137 Old Mill Road was originally listed in June, 2014 for $11.5 million, and that price remained stubbornly unchanged for the next four years, doubtless because its owners and their listing agent firmly believed in their agent’s glowing appreciation of the house and its provenance:
SUPERBLY RESTORED CLASSIC GEORGIAN DECORATED BY NOTED DESIGNER HOWARD SLATKIN WITH WONDERFUL ADDITIONS IN CHARACTER BY FAMED ENGLISH ARCHITECT CHRISTOPHER SMALLWOOD - 2 STORY LIBRARY WING (ONE IS OCTAGONAL)IN A MANNER OF DALYESFORD AND GARDEN ROOM AFTER OSTERLY HOUSE, TWO OF THE MOST FAMOUS 18TH CENTURY ENGLISH HOMES DESIGNED BY ROBERT ADAM. GRAND SCALE, HIGH CEILINGS, SUPERB DETAILING - LIVING ROOM WITH EXQUISITE PANELING, MEMORABLE DINING ROOM, GREAT COUNTRY KITCHEN/FAMILY ROOM PLUS UPSTAIRS FAMILY ROOM. TWO BEDROOM GUEST HOUSE WITH LIVING ROOM, WET BAR AND BATHROOM. CHARMING POOL HOUSE.
Right: that’s what a couple of 35-year-old super star achievers are looking for.
As of today the property has a new agent and a new price: $6.7 million. but both agents are of the same generation, and are both romantics, still harboring visions of back country fox hunts and swapping houses among the oh-so-dear trust fund children during Greenwich garden parties. In fact, those kids all disappeared to Berkley in the late 60s and never came back — they’re hidden in the wine country out there, emerging only when the occasional wild fire forces them from their walled enclaves. Today’s Greenwich buyers, the ones I know, came up from nowhere, beat the shit out of their competitors by being smarter, quicker, and far-faster than their peers. They’ve never heard of the Osterly House, or Robert Adam, or any of his imitators, and couldn’t care less about whatever the “manner of Dalyesford” might have been (and I’m with them in their ignorance). They aren’t likely to be intimidated or snowed by references to grand back country fox hunt tours that are no more, and won’t be returning, ever. This home’s original listing verbiage is directed at 1965 buyers, who cleared out of town long ago.
Time for this era of sellers and their agents really stopped in about 1968, but just as a Hinkley yacht will keep coasting even after its mainsail is dropped, the market for these homes continued, haltingly, through 2008, when it finally ran aground.
The ludicrous $11.5 million 2015 price for this relic, together with its listing's fulsome prose*, brings to mind Captain Ahab, stumping about on the teak deck of that Hinkley, screaming about white whales.
Today's price, its new agent’s slightly less pretentious wording notwithstanding, is just as nuts.
Right across the street from this one, the baseball player’s house at 390 Round Hill just sold for $3.5. I’m giving this a $3.2 price tag, and I’m probably being a romantic nostalgic at that.
and to my pedantic, smarter younger brother Anthony, I do know the definition of “fulsome” — in this case, I find the description fulsome, even it its writer meant it sincerely.