Daily Archives: August 19, 2014

Now it can be told

With the Golfer in Chief safely back on the Vineyard, the White House revealed today the real reason he had to leave the island and fly back to Washington at a cost (to us) of a cool million: He wanted a five-hour private lunch with his cook. No kidding. Really.

“We had to keep him on the ground for at least 18 hours,” White House spokesman Jerome Kerr explained, “or people might thing the whole thing was a shuck. Trouble was, he got bored in the Oval Office with nothing to do so we dropped him back off at Cooky’s. They did a couple of doobies, watched some golf and just kicked back until we could send the President back to his loved ones; no big deal.”

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Seven years and $8.950 million later, 217 Taconic sells for $13 million

 

217 Taconic Rd

217 Taconic Rd

Eleven acres, lots of buildings, great views. Started off at $21.950 million in 2007.

March contract, closed today.

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Sale prices reported

 

200 Stanwich Rd

200 Stanwich Rd

200 Stanwich Road, $6.285 million. 3.5 acres, beautiful grounds and home. I’ve always admired this house, and wondered why it languished from 2007 until now (albeit with time off the market, and several refused offers). It started at $5.995, which I didn’t think was unreasonable, then jumped to $7.895 after it had received a massive re-do, free, courtesy of one of those home showplace affairs – that raise was unwise, I thought at the time, and the market agreed. In any event, the owners clearly were in no hurry to part with this and they eventually got their price, which seems like a good one for the parties on both sides of the transaction. Really a very special house, in my opinion.

112 Old Stone Bridge

112 Old Stone Bridge

Not so special, but in a totally different price class, so so there, 112 Old Stone Bridge sold for full price, $1.525 million. Old Stone Bridge is a nice neighborhood of mid-to-late 70s homes, and this seems to fall right about where they’re selling these days.

 

One Fairfield Avenue

One Fairfield Avenue

One Fairfield Avenue in Old Greenwich closed at $1.415 million, quite a jump from its 2010 sale price of $899,000. No yard, no garage, in good shape. Someone did very well here by repainting, adding a kitchen vent and waiting for the market to improve after 2010.

48 Bramble Lane

48 Bramble Lane

48 Bramble Lane, Riverside, new construction, $3.7  million. Use Google Images to search for “48 Bramble Lane” and you’ll find interior shots – the GAR has scrubbed them from most other sites.

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Bottom story of the day

Greenwich Time: Foley ad casts Malloy in unflattering light. Gee whizz, really? What’s this world coming to?

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Price cut along I-95

45 Meadowwood

45 Meadow Wood

Nestled under the protective shelter of a Governor John Davis Lodge Speedway sound barrier, 45 Meadow Wood Drive is, somewhat mysteriously, still looking for a buyer after being built as a speculative venture in 2007 and priced at $17.9 million. Today it’s been reduced again and is now available for $8.250 million. Gentlemen, start your engines.

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And this, perhaps, portends another sale

Sagaponack

Sagaponack

The WSJ reports that Greenwich resident Richard Treibick died last month, and his 30-acre oceanfront property in Sagaponack is for sale for $35 million. I’ve seen no notice of his death here locally which is strange, because besides being one of the town’s richest men, he was Lowell Weicker’s money man for decades, fueling the man’s rise from First Selectman to Senator to Governor of the great (until Lowell got ahold of it) state of Connecticut.

But he’s gone, and that leaves his holdings of 27-acres at 21 Topping Road and an 11 (? 15?) – acre horse farm across Burying Hill to be disposed of (Treibick also once owned what later became the Hemsley place, but sold it off long before she slithered into town). 21 Topping’s been for sale for most of the past 11 years, starting at $37.5 million, rising to $49.5 million and dropping again to $24 million before its listing finally expired in 2013. Now that he himself has expired, look for both parcels to come back up.

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Attention, Greenwich matrons

Recapture your youth

Recapture your youth

Just in time for that season-ending week on Nantucket,  there’s a 50%-off sale on Lily Pulitzer at Amazon. Today only, so have your personal assistant get right on it!

And Clifford can relive those zany 60s!

And Clifford can relive those zany 60s!

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30 Husted Lane finally sells, ex-MLS

 

30 Husted Lane

30 Husted Lane

Found while prowling the land records this morning:

30 Husted Lane, a tear-down on five acres abutting the pond that started off with David Ogilvy Associates in 2010 at $18,000,000 and expired under him this past April at $9.975, was sold privately last Friday for just $4 million to Thomas Dudley Lehrman, scion of Lewis Lehrman. Sweetening the deal, Lehrman paid just $2 million up front, with the seller taking back another $2 million, at 0% interest, payable $1 million on August 7, 2015 and the remaining million on August 7, 2016.

Poor David; but this sort of sad story (sad for the broker, not the seller, who saved a nice commission) is frequent in real estate: an owner comes up with a totally nuts, hugely unrealistic price, a broker takes the listing while knowing full well it’s not worth anything close to what the client wants, but hopes to bring her to reason, eventually, then spends a small fortune advertising it for years, staging it at great expense and personally conducting showings at all hours of the day, only to have the owner suddenly blame him for her misfortune, fire him and sell the property for song to a friend of her sons.

Which is why I don’t take this kind of listing. I’ve written about this house before, including June 29, 2012, when it dropped to $11.8 million, and again on June 13, 2013, when it was down to $9.975 (and I guessed its value at $5 million, while Zillow still thought it would fetch $10). If a property is worth $5 million and the owner wants $18, there’s no reason for me to join her in her delusional world.

I’m a bit frustrated at all this because last spring, after Ogilvy had been pushed into the lake and the house was sitting empty, I urged clients of mine to make a run at it at $4.5 million. They demurred, and I suspect they thought I was stupid, because they wandered off, never to be heard of (by me) again. Too bad.

There are times to make a  low-ball offer and times when a low bid is just screwy and insulting, and will ruin any chance of re-approaching the owner. This was the former situation. The house had been grievously overpriced to begin with, and it didn’t take too-bright a mind to guess that the owner was disheartened to watch her supposed value be cut in half and yet still own the place, paying taxes, heat, yard maintainance, etc. all the while. The time was ripe to make an offer based on the realistic value of the property and I suspect my clients could have grabbed it. Such is the nature of the retail real estate business.

 

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Usually thoughts of suicide come up after the wedding, not before, but …

 

Tucker and Alex - she'll always have Fifi

Tucker and Alex – she’ll always have Fifi

Stamford resident Tucker Blandford goes to extraordinary lengths to escape marriage

A fiancé faked his own death by telephoning his partner and pretending to be his father breaking the bad news – so he could get out of his approaching wedding day, it was revealed today.

Bride-to-be Alex Lanchester, 23, of Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands, received a phone call just months before her wedding claiming that Tucker Blandford, also 23, of Stamford, Connecticut, had [committed suicide by jumping in front of a car].

She then rang the American’s parents to offer her condolences, but they told her he was alive and well – and Miss Lanchester quickly learned he had faked his death to avoid the wedding.

He told a reporter in a phone call: ‘I’m a terrible, awful person. I know I shouldn’t have told her I was dead, but I didn’t know what else to do.

‘At the time I just felt like I couldn’t tell the truth and thought if I could just postpone everything it would be better.’

How, exactly, Mr. Blandford thought he could resume the relationship once a suitable time had passed after he’d “postponed everything” in this manner is not made clear, but surely a lad as resourceful as he had something up his sleeve. It may be tough sledding however, unless time softens Alex’s heart:

‘I’ll be spending our would-be wedding day making new memories without him. He’s a liar and a coward. He had put on a different voice on the phone and pretended to be his grieving father. What sort of sick person does that to his fiancé of two years? It’s sickening.’

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Another instance where small government types were right, but will only be listened to now – or not

And here's another $18 billion of job retraining for my friends

And here’s another $18 billion of job retraining for my friends

The mighty New York Times has confirmed what critics of the federal job retraining program have said for decades: it’s a colossal waste of money that does more harm than good.

When we said it, we were cold, heartless bastards who didn’t care about “the poor”. It will be interesting to see the response to the Queen of Bleeding Heart’s identical criticism. My guess is, “nothing”, since the program has always been about graft, rewards to flacks and political theatre, and why should that change now – what’s effectiveness got to do with it?

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In Big Sky cowboy country, the Democrats shoot themselves in the foot

After watching their first senatorial candidate go down in flames over his confession of plagiarism, the Democrat leaders appointed a new one: Amanda Curtis.

Probably a mistake, Hot Air points out, because  her video blog shows her “mocking gun ownership, religion, family values, concern over the $17.6 trillion national debt, and self-identifies as an anarchist. Montana most certainly has a historic blue streak, but Curtis is a candidate so openly left-wing that she would have trouble winning a statewide race – much less the Democratic Party’s nomination — in even traditionally blue states.”

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End of global warming to usher in new ice age?

 

Reasoned discourse on the left

Reasoned discourse on the left

100-year cycle of increased solar activity coming to a close

Recent studies have, however, shown that changes to the solar cycle affect the weather in the North Atlantic as during the years of strong solar winds larger numbers of space particles enter the atmosphere where they can break up the ozone layer. This causes temperatures to rise in Northern Europe.

So far, solar activity has only been linked to the variation taking place during the 11-year solar cycles and studies do not yet provide answers to questions on how solar activity affects global warming.

No answer to the question of how solar activity affects global warming? Skeptics have pointed that out for years, and have been dismissed as enemies of humanity for questioning “settled science”.

Gee.

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