Besides last Monday’s $48,000,000 closing, we’ve had 56 house deals in the last 30 days or so, ranging in price from $11,180,000 down to $549,000. Is that good? Yes, that is a “brisk” pace for this time of year, especially when you add to that total my certain knowledge of a whole bunch of other deals that are presently “contingent”, so brokers are reluctant to report them. All in all, things are good. As long as you don’t over-price, you will be on and off the market in 60 days or less.
Here’s the break-down:
Of those fifty-six, thirty-three of them are priced between $1.5M and $3.995M. The 2Ms are particularly strong, where we see fourteen deals, but it really is broad-based activity, up and down the price range. Hell, we had three deals in the $500,000s, not bad for fancy Greenwich, CT.
And here is a link to the 56 properties (the damned link only remains active for a month or two):
It’s all well and good for us brokers to puzzle over the value of $48,000,000 properties, but most of the time, we come down from the stratosphere and work on the more common, every day starter-homes, like for instance, 107 Meadow Road, Riverside, recently put back on the market for a piddling $8,695,000.
Regular readers will recall my earlier post from 2017 where I called it “Bargain of the Century” because eight pages of deed restrictions had reduced its value from around $12,500,000 (highest and best use of this 3.22 acre waterfront property would have been a 5-lot subdivision) down to its eventual sale price of $3,700,000.
The buyers, a couple who have built new and/or renovated on at least five previous occasions, really know what they’re doing, so they have taken this classic antique and brought it beautifully into this century, in particular, creating a fabulous kitchen/family room and a luxurious master bedroom and bath (and the improvements list goes on and on and on).
Could you do more here? Sure, you could continue even further with the owners’ already massive upgrading, both inside and out, but most importantly, you could continue their successful negotiating with the Greenwich Land Trust, which is empowered to enforce those pesky deed restrictions, and thereby get them to let you add a few things here and there, like maybe a larger garage building? (or underground garage?)
The point is, the present owners have shown the way for the next owners. Despite all the legal advice to the contrary, that so many would-be buyers were discouraged by, it is clear that the Greenwich Land Trust is willing to be reasonable and flexible. Does that mean you can build a nice guest house? Probably not, but a tennis court? Very likely. Upgraded swimming pool? Sure. And, at 40 feet above mean high-tide, I don’t see what objection anyone would have to some underground garage space.
The absolute best part of this property is the wide open space, so rare and coveted in Riverside that desperate property owners now frequently acquire adjoining lots for millions of dollars, just to give themselves breathing room and protection from yet another giant mansion peering down at them. With 107 Meadow Road, you spare yourself the entire hassle of buying neighbors’ houses and tearing them down! It’s all done here, nothing to buy, nothing to add, and absolute guaranteed views that will never be taken away. That is worth the price they are asking.
And it’s only February! But at $48,000,000, the sale of the spectacular, nearly brand new house at 110 Field Point Circle, Greenwich, CT is sure to hold the record for the rest of the year.
The following are unconfirmed rumors:
Seller was hedge-fund genius, Chris Shumway, who packed up the family and the company and moved the whole operation to Florida…Nice going, Hartford, you scared away another HUGE taxpayer!
Buyer: A Greenwich couple (who have NOT been driven out of CT….yet)
Listing broker: Chris Finlay, Halstead Real Estate
Selling broker: Rob Johnson, Halstead Real Estate
Note: Town of Greenwich tax records show that State of CT conveyance taxes of $596,000 and Town taxes of $120,000 were collected, so you can figure out the sale price (which was undisclosed) by using either the Town tax amount or the State amount.
State: .75%, up to $800,000 and 1.25% on amounts above $800,000. For this sale, the first $800,000 caused a tax of $6,000. The balance, $47,200,000 X 1.25% = $590,000. Therefore, ipso fatso! a sale price of $48,000,000.
Friends, many of us would have either walked away or been fired LONG before this listing finally sold, but not broker Steve Archino! Nope, ol’ Steve hung in there, beginning on that cool, crisp February day in 2011. Now, a short 8 years later, Archino gets his reward, reporting the sale of 449 Round Hill Road, for $6,613,000.
If you’re not in the business, you might wonder why, oh why, would a seller allow a property to hang around so long? The answer is…who the hell knows! but it’s a very common practice in Greenwich. My observation is that sellers in this lofty price range own multiple homes and multiple assets and just aren’t that concerned. They pick up the phone every once in a while, check in with their broker (Any showings lately? Good, ok, keep up the good work!) and then forget about it till next month. As long as everyone’s happy, who cares?
Anyway, this is a good price, and provides further evidence of a back-country market that continues to improve.
I like to see smart re-dos and it looks like that’s what’s happened on Riverside’s Thornhill Road. The old house was perfectly acceptable, nicely maintained, but woefully out of date (see before photos, linked below). The backyard’s REALLY deep and the impression of space is even better because the neighbor to the left didn’t put up an ugly fence. It always amazes me how much better two adjoining properties can look when neither neighbor fences off, but I’ll admit, sometimes you have no choice.
UPDATE: Sold for $1,337,000 Jan. 22, 2019
Maybe that big backyard was the reason the old house was so badly overpriced, starting at $1,250,000 in May, 2017. Several price reductions and many months later, they finally got a deal, closing for $930,000 in April, 2018. Four months later, total transformation complete, it came back on for $1,399,000, in August, 2018, and now, a contract is reported. Did the builder make money? Depends on that closing price of course. I’ll keep track and report to you on closing day.