Tag Archives: 253 Round Hill Road

253 Round Hill has (or soon will) reappear

Well, this blog may not have an affect on real estate prices but it seems to have a bit of sway in getting the GAR to enforce its reporting rules. After another broker brought to the Board’s attention that 253 Round Hill Road’s sale  has not been reported even though it closed a week ago tomorrow, a call was made to the laggard listing agency and presto, the reporting form was found resting right next to the fax machine. It’s on its way.

In fairness to the Board, they can’t monitor every single transaction’s sales agreement to discover when closings are scheduled. They rely on their own members’ cooperation and compliance with the rules (which require that transactions be reported no more than 48 hours after closing). If someone slips up, either deliberately or inadvertently, the Board won’t know about it unlsess and until someone complains. Well, someone has, and the problem has been addressed.

So why wasn’t it reported in the first place? It could be that the listing agent was saving this sale to combine for a splashy combination in a few days – look! We’re selling up a storm! – but more likely it was due to inattention and poor record keeping, with no deliberate rule evasion intended.

UPDATE: well, maybe it wasn’t sitting by the fax machine. An hour later, the sale is stil unreported. Someone steal the crayons down on Arch Street?


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The mystery of the missing house sale continues

It’s approaching three business days since 253 Round Hill Road sold yet, in violation of the GAR rules, it remains unreported. I can understand why the listing broker might not want to advertisehis getting just 66% of his asking price, but surely the selling agent wants to claim a $16.5 million sale. So what gives? Is there some other pending deal whose comparable value would be marred by this one’s price? Is everyone at the two brokers just to busy to bother with little things like reporting sales? I’m not speculating that there’s anything nefarious going on here, I’m just curious.


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Open houses

Back from the Tuesday tour. It almost seems like a waste of time these days with so many houses grievously overpriced (an exception: 5 Kenilworth Terrace, asking $1.495. I did not see it but my brother Gideon, a good judge of these things, emailed me that it was “a good deal”. I’ll make an effort to see it). But otherwise, I saw houses for $3 that I thought might go for $1.75, maybe, and $4 million tear-downs sitting on land worth perhaps $1 million, if you can find a buyer for land these days. Painful.

A noteable exception to all this was, surprisingly, Bill Gardiner’s $25 million masterpiece at 253 Round Hill Road. The exterior’s of hand-hewn field stone, every proportion is exquisite, inside and out, and the detail work is phenomenal. The banister alone, hand carved, is reason enough to buy this house. It would be a wonderful thing to start my day coming down the stairs with my hand on this piece of art and just admire its beauty. The basement is huge – my form of entertainment growing up was hunting rats with a barbecue fork and a pellet rifle in my parents’ crawlspace. If your recreational tastes are more conventional, this is the place for you: 12′ ceilings, exercise room, sauna, theatre, etc. etc.

I have some quibbles. I might have made the master bedroom ten feet longer, but I understand the architect’s idea, I think, which is that the bedroom should be a protective space, not an airplane hangar, and besides, there’s a huge sitting room if you insist on space. The land itself, while beautifully landscaped, backs up to those two failed spec houses which were carved out of this property and built on S. Baldwin Farms. Eventually they will be finished and occupied or torn down, I suppose, but until then, you have a question mark as a neighbor.

So what’s the proper price for this place? I have no idea. There are still billionaires around and what’s $25 million to them? Lesser folks might blanch at that price but somewhere there’s a value here, whether that’s at $12.5, $15 million or full price I’ll leave to the rich folks. But a grand house, all in all.


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