Daily Archives: February 4, 2015

This is why it’s so heartbreaking to work with young couples looking for their first house in Riverside

Home sweet bungalow

Home sweet bungalow

9 Linwood Avenue, $899,500, reports a contract. The town appraises it at $909,000, so there you have it, but it’s a 1,675 square foot home, with no land, unless you include the Thruway right-of-way adjoining it, three bedrooms sharing one bath – no master – and in the Dundee district, so your kids can’t even walk to school. I know that, to Minnesota Peg, this is chump change, but it’s a lot of money here in poor old Greenwich, for not a lot of house. Makes those 15,000 sq. ft. white elephants in the Back Country look like real bargains.

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The Old Grey Mill she ain’t what she used to be

The secret revealed: If you buy high, you'll sell low

The secret revealed: If you buy high, you’ll sell low

170 Old Mill Road, 13,000+ square feet of Jordan Saper excess, reports a contract – latest asking price was $6.7 million. That’s a lot of change, even assuming the final negotiated price will be less than asking, but the owner paid $8.850 million for this in 2006, when it was new.

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Victory for the left

Definitely not Ditto-heads

Probably not Ditto-heads

Social media is scaring corporations off of advertising on conservative talk radio.

There are plenty of people listening to talk radio. But over the past three years, it has become increasingly difficult to make money off it.

More than 50 million people in the U.S. tune in each week to news-talk radio stations that carry advertising, making it radio’s second-most popular format, behind country music, according to Nielsen.

But many national advertisers have fled from such stations in recent years, seeking to avoid associating their brands with potentially controversial programming. As a result, advertising on talk stations now costs about half what it does on music stations, given comparable audience metrics, according to industry executives.

Talk and news stations combined generated $1.5 billion in revenue in 2013, down from $1.6 billion in 2011, according to the latest numbers from media research firm BIA/Kelsey. Pure talk-station revenue fell to $205 million, from $217 million. The number of talk stations shrank to 510 from 546 over that time period, while the number of news stations increased by 150 to total 1,524.

Radio executives said the erosion of ad dollars from talk stations was driven in part by a series of organized social-media campaigns by liberal activists in early 2012 that scared away advertisers.

Activists were encouraged to record the exact time that companies’ ads ran on Mr. Limbaugh’s show, and because stations occasionally broadcast ads at the wrong time, brands suddenly had reason to reduce any risk of inadvertent appearances.

A year later, brands including Lowe’s and J.C. Penney were warning media buyers not to air their ads on news-talk stations. Others, such as Clorox and Domino’s Pizza, forbid media buyers to run their ads near, or within 30 minutes of, certain programming, listing dozens of talk shows—some conservative, some liberal, some religious—as examples in their instructions.

I prefer that the left use market forces to silence opposing voices, rather than its previous tactic of governmental censorship, but it would be a shame if one of the few sources of conservative opinion was closed down.

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1911 house reports a deal

30 Stanwich Road

30 Stanwich Road

30 Stanwich Road, asking $4.975 million. Gorgeous house, so long as you don’t walk behind it, as the photographer obviously did here. This has been on and off the market since 2006, when it started at $6.450 million. Now, three brokers and numerous price reductions later, it sells in 25 days. That’s always frustrating for the brokers who worked hard for nothing, but then again, there’s a lesson there about accepting overpriced listings.

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Kentucky hollers are also tough sells

244 Stanwich Rd

244 Stanwich Rd

244 Stanwich Road is back on the market, five years after first being listed, still unsold. Asking price is $1.925 million. It’s not a bad house at all (though I question its classification as a “Cape Cod”), but it has a pond instead of a back yard and, more daunting, a hell of a driveway that plunges from Stanwich to this property. That puts many buyers off.

This way to Loretta's place

This way to Loretta’s place

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Here’s a surprise

"Keep you friends close and your hated neighbors closer."  19 Hidden Brook Rd

“Keep you friends close and your neighbors closer.”
19 Hidden Brook Rd

19 Hidden Brook Road, Riverside, reports a contract. It’s original price of $7.5 million was – er, “ambitious’, but even its latest asking price of $6.250 seemed excessive, to me, for a house with no yard and lots of neighbors watching your every move. Obviously, those characteristics are not seen as drawbacks by newcomers to Riverside.

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Tough sell

66 Cherry Valley Rd

66 Cherry Valley Rd

66 Cherry Valley Road has dropped its price and is now asking $11.888 million. Back in 2003, this house came up for sale at $18 million, and I opined then that it was a ridiculous price. The owner was furious, threatened me with all sorts of nasty things, and two (or three) years later, sold it for $11. This owner seems to be having the same difficulty moving it, and has been trying since 2010 to Move On™.

One of the people in Greenwich real estate I respect (and like) most, Tom Gorin, once observed, “people want contemporary houses, they just don’t want your contemporary house.” That seems to be the case here.

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Surely there’s an app for that

Take your pick

Take your pick

In Venezuela, three dozen condoms now cost as much as an iPhone.

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Contract on Pintail Lane

17 Pintail Lane

17 Pintail Lane

“New” construction (notes indicate it may have been renovated), asking $2.695 million. Pintail’s a nice street because it doesn’t get the traffic of Mallard, and I guess new construction costs what it costs. To me, a 7,000 square foot lot, no yard, a small house (3,700 sq. ft. but a third of that’s the basement, and a FARPort, wouldn’t strike me as my dream house. Then again, what do you expect for under $3 million?

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Remember , it was the crunchies who forced the FDA to stop regulating this crap

Trust me: I play a scientist on TV

Trust me: I play a scientist on TV

Three out of six “all-natural” supplements lack any of their named ingredients at all.

The New York State attorney general’s office accused four major retailers on Monday of selling fraudulent and potentially dangerous herbal supplements and demanded that they remove the products from their shelves.

The authorities said they had conducted tests on top-selling store brands of herbal supplements at four national retailers — GNC, Target, Walgreens and Walmart — and found that four out of five of the products did not contain any of the herbs on their labels. The tests showed that pills labeled medicinal herbs often contained little more than cheap fillers like powdered rice, asparagus and houseplants, and in some cases substances that could be dangerous to those with allergies.

Among the attorney general’s findings was a popular store brand of ginseng pills at Walgreens, promoted for “physical endurance and vitality,” that contained only powdered garlic and rice. At Walmart, the authorities found that its ginkgo biloba, a Chinese plant promoted as a memory enhancer, contained little more than powdered radish, houseplants and wheat — despite a claim on the label that the product was wheat- and gluten-free.

Three out of six herbal products at Target — ginkgo biloba, St. John’s wort and valerian root, a sleep aid — tested negative for the herbs on their labels. But they did contain powdered rice, beans, peas and wild carrots. And at GNC, the agency said, it found pills with unlisted ingredients used as fillers, like powdered legumes, the class of plants that includes peanuts and soybeans, a hazard for people with allergies.

Under a 1994 federal law, supplements are exempt from the F.D.A.’s strict approval process for prescription drugs, which requires reviews of a product’s safety and effectiveness before it goes to market.

The law’s sponsor and chief architect, Senator Orrin G. Hatch, Republican of Utah, is a steadfast supporter of supplements. He has accepted hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from the industry and repeatedly intervened in Washington to quash proposed legislation that would toughen the rules.

Mr. Hatch led a successful fight against a proposed amendment in 2012 that would have required supplement makers to register their products with the F.D.A. and provide details about their ingredients. Speaking on the floor of the Senate at the time, Mr. Hatch said the amendment was based on “a misguided presumption that the current regulatory framework for dietary supplements is flawed.”

To be fair to the crunchies, they were, and remain, dupes of Mr. Republican, Orrin Hatch, who pushed through the law to keep a number of Utah-based quackeries in business. . That said, it’s ironic that the very people who fight libertarians’ efforts to deregulate other parts of the economy, who fret whether their cage-free-chickens are fed merely “vegetable” feed instead of the preferred grass, and who would call in a hazmat team if a teaspoon of trans-fat spilled on a grocery’s floor, swallow this stuff wholesale, and pay a premium to do so.

Political corruption and a gullible, ignorant constituency: it’s a winner every time.

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