Old Greenwich waterfront sale!


20 & 22 Rocky Point Road: Spectacular (but I still prefer the view at the end of Meadowbank)

Ha!  No sooner had reader “xyzzy” and I finished discussing the lack of Old Greenwich waterfront sales, then broker Shelly Tretter Lynch reports an accepted offer on 20 Rocky Point Road, asking price $14,500,000.

It’s actually two buildings on two separate lots (39,204 square feet in the R-12 zone*), a main house and guest house, both absolutely beautiful. 


* “R-12 zone” means that the minimum lot size must be 12,000 square feet  (An acre is 43,560 square feet).

“Old Doesn’t Sell!”

My goodness gracious, isn’t this a persistent myth? But like so many myths, it has the unfortunate quality of being a load of bull-crap. Let’s look at the actual facts, shall we?

Recent sales in the Riverside/Old Greenwich sections of town, price range $1,900,000 to $4,000,000, sold or gone to contract since October 1, 2011.

There are 20 properties properties in that range and here are their ages:

202 years, 119, 118, 107, 100, 99, 82, 60, 31, 30, 28, 25,14, 12, 11, 11, 6, 5, 1, 1.

For 20 examples, that works out to an average age of 53.1 years. Even if you strip out the seven that are 80+, you still get an average age for recently sold houses of 18.07 years.

Were they updated? Of course, some very recently (click on the link above to see individual cases), but I think we can officially dispense with the notion that “buyers don’t want old houses”. They do, and they pay good money for them.

Hear that faint hissing sound? That’s the sound of a myth quietly dying….

"Today's buyers don't want OLD!"....except when they do.

Heather Platt’s done it again!

Confound it!  Don’t you people realize “nothing’s selling”?  Now comes this latest outrage: Broker Heather Platt, with a new listing last week at 7 Sparrow Lane, off Greenwich’s Parsonage Road, already has a deal!  Don’t know yet who the selling broker is but whoever it is clearly used Realtor voodoo on the hapless buyer*.

*Kidding, of course.  This place was a %&#@ing bargain and I wouldn’t be surprised to learn there were multiple bids.

7 Sparrow Lane, offered at $2,025,000.

Does an owner’s “stuff” matter?


Normally I’d say no, but in the case of broker Ken Yorke’s new listing at 3 Cornelia Drive, off Greenwich’s Husted Lane, yes, this owner’s stuff does add to the attractiveness of the house. The owner is an artist so the place is filled with interesting furniture and art that only an artistic mind would have selected. And I liked all of it.

As you approach this house

3 Cornelia: Hold the bulldozer, you might actually like living in this one.

, your first thought will be “Gee, how did this one avoid being torn down for so long?” But walk around the front and you’ll realize there’s a lot going on here. The artist-owner did a really good job modernizing a 1958…what, builder colonial? Split-level? Something.

Anyway, whatever it was, it’s no longer that. Now it’s a “contemporary-colonial” and it works. If you’re rattling around a big mansion and you want to scale down a bit and stay close to town in central Greenwich, this is your baby.

Another real estate “tragedy”!

When I was guest hosting the Chris Fountain blog “For What It’s Worth”, I was surprised by how many of the reader-commenters were genuinely upset when I would report a sale price that didn’t match their pessimistic expectations.  You would swear these folks actually wanted Greenwich prices to keep dropping!

So it is with great sadness that I now report the sale price of builder Damien Kaali Nagy’s spec house at 11 Pinecrest Road at  $4,970,000.  As I guessed a couple of weeks ago, this represents over a one million dollar increase from the previous record for the street. That’s good news for normal people, bad news for…the others.

But wait, there is some actual bad news that might cheer up the odd-balls!  Remember my post called “3 new in Riverside, will they sell?“, back on January 9th?  They haven’t (so far).

11 Pinecrest Rd: Did selling broker Carol Zuckert use Realtor "voodoo" or is this just an amazing house?

Rating waterfront

The Island of Santorini, Greece ("Pegasus Hotel")

I think we can all agree that the most spectacular waterfront/water views can be found in places like the one pictured here, the volcanic Greek island of Santorini.  And of course, there are all those beautiful Italian Islands, Hawaii, etc.

But my job is to help buyers evaluate Greenwich properties. So a reader wondered why I happened to pronounce the tip of Old Greenwich’s Meadowbank Road as the best waterfront in town. The reason is the immediacy of the water at that spot; it’s right there, ready for use, not down a steep hill or across the street or over a hedge.  And Meadowbank’s waterfront is about as far from highways, trains, airports, and “light-pollution” as you can get in this town.

Sitting around one night at Rocky Point Club made me aware of all this.  The sky was black, the stars were bright, and you got the feeling of being at the prow of a ship, sticking w-a-a-y out there.  Off in the distance, looking southwesterly, is Long Island’s Huntington Bay and Smithtown Bay.  To your east is the Chatham Rock lighthouse (still for sale!).

The whole thing is perfect, and that includes The Rocky Point Club, which, in my experience, has always been a nice, elegant, sedate beach club, one of our town’s little “secret places”. And no, I’m not applying for membership there, I swear.

Every once in a while, a political cartoon gets it exactly right….

Political cartoons are popular because their creators are gifted with the ability to distill an argument or a viewpoint to its essential element.  But they are, by necessity, simplistic, so they can never be “the final word” on anything.

With that disclaimer out of the way, I present to you a recent example of The Augusta Chronicle’s great cartoonist, Rick McKee, and his take on the difference between Tea Party folks and the “Occupy” movement….

The best renovation I’ve ever seen….

41 Meadowbank Road: When I showed this Old Greenwich waterfront “tear-down” the last time around, in September 2006, my customer dismissed it as a “Brady Bunch colonial”. That was his opinion, and no doubt other would-be buyers didn’t see anything worth saving here, either.

But the couple who did buy it has done an amazing job of creating a place so nearly perfect that I cannot imagine ever having to go on vacation again if I lived here. Take a look at the listing and you’ll get some idea, although the pictures really don’t capture it.

And the waterfront? The best in this town, and yes, I’m including fabled Field Point Circle. The site, at the end of Meadowbank is real, live, TRUE waterfront. Everything else is in second place or lower.

The knock on the location is that it’s right up next to the Rocky Point Club’s swimming pool. Would I wish the club pool wasn’t there? Sure. But this place is so nice, I’m not sure I’d care if The World Wrestling Federation had its outdoor practice arena next door.

I’ve never been to Hawaii, I hear the waterfront homes are nice there. But until I go see for myself, I’m declaring this one to be the best I’ve seen.

Listing broker is Paul Larson.

41 Meadowbank: Not my client and I don't have a buyer for it, but it sure is nice.

Rich People Are So Smart!

One of the great myths of life is that rich people know what they’re talking about. They don’t. Oh sure, they are or were once good at something, but that doesn’t mean they are good at anything else! Nope, they are just as likely to be jack-asses as the rest of us.

Warren Buffett, Bill Gates, George Soros, the list of fools goes on and on… Trust me on this one, the rich have no better idea than you about the best doctor to see, the best auto mechanic to use, the wisest financial advisor, hell, they probably can’t even hire a decent cleaning lady!

I thought of all this while listening the other morning to radio host John Gambling (710 on your AM dial) do his weekly interview with NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg. The Mayor was pontificating on his all-time favorite subject, gun ownership by private citizens. His Honor, who is never, ever without armed body guards, nevertheless would prefer that you and I were not armed.

Never mind the United States Constitution and its second amendment. The Founding Fathers conceived of this crazy notion of armed citizens back in, what was it, 1787? whatever…times have changed! People don’t need their own gun, for God’s sake! Clearly, only the government should have guns.

Bloomberg and his opposition to citizen gun ownership brings to mind the amazing story of Sarah McKinley. Read this short piece from the New York Post by National Review editor Rich Lowry. It’s about a young woman whose husband had died a month earlier, alone in her little trailer with her infant son when the bad guys arrived, and what she did about it.

If Mayor Bloomberg had his way, this woman would be dead. Luckily, she had a gun, so she’s alive. Sorry Mike, Ms. McKinley is an American citizen and she has a right to own a gun. But you will never give up your

Mayor Mike Bloomberg: Great company at a cocktail party, but an idiot just the same.

effort to deny her that right, will you?

18 Dingletown: A useful indicator

Yep, there really is a street named “Dingletown” in Greenwich, Connecticut, and it’s damn nice, thank you so much!

Ok, so 18 Dingletown….

18 Dingletown has a deal. Yabba...dabbah...dooo! (to quote the great Fred Flintstone)

has gone to contract, good!  Asking price, eventually, was $1,895,000, bad! (The owners paid $2,400,000 in 2005).  So what will this formerly $2.4M house sell for this time?  We’ll soon see, and I will report it.