Monthly Archives: April 2009

As though Obama doesn’t have enough on his plate

General Petraeus warns of disastrous results if Pakistan falls to Taliban – could happen in two weeks. Petraeus has always struck me as a pretty cool dude so if he’s worried, so am I.

(Hat Tip, Instapundit)

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This would stop threats from angry drunk builders but it seems a tad overbroad

Our government at work: bill proposed to expand law against internet users, this time to make it a felony to cause severe emotional distress. Seems like a lot of home sellers in greenwich could have a cause of action against me if this becomes law.

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(From Just One Minute)

They told me that if I voted for McCain I’d have an idiot for a Vice President and they were right!

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Fan mail from Alabama

Owed you an email for a month or so to say thank you.

My parents/family owned a condominium west of  Pensacola, Florida for 20+ years which we sold in March ’09 – after reading your blog I realized how important list pricing is in the real estate world and your blog convinced us to be realistic sellers in a tough 2nd home market.

Realtor suggested a sales metric of $325 square foot (and my limited research confirmed his numbers) – which we used and rounded up (as the units rarely trade in this building) got an offer in 40 days, closed in fewer than 90 days after listing! – our sales price was at 90%~ of listing (pre commission) but delighted it’s sold. Maybe sold too fast, but in a buyers market we’re overjoyed to avoid the monthly fees and assorted expenses.  FYI we doubled the purchase price from original acquisition in late 1980’s.

I’m stock and bond salesman for a regional brokerage and given the past 18 months in the ‘business’ we are in much better shape now help my aging parents through their last few years.

Cheers and thanks again

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Seller’s remorse?

Just had a proposed deal founder over a 7% difference between what my buyers’ mortgage lender had approved and what the sellers “needed” for their house. I understand: just as buyers hit a ceiling and can go no higher, sellers can have a floor. But my guess is that these sellers may regret their choice because, while my buyers will just move on and find another house, the sellers will still have a house they no longer want. For how long? maybe just the weekend, maybe longer.

This month 23 single family houses went to contract, qa distinct improvement from last month’s 12,but a far cry from April 2007’s 74. Of the 23, eight have already sold so I have their actual closing prices. Those eight sold from a low of 41% of the original asking price to a high of 90% (37 Andrews farm Road, if you’re interested). Average: 69% of original asking price. And, while I can’t tell the final price for those houses under contract, every single one of them sold for less than ask and many of them were way, way off their original price before they found a buyer.

So our happy home seller will pass up a definite sale now in the hope of achieving 6.8% more down the road. He may get that – the statistics suggest otherwise.


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How much will quality building bring?

147 Hendrie Ave. Rvsd
147 Hendrie Ave. Rvsd

This new spec house by York Builders came on today at $4.250 million. York is a great builder and this is bound to be a fine house, but with what I guess is 5,000 sq. ft. above ground and just 1/3 of a hillside acre, I’m not sure that the quality of construction or the presence of Binney Park down the street will stir buyers into action at this price. But we will see. York must expect a faster turn around in our market than I do.


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Sales, price reductions

136 Cat Rock, that bank-owned flop originally listed in 2006 for $3.665 million, sold today for $1.505. I think they still overpaidm, but the 70% assessment shows $1.606, so perhaps the buyer did alright.

18 Baliwoods, originally listed in 2007 for $1.875 million, sold today for $1.125. Both these houses should serve as an example for sellers determined to hold out for their desired price. That’s what these owners did and ended up with far less (or nothing, in the case of cat Rock) than they could have had two or three years ago. Holding on for a better market does not guanantee that a better market will arrive.

Perhaps the builders of 6 Loading Rock Road in Riverside are learning this. They price3d thie project at $3.695 million in January 2008 when the market was already several months into its swan dive and have sat on it ever since. Today it was marked down to $2.650 million. And it still hasn’t sold, so there’s more room where that came from.


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