Daily Archives: March 21, 2009

Ow – forfeited deposits

The New York Times Real Estate section reports on buyers who put down deposits on new construction and, a year later when it’s time to pay the rest, find that their lender no longer will give them a loan. The result is awful, as you can imagine. The problem isn’t restricted to new construction of course, but those projects, at least in New York, seem to require a non-refundable deposit and make no allowance for changed economic circumstances, personal or national, in the time between paying the deposit and completion of the unit. Connecticut’s lower case law (I am unaware of a Supreme or Appellate Court decision) usually doesn’t allow a seller to keep a deposit, regardless of contractual language, if he has suffered no damages. When prices were rising, buyers seeking a return of their money at least had some leverage. In a falling market, they don’t. Be careful out there.

SOME of the buyers who thought they would be moving into new condominiums in the region this year are finding that those plans are in ruins as they are being forced to walk away from the hefty down payments they made a year or more ago.

They can’t complete their deals because the mortgages they lined up before the credit crisis took hold have evaporated and they can no longer get financing.

Elizabeth and James Pham put all their savings into the deposit they made on a $956,990 two-bedroom apartment at Maxwell Place, a new development in Hoboken, N.J.

They signed an agreement for the apartment in 2005, put down $93,199 and were preapproved for a mortgage for the rest of the purchase price.

But when their closing date arrived last September, several banks told them that to get a mortgage, they would have to increase their 10 percent down payment by another 15 to 25 percentage points. With no way to come up with that much money, the Phams notified the developer, Toll Brothers, that they could not get financing for the apartment. Toll Brothers declared them in default and kept their deposit.

“It would take us another 15 years to save that money again,” Ms. Pham said.

 

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Watch out, Mr. President!

Man loses tooth as bowlers brawl over etiquette. Sarah Palin could not be reached for comment.

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Walter, your salvation is near

Woman accused of theft from church blames Satan

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This must be good news for someone

New Jersey ends plan to bar Brazilian wax jobs.

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Maybe my political prognostication is as poor as my real estate wisdom

Here’s an encouraging AP article that says Connecticut Democrat voters are sick and tired of Dodd and have been for some time. I’ll never be so happy to be wrong, if he’s dumped.

While Dodd, 64, has only recently found himself in the nation’s political hot seat because of his role in the AIG bonus debacle, it has become clear that his issues with voters back home have been festering for two years. The AIG controversy appears to have exacerbated his popularity problems.

“His numbers started to fall two years ago, and it had nothing to do with the economy,” said Quinnipiac University Poll Director Douglas Schwartz. “It’s been a cumulative effect that has brought him down.”

Dodd’s decision to move his family to Iowa to campaign for a doomed bid for president, his initial refusal to release documents of his two controversial mortgages with Countrywide, criticism of how he financed a vacation cottage in Ireland, and now his involvement as Senate Banking Committee chairman in the bill that ultimately protected bonuses for executives at insurance giant AIG have all taken their toll.

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Banned!

Sorry to end her fun, but I’ve just permanently labelled Shelton 04 spam so off she goes. Shelton, we tolerate lots of stuff here but ALL CAPITAL LETTERS are annoying and, in Internet etiquette, are considered the written equivalent of shouting. That’s a no-no. And yes, I’m sure I do “suck as a realtor” – on the other hand, I sold far more of it in the past year than 95% of my peers and, judging from your pique, a lot more than you. Good luck, dear. You hold onto that price and write in a few years to tell me how you did.

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The Connecticut senate race begins

Republican Simmons, the only announced challenger to Dodd that I’m aware of, is going after the man for his AIG “Dodd Amendment”. Good for him, but I doubt this tempest will last long enough to deprive Dodd of the Democrat nomination and with it, reelection. Maybe that Irish Cottage will have longer legs – I hope so.

Will Blumenthal take a run at Dodd? A friend of mine, a Democrat, and I discussed this over coffee this morning and we both agreed that the answer is no. Lieberman is toast and will be out of the picture, one way or the other, in 2012, and that’s what Blumenthal’s waiting for. The man only goes for sure things- one reason I dislike him so much, is that he always waits for others to lead the way – tobacco, Microsoft, whatever, and only steps in when he can’t screw it up but can get publicity. Doubt me? Why did he wait so long to move on the AIG bonus play? It was only when his hated rival, Andrew Cuomo, started grabbing headlines that Dick figured out he was missing the train.

Anyway, the prediction here is that Dodd outlasts this scandal as he has all the others and retains his seat. Dodd and Blumenthal – what a future we have to look forward to.

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