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Real Talk Ken Edwards Prime selling season is upon us

March 19, 2019 GMT

We’re ready to jump into the prime selling season here in Greenwich and there are 638 residential and 10 multi-family homes currently listed on the Greenwich Multiple Listing Service. There’s a lot to choose from.

Seven properties sold last week including six single-family homes and one condominium. The total sales jumped to over $17 million with an average climbing to $2.5 million.

My “sale of the week” selection is an Old Greenwich Colonial that jumped in 11 days from an “as-is new listing” to “contingent contract.” It went over asking with serious interest at its $1.195 million listing price. Right price, right location, boom.

My “buy of the week” selection is a Cos Cob home that sat for 630 days before going to contract. It sold at 70 percent of its original $1.399 million listing price and needs freshening. Buyers typically keep looking rather than negotiating. They missed a bargain here.

Buy of the week

My “buy of the week” selection was a “Southern Colonial”-style home in Cos Cob on Cottontail Road. Listed in May of 2017, it spent 630 days on market to reach contract stage and closed two weeks later. The sale was contingent on the owner finding suitable housing, but obviously they had ample time to do so.

This four-bedroom, three-and-a-half bath home was built in 1967 on a one acre lot off Stanwich Road. There’s a nice large wood deck in the back overlooking a level yard for kids, dogs or whatever the new family wishes to do there. The sellers purchased this property back in 1987 and the new owners have a great platform to push this home to the next level.

As with many “buy of the week” selections this home will probably see its kitchen and bathrooms updated by the new owners, but it’s move-in ready now.

Sale of the week

My “sale of the week” selection on Wesskum Wood Road overlooks Binney Park and Pond and is a no-brainer to buy in this Old Greenwich setting. With four bedrooms and two-and-a-half baths this 1975 Colonial at the corner of Wesskum Wood Road and Sound Beach Avenue is a short walk to the Old Greenwich Train Station and the village.

Open floor plan, move-in condition, eat-in kitchen and hard wood floors made this offering jump off the market at 7 percent over-asking in 11 days. With a few of these homes to sell I’d be retiring early.

This home was updated in 2008 with a nice kitchen remodel and has been frequently rented in the $4,800 to $6,500 price range a few years after its purchase for $425,000 in 1995. The upside potential for this home on 0.2 acres allows up to a potential 3,136 square feet of finished space.

It’s not often that an “as is” property sells for over asking but this demonstrates the high marketability of the Old Greenwich market in the $1 to 1.5 million price tier. People often ask me how’s the Greenwich market doing? This sale shows how difficult a simple answer can be to that question. Should I say “Great — ‘as is’ homes are selling for over asking in under two weeks?”

Retirement housing options

You might not be ready for choosing a retirement home yet, or maybe you are, but here’s a very clever housing solution for those who are healthy and are reviewing their options. It’s simple, really, and you can do it in a state that doesn’t tax your retirement income too!

A 64-year-old Virginia man who was reviewing his options was able to improve the quality of his retirement home life substantially while dramatically reducing his costs at the same time.

Terry Robison, writing on his Facebook account, compared mid-priced hotel chains to retirement homes he was considering and, with a senior discount and long-term stay option found a much more economical choice in a Texas Holiday Inn. In fact, he was able to save $128.77 a day which would more than cover his lunch, dinner, and laundry expenses (continental breakfast was included at the hotel he chose).

The average nursing home cost in his analysis was $188 a day but his daily tab at the hotel was $59.23. That’s $68,620 annually versus $21,619, not including lunches, dinners and laundry. I think $47,001 would more than cover those expenses. In fact, he could take the free airport shuttle and dine in all the airport restaurants or take the bus outside the hotel (free for seniors) into the city and enjoy all the options there.

But we’re just getting started. How about a lounge, pool, spa, workout room and guest-accessible washer-dryer? A reliable $5 tip every day will have, as he describes it, hotel staff falling all over him. Plus the Holiday Inn provides free toothpaste, razors, shampoo and soap. “They treat you like a customer, not a patient.”

“You’re not stuck in one place forever — you can move from Inn to Inn, or even from city to city,” Terry explained. “It takes months to get into decent nursing homes,” he wrote. “Holiday Inn will take your reservation today.”

Robison did not mention what kind of health he is in, but said, wryly, staff like a security guard or maid would check every day to see if he is OK and call an ambulance or an undertaker, whichever is needed.

“If you fall and break a hip, Medicare will pay for the hip, and Holiday Inn will upgrade you to a suite for the rest of your life,” he wrote, adding that he’d face his golden age with a grin. Notice that I didn’t even mention the IHG Rewards Club points and options.

Something to consider. And everyone will feel sorry for you that you have to live out of a hotel with no permanent address. Maybe a GoFundMe page is in order?

This Week’s Success Quote

“I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.”

— Jimmy Dean

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.