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Sunday Open House: Monday Morning Quarterback

Thanks to all who wrote in with your Open House stories this past weekend. Please keep them coming, as the more we get, the more we know!

Anonymous in NJ writes:

Ridgewood is a high tax suburb with good schools and a great downtown. But it seems like the bloom is off the rose as far as fast moving residential real estate. There's nothing moving in the 8-1.5 million range despite what a lot of the brokers are saying (they are all drinking the same coolaid!). Oddly, there seems to this denial factor with sellers too. For example, yesterday we visited a 3 bd/2/5 bath (1 full bath is in the basement! I hate that) in a starter-home street of cute homes and well-kept lawns and tons of children known as the Graydon pool area. The small colonial mini house is so very pretty on the outside and much smaller looking than it actual is. The EIK kitchen expands out and a mudroom has been added on. The walls are all perfectly pottery barn. The upstairs is pretty, but tiny, with no master bath just a full hall bath the only family that could stand the closeness is one with kids under 4 I presume (and only 2 kids at that!).

The basement is finished complete with a full bath. Why would anyone want to shower in the basement? Anyway, years ago, this house would easily fly for its look and practicality and location. The owners are stuck in 2002 by asking 820K for the house originally. There was moderate traffic probably due to the new price of 789K, but even that seems really high to us. Times are a changin'.

Dennis in Connecticut writes:

1970's Raised Ranch, 2,000 sq. ft. 3bdrm., 2.5 bath., fireplace 100x125 lot in 1970's development of similar homes. The house is located in West Haven, CT about 2 miles from Long Island Sound. The house is located in a stable neighborhood of similar homes all constructed in the 1970's. City records indicate that the current howeowner paid $161,000 for this house eight years ago. Locals view the property taxes as high. This house had taxes of $7,200 per year.

What kind of buyer traffic did you see? Four separate groups of two (total of 8 people).

What were some of the comments from folks like you hanging around the walk-in closet? Most wondered why the house had been on the market so long. The agent told me she first listed the house in December '06. A neighbor told me that the homeowner has no flexibility on the price because he needs funds to move elsewhere.

How was the agent marketing the house? Talk ‘em up and see what they say. Marketed as good for families. Elementary school earned US Dept of Education Blue Ribbon award two years ago. Agent also said the close location to Metro North rail stop and I-95 made commuting distance to Fairfield County ideal.

Questions? Comments? RealtyCheck@cnbc.com

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  • Diana Olick serves as CNBC's real estate correspondent as well as the editor of the Realty Check section on CNBC.com.

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