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Real Talk Ken Edwards Local market rebounds as spring sales begin to blossom

March 19, 2019

Last week’s closings reported to our local MLS rebounded from the previous week’s total with 10 single family and four condos being sold. All told, sales went from $17 million to over $32 million with six of the sales crossing the $2 million threshhold.

One of those sales, my “sale of the week,” was an Old Greenwich waterfront Georgian that went for $11 million in only five days on market. Buyers waiting for the perfect waterfront home with cash and/or financing on hand know what they want and don’t hesitate to pull the trigger when they see it.

My “buy of the week” selection is a mid-country renovated Colonial that benefitted from a computer trick which digitally altered the wall colors of several rooms to a neutral palette. The house sold for 26 percent below its asking price and represents good value on a very nice street.

Buy of the week

My “buy of the week” selection on Dingletown Road in mid-country Greenwich was renovated in 2015. Built in 1976, this 5,236 square foot five-bedroom, five-and-a-half bath, Center-hall Colonial took almost a year to go to contract. Ultimately the selling agent resorted to computer tricks to change the color of several rooms without ever picking up a paintbrush. The intense blues, reds and lime greens were neutralized with the click of a mouse.

The new owners purchased this home for $400,000 less than it sold for five years ago or about 17 percent less. At $2.4 million the sale came in at 26 percent under its original asking price.

With a heated pool, 2 acres of land, a gated private drive entrance, a practice putting green out back and an eat-in gourmet kitchen with high-end appliances and a solarium, this home represents very good value for the buyer.

Sale of the week

My “sale of the week” selection is a 1993 Georgian Colonial at the end of Indian Drive in Old Greenwich. It’s a spectacular shoreline property with 115 feet of waterfront and exquisite views across Long Island Sound. It’s the ultimate home for entertaining with all the outdoor amenities you’d wish for.

That includes a fabulous pool, a deep water dock, outdoor fireplace, terraces and a dining pergola with outdoor kitchen.

The 7,027 square feet inside behind the porte-cochère entrance includes 3 bedrooms, 5 and a half baths, and common rooms with extra height, coffered, tray, and cathedral ceilings. The master bedroom suite is truly amazing with its fireplace and views of the Sound.

Selling this beauty only took five days for twenty percent higher than the tax-appraised value but nineteen percent under its asking price. However, it did sell for $14.1 million seven years ago. Then again, it sold for $7.7 million eight years earlier than that. Properties in these special high-value waterfront communities do vary tremendously in selling price, as you can see here with a single home.

Pricing in green updates

Many homes have taken the green initiative and spent some “green” making their home more energy efficient and climate friendly. Often starting with insulation and thermal window and door updates, the bug often bites leading to conservation of not only energy but also water.

If you’ve taken any or all of these steps, perhaps going so far as to replace your lawn and sprinkler system with a synthetic lawn, your hot water heater with a tankless or even solar thermal water heater (or both), or a PV (photovoltaic) array on the roof to generate electricity from the sun, you certainly value your home differently than before. But will an appraiser agree?

Not every licensed appraiser is certified to calculate the value of eco features that they find while doing an appraisal. It might just be your luck that the appraiser hired by the lender for your buyer hasn’t a clue as to how to include these features in their opinion of value.

That’s yet another reason to get a seller’s appraisal before you get started with your listing. But who has the expertise to properly value what you’ve done? There’s a Form 820.05 entitled “Residential Green and Energy Efficient Addendum” that should be completed as part of the appraisal process. It will help you to not leave dollars at the closing table unnecessarily after funding the upgrades you’ve paid for and were enjoying.

If you want a copy of the form just send me a note and I’ll E-mail it to you. Make sure your appraiser completes it as part of his/her review. Go green!

This Week’s Success Quote

“We have to prove to the disinherited majority of the world that ecology and conservation will not work against their interest but will bring an improvement in their lives.” — Indira Gandhi

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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