It was bound to happen, eventually

286 Round Hill Road

286 Round Hill Road

1,578 days after it was first placed for sale at $5.375 million, after three brokers and numerous price cuts, 286 Round Hill Road, now asking $2.950 million, reports a contingent contract.  It’s a 5,000 sq.ft. 1900 carriage house on 3.4 acres, with modest Merritt exposure and great lawns and gardens. I’ve admired this house over the years, but it was never worth $5 million, and pricing it there really hurt its chances. If the final sales price is $2.5, someone will be getting this beautiful house for its land value alone.  Nice deal, for the buyer.

32 Comments

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32 responses to “It was bound to happen, eventually

  1. AJ

    WTF has happened: now you can live on prestigious Round Hill Road for less than half the price of what it costs to buy on Raised Ranch Lane in Riverside?

    • Some of that’s due to the decline in the number of people who want to live out there, but in this house’s case, I think it took an extra whammy by pricing it so ridiculously to begin with. Had it come on at, say, $3.5 million in 2009, it would have sold quickly. Instead, the stigma of no one wanting it set in, and the owner ended up losing probably close to a million dollars and stayed in a house that he wanted to leave five years ago. Dumb.

    • Anon

      Maybe if the Round Hill Club was more diverse in its membership policy neighboring real estate prices would be more competitive with other parts of town.

  2. Anonymous

    “with modest Merritt exposure” is a bit of an understatement. It backs up on the Merritt. Great price… if you’re deaf.

    • I’m going on memory here, and I haven’t seen it in a few years, but as I recall there was quite a buffer between the house and the Merritt and the noise wasn’t bad. Then again, maybe I am deaf.

    • AJ

      At least you don’t have to listen to the hum of tractor trailer tires like you do if you live pretty much anywhere in Riverside or OG.

  3. I know the property well.
    the noise factor alone especially between 6pm and midnight from the merit brings it closer to $2.1 with an agreement to plant even more hemlocks under the deciduous trees for when they defoliate in November, to dampen the semi distant swoosh, forget the concussion noise from road heaves in winter like this past one lol, better have a variance to have a 12 foot wall built too,
    I wouldn’t pay 1.7 unless I could find some city dweller used to that noise for 2,2

  4. Anonymous

    Really nice house and noise not that bad BUT the original price was a joke and you are right Chris, had the house been properly priced in the first place, the owners most probably would have had a strong 3 in the final sales price.

  5. Cos Cobber

    What has happened AJ? Obsolescence via lust for new. You see, in order to get a new 4000 to 5500 sq foot home of new construction in back country you have to fork over a bigger wad for the min lot size. Once you add that additional cost, those lusting for new construction are opting for the smaller lot with more house rather than the larger lot with same house, but higher cost (because of the land) or the larger lot with outdated house. Two other issues; a back country home puts more pressure to secure a private school slot because public school has become unfashionable, particularly in back country and ii) back country new construction tends to be of the 7 to 10k sq ft variety which certainly has a smaller market..

  6. AJ

    What will happen when the music stops playing; will there be a seat for everyone?

    ‘The Generational Short: Banks, Wall Street, Housing and Luxury Retail Are Doomed’

    “If Gen-Y cannot afford to buy Boomers’ houses at bubble-level prices, then what will keep housing prices at these elevated levels?
    Mish recently posted excerpts of a Brookings Institution study on changing generational values: How Millennials Could Upend Wall Street and Corporate America. The gist of the report is that Gen-Y (Millennials) view money, prestige, adversarial confrontation and managerial methods differently from the Baby Boom and Gen-X generations, and that this set of values will change Corporate America, the economy and the culture as Boomers exit managerial positions and their peak earning/spending years. . . .”

    http://www.oftwominds.com/blogjune14/generational-short6-14.html

    • Jonathan

      I go back and forth on Gen Y. My observations;

      They don’t work hard. They are out of the office by 5:15. Yet they want to get ahead and switch jobs frequently to do so. It’s not clear they do this for any other reason other than a better title and more money. They measure their careers frequently against their peers (linkedin and facebook are great for that). That’s one reason why I suspect they like being entrepreneurs because they can call themselves “Founder” or “President”. They talk openly with each other about how much each makes. Studies show they are by far the worst managers in over 75 years, even when benchmarked against previous generations at the same age.

      They’re noncommittal to their jobs and other relationships. They have many, many “friends.” They group date a lot. This is because they have a relationship with the group and not deeper, one on one relationships with individuals. As a result they use Tindr to hookup. A lot.

      My guess for real estate for this generation is that they will rent more than buy so that the can be job/relationship flexible. If they do buy, it will be on smaller, less expensive homes close to amenities (dining, transit, their job, etc) that save them time and energy (that’s fossil fuel energy, not so much physical energy). I honestly do not see them buying many $5M+ 7,000+ SQFT homes on 4+ acres in the back country of Greenwich. Smaller, less expensive homes in town, yes. If they buy at all.

      • Riverside Chick

        They also want real estate move in ready. They have a problem even with changing paint color much less redo a kitchen or bath. Annoying generation!

      • Anonymous

        Jonathan I’m a Gen Y and have literally worked my ass off for the roughly 20 years since graduating college, maybe a half dozen vacations during that time (including honeymoon), and countless countless countless 100 hour weeks. I think your analysis of my generation is pretty f’d up. It’s the older boomer generation that set the stage for ridiculous entitlement spending and culture. That generation is running the ship currently, not mine. The buck stops–or is spent–with boomers. Full stop.

        That said, your observation about Gen x/y not stepping (willingly or unwillingly) back into buying the homes of our parents and grandparents, well that’s spot on. If I was a 60-70 year old with a nice chunk of equity in my home, I’d sell that thing now. As in tomorrow morning. Get what you can. Reason: because my generation sure as shit ain’t gonna buy your overpriced blue carpeted mausoleum that has “deferred maintenance” written all over it, no matter what the location.

        I told a pal of mine in that exact boat (nice house, ton of equity, in late 60’s) to sell, and he’s happy as a clam he did. Got a great offer, timely closing, and the new buyer gets to enjoy the headache.

        • Toonces

          Nice to hear from you Anonymous, you sound like a fantastic, responsible person. I think painting all Genx/y ers with one broad brush is pretty dumb. I blame any voter who votes into office these politicos who keep spending and spending and kicking the can down the road. The ones handing out incentives not to work, rather than helping those who truly cannot work/help themselves. The ones making the climate inhospitable for businesses. The ones with no clue about economics. I can go on and on. The bill will eventually come due for future generations.

        • bunnytee

          Nice,T, nice,

          You’ve just rendered up a splendid definition of the animal kingdom Genus: Inops, Familae: Sinister. Scientifically dubbed: Laeviculus Sinster Democratii.
          In laywoman’s terms: clueless Left Democrat.
          Kicking the can down the road is what they do. See: mortgage bubble and Clinton’s “fixing the economy” It’s a standard from the Dim’s play book.

          Note: Just pretend you don’t know me. I found this fake nose and mustache combo at a party supply store, it’ll help both of us act like we don’t know each other. Party on, sister, party on.

  7. Toonces

    Cos cobber nailed it IMO. A reasonably sized large home is not bigger than 5-6,000 sq feet above ground. (for me that’s still too big, but I am guessing I am not the norm) The two acre and higher zoned lots have 7,840 and up FAR. I know, I know, some of you will say you need that space for your staff… whatever. Most of the families I know though don’t want a home that big. Too much to care for and for folks who like their family members, you just wouldn’t see them enough. The builders think they lose money unless they max out on FAR but I think there is a market out there for a not so huge homes on 2 or more acres, with pools. I know I’d pay a premium for that smaller home.

  8. John

    Not so sure about Round Hill being cheap. Up at the 500 section they just broke ground to build a 65 million dollar, home construction is well underway. I heard that Leona’s place is coming on again for huge numbers as well. Helicopters were doing the Ariel photography 2 days ago. Just past John St the two colonials are asking 10 mil a pop. That is clearly the most expensive section these days.

  9. mike

    Actually the prices start to jump like crazy in the 400 block around Hilfigers old house.That 1 mile stretch from 400’s past Leona is is by far the most expensive dirt in town for the size of the area. Even at today’s discount its serious money. Only thing I know of close is waterfront.

    • Cos Cobber

      Another reason mediocre back country lots are beginning to look cheap vs OG and Riverside…because when all said and done, who wants to live in a $3MM house when you are surrounding by walls and gates protecting $10 to $50MM homes. My point is only relative to the non premium building lots which ever neighborhood has at some capacity.

  10. Mike

    Agreed, I think the the cheaper homes are selling on Round Hill because people feel want the prestige of saying they live on Round Hill. Big difference between living on Round Hill vs off or near Round Hill. The deep discounts in back country with a true Round Hill address are gone. Look at the sales homes on bad lots are back in the 5-6 mil range and climbing fast. I know Chris makes fun of RHR but it is still the best address in the country.

  11. ShedLessToolMan

    Things come in and out of favor as trends change and catalysts occur. It just takes one really good storm to crush the OG and riverside market again (direct with damage or indirect with fear and FEMA changes) thus leading to a preference for mid-country and back country more than we see today.

    There is plenty of news of a terrorist threat in NYC. This in addition to DiBlassio’s wonderful leadership will continue to push people out and riverside and OG are an easier transition from the City.

    I think news, catalysts and trends can change very easily with elections, weather patterns and terrorism. I am not taking climate change (too controversial here) – just one extreme act of weather.

    Back country (round hill) is a better location for apocalypse scenarios. You have plenty of land to grow food, build a bunker, hunt animals, forage, store fuel and all at an altitude that does not flood and is inconvenient to looters.

    • Toonces

      SLTM – all you mention I think will continue to keep the Greenwich market hopping. I would suggest though that Wyoming – 200 or more acres, would be better than back country in an apocalypse scenario. Outside of any blast radius. Oh wait – we can all just move to Bunnytee’s. I would work the land for her and provide smelling salts for any vapor attacks. I’m sure we can all come up with useful jobs.

      • Toonces,

        Where would you send the kids to school in Wyoming?

        Do they have a. j house sister hotel there?

        • Toonces

          I would home school in Wyoming. Then I wouldn’t have to spend my time deprogramming. No J-house is a much bigger issue however.

      • bunnytee

        Funny you should mention that, T. I’m having an epic End of the World party just as soon as global warming fries our asses to a crisp. Yos is bringing some killer wine and Cobra’s bringing LA as a date. I suppose they can have the west guest rooms and you can have the east. ‘Cat can have the pool house and Walt can pitch a tent in the atrium.

    • Cos Cobber

      Shedless, I think the issue with back country wont be addressed by a weather event. Weather wont change the fact that back country is too expensive. You have to spend alot more in back country when comparing apples to apples on the houses themselves. People want the house, not the land. Just scroll through the MLS for 06831. There might be 200 listings over $4MM. Meanwhile in OG and Riverside, there are probably a 30 listings over $4MM. And when you compare the homes themselves, the back country homes are older – in need of updates. So back country = older home with more land, but more expensive.

      In short, back country new construction starts at a min price of $5MM vs $2.5 in OG/Riverside. A weather event wont make back country cheaper.

      • Flash

        The septic, the septic reserve, the well, the radon testing, the 4 acre lawn, the driveway with Belgian block curb and electric gate…
        All propel the cost far above the typical Riverside, OG pea pod lot.

  12. John

    Looks like another big sale on Round hill # 610. Right on the Armonk border, a 4000 square-foot colonial just went to contract for 5 mil. As I said that stretch from the 400 block of RHR up to the Armonk border right now is the hottest spot in town. Rightfully so it’s one of the prettiest. Round hill backcountry has and always will be in demand.