34 Hearthstone Drive
34 Hearthstone Drive, one of two homes on land split off a rear lot back in 2000 (? or so) sold for $2.3 million. It sold new in 2003 for $1.650, and $2.050 in 2009. This owner apparently put in a new kitchen, redid baths, and so forth, so this price vs 2009’s doesn’t seem out of line. In fact, I’m not sure the owner broke even on those improvements, after commissions and taxes are figured in.
If I recall, the original lot split was fiercely resisted by the neighbors, with all the claims of water run-off, increased traffic etc. I have no opinion on the validity of those objections, but the sales of these two lots helped ignite the subsequent land rush on Hearthstone, greatly benefiting the wallets, if not the peace-of-mind of those neighbors.
11 Meadowcroft Lane
11 Meadowcroft Lane, the smaller (3 acres, no extra lot) sold for $6.750 million. Back in 2012, Ogilvy had it at $8.8 million and it didn’t sell. This time, Bill Andruss of Sotheby’s got it right.
51 Lockwood Avenue
And 51 Lockwood Avenue, Old Greenwich, reports a contract. It was asking $1.395 million, and had a contract in less than a week. That might mean it went above ask – I don’t know.
15 North Crossway
Back in the good old days, when real estate prices were zooming skyward with seemingly no ceiling, I’d have argued that it was not. Excepting those buyers who tried to flip their purchases for a hefty profit within months, who cared what someone paid for his house four years before?
And that’s still true today, sort of, only in reverse. Market value is what a ready, willing and able buyer will pay you today, not what you paid for it in 2005 (I’ll post later today Alan Greenspan’s observation that anyone who bought a house after 2005 [corrected] is probably underwater, but that’s another story). But I still like to know what a buyer paid for his house, if only to gauge what they think their rate of appreciation should be. This new listing, for instance, was bought new in 2002 for $3.925 million and is listed today for $7.195. That really is irrelevant because it’s price depends on what other homes in Lucas Point are selling for these days, not what they sold for in 2002. But it’s interesting, all the same.
One observation about this listing: it shows the roof insulation as “R-10” and wall insulation as “R-30”. That’s probably a typo, as an R-10 rating can be achieved by laying out a thin blanket of mouse hair and newspaper, but even if it’s the walls that sport the R-10, that’s not much for a house near the water. By contracts, the new house at 38 French Road has R-59 in its attic and R-27 in the walls. That’s exceptional, like the rest of the house, but the new construction on Shore Road asking about this one’s price has R-38 attic, R19 in the walls. Just saying.
I don’t know what to make of the news reported today that 6 Irvine in Old Greenwich has gone to contract. It’s a tiny little house that’s been up for sale since 2006, asking $1.699 million. It finally dropped to $1.347 million in November and now someone has agreed to buy it, at an unspecified price. The last ask is 20% less than the first and I’m sure the contract price is lower still, but does it tell us much about the market, other than, thank goodness, there are buyers out there with checkbooks? I think not, because I was never impressed with that first price, even in 2006. There are a lot of houses out there dropping their prices to where they should have been originally, in a live market. That may prove to be too late.
Shoreham Club Road
This house sold for $2.350 in 2005 ands now it’s back again, untouched so far as I can tell, for $2.750. The seller must be in a different market than the one I’m seeing.