This Doesn’t Bode Well for NY Home Sellers

A listing of the top ten cities for first time home-buyers just came out and whatya know – no New York, no Connecticut. As a matter of fact, NINE out of the ten cities are in states run by Republican governors. Funny how fiscal responsibility works.


The list got me to looking at houses here in Bedford that have been for sale for years, a decade in some instances. Mostly huge houses, with bells and whistles no one wants anymore.

Case in point, back in 2015, I blogged about 72 Guard Hill Road that reduced its price to $7,249,000, as if that was a bargain from where it started at $8.9m. Only ever lived in as a rental. Built in 2009!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Today, now for sale at $4.85m, the listing says HUGE price reduction!!! INCREDIBLE OPPORTUNITY!!

I’m smelling desperation. I don’t know if the builder still owns it but whoever does is taking a shellacking considering the carrying costs. The taxes alone are $145,000. Yes, you read that right.

Another huge house that has been for sale forever, 63 East Field Drive. Beautifully private location, close to town, long driveway, on a lake, much to love. Alas, it was built at the height of ugly homes, 1997, in the age of conspicuous consumption, with a whole wing that is an indoor tennis court (for the kids who were blossoming tennis champs) and indoor swimming pool. I know the family that built this house, nice folks, who did what so many others did who earned lots of money young – they built a huge home. I don’t begrudge them their choice but now it’s coming home to bite them, big time. He’s a managing partner of a hedge fund in NYC so I doubt he’s worried that this is sitting unsold, other than the hassle of keeping the lights on and the lawns mowed. They long ago moved. Me, I’d price it for a stupid low price just to get out. It’s actually SO ugly, if the price were right, I’d tear it down and build something simple. As I said, the location is fabulous.

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The price history doesn’t even go back far enough…it “only” goes back to 2012. I am sure it was for sale before then, at over $10m.


There are a dozen or more homes with the same problem – unsellable because no one is moving here who wants white elephants.

The good news is there are houses selling here, in the under $1m and the $1-2million range, reasonably sized homes that young families can manage. Lots of these sales are homes in town, in neighborhoods within walking distance of the Village Green.

Long way of saying when we do sell, we are going to sell low to get out. Take a tax loss and move on. I’m ready.


21 thoughts on “This Doesn’t Bode Well for NY Home Sellers

  1. Detroit is in the top ten? And Las Vegas? I wonder if that means first timers are looking to come in after a town has gone bankrupt, hoping the town revives.

    This Old House probably helped Detroit with their two projects there but looking at the neighborhoods of block after block of blight, it would be hard to come in, even for a song.

    Miami is full of conspicuous consumption mansions but they get snapped up by all you New Yorkers who want the same excess but at Florida tax rates.

  2. Your So Ugly comment made looking required😀 The inside is not so bad, but you’re right the architecture is awful. And the tile in the master bath looks like carpet padding….

    Sorry about your bee stings, hope you iced/baking soda/etc and it’s better now.

    1. I’ve been in this house many times when it was built. It wasn’t pretty then. The windows are all wrong. The kitchen is disjointed. The foyer is huge and unusable. Oversized rooms that are never warm even with tons of furniture in them. The basement was the kids party space bank in the 90s so it had that going for it. And yes, that master bath tile is like carpet padding. The house is cold.

      Yes, bee stings bettr. Swelling down.

      How’s the House Without Kids going? Miss them terribly? Miss them some? Miss them not at all? 🙂

  3. Well, I’m oscillating between enjoying the blissful silence, to weeping for a hug/snug, to feeling guilty for not missing them more. I’m trying to kick the guilt out, and let the tears flow a bit so I can enjoy the peace and quiet. It’s an unbelievable change how relaxed it is, and how easy it is to actually get stuff done!

    We are on day 4 of the Whole30 I told you about, so I’m cooking a lot and spreading some creative wings there, which is fun and relaxing when no one is nagging and complaining. I heard my youngest is doing a lot of creative cooking at camp, so hopefully I’ll have a sous chef when they return. I’m contemplating watching a teaching training DVD I’ve had on my shelf (Socratic discussion/teaching classic literature) for over a year, but it feels a bit lazy….

    1. Location Location location. In other words, this house is DOA. Armonk road is ugly as sin, more Mount Kisco than Armonk. Did I say hugely ugly street? Then the house, oh my.

  4. And, fwiw, I think the key phrase is “first time buyers” in that list. The only place I would ever consider from that list is San Antonio, and only because I remember how good that town smelled in 1992. Some sort of delicious food. Husband thinks all of Texas is whacko, though so it will probably never happen. Orlando, to me, represents all that is wrong with America. And I grew up in Detroit (suburb), and there is no way I’d go back there now. So much has changed.

  5. This phenomenon is happening all over Fairfield County too, Greenwich hit hard. I saw another list this weekend that listed the wealthiest zip code in each state and in CT, Darien won over Greenwich. That shocked me.

    I was lucky when I sold after my husband died. The house needed work so my agent suggested a middle of the road price. I only had to lower it once before a buyer came along.

    It isn’t easy for first time buyers today especially if they want to live in NJ NJ or CT.

    1. This is a common misconception. Darien/NC have always had higher median incomes than Greenwich and for many years higher median home prices. Greenwich has Byram, Glenville, Chickahominy, Cos Cob (which has gentrified, but), etc., not to mention lots of multi-family houses, apartment buildings and condos and several large housing projects, in those towns. The wealthiest 25% in Greenwich is far wealthier than in Darien/NC, but the town overall is less wealthy.

      1. That’s why there are all the issues with racial imbalance in the Greenwich elementary schools. Schools in the lower income areas of town are out of balance with the overall town average statistics. When you are 95% white like Darien & New Canaan, you don’t have to worry about the state guidelines.

        1. Similarly here. Bedford school district encompasses Bedford Bedford Hills and Mount Kisco, the latter two with very large Hispanic populations.

  6. The definition of stupid is doing the same thing over and over expecting a different result.
    Trying to maintain the single family mansion real estate market at an inflated/unrealistic value JUST IS NOT WORKING. I think you either have to accept the reality of a much lower sale price,
    OR get creative in allowing use changes…like multi-family condo, limited office use, or better yet a used car lot for all those mansion cars now without garages.
    Really, would you mind a 2-3 family condo on a 1 acre lot next door? (As long as the septic supports the bedroom/bath regulation)

    1. Many of the largest houses for sale now are on huge lots of land where it could easily support cluster living or, what’s desperately needed here, an upscale senior community. Bedford seniors move because there’s no full service independent living to health care facility.

      Since Bedford turned down a private high school that would have hugely benefited the whole community, it is doubtful the provincial town planners would think outside the box for condos.

    1. That’s true so maybe I should have said not paying a large capital gain. Most people expect to take a profit from a sale, but roll it over into another house.

      1. At one time you could avoid paying taxes on at least part of the profits by rolling them over into a new house, but that break expired many years age.

  7. Don’t get me wrong: you still get a break on the capital gains tax, but it no longer depends upon any rollover. I suppose that’s a bit more generous because you no longer have to buy a new, more expensive house to get the break – or even buy another house at all. I’m not going to bother looking up the exact rule because l’m sure it will have changed by the time you and I get around to putting our vast estates on the market 🙃.

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