Daily Archives: March 16, 2009

Charge wounded soldiers for their treatment?

That’s the ruckus being raised over Obama’s plan to make private insurers reimburse the Treasury for treatment of wounded soldiers  but it doesn’t quite sound like a forced payment by the soldiers themselves. On the other hand my great grandfather John Caldwell fought with the Pennsylvania 61st throughout the entire Civil War and recorded bitterly in his diary that, after being wounded in the Wilderness and being sent back to Washington for treatment, he wasn’t allowed to leave the hospital without settling his bill. So I guess things have improved since then and I don’t think Obama is trying to return us to those days. Is he?

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Dead Cats

Two examples of the species.

Here’s a dead cat falling off a cliff:

Number of single family houses going to contract first two weeks of March

March 1-16 contracts for past four years

March 1-16 contracts for past four years

 

And here’s a dead cat bounce:

DJI 3/16/09

DJI 3/16/09

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City in the toilet, Mayor blames blogs

The outgoing Mayor of Salisbury Maryland has read the blogs and doesn’t like them.

Tilghman said in her address Thursday that over the last five years, the presence of a small group of suspicious, mean-spirited people focused on the negative has grown, endangering the city’s vitality.

In her previous career Mayor Tilghman was probably a real estate agent.

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The Repo Man Cometh

Foreclosure.com lists a number of lis pendens filed recently. These are notices of the beginning of a foreclosure action, often, and here are just a few that caught my eye (specific addresses are withheld unless you pay a fee to the company, and I see no need to do that – you can probably figure out most of these).

Lindsay Drive: $6, 186,000. We know of a spec house here – it’s built by the same guy with a spec home on Ridge Street, also liened last week.

Overlook Drive, Milbrook. $3.644. Find the spec house, find the troubled builder.

Windrose (Mead Point). Not a spec house, but a $6.643 million lien.

E. Elm, $2.689 million. Think of a two-unit condominium project whose units, combined, add up to just about this amount and you’ll have it.

There are more, of course, and still more coming.

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So what’s selling?

Not a heck of a lot, just to bring you unexpected news. We’ve seen 29 single family houses go to contract this year: 11 in January, 15 in February and 3 so far this month. Prices? Not so hot, either. There’s the $7.95 Jordan Saper spec house on Perkins, under contract but selling price not yet known, a $6 million sale on 48 Parsonage, today’s $5 million on Bobolink and after that, it’s a pretty quick trip to the low 2s and under 1s, with a brief dalliance in the 3s. None of which is good news for the high end spec house sellers.

Who’s left to buy these houses? It’s cruel to suggest it, but criminals always have money in good times or bad, and usually have the execrable taste to appreciate the excess these houses exude. Consider Long Island. Will the Round Hill Club, fresh from the embarrassment of having members like Walter and Monica Noel exposed in the press, have to make room for new members with less taste but more money? I hope so – it would so much safer, way out there on the 16th hole, if armed, members’ bodyguards were wandering the greens. Especially if those horrible gangs from Wilbur Peck make their way up north!

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56% of asking price

21 Bobolink

21 Bobolink

As hinted here when this property finally went to contract a few months ago, the selling price, reported today, was $5 million, down quite a bit from the original Ogilvy suggestion of $8.9 million. Oh well, what’s a few million for the owner of the Empire State Building? Waiting from May 2007 to March 2009 to unload a house you no longer want or need is a bit of a drag, though.

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$49,900,000,000 to go

Feds move to seize Madoff assets. Despite last week’s news stories about Madoff being worth $800,000,000, $700,000,000 of that was the value of Madoff Securities which is worth, maybe, $10,000,000. There might be a hundred million of yachts, real estate , antique silver and a piano to grab, and that includes the cash and securities Ruth Madoff claims is hers to keep. It’s the cardboard palace for you, Ruthie, unless the feds are successful in switching you to concrete and steel housing.

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