they hope is near its final resting place. Perhaps the latest cut, from $5.700 to $5.295 will prove to be the trick, but I’d be astonished if the final sales price doesn’t begin with a four.

There wasn’t much to like about this house – certainly not at $12.5 or even $7.5 million, from its entrance via a stone causeway over the swamp that comprises its front yard, to the skimpy patch of yard in the rear (ignore the trick photography, it’s a handkerchief-sized back lawn), to the weird, sort-of-French-manor, formal  exterior, to the informal country kitchen look inside. I suspect a committee of architects deigned this place, with interference “input” from the developer. Whoever was responsible for the final result, they doomed it from ever achieving anything more than a fire-sale price.

So, is a price in the high-fours the right fire-sale? I suppose so – there’s a lot of house here, and it all seems to have been well made, exterior design notwithstanding. 2 1/2 acres, some of it useful, close to town, must be worth something, and I’m sure replacement cost for the house itself would be higher than this is selling for. Of course, if someone did replace this they could use a different architect, but hey – then you’d be paying more. There’s some very nice, livable space in here, so maybe you only arrive at night (leave the exterior lighting timer off).

8 Comments

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8 responses to “Fish in a barrel

  1. anon

    at what point does the GT get sued for misrepresentation of the truth, or in plain English, LYING? does no one push back at their articles?

  2. AJ

    But wait, there’s more: a barreled ceiling, an open floor plan, and much, much more; now how much would you expect to pay . . .

  3. Cobra

    Perhaps Obozo, the Prince of Prevaracation, is exploring a post-DC career as real estate journalist.

  4. Mike

    What is hysterical is the use of words like (cliff) and (swamp) . I normally agree but there are virtually no swamps or cliffs in a Greenwich, well as defined by the english language. A swamp is a wet area that is forested, and a cliff is more that a 20 ft high ledge. I See those terms thrown around several times and they simply just do not fit. If someone has a 1/2 acre of wetlands or an un manicured back lot etc its hardly a forest.

    • Your definitions seem to be personal to you, which is fine, but hardly controlling. Here’s a swamp definition, for instance, kicked up by Google:
      an area of low-lying, uncultivated ground where water collects; a bog or marsh.
      synonyms: marsh, bog, muskeg, quagmire, mire, morass, fen; More
      used to emphasize the degree to which a piece of ground is waterlogged.
      “the ceaseless deluge had turned the lawn into a swamp”

      No trees in there. Similarly, I can find no minimum height for cliffs.

  5. Mike

    lol I looked at wikipedia, but any how seems funny to refer to Greenwich real estate as swamps and cliffs.

    • I make it a point to refer to the wet stuff as “swamps”because Greenwich realtors insist on using the term “wetlands”, if they even mention the existence of soggy land at all. Just as I-95 in the backyard does not make a property “convenient to transportation”, a three-foot-deep bog is not a friggin’ “babbling brook” or, worse, a “trout stream”.
      Plus, of course, it drives listing agents crazy : )

  6. Mike

    agreed, but hey lets give them credit for the vision 🙂 I was in a house that the broker told me was renovated. She failed to mention it was renovated in 1975 🙂