Blog :: 01-2012

Old Greenwich CT Commuting

I wrote up a quick post the other day talking about the different Greenwich CT train station options and wanted to add a little color today explaining how people commute into the city from the eastern part of Greenwich CT. The obvious option for people to get into Manhattan from Old Greenwich CT is by using the Old Greenwich Train Station. This is a fantastic station that is right in the middle of town - part of the charm of Old Greenwich. Many others also drive into New York City.  This is another benefit of living on the western side of Stamford CT as the drive into New York City is fairly consistently easy. Most of the trouble arises when you have to drive through Stamford, making it much harder when you live in areas like Darien, Rowayton or Westport.

One other option for people who want to commute into Manhattan from Old Greenwich (or North Mianus and Riverside for that matter) is to use the Stamford Train Station. This station is not far from the western part of Greenwich and offers the best train schedule outside of New York.  While most town stations have regular express trains into Manhattan, the Stamford Train Station has them late into the night.


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    Greenwich Train Station

    Say hello to the Greenwich Train Station. One reason that Greenwich CT Real Estate around town has increased so much in the past 15 years.  Greenwich has four train stations including the Greenwich Train Station, Cos Cob Train Station, Riverside Train Station and the Old Greenwich Train Station, so there are a lot of options for Greenwich residents to get into New York City.  In fact there are two other train stations that many Greenwich residents on the east side (Port Chester Train Station) and the west side of town (Stamford Train Station).

    While the Stamford Train Station is farther away from Manhattan than all of the Greenwich Train Stations, it offers one key benefit. The Stamford Train Station has express trains running from the city well into the night. For this reason, many Old Greenwich and North Mianus residents use this station on a regular basis, especially if they find themselves in the city late in night. They will either use the Stamford Train Station as their main station or just take an express home to it and cab back to the Old Greenwich Train Station.

    Equestrian Properties in Greenwich CT

    I put together a search for properties that mention the word "horse" or "horses" in hopes that it would return all of the Greenwich CT Real Estate that might appeal to equestrians. Generally speaking these properties are mostly located in northern Greenwich/backcountry.  The obvious properties include large plots of land and areas like Conyers Farms.

    Now my searches (as well as any others found online) are only as good as the data that is inputted into them. For example, the equestrian property search I put together only pulls listings that mention the word "horse" in the description correctly as there are no variables for equestrian properties. I mention this as there are significantly more properties that might interest you than what you will see in my searches. If you are ready to take the next step please feel free to call (203.940.0444) or email me so I can pull a proper search and show you my notes on Greenwich CT Real Estate.

    There are lots of great plots of land in backcountry Greenwich that would suit equestrian interests.

    THANK YOU! Greenwich Real Estate Report

    First and foremost, I want to thank all of my clients for helping make 2011 a great year.  I closed on 20 houses (13 sales, 7 rentals) in 2011, which was is my best year so far and owe it all to my wonderful clients.  I enjoyed working with everyone and appreciate the business. I also want to thank the many people who referred business to me.  The referral business is a huge part of my pipeline and I am grateful for every lead sent to me.

    Looking back on 2011, I am pleased to say that the Greenwich Real Estate market held up well.  I am not going to sugarcoat it and tell you that it was a banner year and that I only see signs of the market improving from here on out.  When viewed from a macro-level, 2011 was still a very slow year.  We did not see the level of transactions that we had a couple years ago and we might never again.  As I mentioned in a previous blog/email, I think we might be witnessing the beginning of the new "normal" in real estate movement.

    In Greenwich, CT, I feel that the baseline level of transactions should be roughly around 625 houses sold per year.  This is not the 750+ that we saw in 2007, but also higher than what we have witnessed in the past two years.  I am a strong believer that we are bouncing along the floor of our pricing, but also admit that I do not know when we will start to see price increases. I am confident in recommending a purchase (for investment purposes) with a 5+ year horizon, but have a hard time confidently supporting shorter horizons.  I see several factors that continue to affect the Greenwich (as well as national) market and keep it from a proper level of equilibrium/harmony.

    Obviously the biggest factor keeping the Greenwich CT Real Estate market out of sync is the questionable economy.   As discussed in several previous blogs, residential real estate is almost entirely priced upon perception, so if anything were to affect perception and confidence the residential real estate market takes a hit.  Certain areas of residential real estate are hit harder than others.  For one, the second home market has been hit much harder than the primary home market. This is obviously because those who need money will unload their vacation homes before their primary residence's. Another factor that we are starting to see is that second and third tier markets are taking a harder hit than first tier markets as those who have money are starting to realize they can afford to upgrade to the better location (flight to quality).  Greenwich is fortunately on the right side of the trade for both of these factors.

    I have worked with a lot of clients recently who have said they want to buy in Greenwich because of the low taxes (about 1/3rd of NY taxes), which is normal, but now I hear more and more clients say that they think they can afford to live in better neighborhoods than they used to look at because the prices have come down.  You used to need well north of $1,000,000 to buy a decent first home in Greenwich, but now you can find some great single families in the $700k range, especially in areas of Cos Cob and North Mianus, and you can find apartments in the $200-$300k range all through town.

    This doesn't mean that all levels of real estate in Greenwich are lowering dramatically in price, it just means that there are many affordable areas of town.  On the high-end we have still seen some major trades and there are some fantastic homes on the market right now in the $10 to $20m range, which once commanded prices starting with a "3" or even "4".

    I find myself fortunate to work in a town with such diversity in product.  Covering over 65 square miles and housing a population of over 60,000 people, Greenwich has a lot to offer.  I really consider it 4 neighboring towns that include Old GreenwichRiversideCos Cob and downtown Greenwich, but within those towns we have several communities including GlenvilleByramNorth Mianus and Pemberwick to name a few.  I've been able to work $1,500 rentals and $23 million estate sales, which is what I find to be so much fun about the job.

    If you know of anyone who is looking at the Greenwich (or Rye, I closed on 4 houses in Rye last year!) area and are in need of some help, I'd really appreciate it if you pass on my name.



    Scott Elwell Real Estate Agent - MBA- Greenwich Fine Properties 191 Mason Street, Greenwich, CT 06830 Mobile: 203.940.0444 : Email:

    My Activity - Bio

    Greenwich CT Rentals

    I'm starting to get some requests on rentals and felt that this would be a good time to talk about the rental market in Greenwich (including Cos Cob, Riverside, Old Greenwich and North Mianus).  There are essentially two types of rentals in Greenwich. One type is the family rental and the other is for people that don't have kids (clients that are either very young or empty nesters).  I'll explain in a second why I include the younger clients in the same pool as the older empty-nesters.  The reason that I split up the groups in this manner is that one (the family clients) is very cyclical, while the other is not.

    The rental clients that don't have kids look throughout the year and don't care which school district they are in. This is very important to pay attention to as you will see when I start talking about the family rentals. These non-children Greenwich rentals normally end up closer to town and in areas like Lyon Farm. Demand for these units is fairly consistent throughout the year. Yes it gets slow around the holidays and in the coldest of winter times, but there is not near the cyclical behavior as we see in the family rentals.

    Clients that are looking for family rentals have a fairly small period of time to jump.  The sole reason for this is the school year. Not many people are looking to move their children during the school year so we see a ton of activity in Greenwich rentals in the summer months when school is out. This cyclical behavior has little to do with the economy. That being said, the negative economic market can sometimes boost the rental industry. Last August the Greenwich rental market saw this happen. The rental Market in Greenwich in August 2011 could not have been hotter. I had several clients loose out on rentals after bidding the ask price! They lost out to people that offered more than the asking price and people that offered money the day it was listed.

    This burst in activity was due to all of the families that had to be in by the school year (the September Greenwich rental market slowed down considerbly). This happens every year, but I think the spike was extra strong last year because there were more families finding themselves in the market for Greenwich rentals that originally wanted to buy, but could not get the financing or find the right home at the right price.

    I think we might see another spike this coming summer. It will be awhile until we know. Just realize that if you are interested in renting for the  next 2012/2013 school year you'll want to wait until this summer to look at what comes on the market. All of those 2011 rentals won't turn over and become available until this spring/summer.

    Greenwich CT (&National) RENTALS


    STOP LOOKING AT Zillow's Estimates!!!

    Please please please stop looking at the Zillow estimates, especially when researching Greenwich CT Real Estate.  Zillow is a great site if you want to find out what your neighbors house probably* traded for, what it is currently listed for or for a view of their plot, but it is a HORRIBLE site for valuations. This is a computer program based on the west coast that is pulling info from the internet to value homes.

    * - Zillow pulls their info from town websites and links which are many many times incorrectly imputed.

    For those of you who like data at how wrong it often is take a look at some articles:

    Study on Zillow

    Zillow Estimates in Greenwich

    My thoughts on Zillow, Realtor and Trulia

    Glenville CT Real Estate

    When I pulled the Greenwich CT Real Estate listings this morning for house in the Glenville area the MLS returned 73 listings (here are all of the Glenville CT Real Estate listings) ranging in price from $350,000 at 24 Caroline Place to $14 million at 21 Midwood Drive. Now on the list of Glenville CT Real Estate you do see a huge swing in prices, but many of these houses on Vineyard, Round Hill and Midwood would really consider themselves in central Greenwich.

    Typical Glenville CT Real Estate includes houses priced from the $500k range to the $3 million range. There are some fantastic communities within Glenville with very safe community-based streets perfect for trick-or-treating and pick-up ball. Many of these communities house real estate that is priced below $1 million and  perfect entry point for Greenwich, like some areas of Cos Cob CT Real Estate and North Mianus Real Estate.

    In addition, the town of Glenville, while small and quiet, does have most everything one would want for general shopping including a Stop & Shop, best pizza in town (Glenville Pizza) and some fine dining (Rebecca's).

    Putnam Park - Greenwich Condos

    Putnam Park (Greenwich CT Real Estate) offers some great condos/co-ops within walking distance to downtown Greenwich/Greenwich Avenue/Greenwich Train Station.

    Located just a couple blocks to the northeast of Greenwich avenue (entrances on East Putnam & Milbank Ave), Putnam Park offers an affordable condo lifestyle in very well maintained brick construction. This private community is a quiet retreat from the busy streets of downtown Greenwich, while offering an opportunity to live in Greenwich under $400k in many cases.

    Here's a quick search of current Putnam Park listings -


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        [...] Greenwich, Cos Cob, Riverside and Old Greenwich  - Greenwich CT Apartments & Condos for Rent. Putnam Park in downtown Greenwich offers some great options as [...]

        Greenwich CT Condos

        Many people don't realize just how many condominium units there are in Greenwich (Cos Cob, Riverside and Old Greenwich).  This area of Greenwich CT Real Estate has been growing dramatically over the past twenty years. I've seen a dramatic increase in empty nesters who want to stay in town, but downsize and maybe get closer to downtown.  Due to this change in demand we have seen several high end condos pop up close to the water and close to Greenwich avenue.

        Here's a search I put together showing condos in Greenwich  -


        As you can see, this search produces condos of all price ranges including several north of the $1m range. In point of face there are many more that are not being pulled from this search, so please contact me if you are interested.

        For those of you who are interested in entry level condos in Greenwich, Riverside, Old Greenwich or Cos Cob, I also created a search for condos under $800,000. -

        This lower price category has also seen a dramatic increase in demand over the past 20 or so years as more and more single people find Greenwich an attractive place to live and purchase their first home. Obviously condos closer to the town center/Greenwich Avenue are more expensive than those farther out in places like Cos Cob and North Mianus. Places like Putnam Park offer a mix of both affordable condo living and close proximity to town. I am a big fan of Putnam Park and definitely consider it a great investment.

        Now these are both very rough searches. For a full updated search please feel free to email ( or call me (203.940.0444).

        There are a ton of Condo real estate options within Greenwich, Old Greenwich, Riverside and Cos Cob.