Ha! Why I love the real estate “grapevine”

46 Carriglea Drive on Riverside waterfront fetches an even $5M.

Back in early February I informed you of the impending deal (under-the-radar, non-MLS) at 46 Carriglea Drive, a tear-down (surely) on tidal waterfront off Riverside’s Indian Head Road. My guess, based on the grapevine, was “around $5,000,000”. Sure enough, it suddenly appears as a “sold” last week at exactly $5,000,000, so sometimes the grapevine’s accurate.

Listing brokers: Bobby Hopkins and Ann Simpson

Selling broker: Christy Fraser

Here, by the way, are the other seven properties that have sold on Carriglea Drive in the last few years.

Real Estate Evaluation:

$5M for a 1.14-acre waterfront site in Riverside will, to most brokers, sound about right. Does that mean that a similar parcel in Old Greenwich would be worth the same? Maybe, maybe not! For one thing, the best Old Greenwich waterfront is all zoned R-20, aka the “half-acre zone” (a real half acre would be 21,780 sq.ft., but never mind), so a typical OG waterfront lot would be smaller than a typical Riverside one. On the other hand, Old Greenwich is more likely to have real, live, actual, mind-blowing TRUE waterfront vs. the semi-tidal stuff we like to peddle in Riverside*. So the answer is…who the hell knows.

*Kidding, of course. On the whole, still prefer Riverside, but will acknowledge OG’s superior water.

Today’s accepted offers

Ok, so officially there were 11 today, but when you parse them a bit, it works out to 9 real actual properties. And here is a link for those 9 accepted offers (Oops, wait a sec, I forgot the MLX can’t seem to display land listings alongside house listings. One of the 9 is land listing 92 Buckfield Lane at $895,000. Listing broker Alice Duff, selling broker George Crossman).

Among today’s, my favorite is 169 Valley Road,

169 Valley Road, Cos Cob. Antique house, 1.35 acres (in the R-12 zone!), 127' of riverfront. Why'd it take 6 months?

It’s a nice old antique on 1.35 acres with 127 feet of Mianus River frontage. I’m embarassed to admit I never visted this one…it “seems” really nice (but it did sit around for 6 months and had to be reduced once, from $1.890M down to $1.7M, before finally getting a deal).

CORRECTION: Dammit, I just “parsed” some more and must now reveal that the “9” are really only 7 because 14 Tait Road and 27 Byfield Lane were only status upgrades, going from accepted offer to “accepted offer contracts”. Gee, this blog is starting to feel like hard work!

The damn breaketh?

Gee wiligers, SEVEN “accepted offers” reported so far today and, from what I hear, many more coming.  If you’ve decided to rent “one more year” to make sure the market isn’t still dropping, you may end up throwing away $80,000+ in rent, plus pay an extra 5-10% for the house you finally do buy (on the other hand, if you-know-who* gets re-elected, your decision to rent will look positively prescient!

Here’s a good example of market “heat”:  12 Rocky Point Road,  came on last week and is apparently the subject of a mad, crazed, bidding war, probably reaching its conclusion in some lawyer’s office right about now!

12 Rocky Point Rd: Sold for $3.4M March, 2007. Came back on for $3.375 and now seems poised to sell for (are you sitting down?) MORE than the 2007 price.

*The President, of course, but I’ll include Connecticut’s own one-man economic disaster, Governor (“Book’im, Danno”) Malloy

Whoa! Another major waterfront gets a deal.

60 Oneida Drive, in the “Indian Harbor” section of Greenwich has a deal so that makes THREE major waterfronts in the last eight days. Excellent.

Oneida came on January 17th at $21,000,000, got reduced a few times, down to $14,900,000; speedy work! It’s a 1928 Tudor-style with 6.65 acres right on the big tidal pond that lets out into Greenwich harbor. Me? I’d save this house, it’s just classic in every detail, but I suspect…the end is near.

Be sure and check out the pictures, this one’s a beauty.

60 Oneida Drive, in the Indian Harbor section. A fabulous house, like an old Hollywood movie set.

Listing brokers: Lyn Stevens and Fi Fi Sheridan

17 Lockwood Road, Riverside gets $2,095,000.

There are four “Lockwood” streets in Riverside/Old Greenwich: They are Avenue, Drive, Lane, and Road. This was 17 Lockwood Road, just a few doors down from the Riverside Avenue intersection, therefore walkable to train and schools. Backyard a bit small but a really nice house, last fetched $1,900,000 back in 2003.

This time around, they started it at $2,375,000, then reduced twice, finishing with an ask of $2,125,000. Now it has just closed at $2,095,000. Days On Market: 129.

17 Lockwood Road, Riverside

Listing broker Cynthia De Riemer

Selling broker Ellen Mosher

Haffenreffer’s war!

Good gosh, a bidding war, a genuine, certified, gold-plated BIDDING WAR! Yes, it happened at broker David Haffenreffer’s listing at  30 Crescent Road, Riverside.

Ask was $1,299,000 and it’s reported sold today at $1,339,000, which is $40,000 over ask. As I reported several weeks ago, this place had a bidding war the last time, too, back in 2004, when it sold for $85,000 over the then asking price of $1,675,000.

This time, People’s United Bank was the beneficiary.  The buyers were represented by Anna Vilaseca (who might very well be selling one of my listings soon, too).

30 Crescent Road, Riverside, sells for $40,000 over ask.

Thursday results

Hmmmp.  Ok, still slow. But keep in mind, deals are being made out there.  I should know, I have two “accepted offers” but the listing brokers aren’t reporting them yet  because, well, the deals are new and vulnerable.

So “officially” we’ve got just 4 accepted offers today, but wait a sec, what’s this? Another deal that has skipped the “accepted offer” stage and instead pops up under “executed contract”!  Yep, 60 East Elm Street now has executed contracts. Tamar Lurie, listing broker, Alice Duff, selling broker.

Now this Alice Duff is really something….whenever a property is reported as “executed contract”, the first thing I look at is who sold it.  Seems like way too often, that selling broker turns out to be “Alice Duff”! How does she do it? I suppose I don’t mind seeing my competitors succeed, but this seems a little excessive.

Anyway, the last time 60 East Elm Street sold was February, 2010, when it fetched $4.125M.  It had come on August, 2009, in the worst market in 20 years.  6 months later, in February 2010, listing broker Barbara Wells sold it to her own customer, amazing deal.

This time around, it came on January, 2011 for $4.1M and got reduced a few times, down to $3.875M, and now broker Duff has got it under contract for….we’ll all find out soon!

60 East Elm Street has sold again (well, it's "under contract"). Last ask was $3.875M. Prime downtown location, mere steps from Greenwich Avenue.

Raquel Welch

Yep, this is the woman who thrilled my 10 year-old soul back in the 1960’s, and by jingies, she’s still pretty amazing now that she’s 71!. Here’s a good interview with Raquel in this month’s Men’s Health.

Her observation, by the way, about the “Age of Porn” that we are now living in is sadly accurate. Used to be, if you wanted something raunchier than Playboy, you had to go to some creepy little store down an alley somewhere (not that I would know). Now? It is everywhere.

Imagine if, 30 years ago, there was every possible type of crude porno in the back of your math text book, but the teacher instructed you not to turn to those pages. How would that have worked out?

Nope, we’re in the midst of a “grand social experiment”: Pornography available to all ages, all the time… who knows how it will turn out.

Raquel Welch, who else?

Real estate rumblings

Ok, so far this week, 9 accepted offers (click on that link back there) but more significantly, I am aware of numerous situations where would-be buyers are making semi-reasonable bids and being turned down.  Perfectly normal, of course, that’s part of real estate life, but it should serve as a reminder to real estate skeptics like my reader “Real Estate Junkie” that, in fact, people are out there trying to buy!

And gradually, these deals will get done; the sellers will give a little, the buyers will give a little, that’s the way it works.  (Yes, you may quote me.)

63 Maple Avenue (just up from "crocus hill" and the 2nd Congo Church). Started at $5.1M w-a-a-a-y back in May, 2008. Most recent ask $3.999M, now has "accepted offer". Wonderful house.