What's the matter with Dublin Hill Drive?

25 dublin hill.jpg

My post earlier this morning on 23 Dublin Hill Drive’s failure to sell prompted a reader to point out that its neighbor, 25 Dublin Hill, has also encountered rough waters, and indeed it has. Sold brand new by its builder, BSF, for $6.725 in 2004, it’s sat on the market since it landed with a thud last March at $5.995. It’s taken a number of price cuts since then and last week switched agents and came back on at $4.250.

BSF builds a top-quality house, and Dublin Hill Drive is a really convenient location, mid-Stanwich, so I don’t know why this home hasn’t found a buyer. Following up on my previous post regarding our Grand List, the town’s been valuing this at $5.4, so here’s another shaving off our tax base.

I'd say that the basement home theatre died in Greenwich at least a decade ago (right around the time when whirlpool tubs went down the drain)

The tombs were alive, with the sound of music — no more

The tombs were alive, with the sound of music — no more

WSJ: The new mansion must: a media room.

There was a time when custom luxury homes proved their bona fides with lavish home theaters—typically found in the basement and outfitted with forward-facing seats, fabric walls for soundproofing, a projector for cinema-style viewing and maybe a “Godfather” or “Batman” poster to round out the theme.

Today, homeowners are coming out of the dungeon.

Home theaters are increasingly being replaced with multi-function media rooms—lounge-style spaces located in or near the main living areas. Here cozy couches, tables and chairs are arranged to facilitate TV and movie watching, as well as game night, cocktails, homework and hanging out. And all that A/V equipment? It’s nearly invisible.

There’s probably a way around the Journal’s cash wall, but this snippet conveys the brunt of it: people don’t want to huddle down in a dark basement to watch movies anymore, and space devoted to such an entertainment is wasted, and adds nothing of value.

I've always admired creative lawyers

Judge meets chief hoo hah!

Judge meets chief hoo hah!

Cheyenne chief imported from Montana to testify against De Blasio’s shutdown of Central Park carriage horses.

Chief Phillip Whiteman, whose Indian name is Yellow Bird, wore a full headdress and a traditional leather robe as he faced a Manhattan judge.

He delivered a 2-minute tribute to how wonderful horses are. It wasn’t clear what he was trying to argue in relation to the case, but by the end of his speech, tears streamed down his face.

Trials like this are circuses, and it’s the wise lawyer who plays to the crowd. But bringing in a genuine Indian in full garb is just spectacular. A tip of the bonnet.

What's going to happen to our Grand List when the next reevaluation hits?

dublin hill.jpg

23 Dublin Hill Drive (off Stanwich), dropped $805,000 yesterday, from its September price of $4.8 million to $3.995. Not a surprising development — that’s what happens when a house won’t sell — but a reader’s comment yesterday about our Grand List prompted me to see where this is carried on our tax roll. Turns out, the town’s got it appraised at $5,125,600. Assuming, say, that the final sale price of this property is $3.7, and it could be more, could be less, that’s a hypothetical loss to our tax base of $1.4ish.

There are a lot of houses selling these days for less than their appraised values, in contrast to previous years, when they often sold for far more. The Grand List determines our tax rate, because the budget is derived, then apportioned among taxpayers on the basis of their home’s worth. The budget is fixed, so if the pie from which it’s paid for shrinks, each slice is going to have to be bigger.

I should, but don’t, know when our next reevaluation is scheduled: 2020? Soon, though, we’re going to see some interesting adjustments.

Green Team’s Great Leap Forward — impossible, but that's not the point

she’ll make it; the methane farter, maybe not

she’ll make it; the methane farter, maybe not

The point, according to NEO, is the the huge majority of American voters, will never read the “Green New Deal “plan” itself (and lack the wit to question it if they did) and will instead rely on the vague, gauzy descriptions provided by the MSM, to spark their “enthusiasm”.

There’s a lot of derision on the right about the Green New Deal. It goes something like this: it’s so stupid, and so against what the American people want, that it exposes the left to ridicule and will ultimately facilitate the re-election of Donald Trump.

Well, maybe. Maybe that will happen. But I have grave doubts, and I don’t think the GND is stupid. Yes, it may be stupid in the sense of violating our current knowledge about energy generation, or what is practical, as well as financial reality, and the like. But it’s not meant to make sense in that way; it’s meant to make political sense.

But how can that be, if most people can see through it? My answer is that I don’t think most people can see through it, and certainly not enough to make it a losing proposition for most Democratic candidates to hop on board.

But how can I say that? Isn’t it very very extreme, so extreme it will alienate people? For the answer, just do what I did: spend a few hours reading MSM sites and seeing reactions from Democrats. It’s an education in how the GND is being responded to, and why the Democratic candidates have all hopped aboard the extremist green social justice jobs for everyone train.

Last night I watched a clip of some liberal spokesperson or other being quizzed by a conservative as to what she agreed with in the details of the GND. “Its spirit” was all she could come up with, but for her it was enough. She seemed embarrassed when asked about particulars and couldn’t endorse any, but she pooh-poohed—almost ridiculed—the need for details. 

I doubt there are many Democratic politicians able to defend many (if any) of the GND manifesto’s specific provisions. And yet many have endorsed it. Why is that?


They know their base will love it—especially young people, but more about that later. And Democrats are counting on the notion that most of the rest of the public will not be paying much attention to the details of the GND, or at least will like the “enthusiasm.” 


If you had read it without reading the Green New Deal text, you’d think the GND to be a rather moderate, ho-hum, slight extension of things that had gone before (ABC took a similar approach). You would have no idea of its lunacy, its extreme radicalism and sweep, and its utter impossibility of implementation without beggaring the country. And of course, most people will almost certainly not read the text of the Green New Deal; they will rely on the MSM to tell them what it really is, and the MSM will keep the focus soft and fuzzy and friendly.


This GND initiative is a counter to Trump, that troglodyte non-believer in AGW. The GND is not meant to be serious legislation for now, but to burnish the Democrats’ reputation as caring about climate change and the Republicans’ reputation for not caring. And the Democrats are counting on just about no one—except the right, and the far left—to read what’s actually in the GND. 

Meanwhile, think about this: the Democratic Party wins these days by appealing to blocs of voters who will vote nearly monolithically for Democrats. Just as one example, black voters. “Young people” are also a bloc that puts Democrats over the top in many races. And many many of today’s young people are terrified of AGW. They have been taught in school from early grades on that it is a dire problem staring us in the face, and that—as AOC has helpfully pointed out prior to releasing the GND—the planet is at risk in the next decade and something drastic must be done or the world is in dire peril. If a person believes that, and believes that science supports it, that person will almost certainly vote for people advocating extreme measures—particularly if that person is unaware of the science and math and history that make those measures very very dangerous as well as unlikely to succeed. The idea is that desperate measures require desperate defenses, and the Democrats are at least willing to take measures that the GOP will not. 

Do not estimate the powerful appeal of this to many many people. The Democrats have no intention of passing anything like these proposals for now. The plan for now is to use it all for a cudgel in 2020 and gain more power, and then they can do just about anything they want.

It may not work, but it’s not stupid—not if your goal is power and control.

And another price cut on Witherell


19 Witherell Drive, down from its 2017 price of $5.795 million to, today, $4.950. Back last March I wrote about this house, praising it, but pointing out that, just as the previous owners had initially priced it at $8.695 before settling for $5 from these folks, owners of this cottage seem to let their enthusiasm for the place displace a realistic view of its market value. I suggested then that a price below $5 million might be more appropriate, and it seems that the market agrees.

I say “cottage”, by the way, because, while the current listing describes it as encompassing 6,500 square feet “per tax card”, the only tax card I have access to shows 3,835 sq. ft (which is what previous listings show also). Perhaps there was an addition put on during current ownership that isn’t mentioned, or maybe the listing broker has a set of double-secret probationary tax cards that show different figures. Either way, you might want to confirm the more optimistic number.

Bailiwick is still a tough sell

Screen Shot 2019-02-08 at 3.55.14 PM.png

12 Bailiwick Road, off Riversville, has dropped to $1.993 million. Owners paid $2.025 for it back in 2003, tried reselling it for $3.297 (I guess they like odd numbers) in 2009, and then pulled it off the market in 2010, after it had dropped to $2.750. They did some further renovations, and put it back up for sale in 2016 for $3 million; today’s price cut reflects the sad results of sales efforts so far.

The Bailiwick neighborhood is well liked by those who live there, but potential buyers seem to focus less on the small community swim/tennis club and more on the proximity of Merritt Parkway, and the far-western location, and balk.

The actual property of 12 Bailiwick is exceptional, but the house itself is rather unappealing, if market response so far is any judge.

I think putting more money into a house that won’t sell, as happened in this cace, is unwise: cut the price and move on, rather than put good money after bad.

Not a kitchen to die (or pay) for

Not a kitchen to die (or pay) for

Into the abyss? One can only hope

democratic socialist candidate, 2019

democratic socialist candidate, 2019

Democrat socialists destroying their party’s success in coming election

JOSH KRAUSHAAR: Democrats Are Boosting Trump’s Re-election Prospects.

When you look at the polls breaking down the actual Democratic electorate, you’ll find limited support for such socialist-minded schemes. Broaden out to the overall electorate, and it’s easy to see how Democrats could be giving President Trump a lifeline to a second term despite his widespread unpopularity.

“We are on an out-of-control roller coaster going 100 miles-per-hour, and we have no functioning brake,” said one liberal Democratic strategist who is alarmed by the rising tide of socialism within the party. “No one is leading and that void could not be more clear.”

What’s so remarkable about this rapid leftward shift is that it’s working against the party’s best interests—both for the individual candidates and their chances of defeating Trump next year.

Steven Green, whose post this is that I’m linking to, sums it up pefectly:

All the Democrats had to do was not act crazy, but instead they’ve become the party of Florida Man on Bath Salts Running Naked Down the Interstate Chewing Off His Own Face.

Mind you, just because some of us think that Americans aren’t stupid enough to believe that we can, or should, ban airplanes and beef cattle and internal combustion cars, rebuild every building in the country and provide a living for those “unwilling to work”, all in ten years, doesn’t mean that the majority of voters will agree with us. As Glenn Reynolds likes to warn, “don’t get cocky, kid”.

A tiny price adjustment on Long Meadow Road

long meadow.jpg

75 Long Meadow Road, Riverside (NoPo), from $1.229 million to $1.185. I’m posting about it here because presumably not all readers are in the market for multi-million-dollar homes, and this house is probably worth looking at for those searching the lower end of our inventory. Long Meadow is a good, low-traffic road, especially here, at its terminus. The yard’s a bit dodgy, given its a perch on a hill, and certainly there are no Architectural Digest articles to be expected here, but the house is clean, updated, and in the North Mianus/Eastern school district, which is a plus. Last sale was for $1 million, in 2005, so no crazy inflation here; and Long Meadow never collapsed the way more expensive homes did after the 2008 crash.

And as a member of this neighborhood, use of the small community association beach at the other end of the Long Meadow comes with it. Right on the Mianus Pond, the beach offers swimming off a small sandy beach, and racks to hold kayaks and canoes. One of the major benefits here, to my mind, and one that sets this neighborhood apart from similarly-priced ones.

Were I currently working with clients in this million-dollar range (and I’m always happy to, I just don’t have any at this instant) I would certainly suggest that they visit.

Nice views from the deck

Nice views from the deck