ObamaCare Victims Begin To Speak Out

Here’s a sad little story from a hard-working couple in Stamford, CT. They voted for President Obama, thinking that putting the federal government in charge of providing health insurance would make things better. It didn’t.

Big government at work! But not to worry, it's not real money, it's just taxpayers' money.

Big government at work! But not to worry, it’s not real money, it’s just taxpayers’ money.

Sneaky Brokers Outta Luck!

Greenwich Baord of Realtors clamps down on a favorite technique of sneaky brokers!

Greenwich Board of Realtors clamps down on a favorite technique of sneaky brokers!

A favorite trick of sneaky brokers has been to put their Greenwich listing on the Connecticut Multiple Listing Service, but not the Greenwich Multiple Listing Service. The reason they do this is to try and capture the entire commission, rather than have to split it with a cooperating selling broker, the way it’s usually done.

The Sneak assures clients that their property is “multiple listed”, when in fact, almost no Greenwich brokers are even aware of it because it is buried among the hundreds and hundreds of CMLS listings. The Sneak then advertises the listing, attracts buyers, and sells it to one of them, representing both sides of the transaction.

 A Greenwich broker is much more likely to bring the highest price, because of local market knowledge and experience, but the Sneak isn’t interested in getting the highest price, the Sneak wants that whole commission!

Now the Greenwich Board of Realtors has begun enforcing an existing rule that says, if you’re a member of the Greenwich Board of Realtors and you list a property on the CMLS, you MUST also list it on the GMLS. A victory for mis-represented sellers, a victory for honest brokers.

Mad, Crazed Bidding Wars

16 Francine Drive, $2.995M (apparently fetching MUCH more). I thought this house was perfect in every way, the market agreed!

16 Francine Drive, $2.995M (apparently fetching MUCH more). This house showed as perfectly as a house can show. Study these pictures, this is how it’s done! (Shown: rear view)

Cowabunga! I went to show 16 Francine Drive over the weekend and was told there were multiple offers, one had already been accepted, and contracts were expected to be signed Monday. Technically, my people could have rushed over, looked, and submitted their all-cash (required) bid for over the asking price, but they decided to give it a pass.

But that’s the kind of market going on right now, not for everything, but if the house is truly, truly move-in condition and well-priced, there will be multiple offers, and if you’re out there bidding, you will likely get caught up in one.

More reports coming!

135 Taconic Road Gets $14,000,000.

135 Taconic Road (spectacular front hall), sells today for $14M.

135 Taconic Road (above: spectacular front hall), sells today for $14M.

135 Taconic Road last sold for the paltry sum of $11,460,000, way back in 2005. The folks who bought it (from builder Jordan Saper) put a bunch of money into it and guess what? They got that money back!

People who bought in Greenwich’s back-country, in years around 2005, are supposed to be “underwater” still. But not this one.

(Here’s what the listing looked like back in 2005)

List: Steve Archino

Sell: Elizabeth Douthit

Public Open House Today, Oct. 6th: 100 Club Road, 1:00-4:00


100 Club Road, $4.897M. Spectacular view (best on a sunny day, naturally).

Yep, now you can actually see for yourself the famous view that sits at the top of this blog! Not to mention, you get to meet Gid Fountain, himself (by all accounts, a rare treat that you can someday tell your grandchildren about!).

100 Club Road, Riverside, CT 06878

Hours: 1:00 to 4:00 PM

Newly reduced price: $4,897,000!

Weekend Report

78 Mayo Avenue (corner of Mustard & Ketchup), closes this week at $6.45M. 8,852  sq.ft. on 1 acre in Belle Haven.

78 Mayo Avenue (corner of Mustard & Ketchup), closes this week at $6.45M. 8,852 sq.ft. on 1 acre in Belle Haven. Picture shows rear view.

Wow, lookit this! I’m filing a %#@&ing timely report! What’s gotten into me?

For the week:

24 closings (including this land sale)

17 executed contracts (including this multi-family place)

25 accepted offers (no link till they’re signed!)

All in all, not a bad week, and believe me, there’s more coming, the market remains active.

“Mayor de Blasio” Is Coming, Time To Sell NYC Real Estate?

Future Mayor of New York, Bill de Blasio (ok, not really, that's his son, "Dante", but if you went by Bill de Blasio's TV ads, you'd swear it was his son running for office!

Future Mayor of New York, Bill de Blasio (ok, not really, that’s his son, “Dante”, but if you went by Bill de Blasio’s TV ads, you’d swear this kid’s the one running for office!

A life-long, committed leftist*, who’s never held a real job, is about to assume the mayoralty of New York City, should you sell your New York City real estate now, before it’s too late? And what about Greenwich? We’re the ultimate “bedroom community” of NYC, will the coming downturn of the City drag us with it?

To the first question, I would answer yes, now would be a good time to unload your New York apartment, if its re-sale value is an important part of your investment holdings, and I think you’ve probably got at least 12 months to get it done. Crime and taxes, the hallmark of all US cities run by Democrat machines, will begin their increase gradually, beginning around, oh, June, 2014.

The first folks to feel the tax pinch will be the “wealthy” ($500K+/yr.), but the new Mayor will quickly run out of their money, so the definition of “wealthy” will be adjusted downward accordingly.

As for crime, I think city residents are already seeing the increase, thanks to Judge Shira Scheindlin’s decree that “stop & frisk” is unconstitutional. It’s clear this ruling has had a chilling effect on the NYPD, and we can expect that to get worse under the new Mayor.

“But wait”, I hear you say, “We’ve had a committed leftist who’d never held a real job, sitting in the White House for 5+ years, and real estate’s done fine, so has the stock market!” All true, I admit, but the US is a huge, vibrant, country that can endure amazing self-imposed obstacles and disasters, yet keep on thriving. New York City, unfortunately, cannot make the same claim. Mayors Lindsay, Beam, and Dinkins nearly destroyed the City and its boroughs, and de Blasio is cut from identical cloth. Sell that real estate now!

As for Greenwich, I think we’ll survive the coming NYC disaster just fine. It would be nice if it didn’t have to happen, but the city’s importance to our economy is simply not what it once was.

So New York voters will put their city under the care of a man who has no conception of how money is made, profits earned, investment decisions determined. All he learned at Yale was that there is a “gap” between the rich and the poor, and the only salvation is a continuous, never-ending expansion of government. As the “gap” grows ever wider, the justification for even higher taxes, even higher spending, becomes all the more urgent
to the de Blasios of this world. The more they fail, the harder they try.

*According to the New York Times, which ought to know a leftist when it sees one!

Waterfront Still Selling!

73 Club Road, $9.5M, annouces a deal, just 2 weeks since hitting the market.

73 Club Road, $9.5M, annouces a deal, 2 weeks after hitting the market.

73 Club Road has a deal. You’ll recall this was my listing last time around, when it sold  for $8,000,000, in December, 2010. (Here’s the previous listing)

You’ll also recall, this was 2.62 acres of waterfront, on one of Riverside’s most desireable streets. It is sub-divided into two lots, but will probably be used by the buyer to build one house. It doesn’t hurt, by the way, that the most likely building site is around 25 feet above mean high-tide.

It took me 320 days (and a million-dollar price reduction, from $9.95M down to 8.995M) to get it sold. This time?, broker Barbie Jackson appears to have gotten it done in 2 weeks!

Did the seller make a quick million+, just for holding the property for 3 years? If so, that would be impressive, but not as impresssive as investor Chris Shumway’s reward for holding 204 Otter Rock Drive, in Belle Haven. He purchased the 3.14 acre parcel in April, 2005, for $10.875M, held it for seven years, then sold it for $13.750M in April, 2012, a hefty $2.875M premium!

Who Gets To Keep The 10% Deposit?

Hooray, my buyer walked, I'm keeping his %&#@ing 10% deposit!

Hooray, my buyer walked, I’m keeping his %&#@ing 10% deposit!

In our last episode, the clever real estate agent, sensing the commission on $26,500,000 was nicer than $12,000,000, deftly steered his clients to the more expensive house, even though they had signed contracts and put down 10% of the purchase price on the cheaper place!

So they walked away from $1,200,000??

Well, actually, yes, in this case, it happens to be true, those buyers really did walk away from $1,200,000. The part about the broker “deftly steering them”, well, I made that up.  What actually happened (I think) is that the deal sat around too long, the seller hemming and hawing, delaying and waiting, while trivial closing details were worked out. Eventually, the contract got signed and exchanged, but by then, so-o-o-o much time had gone by that the buyers became susceptible to a new idea.

Remember this catchy phrase: “Time is the enemy of the deal”.

In the previous example, the money was big, and so were the players. Despite what my brother, Chris Fountain says, there is honor among Wall Streeters. When those guys give their word, they don’t back out. That buyer backed out, but he had the honor (and the bucks) to walk away from the deposit, he did the right thing.

What about a more normal circumstance? You’ve made a deal to sell your shack for $1,000,000, contracts are signed, and you now hold the buyer’s 10% ($100,000) deposit. The next day, the buyer announces he’s not going through with it, he wants his deposit back. Can you keep it? Yes!

But maybe no. The  law  Previous court decisions have determined your requirement  to attempt to mitigate your damages. If another buyer shows up two days later and offers you the same $1,000,000, you’ve suffered no damages, and buyer number one gets a full refund. On the other hand, if six months goes by, and you finally, finally make a deal, but it’s only for $900,000, well then, congratulations, you get to keep the previous buyer’s deposit in its entirety!

Let’s review…

Buyer walks, demands return of his 10% deposit. Before you can keep it, you must show that you made every effort to MITIGATE YOUR DAMAGES. The dollar amount of the damages you suffered from the breaking of that contract is what you can deduct from the deposit amount. If another buyer shows up (soon) and offers the same deal, you must give back the deposit.