Castles & Cottages
House for sale. Got $8 million?
These days, it’s no easy task to sell any house, much less an $8 million, custom-built, Palladian-style home on nine country acres in Northern Westchester. Not to mention that it comes with an annual tax bill of $186,782.
This, however, is not just any $8 million house. It comes with a Madoff-like history: the nice little country place in North Salem was built by Paul Greenwood—the town’s former supervisor, hedge-fund manager, and one-time owner of the New York Islanders—who was arrested last year and accused of taking tens of millions in investor money. Real estate agents tell us that the most likely purchaser of Greenwood’s former home is a larger-than-life sports figure. Glossy brochures are being distributed to the National Hockey League.
The lucky buyer will get, among other things, a 1,200-square-foot kitchen/great room; a hand-carved Cuban mahogany library; a floating spiral staircase (great for your daughter’s grand entrance into high society); five bedrooms; eight bathrooms; an ice-and snow-melt system for the roof; an on-site fire hydrant; and a heated driveway.
In addition to the grand manse itself, for another $1.25 mil, a buyer also can have a farmhouse on four acres and a guest house with three fireplaces (perfect for a pool house) for $750K. They’re being sold separately or as a package deal. Less tangible but also valuable is the home’s sensational history and the fact that new owners hardly will be at a loss for something to talk about with guests while mixing martinis in that über-kitchen.
The Ultimate Pied-à-Terre
For those with millions to spend who don’t want all of the fuss and bother of plowing driveways and hiring gardeners, a luxury two-bedroom, two-and-a-half-bath penthouse has just come on the market at the Ritz-Carlton, Westchester, in White Plains. The custom-designed pied-à-terre is listed at $4.9 million and at 5,000-plus square feet, it’s bigger than most houses. The swanky condo has rosewood paneling in the media room and hallways and mother-of-pearl inlay in the made-to-order cabinetry. The current owner, a global businessman, is relocating and praying that the Ritz in Westchester will be to others of the moneyed suburban set what Central Park West is to city dwellers. It’s perfect for high-net-worth individuals who love their golf and park their planes at nearby Westchester Airport. Jessica Dee Rohm at Foreign Management Company (fmcrealestate.com) can tell you more. By the way, we hear that buyers with cash who can close in 30 days are in the best position to bargain.
HALF-OFF SALE from $38 million to...
Many investors who have been lying low for a couple of years are taking a new look at real estate now that the market is stabilizing, more or less. Foreign Management is hawking 32 furnished apartments at the Ritz with marble baths, top-of-the-line appliances, electric shades, flat-screen TVs, WiFi, custom built-ins, and Frette sheets for a mere pittance of what they would have gone for two years ago. The condominium offering plan price is $38,750,000, but you can have the 32 units for half that.
orchid condominiums blooming in ossining
Check out 73 Spring Street, an Ossining neighborhood that’s looking up, thanks to The Orchid: a complex of 26 one-, two-, and three-bedroom sharply styled condo units selling for $419K to $600K. The open-plan, modern living spaces include eco-friendly a/c systems, built-in cable TVs and, of course, high-speed Internet hook-ups. The interiors by Durukan Design of Manhattan include a gleaming lobby of Italian ceramic tile and living units with bamboo wood floors, cherry cabinets, and granite countertops in the kitchen, and ceramic tiles in the large bathrooms.
The designer’s genius is forging a combination of city-style sleek architecture with a warm and homey feeling just 44 minutes—that is, if you catch the express train—to Midtown. Check out the models, either virtually at orchid condominium.com or by calling (914) 762-2200.
bidding wars? you bet
It may be tough out there, but houses that are priced right are selling. Ask Priscilla Toomey, a broker with Bronxville-Ley in Southern Westchester. “We had a co-op that sold in a few days,” she reports. “Just get that price to reflect the market, and you’ll find a buyer.” Similarly, the seller of a house in Pelham dropped the price below the assessed value of $1.25 million, and it sold in a bidding war in less than two weeks for close to that. In Larchmont, the sellers of a condo dug in their heels, unwilling to budge on the $1 million-plus asking price. Then finally, after two price adjustments, it sold—not for what they originally had wanted, but for a very respectable price. They learned the hard way that if you’re not realistic about price in this market, you might end up sitting on your house for a long time.