What’s Your Riverside Tear-Down Worth?

7 Hearthstone Drive, Riverside (small farmhouse now removed), .31 acres, sold for $1.315M back in 2008, about what it would sell for today!

7 Hearthstone Drive, Riverside, .31 acres, sold for $1.315M back in 2008, about what it would sell for today! This property sat vacant for 5 years but now, finally, has a house under construction by Argus Development.

I took a look at two year’s worth of Riverside sales of houses that, with two exceptions, have either already been torn down (and replaced) or are scheduled to be. The two exceptions were sold to people who apparently plan to update, which is just fine, but it’s plainly accurate to put them on the tear-down list, nevertheless.

As an aside, the two that weren’t torn down remind me of a little-known real estate fact, namely, that “sprucing up” an obvious tear-down can be a smart move for two reasons; one, someone who plans to actually live in the house may pay more than someone who wants to tear it down, and two, people who plan to tear down will often pay more for a house that appears to be at least somewhat ‘livable”, reasoning that a larger group of potential buyers may be interested, and that will drive the price up.

“Sprucing up” does not mean new baths and  kitchen, it means paint, wallpaper, maybe a new roof (if it really, really needs it). Also, de-clutter, wash the windows, and clean up the property. that’s it.

16 Riverside “tear-downs” 

For the record, I added them all up to see how they averaged out (I included as a 17th example, the one pictured above, 7 Hearthstone Drive):

Average lot size: .365 acres

Average Sale Price: $1,402,000.

Norton Lane Heats Up

19 Norton Lane, Old Greenwich (north of Palmer Hill Rd), $1.295M, now has deal.

19 Norton Lane, Old Greenwich (north of Palmer Hill Rd), $1.295M, now has deal. Listing broker: Karen Coxe, New England Land Co.

If you were to tap a typical group of Greenwich residents on the head and say, “Tell me where Norton Lane is.”, they’d be clueless. Yet, it’s a perfectly nice street located in what I would call “North Old Greenwich” (or maybe Old Greenwich’s “backcountry”), in the century-old neighborhood of Hillcrest Park.

Norton’s current housing stock was clearly developed years after all the original, grand, summer “cottages” (mansions) were built, but it has become the latest place to remove & replace with new mansions.

Which leads us to the two deals reported today on Norton…

16 Norton Lane, Old Greenwich, CT and

19 Norton Lane, Old Greenwich, CT

I loved both of these places, for different reasons; both have a smidgeon over an acre of mostly flat, usable land, but number 16 is a nicely updated contemporary, while number 19 would be described as a “tired builder’s colonial” (the house, not the builder).

Perhaps, like its immediate neighbor, number 19 will be torn down, but to me, that would be a waste, as it has good bones, and is an excellent candidate for updating. Check out the pictures.

How To Lose A Fortune In Greenwich Real Estate (2)

78 Doubling Road, as seen back in the good old days (2008), when it sold for $8.6M.

78 Doubling Road, as seen back in the good old days (2007), when it sold for $8.6M.

(For brokers who wish to forward to clients, here’s a repeat of yesterday’s report, without extraneous photography…)

Maybe “lose a fortune” is a slight exaggeration.  Though we’re talking about hundreds of thousands, even millions of dollars here, this is Greenwich, after all, so the losses probably weren’t devastating to the people who suffered them, but they had to hurt.

And standing by to make matters worse, CT’s fun-loving Governor Malloy and his Hartford cronies were only to happy to collect multi-thousand dollar CONVEYANCE taxes on these sales, despite the sellers’ huge losses. So that just makes it perfect, doesn’t it.

Below, some of the more egregious recent examples of the difference between selling then and selling now…

Click on the link to see the property listing before & after, sales date and price revealed at bottom of each listing.

78 Doubling Road, before/after ($8.6M…5.6M)

26 Mohawk Lane, before/after ($7.5M…5.2M)

101 Brookside Drive, before/after ($5.995M…4.475M)

15 North Street, before/after ($4.550M…3.9M)

2 Parsonage Road, before/after ($3.684M…3.450M)

23 Chieftans Road, before/after ($3.050M…2.4M)

96 Riversville Road, now/then ($2.550M…2.399M)

82 Glenville Road, now/then ($3.00M…2.350M)

17 Sherwood Avenue, now/then ($3.150M…1.680M)

And there are many, many more like this, in every town in Connecticut and beyond.  There’s an economic “recovery” going on, but it’s a weak and pathetic one.

How To Lose A Fortune In Greenwich Real Estate

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Gold diggers (now available in all genders) are one sure way to lose a fortune, but this site is about real estate! Photo used with permission of listing broker.

Maybe “lose a fortune” is a slight exaggeration.  Though we’re talking about hundreds of thousands, even millions of dollars here, this is Greenwich, after all, so the losses probably weren’t devastating to the people who suffered them, but they had to hurt.

And standing by to make matters worse, CT’s fun-loving Governor Malloy and his Hartford cronies were only to happy to collect multi-thousand dollar CONVEYANCE taxes on these sales, despite the sellers’ huge losses. So that just makes it perfect, doesn’t it.

Below, some of the more egregious recent examples of the difference between selling then and selling now…

Click on the link to see the property listing before & after, sales date and price revealed at bottom of each listing.

78 Doubling Road, before/after ($8.6M…5.6M)

26 Mohawk Lane, before/after ($7.5M…5.2M)

101 Brookside Drive, before/after ($5.995M…4.475M)

15 North Street, before/after ($4.550M…3.9M)

2 Parsonage Road, before/after ($3.684M…3.450M)

23 Chieftans Road, before/after ($3.050M…2.4M)

96 Riversville Road, now/then ($2.550M…2.399M)

82 Glenville Road, now/then ($3.00M…2.350M)

17 Sherwood Avenue, now/then ($3.150M…1.680M)

And there are many, many more like this, in every town in Connecticut and beyond.  There’s an economic “recovery” going on, but it’s a weak and pathetic one.

This Week: 34 Accepted Offers

I’m not happy about some of the closing prices I’m seeing but, dag nabbit, this volume is GREAT.

34 accepted offers in one week. I haven’t seen that number in about, what, 5 years, maybe more.  Zowie.

1 “executed contract” is among those accepted offers (it skipped the “a/o” status)

Oh, and..

1 multi-family.

Featured below, broker Jean Dana’s spec-house listing on Winthrop Drive. It had a deal last month, the deal fell apart, now it has quickly picked up another deal. If you haven’t driven around Winthrop lately, you’ll be surprised; it’s getting to be all mansions.

Winthrop Drive, $4.495M, had a deal, deal fell through, got another deal! (Note: Image used with permission of listing broker!)

63 Winthrop Drive (off Riverside’s Lockwood Road) $4.395M, has deal. (Note: Image used with permission of listing broker!)

How To Prevent A Bidding War

There are two main ways to prevent your property from enjoying the benefits* of a bidding-war:

One, price it insanely high and then cling to that price for months and years. This never,ever fails to get the job done of keeping the property from selling quickly or at all.

The other tried-and-true method of preventing bidding-wars is to severly limit the number of potential buyers who see your property, either by having your property handled as a “pocket listing” by a broker, or trying to sell it yourself, with a newspaper/online ad. Either of these methods will limit the number of showings by at least 75%, and that ought to be enough to do the trick.

All of this is, of course, my sarcastic way of pleading with you NOT to do anything to prevent a bidding-war! They are wonderful things, whether it’s your house we’re talking about, or that awful Andy Warhol print left to you by your great uncle. Let the market do its work, I’m begging you.

Featured below, is the latest bidding-war example. “Boblink Lane” is little known among non-brokers, but it’s one of those great little, sort-of-close-to-Town, but not quite mid-country, streets that the cognoscente will pay up for. And pay, they did, in this case, $505,000 over the ask. Came on December 17th, had a deal by January 28th, just 42 days on market. This is the way real estate should be sold.

I asked (notoriously secretive) selling broker Pam Chiapetta whether her customer was going to build a spec house or custom, and naturally, Pam answered “neither”. So your guess is as good as mine (Pam has this annoying habit of protecting her customer’s privacy…what a concept!)

27 Bobolink Lane, Greenwich, CT

List: Ward Davol

Sell: Pam Chiapetta

* It’s not just about more money, by the way. Bidding-wars also cause the buyer to drop all contingencies and generally do absolutely anything to keep you happy. Doesn’t that sound appealing?

27 Bobolink Lane (off North Maple), asked $3.995M, got $4.5M! Jumping Jehoshafat!

27 Bobolink Lane (off North Maple), asked $3.995M, got $4.5M! Jumping Jehoshafat! Click on that BingMaps link below, for the aerial view (and then click on the house to make the label go away)

http://binged.it/10RjExf

Once Again, 10 Accepted Offers On Monday

I like this trend: Greenwich real estate is selling well again, consistently.

Right about here is where I usually have to say, “except in the $5M+ range”, yet even there we’re now seeing activity…listing broker Amanda Miller has reported a fairly quick deal on 714 Lake Avenue, asking $5.650M.

Here are today’s deals, as reported on the Greenwich MLS…

10 accepted offers.

714 Lake Avenue, $5.650M, absolutely beautiful. Came on last month, now has deal. No surprise here.

714 Lake Avenue, $5.650M, absolutely beautiful. Came on last month, now has deal. No surprise here.

30 Accepted Offers This Week (Updated)

Yep, we’ve done it, the magic* number has been reached, the one that proves, beyond the shadow of a doubt** that we’re in a hot market!

30 Accepted Offers (But the upper range, $5M+, continues to drag)

* An arbitrary number that I happened to pick, but so what?

** To me, anyway.

Pleasant View Place, $2.395M, despite prediction of a smart-alecky,know-it-all-reader, gets a quick deal!

11 Pleasant View Place, $2.375M: Despite prediction of a smart-alecky,know-it-all-reader, gets a quick deal! (Spectacular renovation, so not a surprise)