180 North Street
180 North Street is scheduled to be sold at auction soon. There’s a sign posted with the date, and I’ll check it later, but these things are subject to change; for instance, the original sale date was June 18th. In any event, it will happen soon – like this week – because the owners have given up and a judgment of strict foreclosure was entered by the court March 18th of this year. The underlying debt is, so far as I can tell, $2.961 which, if that’s all the bank wants, might just be close to what the property’s worth. What usually happens in these cases is that the bank adds up all the accrued interest and legal fees, etc., and comes up with a number that exceeds the property’s value. In which case, the bank keeps it, until someone in the institution gets real. But strange things can happen at these sales, and if you could bid, say, $2.5 million and get the house, it would be worth it.
The problem with this house is not so much the design (awful) or the builder (Mariani, who built it for the owner who, in turn, expected to sell it at a profit – no house, even in Greenwich, can provide profit for both the builder and the person hiring him), but the land: it’s swamp,with a small portion of dry land on which the house sits, and mosquito-muck on all sides. All that said, the house is nice enough inside, and who wants to go outside in this day of video games and internet porn, anyway?
It was priced at $5.495 back in 2007, a laughable sum, and hung around in the $4s for the next five years. It finally dropped to $3.850 in late 2012 and I tossed a couple of bids at it on behalf of clients, but we were talking $3, even, and the owner insisted on far more. By the time he dropped it to its current price of $3.425, it was too late to save his hide.
So now it’s the bank’s. I’d pay up to $2.5, to allow for the seven years of ownership by a bankrupt owner, unable to afford maintenance, and if the bank prefers to retain ownership, I’d let them; sooner or later, it will want to get it off its books.