Monthly Archives: April 2010

Bummer

Tiger Woods fails to make cut at Quail Hollow. His sex life aside, I just enjoyed watching such a superb athlete and I’m sorry to see his self-destruction. I’d been looking forward to watching him for another twenty years but, maybe not.

9 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Ollie’s Barbecue!

Thanks to “Happily retired litigator” I was able to retrieve this Commerce Clause case. No question that the result was right – our country was no longer willing to abide racist treatment of our citizens, but using the Commerce Clause to achieve that result was, in my opinion, a bad move. But hey – I’m not a member of the Supremes.

9 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Complete freaking a**hole joins Florida Senate race

Salon nails him, but click on the Forbes profile if you need more. We’re going to have an entertaining circus down there for the next few months. This idiot’s a Demmerkrat, but I think his troubles are greater than that.

3 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Oh, for Christ’s sake

First, SWAT teams, now it’s Department of Justice suits. We’ve got a horrible accident down in the Gulf, but para-military units and lawyers are useless – engineers could help.

3 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Gibson’s house moves from “pending” to “contract”

Other than that, all our activity today is under a million. I understand sellers’ reluctance to acknowledge the current market but really – if you don’t have to sell, pull your house and hope for better times a few years from now.

7 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

So this place finally sold

718 North Street, bought for $3.583 in 2001 and on the market for a long time since then, finally sold for $3.2 million yesterday. Assessment was just $2.458, so I guess someone had that right.

Comments Off

Filed under Uncategorized

WordPress is dodgy today

I’m having trouble logging on either to post new material or post comments. so please bear with me.

4 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Peter the appraiser weighs in

Don’t want this lost in the comments section (which you should really read – all the intelligent people are there, as opposed to this idiot) so:

IS mentions assessment ratios by zone. Here are some by price range, based on 419 sales in 2009.
Under $500,000, 0.96; $500,000 to $750,000, 1.18; $750,000 to 1M, 1.21; 1M to 2M, 1.27; 2M to 3M, 1.30; 3M to 4M, 1.43; 4M to 5M, 1.36; 5M to 10M, 1.44; over 10M, 1.86. Assessment ratios going back to 1970 show similar assessment disparities by price.

Update: Whoa! Pete, I hope you understand that “this idiot” refers to me – just struck me that it might be misunderstood. Thanks very much for your data. Seems like our next assessment can use some tweaking.

10 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Ghost housing in Ireland (h/t, LG Fountain)

Twenty percent of all houses empty. Greece is just the first of many as Europe collapses.

The obvious question of who people imagined would live in all these new-builds makes Irish people wince now.

But hindsight is a wonderful thing. Only a few years ago, developers feeding money into local government coffers were getting free rein to build row upon row of five-bedroom detached houses on the green outskirts of towns nobody had even thought of commuting from before.

Mr McWilliams says the whole of Ireland is having to come to terms with what he compares to a collective addiction.

“Everyone took the property drug at the same time”, he says, “everyone was up at the same time, everyone was buzzing.

“Now we are all in the middle of this huge comedown. And people are looking around and saying – ‘what happened? Was that us?’ And then we look at our bank statements and we realise – ‘yes, it was'”.

4 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

WSJ on Metropolitan area house price declines. Greenwich is in there.

(Thanks, Stanwich, for the heads up) . Here’s the article.

Home-sale activity has been picking up in communities across the New York metropolitan area. However, some economists believe that prices, which declined during the fourth quarter in most areas, will continue to move lower.

2 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

If the entire country emulated him it might solve the problem by making them all go away

Greek mayor goes on hunger strike to protest austerity measures.

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

This will help

Obama announces he’s dispatched SWAT teams to inspect oil rigs. When in danger, when in doubt, run in circles, scream and shout.

2 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

I think this is unfair

Obama flashback – “oil rigs today generally don’t cause spills.” The fact is, the man was exactly right – 40 years since the last accident. I heard an interview yesterday with the Scientific American’s Energy and Environmental editor in which he discussed the issue – the well had four “blow-out preventer valves”, any one of which should have prevented this disaster. Obviously, something went dreadfully wrong, but it sure wasn’t Obama’s fault. Almost everything bad that happens in the world is his fault, of course, but not this. : )

7 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Instapundit

Government pay scales. This just can’t continue.

WANT TO GET RICH? WORK FOR THE FEDS. “As of 2008, the average federal salary was $119,982, compared with $59,909 for the average private sector employee. In other words, the average federal bureaucrat makes twice as much as the average working taxpayer. Add the value of benefits like health care and pensions, and the gap grows even bigger. The average federal employee’s benefits add $40,785 to his annual total compensation, whereas the average working taxpayer’s benefits increase his total compensation by only $9,881. In other words, federal workers are paid on average salaries that are twice as generous as those in the private sector, and they receive benefits that are four times greater.”

4 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Peg from Minnesota asks regarding health insurance,

Peg asks, “I’m missing something. Shouldn’t we ALL drop our health insurance – and just purchase it if we get expensively ill?”

And I sure as hell agree with her. I am now paying $700 a month, guaranteed to go up when ObamaCare kicks in, for catastrophic insurance. What a chump I am – just as soon as Obamacare is the law of the land and insurance companies have to take me no matter how ill I am, I will stop paying that premium and wait to get sick. I suspect others will do the same – hang onto your wallet.

16 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

How bad are things in Fairfield County?

I can’t reveal the source, but I will tell you this: many (hundreds of)  homeowners in our neck of the woods have registered complaints that their lenders are screwing them – they won’t accept short sales from workers under fifty, because they figure they will eventually make money again. Illegal? You bet, but that’s what’s happening.

7 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Obama: “At a certain point, you’ve made enough money.”

$5.5 million in 2009 for our President is not, apparently, that certain point.

UPDATE: It would be a shame if this were lost in the comments – from Island Surveyor:

The link contains all the presidential returns, back to FDR’s 1040 for 1913.

The IRS Form 1040 for that year is worth a glance and some thought as to how far “fiscal policy” and the tax code have come. The full instructions are 1 page.

FDR made all of $4,000 in salary and $8227 in dividends. The lowest tax bracket was 1% on incomes of $30 – 50K, and the highest bracket of 6% on incomes over $500K.

28 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

You’ve just got to love it

New digs for the Eco-Warrior.

$8,875,000 for “an ocean-view villa… with a swimming pool, spa and fountains… 6 fireplaces, 5 bedrooms and 9 bathrooms.”

Another place for Al Gore and his lovely wife “Tipper” to snuggle up and keep warm.

It’s nothing but jealousy and pure peevishness to mock and complain when this delightful, public-spirited man takes another modest step to find some little comfort for himself and his wife.

I swear I remember a time when politicians didn’t enrich themselves at tax payers’ expense. Then again, I wasn’t alive in 1789, so no doubt my memory’s playing tricks on me.

6 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Witch hunt? I think so

Feds open criminal probe into Goldman Sachs, according to the WSJ That’s a major step beyond the SEC’s civil complaint, but if Goldman is guilty of violating criminal laws, so is every other Wall Street firm. The supposed victims are all big boys, it seems to me, and they can look after themselves. I’m no fan of GS, but I sure haven’t seen any evidence of wrong doing – just people betting on opposite sides of a deal, which is how the institutional side of Wall Street operates. Goldman is NOT, and never has been, a retail operation, so duties owed to Mom and Pop down on Main Street don’t come into play here, despite what our Senators claim.

3 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Trees come down

No one hurt, but a tree crushed a car and narrowly missed an Old Greenwich mother and her child, according to Greenwich Time. I was outside myself on this beautiful afternoon, inspecting some land, and I’ll admit to being a bit nervous as the trees around me (especially a couple of dead ones) were being blown around. Quite a wind.

2 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized