About Gideon Fountain

I've been selling real estate in Greenwich for 30 years (but not while wearing a bathing suit). During this time I've learned that brokers owe a fiduciary duty to their selling clients, their buying clients, even to people who merely happen to approach them with a real estate question. So there's my method: honest answers, no sleazy tricks, it's worked out well! P.S. Any business that gets a plug in this blog gets it for free, I accept no payments, reduced-price-of-service, nothing, nada, zilch.

Modern Furniture That’s Not Hideous

From French furniture company Roche Bobois. Possibly not something I would do in MY home, but…

A typical suburban real estate agent inspects a minimum of 10 houses per week, often it’s twice that number. That simple fact is the reason the job category “real estate agent” still exists. All that time and effort spent studying, analyzing, discussing with fellow brokers, and watching individual properties go through the sales process from start to finish, makes an agent a valuable person.

If you were foolish enough to ask a denizen of Manhattan “where’s the best fishing spot between Tod’s Point and Indian Harbor”, the Manhattanite wouldn’t have a clue. Similarly, people who merely watch real estate from the comfort of their office swivel chair can certainly have opinions about what a house is worth, but they are not useful opinions.

But where was I? Oh yes, modern furniture! So, with all that house-looking, we brokers encounter an awful lot of hideous glass and steel tables, steel chairs and bookcases (with no books), white shaggy couches, and of course, faux zebra throw rugs. Gets tiresome.

One sees more and more of THIS…

and less and less of THIS… (maybe that’s a good thing?)

It is therefore amazing that I have stumbled upon contemporary furniture that even I must admit ain’t bad looking. See if you agree: RocheBobois

(It’s a French furniture company, looks like the nearest showroom is on Manhattan’s upper west side, at 2040 Broadway)

 

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Multiple Bids (in a slow market, go figure)

37 Tower Road, Riverside, original ask: $7.995M, eventual sell: $6.3M.
Co-List: Stacy Daccache, Cynthia DeRiemer
Sell: (Rye, NY broker)  Go to photos and check out the spectacular view.

Well, it’s happened again! As surely as night follows day (or is it the other way around), a house has come on the market with a, er, optimistic asking price, then got reduced and reduced and reduced again, and what happens? bidding war!

Of course, you never, ever get it back to that original asking price, but this example proves once again that, after multiple price reductions, most Greenwich properties start to resemble a bargain. If a seller has reduced multiple times, and you, you clever devil, have gotten them to agree to a price still lower, act fast, because someone invariably will notice what you noticed.

That’s what happend here.  A deal had apparently been struck, possibly around $6M? but suddenly, other buyers appeared, and drove the price up to $6.3M!

Tune in to my show, Wednesday mornings, 11:00-12:00 noon to hear more about this. On the radio 1490 AM or the web, www.WGCH.com

Fountain, right. Wilcox left

Again With The Bidding Wars

17 Roosevelt Avenue (corner of Irvine), Old Greenwich. Asked: $1.050M
Sold: $1.4M
List: Ann Simpson
Sell: Sheila Starr

17 Roosevelt only has .23 acres, but the existing house was shoved over into the corner, resulting in this (relatively) huge side yard.

Can there be a situation where you have a bidding war on a property but it doesn’t necessarily suggest a blazing hot market? Yes, in the case of 17 Roosevelt Avenue, a cute, charming little tear-down bungalow that, at $1,050,000, was about the cheapest thing you could buy in this neighborhood, the bidding war that erupted was not caused by an excited, possibly over-heated market.

In this case, the neighbor did it (they paid $1,400,000). And that is a very, very common story around town. Neighbors buy an adjoining property for various reasons, including as a defensive maneuver, to prevent builders from erecting a giant mansion looming over the backyard.

Needless to say, at $1,050,000, there were plenty of bidders, including some builders, but no one was going to pay as much as the neighbors! So this price, as in most cases of neighbor-purchase, is probably not all that useful as a comp for near-future appraisals.

I’ll talk more about this on tomorrow’s radio show, WGCH.com or 1490 AM radio, 11:00 AM – Noon (or listen later to the damned pod-cast!)

Fountain, on the right. Wilcox on the left (not politically!)

Bidding Wars: Who Doesn’t Love ‘Em?

14 Druid Lane, Riverside, 1950’s colonial nicely updated 2006. Asked $2.195M, went to bidding war…            List: Cynthia De Riemer

You (exceedingly patient) long-time readers know that I approve of bidding wars for a number of reasons, first and foremost of which is that they indicate extreme market enthusiasm. Another positive feature is that they create a “spin-off” effect: all the participants who didn’t get the house are now really, really primed to get the next one! They’ve now learned their lesson, that if you really want a house, don’t be hesitant, be bold. Raise your price, drop your contingencies.

Of course, they’re also ticked off and may well blame their broker for losing the house, so the trick for the broker is to hold on to them through the (bidding war) process and then, sell them something else.

So far this year there have been far too few bidding wars (that I’m aware of), but here are two properties that went “several hundred thousand” over their asking price. When they close, I’ll post an update.

17 Welwyn Road, Riverside, very impressive Ken Bacco-built 2006 (w/2017 updating) shingle-style. Asked $4.1M, went to bidding war…   List: Krissy Blake    Sell: Jane Basham

 

P.S. These happen to be Riverside examples, but I’m happy to say, mid-country Greenwich is also selling well lately.

 

 

 

Is This What Your Ski House Should Look Like? Tune In Today!

Is this your idea of a charming, warm, and inviting ski house? Maybe it is!

From Connecticut Cottages & Gardens Magazine, this profile of an un-named Greenwich couple’s new, ultra-modern Vermont ski house is the one of the lead features.

Listen to the radio show this morning at 11:00 and you’ll hear us make fun of it, or, at the very least, disagree with the concept of building a Manhattan-style Soho loft apartment in the middle of the woods.

Go to: WGCH.com

Darkness Will Remain

Central Greenwich, mere feet from my office, a grand old tree bites the dust (and takes a chunk of downtown’s power with it)

Not to, er, depress anyone, but I took a little drive around the (totally dark) Riverside section of Greenwich this evening, not a single utility truck in sight. What’s our power company calling itself these days? Evercore? Eversore? anyway, they have plenty to do tonight and clearly Riverside is not at the top of the list.