New Listing

147 Old Church Road

147 Old Church Road

147 Old Church Road, $3.150 million. It just came on, so I haven’t seen it yet (with luck, the temporary cessation of snow storms will allow open houses to resume), but this is a great street, and the price seems pretty good as well. Of course, I’m a sucker for older houses – your reaction may differ.

47 Comments

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47 responses to “New Listing

  1. Cos Cobber

    Great house. Fair price. One flaw – backyard issues.

    • Well, it overlooks the high school. With all due deference to FWIW’s Lovable Whackjob Bill Effros, I don’t see that as much of a drawback. He worries about contaminated water, I have faith in the certainty that water doesn’t flow (150′) uphill.

      • Anonymous

        It might overlook it in winter. Looks a little hemmed in summer when the shrubs are in full bloom. Also a back lot of sorts. But the house does look very nice and the price seems reasonable.

        • Cos Cobber

          To me its a shame this charmer doesn’t sit on a sidewalk lined public street for others to enjoy.

        • Accolay

          If you want that, move to Bronxville.

        • Cos Cobber

          I’ve looked at Bronxville on zillow. Its fine – not as nice as you seem to hype it here on this blog though. What I noticed were a lot of homes where property taxes have doubled or worse in the past 5 years. Many of the houses seemed small and dark. Also alot of stuff with an extended DOM too. All in all its nice, but if I go Westchester, its Rye – easy choice.

        • Accolay

          Not any more than some overpriced stuff in Greenwich, and you get walkability and old charmers like this. That said, property taxes are awful.

        • The downtown in Rye is small and parking is a nightmare. Property taxes are high, even by Westchester standards and town government has had some interesting scandals in recent years.

          On the plus side, you’ve got Playland right there and a quick train ride into the city.

          Bronxville is the only town in Weschester that I can think of where the property taxes are worse – over $50k per year per residence on average. The town is only a mile square and has no commercial tax base. I think a lot of people sell when the kids finish high school, which raises the tax burden.

        • Accolay

          Not anymore than in Greenwich. Plenty of old timers in Bville too. Some people like staying in their community.

        • Part of the problem with Bronxville is that the town is tiny, both geographically and in population but they have to fund their own school district, PD, FD, town government, etc. It’s a lot of fixed costs to spread over a very small base. I think it’s much easier for people to stay in towns like Greenwich once their kids are done with school where the tax burden per capita is so much lower.

          I have nothing against Bronxville. I was born there and then my family moved to Old Greenwich when I was a toddler. I just think that the economics don’t make much sense. That $50k average tax bill was from several years ago. I’m sure it’s considerably higher now.

        • Anonymous

          A $5mm house in Bronxville is likely to have an annual tax bill of $85-90K. The only reason to live in Bronxville is if you have 2-3 kids in the very good public school system. If the taxes were more reasonable it would be a great choice for me given its close proximity to Manhattan. I find some of the home styles a bit depressing.

        • Cos Cobber

          Thanks for the insights Richard. I just like the Rye community – it’s a coastal thing. From what I can see the taxes are lower than bronxville – fwiw. Regardless, I’m not moving.

        • Wise choice Cos Cobber. Rye is nice, but if I was going to spend that kind of money on housing I’d pick Greenwich in a heartbeat.

      • Anonymous

        You’re showing you age with your good understanding of science.

    • Guest

      At the Post Road, there is big drop in elevation between Old Church Road and the High School. If it is the same elevation drop with the backyard of this house, not so great.

      On the other hand, most of the weekends, nights and summers, that great high school field will be empty, and is pretty nice to look at. Of course, if you lived right next to that field, you could jog there all the time and play ball there with your kids …. A nice perk to have right next to your backyard.

  2. Anonymous

    Great location. I love old houses and wish our community cared more about them, but this place looks like it belongs in Florida or California from the outside. I’m thinking its the color.

  3. Toonces

    There you go again Accolay, hyping Bronxville. You have to be a realtor there or own property there are dream about living there 🙂

    • Accolay

      I dream about the commute and having a neighborhood with character homes. Wish my job was as stress-free as being a realtor.

      • Accolay, when former peers ask me about the switch from law to real estate, I tell them, “none of the stress, twice the pay”. The latter bit is more or less accurate, depending on the year, but someone not buying a house is not at all the same as seeing an old widow lose her life’s savings to a rapacious stock broker or, once, an innocent kid hauled out in handcuffs to serve an 18-year-sentence for a rape that never happened. I’ve never lost a bit of sleep over a Cape Cod going to someone else.

    • Anonymous

      He must love paying taxes.

  4. anonymous

    This house has a Hansel and Gretl look to it. Cute, but I feel it should be in the pages of some children’s tale.

  5. Guest

    I just read that 32% of children in Greenwich attend private school. Maybe that figure is high, but in Bronxville, you never have to pay the bill for private school because the public schools are top notch. In Greenwich, much less so, and the high school is so big, that it is a detriment for everything, including getting into college.

    So if you like two story, mostly older houses on small lots, Bronxville is a great choice- better than Greenwich in many ways.

    • Anonymous

      http://sheilastoltz.houlihanlawrence.com/my_listings/

      Here are two Bronxville listings. A $5.875mm ask with $96K taxes and a $3.25mm house with $67K taxes.

    • Cos Cobber

      Sounds like you might not know much about greenwich. For starters, most of that 32% would be in private regardless.

      • Accolay

        Most, and I mean like 99%, of Bronxville kids go public because they’re just as good as the Greenwich privates, so why bother. I’d rather pay 100K in taxes, have good public schools, know my neighborhood is safe from monstrosities and homes on stilts, than pay 30K in taxes plus 100K for privates.

        • Mid-Country Cos Cobber

          And the second your kids are done with school, you move to avoid a $100k tax bill. Which, I believe, is part of the problem Bronxville has.

          In general, I dont trust governments. So when taxes are high, they are only going to get higher. When a $100k tax bill increases at 2-4x inflation, that scares the hell out of me – because you KNOW it will force people to move = will reduce the real estate value = bad investment.

          Safer to spend the money on private school in Greenwich, and when your kids are done … your tax bill is low again. Yes?

        • Cos Cobber

          Why do bronxville people hang on a gwich blog?

          Sure, pay 100k in taxes to have pseudo private schools – whatever floats your boat. At some point this becomes a debate about a favorite color and the market speaks on house sales and DOM.

        • Accolay

          Quite frankly, Bville hasn’t had any problem moving houses. Can’t say the same about non-OG/RVSD Greenwich, unfortunately. And not everyone has a 5M/100K house.

  6. Guest

    Another interesting choice and well-kept secret is the estate area of Riverdale. Not Fieldston, but the area by the Hudson River You would need to pay for private schools, but three great schools are right there, and you can drive home from midtown in a short time – like 15 or 20 minutes. There is not much traffic on the West Side Highway at evening rush hour. Sort of an interesting option, especially if you are a doctor and work north of midtown.

    • Anonymous

      Challenge. I drive home to Greenwich from downtown New York every day. The commute to the GWB bridge can easily take an hour. Once you get past that things improve. You can take Metro North from Riverdale to Grand Central – 28 minutes is not bad. I do agree that Riverdale is a charming area especially the houses overlooking the Hudson. It is hard to believe that you are in New York City.

  7. 1665

    The thing about Bronxville, which I’ve always kind of liked, is that you can’t fake it there — the taxes are sobering, but also an effective filter — along with the housing stock that, alas, isn’t understood by white-on-white mudroom and quarter acre center island (not Oyster Bay) set. Its small size is a blessing — it’ll survive intact. Less sanguine re Greenwich.

  8. em

    Westchester taxes are insane. I live in Scarsdale, and with the near constant reassessments recently, unless you have kids in the school district (which is excellent I may add) you need to get out fast. Greenwich is much more reasonable, and you have the water which saves on a summer home. All you need is a good whole house generator…..

    • Taxes vary a lot from one town to the next in Westchester, driven mostly by the school district budget. The county taxes are a pretty small slice of the pie. But plenty of towns are tax hells, no question. I moved from Briarcliff to Cortlandt Manor mostly for property tax reasons. They’re much lower where I am now because Cortlandt has a substantial commercial tax base, so it’s not all on the home owners.

      For as long as you’re stuck in Scarsdale, aggressively appealing your property is your best option. I can’t speak highly enough of this guy:

      http://www.aaapropertytaxappeal.com/

      He is both an attorney and a licensed real estate broker. He’s appealed mine twice in the last 4 years and the first time he got them reduced by 18.5% and just recently by another 11%. His fees are contingent on how much he saves you and are very competitive. I’m now paying less than I did in 2003. I would act quickly because there’s a deadline to file to have it valid for this year and it’s probably coming up soon.

  9. Anonymous

    Not everyone can live in Bronxville!! Just because you can afford it does not mean that they will let you in. Their dirty little secret. Scarsdale however is wide open!

    • Accolay

      Someone else made this allegation – EOS I think? – but I don’t think it’s true AT ALL. As inclusive community as Greenwich IMO.

  10. Anon

    Yeah, that’s all fine but who wants to live in a town with the word Bronx in it?

  11. Greenwich Gal

    Looked at Bronxville years ago. Loved the architecture – hated the taxes. But also remember that Bronxville is only one square mile -you are truly on an island surrounded by DRECK – Mount Vernon, Yonkers, EastChester. There aren’t any great parks or libraries or shops. You have to drive elsewhere for most everything. You are landlocked. Their calling card are the schools, (which in spite of their reputation still have large classes) and being close to NYC.
    No thanks.

    • Very good point about the geography GG. I’ve always liked the towns in central and northern Westchester better than the towns on the southern fringe for a variety of reasons and that’s certainly one of them.

  12. Anonymous

    Accolay- You don’t know what you are talking about!! They discriminate against Jews, blacks etc. It is a fact!!!!!!!!!!

    • Accolay

      Anon: This isn’t 1950 anymore. They don’t do that today and there’s certainly no proof, anecdotal or otherwise.

      Greenwich Gal: I’d hardly call Eastchester “dreck” and the parts of Yonkers and MV near Bville are quite nice. Stamford and Port Chester aren’t exactly gems next to Greenwich. They also have a nice mom and pop downtown, nicer than anything in OG. Part of the charm is that it is small town living.