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

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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.

 

 

 

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!)

How’s The Market?

9 Manor Road, Old Greenwich closes today at $2,772,500, new street record. Note: non-MLS sale, only one photo available.
List: Allen Vetrosky
Sell: Lindsay Sheehy

2018 is a mere three days old, but there are already signs of a promising market. When you see new street price records being set, that is surely a positive sign, no?

Exactly. I was thrilled, therefore, to see 51 Glen Avon, asking price $15,900,000, get signed up in December. The previous record for Glen Avon/Club Road area was $9,500,000 and this new record price is reportedly in the $15Ms (closes in a few weeks).

51 Glen Avon, Riverside. Asked $15,900,000.

2018 RECORD BREAKERS:

9 Manor Road, Old Greenwich (top picture) just closed at $2,772,500. Previous street record was $1,385,000 !

12 Nimitz Place, Old Greenwich just went to contract. Ask is $2,195,000. Previous record for Nimitz? $1,775,000.

12 Nimitz Place, Old Greenwich. Asked $2.195M (builder paid $812K for tear-down)

Despite all of Connecticut’s problems, people still insist on living here. Say Hallelujah!

Some Make Money, Others Not So Much

19 Doverton Drive, Greenwich has closed at $7,970,000.

I recently sold a new-construction, 6,800 square foot, waterfront house for $6,900,000. The builder swore he was losing money at any price below $7.2M. He paid $3.5M for the land two years ago, so there were carrying costs, plus plenty of added site-development costs associated with the Town’s excessive (insane) regulations for direct-waterfront building.

But how much per square foot does typical luxury construction cost a Greenwich builder? $300 per foot? $400 per foot? At $400/ft., the 6,800 sq.ft. house I sold would have cost the builder $2,720,000. Add land cost of $3,500,000, and you’re up to $6,220,000. That suggests a $680,000 “profit” for two year’s effort. Better than an outright loss, but not by much.

Now we have two new examples to study: backcountry Greenwich’s Doverton Drive, off Round Hill Road, has seen the recent sale of two spec houses, one a likely success, the other, less so

Very nearby, someone has just shelled out $25M for a classic old mansion on almost 20 acres, so let us agree, this is a fine neighborhood. But fine neighborhood or not, even experienced builders can go astray, either by paying too much for the land, or, more typically, by over-pricing at the beginning. Nothing, absolutely NOTHING dooms a project more completely than initial gross over-pricing. Copy and paste that last sentence on parchment paper, get it framed, and hang it in your dressing closet where you will see it every day.

Example 1:  19 Doverton Drive (pictured above)

  • Sold for $7,970,000. (initial asking price $8,800,000)
  • Square footage: 12,117
  • Land cost: $2,525,000
  • Start-to-finish: 2 years
  • $300 per foot X 12,117 = $3,635,100 + (land cost) $2,525,000 = $6,160,100.
  • Possible profit: $1,809,900?

 

1 Doverton Drive, Greenwich just closed at $6,600,000. (For various reasons, I much preferred this one over the other)

Example 2:  1 Doverton Drive (above)

  • Sold for $6,600,000 (initial asking price $10,950,000)
  • Square footage: 10,767
  • Land cost: $2,650,000
  • Start-to-finish: 2 years
  • $300 per foot X $10,767 = $3,230,100 + (land cost) $2,650,000 = $5,880,100.
  • Possible profit: $719,900?

12 Huge Sales In Last 48 Days

116 Oneida Drive, central Greenwich waterfront. Sold for $15M in 2002, now sells again, this time for $20.337M. List: David Ogilvy  Sell: Brian Milton

Broker Brian Milton has yet again provided the buyer for a mega-expensive property, this time for a David Ogilvy listing that just closed at $20,377,000 (an odd figure that suggests last-minute ‘adjustments”?). That’s a very big commitment to Greenwich and, more significantly, the State of CT, by this buyer, and he wasn’t alone; in just the last 48 days, we’ve seen 12 deals in the $7M+ range.

Today is Sunday, October 8th, so this is the 281st day of 2017. Since the start of the year, we’ve had 25 $7M+ deals in Greenwich. The fact that almost half of those occurred in the last 48 days tells me we are in an up-swing. But why? Doesn’t the news about CT’s Puerto Rico-style financial mis-management continue to be bad? Doesn’t the State continue to be tied to ruinous state-worker-union contract benefits that eat up almost half of the State’s annual revenue? Won’t taxes, therefore, soon be doubled?

Or is there political change coming which will pull us back from the brink? That’s what these presumably savvy wealthy people appear to be betting on. Even Gideon Fountain, noted real estate sage, joined these “betters” recently by buying additional Greenwich property. Oh, the excitement of it all!

Additional examples of recent mega-sales:

460 North Street fetches the nice, round sum of $22M. List: Helene Barre   Sell: Fran Ehrlich

50 Byram Drive, Belle Haven waterfront, a steal at $12.650M. List: Ginger DeSimone   Sell: Shelly Tretter Lynch

24 Hendrie Drive Extension (off OG’s Edgewater Drive) gets $9M even. List: Sheila Goggin   Sell: Carolyn Petersen.

11 Cove Road, OG waterfront, new-construction, gets $6.9M. List: Mark O’Brien   Sell: Gideon Fountain (yay!)

Note to mobile device users: For now, photos on those links above can only be seen using your desktop computer (you do own one of those don’t you? Over there by your land-line phone?). I will continue to pester (those geniuses at) Houlihan Lawrence World-Headquarters to fix this once ‘n for all!

 

 

 

$2,000,000 Over The Asking Price

460 North Street, just closed at $22M. Five owners over twenty years, none did better than this one! List: Helene Barre. Sell: Fran Ehrlich.

As I mentioned earlier, way back in June, 1997, I sold this place for the pocket-change amount of $4,700,000. Besides the 2.5% sell-side commission, listing broker Ogilvy had arranged for a selling bonus of $40,000, so I celebrate that June 16th closing date each year with a fine cigar.

Twenty years, and five owners later, 460 North Street has closed again, this time for the somewhat more impressive price of $22,000,000. The ask was $20M, so was there a bidding war? My guess is no. I think that extra $2M was for furnishings, possibly even a few pieces of art (see photos)?

Each of the previous owners of 460 North Street put their “stamp” on it, lavishing millions in renovations, decorations, and expansions. Some made money, some did not. This most recent owner paid $7,987,250 in 2012, so I suspect money was made this time.