The Market Explained

Ha! Don’t I wish…

No, what puzzled a reader and I this week was the sale of two different Riverside properties

8 Indian Point Lane

9 Miltiades Avenue

at roughly equivalent prices (give’r’take a couple hundred thou). 

Judging by the average prices on the two streets, Indian Point Lane is clearly “superior”, but is it really a better place to live?  As one of my brothers reminded me, my parents, back in the early 1960’s, decided not to move from Gilliam Lane to way down Indian Head Road because it would have added a mile each way to my Dad’s daily walk to and from the train station (and the little Fountain brats would have had to be driven to Riverside School!)

So “convenience” can be a factor in determining where someone chooses to live in sprawling Riverside, but in the case of these two houses, I think the buyers of Miltiades wanted something they could move into right now. What they didn’t want was a house that needed months of updating, hiring the builder, the architect, the painter, and all the rest. “Ready -to-move-in” is worth a lot.

9 Miltiades Avenue, Riverside (rear-view), gets $2.650M this week. 6,000 square feet, move right in, close to everything ,including the train tracks!

8 Indian Point Lane, Riverside. Last ask: $2.495M, on the water (kinda), among the mansions, no train tracks! But needs updating, lots of updating.

 

10 thoughts on “The Market Explained

  1. 8 Indian Point Lane:
    What a glorious view! I did stalk the house a few times and tried to convince the boss…agreed on it being a little out of the way but not like some of those back country locations. It looks like it needs a lot of help to get it up to today’s stepford wives’ standards. Did not know about the FAR limitation due to wetlands; that being said $2.5MM for an effective 1/2 acre lot with that view is not bad for the sellers AND buyers. Imagine those sunsets – not quite Ogunquit but not shabby for being home!

    9 Militades Lane:
    Not bad. New. 6K sqft. I suppose it would make the “Meh” List of the weekend NY Times Magazine.

    • another stb:
      Who says there’s an “FAR limitation due to wetlands”? I recall that idea being proposed but not approved. No, I think the only limitations on the property at 8 Indian Point Lane are just the usual set-back and height limits for the 1-acre zone.

  2. 9 Militades Lane buyer doesn’t know about the market. i would never pay 2.6 mm for that. the 6k must include finished basement. the buyer must be a newcomer to the town who commutes to the city daily

    • Anon:
      Every time a property sells for more than people think it should, it is attributed to the naiveté of the buyer, who is usually described as some poor, befuddled “newcomer”. I beg to differ.

    • Anon:
      Hmmmm…what if the newly constructed house at 9 Miltiades was located at 8 Indian Point Lane, what would it be worth? Answer: At least $1M more. And if the house at 8 Indian Point Lane was instead located at 9 Miltiades, how much would it have fetched? Answer: About twice the $615,000 that it (the tear-down that used to be there) actually sold for.

  3. How do you think the tax assessments will shake out on 9 Miltiades? Will it be heavily influenced by the sales price?

    From the looks of it, 8 Indian Point at a $2.76M assessment and $3.9M fair market value is way overassessed. That could make a pretty big difference in monthly costs.

    I’d disagree that the buyer doesn’t know anything about the market. He just values proximity to train station and newness differently. Same goes for homes next to cemetaries – some people don’t mind it and will value the impact differently (quietest neighbor you can get).

    • Anon:
      Yes, the Town will of course use the sale price of the new construction at 9 Miltiades to set the tax assessment (as you know, the assessment number is supposed to represent 70% of market value). The place fetched $2,650,000, so it’s new assessment should be $1,855,000, with annual taxes of $20,405. And yes, by my reckoning, the owners of 8 Indian Point Lane have been paying at least $4,300/year too much in taxes for the last 10 years or so. And finally, yes, I agree with you regarding how “the market” values negatives like proximity to graveyards, train tracks, what-have-you; it all depends on the individual buyer. But I would caution sellers not to go down the road of “waiting for the right buyer” (the one who seemingly doesn’t care about some particular negative). As always, if you’ve got no bids, lower the price.

  4. The bulk of the 8 Indian Point assessment comes from its land, $2.364million,
    which is way more than the land assessment of 5IP, $1.964million, that has almost the same acreage but no wetland..unlike 8IP.

    • Anon:
      Correct about the Town’s assessments of 8 Indian Point Lane vs. 9 Miltiades. Indian Point’s lot was assessed at $2,364,460, its modest dwelling at $395,570. Just guessing, but it appears that the selling price will be right around that land assessment figure, meaning the house added zero value, from the assessor’s point of view. The long and short of it is, the Town is grossly over-assessing tear-downs.

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