Including But Not Limited To…

The view from 107 Meadow Road, $6.995M. No show till after broker open house on Thursday and guess what? All Thursday appointment times are already reserved. Sounds like plenty of demand to me!

The view from 107 Meadow Road, $6.995M. No show till after broker open house on Thursday and guess what? All Thursday appointment times are already reserved. Sounds like plenty of demand to me!

UPDATE: It occurs to me that burdening the word “including” with “but not limited to” is like the hideous phrase, “close proximity”, that is, the adding of a completely unnecessary qualifier. Other examples would be “very unique”, “over exaggerate”, etc.

It’s the kind of annoying crud that litters our language these days, and as usual, lawyers get the blame. A modern group of lawyers, tasked with re-writing the greatest document ever created, the US Constitution, would quickly balloon it to   twenty thousand pages.

See that weasely, lawyerly phrase in my title? It’s used by lawyers because other lawyers (especially the ones permitted to parade around in black robes) like to play a little game of “we didn’t know what you meant”.

Long ago some judge probably ruled against someone, declaring that the word “including” was not clear enough, and from that point onward, lawyers never miss a chance to add “…but not limited to”.

People who hope to sound lawyerly now add this repulsive phrase to normal, non-legal documents, very tedious, don’t you agree?

Anyway, so getting back to the case of 107 Meadow Road, the $6,995,000 property and its astoundingly restrictive covenant (you can’t alter the exterior of the existing building in any way): will anyone buy it? The covenant is positively filled with “including but not limited to’s”, and the owner has fully empowered The Greenwich Land Trust to enforce its provisions, so if you plan to buy the property and have your team of lawyers overturn the restrictions, I think you will lose.

But do you really need to overturn the restrictions? I predict there will be plenty of buyers who’ll take it, restrictions and all. They will like this house and have no problem whatsoever being limited to interior improvements only. How do I know? Nantucket. They have exactly this kind of architectural restrictions on older buildings. Have you checked Nantucket prices lately? They’re rather high…

107 Meadow Road, listed by Monie Sullivan


P.S. Note the similarity in the view above to this one from 531 Indian Field Road, which sold a few years ago for $18,000,000, then $25,000,000 more recently!


10 thoughts on “Including But Not Limited To…

  1. Is changing a window from old to new insulated glass “altering the exterior”.? The land trust can be bought. Throw them a bunch a money and you can put on an addition. Throw them a lot more and you can get rid of them entirely.

    • One:
      “The Land Trust” is composed of Greenwich residents who, it is safe to say, are sufficiently endowed with funds and morals, that buying them off would be…unlikely. But let’s watch and see, shall we?

  2. You have to find someone who really loves the house, considering it needs millions and millions in interior and systems upgrades to be livable that are unlikely to be recouped by a future seller. I think the former owner is fabulous for doing this, though. Unfortunately too little too late to save Riverside and OG from overbuilding and loss of historic charm.

    • Somey:
      Yep, you’re spot on. I really am amazed and impressed with old lady Ogilvie for setting this up, truly “putting her money where her mouth is”. I do think, however, that you may be over-estimating the expense of renovation. Furthermore, despite recent evidence that renovated older homes are a drag on the market, I think this particular location, so utterly spectacular, will end up being a good investment for someone.

  3. “..including but not”. I remember in the 1970s when I was going through corporate loan agreements drafted by White and Case there was a single sentence that spanned 18 pages. I kid you not. And the killer? After the period there was this: ” Notwithstanding anything to the contrary in the foregoing….”

    This was sacrosanct boilerplate originally drafted by a senior partner in the 1920s who doubtless made partner precisely because of this ‘sentence’.

  4. Personally, I prefer …including, without limitation,… Much smoother. BTW, there’s sound reasons for putting that into a contract.

    • Mait:
      Yes, your version is, er, smoother. But guess what? The word “including” is sufficient. To quote the brilliant American Heritage Dictionary:
      USAGE NOTE: The word include generally suggests that what follows is a partial list, not an exhaustive list, of the contents of what the subject refers to.

      • It SHOULD, but as you earlier pointed out, we’re dealing with lawyers, and more precisely judges, so “including” does not necessarily suggest a partial list, but rather may, depending upon jurisdiction, indicate a finite list of those items actually “included” in the listing, upon the reasoning that if plaintiff’s draftsman had intended for the item to be included, he/she would have done so. You know Oconcept I’m sure. It’s similar to WJC’ most memorable word game gymnastic accomplishment when he said ‘it all depends what the definition of the word ‘is’ is”.

      • Never post when you’re half asleep. Why is it I can’t remember that elemental truth.

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