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!

IndianFieldRd

Who Keeps The 10% Deposit, Part II

Sorry, aggrieved seller, but you DO NOT get to keep the 10% deposit! (sometimes)

Sorry, aggrieved seller, but you DO NOT get to keep the 10% deposit! (sometimes)

The great real estate attorney, Joel Kaye,  has sent me a copy of a recent court decision regarding the question, “What happens if the buyer walks away from the contract, does he lose his 10% deposit?”.

This is somewhat dense, but interesting reading, so if you’d care to plow through 12 pages of  Stamford Superior Court Judge Mottolese’s fine dissertation on the astounding case of “Hammond vs. Miller”, feel free, but I can spare you the trouble. Despite the skepticism of two smart-alec readers, my summation of the issue in a previous post was, as the Brits like to say, spot-on!

To re-state: If the buyer breaches the contract, the seller, in order to keep the entire 10% deposit, must fulfill his duty to make reasonable efforts to mitigate his damages. “Mitigate”, in the case of real estate contracts, means the seller must try and find another buyer, and if the replacement buyer agrees to pay the same amount as the previous buyer, then the seller is only entitled to whatever actual costs were incurred in having to go and find that replacement buyer. Got it?  Apologies accepted.