The Gold Coast of Connecticut soon might become the Crypto Coast if this real estate listing is any indication.
The owner of a Greenwich estate is willing to accept cryptocurrency as payment for its $6.5 million asking price, in what an agent says is the first such listing of its kind in the wealthy town.
The unidentified owner’s background explains the unusual offer, and their comfort level in taking bitcoin or Ethereum crypto for the 4.3-acre farmhouse compound on Bedford Road, which dates to the early 1800s.
“It’s not like a gimmick,” the property’s listing agent, Kevin Sneddon of Compass told CNBC in an interview.
“Not only does my client hold a lot of cryptocurrency,” Sneddon said, “she actively trades a fair amount of it on a daily basis.”
The prices of bitcoin and Ethereum are highly volatile and have declined by more than 19% apiece since the beginning of 2022.
If a buyer of the property uses cryptocurrency to pay for the estate as opposed to cash — which remains an option for payment — the seller would be accepting a risk of further significant decline in the price if she did not immediately sell off the crypto for cash.
In recognition of that risk, a number of prior real-estate listings that have entailed cryptocurrency have required the buyer to convert the crypto to cash before the sale closes.
But the listing for this property makes crystal clear, in all-capital-letters type at the end of the description of the estate: “SELLER WILL ACCEPT CRYPTOCURRENCY.”
Sneddon said the seller intends to hold the payment in cryptocurrency.
“She’s not going to turn it over and convert it to anything else,” Sneddon said. “She’s going to add it to her crypto portfolio.”
Sneddon is counting on state-of-the-art amenities on the property to attract a buyer, and he hopes his seller’s willingness to accept payment in digital currency will score his listing the attention of newly-minted crypto millionaires.
“They’d want to come up and consider this house because we take their currency,” he said.
“Someone’s already asked me what kind of crypto she would take,” Sneddon noted.
The fact that the seller in the Greenwich property will accept crypto at closing has brought more attention to the old home in the form of press and inquiries from intrigued potential buyers.
But Sneddon said his “private-minded” seller isn’t interested in any of that extra attention focusing on her.
“They wouldn’t want their names out there,” he said of the buyer.
Public records don’t shed light on the identity of the homeowner.
The property last changed hands in 2009 for $5.68 million, according to the Multiple Listings Network.
Records showed it was bought by a limited liability corporation called Bedford Road Holdings. LLCs often are created to hide the true owners of real estate.
Then, the property’s seller was Anson McCook Beard Jr, a retired Wall Street bigwig, who is the brother of the late photographer and artist Peter Beard.
Beard spent many years at Morgan Stanley. According to the investment bank’s website, he was hired in 1977 to launch its private client services division.
The compound up for sale sits in the north-western-most part of Greenwich, only about 200 feet from Connecticut’s border with New York state.
Sneddon described the area as the equestrian countryside, an area of town where neighbors tend to have their third, fourth, or even fifth home set aside for weekend retreats.
The residence at 241 Bedford Road was built in 1835 and is a Greenwich-designated landmark known as the Levi Ireland House, the agent said.
The main house spans over 4,200 square feet with five bedrooms, three baths, and a powder room.
Elsewhere on the property is a carriage house that boasts three bedrooms, a one-bedroom guest cottage, and an old barn.
That “party barn,” as it is called in the listing, is wired for electricity, but otherwise has an unfinished interior.
While it is a great space for throwing a bash, Sneddon said the new owner might want to convert it into stables for horses.
“Not many 187-year-old farmhouses are packed with as many modern comforts as the Levi Ireland House,” said Sneddon.
In other words, a lot has changed on the estate since Andrew Jackson was president.
“It’s got Lutron lighting, and you press a button and it’s got automatic shades, and it has Porsche pinhole recessed lighting.”
Sneddon said that his client told him the German car-maker-designed fixtures cost her $2,800 per light and that many of her hi-tech splurges were inspired by the Covid-19 outbreak.
Prior to the pandemic, his crypto-trading client and her family spent most of their time in Manhattan, but when New York went into lockdown they retreated to their Greenwich estate.
When weeks turned into months his client decided to turn the home, which was mostly just used as a weekend getaway, into a full-week residence where she and her family could live and work from home.
Sneddon said it was important for the owner to be able to trade crypto in real-time from anywhere on the property including the poolside lounge chairs, so she equipped the residence with a top-shelf wi-fi system that delivers high-speed internet to every corner of the sprawling estate.
The homeowner also installed a Covid-inspired heating and cooling system that includes a virus-killing infrared air purifier.