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

  1. Anonymous

    What piece of shit

  2. Accolay

    For this, I would NOT move to Greenwich. Don’t know where though, if you have <1 mil.

    • AJ

      There are many place where for $1 million you could buy a nice house for yourself plus ten or more additional rental houses so that you could sit on your ass for the rest of your life and get fat.

    • Anonymous

      With that kind of price, you may have to start with one of the 2 – 3 bedroom condos available in the $500K – $1Mill range, They do exist. Not multi-million dollar luxury, but not bad and you get all of the benefits of living in Greenwich.

  3. Anonymous

    Its a cute starter home..

  4. might be worth it for the fa+ºade; ne’er seen a better one

  5. Anonymous

    So ya buy in Pemberwick or Glenville and fix it up nicely instead.

    Not that there’s much inventory there either, but it’s do-able.

  6. Greenwich Gal

    I would live somewhere else. Seriously.

    • AJ

      Why, when you could just start tunneling under your neighbor’s homes and live in an underground palace to rival The Greenbrier?

  7. Peg

    It seems that for some, prestige and fame and demonstrating to the rest of the world that you’re better than almost all of ’em is what matters in life.

    This observation isn’t to knock any one in particular… Yet, I know for me personally, living in a comfortable and attractive home in a nice community is important, but it does not have to be “FU money” nice. We actually do have areas here in the hinterlands where a smallish charmer would be an obscene amount of money. And a few jump at it. I guess most of the rest of us are satisfied to be moderate fish in a moderate pond.

    Even here in mid-America, one can choose to live in a very nice area where a pretty good house will range from $500-$700K – OR 10 minutes away in FU-land where the same house is at least double. Each to his own……

    • Peg, just so you know, John was hugely touched by your response to his own post, but was a bit baffled by your reference to a “grand slam” – “She’s either a baseball player or a waitress at Denny’s”, he said. When I told him that you were a Bridge Grand Master who is regularly invited to play with Warren Buffet and Bill Gates, he was greatly impressed. He’d still like you to cook him up some blueberry pancakes and sausages, however.

      • Peg

        Christopher, you can let your handsome, wise and wonderfully witty son know that one of my teammates LOVES the “Tremendous Twelve” at Perkins (the Midwest version of Denny’s). And – it would be my pleasure to head on up to Maine and whip up his favorite breakfast delights!

        Maybe we can have a few bridge lessons, too. Then John could go out for bridge discussion and Cokes after the game with The Boys 🙂

    • Anonymous

      Um. Peg. Here in Greenwich it is called monkey money where you have so much cash that you have a staff of trained monkeys to wait on tables and do the dishes. Who cares about breakage ? So worth it. “Monkey money.” And heartbreaking is for the realtor trying to find any decent starter home in this area for a young couple with a young’un in the 400,000 to 500,000 range

      • Anonymous

        Palmer Point is starting to get more families with small children, because the entry price for 2 BRs, 2 baths can be had for about $600k, for units that have not had many improvements. Even with highway noise, it’s still Greenwich.

  8. jonathan

    I don’t know. $537 per SQFT is a fair price, is it not?

    But yes, I have suggested several times to the wife that we sell and pack up the baby and move to SC or TX and retire.

  9. Riverside Homeowner - Saline Body Surfer

    Welcome to Riverside.
    Down the street is equally as perplexing.
    http://www.zillow.com/homedetails/66-N-Ridge-Rd-Old-Greenwich-CT-06870/2118973555_zpid/

    Every seller knows supply is non existent
    And that money is cheap
    And down payments on Jumbo’s are dropping to 10% from more than 1 very big bank!

    Supply and demand.

  10. Anonymous

    Good friends of ours cashed out of Greenwich and moved to midwest. Huge amount of cash in pocket, and a spectacular home to boot, fully paid for. Prop taxes less than a condo in Byram.

    If work and lifestyle permit, as well as the general family being ok with it, it’s not a bad trade.

    • Peg

      Come to Minnesota, and get a stunning home walking distance to downtown…. Or one with spectacular lake shore! (We gotta ton of the latter.)

      Anon is correct; not only “not a bad trade” but a fairly reasonable one.

  11. Anon

    You should compare this to similar homes in say, queens, near the Nassau border. Not that different in price, and a big difference in schools.

    • GreenITCH

      yes very correct has colleague eschew LI city as getting near $1000 sw foot and went over to Sunnyside ( queens ) not very picturesque and you are not likely talking your wife and toddler into moving there …makes Greenwich look like a bargain !

  12. View from Eden Rock

    The environment we’re in is ripe for price appreciation.
    Ultra low interest Rates
    Lower DP’s for Jumbos
    Zero inventory
    And egregious taxation in NY, NJ

  13. Glenville Gal

    You don’t get much more in Glenville. A 2,000 sqft cape for $900k (not sure how they jammed in 6 bedrooms)

    http://www.zillow.com/homedetails/265-Pemberwick-Rd-Greenwich-CT-06831/57306938_zpid/

  14. Anonymous

    A few commenters have mentioned banks being aggressive, ive considered refi’ing and curious about any reccomendations for banks that anyone can offer. Thanks, in advance.

    • Riverside Dog Walker

      Better to try a good mortgage broker as they know what lenders have appetite for given your situation and they are motivated to do the deal as that is how they get paid. Luxury Mortgage in Stamford. Peter Grabel did our refi. The absolute best!

    • Anonymous

      Although in the past I never thought much of them, Citi came back with the best rate. 3.25% on a 30 year jumbo with no pts.

    • GreenITCH

      agree I had found that were a few banks in NJ that were very aggressive in pricing ( Hudson SAvings was one ) but equally have a look at Amerisave.com

    • Nopo chick

      Colleen Polsen at mortgage master in stamford

  15. Anonymous

    Fairfield County Bank has very good rates. I’m talking with them now. And they’re local, meaning you’re not talking to “Joe” from the call center in Mumbai initially who then bounces you to a licensed LO for CT who works from their home (kitchen) office in a Dallas suburb while their kid screams in the background.

  16. Anonymous

    Bubble.

    Move to Darien.

    • Anonymous

      Riverside=bubble: yes. Move to Darien=NFW.

    • Jonathan

      That’s what I did. Built new in Darien. Cost was about $450 per SQFT all in, including the lot. And I did not cheap out. Marble baths with heated floors, custom cabinets, hardwoods throughout and even an elevator.

      • Accolay

        You’re probably in the Hoyt Street area – not Tokeneke.

        • Anonymous

          Hoyt Street area > OG

        • jonathan

          Our house is in the center of Darien within walking distance to the train, downtown and Whole Foods. The wife insisted on being able to walk to the train. So Tokeneke or Noroton Bay or Ox Ridge would not work. And never considered Hoyt street; way too busy, houses not so nice and you hear the New Canaan line train blow it’s horn twice an hour from 6 am until midnight at every crossing.

      • Anonymous

        Sounds like a ballers’ paradise. Did you put in gold fixtures to match your grill?

  17. Surfin @ Saline

    You can either ride the waves
    Or lay on the beach and get burned.

    • Anonymous

      If I could only afford $900k, I’d look to Westport. Probably better inventory there at that price and schools are top notch.

  18. Mid-Country Cos Cobber

    Idiots …. move to Cos Cob. South of the Post Road there is a wonderful community around Loughlin Park. Houses in the $1m range that are beautiful. The park brings in the community and every year they do a big block party with the wood fired pizza trucks and all the kids running around. Halloween there is insane.

    Walk to train, walk to Starbucks, walk to CVS, liquor store, Fjord & the new cheese shop. All this at a fraction of the cost of Riverside.

    • Surfin @ Saline

      But it’s in a flood zone, and the savings on the sale price is given back towards paying mucho dinero for flood insurance.
      The wood fire trucks will indeed come in handy when they shut off your gas lines and your generators won’t power up during the next flood.

      • Mid-Country Cos Cobber

        I lived there during Sandy … dont live there now …. I paid $600 a year in flood insurance. It actually went down post Sandy as I had no damage.

        Also power is a good point; less than 24 hours post Sandy and the power was back on. People living there dont need generators unless they have a basement (and who wants a basement in a flood zone?)

        Maybe get your facts straight as so far you are batting a zero.

      • Cos Cobber

        It’s a great neighborhood. Mid country is spot on. And in the past storms they did not shut off the gas, not that it mattered because in neither storm did the area loose power for very long. Plus, since the area is a clp trunk line for all of Greenwich, whenever power goes out they get it back first as a high priority.

        Regarding flood insurance, only the houses immediately around the park are affected. And the few new rebuilds have been made to conform with the new elevations. Each house is different, you can’t write off the hole neighborhood on the flood issue.

        The right home around loughlin park and nearby sachem road is a good alternative to nopo if one is seeking a village feel.

    • Cos Cob is quickly catching up to Riverside price wise. A fraction of the cost? Not any more.

    • Anonymous

      Isn’t Loughlin Park where all the rape happens?

  19. rivman

    Linwood has lots of young families so they may have been attracted to it for that reason. Dundee is also a great school, even if you have to take the bus.

  20. Anonymous

    Actually, that is a very good family neighborhood with lots of young kids and although you cant walk to the grammar school, ISD is a major selling point. If you can add a bathroom, its not bad for a young family.
    Of course I have lived in town for 20 years in Cos Cob, Riverside and Old Greenwich, so my opinion may be jaded.

    • Linwood’s in a great neighborhood, agreed, but surely you can see my point that a million bucks for this small house is a bit daunting for those young people who’ve been successful enough to afford a million- dollar home?

  21. Anonymous

    Second Mike DeRosa. Best rates from the major lenders and Mike is very easy to work with.

  22. Anonymous

    A $750K mortgage, 30 year fixed at 3.375% runs $3,316 a month. As this buyer here likely won’t stay that long they can do a 7 year Interest Only ARM at 2.75% costing $1,718 a month. For a couple moving out from NYC this is incredibly cheap, and schools are free. From the affordability perspective the price makes sense.

    • Anonymous

      And if prices drop even a little in that 7 years–and they almost certainly will, because eastern Greenwich is a bubble waiting to burst–you’ll lose the money you “saved.”

      Sad that we live in a world where relatively successful professionals have to make wildly irresponsible financial decisions like interest-only ARMs in order to live in crappy 1950s Capes that 15 years ago would have been home to an auto mechanic.

      • Money

        Supply constant, price will only rise.
        Haven’t you been following along!!

      • Money

        Fine I will do it for you.
        Interest portion you say 1718.00
        PMI 390.00
        HOI 225.00
        Prop Taxes 600.00

        2933.00/month
        Or thereabouts.
        For a few dollars more a 30yr. Fixed, they can have several hundred thousand in equity after 7 years, and put down another 50k and eliminate their PMI.

      • Anonymous

        The affordability argument is still there even with a 30 year fixed including the monthly principal payments of $1,200 a month. If a buyer can only afford the house with the ARM then I agree with you, it is irresponsible. To your point about crappy Capes I have no answer, it is sad. It is likely that the only reason these homes are bid up is because the alternatives in New York City are far more expensive, given how much more housing has appreciated there compared to Greenwich.

    • Money

      Nice math, but you forgot the the property taxes and insurance, and @ 750k mortgage you also forgot the PMI.

      • Anonymous

        I would do the 30 year fixed too, but some people are disciplined enough to save the money they save on the IO and invest it elsewhere. I am not sure everybody would need the mortgage insurance but even at $3K a month the logic still stands, it is a cheap monthly housing cost for any young family coming from the city. I totally agree on the house price risk, but I do think that entry level homes will hold up better than more expensive homes in the inevitable sell off, whenever that happens.

        • Anonymous

          OK I understand the PMI now, when I threw out a $750K mortgage I was thinking the house cost $1mm, I see this was listed at $899K and hopefully sold for less, so you are of course correct that the insurance is necessary.

  23. GreenITCH

    no need for PMI .. we are talking about buying a house for somewhere between $900k – $1m …a down payment of $175-$200 k puts u in just around the $1m start home and no PMI at that ….

  24. Anonymous

    100 responses. Bad weather is good for blogging.