A curious decision to build

(The former) 99 porchuck road

(The former) 99 porchuck road

Local builder, and a good one, Peter Thalheim, bought 99 Porchuck Road out of foreclosure for $762,500 last year, and now offers “new construction on experienced foundation” for $2.095 million. There’s no question that Peter will deliver a quality house for that price, but I’m surprised he took on the risk of this project. Porchuck is not a high-demand location these days, and this particular piece of land has low appeal and a dismal track record.

You can find pictures of the original house and the land it sits on here, but basically, the lot’s a narrow piece of property, bisected by a waterway, and not particularly amenable to development. Someone with a dream paid $1.7 for its 4 acres in 1999, but sold it for just $1 million in 2002 after reality set in. Of course that buyer, failing to reflect on the lesson to be learned on his predecessor’s experience, believed that he’d snared a bargain rather than a tar baby and put it up for sale as a building lot in 2005 for $3.8 million. It took a while, but the eventual foreclosure resulted in this latest sale price of $762,500.

So I wish Peter well: he’s one of the good guys, but I’ve followed this property’s lack of progress for 18 years now, and I personally would not have rushed in to develop it. On the brighter side, a buyer looking for new construction in this price range in this neighborhood will find an excellent house.

Greenwich Tax Collector moves to auction properties

Richman, poor man  “I’m from the government; I’m here to help

Richman, poor man

“I’m from the government; I’m here to help

Howard Richman, Democrat, and new sheriff in town, schedules properties for auction this spring.

Reached for comment by FWIW, Richmond was unapologetic. “We’re being pretty kind, actually. Hell, over In Germany they take deadbeat property owners dogs and sell ‘em on EBay”, he chuckled. “In fact, I hear that when they came and grabbed one family’s pug, they considered taking the father’s wheelchair, too, but decided that might be a little over the line — I mean, for a cripple, sheesh — so desisted. And I agree, at least for a first offense. Second time, maybe not. And gerbils and guinea pigs will always be fair game.”

Gotta love a woman like this


Divorced in October, wife who was ordered to pay deadbeat husband support payments want’s nothing to do with him even after he wins multi-hundred-million dollar lottery.

Eileen Murray told The Post on Thursday she has no plans to get back together with her ex, Mega Millions Jackpot winner Mike Weirsky, — and won’t be calling him anytime soon.

“He’s not appealing to me all of a sudden because he has this money,” said Murray, 53.

During their 15-year marriage, which ended in divorce in October, Murray worked as a cost analyst for a utilities company, but her 54-year-old husband was unemployed. She’s still paying him spousal support, she said.

Still, she has no plans on coming after him for any of the $162.5 million lump sum he’ll be collecting.

“I’m not going after anything. I have morals. I know what I’ve worked for and its everything that I have.”

From follow-up stories I’ve read, many of these lottery winers blow through their cash within a decade. I wish no ill will for this lady’s ex, but I’m impressed by her character, regardless.

In a mostly dormant market, some sparks of life

winding lane.jpg

Mostly rental activity reported this days, but here are two big items;

35 Winding Lane, $7.495 million, is reported as pending after just 42 days on market, which is a good indication that it will be selling for something reasonably close to its asking price. Owners paid $6 million for it new in 2016 and put some major money into improvements, but I’d guess they’re making out here.

And while it took longer, 29 Meadowcroft Lane finally has a pending sale. Last asking price was $5,499,500, which, while a disappointing come down from its initial 2016 price of $8.9 million, is still an impressive price. It’s a 5.5-acre building site, so someone presumably has plans for a $15 million mansion here, and his fellow taxpayers should be pleased.


Connecticut Democrats to millionaires: Get out!

extraordinary popular delusions and the madness of crowds

extraordinary popular delusions and the madness of crowds

If you’re not willing to stay here and be fleeced then, damn you, go away — who needs you?

HARTFORD — A proposal from Senate President Pro Tempore Martin M. Looney, D-New Haven, would force the state’s wealthiest to pay higher taxes, without raising the income tax.

Looney’s bill, awaiting action in the legislative Finance, Revenue & Bonding Committee, would create a statewide 1 percent property tax, forcing those with higher-value homes to pay more, whether or not they live in the state.

It would also end local taxes on motor vehicles, creating a statewide vehicular tax of between 15 and 19 mills.

“This is looking to target high-income people with high assets, some of whom play the game of living out-of-state for six months and a day,” Looney said in an interview. “One thing about the property tax is it’s the most reliable to predict. This idea has more progressivity.”

A large number of state residents: gardeners, attorneys, and plumbers among them, earn a decent living serving the needs of the wealthy. But no, these people must go.

Flip, or flop?

66 perkins.jpg

66 Perkins Road (off Dingletown), 1961 construction, was purchased for $2.2 million in 2006 — go figure — then totally renovated, and put back up for sale in 2007 for $3.6. I don’t know whether the owner had hoped to make a profit on this deal or intended to stay in the house and his plans changed but regardless, no buyer appeared, the house was pulled from the market in 2008, and now it’s back at $2.245 million.

All those renovations are 13-years-old and essentially worthless now, but you still have a house that someone thought was worth $2.2, once upon a time, so there’s that. Perkins remains a nice street.

I’d be tempted to rent a Bob Cat dozer to address this problem, but others may differ

I’d be tempted to rent a Bob Cat dozer to address this problem, but others may differ

If you must fire your agent, at least admit that your asking price was too high, and fire that price, too

28 oak.jpg

There are lots of “new” listings being posted these days, but most of them are just new listings by new brokers with the same, or close to, the same price. Trust me on this; it’s the price that’s been wrong, not your agent. In the age of the Internet, where every potential buyer has full access to prices, property characteristics, school, etc., it’s not a failure of marketing that’s keeping buyers away from your property, it’s your price. Keep you agent, drop your price.

One property owner who at least did half of that is the would-be seller of 28 Oak Street, that neighborhood behind the car dealerships on West Putnam Avenue. He fired his most-excellent agent, though he hired one equally as good, but most important, dropped his price from its 2017 high of $4.249 to $3.295 million.

My personal tastes run against this house because of its Westchester design and its location in an execrable part of town, but that’s just me; someone’s bound to like it — after all, this owner thought enough of it to pay $2.9 for it when it was new in 2006 — and there will surely be more “someones” looking in the low threes than there are in the low fours.

So, look to your price, before you blame your agent

At what cost waterfront?

344 shore road.jpg

344 Shore Road, of the Belle Haven Peninsula but not in it (beware when listings describe a house as in the Belle Haven “area”), new construction, hit the market today at $12.5 million. It holds a commanding view of our Grass Island sewage plant, dog park, and municipal marina, but also boasts of a “deep water” dock. My admittedly-limited knowledge of that backwater piece of Greenwich Harbor has me thinking that there’s, maybe, 2’ of water at low tide, which would be sufficient to float a trimaran or smallish powerboat, but not much else. But I could be wrong, so I’d advise checking with our Harbor Master Ian Macmillan before paying a premium for our limited deep water harborage.