Pure Speculation

6 Meadowcroft, $13.5M, one of Gid's favorite houses of all time, now fully available!

6 Meadowcroft, $13.5M, one of Gid’s favorite houses of all time, now fully available!

555 Lake Ave, $26.5M, another Dinyar Wadia masterpiece. Should we add $1.2M to the selling price?

555 Lake Ave, $26.5M, another Dinyar Wadia masterpiece. Should we add $1.2M to that selling price?

The following conjecture involves fellow broker Bill Andruss, so I want to make it clear from the outset that nothing I say actually comes from Bill. Why? Because ol’ Bill, though he sits mere steps away from my own office, never, ever reveals anything about his business to me, or anyone else!

Want to know just how secretive ol’ Billy boy is? Let’s say, for instance, I was up in Maine, and I decided to speed-dial Bill and say, “How’s the weather down there in Greenwich, William, old chum?”, Bill would answer something like, “I’m not sure.”

Get the picture? “Tight-lipped” is this man’s trademark. Only broker Heather Platt can match him in “tight-lip-ed-ness”.

I can hear you saying to yourself, “Well, good for him, just the sort of chap I would want as a broker!”. Agreed, none better than Bill.  But there is this: I know many successful brokers who will happily blab the details of whatever deal they’re working on, and they sell just as much as Bill and Heather! Obviously, no one ever mentions clients by name, but deal details? To fellow brokers? Absolutely. Anyway, you get the idea.

Have I laid the groundwork? Good.

So I’ve recently written about the extraordinarily quick deal done on this place:

555 Lake Avenue, $26,500,000, remember? About 10 minutes on the market?  Broker Bill Andruss, as noted in a previous post, provided the buyer.

By coincidence, broker Andruss also provided the buyer for this place:

6 Meadowcroft Lane,  $13,500,000.

And, in an even more amazing coincidence, 555 Lake Avenue came on the market September 16th, the exact same day 6 Meadowcroft came back on the market!  6 Meadowcroft, you’ll recall, announced a signed deal way back on June 21st, but that deal came to an abrupt halt on… September 16th!

Is it possible, is it remotely possible, that  the buyer of 6 Meadowcroft walked away from a signed deal (and perhaps as much as a $1.2 million dollar downpayment) in order to buy 555 Lake Avenue? Only Bill Andruss knows for sure, and trust me, he ain’t talking!

The Market’s Great! No, Wait…The Market’s Terrible!

21 Winthrop Drive, $3.450M, Riverside's hottest address?

21 Winthrop Drive, $3.450M, Riverside’s hottest address?

No sooner had I pronounced the Greenwich high-end on its way to full recovery, then this happens. That link will take you to today’s story from TheStreet.com, where we learn that “pending homes sales” continue to drop*, blamed on a number of factors. And, I’ll admit, right here in Greenwich, there has been an undeniable drop in reported “accepted offers” lately, hmmmm.

On the other hand, we have this

21 Winthrop Drive came on the market Tuesday, and by late afternoon, had already gone to sealed bids! Holy %#@&!

What do you make of this? Is Riverside once again blazing its own trail, or is this just over-excited builders who haven’t yet heard the news that Hartford Democrats (and their liberal Republican enablers) are going to bust up the “racially un-balanced” Riverside School?

The Winthrop property is also listed as separate lots…

21 Winthrop, lot 1 (with house)

21 Winthrop, lot 2 (raw land, aka trees, rabbits, squirrels, raccoons)

* Except in the Northeast, where they’re reported up 4%, go figure.

Weekend Report

River Road, $995K, great little farm house, right on the river. I like.

205 Valley Road, Cos Cob, $995K, has a deal this week. Nice little farm house, right on the Mianus River. Great buy. List: Terrence Baxendale. Sell: Francoise Levinson.

So…not a bad week, especially for the high-end.  Here are the numbers:

12 executed contracts (including this land sale)

16 closings (including a land sale, a multi-family, and a commercial property)

9 accepted offers (sorry, no link until they get fully signed)

555 Lake Avenue Goes To Contract


555 Lake, $26.5M, sells in mere minutes for…asking price? Maybe a bit off for negotiation? We’ll soon see.

As noted yesterday, I suspect this happened several days ago, and the broker’s just getting around to reporting it. Yesterday, this was “accepted offer–contracts”, today? Voila’! Signed contracts!

Also, it says 4 days on the market, but it was more like 4 hours. Nice, BIG, clean deal, exactly the sort that new brokers imagine they’ll be involved in as soon as they begin (ha!).

List:  Doug Stevens

Sell:  William Andruss, Jr.

Comedy Night At The Cole

Cole Auditorium, empty now, but tomorrow night, Gid takes the stage!

Cole Auditorium, empty now, but tomorrow night, Gid takes the stage!

Tomorrow night (as in, Friday, Sept. 20th), I’m hosting the annual Comedy Night at the Cole Auditorium at Greenwich Library. This is a great event, with actual funny, talented comedians, the cream-of-the-crop from New York’s Gotham Club.

Show starts at 8:00 PM, but the Big Green Truck Pizza starts serving gourmet-quality pizza (plus beer and wine) starting at 6:00. Also, there’re some decent restaurants mere steps from Greenwich Library where you can dine, get liquored up, then wander over in time for the show. See you there!

All proceeds to benefit Greenwich Community Answers.

Here are the real comedians (as opposed to Realtor-comedians)…click on their names to see what they’re all about.

Greenwich High-End Takes Off

455 Lake Avenue, $26.5M, listed one day, sold the next... Wow.

555 Lake Avenue, $26.5M, listed one day, sold the next…

Ok, it’s happened…I’ve been holding back from saying it, but I can no longer pretend that, even at the extreme high end of Greenwich real estate, we are now, finally seeing the beginnings of a full recovery.

555 Lake Avenue, listed Wednesday for $26,500,000 now has a signed deal. That is big, my friends, very big. And when you combine it with the recently sold 3.5 acre parcel on Field Point Circle for $24,000,000 (sold direct, reportedly to a neighbor), plus some other fresh major sales, we have the makings of a healthy high-end!

Can’t say as much for the rest of the American economy, but here in Greenwich? Things are swell.

Take $50,000,000, Call Me In The Morning


499 Indian Field Road, marked down from $190M to $140M.

499 Indian Field Road, marked down from $190M to $140M.

I don’t think we’ve all properly appreciated what happened yesterday when Greenwich real estate history was made:  The price of 499 Indian Field Road had its asking price reduced from $190,000,000 to $140,000,000, a FIFTY MILLION DOLLAR reduction in one fell swoop! The greatest one-day price reduction ever! Ask any broker what it’s like getting a damned fifty thousand dollar reduction from a seller and you’ll begin to understand the magnitude of this.

So, will it work? Are we now close to a likely selling price? Not sure. I do know it was smart to also start offering the place in pieces, main house with 31.23 acres at $80M,  and the raw land of 20 acres for $55M.

D.C. Massacre, Media Scrambles To Determine Story’s “Usefulness”

D.C. shooter, Aaron Alexis, wisely chose a "gun-free zone" to conduct his rampage in.

D.C. shooter, Aaron Alexis, wisely chose a “gun-free zone” to conduct his rampage in.

Like me, you watch with fascination and horror every day, as the dominant media, including almost every single televison network, radio station, news bureau, print magazine, and Internet news site, searches endlessly for stories that will reinforce their message of government as the source of all that is good. And because they are obsessed with race, they also look for stories that promote the idea of rampant racism among whites, sometimes to the point of comical absurdity, as in the case of Sanford, Florida shooter, George Zimmerman, being described as a “white Hispanic”.

So today’s story of the murders at a Navy facilty in Washington, D.C. must surely have represented a huge dissappointment to most of the media. Desperately hoping for a white, right-wing “tea-party type”, they instead get a black man from Texas, likely a disgruntled employee, who went insane.

That leaves only one angle for MSNBC and the rest to fall back on, the old reliable “We must disarm all Americans now” theme. As it happens, everyone in that facility was disarmed, with no possibilty of defending themselves from a madman. That’s what they want for the rest of us.

Oh No! More Good News For Greenwich Real Estate!

5 Old Round Hill Lane (a modest cottage, near the Round Hill store), sells for $10.375.

5 Old Round Hill Lane (a modest cottage, near the Round Hill store), sells for $10.375M.

I hate to upset the crybabies* out there who, for a variety of reasons, actually root for real estate’s collapse, but I have a professional responsibility to call ’em as I sees ’em…

5 Old Round Hill Lane has just sold for $10,375,000.  That is a GREAT price for the backcountry these days. The sellers paid $11,200,000 for it back in July, 2007, so $825,000 has gone by the wayside for them, but heck, they bought at possibly the exact moment of the top of the market. Getting most of that back ain’t bad (next time, buy in Riverside).

* you know who you are.

List:  Tamar Lurie

Sell:  Lee Fleischman

Weekend Report

11 Executed contracts for the week (including a cheapie land listing for $200K).

13 Sales (including a cheapie multi-family for $400K).

Also, 26 accepted offers (which I’ll link to when they become executed contracts).

Pictured below, 78 Mayo Avenue in Belle Haven. According to the MLS, it sat around for 1,146 days, waiting for a buyer. During that time, it went from asking $9,375,000, back in June, 2010, to switching listing broker in June 2013, and reaching its final asking price of $6,975,000. Obviously that last asking price did the trick, but the market also improved dramatically since the dark(ish) days of 2010.


This is a BIG number for a house like this except in Belle Haven (and maybe a few streets in Riverside), where it’s perfectly normal. Amazing.

List: John McAtee

Sell: Hillary McAtee

78 Mayo Avenue, in Greenwich's Belle Haven section, has a deal this week ($6.995M).

78 Mayo Avenue, in Greenwich’s Belle Haven section, has a deal this week ($6.995M).