Defending Hearthstone Drive

21 Hearthstone holds the record for the street, selling for $3.2M in 2008. Blogger Gideon Fountain predicts the record will be beat multiple times this year.

21 Hearthstone holds the record for the street, selling for $3.2M in 2008. Blogger Gideon Fountain predicts that record will be beat multiple times this year.

Well, he’s at it again.  Fresh from convincing some of his more gullible readers that my Jaguar had been grabbed by the repo man (unlikely, since I actually own it), blogger Chris Fountain has now weighed in on Riverside’s Hearthstone Drive and the likelihood of foreclosure actions against the poor, deluded builders who are furiously working to replace the street’s aging, 1950’s housing stock.

The reason for brother Chris’s pessimism?  Why, it’s the horrendous traffic that poor old Hearthstone is subjected to, don’t you see.

Really?  Is traffic that bad? I think not, but I invite curious readers to actually visit the street and see for themselves. Park over at Riverside School, somewhere on its sprawling 11.2 acre campus, and then enjoy the leisurely stroll to Hearthstone.

That stroll will likely convince you why this network of streets (Hearthstone, Druid, Hendrie, Bramble, Owenoke, and Wesskum Wood ) is so desirable to parents of young children and, therefore, smart builders.

Waiting For Your House To Sell

44 Upper Cross Road took 24 years to sell.  No one will beat this record.

44 Upper Cross Road took 24 years to sell. No one will beat this record.

Despite the experience of the overwhelming majority of people who do it, selling your house is not supposed to be a multi-month, multi-year experience.

The basic procedure is, bring in a few competing real estate firms, gather their opinions of what your place is actually worth, then use that number as your asking price. Sounds crazy, I know, but it works every time. And by “works”, I mean, the house sells quickly, often for more than that price!

Sadly, except for art auction houses, almost no one wants to take the “risk” of this method of pricing. . Instead, they pad the price the brokers come up with, ladling extra hundreds of thousands and/or millions, either for “negotiation” or, and these are the three dirtiest words in real estate pricing, because they “NEED TO GET” some particular quantity of money.

I think real estate is unique in that it is the only product where the seller thinks the buyer of the product can be persuaded to ignore the reality of previous sales, competing offerings, and the current state of the product’s market.

In defense of typical homeowners, they might put a house on the market two or three times in their lives; they can be excused for lacking an understanding of market dynamics. But when professional builders do the same thing, that astounds me!

And of course, the brokers themselves can sometimes be the problem, by over-pricing in order to get the listing, being inexcusably ignorant of the market, or, sleaziest of all, trying to sell the property (when it’s their own listing) to their own client at too low a price.

Anyway, that little speech was my lead-up to the announcement that two properties that sat around for a l-o-o-o-n-g time have now sold:

34 Andrews Farm Road (2008)

537 North Street (2006), “executed contracts”.

Two really nice houses! Should have sold quickly! Didn’t.

Neither of these ever showed signs of challenging the amazing 24-years-on-the-market record held by 44 Upper Cross Road, but five years? Eight years? Too long.

Print and save this article. Better yet, send it to a friend who’s had a house on the market for ever and ever. Feel free to remove my name!

5 Meadow Drive, Greenwich, CT


5 Meadow Drive (there are about five “Meadow”-named streets in town, this one is off lower Lake Avenue, in the Rock Ridge section, about a half mile from the top of Greenwich Avenue.

5 Meadow Drive is a really nice, practically in-town property that came on April 2nd of this year for $4,200,000.  Less than a month later?  Executed contracts. Take a look at this one, you will like it.

Listing broker:  David O’gilvy

P.S.  Just today, 14 accepted offers and executed contracts…it’s starting to look like a market, by gum!