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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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!)

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.

Finally! The Market Heats Up

6 Ford Lane, Old Greenwich, waterfront house w/extra lot, asked $7.5M, one week later, DEAL.
list: Steve Archino
sell: Dena Zarra

Long before the Greenwich MLS publishes reports of deals under contract, there is “scuttlebutt” among us brokers. Are you busy? Are you showing lots of stuff? What happened last weekend, how many people did you take out?

Until very recently, the usual answer was zip, zero, nada, but now, suddenly, I am getting reliable reports of genuine…dare I say it?…busy-ness among my compañeros (at various firms). And it’s not because of this warm weather, the deals I’m hearing about clearly started in the last two weeks.

Here are two very fresh examples: 6 Ford Lane, Old Greenwich waterfront, $7,500,000. 1986 house with some updating, land size .71 acres, which includes an adjacent vacant parcel of .29 acres. Part of the house is in the flood-zone (oh no!), but the first-floor’s at 20 feet, so gimmie a break… if that worries you, you need to undergo years of analysis. Anyway, perpetual market-worrier Archino puts this baby on Feb. 13th and had a done deal in SEVEN DAYS. Hot enough for ya?

Second example:

8 Mayo Avenue, Greenwich, $2,695,000. In the heart of Belle Haven, but….not in Association. Nevertheless, instant deal with multiple bids.
list: Kristy De La Sierra
sell: Blake Delany

8 Mayo Avenue* , Belle Haven section of Greenwich, but not in Belle Haven Association (oh no!),  $2,695,000. Great old 1944 brick colonial, some updating, .57 acres, got a deal in about a week, three bidders!

By the way, that’s .57 acres in the R-1 zone, meaning a paltry FAR of just 3,352 square feet, but wait! FAR was further restricted by the adjacent right-of-way to a rear property. Total FAR, therefore, is a mere 2,780 sq.ft. Did the bidders give a hoot? They did not!

Market heating up. If you’ve been watching some place, waiting for the price to drop again, make your move now.

  • For several years, financier Louis Bacon lived across the street from this one. I’ve always liked that combo, “bacon on mayo”, but no one else found it amusing (interestingly, Bacon moved to Rye, and sold his Mayo house to Mr. Lettice, I swear!)

Why Are Companies Fleeing CT? Tune in to tomorrow’s show to hear the sad truth.

John Boyd Media Pic

John Boyd, Jr. of the Boyd Company, location consultants, i.e. “the executioners”, from the standpoint of CT politicians. But don’t blame Boyd!

Companies have been fleeing high-tax/high-regulation Connecticut for years. They won’t stay here, they won’t move here, they certainly won’t start here. Nope, there’s no escaping the fact that our once-great state now sends a very clear message to the business world: STAY AWAY.

What can be done? On tomorrow’s radio show, I will interview John Boyd, Jr., Principal of The Boyd Company, which consults major companies on site selection. As you can imagine, by the time a CT company contacts Boyd, they have already decided they’re going to move, so Boyd helps them pick a state with the most favorable tax and legislative climate.

I’ll be asking John if there is any hope for our dopey state, and what realistically could we get (those idiots up in) Hartford to do to fix things.

Tune in tomorrow morning Wednesday, Feb. 21st, 11:00 AM -12:00 PM. The interview with Boyd starts around 11:30, before that, Jonathan Wilcox and I will discuss the Greenwich real estate market and why, oh why, should it take an average of 320 days to sell your damned house?

Gid’s radio show, every Wednesday morning, 11:00-12:00. On your radio, it’s 1490 on the AM dial. On your computer/mobile device, go to http://www.WGCH.com