Real Talk Ken Edwards Fall market heats up as home sale numbers rebound

September 24, 2018

A rebound in sales last week took the total up by more than 60 percent from the previous week. $22 million in sales two weeks ago went to more than $36 million last week. Eighteen sales were logged by our Multiple Listing Service in town with one condo added to the 17 single-family homes that went to closing.

The price of real estate in Greenwich continues to rise. Last week’s average passed $2 million with the median sale at almost $1.7 million. Nevertheless, there are still good buys available in the inventory of 1,385 properties actively being sold.

That doesn’t include some that are not listed here in town but listed on the state-wide Smart MLS. That source shows 478 properties listed in Greenwich and most, but unfortunately for sellers, not all of them are also listed on our MLS. That exposure gap can cost sellers many thousands of dollars. If you’re a seller whose property in Greenwich is not on our local MLS you’re not reaching out directly to our in-town Realtors who are the biggest source of buyers for your property.

My buy of the week selection is a newly constructed home near the Montgomery Pinetum. It showed very well but took six months to go to contract to a lucky buyer who got a good deal on it.

My sale of the week and buy of the week selections are both large mid-country colonials with pools on more than 2 acres. But the similarity ends there with one 70 years older than the other.

Buy of the week

2 Simmons Lane was listed for $3.4 million in April last year after an expired $3.95 million listing the previous year. All told, it spent 765 days on market and sold for one third less than the original asking price two-and-a-half years ago. This five-bedroom center hall colonial falls right into the sweet spot for many buyers but took extra marketing time to go to contract, possibly because of the high assessment and almost $37,000 in real estate taxes that went with it.

It sits on more than 2 acres of land and features a heated pool and a large first-floor guest room that can double as a second master suite. That feature appeals to multi-generational families, allowing the elder parents to have a bedroom with no stairs to climb.

This home has great value, especially at the $2.65 million price it sold for.

Sale of the week

My sale of the week selection flew off the market in 32 days. I say “flew” since homes with a $6.6 million price tag generally doesn’t sell that quickly and at $125,000 over their asking price to boot. Then again, it’s in the Deer Park Association, a coveted mid-country community.

This 1930 colonial home is a stately 8,300-square-foot, six-bedroom, six-and-three-half half bath colonial on 2.17 acres with a pool and central air conditioning. The tax-appraised value is almost exactly the same as the selling price; in fact the appraisal is less than 1 percent higher.

I love the glass around the entryway especially since it highlights the front-to-back foyer with the lush greenery in the background. The huge eat-in kitchen with an island that seats four opens up to a family room that reveals views of the level back lawn. If you like French doors, this home has many, both in the living room and the English mahogany library.

All the goodies are here, too. Wine cellar, a walk in closet you could almost throw a party in and elliptical marble tub in the master bath.

The home represents great value, too. It was previously sold in 2008 for $10,950,000, then three years later at $7,730,000 after the “crash.”

The psychology of lawn ornaments

As a disclaimer, I admit that I’m not licensed as a psychologist but I have done a lot of thinking about and inquiring about what people put on their lawns and what it says about them.

I’m already seeing Halloween lawn ornaments and surely more are on the way in what’s become the second highest outdoor decorating event of the year. But those get taken down (with some notable exceptions) after the “holiday.”

I’m talking about Don Featherstone’s 1957 plastic pink flamingos (the king of kitsch), cranes, lions, hunting dogs, trolls, gnomes, leprechauns, box turtles religious statues and grottos, wind spinners and whirligigs, gazing balls, and, of course, Stamford’s artist-decorated cows, giraffes and horses. Then, too, there are artistic outdoor sculptures which are legitimate pieces of art.

Here’s some of what I’ve assembled about what people think about owners of these ornaments. Don’t shoot the messenger.

Flamingos, gnomes, dwarfs, leprechauns — kitsch classics for those with a sense of humor and self-confidence

Lions and hunting dogs — prideful (no pun intended) owners impressed with their properties (and themselves)

Whirligigs (wind-animated statues and structures dating back to 1440) and wind spinners — fun-loving folk

Garden globes and gazing balls — hip owners

Religious statues, bathtub Madonnas, and grottos — religious folk; here but more popular in the bible belt

Legitimate art sculptures — art-loving, possibly wealthy owner

Then there’s my favorite lawn sculpture — a real estate sign that says “sold.”

This Week’s Success Quote

Here’s an actual lawn sign you can buy to go along with some of the above.

“I was expecting applause, but I suppose stunned silence is equally appropriate.”

— Sheldon, character from The Big Bang Theory TV show

Ken Edwards is the principal Broker for Edwards & Associates Real Estate and has lived in town since 1974. All opinions expressed are entirely his own and not those of this publisher. Comments and questions may be sent to K_W_Edwards@ Yahoo.com or call (203) 918-4444.

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